For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
BEER, John Eugene - of Clyde River on Nov 22, 2004 at age 87. Husband of Hazel (MacLean) Beer. Son of the late Fred B. and Frances (Darrach) Beer.
Born on March 21, 1917, John enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy in August 1940 at the Queen Charlotte Armouries in Charlottetown. Three days after enlisting he was sent to HMCS Stadacona Naval Base in Halifax for basic training. He was drafted to Montreal to pick up the HMCS Prince Henry destined for the Pacific Ocean by way of the Panama Canal. Her mission was to capture German ships off the coast of Callao, Peru. Drafted to HMCS Naden, Esquimalt, BC, then to HMCS Stadacona, Halifax and on to Greenock, Scotland, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth I which transported over 15,000 troops per trip. He was stationed in Newcastle, England, where he participated in gunnery classes. He was drafted to the Tribal Class destroyer HMCS Athabaskan on loan to the Royal Navy. For several months, he served on the Athabaskan, working out of Scapa Flow in the North Sea. This vessel was on striking force naval duties around Iceland, Norway and the Bay of Biscay. Left the Athabaskan in Plymouth, England, returning to HMCS Niobe, a naval base in Greenock, Scotland. On a later trip to sea, the HMCS Athabaskan was torpedoed and sunk in the Bay of Biscay where 128 sailors perished, and 85 were taken prisoner of war. While in Scotland, John was drafted to the destroyer HMCS Qu’Appelle on convoy duties to Newfoundland. He was drafted off this ship at St. John’s, Newfoundland, for gate vessel duties and shore patrol. He was then drafted for further gate vessel duty to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. John received his discharge in October 1945 while in Esquimalt. He returned to Clyde River, Prince Edward Island, to his family and childhood sweetheart, Hazel MacLean. There were married on November 14th, 1945. He had purchased her diamond ring in St. John’s. (information provided by John's daughter Vivian)
Ships served in:
Photos and service information courtesy of Vivian Beer