For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS ST. LAURENT H83

Former HMS CYGNET

HMCS St. Laurent H83

Photo from the Flickr collection of Ron Bell


Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1939-45,   Normandy  1944

 

 

Laid down: 01 Dec 1930

Launched: 29 Sep 1931

Commissioned: 09 Apr 1932

Paid off:: 30 Sep 1936

Transferred to the RCN: 01 Feb 1937

Commissioned: 17 Feb 1937

Paid off: 10 Oct 1945

Fate: Broken up in 1947

 

HMS Cygnet was a C-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the early 1930s. After the ship commissioned on 09 Apr 1932, she was assigned to the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet. She spent a lot of time in dockyard hands during her first two years of service. She was repaired at Devonport in Nov 1932 - Jan 1933, Mar - May 1933, July - Aug 1933 and Nov 1933 - Jan 1934 before deploying to the West Indies with the Home Fleet between Jan and Mar 1934. The ship required more repairs upon her return in Apr - May 1934 and then a refit from 25 Jul to 31 Aug 1934. Cygnet was detached from the Home Fleet during the Abyssinian Crisis, and deployed in the Red Sea from Sep 1935 to Apr 1936. She returned to the UK in Apr 1936 and refitted at Devonport between 20 Apr and 18 June 1936 before resuming duty with the Home Fleet. In Jul - Aug 1936 she was deployed for patrol duties off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay to intercept shipping carrying contraband goods to Spain and to protect British-flagged shipping during the first stages of the Spanish Civil War. Together with her sister HMS Crescent, Cygnet was sold to Canada on 20 Oct 1936 for a total price of 400,000. She was refitted again to meet Canadian standards, including the installation of Type 124 ASDIC, and handed over on 01 Feb 1937. The ship was renamed as HMCS St. Laurent and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 17 Feb 1937. St. Laurent was assigned to Halifax, Nova Scotia and arrived there in May 1937. She remained there for a year before she was transferred to Esquimalt in 1938. She was stationed on the west coast of Canada when World War II began and shortly thereafter she returned to the east coast, arriving at Halifax on 15 Sep 1939, and for several months escorted convoys on the first leg of the transatlantic journey. St. Laurent left Halifax for the U.K. on 24 May 1940, and on arrival at Plymouth on 31 May 1940, was assigned to Western Approaches Command, playing a brief role in the evacuation of France. On 02 Jul 1940, she rescued 860 survivors of the torpedoed liner Arandora Star. She returned to Halifax on March 3, 1941, for refit, on completion of which she joined Newfoundland Command as a mid-ocean escort, serving continuously for the following three years. In Apr 1943, she became a member of EG C-1. During this period "Sally" assisted in the destruction of two U-boats: U 356 on 27 Dec 1942, while escorting convoy ONS.154; and U 845 on 10 Mar 1944, while with convoy SC.154. In May 1944, she was transferred to EG 11 for invasion duties, remaining with the group on patrol and support duties until the end of Nov 1944, when she returned to Canada for major repairs at Shelburne, N.S. She afterward remained in Canadian waters as a member of Halifax Force and after VE-Day was employed in transporting troops from Newfoundland to Canada. Paid off on 10 Oct 1945, she was broken up at Sydney, NS, in 1947.

 

Commanding Officers

LCdr Roger Edward Shelford Bidwell, RCN - 17 Feb 1937 - 07 Dec 1937

LCdr Adrian Mitchell Hope, RCN - 08 Dec 1937 - 05 Oct 1939

LCdr Henry George DeWolf, RCN - 06 Oct 1939 - 13 Jul 1940

Lt Herbert Sharples Rayner, DSC, RCN - 14 Jul 1940 - 18 Feb 1942

LCdr Edgar Lorne Armstrong, RCN - 19 Feb 1942 - 13 Nov 1942

LCdr Guy Stanley.Windeyer, RCN - 14 Nov 1942 - 19 Jan 1943

Cdr Hugh Francis Pullen, RCN - 20 Jan 1943 - 12 Mar 1943

LCdr George Hay Stephen, DSC, RCNR - 13 Mar 1943 - 14 Apr 1944

LCdr Angus George Boulton, RCNVR - 14 Apr 1944 - 07 Nov 1944

Lt M.G. Stirling, RCN - 08 Nov 1944 - 07 Apr 1945

LCdr George Hay Stephen, DSC, OBE, RCNR - 08 Apr 1945 - 10 Oct 1945

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

HUSON, Earl Frederick Davis

AB, V6337, RCNVR

died - 23 Nov 1940 

MOORE, Robert

Tel, D/JX 341846, RN

DOW - 30 Mar 1943

ROBERTS, Alexander Wark

AB, V22471, RCNVR

MPK - 01 Feb 1944 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Bak, Boley Hubert

1915-2012

Bartram, Vincent James

1919-2005

Bond, Walter

1918-2009

Buchanan, John David

1922-2014

 

C-D

Cairns, Elmer Crossley

1925-2011

Caldwell, Frank Birch

1914-2007

Served in St Laurent in 1940 as 1st Lt.

Clarke, John James Ashworth

1919-2015

Coates, John Jeffrey

1919-2010

Cox, Peter S.

1921-2014

Damon, Ronald Arthur

1922-2005

Davidson, John Cameron

1921-2008

DeWolf, Henry George

1903-2000

3rd Commanding Officer

Drew, Malcolm

1918-2015

Dunbar, Hugh C.

____-____

E-F

Ferris, Leonard Rowland

1921-2015

Frewer, Frederick Charsley

1922-2004

 

 

 

G-H

Charlie Gilraine

____-____

Served in St Laurent during WW II

Gilraine, Francis Joseph

1922-2008

Served in St Laurent during WW II

Gordon, Hugh Warwick

1919-2010

Guest, Albert A.

____-1950

Hicks, Clarence E.

1924-2012

Hope, Adrian Mitchell

1899-1962

2nd Commanding Officer

Hunter, Hubert James

1920-2011

 

 

 

M-N

Mann, Clement Cecil Wallace

1911-2005

Mills, Ernest George

See HMCS Athabaskan G07

Mosher, Thomas G.

1912-1961

New, Gerald Ashfield

1920-2013

Nixon, Charles Patrick

1917-2008

Served in St Laurent 1939-1942 as Slt, RCN, then Lt, RCN, XO

O-P

Parslow, Robert Frederick

1917-2010

Phillips, Raymond

1921-2014

Served in St. Laurent in 1941 as Slt, RCN

Porteous, William Walter

1902-1969

Served in St. Laurent in 1937 as Engineering Officer

Pullen, Hugh, Francis

1905-1983

7th Commanding Officer

 

S-T

Sandham, Ernie, Signalman

1920-2007

Stephen, George Hay

____-1994

8th Commanding Officer

11th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

U-V

Vaughan, Arnold

____-1989

 

 

 

 

W-X

Wakeham, Gordon

1921-2012

Welland, Robert Philip

1918-2010

Windeyer, Guy Stanley

1901-1984

6th Commanding Officer

 

 

Y-Z

Young, Thomas William

See HMCS Ottawa

 

 

 

 

 

U-Boats Sunk

U-356 sunk on 27 Dec 1942 by HMCS St. Laurent H83, HMCS Chilliwack K131, HMCS Battleford K165, HMCS Napanee K118 and HMCS Saint John K456 in position 45-30 N, 25-40 W

U-845 (Korvkpt Werner Weber) a type IXC-40 U-boat, sunk on 10 Mar 1944 by HMCS St. Laurent H83, HMCS Owen Sound K340, HMCS Swansea K328 and HMS Forester in the North Atlantic at position 48-20N 20-33W. Of her crew of 56 there were 45 survivors.

 

Former Crew Members

Adams, Kenneth (Ken) Frederick, LCdr, RCN - 17 Feb 1937

 

Angus, David, Lt (T), RCNVR - 01 Apr 1941

 

Arber, Sidney Roy, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 02 Jun 1941

 

Atwell, Bill, ERA - 1942

 

Balfour, St. Clair, Lt, RCNVR - 10 Mar 1941

 

Bourne, John Desmond, Slt (E), RCNVR - 07 Mar 1945

 

Brainerd, Thomas Chalmers, LCdr, RCNVR - 17 Feb 1945

 

Brown, William Gould, LCdr (E), RCNVR - 08 Feb 1943

 

Bryant, James Allison, LCdr (T), RCNVR - 09 Mar 1945

 

Burgess, Basil Arthur Slt (E), RCNVR - 14 Apr 1944

 

Byers, Phillip Taber, Slt, RCNVR - 17 May 1941

 

Caldwell, Frank Birch, Lt, RCN - 18 Apr 1940

 

Carruthers, Harvey, Lt (E), RCNVR - 19 Feb 1945

 

Clarke, Alfred William, Wt (E), RCN - 06 Mar 1937

 

Davies, Lewis Thomas, Lt, RCNR - 10 Feb 1943

Edwards, Ralph, E.R.A. - 1942

 

Flemming, Eric Rayland, Paym/Lt, RCNR - 14 Apr 1944

 

Fraser, Hugh Wellington, Lt, RCNVR - 03 Jul 1942

 

Freeman, Arthur George, Gnr (T), RCN - 17 Feb 1937

 

Gibson, James William, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 03 Jun 1943

 

Grubb, Frederick Ernest, Lt, RCN - 21 Apr 1938 

 

Haddon, Philip Edwin, Lt, RCN - 17 Feb 1937

 

Hay, James MacMurry, Slt, RCNVR - 29 Jul 1942

 

Hodgkin, William Leonard, A/Gnr, RCN - Jan 1945

 

Inglis, Keith, ERA. - 1942

 

Jackson, Reginald (Cowboy), Lt, RCNVR - 12 Apr 1940

 

McDowell, Sammie, ERA - 1942

 

McKeever, Archibald, Lt, RCNVR - 23 Feb 1943

 

McMaster, Samuel, Lt (E), RCN - 21 Apr 1938

 

Meagher, Kevin Joseph, A/Paym, LCdr, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Mitchell, James Evelyn, A/Lt, RCNVR - 19 Feb 1940

Moore, John Brenton, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Piggott, Jean Jaques (Jock), Slt (E), RCNVR - 12 Apr 1941 / 21 Apr 1941 / Lt, E.O., RCNVR - Jan 1942

 

Porteous, William Walter, LCdr (E), RCN - 01 Feb 1937

 (Stand by) / 17 Feb 1937

 

Reid, Donald Thorburn, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Jun 1945

 

Robb, James Preston, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 27 Jul 1942

 

Ross, Jack, E.R.A. - 1942

 

Scovil, Henry Evelyn Derrick, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Stirling, Michael Grote, Slt, RCN - 21 Apr 1938

 

Swain, Robert Francis, Lt (E), RCNR - 01 Jun 1941

 

Telfer, Russel Bertrand, Lt, RCNVR - 07 May 1945

 

Turner, Anthony Aubrey, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Jul 1944

 

Webber, Reginal Amand, Lt, RCN - 17 Feb 1937

 

Welland, Robert (Bob) Phillip, Slt, RCN - 06 Mar 1940

 

Wilson, Dick, E.R.A. - 1942

 

Wilson, Thomas Victor, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944

 

Photos and Documents

 

RCN Memories

The sinking of U-845

 

Links

Battle for Convoy BX-141

Battle for Convoy ONS-154

Interrogation of Survivors - U-845

Personal photo gallery of Francis Gilraine

Personal photo gallery of John James Ashworth Clarke

Personal photo gallery of Thomas G. Mosher

The Battle for ONS 154

 

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