For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS SASKATOON K158
Flower Class Corvette
Commissioned at Montreal on 09 Jun 1941, Saskatoon arrived at Halifax on 22 Jun 1941. She joined Halifax Force after working up and in Aug 1941 made a trip to the Bahamas, returning at the end of Sept 1941. She remained on local escort duty until Mar 1942, then joined WLEF on its formation. She served with this force on the "triangle run" until the end of the war, becoming a member of EG W-8 when it was established in Jun 1943, and transferring to W-6 in Apr 1944. During her career she had two major refits: at Halifax from 11 Aug to 17 Nov 1942; and at Pictou from mid-Dec 1943 to 01 Apr 1944. Following the latter, which included fo'c's'le extension, she worked up for three weeks at Pictou and another three in Bermuda. She was paid off on June 25, 1945, at Sorel and soon afterward sold for converstion to a whale-catcher. She began her new career in 1948, successively named Tra los Montes, Olympic Fighter in 1950, and Otori Maru No. 6 in 1956, Last appearing in Lloyd's list for 1962-1963. (Source: The Ship's of Canada's Naval Fources 1910 - 1981 by Ken Macpherson and John Burgess)
Notes: (1) The 3rd edition of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002 by Ken Macpherson and Ron Barrie has an amended final paragraph for HMCS Saskatoon K158: She was paid off on 25 June 1945 at Sorel and soon afterward sold for conversion to a merchant vessel. She began her new career as Rio Norte, then the Egyptian-registered Mabruk, and was later taken up by the Egyptian Navy as Misr. She was sunk by collision at Suez, Egypt, on May 17, 1953.
(2) Online resources list the following as being the former HMCS Saskatoon K158: Renamed Tra los Montes, she served as a whaler from 1948. Renamed Olympic Fighter (1950), Otori Maru No. 6 (1956), and Kyo Maru No. 20 (1961). Last in Lloyd's Register for 1978.
(3) Website: Shipwrecks of the Gulf of Suez and the Naval Historical Society of Australia indicate that the Misr was the former HMS Papau not HMCS Saskatoon K158. The following is from "Shipwrecks of the Gulf of Suez" website: Misr - Triicoma Class Patrol Frigate/British Colony Class Frigate: (MC Type T. S2-S2-AQ1) Originally authorized as Patrol Gunboat, PG-192; Redesignated as a Patrol Frigate and named Howett (PF-84), 15 April 1943; Laid down under a Maritime Commission contract at Walsh-Kaiser Co., Inc., Providence, RI; Assigned to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease Program; Launched 10 October 1943; Transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned HMS Papua (K 588), 25 July 1944; Returned to U.S. custody 15 April 1946; Sold for scrapping to Boston Metals, Baltimore, MD; Resold in 1950 to Khedivial Mail Lines, Alexandria, Egypt and renamed SS Malrouk; Acquired by Egypt, rearmed and commissioned as Misr; Sank after a collision in the Gulf of Suez 17 May 1953.
RCN Memories: Its a bird .... Its a plane ....
In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice
Lest We Forget
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten
Former Crew Members
(SC1) - Ships Company photo - Halifax, Oct 1943 // (SC2) = Ships Company Photo - Halifax, May 1945
Photos and Documents
(DB07) Canso flying over convoy (DB08) Convoy to England. Unknown merchant ship seen from SASKATOON'S after gun tub (DB09) USN LST-1005 in convoy (DB10) Unknown merchant ship in convoy (DB11) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158 with merchant ship in convoy in the background
(DB12) Shipmates - Unknown sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB13) Unknown sailor climbing up the mast to the crew's nest on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB14) Unknown sailor in the crow's nest on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB15) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158 K158 (DB16) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB17) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB18) Unknown sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB19) Unknown sailor by the signal light on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB20) Fishing schooner in unknown port. HMCS SASKATOON K158 inboard ship (DB21) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB22) Unknown port - believed to be Halifax, NS (DB23) Unknown sailor by engine room air intake on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB24) Unknown sailor on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB25) Unknown sailor on the pom-pom mount on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB26) Unknown sailor on the bridge of HMCS SASKATOON K158 (...) Unknown sailor on the signal light of HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB27-DB30) Freinds and shipmates on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB27) Des Bolin - standing, 1st on right (DB28) Des Bolin - crouched, front right (DB30) Des Bolin - crouched, front right
* Des Bolin was 18-19 years old in these photos
(DB31-DB32) Des Bolin on the port side of HMCS SASKATOON K158 HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB33) Des Bolin sitting at the pom-pom gun on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB34) Des Bolin climbing up to the crow's nest on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB35) Des Bolin in the crow's nest on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB36) Des Bolin standing by the pom-pom on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB37) Des Bolin on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB38-DB39) Des Bolin by engine room air intake on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB40) Des Bolin by the gun deck of HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB41) Des Bolin on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB42) Des Bolin by the pom-pom mount on HMCS SASKATOON K158 - note this is a double exposed photo) (DB43) Double exposed photo rotated showing sailors sitting just aft the funnel on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB44) Unknown sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158. The sailor combing his hair and the one with the book appears to be the same sailors in the rotated double exposed photo (DB45) Signal flags flying on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB46-DB47) HMCS CHEBOGUE (DB48-DB49) HMCS OSHAWA J330 (DB50) HMCS SASKATOON K158 alongside in unknown port
(DB51) Unknown Royal Navy sub (DB52-DB54) Unknown subs
(DB55) Hands to Bathe - Sailors from HMCS SASKATOON K158 enjoying a swim - unknown ships in the background (DB56) Sailor's from HMCS SASKATOON K158 having a swim with SASKATOON in the background (DB57) Sailors on the quarterdeck HMCS SASKATOON K158 with some resting on the depth charge rails (DB58) Group of sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158 - Des Bolin at the top of the pyramid with dark sweater - remainder unknown (DB59) Unknown group of sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB60-DB64) Icebergs ahead!!
(DB65-DB67) HMCS SASKATOON arriving at St. John's, NFLD
(DB68-DB72) Unknown sailors on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB73) Shipmates on HMCS SASKATOON K158 - Des Bolin on the left (DB74) Shipmates and fellow coders on HMCS SASKATOON K158 - Des Bolin on the left (DB75) Shipmates on HMCS SASKATOON K158 - Des Bolin on the left (DB76) Des Bolin on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB77) Shipmates on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB78) Faint image of a ship visible through the porthole on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB79) Looking up at signal flags from between the mast and funnel on HMCS SASKATOON K158 (DB80) Unknown sailor in a mess deck on HMCS SASKATOON K158
(DB81) Unknown location - possibly Bermuda (DB82) Unknown merchant ship accompanied by two tugs - location unknown (DB83-DB84) Unknown location - possibly Halifax
(DB85) Message from the Admiralty announcing the unconditional surrender of German (DB86) Message from the Admiralty "Slice the Mainbrace"
From the collection of Coder Desmond Bolin, RCNVR
Courtesy of Jim Bolin
(1) Al Mills and Bill M. sitting on Carley floats on HMCS Saskatoon K158 (2) Port bridge wing of HMCS Saskatoon K158 ice covered (3-4) Removing ice from the radar cover of HMCS Saskatoon K158 (5) 4-inch gun on HMCS Saskatoon K158 iced up (6) Sailor chipping ice on the fo'c's'le of HMCS Saskatoon K158 (7) Depth charge thrower on port side of HMCS Saskatoon K158 a bit iced up
(8) unknown merchant ship in convoy(9) Convoy seen from HMCS Saskatoon K158 (10) View from HMCS Saskatoon K158 (11) HMCS Saskatoon K158 in rough seas - convoy seen on the horizon (12) HMCS Saskatoon K158 in rough seas. "Old Sasky tried hard to stand on both ends at once in seas like these." (13) HMCS Saskatoon K158 in rough seas
(14-16) HMCS Saskatoon's whaler returns to ship and is readied to be hoisted back up (17) "Tojo, Hitler and Mussolini" on HMCS Saskatoon K158 (18) Surrendered German U-boat U-889 off Shelburne, NS. HMCS Saskatoon K158 in background. (19) U-889 surrounded by ships of the RCN (20) Five Corvettes - Poem written by Jack Harakas - 1943
From the collection of Hugh Cowley
Courtesy of Scott Cowley