HMCS COLUMBIA I49

 

Wickes Class Destroyer (USN)

 

Town Class Destroyer (RCN)

 


 

 

GEMMA MARIS

 

(Gem of the Ocean)

HMCS Columbia I49

From the collection of Nigel Whiteley, LCdr, RCN, Ret'd

DND/RCN photo

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1940-44

 

 

Laid down: 30 Mar 1918

Launched: 04 Jul 1918

Commissioned: 07 Jun 1919

Paid off: 1922

Re-commissioned: Dec 1939

Paid off: 24 Sep 1940

Transferred to RCN: 24 Sep 1940

Commissioned: 24 Sep 1940

Paid off: 12 Jun 1945

Fate: Sold for scrap on 07 Aug 1945

 

Commissioned on 07 Jun 1919 as USS Haraden she served in the Adriatic Sea during part of 1919 before returning to the U.S. for training out of Norfolk, Va. Placed in reserve at Philadelphia in 1922, she emerged in Dec 1939, to take part in the Neutrality Patrol, and was transferred to the RCN as Columbia on 24 Sep 1940, at Halifax. At first employed on local escort duty, she left Halifax 15 Jan 1941, for the U.K., where she was assigned to EG 4, Greenock. In Jun 1941, she joined the newly formed NEF, and in Mar 1942, following repairs at Halifax, transferred to WLEF. In Jan 1943, she went to the aid of her RN sister, HMS Caldwell, adrift without propellers southeast of Cape Breton, and successfully towed her 370 miles to Halifax. Following a major refit at Saint John from 01 Feb to 20 May 1943, she rejoined WLEF, becoming a member of EG W-4 at the end of Jun 1943 and of W-10 in Dec 1943. On 25 Feb 1944, owing to a combination of fog and faulty radar, she rammed a cliff in Motion Bay, Nfld. without so much as touching bottom. Repairs only sufficient to make her watertight were carried out at Bay bulls, though not until May 1944. In Sep 1944 she was taken to Liverpool, N.S., to serve as an ammunition storage hulk for ships refitting there. Paid off on 12 Jun 1945, into reserve at Sydney, she was sold for strap later that year.

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

Commanding Officer's report on the ramming of the cliff in Motion Bay, Nfld

 


 

Commanding Officers

 

LCdr Somerville W. Davis, DSC, RCN - 24 Sep 1940 - 13 May 1942

LCdr George Hay Stephen, RCNR - 14 May 1942 - 17 Mar 1943

LCdr Bernard Dodds L. Johnson, RCNR - 18 Mar 1943 - 23 Nov 1943

LCdr Robert A.S.  MacNeil, OBE, RCNR - 24 Nov 1943 - 30 Mar 1944

Lt Thomas Arthur Giffin Staunton, RCNVR - 31 Mar 1944 - 22 May 1944

Lt Murray Leo Devaney, RCNVR - 23 Mar 1944 - 18 Jun 1944

LCdr Francis O'Brien Gerity, RCNR - 19 Jun 1944 - 30 Jun 1944

Lt Murray Leo Devaney, RCNVR - 01 Jul 1944 - 22 Jul 1944

Lt John Gwynda Hughes, RCNR - 23 Jul 1944 - 01 Mar 1945

 


 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

CAMPBELL, Lawrence

PO HSD, RCNVR

died - 09 Mar 1944

 

CARTER, George F.

AB, RCNVR

killed - 28 Mar 1942

FELDMAN, Arthur

EA 4c, RCNVR

died - 26 Feb 1944

SILVESTER, Charles V.

VPO, RCN

died - 24 Nov 1941

SLINGSBY, Clifford F.

AB, RCNVR

MPK - 29 Nov 1942

 


 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

 


 

Former Crew Members

 

Bacal, Harry Lyon, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 10 Feb 1942

 

Benoit, Cecil Julian, Slt, RCN - 17 Mar 1943

 

Brash, Robert, Skpr Lt, RCNR - 24 Sep 1943

 

Douglas, Alexander Connor, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1943

 

Engs, Philip Wanton, Lt, RCNVR - 28 Feb 1942

 

Ewin, John (Jack)

 

Little, Lawrence Peniston, Surg/LCdr, RCNVR - 10 Jun 1943

 

MacKay, Thomas Couison, Lt, RCN - 30 Mar 1943

McAllister, William Lawrence (Laurie), PO 

 

McNaught, John Charles Kirkpatrick, Lt, RCNVR - 24 May 1943

 

Moffat, William Purves, Lt, RCNVR - 27 Apr 1942

 

Robertson, John M., Lt, RCNVR - 24 Jul 1941

 

Sauve, Edward James, AB, V6361

 

Savory, John Alfred, Lt (E), RCNVR - 23 Mar 1942

 

Stairs, John Fitzwilliam, A/LCdr, RCNVR - 17 Apr 1942

Staunton, Thomas Arthur Giffin, Lt, RCNVR - 02 Mar 1943

 

Stewart, Donald Arthur, Lt (E), RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Sommer, Lionel

 

Tkacz, William, Slt (E), RCNVR - 05 May 1943

 

Whyte, William Methvin, Slt, RCNVR - 01 May 1942

 

Wilson, John Robert, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 14 Jul 1942

 

Woollcombe, George Andrew, Lt, RCNVR - 26 Jun 1941

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

HMCS Columbia with signatures of officers along bottom of the photo - circa 1943-9144

From the collection of Thomas Burdon

Courtesy of Dave Burdon

 

HMCS COLUMBIA jacket patch

 

This jacket patch was based on the ship's badge for HMCS COLUMBIA I49

 

Courtesy of Ted Orlowski

 

Description:  Within a shield frame proper on an orange surface, a board containing three green maple leaves on a gold field in chief. Below, on a grey field a shining white diamond floats above a blue and white heraldic ocean. Below the shield, the motto in black letters on a medium blue ribbon outlined in gold.  Motto Gemma Maris [Gem of the Ocean]. This badge was approved 27 Feb 1942.  (Source: Designs of Distinction by David Freeman)

 

Baptism of David Scott Burdon on HMCS Columbia Jul 1943

 

             

 

(1) Lt Thomas Burdon and Janet Burdon with young David Burdon  (2) Janet & David Burdon, LCdr Bernard Johnson, CO, Lt Thomas Burdon and Chaplain James H. Graven

 

(3) The baptism of David Scott Burdon  (4 & 5) Newspapers articles on the baptism ceremony

 

From the collection of Thomas Burdon

Courtesy of Dave Burdon

HMCS Columbia after being laid up as a storage hulk - circa 1944

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Looking aft on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Unknown crew members of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Unknown crew members with the Lewis gun on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Depth charge exploding astern of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

North Atlantic convoy astern of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Two unknown sailors on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Smoke - What Smoke?"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Crew members of HMCS Columbia I49 using a telescope

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 mascots JoeMoe and Jeep with unknown sailor

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Two crew members on HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Blue Watch , HMCS Columbia I49

Front row, kneeling, 2nd from right - Lionel Sommer

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Red Watch

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

White Watch

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

The Engineroom of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

The Engineroom of HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

Watch Supervisor's Seat Controls

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Sea Water Don't Freeze"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Christmas Card 1942

Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Christmas Card 1943

Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"No. 4 Boiler Out"

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Make Room for the Fuel Tank"

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 Dry Dock Refit Finished 1943

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Back to work"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

On 25 Feb 1944, owing to a combination of fog and faulty radar, she rammed a cliff in Motion Bay, Nfld. without so much as touching bottom. Repairs only sufficient to make her watertight were carried out at Bay bulls, though not until May. That September she was taken to Liverpool, N.S., to serve as an ammunition storage hulk for ships refitting there. Paid off on 12 Jun 1945, into reserve at Sydney, she was sold for strap later that year.

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to Trot buoys at St. John's, Nfld

From the collection of William Connor

Courtesy of Jason Slater

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to a buoy at St John's, Nfld

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

HMCS Columbia I49 moored to a buoy

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Two killed - P/O Feldman - Campbell"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"Many Hurt"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

"The End"

HMCS Columbia I49

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

HMCS Columbia I49 after she was paid off

Photographer: Charles James Sadler, V4963, Sto 1st Class, RCNVR

 


 

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