For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


Donald Joseph MacDonnell


Chief Petty Officer, Engine Room Artificer, RCNVR


Born: 07 Jun 1915, Sydney, Nova Scotia


Died: 08 Oct 2002, Halifax, Nova Scotia


MacDONNELL, Donald Joseph Sr. - 88, Halifax, passed away October 8, 2002, in Northwood Centre. Born in 1915, in Sydney, he was a son of the late John J. and Mary Ann (McDonald) MacDonnell. Donald served in the navy during the Second World War and was a member of the original crew of HMCS Sackville. Surviving are son, Donald J. and wife, Owen Sound, Ont.; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, all of Ontario; two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law; many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy (Bezanson); son Derek; five sisters; one brother. Visitation 24, 7-9 p.m. Friday, October 11, in J.A. Snow Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor St., Halifax. Funeral mass 10 a.m. Saturday, October 12, in St. Stephen's Church, corner of Robie Street and Normandy Drive, Halifax. Burial in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Sackville. In lieu of flowers, donations to Canadian Diabetes Association.


Service notes: Donald joined the RCNVR on 14 Aug 1941 at the age of 26. He was a machinist at the Sydney Steel Plant prior to joining the navy and used to say that at 26 yrs of age, he was regarded as "old". Donald was drafted off HMCS Louisburg to HMCS Sackville and later to HMCS Malpeque. The man to took his position on Louisburg was one of those who lost his life when HMCS Louisburg was sunk (of a crew 109, there were 59 lost and 50 were rescued). Donald said "My first lucky break was the day that I was removed from the Louisburg before it sank. I didn't know it then, but my biggest lucky break was yet to come."  He was demobilized on 05 Oct 1945.


Ships served in:

HMCS LOUISBURG - Served in Louisburg Oct 1941 - Dec 1941

HMCS SACKVILLE - Served in Sackville Dec 1941 - Apr 1942

HMCS AVALON - Served at Avalon Jun 1942 - Feb 1943

HMCS MALPEQUE - Served in Malpeque Feb 1943 - Aug 1945


Donald MacDonnell (right) on his wedding day with his best man, Howard Columbus - 11 Jun 1943

Courtesy of Margaret Gillis


Donald MacDonnell tells of his time on HMCS Sackville during WW2

Article from the Halifax Herald 02 Aug 1998

Courtesy of Margaret Gillis



Crossed the Bar Index