In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


George Charles Vander Haegen, DSM, BEM, LS&GM


Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Boatswain, 3154-E, RCN


Born: 17 Mar 1919, near Dunleath, Saskatchewan


Died: 02 May 2008


VANDER HAEGEN, George Charles - George joined Connie, his wife, on May 2, 2008. This quiet, gentle man was born on March 17, 1919 on a farm outside of Dunleath, Saskatchewan. In 1938 he volunteered for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). He often recalled how he left minus forty and feet of snow in Saskatchewan and was greeted in Victoria with flowers, "I thought I had come to a different world." His first ship was the HMCS Ottawa, which was followed by service on many other destroyers. He often joked that he served in the "Destroyer Navy". He spent World War II on convoy duty in the North Atlantic and frequently returned to Halifax where he met and married the only love of his life, Connie Kennedy. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer after 25 years of service in the RCN including WWII and Korea. His many decorations include a DSM, a BEM, and the Russian Victory Medal. The new world, "Civvy Street" was different, but George soon adjusted due to his humor, kindness, honor, appreciation of life, and his courtesy. George will be remembered by all who knew him for his love of hockey, excepting the Montreal Canadiens, his fondness for a good cigar, and his enjoyment of just about everything. He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Connie and his brother Peter Vander Haegen. He will be greatly missed by his older sister Anne Kukea of Hawaii, his daughter and son-in-law Anne-Louise and Ian Gibbons, his son and daughter-in-law Charles and Leslie, his three grandchildren Colin, Kara, and Jennifer, and his three great grandchildren Ava, Rowan, and Rhys. If asked about his life, George would have remarked with a slight smile, "bloody marvelous". Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 11:00 am, 10030 Third Street, Sidney. Arrangements have been entrusted to First Memorial Funeral Services. (The Times Colonist 07 May 2008)


George retired from the RCN 03 Apr 1963


Ships served in:



HMCS ASSINIBOINE - Served in Assiniboine during her battle with U-210

HMCS SIOUX - Served in Sioux on the Murmansk Run







CPO George Vander Haegen

HMCS CRUSADER's Man of the Month

Article from the Crowsnest magazine


Click on the above article to view a larger image



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