In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Melvin Ross Harper


Ordinary Telegraphist, V81200, RCNVR


Born: 25 Aug 1925, Edmonton, Alberta


Died: 14 Feb 1945, Ostend, Belgium


Book of Remembrance


HARPER, Melvin Ross, Tel, V81200, RCNVR, MPK - 14 Feb 1945, MTB-461 - Son of Frank and Edna Elsie Harper, of Edmonton, Alberta.


O/Tel Melvin Harper was killed on 14 Feb 1945 when an accidental explosion and ensuing fire destroyed MTB-461. His body was never recovered.


"On the afternoon of February 14, 1945, disaster struck the Canadian 29th Motor Torpedo Boat flotilla during the Second World War. In advance of a patrol that night, many of the sailors were asleep on their boats docked in Ostend, Belgium (spelled ‘Oostende' in the local Flemish language). Spilled fuel that had ended up floating on the surface of the harbour suddenly ignited and, before an alarm could even be raised, a raging fire quickly spread amongst the closely-moored vessels. Fuel and ammunition supplies exploded as boat after boat caught fire. Many of the men were trapped on board and had no escape as even the water was aflame. By the time it was over, the 29th flotilla had lost 26 Canadian sailors and five of eight of its vessels were destroyed. An estimated 35 British sailors and seven Royal Navy vessels had also been lost." (Source: Veterans Affairs Canada)


Ships served in:

HMCS NONSUCH - Enlisted 08 Mar 1944. Commenced Active Service 04 Apr 1944

HMCS CHIPPAWA - Served in Chippawa 10 Apr 1944 -14 May 1944

29th MTB Flottilla - Drafted to the 29th MTB Flotilla 12 Dec 1944








(MH01) Portrait of O/Tel Melvin ross  (MH02-MH03) Certificate of Service  (MH04) Report of Death


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