For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS ST LAURENT H83

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. In the summer of 1938, HMCS Skeena, HMCS Fraser, HMCS Saguenay and HMCS St. Laurent paid a port visit to San Diego as part of the spring training cruise. St Laurent 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.

 

Note: The two ship's badges from Designs of Distinction by David Freeman were both credited to HMCS St Laurent H83.

 

RCN Memories:     The sinking of U-845

 

Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos

 

Battle for Convoy BX-141          Battle for Convoy ONS-154          Interrogation of Survivors - U-845

 

Excerpts from a sailor's diary: 01 - 13 Jun 1944 - HMCS St Laurent off Normandie

 

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     

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

 

(t) - Survived the torpedoing of HMCS St Laurent on 01 Oct 1940

A-B

Allison, Albert Ernest

1913-1944

Bak, Boley Hubert

1915-2012

Bartram, Vincent James

1919-2005

Bennett, George Martin

1914-1988

Served in St Laurent 01 May 1937 - 08 Jul 1938 as Sto 1c, RCNVR

Bertrand, Laurent J.L.

1911-1944

Boileau, Joseph Phileas L.

MPK - 22 Oct 1940

while serving in

HMCS Margaree H49

Bond, Walter

1918-2009

Brighten, Victor Harry

1918-1944

Buchanan, John David

1922-2014

Byatt, Archie

1920-2017

Served in St Laurent in 1938-1939

C-D

Cairns, Elmer Crossley

1925-2011

Caldwell, Frank Birch

1914-2007

Served in St Laurent in 1940 as 1st Lt.

Carpenter, John Aeneas

1924-2018

Clark, Ernest Westall

1918-2000

Clarke, John James A.

1919-2015

Coates, John Jeffrey

1919-2010

Cox, Peter S.

1921-2014

Cross, R. Errol

Currie, George H.

Damon, Ronald Arthur

1922-2005

Davidson, John Cameron

1921-2008

DeWolf, Henry George

1903-2000

3rd Commanding Officer

Doherty, William J.

Doughtery, Jerome Garfield

1921-1944

Drake, Bert

____-1997

Drew, Malcolm

1918-2015

Dunbar, Hugh C.

____-____

 

 

 

E-F

Edwards, Ralph William

1919-2017

Farley, Reginald R.B. (t)

Ferris, Leonard Rowland

1921-2015

Fisher, C.Fred

____-____

Frewer, Frederick Charsley

1922-2004

G-H

Charlie Gilraine

____-____

Served in St Laurent during WW II

Gilraine, Francis Joseph

1922-2008

Gill, Leslie Francis

____-1988

Gordon, Hugh Warwick

1919-2010

Green, George Charles

1918-1995

Served in St Laurent in 1938 as Tel, RCNVR and 1940 as L/Tel, RCN

Grubb, Frederic Ernest

1910-1985

Drafted to St Laurent 21 Apr 1938 as Lt, RCN

Guest, Albert A.

____-1950

Hannan, William Freeman

1920-2006

Heycock, Selwyn Reese

MPK - 22 Oct 1940

while serving in

HMCS Margaree H49

Hicks, Clarence E.

1924-2012

Hope, Adrian Mitchell

1899-1962

2nd Commanding Officer

Hue, George Edward

___-1980

Hunter, Hubert James

1920-2011

Hunter, John David

1924-2008

Drafted to St Laurent 15 Jan 1944 as a SLt, RCNVR. Appointed to Lt, RCNVR 15 Feb 1945

Hutton, Jack

Served in 21 Apr 1938 - 13 Jun 1938 as a Sig, RCN

killed - 20 Sep 1943

while serving in

HMCS St Croix I81

Huxley, George Ambrose

1921-2016

 

 

 

 

K-L

Knight, Roland Bradley

1924-2007

Served in St Laurent 08 Jan 1942 - 27 May 1942

 

 

 

 

M-N

Mann, Clement Cecil Wallace

1911-2005

Mills, Ernest George

MPK - 29 Apr 1944

while serving in

HMCS Athabaskan

Mogensen, Frank

1920-1982

Serve in St Laurent 10 Dec 1941 - 08 Jul 1942 as a A/LS & A/PO, RCN

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

Parnell, George F.

Served in St Laurent 21 Apr 1938 - 07 Oct 1938 as a Sto 1c, RCN

killed - 20 Sep 1943

while serving in

HMCS St Croix I81

Parslow, Robert Frederick

1917-2010

Pattison, Ralph Reginald

1904-1972

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

Pramberg, Frank Carl

1923-1997

Served in St Laurent in 1942

Priske, Sydney Robert

Served in St Laurent 23 Nov 1939 - 22 Feb 1941 as an AB / LS, RCN

killed - 20 Sep 1943

while serving in

HMCS St Croix I81

Pullen, Hugh, Francis

1905-1983

7th Commanding Officer

 

 

Q-R

Rayner, Herbert Sharples

1911-1976

4th Commanding Officer

 

 

 

 

S-T

Sandham, Ernie, Signalman

1920-2007

Saxby, Arthur E.

Stephen, George Hay

____-1994

8th Commanding Officer

11th Commanding Officer

Thicke, Charles F.

Served in St Laurent 06 Jan 1942 - 08 Jul 1942 as a OS / AB, RCN

killed - 20 Sep 1943

while serving in

HMCS St Croix I81

 

U-V

Vaughan, Arnold

 

 

 

 

W-X

Wakeham, Gordon

1921-2012

Ward, Vernon M.

Wardell, Robert Franklin

1923-2003

Watson, Horace William

Served in St Laurent 31 Jul 1937 - 20 Apr 1938 as an OS, RCN

killed - 20 Sep 1943

while serving in

HMCS St Croix I81

Welland, Robert Philip

1918-2010

Warner, Frank A.

____-1995

Williams, David Anthony

c1909-1982

Windeyer, Guy Stanley

1901-1984

6th Commanding Officer

 

 

Y-Z

Yeadon, Robert Lawrence

Killed - 29 Apr 1944

While serving in

HMCS Athabaskan

Young, Thomas William

MPK - 13 Sep 1942

While serving in

HMCS Ottawa

 

 

 

Ship's Mascots

 

 

 

 

 

U-Boats Sunk

U-356 sunk on 27 Dec 1942 by HMCS St. Laurent H83, HMCS Chilliwack K131, HMCS Battleford K165, and HMCS Napanee K118 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

 

Farley, Norman, Stoker, RCNVR

 

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

 

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

 

Street, Lawrence

 

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

 

HMCS Cygnet H83 (later HMCS St Laurent H83)

New Canadian Destroyer Docks at Montreal Pier

Newspaper article on the arrival of HMCS St. Laurent at Montreal in 1937

Courtesy of Terry Pinnell

HMCS St. Laurent H83

From the collection of Glendon Oliver

Courtesy of Keith Oliver

Crossing the Line - HMCS St Laurent circa 1938

From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke

Courtesy of Eric Clarke

Gunnery and Torpedo Shoot - HMCS St Laurent circa 1938

From the collection of John James Ashworth Clarke

Courtesy of Eric Clarke

HMCS St Laurent H83, Esquimalt, 1939

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

HMCS St Laurent H83, Halifax, 1941

Photo taken from HMCS Baddeck K147

From the collection of Kenneth Medford, DSM

Courtesy of Gary Medford

"Another depth charge - we didn't get this sub"

HMCS St. Laurent conducts an attack on a U-boat

Gun Crew HMCS St. Laurent H83

Walter Bond

Commissioning Crew, HMCS St. Laurent, 1937

HMCS St. Laurent H83 - 1943

Source: Government of Nova Scotia Virtual Archives - H.F. Pullen NSARM accession no. 1984-573 Box 1 F/18

HMCS St. Laurent postcard by Edward Goodall

Courtesy Dave Clark

Newspaper article on article on the loss of Able Seaman Earl Huson

 The Ottawa Journal, 04 Dec 1940

Frank Pramberg on HMCS St Laurent - 1942

From the collection of Frank Pramberg

Courtesy of Edna Wiebe

HMCS St Laurent H83 - 1944

From the collection of Frank Gilraine

Courtesy of George Gilraine

HMCS St Laurent Knocks Out Fire and Sub In One Blow

The Winnipeg Evening Tribune 06 Jun 1944

Thomas Mosher on HMCS St. Laurent, Callao, Peru - date unknown

From the collection of Thomas Mosher

Courtesy of Gordon Rhymes

HMCS St Laurent H83 - location unknown

From the collection Harry Swanson

Courtesy of Jason Belanger

Lewis Hue (right) and brother George Hue (2nd from right) on George's ship - HMCS St Laurent H83.  The CPO and other PO in the photo are not known

From the collection of Lewis Hue

Courtesy of David Hue

Postcard - HMCS St Laurent H83 in Alcapoco, Mexico

From the collection of Lewis Hue

Courtesy of David Hue

HMCS St Laurent H83

From the collection of John Carpenter

Courtesy of Brian Carpenter

HMCS St Laurent H83

From the collection of John Carpenter

Courtesy of Brian Carpenter

QF 2-pdr pom pom on HMCS St Laurent H83  - circa late 1942 early 1943

From the collection of Robert Errol Cross

Courtesy of Penny Duncan

HMCS St Laurent H83 - date unknown

From the collection of R. Errol Cross

Courtesy of Penny Duncan

 

 

Photos from the collection of H.J. Simmons and John Carpenter

 

HMCS SASKATCHEWAN H70 or HMCS ST LAURENT H83

 

The photos here are from the collections of two sailors. It is known that H.J. Simmons served in HMCS Saskatchewan and it is known that John Carpenter served in HMCS ST Laurent. However, it is not known which ship these were taken from. Did both serve on the same ship at some point, or were they friends and shared photos.  

 

As it is not known which ship these were taken on - they have been included on the pages of both HMCS ST LAURENT and HMCS SASKATCHEWAN

 

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7

photo 8

(1-2) "Hands to Bathe"  (3) Sailors on the quarterdeck of ........ John Carpenter directly in front of 2nd man from left, back row  (4) Sailors on the quarterdeck of ..... John Carpenter directly in front of 2nd man from left, back row  (5) Crew members of .......  (6) Locals trying to sell goods to the crew of .......  (7) Looking aft on .......  (8) Unknown sailor on a gun mount on ....... 

photo 8

photo 9

photo 10

photo 11

photo 12

photo 13

photo 14

photo 15

 (8) Unknown sailor on a gun mount on .......  (9) Torpedo tube on .....  (10-11) Launching a torpedo from .......  (12) Recovering the torpedo  (13) Gun mount on  .......  (14) Sailors by the torpedo tubes on .....  (15) Sailor on after gun platform on .....

 

Webmaster's note:  above photos 2, 9, 12, 14 and 15 - were from the collection of John Carpenter.  There were included in this section as they appear to have been taken on a destroyer and some fit the sequence of photos that were identical

 

 

The photos below are from the collection of H.J. Simmons.  It is known he served in HMCS Saskatchewan H70 - and these photos were in a album which included his leave ticket while on HMCS Saskatchewan.  However, a number of his photos (above) are identical to those in the collection of John Carpenter.  It is known John served in HMCS St Laurent H83. While the photos below are not found in John's collection, there is reason to wonder if they were taken on/from Saskatchewan or St Laurent.

 

None of the photos from either sailors collection has their ship's name written on the back - so at this point, until these photos can be positively placed as being taken on one ship or the other, they will be included on the pages for both.

 

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7

photo 8

(1) Torpedo Party, 1944 Standing (L-R): Al Phillips, Jack Telfer, Dan Belyea, Frank Aldred, Alex Bell Kneeling (L-R): John Lawrie, Mark Ennis, Jack Simmons Background (Left) - QM Bill Shill  (2) Looking aft on .....  (3) Four crew members on .....  (4)  HMCS Saskatchewan H70  (5) Four crew members on .....  (6-7) Destroyers turning into formation. Photo taken from .....  (8) bow of .....

photo 9

photo 10

photo 11

photo 12

photo 13

photo 14

photo 15

photo 16

D-Day as seen from .....

(10) An explosion in the distance   (12) Ships going in - note the barrage balloons  (13) Ships at anchor - note the barrage balloons  (14) Unknown aircraft carrier and merchant ships  (16)King George V class battleship

photo 17

photo 18

photo 19

photo 20

photo 22

(17) H.J. (Jack) Simmons on ..... Jun 1944  (18) Life below decks on .....  (19) Three unknown crew members on .....  (20) An iceberg seen from .... (21) A convoy as seen from .....

 

From the collection of H.J. Simmons

Courtesy of RCSCC Bowmanville

 

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