HMCS SKEENA H01 / D59 / I59

 

River Class Destroyer

 


 

HMCS SKEENA D59

 

Source: The Crow's Nest virtual museum

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1939-44,   Normandy  1944,   Biscay  1944

 

 

Laid down: 14 Oct 1929

Launched: 10 Oct 1930

Commissioned: 10 Jun 1931

Fate: Wrecked on 25 Oct 1944

 

Commissioned at Portsmouth on 10 Jun 1931, she arrived at Halifax with SAGUENAY on 03 Jul 1931 and proceeded to Esquimalt the following month. On 24 Jan 1932 HMCS SKEENA and HMCS Vancouver provided protection to British assets and civilians in El Salvador at the request of the British Consul in San Salvador following the outbreak of a peasant uprising. A landing party was briefly sent ashore at Acajutla, but the situation there improved and the sailors saw no combat, although the two ships remained in the area until the end of the month. On 05 Jan 1935, HMCS SKEENA and HMCS VANCOUVER departed Esquimalt for exercises in the Kingston, Jamaica area with HMCS CHAMPLAIN and HMCS SAGUENAY, SKEENA returned to Halifax in Apr 1937. In the 1938, HMCS SKEENA, HMCS Fraser, HMCS SAGUENAY and HMCS ST LAURENT paid a port visit to San Diego as part of the spring training cruise. The East and West ships rendezvoused at the Panama Canal for joint exercises. When war broke out, SKEENA was engaged in local escort duties until ordered to the U.K. On her arrival at Plymouth, on 31 May 1940, she was assigned to Western Approaches Command taking part in the evacuation of France and escorting convoys in British waters. On 23 Nov 1940, while escorting convoy SC.11, SKEENA rescued 6 survivors from the torpedoed merchant ship SS Bruse. She returned to Halifax on 03 Mar 1941, for refit, then joined Newfoundland Command, Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF). In Apr 1942, she became a member of EG C-3. During this period she saw continuous convoy duty and on 31 Jul 1942, while escorting convoy ON.115, shared with WETASKIWIN in the sinking of U 588. In May 1944, she was assigned to EG 12 for invasion duties, and was present on D-Day. On 08 Jun 1944, HMCS SKEENA was attacked by U-953 (Oblt Karl-Heinz Marbach). The Gnats (acoustic torpedoes) exploded in the ship's wake with no damage to the ship. HMCS SKEENA participated in operation "Dredger" against German escort vessels at the U-boat meeting points off Brest and southward. During the night of 5/6 Jul the 12th EG, comprising of QU'APPELLE, SASKATCHEWAN, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE, attacked 3 patrol boats off Brest: V715 was sunk but not before hitting QU'APPELLE and SASKATCHEWAN many times with small calibre gunfire. That Sep 1944 she was transferred to EG 11. On the night of 24/25 Oct 1944, SKEENA was wrecked in a storm. She was anchored off Reykjavik, Iceland and dragged her anchor and grounded in 50-foot (15 m) waves off Viđey Island with the loss of 15 crewmembers. Her hulk was written off and sold to Iceland interests in June 1945; she was then raised to broken up. Her propeller was salvaged and used in a memorial near the Viđey Island ferry terminal.

 

U-Boats Sunk:  U-588 (Kptlt Viktor Vogel) sunk on 31 Jul 1942 by HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 and HMCS SKEENA I59 in position 49-59 N, 36-36 W. No survivor from crew of 46.

 


 

RCN Memories:     The Loss of HMCS SKEENA

 

Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          HMCS SKEENA - by Lt(N) Chris Baker CD

 

Ship's Bell

 


 

Commanding Officers

 

Cdr Victor Gabriel Brodeur, RCN - 10 Jun 1931 - 24 May 1932 (H01)

Cdr George Clarence Jones, RCN - 25 May 1932 - 14 May 1934 (H01)

Cdr John Eric W. Oland, RCN - 15 May 1934 - 07 Jan 1936

Cdr Howard Emmerson Reid, RCN - 08 Jan 1936 - 24 Mar 1937

Capt V.G. Brodeur, RCN - 25 Mar 1937 - 22 Apr 1938

Cdr Harold Taylor Wood Grant, RCN - 23 Apr 1938 - 30 Nov 1939

LCdr Ernest Patrick Tisdall, RCN - 01 Dec 1939 - 09 Mar 1940

Lt Herbert Sharples Rayner, RCN - 10 Mar 1940 - 01 Apr 1940

LCdr James C. Hibbard, RCN - 02 Apr 1940 - 10 Dec 1941 (D59)

Cdr Harry Kingsley, RCN - 11 Dec 1941 - 19 May 1942

A/LCdr Kenneth L. Dyer, RCN - 20 May 1942 - 04 Jan 1943 (I59)

Lt Jean Rosaire Roland Belanger, RCNVR - 05 Jan 1943 - 28 Feb 1943

A/LCdr Eric Eversley Garratt Boak, RCN - 01 Mar 1943 - 20 Nov 1943

LCdr Patrick F. X. Russell, RCN - 21 Nov 1943 - 25 Oct 1944 (I59)

 


 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

APOSTOLOS, Archie

Stwd, V44615, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

BLAIS, Joseph F.A.

LS, V4777, RCNVR

MPK - 25 Oct 1944

COOK, Desmond Bert William

Cook (S), V51070, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

DAVIDSON, Gordon

AB, V55130, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

ELLIS, Melvin Newton

AB, V50983, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

FLEMMING, Leo Joseph

AB, A1141, RCNR

MPK - 04 Feb 1941

GABOUREL, Lloyd A.

AB, V63956, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

HANCOCK, Ralph G.

L/Sig, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

JANOS, Joseph Frank

AB, 4408, RCN

killed - 25 Oct 1944

JOHNSTON, Joseph N.

AB, V44249, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

PRESSNER, Edward Julian

Stwd, V/45330, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

SEATH, Ritchie O.

Coder, V23611, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

SILK, James E.

LS, V19493, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

STEWART, Kenneth William

AB, V36475, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

UNGER, Abraham

AB, V39733, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

 

 

WATSON, Leonard

AB, V46243, RCNVR

killed - 25 Oct 1944

 

 

 


 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

(s) - Survived the grounding / wreck of HMCS SKEENA

A

 

 

B

 

 

C

 

 

D

 

 

E

 

Erickson, Leonard G.

 

 

 

 

 

F

 

 

G

 

 

H

 

 

I

 

Ivancic, Milorad

 

 

 

 

 

J

 

 

K

 

 

L

 

 

M

 

 

N

 

Newton, Arthur G.

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

R

 

 

S

 

 

T

 

 

W

 

 


 

Former Crew Members

 

(s) - Survived the grounding / wreck of HMCS SKEENA

 

Adams, Kenneth (Ken) Frederick, Lt, RCN - 25 Mar 1931 (Stand by) / 10 Jun 1931 (H01)

 

Baker, Archibald Howard, Gnr, RCN - 10 Jun 1931 (H01)

 

Barlow, Frank Ernest, Gnr (T), RCN - 30 Jun 1941 (I59)

 

Bault, Henry Stanley Donald, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Mar 1944

 

Bell, Joseph, Sto (s)

 

Benson, "Squeek", Sig - c1939

 

Bichan, William James, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Mar 1944

 

Boak, Eric Eversley Garratt, Lt, RCN - 02 Apr 1940

 

Boyd, James, SLt, RCNVR - Jan 1942

 

Brown, Wilbert, AB (s)

 

Browne, Arthur Dalzell, Lt, RCNVR - 14 Jun 1944

 

Cairns, Thomas Gillone, A/Lt, RCNVR - 19 Feb 1940

 

Chance, Peter Godwin (s)

 

Clarke, Alfred William, Wt (E), RCN - 21 Apr 1938

 

Clarke, N. - Dec 1940

 

Corner, Alfred Rogers 

 

Davidson, Andy

 

Earnshaw, Eric Phillip, Lt, RCN - 10 May 1943

 

Ewin, John (Jack)

 

Fiddler, John, AB - Dec 1940

Freeman, Arthur George, Gnr (T) - 21 Apr 1938

 

French, Harold, Stoker (s)

 

German, Don (I59)

 

 

Godard, Earle Trevor, Lt (E), RCNVR - 13 Apr 1944

 

Groos, Harold (Harry) Victor William, SLt, RCN - 01 Jun 1935 (H01)

 

Haddon, Phillip Edwin, Lt, RCN - 21 Apr 1938

 

Haverfield, John Aimery Garnault, SLt, RCNVR - 04 Mar 1943

 

Horam, John Shaw, Lt (E), RCNR - 01 Jul 1941

 

Houghton, Frank Llewellyn, LCdr, RCN - 10 Jun 1931 (H01)

 

Howe, Alex, AB - Dec 1940

 

Hurley, Ed (I59)

 

Jackson, William McKie, Cd/Gnr (T), RN - 24 Feb 1935

 

Knowlton, John Grant, LCdr (E), RCN - 19 Jun 1935

 

Lewis, John Albert, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 01 Apr 1944

 

Mahoney, Lewis Daniel, Lt, RCNVR - 17 Apr 1942

 

Maidman, Ted (I59)

 

McKenzie, Robert Bradshaw, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 06 Apr 1942

 

Mitchell, John Arthur, SLt, RCNR - 04 Apr 1941

Murdoch, Robert (Bob) Waugh, Lt, RCN - 26 Mar 1940

 

Oake, Chesley Maxwell, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 07 May 1940

 

Padget, Robert Loren, Lt (E), RCNVR - 22 Mar 1944

 

Parsons, Ed (I59)

 

Plant, Frank Oatley, SLt, RCNVR - 25 May 1942

 

Rigg, David Edward, A/Gnr (T), RCN - 27 Jun 1942 (I59)

 

Rodwell, Frank Ernest, Wt/Mech, RCN - 08 Apr 1941

 

Roberts, John Douglas, Lt, RCNVR - 04 Feb 1943

 

Roy, Joseph Wilson Rouer, LCdr, RCN - 03 Jul 1944 (H01)

 

Rutherford, Clark Anderson (Larry), Lt, RCN - 10 Mar 1940

 

Seabrook, Archibald William, Gnr (T), RN - 28 May 1934 (H01)

 

Smith, Warren Van-Hoose, SLt (E), RCNVR - 13 May 1943

 

Stephens, George Leslie, Cdr (E), RCN - 10 Jun 1931 (H01)

 

Sunderland, Ean Victor Pearce, SLt, RCN - 21 Jul 1944

 

Turnbull, Alexander Reginald, Gnr (T), RCN - 15 May 1931 (Stand by) / 10 Jun 1931 (H01)

 

Webber, Reginald Amand, Lt, RCN - 21 Apr 1938

 

Willcox, Frank, Lt, RCNVR - 10 Mar 1941

 

Willson, William Herbert, SLt, RCN - 14 May 1940 / Lt, RCN - 01 Mar 1943

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

SK001

SK002

SK003

SK004

SK005

(SK001-SK002) A HMCS SKEENA postcard postmarked 02 Nov1932  //  Courtesy of Ed Paquette

 

(SK003) HMCS SKEENA'S Row Team circa 1933-1934.  Amedee Gagnon, standing, 2nd from right  //  From the collection of Amedee Gagnon  //  Courtesy of Ian McDonald

 

(SK004) HMCS SKEENA entering Willemstad Harbour, Netherlands Antilles, 1934.  In the winter of 1934, HMCS SKEENA, HMCS SAGUENAY, HMCS CHAMPLAIN and HMCS VANCOUVER took part in Winter exercises off South America  //  From the collection of James A. Senior  //  Courtesy of Bob Senior

 

(SK005) HMCS SAGUENAY and HMCS SKEENA sail for the Coronation Review for King George the VI - 1937  //  From the collection of James A. Senior  //  Courtesy of Bob Senior

 

SK006

SK007

SK008

SK009

SK010

(SK006) HMCS SKEENA D59's original band, Manzanillo, Mexico  //  Courtesy of the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

 

(SK007) HMCS SKEENA I59 - "Spent 3 weeks on SKEENA on loan from DONNACONA".  Photo from a postcard  //  From the collection of Kenneth Medford  //  Courtesy of Gary Medford

 

(SK008) Admiral's barge departs HMCS SKEENA circa 1937  //  From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke  //  Courtesy of Eric Clarke

 

(SK009) HMCS SKEENA Crossing the Equator Certificate - 1938  //  From the collection of Hugh C. Dunbar  //  Courtesy of Jeanie Dubberley

 

(SK009) HMCS SKEENA Crossing the Line certificate 04 Feb 1938

 

SK011

SK012

SK013

SK014

SK015

(SK011) HMCS SKEENA transits the Panama Canal  //  From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke  //  Courtesy of Eric Clarke

 

(SK012)  HMCS SKEENA D59 in the Barbados  //  From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke  // Courtesy of Eric Clarke

 

(SK013) HMCS SKEENA bites into a wave off the Azores  //  From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke  //  Courtesy of Eric Clarke

 

(SK014) HMCS SKEENA I59  //  From the collection of Ivan Chamberlain  //  Courtesy of Dave Chamberlain

 

(SK015) Signals department on HMCS SKEENA - circa 1939.  "Squeek" Benson - front right  //  From the collection of Thomas Carson  //  Courtesy of June Copley

 

SK016

SK017

SK018

SK019

SK020

(SK016) HMCS SKEENA and HMCS ST LAURENT visit New York - The Halifax Mail, Fri., 30 Jun 1939  //  Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury

 

(SK017) HMCS SKEENA visits New York, NY - The Halifax Mail, Mon., 03 Jul 1939  //  Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury

 

(SK018) Stokers on HMCS SKEENA c1939/40.  Sto PO Robert F. Dallin, top left  //  From the collection of Robert F. Dallin, Chief Stoker Mechanic, RCN  //  Courtesy of Peter White

 

(SK019) Peter Meek and John Pinkney on HMCS SKEENA during WW2  //  Courtesy of the Battle of the Atlantic Society Canada's Naval Memorial Trust Collection

 

(SK020) Lt Peter Chance with his bride on HMCS SKEENA on their wedding day, Sep 1941  // Courtesy of Peter Chance

 

SK021

SK022

SK023

(SK021) A convoy seen from HMCS SKEENA - 1943  //  RCN photo 166889-A4

 

(SK022) Arthur (Daisy) Bell holding HMCS SKEENA'S badge  //  From the collection of Arthur Bell  //  Courtesy of Donna Bell-Croft

 

( SK023) HMCS SKEENA I59  //  Courtesy of Roger Litwiller

 

SK024

SK025

SK026

SK027

(SK024) From undated newspaper - Account of the action that took place during Operation Dredger  // From the collection of AB Dave Christison, RCNVR  //  Courtesy of Thomas Christison

 

(SK025) Article on HMCS SKEENA'S participation in action in the English Channel  //  From the collection of Robert James Hackwood  //  Courtesy of Joanne Hackwood

 

(SK026) World Wide Gum, Marine Series, 1944 - #98 HMCS SKEENA

 

(SK027) HMCS SKEENA I59 // From the collection of Ron Critchley // Courtesy of Diane Brown

 


 

IN01

IN02

IN03

IN04

Newspaper articles on operation "Dredger" against German escort vessels at the U-boat meeting points off Brest and southward. During the night of 5/6 Jul the 12th EG, comprising of QU'APPELLE, SASKATCHEWAN, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE, attacked 3 patrol boats off Brest.

 

(IN01) Night Insane As RCN Mangled German Ships - Toronto Star 18 Jul 1944  (IN02) Canadian Sink 3 Ships As Star Shells Light Sky - Toronto Star 11 Aug 1944  (IN03) 6 Supply Ships Sunk By Allies Off France - undated newspaper article  (IN04) Naval Forces Fight in Channel - undated newspaper article

 

From the collection of Innes Neil van Nostrand

 

Courtesy of Hugh van Nostrand

 


 

HMCS SKEENA sailors - c1942

 

FH01

FH02

FH03

FH04

FH05

(FH01) Fred Hollands by gun mount on HMCS SKEENA  (FH02) Fred Hollands (left) and unknown shipmate by the forward gun on HMCS SKEENA  (FH03) A cold day at sea - Fred Hollands (left) and unknown shipmate on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA  (FH04-FH05) Fred Hollands in a duffel coat on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA

 

FH06

FH07

FH08

FH09

FH10

(FH06) Fred Hollands with some buddies on leave in London - "The 4 Jacks" - L-R: Unknown, Unknown, Hollands, Galloway  (FH07) Fred Hollands with some buddies in front of the Beaver Club in London - L-R: Fred Hollands, Landry, Galloway, Unknown  (FH08) Fred Hollands on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA  (FH09) Fred Hollands in a mess deck on HMCS SKEENA (FH10) "Jack and Hedgie" on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA - Fred Hollands (Hedgie) on the right wearing a USN sailors cap with his whites. Location possibly St. John's, NFLD

 

FH11

FH12

FH13

FH14

FH15

(FH11) Fred Hollands handling a hawser while in his white on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA.  Location possibly St. John's, NFLD  (DH12) Mable does his Dhobey on HMCS SKEENA  (FH13) Fred Hollands wearing the CO's tunic and cap on HMCS SKEENA  (FH14) Frank Hollands, Fred Hollands' brother, aboard HMCS SKEENA.  They joined the Navy at the same time  (FH15) PO Mullcaster on HMCS SKEENA

 

FH16

FH17

FH18

FH19

FH20

(FH16) "Mable, Smiles and Hambone" in a mess deck on HMCS SKEENA  (FH17) "Fisher, Guns, Pings and Buck, in SKEENA mess deck"  (FH18) PE on the quarterdeck of HMCS SKEENA  (FH18-FH19) "Sunday Rest" - Sailors relaxing on the fo'c's'le of HMCS SKEENA while in Londonderry

 

FH21

FH22

FH23

FH24

(FH21) Sailors working on the tan aboard HMCS SKEENA  (FH22) St. John's, NFLD - 1942  (FH23-FH24) Canada's Governor General Alexander Cambridge inspection at St. John's, NFLD

 

FH25

FH26

FH27

FH28

FH29

(FH25-FH29) Sailors off HMCS SKEENA at the RCN Rest Camp near St. John's, NFLD

 

(FH25) Beer and Snacks - Fred Hollands on the left  (FH26) ANSON tent  (FH27) Galley at the RCN Rest Camp  (FH28) Fred Hollands at the swimming area at the RCN Rest Camp  (FH29) Fred Hollands by the swimming area warning sign at the RCN Rest Camp

 

FH30

FH31

FH32

FH33

FH34

(FH30) Convoy mid Atlantic  (FH31) Convoy mid Atlantic in the evening  (FH32) Capsized life raft round mid ocean  (FH33) Freighter at St. John's, NFLD with rudder blown off by torpedo  (FH34) unknown person in dory inspecting torpedo damage to a freighter at St. John's, NFLD

 

FH35

FH36

FH37

FH38

FH38

(FH35) An evening at sea - SKEENA wake spreading out astern  (FH36) HMCS SAGUENAY I19  (FH37) HMCS SAGUENAY I79 with unidentified corvette  (FH38) HMCS SAGUENAY I79 "riding the rough Atlantic"  (FH38) HMCS SKEENA with her A turret and guard rails iced up - Jan 1942

 

Webmaster's note:  from the look of FH38 - it was possibly taken from the crow's nest of HMCS SKEENA

 

FH39

FH40

FH41

FH42

FH43

(FH39-FH40) HMCS ST FRANCIS I93 arriving at Londonderry, Northern Ireland  (FH41) Bum Boat Free State Ireland , eggs, stockings and tomatoes to trade for smokes  (FH42) Unidentified submarine in the River Foyle  (FH43) Barrage Balloon - England 1942

 

FH44

FH45

FH46

FH47

FH48

(FH44-FH46) Recovery and inspection of a training torpedo by HMCS SKEENA  (FH47) HMCS SKEENA launching depth charges  (FH48) Depth charges exploding astern of HMCS SKEENA

 

FH49

FH50

FH51

FH52

(FH49) Boat drills - recovering the ships whaler  (FH50) Fred Hollands on the Vickers Mark III .50 quad-mount AA gun on HMCS SKEENA  (FH51) Kirk and Howatt on the Vickers Mark III .50 quad-mount AA gun on HMCS SKEENA  (FH52) HMCS SAGUENAY I79 following astern of HMCS SKEENA

 

From the collection of Fred Hollands, LS, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Fred Hollands, LS.WU, RCN

 


 

JR11

JR12

JR13

JR14

JR15

(JR11) HMCS SKEENA jacket patch  (JR12) Bob Bolly and John Rickard (right) aboard HMCS SKEENA, Newfoundland - 1941  (JR13) Christmas aboard HMCS SKEENA - 1941. Assuming left to right:  J.Kiss, E. Rammel, D. Frane, L. Haywood, J.Hards, V. Abbott, J. Finlayson, J. Moss, H. Gollmek, and J. Benson  (JR14) Lorne Palmer on duty on HMCS SKEENA I59, Newfoundland - 1941  (JR15) Bob Landgraff on duty on HMCS SKEENA I59, Newfoundland - 1941

 

JR16

JR17

(JR16) John Rickard (left) and Ken Currie aboard HMCS SKEENA I59, St. John's, Newfoundland - 1941  (JR17) HMCS SKEENA taking a wave a midships - Oct 1941

 

From the collection of John A. Rickard, AB, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of  John H. Rickard

 


 

WL01

WL02

WL03

(WL01) "Out for air" - Communications branch on HMCS SKEENA circa Oct 1941-Apr 1942  (WL02) Readying Depth Charge  (WL03) "Look out below" - depth charge explodes astern of HMCS SKEENA

 

From the collection of William Kenneth Littlefair, PO Tel, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Bill Littlefair

 


 

The photos below are from the collection of LS Bernard (Bunny) Brewster who served in HMCS SKEENA from Feb 1943 till her grounding off Iceland. Photos are not necessarily in date sequence but were scanned in the order they were in the photo album. If you are able to identify any on the photos, please send me an EMAIL.

 

BB267

BB268

(BB267-BB268) HMCS SKEENA I59

 

(BB267) Late 1943 when SKEENA was part of C-3 Escort Group - also known as the Barber Pole Brigade

 

BB269

BB270

BB272

BBB273

(BB269-BB272) Christmas Dec 1943 on HMCS SKEENA

 

(BB269) the LCdr in the photo is the youngest man on ship and therefore the CO for the day. Standing, first on the right, is LCdr Patrick Francis Xavier Russell, RCN, the commanding officer, who is wearing the uniform of a Chief Petty Officer.

 

Note:  From Cdr Peter Chance, RCN, ret'd, who was the Navigating Officer on HMCS SKEENA in 1943-1944, these photos are of the ship's Christmas celebration in Dec 1943 and he believes the ship was in Londonderry at the time.  "We were a happy ship as you can see."

 

BB274

BB275

BB276

BB277

BB278

(BB274-BB277) Royal Navy Battleship HMS RODNEY  (BB278) Unidentified sailors on HMCS SKEENA  

 

BB279

BB280

BB281

BB282

BB283

(BB279) Bunny Brewster (left) and shipmate on HMCS SKEENA [July 1944 From HMC Ship Examined by D8.N559]  (BB280) Unknown destroyer  (BB281) Unidentified sailors on HMCS SKEENA  (BB282) Unidentified sailors in Mess Deck on HMCS SKEENA  (BB283) Bunny Brewster on duty as Quartermaster on HMCS SKEENA.  Background indicates the ship is at St. John's, Newfoundland

 

From the collection of LS Bernard (Bunny) Brewster

 

Courtesy of Gord Brewster

 


 

WB73

WB74

WB75

WB76

(WB74-WB76) Christmas in HMCS SKEENA

No sailors in these four photos are identified

 

WB77

WB78

WB79

WB80

WB81

(WB77) HMCS SKEENA I59  (WB78-WB80) HMCS SKEENA conducting ASW training  (WB81) HMCS SKEENA stern fueling from an unknown aircraft carrier

 

WB82

WB83

WB84

WB85

WB86

(WB82) Cooks and Stewards on HMCS SKEENA  (WB83) HMCS SKEENA'S boat's crew assisting in the recovery of a training torpedo  (WB84) Allied Submarine N34 passed by HMCS SKEENA  (WB85) Unknown sailors on HMCS SKEENA  (WB86) USS ALABAMA seen from HMCS SKEENA - location unknown

 

From the collection of William Belling, LS, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Roger Litwiller

 


 

  

(SK028-SK028b) HMCS SKEENA aground on Vidoy Island. Deemed unsalvageable she was eventually sold to an Icelandic company in June 1945 and later broken up.

 


 

SK029

SK030

SK031

SK032

SK033

(SK029) HMCS SKEENA hard aground on Vidoy Island.  Photo taken by a RN sailor May 1945

 

(SK030-SK031) Articles on the loss of HMCS SKEENA I59  //  From the collection of J. Vincent Wesley, CPO, RCNVR  //  Courtesy of Marilynn Taylor

 

(SK032) Announcement of the loss of HMCS SKEENA D59 From a Prince Edward Island newspaper  //  From the collection of John Acorn  //  Courtesy of Barry Acorn

 

(SK033) Casualty list for HMCS SKEENA from the Globe and Mail, 18 Nov 1944.  Note:  LS Blais, Joseph Frederic Andree is missing from this list

 

SK034

SK035

SK036

(SK034) newspaper article on the loss of HMCS SKEENA from the Globe and Mail May 17, 1945

 

(SK035)Newspaper article on the loss of HMCS SKEENA from the Hamilton Spectator, May 16, 1945

 

(SK036) Article on five survivors from HMCS SKEENA - Sto Harold French, AB Wilbert Brown, L/SA Stewart McRae*, Sto Joseph Bell and LS W. Belling  //  Courtesy of Kevin Lee  //  According to his family, L/SA Stewart McRae is L/SA Willard Stewart MacRae

 


 

FUNERAL SERVICE FOR THOSE WHO DIED ON HMCS SKEENA

 

(The following is an excerpt from HMCS SKEENA - by Lt(N) Chris Baker CD)

 

The funeral for the SKEENA dead was carried out on October 28th, 1944, 3 days after loss of the ship. The men were buried with full naval honours in the war section of the Fossvogur Cemetery in Reykjavik.

 

The US Army provided wooden coffins to the Canadians, however the British Naval Authorities refused their use. Wood was a scarce commodity in Iceland and was not going to be wasted. The bodies were wrapped in the naval white ensign and carried to the graveside by members of the SKEENA crew. The oldest among the dead was 30, the youngest 19. Most of the men were in their twenties.

 

Over 500 personnel, made up of men from the ST LAURENT, QU'APPELLE and other Canadian ships in Reykjavik, attended the service. Services were read and a firing party discharged their salute. Last post and reveille were sounded. It has been written that this was the most impressive funeral ever seen in Iceland.

 

 

 

 

 

The cross that marks the graves of HMCS SKEENA'S dead in Fossaberg Cemetery - Fossaberg, Iceland - December 1945

 

 

 

Courtesy of Ed Paquette

 


 

SK037

SK038

SK039

(SK037) Cemetery where HMCS SKEENA'S casualties were buried. Date - 1990s (approx)

 

(SK038-SK039) Memorial to HMCS SKEENA, Vidoy Island, Iceland

 


 

SK040

(SK040) William Belling at the rededication of the bell from HMCS SKEENA in Burlington Ontario circa 1983  //  Photographer: Kevin Lee  //  Courtesy of Kevin Lee

 


 

Requiem for a gallant fighter 

 

From the Toronto Star by George Gamster
www.thestar.com
15 Feb 2004

 


 

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