SHIPMATES

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If you would like to be listed on this page, please contact Jerry Proc, e-mail: jerry.proc@sympatico.ca and supply any information, comments or a story about your years of service aboard ATHABASKAN 219. Please indicate clearly, that you are former 219 crew since I am also the web master for many other ships.

In addition, Records of Service can be obtained from Library and Archives Canada at the following address:

Personnel Records Unit
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N3

All the necessary instructions are listed on the web page.
Toll free 1-866-578-7777 (Canada and U.S.A)
Fax:     (613) 947-8456

For further details, visit the Library and Archives Canada web page:
 

Application Form For Record of Service 



Allard , Maurice ( Moe) ABWU1
 

I served on board the Athabaskan 219 from April 1963 to September 1964. Picked her up in Sorel Quebec and worked on her for the time of the refit, then we sailed her back to Halifax. Spent some of my best times on the Athabee with one my best friends Ron Comeau. We sailed her from Halifax to the Azores then on to Holland, and England.. While in Amsterdam, a painter produced paintings of the Athabaskan and Algonquin 224. I bought the one of the Athabee.

On one trip across the Atlantic, we had to put into port in Ireland because HMCS Bonaventure ran into us while refueling at sea. We had lots of fun while in Ireland. One of the ships officers had a small motor bike. I fixed it for him so he let me ride it when we were in Ireland. Ron and I drove all over the island.

I was on board March 1st when we saved 34 seamen from the sinking ship the Amphialos. Unfortunately the oldest and the youngest seamen died. Then one day, while tied up alongside the dock in Dartmouth, I was walking down the wharf to go riding on my Triumph Bonneville 650, when I was hit from behind by a car that was driven by a Leading Seamen from the ship. He broke my leg in four places. I was taken to the hospital at Stadacona and that was the last time I was aboard the Athabee.

I now live in Hawkesbury Ont, married with 3 kids and 7 grandkids. Still miss the days of the Athabee. We were all young and foolish, but we had fun. I would do it over again if I had the chance.

Please contact me at:  theeastcoast(at)yahoo.com
 

Banks, Terence ABHM

I was on the Iroquois 217 in 1960 and the Athabaskan from 1960 until 1963. These were the most exciting times for me and a great learning experience. I was one of the first HM to be aboard. The Athabaskan was involved in  the Cuban blockade of 1962. We never received any medals like the USN ships did. Since 1963, I've been living in Boston and ran a cement Readi-mix company but now I'm retired and have a lots of time on my hands. My son Patrick is currently serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the Nimitz. He is a fireman in the reactor room.

Would like to hear from of my other shipmates.

Terence Banks
E-mail: "terry & cecile banks" <tbcb153(at)hotmail.com>
 

Bowers, Norman

Was a Stoker in Athabaskan on her third tour of duty to Korea. Would like to re-establish  contact with any of the shipmates that I served with.
E-mail:  norman bowers <bowersnorman(at)hotmail.com>

Bredin, James

I served ten years in the RCN from 1954 to 1964.  My last ship was HMCS Athabaskan.  Captain Johnson was the captain at the time and  I was a Petty Officer Second Class Signalman. I then spent the next thirty years on the Toronto Police Force and my number during that time was 219.

E-mail: James Bredin <james.bredin(at)gmail.com>

Campbell , Dave  (Navy nick name=BRACKITS).

I served on the Athabaskan on her third tour in Korea. Believe I was the only enlisted personel on reserve status that served in Korea. Was discharged at HMCS NONSUCH in Edmonton in the Spring of 1954. Am now living with my wife in Abbotsford BC.

E-Mail:  dccamp(at) telus.net

Dawson, Lou

I first went aboard Athabaskan in February, 1959. There was a crew swap in progress -  Saguenay for Athabaskan and St. Laurent for Cayuga. Atha-b and Cayuga came 'round from the west coast, took over Saguenay and St. Laurent and left us with two of the most beautiful ships ever to sail under the White Ensign. Happy days!

A memory: Sea Training staff came aboard immediately after the swap. One of them went to the wheelhouse shortly after getting underway, produced a piece of chalk and drew a jagged more-or-less circle on the port bulkhead. Then he shoved the helmsman aside and drew another one on the deck directly in front of the wheel. He turned to the quartermaster (QM) and said, "You've been hit. There's a hole in the deck! What do you do now?" The QM, calm as can be, grabbed the chalk, drew two parallel lines across the "...hole..." about 16" apart, then said, "That's a plank". Then he nodded at the helmsman, who stepped up to the wheel and carried on as though things like that happened every day. With Sea Training staff onboard, they did.

Another: the protective screens had been removed from the air intakes to the boiler room. The ship took a lurch in the moderate sea and a TAS rate put his hand out to steady himself against what was now a great, gaping hole in the bulkhead. Looking down the shaft, we saw a terrified sailor trying desperately not to get ground to bits by a very large intake fan. Lucky man - he survived the fall.

Last: some work was being done by dockyard workers on a gear casing when we were ordered to sea. Someone decided it was okay to leave the top of the casing uncovered. A tarpaulin was deemed to be sufficient for a short jaunt out to sea. No one seemed to think it unusual until the tarp got snagged by the gears and chewed to shreds, putting the drive shaft totally out of commission. It was one of the few times I ever saw dockyard mates get excited. It seems embarrassing for a warship to be towed back into harbour in broad daylight.

1959 was such a fun year!

Ready, Aye...
Lou Dawson, Able Seaman
E-mail  ldawsonca(at)yahoo.co.uk

Fusk, Patrick

I served on board the ATHABEE 219, from October 1960. We picked her up in Montreal at Vicker's Ship Yard and sailed on her until November 1962 when we dropped her in Sorel Quebec for another refit. Lived in 7 Mess with Fire Control Branch. Now re-located to Shediac Bridge, just outside of Moncton, N B. Retired now and manage a Marina in the summer months and live on a converted 42 foot fishing boat (sure miss my hammick)

Patrick Fusk e-mail: "pwf" <pwf(at)nb.sympatico.ca>

Girouard, Rene

219 was my first ship after Corwallis. As I remember, we always had "Cock " of the walk. She was one great ship and one of the fastest in the fleet. During her speed trials I had to replace all the light bulbs that blew up. After we left Jamaica for Halifax, the ship froze up. We had a foot of ice on the deck.

Halifax was really a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. "Bugsy" Boyle was our Captain. I think we all remember  the dummy in the water.....We  pulled him out so many times he should have drowned.That was  a long time ago!   Now Im really just an old man trying to remember what it was like to be an AB in the RCN.

E-mail: 2rene(at)telus.net

Godin, JR

I finally found and read with interest about the rescue of the Greek tanker, Amphialos  I was aboard that day.  I well remember the storm and swells and the picture does not really represent the waves I saw.  In any case I was a stoker at the time and served on Atha-b for two years before being transferred to Skeena.  If you like you may include my name on your wall along with the rest of the guys who served on this ship.  It brings back lots of memories.  Thanks for the effort.

BTW, a booklet about this event was published by the Queen's Printer afterwards.  All members of the ship's crew received a copy but unfortunately I lost mine.  I wonder if anyone  might still have this booklet so I can photocopy it?  I would dearly love to show it to my children and grandchildren.

JR Godin
 E-mail <spanner(at)rogers.com>

Hellervik, Kenneth

Served in the Canadian Navy from 1957 to 1962 as a stoker. My ships include Athabaskan,  Ontario, Stettler and New Waterford.

Contact me though my son Ben Hellervik . E-mail <ben(at)spiritstaffing.com>

Henderson, Donald  24574E   LSCV1

I served in Athabaskan 219  from 5th  September, 1954 to 30th May 1956. I joined her right after the stow away incident from Hilo to San Francisco. The only other event that happened when I was aboard was  running aground in Vancouver Harbour in a military show of a mock invasion of Jerico Beach.

I was OSCV when I joined her and got my ABCV later on in my tour of duty. Made several trips to Pearl Harbor and down the West coast to San Francisco,  Long Beach and Mexico. Then I transferred to Halifax for the rest of my enlistment where I was billeted to the St. Laurent. Today,  I live in Wallaceburg, Ontario. Would like to hear from any former shipmates.

 Donald Henderson  <donald403(at)hotmail.com>

Mark,  Ronald D.  P2RM2

Served from August 1949 (Fraser Division) till late 1960. Took one of the few
COMMUNICATOR courses in STADACONA.

Shipped on Ontario, Cresent, Crusader, Micmac, Athabaskan, Assiniboine,Thunder and Lauzon. I remember with pleasure the days on the Athabaskan on her second trip to the Far East. I had a pier head draft and walked across the jetty to the Athabaskan which sailed a few days later. I was flown home after seven months, as I was an East coast rating on loan, and they wanted me back east. I spent the next two years at Albro Lake radio station in Dartmouth NS.

The Athabaskan was my favourite ship until I was fortunate enough to commission the Assiniboine in 1956 with all its modern electronics and creature comforts. I now reside in Victoria B.C.

The Communications crew aboard Athabaskan were:

RADIO

P1CR Butch Bouchard
P2CR ? Clark
LSCR Harry Snaith
LSCR Jake  Ellis
LSCR Bill Hogg
ABCR Ian Anderson
ABCR Gordon Campbell
ABCR Ronald Mark
ABCR Clairmont Gagne
ABCR Ken Bjorndahl

SIGNALS

The signalmen I remember were  P2 Heys P2 Hodgkins, and signalman Molnar, Lory, Drummond, Malysh, Woollven, Penny and Chief Sig was Bill Moyes. Gagne and Campbell were also flown home after 7 months and relieved by west coast ratings.

Ronald Mark    E-mail:   rondmark(at)telus.net

Molnar, Johnny

I served in the Athabaskan from 1951-1952 during the Korean War and on the Cayuga from 1952-1953. I was also in Cornwallis from December 1949 to June 1950 in the Saguenay division as well.

Looking for some old shipmates, so feel free to contact me by email through my grand-daughter at tiffanyrosebush(at)Hotmail.com or call me at: (604) 855-8905   (PST)

Monaghan, Pat M.

I served on the Athabee from Sept 1963 until November 1964. Best times in the RCN were on board her. Served with a lot of great guys but remember Don Paterson, Joe Ranger, Neil Hilliard. Was a OSFC when I joined the ship. The chief coxswain’s name was Flanagan and we did not get along. I think he had me on punishment detail the first six months aboard.  Realize now he was doing it for my own good and should have thanked him for it. Commander Peter Hinton was the Captain and a real gentleman. Followed him to HMCS Columbia in 1965. The Athabee was an old ship by then but still the fastest in the fleet. Any old shipmates that recognize my name and wish to get in touch can reach me at: pmonaghna(at)hotmail.ca

Roberts, Owen ABFC

I am formerly a member of the crew of HMCS Athabaskan and was a messmate of Patrick Fusk. In fact, Patrick, Richard Hicks,  Louis Cormier, and myself all went through basic together in Saguenay 2/1960 (second Saguenay Division of 1960). We were all in Fire Control, and we all went onto and off Athabaskan at the same time. Drafted to Athabaskan October 1960 and off in November 1962.

I, being the youngest on board on Christmas 1960, was Captain for a day.  Our Captain at the time was D.R. Saxon, a real gentleman. He supposedly came from the Royal Navy where he started as a boy seaman, a respected guy. He autographed and dated a picture of Athabaskan for me, and it currently hangs on my wall.

In 1962 we were on a cruise to Holland and then on to England where we berthed in Portsmouth. While there, we were given "72s," half the ships company at a time. I was in the second group. We were cut short as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Canadian Navy ships were ordered to "PUT TO SEA." We did, and made a run directly to "slackers."  The story goes that we were followed across the Atlantic by six Russian subs. I didn't see them, but of course, you wouldn't.  We didn't know what the future held. It was all up in the air.

I would certainly love to be contacted by old shipmates. I currently live in Powell River B.C., I'm retired from the Salmon smoking business and life is good.

My e-mail is:  coroberts(at)shaw.ca
Owen Roberts/ABFC O.Roberts

Scott, Cam

Spent 14 months in Athabee and was there for the rescue of the SS Amphialo. Just as the crew from the Amphialo was rescued, our church service was just ending with the Naval Hymn for those in peril on the sea. Chills still run down my spine when I hear this hymn today. Later I left Athabaskan ending my eight years in the navy with the last three on Terra Nova in 1969. I now live in Niagara Falls and like it here. Would love to hear from any shipmates.

Aye Cam
E-mail: cam.scott(at)sympatico.ca

Villermaire, George

Served  in the RCN from  February 1958 to Feb 1963. I was drafted to the  Saguenay on January 23,1959 but changed changed to Athabaskan in March 1959 and  remained in that ship until December 1962.  I was then drafted to H.M.C.S Hochelaga for my release.

In the photograph of Athabaskan 219 which appears in the home document of this web page,  I stand fifth from the right on B gun deck.

Aye George,
 <e-mail> villemaireg@videotron.ca

Williams, Phil (Willie)  ABEM 1

I served aboard the "Athabee" from April, 1958 to March, 1959 as an ABEM1 on the west coast. Most memorable cruise was when we took her around to the east coast to trade for HMCS Saguenay. The thrill of the Panama Canal, Kingston, Jamaica then hitting one of those "small" north Atlantic gales. Then ended up chasing a Russian trawler up above Newfoundland. Into Halifax for the switch over. Saguenay was a mess so we had to clean her up before any leave was granted. I served on Saguenay from March, 1959 to April, 1961.

Regards,
Phil,
E-mail:  philip65(at)telus.net
 

 
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