In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar

 

Arlo Maitland Marcel Moen

 

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class

 

Radio Technician Trade group 4, 3298, RCN

 

Lieutenant-Commander, O-52382, RCN / C.A.F. (Navy)

 

Born: 06 Jul 1920, Outlook, Saskatchewan

 

Died: 28 Oct 2013, Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

MOEN, Arlo Maitland Marcel - passed away in Camp Hill Veteransí Memorial Building, QEII on 28 October, 2013 at the age of 93. In 1938 at age 18 Arlo joined the Royal Canadian Navy determined to serve his country after hearing Hitler on the radio. He served onboard many ships, including HMCS Saguenay which was torpedoed and the Royal Navyís Rodney, one of the battleships that helped sink the Bismarck. Upon retiring from the RCN in 1971, he began an acting career and was involved in many productions with Kipawa Theatre and helped to establish Center Stage Theatre in Kentville. At age 88 he wrote ďA Sailorís StoriesĒ and sold hundreds of copies. Arlo was predeceased by his wife Shirley (Loomer). He is survived by his son, Stewart (Hope) Moen; daughter, Susan Moen; granddaughter, Sarah Moen; sister, Eleanor; brother, Neil (Vivian), and many nieces and nephews. 

 


 

Arlo Maitland Moen passed away in Camp Hill Veteransí Memorial Building, QEII on 28 October, 2013 at the age of 93. In 1938 at age 18 Arlo joined the Royal Canadian Navy determined to serve his country after hearing Hitler on the radio. He served onboard many ships, including HMCS Saguenay which was torpedoed and the Royal Navyís Rodney, one of the battleships that helped sink the Bismark. Upon retiring from the RCN in 1971, he began an acting career and was involved in many productions with Kipawa Theatre and helped to establish Center Stage Theatre in Kentville. At age 88 he wrote ďA Sailorís StoriesĒand sold hundreds of copies. Arlo was predeceased by his wife Shirley (Loomer). He is survived by his son, Stewart (Hope) Moen; daughter, Susan Moen; granddaughter, Sarah Moen; sister, Eleanor; brother, Neil (Vivian), and many nieces and nephews. (Source: HMCS SACKVILLE Feb 2014 edition of "Actions Stations")

 


 

Transcript of Arlo Moen's submission to "The Memory Project" - The Saguenay was torpedoed 200 miles off the coast of Ireland, and 19 killed and 21 injured. I was a radio operator; and I was in the remote control office, and not too far away from where the torpedo struck, about 80 feet, I think.

 

I had the door of the office ajar about four inches for ventilation. And when the torpedo struck, there was blue flame oscillating back and forth. It just filled the whole entire doorway. Also the smell of cordite. And later there were other smells from the fire.

 

Got permission to close down the watch I was on; and I went out on the upper deck to check the antennas. And I looked up and the mast was broken. And the antennas were just dangling about. So I went and reported that to the head telegrapher; and he was trying to send out a distress message. When I told him this, he said, well, weíd better switch on another transmitter, which he did and the only other one we had was a spark [gap] transmitter, which was a very, something I guess they had gotten during the First World War. It was a shaky proposition. We didnít know if that message would get out or not.

 

We were lucky that the message did get out and the captain, the fire was getting bad, so the captain gave the order to us to standby to abandon ship. And we put down the guardrails and, of course, the Carley float, which was my abandon ship station, halfway over the side and sat on the inboard side; and I and a chum of mine were sitting there; and took his hand, and said, well, I hope you make it. And he says, thereís not a chance that weíll make it (this was in December); this water is so cold that we wouldnít last five minutes ? itíll be an easy death. That was a very comforting thought.

 

About dawn, HMS Highlander, a British destroyer, appeared on the scene. And there was a great shout of joy from the entire ship. Apparently our distress message had gotten through.

 

Later on, I was in the hospital and Stonehouse Military Hospital in Plymouth and the chap in the next bed to me had been on an oil tanker that got blown up. He had his eyelids were grafted; he had a broken pelvis, broken legs, broken arms. It was hard to imagine why he had stayed alive. As I say, they grafted, he had been blown into the water and there was oil in the water and the oil was on fire. It had burned his eyelids off; and he had grafted eyelids.

 

He used to cheer me up when I got depressed. He was a Newfoundlander. He was a religious person. I canít remember. And he was always, always had a positive outlook; and I just couldnít understand him. All he could do. At that time, I was very depressed as a result of the killings of my shipmates. It had very great mental affect on me. At that time, they didnít have any facilities that they have today for shellshock, or whatever they want to call it. And so I suspect thatís why it still bothers me. I donít think it will ever leave me.

 

Shortly after this, I and 24 other Canadians were put onboard the HMS Rodney, which was in the Clyde in Scotland. And it left port just in time to, for the Bismarck, to chase down the Bismarck. I think that probably most people know that the Bismarckís steering was damaged from a torpedo, which enabled the Rodney and the [HMS] King George V, another battleship, to catch up to it. And King George V was on one side of the Bismarck and Rodney was on the other side; and we were steaming back and forth, and firing at the Bismarck. And unfortunately, the Bismarck fired back.

 

After the Bismarck started to sink, there were large, you could see large groups of men in the water. And the captain went on the loudspeaker and said that we were leaving because of the danger of submarines in the area. Apparently, the shipís captain and he had quite a dustup because the captain felt that, the shipís padre felt that he should stay and rescue some of these men. And the captain quite rightly said that his duty was to his ship, and so we left.

 

Young people today can have no idea of the threat of losing freedom; how great an effect that could have on a young man. And, of course, I had enough ego to think that I could have some small influence on guarding freedom. And this is my reason for being in the navy in the first place; and it was my reason for staying in the navy all those years. (Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia)

 


 

 

Arlo Moen on his Telegraphist (Sparker) Course in Halifax

 


 

Ships served in:

* Enlisted 03 Oct 1938 as a Telegraphist, RCN

HMCS ST LAURENT

HMCS SAGUENAY - Survived the torpedoing of SAGUENAY by the Italian sub Argo

HMS RODNEY - Served in RODNEY during the hunt for the German battleship BISMARCK

* CFR - Appointed Acting Commissioned Radio Officer (seniority 01 Oct 1950) (Navy List Jan 1951)

HMC DOCKYARD - Appointed to HMC DOCKYARD, Staff of Manager Electrical Engineering 18 Dec 1950 as an A/Cd Rad O., RCN  (Navy List Jan 1951)

HMCS QUEBEC - Appointed to QUEBEC 14 Jan 1952 as a Cd Rad O., RCN (Navy List Jan 1952)

* Appointed Cd Rad. O., (seniority 01 Oct 1950) (Navy List Apr 1952)

HMC DOCKYARD - Appointed to HMC DOCKYARD, Staff of Manage Electrical Engineering 13 Oct 1952 as a Cd Rad O., RCN (Navy List Jan 1953)

RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX - Appointed to RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX, Electrical School 05 Jan 1953 as a Cd Rad O., RCN (Navy List Jul 1953)

* Appointed Lt (L) (Star), RCN (seniority 01 Apr 1955) (Navy List Jul 1955)

NHQ OTTAWA - Appointed to NHQ 03 May 1956  Staff of Assistant Electrical Engineer- in-Chief (Power) as a Lt (L), RCN (Navy List Jul 1956)

HMCS CAYUGA - Appointed to CAYUGA 08 Dec 1958 as a Lt (L), RCN, Electrical Officer (Navy List Jan 1959)

* Seniority backdated to 01 Apr 1953 (Navy List Jan 1960)

HMCS SHELBURNE - Appointed to SHELBURNE 22 Aug 1960 as a Lt (L), RCN (Navy List Jan 1961)

* Appointed LCdr, RCN (seniority 01 Apr 1961) (Navy List Oct 1961)

HMCS SHELBURNE - Re-Appointed to SHELBURNE as a LCdr, RCN Technical Officer (Navy List Apr 1962)

SUPLANT - Appointed to SUPLANT 08 Aug 1962 Staff of Assistant Superintendent Production as a LCdr, RCN (Navy List Oct 1963)

SUPLANT - Appointed to SUPLANT 26 Aug 1963 Staff of Planning Office Ship Repair as a LCdr, RCN (Navy List Apr 1964)

HMCS STADACONA - Appointed to STADACONA 28 Jun 1965 Administration Officer as a LCdr, RCN (Navy List Oct 1965) 

* No further career info available - the Canadian Navy Lists were ceased after the Oct 1965 publication.

* Retired 30 Jan 1971

 


 

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