For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS GATINEAU H61

Former HMS EXPRESS

HMCS Gatineau H61

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1943-44,   Normandy  1944

 

 

Laid down: 23 Mar 1933

Launched: 29 May 1934

Commissioned: 13 Oct 1934

Transferred to the RCN: 03 Jun 1943

Commissioned: 03 Jun 1943

Paid off: 10 Jan 1946

Fate: Broken up in 1947, the remaining hull was scuttled as a breakwater at Royston, B.C.

 

Completed in 1934 as HMS Express, she saw strenuous war service with the RN. She was the second last ship to leave Dunkirk, having made six trips and evacuated 3,500 troops. On 31 Aug 1940, while laying a defensive minefield off the Dutch coast, she was herself extensively damaged by a German mine. Repairs carried out at Hull, U.K., took more than a year, and included fitting a complete new fore end. She went to the Far East late in 1941, and on 10 Dec 1941 was on hand to rescue nearly 1,000 survivors of HMS Prince of Wales, sunk by Japanese bombs off Malaya. After long service with the Eastern Fleet she returned to Liverpool in Feb 1943, for refit, and in the process was transferred to the RCN. She was commissioned there as Gatineau on 03 Jun 1943, and joined EG C-3, MOEF. On 06 Mar 1944, while escorting convoy HX.280, she assisted in the sinking of U 744. That May she transferred to EG 11, Londonderry, for invasion duties, and was present on D-Day. She proceeded  to Canada in Jul 1944, for major refit at Halifax, then sailed in Mar 1945, for workups at Tobermory. No longer needed after VE-day, she returned to Canada in Jun 1945 and two months later went round to the west coast. She was paid off 10 Jan 1946, into reserve at Esquimalt, and is believed to have been scuttled at Royston, B.C. in 1948, as part of a breakwater.

 

Commanding Officers

Cdr Philip Whitworth Burnett, RN - 03 Jun 1943 - 09 Nov 1943

Lt E.M. Chadwick, RCN - 10 Nov 1943 - 22 Nov 1943

LCdr Harold Victor William Groos, RCN - 23 Nov 1943 - 10 Sep 1944

A/LCdr Ralph Lucien Hennessy, DSC, RCN - 11 Sep 1944 - 29 Sep 1944

LCdr J.A. Bryant, RCNVR - 30 Sep 1944 - 09 Nov 1944

LCdr George Huntley Davidson, RCN - 10 Nov 1944 - 14 Jul 1945

A/LCdr Patrick David Budge, DSC, RCN - 15 Jul 1945 - 26 Nov 1945

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Bertrand, George Joseph

1924-2008

Bogue, Thomas Leonard

1920-2010

Budge, Patrick David

1904-1998

7th Commanding Officer

Burke, Philip

1921-2010

C-D

Davis, Thomas Gerald

1926-2009

Dickson, Stanley Philp

1917-2008

E-F

Ellis, Charles Raymond

1922-2007

Ford, Raymond Alex

1922-1997

G-H

Groos, Harold Victor William

1912-1987

3rd Commanding Officer

Hennessy, Ralph Lucien

1918-2014

4th Commanding Officer

I-J

Jenkyns, Kenneth David

1917-2001

Jewer, Frederick Vernon

1921-2010

M-N

MacDonald, G. Bruce

1926-2012

McMurray, Leonard Denison

____-2004

Served in Gatineau in 1944 as Lt, RCN

Meadows, Robert Gordon

1925-2009

Murray, Walter David Rowe

1925-2007

S-T

Storrs, Antony Hubert Gleadow

1907-2002

Turner, Alec E.

1924-2014

U-V

Vickers, Randolf

1917-2008

W-X

Waters, William Henry

1925-2009

Wilson, Samuel

1926-1992

 

U-Boats Sunk

U-744 (Oblt Heinz Blischke) a type VIIC U-boat, sunk on 06 Mar 1944 by HMCS St. Catharine K325, HMCS Chilliwack K131, HMCS Gatineau H61, HMCS Fennel K194, HMCS Chaudiere H99, HMS Icarus and HMS Keniworth Castle in position 52-01 N, 22-37 W. Of her crew of 51, there were 40 survivors

 

Former Crew Members

Bancroft, Henry Dunkin, Midshipman, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Ellis, Robert Lambert, Lt (T), RCN - 08 Mar 1945

 

Gibson, Lorne, A/Bos'n (A/S), RCN - Jan 1944

 

Greenidge, Kenneth Norman Haynes, Lt, RCN - 25 Mar 1944

 

Harley, Frank, Lt (E), RCNR - 06 May 1943 (Stand by) / 03 Jun 1943

 

Henderson, Robert McRae, Lt (S), RCNVR - 30 Jun 1945

Hepburn, Bernard Rickart, Lt (E), RCNVR - 04 Mar 1945

 

Irving, John Richard, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Lentz, Herbert Stanley, A/Gnr (T), RCN - Jan 1945

 

Lesslie, William Van Armam, Slt, RCNVR - 03 Jun 1943

 

Lovett, Frank John, Paym/Lt, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1944

 

MacVannel, Duncan Payne, Slt (E), RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Maynard, Murray Renouf, Slt (E), RCNVR - 07 May 1943

McIlroy, Hugh Murray, LCdr (SB), RCNVR - 17 Jun 1945

 

McMurray, Leonard Denison, RCNVR - 21 Feb 1944

 

McTavish, Peter James, Slt, RCNVR - 03 Jun 1943

 

Welsh, Robert G. 

 

Wilson, Bruce Muir, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Wright, Sydney Courtney, Lt (El) (R), RCNVR - 25 Feb 1945

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

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