For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
WILLIAMS, Ronald Joseph - was a former Merchant Navy Radio Operator, serving with Imperial Oil, and CN Marine on the “Lady boats”. On the outbreak of war, he volunteered for the RCNVR, and was at first posted to the radio station at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. At the end of this posting, he, his wife Margaret, and their infant daughter Maryann travelled on the SS CARIBOU on her last voyage before it was torpedoed with heavy loss of life. Thereafter, he became an “Installation man”, installing radio and radar equipment on several RCN ships.
Ronald was Radar Officer on HMS NABOB at the time of the torpedoing. When NABOB reached Scotland, Ronald volunteered to lead the team which recovered the remains of his deceased shipmates. When he finally reached his family home in Sheffield, he washed his uniform in the bath-tub, and left an oily ring around the bath which took weeks to remove!
Post-war, Ronald Williams returned to the Merchant Navy, sailing with Irving Oil on the tanker “Nipiwan Park” (another survivor of torpedoing), before joining the Canadian Marconi Company, where he worked on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line.
Ronald as working for Marconi at the time of his death in 1956. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, N.S.
LCdr Williams was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the CVSM and Clasp, the War Medal. Note: Entitled to the Arctic Star for service in HMS Nabob.
Ships served in:
NAVAL SERVICE HQ OTTAWA - Appointed to NSHQ, Naval Intelligence Division 15 Dec 1940 as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Dec 1940)
HMCS VENTURE (Depot ship) - Appointed to Venture for Duty at St. John's, Nfld, Miscellaneous Services 25 Feb 1941 as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Mar 1941)
HMCS AVALON - Appointed to Avalon for Special Duties 25 Feb 1941 as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Jul 1941)
NAVAL SERVICE HQ OTTAWA - Appointed to NSHQ, Signals Division 19 Jun 1942 as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Sep 1942)
HMCS ST FRANCIS - Served in St Francis 31 May 1943 - 20 Jun 1943 as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Service file of LCdr Williams)
NAVAL SERVICE HQ OTTAWA - Appointed to NSHQ as Deputy Director Signal Division "Y" 21 Jun 1943 as an A/LCdr (SB) (s), RCNVR
HMCS NIOBE - Appointed to Niobe 25 Mar 1944 as a LCdr (SB) (s), RCNVR (Navy List Jul 1944)
HMS NABOB - Served in Nabob 22 May 1944 - 11 Oct 1944. Served in HMS Nabob as Radar Officer. Survived the torpedoing of HMS Nabob.
HMCS AVALON - Appointed to Avalon as Staff of Captain (D) 12 Oct 1944 as a LCdr (SB) (s), RCNVR (Navy List Nov 1944)
HMCS LEASIDE - Served in Leaside 16 Oct 1944 - 02 Nov 1944 as Staff of Capt (D). (Service file of LCdr Williams)
HMCS STONE TOWN - Served in Stone Town 03 Nov 1944 - 11 Dec 1944 as Staff of Capt (D). (Service file of LCdr Williams)
RCN BARRACKS ST JOHN'S - Appointed to RCN Barracks St John's as a LCdr (SB) (s), RCNVR for disposal (Navy List Jan 1945)
HMCS STADACONA (depot ship) - Appointed to HMCS Stadacona as Staff of Captain (D), Halifax 23 Feb 1945 as a LCdr (SB) (s), RCNVR (Navy List Mar 1945)
HMCS KAPUSKASING - Served in Kapuskasing 23 Feb 1944 - 31 May 1945 as Staff of Capt (D). (Service file of LCdr Williams)
* Demobilized 30 Sep 1945 (Service file of LCdr Williams)