For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS ST FRANCIS I93

Former USS BANCROFT 256

HMCS St. Francis I93 after completing her conversion to a Long Range Escort between Jul and Oct 1941

Source: Robert Hurst navsource.org

 

Laid down: 04 Nov 1918

Launched: 21 Mar 1919

Commissioned: 30 Jun 1919

Transferred to RCN: 24 Sep 1940

Commissioned: 24 Sep 1940

Paid off: 11 Jun 1945

Fate: Sunk off Rhode Island on 14 Jul 1945

 

Commissioned on 30 Jun 1919 as USS Bancroft, her career almost exactly paralleled that of her sister, USS McCook, and she was turned over to the RCN at Halifax on the same day (24 Sep 1940), becoming HMCS St. Francis. HMCS St. Francis and it was refitted for escort duty. During the refit one boiler was removed to increase fuel capacity, the four inch deck guns were replaced with anti-aircraft weapons and the torpedo tubes were replaced with depth charge projectors. She spent the remainder of the year based at Halifax, and on 05 Nov 1940, searched for the Admiral Scheer following the latter's attack on convoy HX.84.  Ordered to Scotland, she left Halifax on 15 Jan 1941 for the Clyde where she joined the 4th Escort Group, January 26, 1941. May 20th she rescued survivors from the steamer Starcross, which had been torpedoed. In July 1941 St. Francis joined the Newfoundland Escort Force. Between 1941 and 1943 St. Francis escorted numerous Atlantic convoys and made several attacks on submarines. On completion of her refit in Apr 1943, she returned to MOEF, but by Nov 1943 was again urgently in need of repairs, which were carried out at Shelburne, N.S. In Feb 1944, she was allocated to HMCS Cornwallis as a training ship. On 01 Apr 1945 she was declared surplus and paid off on 11 Jun 1945. On July 14, 1945, she was under tow of the tug Peter Norman, and bound for Baltimore to be broken up for scrap. After passing through the Cape Cod Canal, the vessels encountered a thick fog, which enshrouded Buzzards Bay. Near the entrance to the bay the collier Windward Gulf collided with the old destroyer opening a hole in its hull. The Peter Norman tried to ground the destroyer, but it was taking on water too quickly and soon sank on an even keel in 60 feet of water approximately 2 miles off Acoaxet with no loss of life.

 

Commanding Officers

A/LCdr Hugh Francis Pullen, RCN - 24 Sep 1940 - 25 Aug 1941

Lt C.A. Rutherford, RCN - 26 Aug 1941 - 03 Jul 1942

LCdr Frank Creighton Smith, RCNR - 04 Jul 1942 - 17 Feb 1943

A/LCdr Harold Victor William Groos, RCN - 18 Feb 1943 - 15 Nov 1943

Lt Gordon Leslie MacKay, RCNR - 16 Nov 1943 - 27 Dec 1943

A/LCdr James Fraser Watson, RCNR - 17 Jan 1944 - 11 Oct 1944

Skpr/Lt C.C. Clattenburg, RCNR - 12 Oct 1944 - 12 Nov 1944

A/LCdr James Fraser Watson, RCNR - 13 Nov 1944 - 11 Jun 1945

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Audette, Louis de la Chesnaye

1907-1995

Served in St. Francis in 1941

Blinch, Harry C.

See HMCS Athabaskan G07

 

 

 

E-F

Ford, Douglas John

1917-1987

Drafted to St. Francis 28 Jul 1941 as Lt, RCNVR

 

 

 

 

G-H

Groos, Harold Victor William

1912-1987

4th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

 

M-N

McCoy, Mirrild E.

____-2000

Newman, Ernest M.

1916-1982

 

 

 

O-P

O'Byrne, Elmer

1922-2011

Pullen, Hugh, Francis

1905-1983

1st Commanding Officer

 

 

 

Q-R

Ricketts, Allen G.

1923-2007

Richmond, R.V.

____-____

Commissioning crew

Served in St Francis Sep 1940 - Aug 1942 as a Telegraphist.

 

 

 

S-T

Salkin, Michael C.

1918-2016

Served in St Francis as a CPO Shipwright

Shirlaw, James Douglas

1910-1987

 

 

 

Ship's Mascots

____-____

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Anderson, Andrew Holburn, Lt, RCNVR - 19 Feb 1945

 

Anderson, William Royce, Slt (E), RCNVR - 23 Feb 1944

 

Baker, Allan Aylesworth, Lt (E), RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Duffy, Joseph A., Skpr, RCNR - 28 Mar 1945

 

Durant, Frederick William Skpr/Lt, RCNR - Jan 1944

 

Fournier, Rod, Slt, RCNVR - 22 Feb 1944

 

Johnston, William David Falconer, Lt, RCNR - 26 May 1941

 

Lapointe, Joseph Louis Maurice, Slt, RCNVR - 12 Feb 1944 / 21 Feb 1944

MacKay, Gordn Leslie, Lt, RCNR - 03 Jun 1943

 

Masters, Robert David (Bob)  21 Oct 1944 - 27 Oct 1944

 

McCaffrey, George Frederick William, Slt (E), RCNVR - 29 Mar 1944

 

McLeish, John Alexander Fowler, Mate, RCNR - 23 Feb 1942

 

McMeans, Frederick Andrew, Lt (E), RCNVR - 12 Jul 1943

 

Nieustad, Pieter Cornelius, Lt (E), RCNR - Jan 1941

 

Roche, George Vanstone, Lt (E), RCNVR - 07 Apr 1943

Savard, Clement, Lt, RCN - 04 Jul 1942

 

Smith, Eric Claude, Slt, RCNVR - 15 Jul 1941

 

Smith, John Rankin, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 20 May 1941

 

Thomas, Ivor Rosser, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Wall, Thomas (Tommy) Wilson, Slt, RCN - 02 Mar 1943

 

Wheelock, Gordon Howard, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 06 Feb 1942

 

Williams, Robert Lyman, Lt, RCNVR - 02 Mar 1943

 

Wooley, John Thomas, Slt, RCNVR - 26 Jan 1942

 

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

Links

Personal photo gallery of Robert David Masters

Personal photo gallery of Douglas John Ford

Ship's company photos for HMCS St Francis

 

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