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u-boat attacks on canadian soil in WW2

wannabe SF member

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Last time i read that there had been u-boat attacks on canadian soil and in newfoundland as well as sinking of ships in the st-laurent.
(happened during the second world war)

anybody has a reliable internet source for that or some additional info
 

McG

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Chawki Bensalem said:
Last time i read that there had been u-boat attacks on canadian soil and in newfoundland as well as sinking of ships in the st-laurent.
Plenty of U-Boat activity in Canadian waters, but the only submarine attack on Canadian soil was an ineffective bombardment of a lighthouse by a Japanese vessel on the West Coast.

For a ref, try this: http://www.amazon.com/Military-History-Canada-Desmond-Morton/dp/0771065140
 
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CrazyCanuck

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MCG said:
Plenty of U-Boat activity in Canadian waters, but the only submarine attack on Canadian soil was an ineffective bombardment of a lighthouse by a Japanese vessel on the West Coast.

For a ref, try this: http://www.amazon.com/Military-History-Canada-Desmond-Morton/dp/0771065140

Know a member of the ship that chased that boat away, apparently their gun was made of wood.
 

geo

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Heh....
then there is the "remote" weather station that the Germans set up on the labrador coast.
Was only discovered +/-25 yrs later
 

IN HOC SIGNO

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This one happened just off the approaches to Halifax Harbour
In today's paper here. Next weekend we celebrate Battle of Atlantic...plenty of U boat attacks in Canadian waters.....not widely publicized at the time due to Govt not wanting to panick the public.


Remembrance at sea

Ceremony marks sinking of HMCS Esquimalt by Germans during Second World War

By PAUL EVEREST


When the Canadian navy tugboat Glenevis finished its three-hour journey to a stretch of water off Chebucto Head on Wednesday, there were prayers, a moment of silence and a romping banjo rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In.

This was Scott Macmillan’s way of commemorating the minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt, which sank in that area on the morning of April 16, 1945, and was captained by his father, Lt.-Cmdr. Robert C. Macmillan. He and 25 others survived, but more than 40 sailors lost their lives.

"I just wanted to say thanks to the men who died on the ships that made our country what it is today," Mr. Macmillan said, his eyes shining with tears in the brilliant afternoon sunshine, adding that he played the banjo to honour one of the men who played the instrument on the ship during the Second World War.

Making the journey with his wife, Jennifer, and son Ian, Mr. Macmillan, 52, of Halifax said he was looking for inspiration for a musical suite he is composing to pay tribute to the Esquimalt called Within Sight of Shore. He hopes to premiere the piece next April in Lunenburg.

But the venture was also about making a connection with the ship’s last known position.

"To come to the actual site is more of a feeling thing to me," he said. "The whole sinking of the ship has been shrouded in somewhat of a mystery at home. I wanted to come out and get a feeling of what it would be like to be in the frigid water for six hours.

"Just to think of the courage of those people, the determination to live. To appreciate what those people have done for us in a really tangible way."

Joining Mr. Macmillan for the commemoration was George (Buck) Taylor, who was serving as a 19-year-old able seaman aboard the Esquimalt when it was hunting German submarines that April morning at the mouth of Halifax Harbour. He was taking a break from manning a primitive sonar device known as an ASDIC at about 6:30 a.m. when the enemy he was searching for snuck up and fired a torpedo into the ship’s starboard side, near its depth-charge storage room.

"It all happened so fast," he said. "I went out on the wing of the bridge as daylight was breaking to have a smoke and get some fresh air, and the next thing I know I was in the water."

Mr. Taylor of Westphal, now 81, said he spent nearly six hours in the water, singing and joking around with other survivors to keep warm, before being rescued by the Esquimalt’s sister ship, HMCS Sarnia, whose crew plucked survivors from the sea and gave them blankets, cigarettes and the odd "shot of rum." Getting the chance to come back to the site of the sinking was one he jumped at, and the memories flooded in during the ceremony.

"Where I was when people that I’ve known perished," he explained. "It brings back faces, people that you knew."

Lt. Pat Jessup, who was first approached by Mr. Macmillan about a commemoration when he was searching for his father’s medals, said the Canadian navy wanted to be involved with the trip because the Esquimalt, the last Canadian warship lost to enemy action during the war, was "one of our own."

"All our losses mean a lot to us and if we can assist in the commemoration, we’ll do that," she said on the deck of the Glenevis as it returned to port, adding that the navy will begin commemorating the 67th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic next week.

( peverest@herald.ca)

 

Mike Baker

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geo said:
Heh....
then there is the "remote" weather station that the Germans set up on the labrador coast.
Was only discovered +/-25 yrs later
I never heard of that before. Have a link or something I could check out?
 
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Check out Battle of St. Lawrence by Nathan Greenfield. The Germans even dropped off 2 spys in Canada! Kind of ironic we locked up all the Japanese. My grandfather said that at the time they (the soldiers stationed in the UK at least) had no idea all this stuff was going on. The germans did some serious damange against us, we really were not prepared.
Marc Milner at Laurier has written a lot of good stuff as well.
I am pretty sure that our part of the Atlantic was the only time we ever had a Canadian in charge of an active theatre in ww2.
 

andpro

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For anyone in the Ottawa area there is a special exhibit on the U-boat activity in the St.Laurence right next to the Afghanistan exhibit.
 

Rad

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MCG said:
Plenty of U-Boat activity in Canadian waters, but the only submarine attack on Canadian soil was an ineffective bombardment of a lighthouse by a Japanese vessel on the West Coast.

For a ref, try this: http://www.amazon.com/Military-History-Canada-Desmond-Morton/dp/0771065140

This is not true.  There actually was a case of a U-Boat Attack on Newfoundland Soil, which is now part of Canada.  U-518 fired a torpedo that hit Scotia Pier on Bell Island in 1942, and also sank 4 Ships killing over 60 men.  As far as i know this is the only stike of German subs on ANY North American soil in WW2.  There is a book on the events called "The Enemy On Our Doorstep" by Steve Neary.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/bi_sinkings.html
 

AJFitzpatrick

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Rad said:
This is not true.  There actually was a case of a U-Boat Attack on Newfoundland Soil, which is now part of Canada.  U-518 fired a torpedo that hit Scotia Pier on Bell Island in 1942, and also sank 4 Ships killing over 60 men.  As far as i know this is the only stike of German subs on ANY North American soil in WW2.  There is a book on the events called "The Enemy On Our Doorstep" by Steve Neary.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/bi_sinkings.html

Was it a deliberate attack on the pier or a miss on a ship? Bell Island was a significant iron ore producer and if the pier was knocked out it would have had an marked effect on production but a torpedo doesn't seem to me to be the right weapon to choose against a pier.
 

Rad

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While the torpedo was intended for a ship, it stuck the pier.  Intentionally or not, it was hit.  As for the best way to attack a pier, I'm not really sure what would be the best way, although torpedos were all they had so if they had intended to strike the pier it is more than likley what they would have used.

R.
 

armyvern

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History boys,

The German UBoat "U69 " torpedoed and sunk the passenger ferry (MV) Caribou on it's regular scheduled run from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. My grandmother's name can be found amogst the list of 136 who died that night; 14 Oct 1942.

Edited post to reflect 136 victims of this sinking vice the 137 I had originally listed.

 

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The Librarian said:
History boys,

The German UBoat "U69 " torpedoed and sunk the passenger ferry (MV) Caribou on it's regular scheduled run from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland the night of Sept 3rd 1939. My grandmother's name can be found amogst the list of 137 who died that night; 14 Oct 1942.

very sorry for that  :(

woud you happen to have a link to a list of the victims.
 

Michael OLeary

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CHAWKI, TRY USING GOOGLE

From a Google search on "caribou victims", the first hit:

S.S. Caribou - victims list
S.S. Caribou - names of 136 persons who lost their lives October 14, 1942 near Port aux Basques, Newfoundland as a result of enemy submarine action. ...
visitnewfoundland.ca/victims.html - 9k - Cached - Similar pages

http://visitnewfoundland.ca/victims.html

TRY THINKING FOR YOURSELF PLEASE.

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET, USE IT.

And in case you can't still find it from the link above:

S.S. Caribou - names of 136 persons who lost their lives October 14, 1942 near Port aux Basques, Newfoundland as a result of enemy submarine action.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in deep waters see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. Psalm 107:23

Crew Members

Captain Benjamin Taverner
Israel Barrett
Llewellyn Carter
Elias Coffin
James Hubert Coffin
Howard Cutler
Richard Feltham
Miss Bride Fitzpatrick
Charles Ford
Maxwell French
George Gale
Jerome Gale
Clarence Hann
Harry Hann (Chief Steward)
William Hogan
Charles Humphries
Victor Lomond
Thomas Moyst
Charley Pearcey
James Pike
James L. Prosper
Joseph Richards
William Samms
Israel Sheaves
John Skeard
Albert Strickland
Garfield Strickland
Harold Taverner
Stanley Taverner
Arthur Thomas
George Thomas
(31 total)

Army Personnel

C. R. Abelson, Pte. CDO
C. G. Cochrane, L/Sgt. RCA.
T. A. Currie, Cpl. PEI H.
P. Diamond, Pte, PEI H.
E. S. Francis, Cpl. PEI H.
L. A. MacIntyre, L/Bdr. RCA
J. C. B. McDonald, Sgt. PEI H.
H. R. Mills, Pte, Land W.
L. M. Sheppard, Cpl. PEI H.
A. A. Sullivan, Sgt. PEI H.
H. M. Tough, L/Sgt. Alg. Regt.
(11 total) [42]

Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy Personnel

E. Barrett, L/Sea. RN
Eli Maxwell Bishop, Sea. RN
C. Creston, Oiler REA
William A. Glasgow, RCNVR
A. Marshall, PO Cook RCN
G. N. May, SPO. RCNR
J. R. Masson, RCNVR
A. Nash, Sea. RN
W. C. Poole, AB. RN
E. R. Quinlan, Sea. RN
G. W. Randall, Shpt. RCNVR
N. Rowe, Sea. RN
R. J. Skinner, AB. RCNR
R. Smith, Sea. RN
J. Tapper, AB. RCNR
W. J. Vey, Sea. RN
E. Warren, Sea. RN
R. White, AB. RN
Miss A. W. Wilkie, NSRCN
J. W. H. Windsor, Sea. RN
(Total 20) [62]


Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force Personnel

J. H. Barrett, RCAF P. O.
R. Chatson, RCAF AC1
F. G. Coulson, RCAF AC1
T. H. Cummings, RCAF AC2
H. H. Elkin, RCAF Cpl.
D. C. Glover, RCAF AC2
W. P. Howse, RCAF Cpl.
A. W. Jones, RCAF LAC
L. E. Legge, RAF P. O.
C. M. McCaroon, RCAF LAC
D. L. Mitchell, RCAF LAC
M. N. Oiring, RCAF LAC
G. W. Parker, RCAF AC2
E. A. Thistle, RCAF AC2
L. William Truesdale, RCAF AC2
E. G. Walker, RCAF LAC
R. Watson, RCAF AC2
W. B. Wilson, RCAF AC2
(Total 18 ) [80]


U. S. Personnel

J. C. Abernathy, Major USA
E. T. Bothsa, Sea. 1st Class USN
J. M. Burns, CMM. USN
J. C. Elzer, Sea. 2nd Class USNR
E. Hand, 1st Lieut. USA
R. M. Penfield, C3rd. USA
E. G. Shultz, MM1C. USN
J. Waldman, PTR. USA
(Total 8 ) [88]


Civilians

Mrs. Ada Allan
Caroline Allan
Constance Allan
Claus Bang
Baby Girl Bernard
Mrs. Harriet Bernard
Charles Berry
Mrs. Pearl Beswick
Robert Butler
Albert Coombs
Preston Cowley
Harold Chislett
William Carteret Freeham
Louise Gagne
Mrs. Katherine Gardner
William H. Garth
Myrtle Gilbert
Hugh B. Gillis (superintendent of mines for Cape Breton's Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation).
Gerald Hammond
Wilfred Hathaway
Mrs. Maggie Hedd
Miss Myrtle Kettle
Edgar Martin
Harold McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy
George Penham
George Pike
Mrs. Elizabeth Randell
John Ronan
Margaret Rose
William Ryan
John Sheppard
Mrs. Blanche Short
Basil Skinner
Mrs. Kathleen Skinner
Nancy Skinner
Mrs. Gertie Strickland
Holly Strickland
Myrtle Strickland
Nora Strickland
Donald Tapper
Mrs. Hazel Tapper
John W. Tapper
Lillian Tapper
Catherine Walsh
Patrick Walsh
Mrs. Helen Wightman
Mary Young

(Total 48 ) [136]

 

Ex-Dragoon

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Interesting, I never realized there were British and American personnel onboard, thanks Michael.
 

armyvern

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Mrs. Helen Wightman (a nurse) would be it. She was on her way over to visit my grandfather Ralph, who was stationed in St John's at the time.
 
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