HMCS MAX BERNAYS 432
Harry DeWolf Class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel
HMCS MAX BERNAYS, the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) is named after Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays, a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.
On August 6, 1942, during intense surface gun action against the German submarine U-210, HMCS Assiniboine maneuvered in and out of a fog attempting to ram and sink the enemy submarine. Both vessels were firing high explosive shells at very close range, resulting in a fire that engulfed the bridge and wheelhouse of Assiniboine. Surrounded by smoke and flames while steering the ship, CPO Bernays ordered two junior sailors to get clear, leaving him alone at the helm and trapped by the blaze. Besieged by flames, he executed all the helm orders as Assiniboine maneuvered for position against the U-boat, and did the work of the two telegraphmen, dispatching over 130 telegraph orders to the engine room. Several bullets and shells penetrated the wheelhouse as the enemy concentrated their machine-gun and cannon fire on the bridge. Eventually Assiniboine rammed and sank U-210 in what was considered to be an extremely hard-fought action, during which the Canadians suffered one fatality and 13 wounded. CPO Bernays was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal by the British Admiralty for his valour and dauntless devotion to duty during action. He was one of only two members of the RCN to receive the CGM during the Second World War.
Photos and Documents
(BG01) The future HMCS MAX BERNAYS at the Irving Shipyards, Halifax, with her center and stern mega blocks positioned for joining together - 25 Feb 2021. The forward mega block is under construction.
(BG02) The future HMCS MAX BERNAYS at the Irving Shipyards, Halifax, with her bow section mega block positioned for joining to the previously joined centre and stern blocks - 10 May 2021
(BG03) The future HMCS MAX BERNAYS at the Irving Shipyards, Halifax. The photo was taken 18 Oct 2021 - 5 days before she is to be floated up.
Courtesy of Barry Gerrard
The future HMCS MAX BERNAYS is floated up in Bedford Basin - 23 Oct 2021
Source/Credit: Irving Shipbuilding, Halifax, NS