For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS MATANE K444

HMCS Matane K444

Source: Photo scrap book of Telegraphist Ron Bailey

Published with permission of Grant Bailey

 

Battle honours and awards;  Atlantic  1944,   Normandy  1944,   Arctic  1945

 

 

Laid down: 23 Dec 1942

Launched: 29 May 1943

Commissioned: 22 Oct 1943

Paid off: 11 Feb 1946

Fate: Sold for scrap. Hulk was sunk as a breakwater in 1948

 

Launched at Montreal on 29 May 1943, she was commissioned there on 22 Oct 1943, Matane arrived at Halifax 13 Nov 1943 and began working up in St. Margaret's Bay completing the process at Pictou. In Apr 1944, she joined EG 9, Londonderry, as Senior Officer's ship, thereafter serving mainly on escort and patrol duty in U.K. waters. On 22 Apr 1944 HMCS Matane sunk German U-boat U-311 in the North Atlantic south west of Iceland in position 52°09'N, 19°07'W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigates HMCS Matane (LCdr. A.F.C. Layard, DSO, RN) and HMCS Swansea (A/Cdr. C.A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR). The fact that U-311 was destroyed by the depth charge attacks of Matane and/or Swansea, was unknown until years after WWII, when German and British intelligence attributed the kill to these two ships, as opposed to attack by aircraft, the latter having been thought to be the case prior to the post-war analyses. She was present on D-Day. On 20 Jul 1944 she was hit by a German glider bomb off Brest and towed, badly damaged, to Plymouth by HMCS Meon. In Apr 1945, she completed eight and one-half months' repairs at Dunstaffnage, Scotland, working up at Tobermory and, on 12 May 1945, sailed from Greenock to escort convoy JW.67 to North Russia. She was detached on 14 May 1945, however, to help escort 14 surrendered U-boats from Trondheim to Loch Eriboll (click here to see photos in HMCS Monnow's gallery). In June, after one round trip to Gibraltar as convoy escort, she left Londonderry for Esquimalt via Halifax. She arrived at Esquimalt in Jul 1945 and on 11 Feb 1946, was paid off into reserve there. She was sold in 1947 and her hull sunk in 1948 as part of a breakwater at Oyster Bay, B.C.

 

Ship's company photos          Photos and Documents

 

Canadian Naval Officer Took Surrender of the German Submarine U-968          HMCS Matane - A Remembrance Day Tribute by Grant Bailey

 

Paying Respect to an old Friend - WWII Vets pay a visit to the remains of HMCS Matane          Protecting the Sea Lane by Martin Bondy

 

Commanding Officers

LCdr Alan Herbert Easton, DSC, RCNR - 22 Oct 1943 - 03 Apr 1944

A/Cdr Arthur Frank Capel Layard, DSC, RN - 04 Apr 1944 - 26 Jul 1944

A/LCdr Francis William T. Lucas, RCNVR - 27 Jul 1944 - 19 Sep 1944

Lt J.M. Ruttan, RCNVR - 20 Sep 1944 - 03 Feb 1945

LCdr William Roland Stacey, RCNVR - 04 Feb 1945 - 28 Mar 1945

A/LCdr Francis James Jones, RCNVR - 29 Mar 1945 - 19 Jul 1945

LCdr Paul Dalrymple Taylor, RCNVR - 20 Jul 1945 - 27 Nov 1945

LCdr Charles Patrick Balfry, DSC, RCNR - dates unknown 

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

AUCOIN, Amedee Patrick

Sto PO, V25073, RCNVR

died - 15 Jun 1944   

AUCOIN, Paul Bert

Stwd, A1174, RCNR

DOW - 21 Jul 1944 

COLE, John Alvah

ERA 3c, V35441, RCNVR

DOW - 21 Jul 1944

LAING, John McGregor

L/Sto, V59271, RCNVR

killed - 20 Jul 1944

WATERHOUSE, Douglas R.

Sig, V51112, RCNVR

MPK - 21 Jul 1944

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Bailey, Ronald Merlin

1924-2015

Bondy, Martin

1924-2008

Buchanan, Robert Eldred

1926-2006

 

 

C-D

Coates, John Jeffrey

1919-2010

Cooke, Philip Chesshire Hamel

1919-2011

Cox, Peter S.

1921-2014

Dixon, (Bud)

____-____

 

E-F

Easton, Alan Herbert

1902-2001

Engstrom, Stanley Robert

____-2014

Ferguson, Larry

1924-1984

Fox, John Hamilton

1925-2006

 

G-H

Garvey, William David

1923-1981

Hardie, Alvin Archibald

____-2002

Henry, Richard Stuart

1926-2008

 

 

I-J

James, Percy Wilfred

1920-2011

Johnson, Oscar B.

____-2000

Johnston, Carl E.

____-1997

Jones-Francis, James

1914-2001

 

K-L

Lazich, Samuel J.

2935-1996

Leake, Douglas

1924-2014

Lundale, Robert Samuel

1924-2003

 

 

M-N

Mauro, Vic

1919-2016

Served in Matane 28 Oct 1944 - 22 May 1945 as a Signalman

McGuigan, Roland L.

1923-2017

Murduff, Charles Orville

1920-2013

 

 

O-P

Polinski, Dominic

1913-2002

 

 

 

 

S-T

Stacey, William Roland

____-1961

5th Commanding Officer

Stanyer, Francis Donald

1914-1961

Stevens, Harold

1920-1985

Served in Matane post war as Torpedo Coxswain

Swarbrick, Robert Anthony

1925-1999

Taylor, Bernard Kenneth

1925-2011

Taylor, Frederick Clement

1926-2012

Taylor, Paul Dalrymple

1910-1989

7th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

W-X

Whitlaw, James McGowan

1923-2010

 

 

 

 

 

U-Boats Sunk

U-311 (Kptlt Joachim Zander) sunk on 22 Apr 1944 by HMCS Swansea K328 and HMCS Matane K444 in position 52-09 N, 19-07 W. Of her crew of 51 there were no survivors.

 

Former Crew Members

Anton, John

 

Christie, Bob

 

Ducheneau, Hubert Powell, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Forrest, Alan, L/Torpedoman 

 

Giesler, Nig  

 

Griffin, Vincent Oswald, Lt (E), RCNVR - 16 May 1945

 

Hodgson, Stu

 

Hunt, Frederick Raymond, Lt, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1944

 

Jandras, Henry Lawrence, Lt (E), RCNVR - 08 Feb 1945

 

Jessiman, Tam

 

Layard, Arthur Frank Capel, A/Cdr - 22 Jan 1944

 

Lucas, Francis William (Bill), Lt, RCNVR - 17 Apr 1944

Martin, Bob  

 

MacDougal, "Mac"  

 

Massey, Edwin, PO

 

McGurk, "Mac"  

 

McNab, Edward Nelson, Lt (El), RCNVR - 15 Mar 1945

 

Lynch, William Peter, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Parish, William (Bill), Signalman  

 

Pettis, Roland  

 

Price, Rowland Herbert, Lt, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1944

 

Quist, Jack Ernest, Slt (El), RCNVR - Jan 1944

Rogers, Buck  

 

Ross, Lewis Burns, Paym/Lt, RCNVR - 05 Mar 1945

 

Scully, Danny  

 

Thompson, George Montgomery, Lt, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1945

 

Toban (Tobin), Gene (Jean), Yeoman

 

Tomlinson, Albert, Telegraphist

 

Travers, Junior  

 

Wilde, Don  

 

Wilson, "Flat Top"  

 

Young, Ron

 

Yuill, Red  

 

Photos and Documents

 

HMCS Matane jacket patch

From the collection of Harold Stevens

Courtesy of Rob Stevens

HMCS Matane's Mascot - Erffie

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

Ron Young with Erffie on HMCS Matane K444

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

Captain of HMCS Matane boards German U-boat

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

Roland Pettis and Junior Travers

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

Red Yuill and Larry Ferguson

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

Yeoman Gene Toban with Erffie

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

A few crew members of HMCS Matane

 

Front Row - Left to Right: Nig Giesler, Bob Martin, Bill Parish, Junior Travers, Danny Scully, Flat Top Wilson

 

Back Row - Left to Right: Buck Rogers, Don Wilde, Jean Tobin, Bob Christie, Tam Jessiman, Mac McGurk, Red Yuill, Larry Ferguson, Mac MacDougal, Roland Pettis

 

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

The surrender of the German U-boats

 

                    

 

From the collection of Ron Bailey

Courtesy of Grant Bailey

The photos below of HMCS Matane K444 are from the WW II photo collection of Albert Tomlinson who served as a Telegraphist on board HMCS Swansea K328. These photos were taken from Swansea during one of the two time frames where Matane and Swansea conducted Work-Ups off Halifax (29 Nov 43 - 08 Nov 43) or ASW training off Bermuda (08 Dec 43 - 23 Dec 43) together.

 

                       

 

 

Courtesy of Stephen Tomlinson, Lt, RCN

Headstone for Amedee Patrick Aucoin, Stoker Petty Officer, RCNVR, V25073, 15 June 1944, age 33.  Location: Derry City Cemetery, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Source: Findagrave.com

Amedee Patrick Aucoin, died 15 Jun 1944,  being buried at Londonderry Cemetery, Londonderry, Ireland.

Standing beside the priest is Amedee's best friend, Paul Bert Aucoin. Paul was killed on 21 Jul 1944 when HMCS Matane was hit by a glider bomb

Courtesy of Lisa Haverty

Officers of HMCS Matane K444 near Halifax, January 1944

LCdr Alan H. Easton in the light coloured pants

Also in photo (but not identified) Lt. Colin Carruthers

Photographer: Gilbert Milne

From the collection of Peter Cox

Courtesy of Gary Medford

LCdr Alan H. Easton smoking his pipe on the bridge of HMCS Matane K444

From the collection of Peter Cox

Courtesy of Gary Medford

LCdr Alan H. Easton, while in command of HMCS Matane, 1944

photo credit: LAC PA-206442

An unidentified sailor checking the stowage of depth charges at the stern of the frigate HMCS Matane in heavy seas off Bermuda.

Source: Lt Gilbert Alexander Milne / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-134326.

 

Webmaster's note: This sailor in this photo has been identified as Telegraphist Ron Bailey - the source is a Remembrance Day project posted by his son Grant Bailey

HMCS Matane list of causalities from the glider bomb attack on 02 Jul 1944

from the Hamilton Hamilton Spectator, May 29, 1945

Newspaper article on the glider bomb attack on HMCS Matane on 02 Jul 1944

from the Hamilton Hamilton Spectator, May 29, 1945

HMCS Matane K444 - date and location unknown

From the collection of Robert (Bob) Swarbrick

Courtesy of Bruce Swarbrick

Members of a boarding party from HMCS Matane, seen aboard U-968 , Loch Eriboll, Scotland, May 1945. U-968 surrendered at Narvik, Norway, and was transferred to Loch Eriboll, Scotland, and then later to Loch Ryan for Operation Deadlight

 

(L-R): Signalman William Parish, Lieutenant J.J. Coates, Petty Officer Edwin Massey

 

Source: WO Leslie F. Sheraton / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-191030

Christmas card from HMCS Matane

From the collection of Vic Mauro

Courtesy of Ken Mauro

Intercepted message to German U-boats

From the collection of Vic Mauro

Courtesy of Ken Mauro

Frederick Taylor (front right) with his shipmates on the jetty by HMCS Matane K444

From the collection of Frederick Taylor

Courtesy of Stacey Briscoe

Frederick Taylor (right) and his friend Steele

From the collection of Frederick Taylor

Courtesy of Stacey Briscoe

Click here to see the back of the photo

HMCS Matane K444 seen from HMCS Swansea K328

From the collection Harry Swanson

Courtesy of Jason Belanger

HMCS Matane Bell

This bell is not the ship's bell, but possibly a bell hung in the wardroom or outside of the mess decks to wake the crew

Courtesy of Ron Stevens

Stu Hodgson (left) and Vic Mauro after their visit to the remains of HMCS Matane in 2007. Stu served in HMCS Monnow

 

Courtesy of Ken Mauro

The hulk of the former HMCS Matane K444 at Oyster Bay, British Columbia circa 1960.

Published with permission of Grant Bailey


The final remains of HMCS Matane K444 at Oyster Bay, British Columbia.  These pictures are published with the permission of copyright owner CR Fransen.  Check out her page for an interesting read on the this wreck at Oyster Bay - Graveyard of the Canadian Navy

 

Ronald M. Bailey

 

Ron Bailey, was a Telegraphist who served aboard HMCS Matane in World War II.  Some of his photos of him time on HMCS Matane have been published here with permission of his son, Grant Bailey.

 

This is an excerpt from Grant Bailey's Remembrance Day project honouring his father's war service.

Arguably the most significant event in the life of the H.M.C.S. Matane is well detailed in my Dad’s scrapbook through pictures, officer's reports, and naval messages.  On May 13th, 1945 she set sail from Greenoch, Scotland to escort convoy JW67 to Murmansk, Russia.  On May 16th Coastal Command received a message from the Norwegian destroyer Stord stating “Have met German convoy steering 230 degrees speed 10 knots in Vestfjord consisting of 16 U-boats and 5 merchant ships.  They say they are routed Narvik to Trondheim.  Is this in order?”  Shortly thereafter, a message was received from Admiralty, “Captain (D)17th is to detach one escort group forthwith to intercept convoy of 16 German U-boats and 5 merchant ships reported in Vestfjord.  U-boats are to be escorted to Loch Eribol and merchant ships to be directed to Trondheim."

 

EG 9, including the Matane were split away from convoy JW67 and sent to intercept the subs.  Though hostilities in Europe had ended just days before, it was unclear what reaction the German U-boats would have to being intercepted.  As it turned out, there were 15 U-boats and five merchant ships.

 

Two of the merchant ships were quite notable, one being the Aviso Grille, Hitler’s one time personal yacht, and another being the Stella Polaris, a luxury Norwegian cruise ship that had been seized by the Germans in 1940.  The Germans surrendered peacefully.

 

Boarding parties were arranged and surrender terms were dictated to the German crews.  The Senior German Officer of the convoy was Captain Suhren (Iron Cross and Oak Leaf 39) who on request stated that he was Senior Officer Arctic and Barents Sea and that this was the last of his command.  Under orders of the German High Command he was withdrawing his Command from Narvik and proceeding to Trondheim.  The Canadian boarding officer from the Matane asked if the Senior German Officer had read and understood the terms of surrender and if his U-boat commanders also understood these terms.  Captain Suhren stated that all ammunition had been landed, no mines were carried, pistols were removed from all torpedoes and that Commanding Officers of the U-boats would comply with the terms of surrender.  He was then ordered to inform his U-boat commanders that if any attempted to scuttle or submerge, the boat would be destroyed and no mercy would be shown to the crew.  Captain Suhren was granted one last request.  He sent a final message to all of the U-boat commanders, “Farewell my U-boats, we have worked well together, don’t be downhearted.  Goodbye.  Suhren."

 

 

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