S.S. JASPER PARK
Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship (D.E.M.S.)
Jasper Park was a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship (DEMS). Though manned by a civilian crew, she had RCN sailors on board to man and operate the gun that was fitted to her for protection and convoy defence. SS Jasper Park (Canadian Government) was torpedoed by U-177, Indian Ocean, west of South Africa on 06 Jul 1943. She was the first Park Ship lost to enemy action in WW 2.
U-177 Action Report: At 10.05 hours on 6 July 1943 the unescorted Jasper Park (Master William Buchanan) was hit by two of three torpedoes from U-177 south-southwest of Cap Sainte Marie, Madagascar. The ship had been attacked with a spread of two torpedoes at 21.25 hours the day before, but one malfunctioned and the other probably detonated in the deployed torpedo nets without damaging the ship. At 11.04 hours, a coup de grāce was fired which either missed or was a dud, so the U-boat surfaced to sink the vessel by gunfire but just then she sank. The Germans then questioned the survivors in two lifeboats before leaving the area. Of her crew of 55, four were lost. The master, 44 crew members and six gunners were picked up by HMAS Quiberon (G 81) (Cdr G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (G 92) (LtCdr R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and landed at Durban. (Source: The U-boat Net)
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten