For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS SARNIA J309 / 190

Then Turkish Naval Vessel Buyukdere (1958)

HMCS Sarnia J309

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1942-43,   Gulf of St. Lawrence  1942

 

 

Laid down: 18 Sep 1941

Launched: 21 Jan 1942

Commissioned: 13 Aug 1942

Decommissioned: 28 Oct 1945

Re-acquired by RCN: 1951

Transferred to the Turkish Navy: 29 Mar 1958

Paid off: 1972

Fate: Unknown

 

Commissioned at Toronto on 13 Aug 1942, Sarnia arrived at Halifax on 22 Sep 1942, having escorted a Quebec-Sydney convoy en route, and was assigned to Newfoundland Force. In Sep 1944, she underwent a major refit at Lunenburg, and on completion went to Bermuda in Nov 1944 to work up. On her return to Canada she was assigned to Halifax Force and, later, to Halifax Local Defence Force until Jun 1945. On 16 Apr 1945, she rescued survivors of HMCS Esquimalt, torpedoed outside Halifax. She then performed miscellaneous duties until paid off on 28 Oct 1945, at Sydney and laid up at Shelburne. In 1946 she was placed in strategic reserve at Sorel and in 1951 re-acquired by the RCN and extensively refitted. She did not re-commission, however, and on 29 Mar 1958 was transferred to the Turkish navy to serve until 1972 as Buyukdere.

 

The following was submitted by Liam Dwyer, PO ERA, HMCS Sarnia.

When we were operating out of St. John's, it was not unusual to sweep up to 12 to 15 mines in a patrol. We had both the paravane sweep and the electrical magnetic field sweep known as the LL Sweep. When we were in operating out of Newfie John you could cut the tension on the ship with a knife. One stoker PO sabotaged the steering hydraulics on the ship and was taken ashore under handcuffs by the Mounties; the Captain became a hopeless alcoholic and had to be taken off; and a seaman went nuts and thought he was some one else. When we did the LL Sweep I had to start up a big Allis-Chalmer diesel to supply electricity to a bladder with two electrodes on it. This bladder was paid out from the stern from a great spool of rubber coated wire. The sparking of the two electrodes would set up a magnetic field triggering the mechanism of the German mines tethered to the bottom the mine would surface and we would destroy it with gun fire. One time we had to bring a mine in for examination by a RN specialist. It broke loose from it's lashing and was free on the deck. The captain mustered all the crew forward of the bridge. Me, being junior ERA got stuck in the engine room with one oilier. (Webmaster's note: This is the oft forgotten part of the war - everyone has heard about the minesweeping operations for D-Day, but nothing is mentioned about the minesweeping off of Canada's shores and the hardships these sailors endured.)

 

The following was submitted by Lou Howard, Slt, HMCS Sarnia

The following officers were on HMCS Sarnia when she rescued the crew from HMCS Esquimalt - Lt. R. Douty, CO; Lt. Morris C. Shonfield, XO; Slt Pat Salter, E.O.;  Lt. Jack Cantril, Signals; Lt. Bill Brown, NavO; Lt. Doug Kirby, Asdic; Slt Lou Howard, bridge watch keeper (and took over from Brown and Kirby as Nav & Asdic)

 

Commanding Officers

Lt Charles Atkins Mott, RCNR - 13 Aug 1942 - 10 Feb 1943

Lt David Ireland McGill, RCNVR - 11 Feb 1943 - 17 Jul 1943

Lt Richard Cassels Chenoweth, RCNVR - 18 Jul 1943 - 1 Mar 1944

Lt Herbert Allan Plow, RCNVR - 13 Mar 1944 - 24 Jun 1944

Lt Roland Douglas Hurst, RCNVR - 25 Jun 1944 - 09 Oct 1944

Lt Robert Percy Joel Douty, RCNVR - 10 Oct 1944 - 21 Sep 1945

Lt D.M. Mossop, RCNVR - 22 Sep 1945 - 28 Oct 1945

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Ahern, Maurice F.

____-2015

Boggild, Kai Hugh

____-2002

Drafted to Sarnia 31 Jul 1943 as Slt, RCNVR

Brown, Bill

____-____

NavO on Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

 

 

C-D

Cantril, Frederick Earl John

____-2000

Signals Officer on Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

 

Douty, Robert Percy Joel

____-____

C.O. of Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt.

6th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

E-F

Finkbeiner, Howard

____-____

SBA (Tiffy) on Sarnia during the rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

Fraser, John Little

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 28 May 1945 as Lt (E), RCNVR.

French, Winston Oswald

____-1999

Drafted to Sarnia on 22 Mar 1944 as Lt, RCNVR

 

 

G-H

Henricksen, Christian John

____-2006

Hurst, Roland Douglas

____-____

5th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

I-J

Jandras, Henry Lawrence

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 30 Jun 1944 as Lt (E), RCNVR

 

 

 

 

K-L

Kinchen, George Arthur

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 15 Mar 1943 as Wt (E), RCNR

Kirby, Charles Douglas

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 26 Jan 1945 as Lt, RCNVR. ASDIC Officer on Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

Kirkland, Edwin Stanley

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 28 Feb 1943 as Slt, RCNVR

Loewen, Calvin (Cal)

1925-2006

 

M-N

Martin, Louis B.

____-2011

Was a PO ERA on Sarnia during the rescue to the crew from HMCS Esquimalt

McDougall, Leo Stephen

1922-2015

McMurray, Leonard Denison

____-2004

Drafted to Sarnia 15 Jun 1942 as Lt, RCNVR, Stand by

Moskos, Leo James

1925-2006

Mott, Charles Atkins

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 15 Jun 1942 as Lt, RCNR, CO, Stand by.

1st Commanding Officer

O-P

Pendergast, James Edward

1925-2011

 

 

 

 

Q-R

Robinson, James William David

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 14 Apr 1944 as Slt, RCNVR

 

 

 

 

S-T

Saint Louis, Joseph Albert

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 09 Mar 1944 as Lt, RCNVR

Salter, Albert Evans

____-1988

Drafted to Sarnia Jan 1945 as Slt (E), promoted to Lt (E) 26 Mar 1945. Engineering Officer on Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

Shonfield, Morris Conroy

1922-2013

XO on Sarnia during rescue of crew from HMCS Esquimalt

Stemmler, Leslie

____-2007

Stronach, Robert Warren

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 13 Mar 1943 as Slt, RCNVR

Townsend, Daniel Thomas

See HMCS Blairmore

Drafted to Sarnia 13 Sep 1942 as A/Wt (E), RCNR, Stand by

 

 

 

 

W-X

Walsh, Thomas Richard

____-____

Drafted to Sarnia 06 Jul 1943 as Slt (E), RCNVR. Promoted to Lt (E), RCNVR, 07 Apr 1944

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Dwyer, Liam, PO, ERA

Howard, Louis Henry, Slt, RCNVR - drafted to Sarnia Jan 1945

Simpson, Russell   

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

 

RCN Memories

Crew Member Purrfected Direction Finding

Sarnia Sails With WRENS .... And A Wife

The Picnic

 

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