For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS SAGUENAY H03 / D79 / I79

HMCS Saguenay D79

Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1939-45

 

 

Launched: 11 Jul 1930

Commissioned: 21 May 1931

Paid off: 30 Jul 1945

Fate: Broken in 1946

 

Saguenay and her sister, Skeena, were the first ships built for the RCN. Saguenay was built by Thornycraft, England for the cost of £670,000. Her hull was strengthened to withstand ice pressure which made her ideal for deployments in Newfoundland waters. She was commissioned on 22 May 1931, at Portsmouth and made her maiden arrival at Halifax on 03 Jul 1931. On 05 Jan 1935, HMCS Skeena and HMCS Vancouver departed Esquimalt for exercises in the Kingston, Jamaica area with HMCS Champlain and HMCS Saguenay. In Jan 1938, Saguenay once again sailed south on a Spring Cruise with port visits at in Bermuda; Puerto Culebra, Costa Rica; Talara, Peru; Acapulco, Mexico; and Panama. With the outbreak of the Second World War she escorted local convoys until late Sep 1939, when she was assigned to the America and West Indies Station, and based at Kingston, Jamaica. On 23 Oct 1939, in the Yucatan Channel, she intercepted the German tanker Emmy Friederich, which scuttled herself. She returned to Halifax in mid-Dec 1939 to resume local escort duty until 16 Oct 1940, when she sailed for the U.K. to join EG 10, Greenock. On 01 Dec 1940, while escorting convoy HG.47, she was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Argo 300 miles west of Ireland. With her bows wrecked and 21 dead, Saguenay made Barrow-in-Furness largely under her own power, and was under repairs until 22 May 1941. She left Greenock on 23 May 1941, and arrived on 07 Jun 1941 at St. John's, where she joined the NEF, which was then forming. From Jun 1941 to Jan 1942 she escorted convoys to Iceland. From Jan 1942 to Jun 1942 she was assigned to WS convoys.

 

[Historical note: WS convoys were iron ore carriers traveling between Bell Island (located in Conception Bay Nfld - just north of St. John's) and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Dominion Oil and Steel Company (DOSCO) at Sydney, Cape Breton, NS, owned the iron ore mines on Bell Island at Wabana, and the Steel Mills at Sydney NS. At that time they were producing one third of Canada's total steel output. Prior to the WW II, Germany was their biggest foreign customer for iron ore. The letters 'W' (for Wabana) and 'S' (for Sydney) were assigned to convoys between the two locations.]

 

From 19 Apr 1942 to 02 Nov 1942 she was assigned to the Newfie - Derry run (convoys from St. John's, NFLD to Londonderry, Ireland). During the months of Sep - Nov 1942, U-boat activity increased off Newfoundland. On 04 Sep 1942 a U-boat sank 2 ore carriers at their loading docks at Wabana. On 14 Oct 1942, the ferry Caribou was sunk with the loss of 137 lives. On 02 Nov 1942 (in broad daylight) 2 more ore carriers were sunk at the moorings at Bell Island and the ore carrier PML27 was torpedoed shortly after leaving Bell Island. With the increase in sinkings, an increase in escort vessels was made to the WS convoys and Saguenay was re-assigned to the WS convoys. On 15 Nov 1942 HMCS Saguenay was escorting convoy WS13. At a distance of approximately 12 miles South of St. John's and 50 miles South East of Cape Spare, HMCS Saguenay was struck in the stern by the freighter SS Azra. Depth charges from HMCS Saguenay were dislodged overboard and exploded beneath both ships. The Saguenay had her stern blown off and the Azar her bow. Damage to the Azar was sufficient to cause her to sink at the site. The Saguenay stayed afloat and took Azar's crew members onboard. The collision occurred within sight of Cape Spear near the entrance to St. John's harbour and the naval command center at HMCS Avalon dispatched an RCN Tug (possibly W 47) to tow the damaged Saguenay to the graving dock in St. John's harbour. Once in the graving dock, the stern was sealed to enable the ship to be towed to the ship yards at Saint John, N.B.. After further repairs at Saint John, N.B., she was then taken to Cornwallis in Oct 1943, to serve as a training ship. Paid off 30 Jul 1945, she was sold for scrap in 1945 to International Iron and Metal in Hamilton, Ontario and was broken up in 1946. (note: another ref has her sold on 17 Jul 1948 and broken up.)

 

Commanding Officers

Cdr Percy Walter Nelles, RCN - 22 May 1931 - 06 Jun 1932

Cdr Leonard Warren Murray, RCN - 07 Jun 1932 - 22 May 1934 (D79)

Cdr Ronald Ian Agnew, RCN - 23 May 1934 - 05 May 1936

Cdr William James Robert Beech, RCN - 06 May 1936 - 29 Jun 1938

LCdr Frank Llewellyn Houghton, RCN - 30 Jun 1938 - 07 Jul 1939

LCdr G.R. Miles, RCN - 08 Jul 1939 - 21 Apr 1941

Lt Phillip Edwin Haddon, RCN - 22 Apr 1941 - 07 Apr 1942

A/Cdr Dickson Carlisle Wallace, RCNR - 08 Apr 1942 - 14 Jan 1943

Lt John William McDowall, RCN - 15 Jan 1943 - 11 Mar 1943

Lt J.H. Ewart, RCNVR - 14 Oct 1943 - 17 May 1944

Lt Wesley Coburn Hawkins, RCNVR - 18 May 1944 - 06 Oct 1944 (I79)

A/Lt William Errol Hughson, RCNVR - 07 Oct 1944 - 15 Apr 1945

Lt Keith Peter Blanche, RCNVR - 16 Apr 1945 - 30 Jul 1945

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

BAKER, William Stych

OS, V5561, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

BENNETT, Harry MacDonald

AB, 3519, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

BROWN, Paul Albert

AB, 3119, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

COOK, Albert Carlton

OS, V7669, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

COWLING, Oliver

OS, V5657, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

DOIRON, Elmer Joseph

OS, V1213, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

DOUGAN, Harold Edward

OS, V1271 RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

GORING, William

AB, V5796, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

GOUGEON, Joseph Roger

AB, 3479, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

HARE, Harvey William

AB, V227, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

LE GARE, Hector

AB, A2084, RCNR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

LYNCH, Budd Frederick

A/Victualling PO, 40613, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

MAZIERE, George

AB, V5309, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

MORRISON, David Adamson

OS, V7587, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

PURVIS, Henry

OS, 3585, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

ROSS, Duncan Boston

Lt (E), RCNVR

MPK - 15 Nov 1942 

SHEPPARD, Henry J.

AB, 2996, RCN

MPK - 01 Dec 1940 

SPENCER, Frederick

OS, V16051, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

STRICKLAND, Stanley George

AB, A1657, RCNR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

SWEENEY, Charles Henry

LS, 2164, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

TWEEDIE, John Samuel David Dickson

OS, V7417, RCNVR

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

TYNDALL, William David

OS, 3607, RCN

killed - 01 Dec 1940 

 

 

 

 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Albion, Thomas Grimshaw

1920-2006

Anderson, Harold

1920-2008

Audette, Louis de la Chesnaye

1907-1995

Drafted to Saguenay I79 on 17 Jul 1940 as A/Lt, RCNVR, Gunnery Officer

Bernard, Pierre

1918-2015

Blinkhorn, William

1922-2008

Bond, Walter

1918-2009

Bryson, Weldon Parker

____-____

Served in Saguenay in 1936 as Chief Stoker

Budge, Patrick David

1904-1998

Drafted to Saguenay on 03 May 1936 as Gnr (T), RCN

 

 

C-D

Caldwell, Frank Birch

1914-2007

Served in Saguenay in 1939 as Lt, RCN

Chipman, William Pennock

____-2009

Clark, Roland

____-2015

Dafoe, Clarence Frederick

1918-2004

Dennison, Foster Keith

1922-2008

Déry, Stanislas

1912-2001

Dowling, Archibald William

1909-1992

Dowling, Herbert Edward

1907-1978

DRAPER, Herbert Lorimer

killed - 21 Jul 1943

see HMCS The Pas

Dunbar, Hugh C.

____-____

Dyer, Kenneth Lloyd

1915-2000

Served in Saguenay in 1938 as Lt, RCN

 

 

 

 

E-F

Ewart, John Hamilton

1911-1979

Drafted to Saguenay 24 Aug 1943 Lt, RCNVR, Addl.

10th Commanding Officer

Fell, John Atkinson

____-____

Ferris, Leonard Rowland

1921-2015

Was on Saguenay when she was torpedoed 01 Dec 1940

Freeman, Russell

____-2017

Froats, Donald MacRae

See HMCS Ottawa

G-H

Grant, Harold Taylor Wood

1899-1965

Haslan, Frederick J.

____-2004

Hope, Adrian Mitchell

1899-1962

Served in Saguenay in 1931 as LCdr, RCN

Houghton, Frank Llewellyn

1897-1981

5th Commanding Officer

Hughson, William Errol

____-2007

12th Commanding Officer

I-J

Ireland, Stanley A.

____-1936

Johnson, Ira Freeman

1919-1984

 

 

 

K-L

Keeler, Morton

____-1995

Keep, John Percy

1921-1973

Kelly, Fraser Jellett

1885-1942

Kelly, John Richard

See HMCS Fraser

Kingsley, Harry

1900-1976

Served in Saguenay as LCdr

Kirkpatrick, James Ralph Hilborn

____-1997

Lambert, Joseph Frederick

1919-2016

Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay

Lane, Robert L.

1920-201

Levens, Reginald

____-____

Lipton, John Francis

1919-2014

Wounded when Saguenay was torpedoed 

Little, Vernon Earle

1924-1979

 

 

 

 

M-N

Mainguy, Edmond Rollo

1901-1979

Served in Saguenay in 1934 as 1st Lt.

McMahon, Johnston Alsenas

1923-2014

Miles, George Ralph

1902-1951

Drafted to Saguenay D79 on 07 May 1936 as LCdr, RCN

Mosher, Thomas G.

1912-1961

Murray, Leonard Warren

1896-1971

2nd Commanding Officer

O-P

Perdue, Joseph Henry

1921-2017

Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay

Piers, Desmond William

1913-2005

Porteous, William Walter

1902-1969

Served in Saguenay in 1934 as Engineering Officer

Powell, Joseph Henry

____-1950

Pullen, Hugh, Francis

1905-1983

Drafted to Saguenay on 30 Jun 1936 as Lt, RCN, Gunnery Officer

Pulley, John

____-1933

 

 

 

 

Q-R

Reinhart, Edgar Frank

1919-2012

Robertson, Owen Conner Struan

1907-1994

Served in Saguenay in 1932 as NavO

Rollinson, Frederick M.

____-1950

 

 

S-T

Senior, James Albert

1907-1976

Served in Saguenay Jun 1933 - Dec 1935 as L/Sto, RCN and Jun 1936 - Jul 1939 as Sto P.O., RCN

Shellnutt, Ernest George

1920-2015

Stone, George Alfred

1921-2007

Strugnell, Roger William

1924-2007

Taylor, George Wilfred

1920-2016

Taylor, Hugh

1920-2005

Was a LS on Saguenay when she was torpedoed on 01 Dec 1940

Tizard, John

1918-1987

 

 

 

W-X

Waller, James

1917-1973

Was on Saguenay when she was torpedoed on 01 Dec 1940

Watkins, Harry

See HMCS Margaree

Webber, Reginald Amand

1929-1968

 

 

Y-Z

Young, Thomas William

See HMCS Ottawa

Was on Saguenay when she was torpedoed on 01 Dec 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Allen, Douglas Haig, Sto - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Archibald,, Godfrey Thomas Alfred Sissener, Lt, RCNVR - 26 May 1942

 

Beck, William, War (E), RCNR - 05 Feb 1945

 

Bidwell, Rogeer Edward Shelford, LCdr (T), RCN - 23 May 1932

 

Blais, Joseph Daniel Albert, A/Paym/Lt, RCNVR - 08 Jul 1940

 

Branch, Charles C/Sto - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Brooking, William, CERA - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Browne, Lt, Submarine Detecting Officer - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Buckley, AB - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Campbell, Torpedoman - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Carson, William, Sto PO - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Charrier, Georges Joseph 

 

Clarke, Herbert - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Cooper, Rex Harrop, Lt, RCNVR - 02 Jul 1942

 

Curry, Angus Downey Mathwin, Cdr, RCN - Jan 1933

 

Davidson, Geoffrey Huntley, Lt, RCN - 17 Apr 1940

 

Dryer, Kenneth (Ken) Lloyd, Slt, RCN - 01 Jun 1938

 

Finter, Lloyd - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Francois, John Eugene, Lt, RCNR - 26 May 1942

Gardiner, William Douglas Haig, Slt, RCNVR - 10 Apr 1942

 

Gearing, Dan, Torpedoman - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Godfrey, Valentine (Val) Stuart, LCdr, RCN - 22 May 1931

 

Grant, Harold Taylor Wood, LCdr, RCN - 22 May 1931

 

Hancock, John, LS - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Hansen, Jack Henry, Midshipman, RCNR - 23 May 1940

 

Hart, Robert Shaw, Lt, RCNVR - 05 Mar 1942

 

Hope, Adrian Mitchell (Bommer), LCdr, RCN - 03 Apr 1931 (Stand by) / 22 May 1931

 

Howe, Lawrence, L/Sto - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Jefferson, Frank Harvey, Cdr (E), RCN - 22 May 1931

 

Leal, Reginald, PO - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Learmonth, Charles Mohn, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 06 Apr 1942

 

MacDonnell, Malcolm M. - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Martin, Victor 

 

McCullough, Eddie, Sto - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

McDowall, John William, Lt, RCN - 26 May 1942

 

McEuen, Charles Stuart, Surg LCdr, RCNVR - 28 Jul 1941

 

Moen, Arlo Maitland Marcel, Radio Operator

 

Moffat, William Purves, Lt, RCNVR - 12 Mar 1940

 

Moore, Dinty - 1938

Myers, J.F., LS - 1940  (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Nieuwstad, Pieter Cornelius, Lt (E), RCNR - Jan 1942

 

Owsianski, C., Sto - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Paterson, George Alexander, A/Wt (E), RCN - 16 Apr 1943

 

Pierce, D., AB - Dec 1940

 

Protheroe, George Edward, Gnr (T), RCN - 27 May 1940

 

Robbins, Joseph C (Ginger), PO - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Roberts, John (Johnny) William, Slt, RCN - Jan 1942

 

Rye, Harold, PO (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Saunders, Cook's Assistant - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Savory, John Alfred, Lt (E), RCNVR - 05 Feb 1943

 

Schurman, Percy (Tiny), Sto PO - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Sherlock, F.M. - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Shilston, George, Gnr (T), RCN - 22 May 1931

 

Spencer, Brian Roff, Lt (E), RCN - 15 Mar 1932

 

Tisdale, Ernest Patrick (Pat), Lt (G), RCN - 20 Jun 1934

 

Tulk, Augustus, Lt (E), RCNR - 14 Feb 1944

 

Uss, L/Tel - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Walkley, James, Sto PO - 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Warwick, Ralph Berton, Lt, RCNVR - 15 Feb 1940

 

Williams, Richard, PO, RCN - 1940

 

Wright, Harold Hutchins, Lt (E), RCNVR - 07 May 1940 (Survived the torpedoing of Saguenay)

 

Photos and Documents

 

RCN Memories

In memory of a veteran - John Francis Lipton, DSM

 

Links

HMCS Saguenay provides the Royal Guard at the Unveiling of the Vimy Memorial, 1936

Personal photo gallery of Ira Freeman Johnson

Personal photo gallery of James Albert Senior

Personal photo gallery of Stanislas Déry

Personal photo gallery of Thomas G. Mosher

Personal photo gallery of Vernon E. Little

The Memory Project - Arlo M. Moen

The Memory Project - Georges Joseph Charrier

 

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