HMCS AVALON

 

RCN BARRACKS ST. JOHN'S

 


 

Aerial view of HMCS AVALON, still under construction, looking south - circa 1942

Courtesy of Donald (Bud) Rose

Click on the above photo to view the full image

 

Originally designed as a temporary ocean escort base, during the course of the Second World War, St. Johnís, Newfoundland, evolved to become one of the most important bases in the Atlantic, second only to Halifax. All the RCN's wartime basses were sub-commands of Halifax with the exception of HMCS AVALON - her commanding officer held the title of Flag Officer Commanding. Along with repair facilities, work-ups training for ships, and recreational facilities for sailors, there were several training centres at HMCS AVALON - the Tactical Training Centre in St. Johnís contained the Anti-Submarine School, the Gunnery School, the Radar School and Loran (Long Range Aid to Navigation) School, plus a Night Escort Teacher.

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

Links - First Line of Defence

 


 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

ADIE, William C.

LSA, RCNVR

Killed - 12 Dec 1942

CAMPBELL, Lawrence

PO, RCNVR

died - 09 Mar 1944

MORRISSEY, Thomas J.

AB, RN

Died - 10 Aug 1944


Wilkie, Agnes W.

NS, RCN

Killed - 14 Oct 1942

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

RCN Hospital # 2 at Buckmaster's Field, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, NFLD, 1944

 

From the World War II collection of James Edward Lowe, Cook, RCN

 

Courtesy of Kathleen Lowe

 

Historical note:  Permanent Post War Construction verses Temporary War Time Construction - In the years 1942 / 43 discussions were held in St. John's Newfoundland between the Right Honorable Clement Atlee [Deputy Prime Minister to Sir Winston Churchill] and Secretary of the Dominions (the Nfld Commission of Government and the Government of Canada, represented by the Royal Canadian Navy), on the above captioned subject. Discussion priority was the need for certain buildings being built for the Navy, to be of a permanent construction. At the cession of hostilities, these structures were to be turned over to the NFLD Commission of Government. One such structure was the R C N Hospital #2.

 

The building in foreground is RCN Hospital #2. The white building in rear with open sundecks is the Tuberculosis Sanitarium built in 1917 (note the security fence). RCN Hospital #2 was located next to the T.B. Sanitarium, and at wars end became part of the T.B. Sanitarium. Death rate per-capita in NFLD from T.B. was double that of either Canada or Britain. By converting this facility to a sanitarium at wars end, doubled the capacity of the original sanitarium. It would exist until the early 1970 and was known as the "New San". Few pictures exist as the Sanitarium was located to the west of St. John's in a (rather remote) medically restricted area. Visitations were tightly supervised. Furthermore, the RCN Hospital was a military installation and pictures as such were forbidden.  (Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose)

Nurses Quarters and related facilities - RCN Hospital #1

 

The hospital was built a short distance away (left of photo) on Carvel Street next to the Nfld General Hospital. It was built as "Post War Permanent". At the cesson of hostilities, it became first fully orthopedic hospital in Nfld. The original hospital is now gone, and the 'Veteran's Pavilion' now occupies the site.

 

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

HMCS AVALON Fire Station

 

A part of the naval vehicle maintenance facility can be seen at the right rear of fire station. Both facilities were constructed as "Post War Permanent". This fire station continued to operate until Oct. 2014, having been turned over to the St. John's Fire Dept. in 1946. The RCN vehicle maintenance facility was turned over to the Nfld Government dept. of highways in 1946, Post War Permanent. Vacated in the 1970s by the Highways Dept. it was used for storage. This structure was remove shortly after the closing of the fire station in Oct. 2014.

 

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

RCN seamen's barracks (South Side Hills)

At center of photo, slightly to the left, is the Naval Armament Depot (N.A.D.)

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

Bldg. #17 - Wrens barracks at HMCS AVALON

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

Bldg. # 32  - YMCA Hostel which was built at HMCS AVALON in 1942.

Note the YMCA Red Triangle logo painted on the C M P vehicle. This vehicle was painted "Navy Blue" and was sold at 'Crown Assets' auction in 1950.

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

Entrance to nurse's quarters at RCN Hospital #1.

Courtesy of  /  Researched by Donald (Bud) Rose

Newspaper article on HMCS AVALON'S hockey team

The Crow's Nest newspaper - Apr 1944

Newspaper article on HMCS AVALON'S soccer team

The Crow's Nest newspaper - Nov 1944

Staff of HMCS AVALON sitting in front of the Pay Officer

 

Courtesy of the Naval Museum of Halifax

 



 

AW02

AW03

AW04

(AW02) Gordon Woods (left) and Art Wideman at HMCS AVALON - 1944

(AW03) Art Wideman (standing), other sailor unknown at HMCS AVALON

(AW04) 2 unknown sailors at HMCS AVALON

From the collection of Arthur (Art) Wideman, RCNVR

Courtesy of Maureen & Rod Murray

 



 

 

 

WT01

WT02

(WT01) St. John's harbour - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

(WT02) South Side Barracks, St. John's, Nfld - Jul 1945  // back of photo

 

 

WT03

WT04

WT05

WT06

WT07

(WT03) rear: Newbie, McNicol, Green, Robinson  //  front: Hovind, Stanbridge, Nicholson, Tennant - Barracks Guard, HMCS AVALON - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

(WT04) rear: Johnson, Caslic, Campbell, Bloomfield  //  front: Charlton, Stevenson, Hamstead, Cross & Pinky, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

(WT05) unknown sailor on duty at HMCS AVALON

(WT06) unknown (left), Campbell (right) on duty at HMCS AVALON

(WT07) rear: Robinson, McNicol, Hovind  // front: Newbie, Stanbridge, Nicholson, Green, Tennant - Barracks Guard, HMCS AVALON - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

 

 

WT08

WT09

WT10

 

(WT08) Soup Campbell - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

(WT09) "Soup" Campbell, "Hutch" Warral, "Lou" Tennant at Bowring Park, St. John's, Nfld - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

(WT10) Soup Campbell at Bowring Park, St. John's, Nfld - Jul 1945  //  back of photo

 

WT11

WT12

WT13

WT14

WT15

(WT11) HMCS AVALON Band, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945

(WT12) The Guard, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945  //  back of photo

(WT13) Royal Guard and Band in front of Wardroom, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945  //  back of photo

(WT14) Soup Campbell at Torbay, Nfld - Aug 1945  //  back of photo

(WT15) Soup Campbell riding a bike

 

WT16

WT17

WT18

WT19

(WT16-WT17) Wren Betty Harris on steps of YMCA, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945  //  back of 2nd photo

(WT18) Betty Harris in front of the parade square, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945  //  back of photo

(WT19) Betty Harris and William Tennant in front of the YMCA, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Aug 1945

 

 

WT20

WT21

 

(WT20) Soup Campbell on guard duty at HMCS AVALON

(WT21) Soup Campbell at HMCS AVALON

 

WT22

WT23

WT24

WT25

WT26

(WT22) Soup Campbell and Hutch on South Side Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945  //  back of photo

(WT23) Soup Campbell and William Tennant ( right) on South Side Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945

(WT24) Hutch and William Tennant ( right) on South Side Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945

(WT25) Hutch on South Side Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945

(WT26) Soup Campbell on South Side Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945

 

 

 

WT27

 

 

(WT27) Merchant ships in St. John's Harbour.  Same ships in the background behind Soup Campbell in WT26

 

WT28

2T29

WT30

WT31

WT32

(WT28) Soup Campbell on guard duty at HMCS AVALON

(WT29) Stuart, Campbell, Worrall, Hamstead & Pinky, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945  //  back of photo

(WT30) Campbell, Worrall, Tennant & Pinky

(WT31) rear: Stuart, Worrall, Campbell, Tennant  // front: Atwell, Hamstead & Pinky, HMCS AVALON, St. John's, Nfld - Sep 1945  //  back of photo

(WT32) Hutch, the day he got drafted to the SASKATCHEWAN - Sep 1945  //  back of photo

 

WT33

WT34

WT35

WT36

WT37

(WT33-WT34) Soup  Campbell in Bannerman Park, St. John's, Nfld - Oct 1945

(WT35) Soup Campbell in front of the monument in Bannerman Park, St. John's, Nfld - Oct 1945  //  back of photo

(WT36) Soup Campbell - " A sailor looking out to sea" - Oct 1945  //  back of photo

(WT37) Soup Campbell

 

 

WT38

WT39

 

(WT38) War Memorial St. John's, Nfld - Oct 1945  //  back of photo

(WT39) St. John's, Nfld - Oct 1945

 

 

WR40

WT41

 

(WT40) Blum, Hammy, Pinky on the main gate, HMCS AVALON - Nov 1945  //  back of photo

(WT41) Blum on the main gate at HMCS AVALON - Nov 1945

 

WT42

WT43

WT44

WT45

WT46

(WT42) Steve and Soup, Signal Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Nov 1945  //  back of photo

(WT43) Soup and Steve sitting on a cannon on Signal Hill, St. John's, Nfld

(WT44) Soup on Signal Hill, St. John's, Nfld - Nov 1945  //  back of photo

(WT45) Steve standing on a wall on Signal Hill, St. John's, Nfld

(WT46) Cannons on Signal Hill, St. John's, Nfld

 

WT47

WT48

 

(WT47) Hammy, Blum, Soup and Steve, HMCS AVALON - Dec 1945  //  back of photo

(WT48) Soup Campbell, HMCS AVALON - Dec 1945

 

WT49

WT50

WT51

WT52

WT53

(WT49) Bill Tennant, Stu, Hammy, Blum, St. John's, Nfld - Jan 1946  //  back of photo

(WT50) Bill Tennant, Soup, Blum, HMCS AVALON - Jan 1946  //  back of photo

(WT51) Soup, Hammy, Stu, Blum, HMCS AVALN - Jan 1946  //  back of photo

(WT52) Hammy, Blum, Stu, Soup, HMCS AVALON - Jan 1946  //  back of photo

(WT54) Bill Tennant, Blum, Stu, Soup - Jan 1946  // back of photo

 

 

 

WT54

 

 

(WT54) Soup Campbell on an unknown corvette

Webmaster's note:  This photo of Soup Campbell was included on the page for HMCS AVALON as he was a prominent individual in the photos of William Tennant and it is not known what ship he is on in this photo - if it was taken before or after his time at AVALON - or who the photographer was.

From the collection of William Tennant, RCNVR

Courtesy of Jim and Cathy MacDonald

 


 

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