In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


William Romanchuk


Telegraphist, RCNVR


Born: 19 Jul 1920, Stry, Alberta


Died: 07 Mar 1977, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


ROMANCHUK, William - The death of William Romanchuk age 56 years of 710 East Drive, Saskatoon occurred in a local hospital on March 7, 1977. The Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, March 10th at 1:30 p.m. from the Chapel of Saskatoon Funeral Home conducted by Rev. Alex Hupka. Surviving are his loving wife, Katherine; two sons, Kenneth Gerald and Donald William both at home; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Romanchuk of Edmonton; a brother, Dr. John Summers of Los Angeles; four sisters, Mrs. Kay Kryzanoski of North Vancouver, Mrs. Anne Tkachyk and Mrs. Mary Sulyma both of Edmonton and Mrs. Eugenia Malott of Everett, Washington. Mr. Romanchuk was born at Stry, Alberta and lived there until joining the Royal Canadian Navy during World War 2. Following his discharge, Mr. Romanchuk attended U.B.C. and graduated in1951. In 1961 he came to Saskatoon to manage Wescab (Saskatchewan) Ltd. and make his home here since. Mr. Romanchuk was a member of Nutana Branch No. 362 Royal Canadian Legion. Interment will take place in the Ukrainian Orthodox Section, Woodlawn Cemetery. (Courtesy parking south of the Chapel on 4th Avenue at 25th Street). (The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 1977)


Ships served in:




HMCS PRINCE RUPERT - Served in PRINCE RUPERT when she took part in the sinking of U-575

HMCS SASKATCHEWAN - Served in SASKATCHEWAN during Operation Dredger




Some of my father's wartime memories (written by Ken Romanchuk):


My father, like many servicemen, did not speak to me much about actual combat. When I was a teenager, one day I remember that we were driving to Thompson, Manitoba and heard on the radio about a man who was going to cross the North Atlantic solo rowing. I mentioned to my father that this sounded romantic. He replied that there was nothing romantic about crossing the North Atlantic, especially in a Corvette in the winter!


He did tell me that when he served on the destroyer HMCS Saskatchewan during the Dredger raid at Brest, he witnessed the amputation of Roman Saretsky's right arm by the ship's physician. During that action, the plexiglass enclosure of the Telegraphist's station was shattered during the German shelling, and a piece embedded in my father's thumb, which he extracted and saved. No medal for being wounded -- luckily only required a band aid. When I was a teenager, I remember once that my father and Roman Saretsky met, and shook left hand to left hand. Afterwards it was one of the few times I saw my father shed a tear.


My father also served on HMCS Prince Rupert, which took part in the sinking of U-575.  An Edmonton Journal newspaper article from June 13, 1944 reports the sinking a U-boat in mid-Atlantic and the accompanying newspaper photo names several of the crew, including my father. Some of the crew of the German U-boat were apparently rescued and taken prisoner (my father told me that during convoy duties, usually no rescue attempts were made for sinking Allied or German vessels). My father recounted that the German U-boat officers apparently would only give their name, rank and serial number to the Captain of the Prince Rupert. But the other crew rescued apparently were Byelorussians and they did not speak English. My father spoke Ukrainian, which had some similarities to Russian, so he was sent with cigarettes to give to the Byelorussians and to try to interrogate them. Apparently the Byelorussian crew had been captured by the Germans on the Eastern Front, and given the choice of serving in the U-boats, or be shot! My father told me that these individuals were very happy to be rescued, did not know much about the U-boat orders (other than the approximate date they departed from ?Kiel), and that they were very happy to be rescued. And were very interested if and when they would be transferred to a safe and dry POW camp!






(WR01-WR03) William's wartime memorabilia







(WR04) Portrait of Tel Romanchuk

(WR05) Article on Operation Dredger 5/6 Jul 1944 - The Albertan 14 Aug 1944

(WR06) Alberta sailors on HMCS PRINCE RUPERT take part in sinking of U-boat - The Edmonton Journal 13 Jun 1944

(WR07) HMCS STADACONA Wet Canteen ticket

(WR08) Directions to the Canadian Legion War Services Club (a.k.a. The Beaver Club) in London, England



(WR09) Tel Romanchuk's station card for HMCS PRINCE RUPERT



Crossed the Bar Index