For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

Harbour Defence Patrol Craft - HDPC 3





Acquired by RCN: 

Fate: Unknown


Ship's History:


Photos and Documents


Commanding Officers

Slt Peter George Douglas Armour, RCNVR - 20 Jul 1942 - unk

Lt Brian Robert Boyd Magee, RCNVR - 14 Apr 1943 - unk

Slt Jack Sutherland Taylor, RCNVR - 29 Mar 1944


     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Former Crew Members

Crawford, William Duncan




Photos and Documents


William Duncan Crawford


Born: 08 Oct 1925


RCNVR 1943-1945


Served in HMCS Caribou, HDPC # 3.  As of the posting of this photo on 27 Nov 2014, William (Bill) Crawford is still alive and well at the age of 89


Courtesy of John Crawford

The Surrender of U-889


May 10, 1945 U-889 hoisted the black flag of surrender to the RCAF Liberator Aircraft. It took two low passes by the Liberator before the flag went up. They were arming depth charges & setting the bombsight when she made the hoist. The Liberator stood by until the ships appeared.


U-889 a IXC/40 type U-boat, had sailed from Germany by way of Norway in early April. After an uneventful weather ship patrol & at the end of hostilities (8-May-1945) in accordance with instructions U-889 surfaced & was spotted by an RCAF Liberator some 250 miles SE of Flemish Cap on 10 May 45.


Subsequently HMCS Oshawa, Rockcliffe, Saskatoon & Dunvegan intercepted U-889 that day 175 miles SSE of Cape Race (extreme south east point of Newfoundland). Rockcliffe & Dunvegan were instructed to escort U-889 into Shelburne NS. However, 24hrs after the interception, the 2 ships passed their charge to the frigates HMCS Buckingham & Inch Arran of EG-28 some 140 miles SSE of Sable Island.


During WWII, All major Canadian harbours had a vessel stationed in the harbour entrance. Their purpose was to board each and every ship that approached the harbour entrance and verify credentials.


Bill Crawford was on board the Harbor Defense Patrol Craft (HDPC#3 of Shelburne). Before U-889 and ití s escorts (HMCS Buckingham & Inch Arran) were allowed entry through the anti-submarine gates of Shelburne Harbour (at the north east corner of McNutts Island), Bill Crawford and his mate (name ?), boarded U-889 armed with machine guns to inspect the ship. Bill said that he had never been trained on how to use a machine gun. However, it didnít matter much, the German Sailors had been drinking and offered no resistance. Bill said he was surprised at the young age of the Captain (Friedrich Braeucker). The German Captain was only age 26. Bill was only age 19.


His time on board U-889 was only about 10 minutes. Bill and his mate were the first allied forces to board U-889. Later that day uniformed officers would board the submarine during the formal surrender.


Bill and his mate, returned to their own vessel and continued their daily patrol outside of the harbour. The U-889 was then allowed entry through the anti-submarine gates of Shelburne Harbour. It was then that an "official" surrender of U-889 took place 13 May 45 off the Shelburne Whistle Buoy, 7 miles from the antisubmarine boom gate. Uniformed RCN officers would board the submarine during the formal surrender and official Navy photo's were taken (shown here on this site)


Most of the U-889 crew was put on board ML 121 (Q117) then escorted U-889 into Shelburne. Later it was taken to Halifax.