For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS COLUMBIA I49

HMCS Columbia I49

From the collection of Nigel Whiteley, LCdr, RCN, Ret'd

DND/RCN photo

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1940-44

 

 

Laid down: 30 Mar 1918

Launched: 04 Jul 1918

Commissioned: 07 Jun 1919

Paid off: 1922

Re-commissioned: Dec 1939

Paid off: 24 Sep 1940

Transferred to RCN: 24 Sep 1940

Commissioned: 24 Sep 1940

Paid off: 12 Jun 1945

Fate: Sold for scrap on 07 Aug 1945

 

Commissioned on 07 Jun 1919 as USS Haraden she served in the Adriatic Sea during part of 1919 before returning to the U.S. for training out of Norfolk, Va. Placed in reserve at Philadelphia in 1922, she emerged in Dec 1939, to take part in the Neutrality Patrol, and was transferred to the RCN as Columbia on 24 Sep 1940, at Halifax. At first employed on local escort duty, she left Halifax 15 Jan 1941, for the U.K., where she was assigned to EG 4, Greenock. In Jun 1941, she joined the newly formed NEF, and in Mar 1942, following repairs at Halifax, transferred to WLEF. In Jan 1943, she went to the aid of her RN sister, HMS Caldwell, adrift without propellers southeast of Cape Breton, and successfully towed her 370 miles to Halifax. Following a major refit at Saint John from 01 Feb to 20 May 1943, she rejoined WLEF, becoming a member of EG W-4 at the end of Jun 1943 and of W-10 in Dec 1943. On 25 Feb 1944, owing to a combination of fog and faulty radar, she rammed a cliff in Motion Bay, Nfld. without so much as touching bottom. Repairs only sufficient to make her watertight were carried out at Bay bulls, though not until May 1944. In Sep 1944 she was taken to Liverpool, N.S., to serve as an ammunition storage hulk for ships refitting there. Paid off on 12 Jun 1945, into reserve at Sydney, she was sold for strap later that year.

 

Note:  information indicates that the radar was not faulty but that that C.O. had to chose between trusting his Navigator or information from the RDF operator - he chose his Navigator.

 

Commanding Officers

LCdr Somerville Wentworth Davis, DSC, RCN - 24 Sep 1940 - 13 May 1942

LCdr George Hay Stephen, RCNR - 14 May 1942 - 17 Mar 1943

LCdr Bernard Dodds Leith Johnson, RCNR - 18 Mar 1943 - 23 Nov 1943

LCdr Robert Aubern Stuart MacNeil, OBE, RCNR - 24 Nov 1943 - 30 Mar 1944

Lt Thomas Arthur Giffin Staunton, RCNVR - 31 Mar 1944 - 22 May 1944

Lt Murray Leo Devaney, RCNVR - 23 Mar 1944 - 18 Jun 1944

LCdr Francis O'Brien Gerity, RCNR - 19 Jun 1944 - 30 Jun 1944

Lt Murray Leo Devaney, RCNVR - 01 Jul 1944 - 22 Jul 1944

Lt John Gwynda Hughes, RCNR - 23 Jul 1944 - 01 Mar 1945

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

CAMPBELL, Lawrence Newton

PO, V14372, RCNVR

died of wounds 09 Mar 1944

at HMCS Avalon, Nfld

CARTER, George Frederick

AB, V18016, RCNVR

MPK - 28 Mar 1942

FELDMAN, Arthur

EA 4c, V23593, RCNVR

died - 26 Feb 1944

SILVESTER, Charles Victor

PO Victualling, 40604, RCN

killed - 24 Nov 1941

SLINGSBY, Clifford Frederick

AB, V24618, RCNVR

MPK 29 Nov 1942

Lost at sea - swept overboard

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Anderson, Donald DeBlois

____-2010

Bell, Joseph A.

1922-1995

Burdon, Thomas Holland

1919-2013

Served in Columbia 26 Apr 1943 - 03 Feb 1944 , Lt, RCNVR, A/S Officers

Byatt, Archie

1920-2017

Served in Columbia 1941-1942

 

C-D

Campbell, Angus Hector

1907-1998

Drafted  to Columbia on 03 Feb 1942

Clark, Kenneth Guy

1910-2002

 Drafted to Columbia on 17 Feb 1944 at Lt, RCNVR

Dahms, Kenneth

1916-2002

 

 

G-H

Gardiner, Leslie

____-1979

Guildford, Thomas Kerr

1919-2013

Hoole, Maurice Kenneth

____-2014

 

 

K-L

Love, Alan Tannahill

____-1995

 

 

 

 

M-N

MacDonald, Angus Allan

____-2006

McDougall, Duncan Keith

1921-1991

McLean, William Randall

1914-____

Served in Columbia 13 Aug 1943 - 22 Sep 1944 as a LSA, RCNVR

Mossop, Hudson

____-2004

 

O-P

Parton, Philip

____-2005

 

 

 

 

Q-R

Ross, Roderick Clendenning

1917-2015

Served in Columbia 1941-1942 as Surg-Lt, RCNVR

Rowsell, H. Roy

1920-2013

 

 

 

S-T

Sadler, James

____-2012

Stephen, George Hay

____-1994

2nd Commanding Officer

Tizard, John

1918-1987

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Bacal, Harry Lyon, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 10 Feb 1942

 

Benoit, Cecil Julian, Slt, RCN - 17 Mar 1943

 

Douglas, Alexander Connor, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1943

 

Engs, Philip Wanton, Lt, RCNVR - 28 Feb 1942

 

Little, Lawrence Peniston, Surg/LCdr, RCNVR - 10 Jun 1943

 

MacKay, Thomas Couison, Lt, RCN - 30 Mar 1943

McAllister, William Lawrence (Laurie), PO 

 

McNaught, John Charles Kirkpatrick, Lt, RCNVR - 24 May 1943

 

Moffat, William Purves, Lt, RCNVR - 27 Apr 1942

 

Robertson, John M., Lt, RCNVR - 24 Jul 1941

 

Savory, John Alfred, Lt (E), RCNVR - 23 Mar 1942

 

Stairs, John Fitzwilliam, A/LCdr, RCNVR - 17 Apr 1942

Staunton, Thomas Arthur Giffin, Lt, RCNVR - 02 Mar 1943

 

Stewart, Donald Arthur, Lt (E), RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Sommer, Lionel

 

Tkacz, William, Slt (E), RCNVR - 05 May 1943

 

Whyte, William Methvin, Slt, RCNVR - 01 May 1942

 

Wilson, John Robert, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 14 Jul 1942

 

Woollcombe, George Andrew, Lt, RCNVR - 26 Jun 1941

 

Links - Personal Photo Gallery of William Randall McLean

 

Photos and Documents (below)

 

HMCS Columbia with signatures of officers along bottom of the photo - circa 1943-9144

From the collection of Thomas Burdon

Courtesy of Dave Burdon

Baptism of David Scott Burdon on HMCS Columbia Jul 1943

 

             

 

(1) Lt Thomas Burdon and Janet Burdon with young David Burdon  (2) Janet & David Burdon, LCdr Bernard Johnson, CO, Lt Thomas Burdon and Chaplain James H. Graven

 

(3) The baptism of David Scott Burdon  (4 & 5) Newspapers articles on the baptism ceremony

 

From the collection of Thomas Burdon

Courtesy of Dave Burdon

HMCS Columbia after being laid up as a storage hulk - circa 1944

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Looking aft on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Unknown crew members of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Unknown crew members with the Lewis gun on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Depth charge exploding astern of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

North Atlantic convoy astern of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Two unknown sailors on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Smoke - What Smoke?"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Crew members of HMCS Columbia I49 using a telescope

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 mascots JoeMoe and Jeep with unknown sailor

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Two crew members on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Blue Watch , HMCS Columbia I49

Front row, kneeling, 2nd from right - Lionel Sommer

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Red Watch

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

White Watch

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

The Engineroom of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

The Engineroom of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Watch Supervisor's Seat Controls

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Sea Water Don't Freeze"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Christmas Card 1942

Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Christmas Card 1943

Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"No. 4 Boiler Out"

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Make Room for the Fuel Tank"

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit Finished 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Back to work"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

On 25 Feb 1944, owing to a combination of fog and faulty radar, she rammed a cliff in Motion Bay, Nfld. without so much as touching bottom. Repairs only sufficient to make her watertight were carried out at Bay bulls, though not until May. That September she was taken to Liverpool, N.S., to serve as an ammunition storage hulk for ships refitting there. Paid off on 12 Jun 1945, into reserve at Sydney, she was sold for strap later that year.

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to Trot buoys at St. John's, Nfld

From the collection of William Connor

Courtesy of Jason Slater

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to a buoy at St John's, Nfld

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to a buoy

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

John (Jack) Ewing, RCNVR, RCN

 

RCNVR - 1936-1945

RCN Executive Branch

 

HMCS Skeena, HMCS Columbia

 

Dad, John ("Jack") F. Ewing joined the RCNVR Gunnery Branch at HMCS York (Toronto) in 1936. He served aboard Skeena during the Canal Cruise in 1937. In 1939, he was on the initial draft out of Toronto and went aboard the old Yankee four-stacker, I-49, HMCS Columbia. He took a bad fall on an icy deck in 1942 and his back prevented any further sea duty. He ended up as the Gunnery Chief at Cornwallis. Just before the end of the war, they tried to promote him to office rank, but he refused, saying it was better to be the big fish in a small pond than a small fish in the ocean. A short time later, they promoted him anyway to Sub. Lt. and that's how he ended in 1945. He was out for a short time, then rejoined the RCN (Executive Branch) and was Staff Officer at various Reserve units (York, then Griffon in Port Arthur), before becoming the Seamanship Officer at Stad. Then it was back to York for a second tour there and finally retirement as Lieut. He did one final cruise aboard Swansea as UNTD Cadet Officer.

Courtesy of Bill Ewing

"Two killed - P/O Feldman - Campbell"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Many Hurt"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"The End"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Decommissioned"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

 

 

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