For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS GUYSBOROUGH J52

HMCS Guysborough J52

 

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

 

 

Laid down: 28 May 1941

Launched: 21 Jul 1941

Commissioned: 22 Apr 1942

Fate: Sunk on 17 Mar 1945 by U 878

 

Built by North Vancouver Ship repairs Ltd, Vancouver for the RN she was transferred to the RCN for manning. She was commissioned on 22 Apr 1942, and assigned to Esquimalt Force. On 17 Mar 1943, she left for Halifax, arriving on 30 April 1943. After brief service with WLEF, she joined Halifax Force. In mid-Sep 1943 Guysborough underwent six weeks' refit at Baltimore, MD. On 21 Feb 1944, with Canso, Kenora and Wasaga, she left Halifax for the Azores en route to Plymouth, where she arrive on 08 Mar 1944. She was assigned to the 14th Minesweeping Flotilla and was present on D-Day. In Dec 1944 she returned to Canada for refit at Lunenburg, after which, bound again for Plymouth, she was torpedoed and sunk with a loss of 53 of her crew.

 

At 18.50 hours on 17 Mar 1945, HMCS Guysborough (J 52) (T/Lt B.T.R. Russell, RCNR) was hit in the stern by a Gnat from U-868 about 210 miles north of Cape Finisterre in the Bay of Biscay. Sailing alone the minesweeper towed a CAT gear against acoustic torpedoes but the Gnat nevertheless hit the stern, probably because the gear was streamed too close to the ship to confuse the warhead. Settling by the destroyed stern with a slight list to port, the vessel did not sink and the U-boat fired a coup de grâce at 19.35 hours. The torpedo hit on the starboard side amidships and caused the minesweeper to sink fast by the stern. Two crew members had been killed in the explosions and the remaining men had to abandon ship on five Carley floats because the motor cutter and the whaler were unusable. A first group of 48 survivors lashed four rafts together, while the fifth raft drifted away overcrowded by the remaining men. They had managed to send a distress signal and several vessels were sent to their rescue, but it took HMS Inglis (K 570) (T/A/LCdr A.P. Cobbold, RNVR) around 19 hours to arrive. In the meantime 49 of the survivors had died of injuries or exposure - 36 on the overcrowded raft. Interestingly, a Spanish trawler with “a suspicious amount of electronic gear” and suspected of having played a part in the Guysborough's sinking was chased out of the area by HMS Loring. Obviously the trawler picked up the body of at least one Canadian sailor since GF Adam is buried in the British cemetery at Bilbao, Spain.

 

Historical note: On 10 Apr 1945, U-878, the U-boat that torpedoed and sank HMCS Guysborough, was sunk west of St. Nazaire, France in position 47-35N, 10-33W, by depth charges from HMS Vanquisher and HMS Tintagel Castle. Of her crew of 51, there were no survivors.

 

Commanding Officers

Lt Benjamin Thomas Robert Russell, RCNR - 22 Apr 42 - 17 Mar 45

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

ADAM, George Frank

Mechanician 1c, 21348, RCN

DOW - 18 Mar 1945 

ANDREWS, Joseph Charles

L/Sto, V38084, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BALLANTYNE, Roswell Alexander

Sto, V78521, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BARNETT, Charles Austin

AB, V14304, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BELL-IRVING, Richard Morris

Lt (E), RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BERRYMAN, Jack Gardner

L/Sto, V16905, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BISHOP, Robert John

Sig, V35169, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BODEUX, Joseph Marcel

Sig, V35249, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BOUCHARD, Joseph Eugene Paul Emile

AB, V54034, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BOURBONNAIS, Joseph Jean Guy

Sto PO, V38845, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

BURY, James Edward

Sto, V42625, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

CHALMERS, Robert James

Tel, V62740, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

CLARKE, James Peter

OS, V77951, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

COLEMAN, Irving

T/Sub Lt, RNVR, (O/P)

MPK - 18 Mar 1945

COX, John Daniel

ERA, V35391, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

CROSSON, Abraham Bullard

L/Coder, V36397, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

DENSMORE, Wilfred Harding

Cook, V76094, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

DICKS, George Ronald

PO, V3668, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

DOWNEY, Dale George

Sto, V57170, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

EDDY, Donald Cecil

SBA, V34597, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GAIR, Alexander Mowat

L/Sig, V24028, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GARVEY, William

Sig, V14500, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GEDDES, Frederick Elmo

Sto PO, 21476, RCN

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GIBSON, Alvon Robert

OS, V65575, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GOHIER, Joseph Victor Maurice

AB, V60493, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

GRAY, Gordon Tilford

L/Sto, V10694, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

HAMILTON, William Ainslie

ERA, V77366, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

HOLLAND, Thomas Vincent

Lt, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

Drafted to Guysborough on 29 Jan 1945

HORTON, Albert E

AB, D/JX 199841

MPK - 18 Mar 1945

HUNTER, William Alexander

AB, V43655, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

KONSMO, Ole Burnett

Cook, V16766, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

LAPP, John Raymond

Sto PO, V30120, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MALLETTE, Joseph Adelard Maurice

Stwd, V49422, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MATTHEWS, Paul Joseph

Sto, V56844, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MCCLUSKEY, Henry

AB, V/39921, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MCCUTCHEON, William Albert

L/Writer, V14727, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MCGUIGAN, John Donald

L/Stwd, V22833, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MITCHELL, George Thomas

Sto, V47940, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MOUNTAIN, William Tudor

AB, V31164, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

MUTCHESON, John Edwin

OS, V83333, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

NEUFELD, Arthur

Sto, V78026, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

PAUL, Kenneth Boyd

L/Sto, V49051, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

PAYNE, Harry Alvin

LS, V30817, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

RENAUD, Maurice Joseph

Sto PO, V19428, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

ROBERTSON, Robert Gordon

Tel, V24172, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

RUMPEL, Oscar Hedley

Lt, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

SCHMIDT, Alfred Hugo

Sto, V68505, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

SHINEWALD, Sydney James

Tel, V42020, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

SLADE, Richard Stanley

Lt, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

SMARDON, Walter Edwin

L/Tel, V23409, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

SORRELL, William Wallace

AB, V61536, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

STEVENSON, Robert Gordon

Sto, V60554, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

WILLIAMS, Roland George

L/Stores Ass't, V33660, RCNVR

MPK - 18 Mar 1945 

 

 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

C-D

Clark, William George

1923-2004

Served in Guysborough 10 Feb 1942 - 11 Feb 1944 at a Telegraphist

 

 

 

 

E-F

Elliott, Glen Lenard

1922-1993

Fraser, Lloyd George

1924-2009

 

 

 

K-L

Kinsey, Bryon Mervin Glyn

____-____

 

 

 

 

M-N

McGregor, Gordon Howard

1921-2002

Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

 

 

 

S-T

Sayer, Albert

1903-1966

 

 

 

 

W-X

Whynot, George Keith

____-2009

Served in Guysborough in 1944 as Lt, RCNVR, XO

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Adams, Sydney Edward, Cd (E), RN - 21 Apr 1942 (Stand by) / 22 Apr 1942

 

Baker, Roland John Burke, LS - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Baumken, N. - 1944

 

Belyea, Kenneth Gordon, Lt, RCNVR - 09 Jul 1942

 

Bellamy, A.M.

 

Bennett, James, Sto - 1944

 

Blakeney, Robert, AB, RCNVR - 1944

 

Blanche, Kenneth Peter, Slt, RCNVR - 15 Mar 1943

 

Brown, Kenneth A., AB - 1944

 

Carey, Edward, OS - 1944

 

Conley, George, SPO - 1944

 

Convey, J., Sto - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Coull, R., Sto - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Donnet, James S., Sto 1c - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Dumbleton, W.H., Sto PO - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Fallis, W. - 1944

 

Findlay, William Geldart, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1943 / Lt, RCNVR - 22 Jul 1943

 

Fitz-Clarke, Leonard, Lt, RCNR - 15 Jun 1943

 

Gautheir, Frank, LS, RCNVR - 1944

 

Girroir, Herbert, SPO - 1944

 

Gleason, J., Coder - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

Godin, Art, LS, RCNR - 1944

 

Gowans, William Kitchener, Lt, RCNVR - 09 Jul 1942

 

Grells, Nate

 

Higgins, Howard, Sto - 1944

 

Jack, Howard, AB, RCNVR - 1944

 

Johnston, Derek Robert Lukin, Lt, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1942 (Stand by) / 22 Apr 1942

 

Kelly, J. - 1944

 

Kologie, Louis, AB - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

MacDonald, Clarence, SPO, RCNVR - 1944

 

MacGregor, Gordon, AB - 1944

 

Mandzuk, Alexander, AB - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

McCormick, Frank McLeod, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

McLeod, John Norman, Skpr, RCNR - 20 Apr 1942 (Stand by) / 22 Apr 1942

 

Meanwell, Henry Bennett, Slt (E), RCNVR- 20 Jul 1943

 

Morrison, J. - 1944

 

O'Connor, Charles Wilfred, Wt (E), RCNVR - 20 Jul 1943

 

Olchowesky, M., AB - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Paltiel, Daniel, Sig, RCN - 1944

 

Pottier, Slt - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Reynolds, James E.. Sto - 1944

Ross, Tommy, Coder - 1944

 

Rumple, Oscar Hedley, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Feb 1945

 

Russell, Benjamin Thomas Robert, Lt, RCNR - 08 Apr 1942 (Stand by) CO / 22 Apr 1942

 

Scully, Hugh Ballard, Lt, RCNVR - 18 May 1942

 

Seeley, Fred, AB, ASDIC Operator 1942-1945

 

Simon, Hugh, AB - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Spanner, Allan, Sto - 1944

 

Squibb, A.J., Sto PO - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Stevenson, J. - 1944

 

Taylor, Harry - 1944

 

Townsend, James Booth, AB - Survived sinking of HMCS Gusyborough

 

Vardy, H. - 1944

 

Walker, Dennis Gerland, Sto PO - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Warry, William, AB - 1944

 

Webber, Eugene, AB, RCNR - 1944

 

Weese, C.A., AB - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Willington, John Ormsby, Lt, RCNVR - 18 May 1943

 

Wood, George Alan, OS - Survived sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Young, Jack, ERA - 1944-1945 - Survived the sinking of HMCS Guysborough

 

Photos and Documents

 

Links

Fred Seeley remembers the Sinking of HMCS Guysborough

Navy veteran tells of a life well lived - 30 Dec 2011

Personal photo gallery of William (Bill) George Clark

 

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