HMCS Athabaskan (i) (G 07)
Destroyer of the Tribal class
|Navy||The Royal Canadian Navy|
|Built by||Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) : Parsons|
|Ordered||5 Apr 1940|
|Laid down||31 Oct 1940|
|Launched||18 Nov 1941|
|Commissioned||3 Feb 1943|
|Lost||29 Apr 1944|
|Loss position||48° 43'N, 4° 32'W|
HMCS Athabaskan (Lt.Cdr. John Hamilton Stubbs, DSO, DSC, RCN) was sunk in the English Channel north-east of Ouessant by two torpedoes from the German torpedo boats T-24 and T-27. The magazine and a boiler blew up in an explosion that was seen 20 miles away. 129 of the crew went down with the ship. 83 men were picked up from the water by the torpedo boats and taken prisoner. Another 44 of the crew were picked up by HMCS Haida. The wreck lies in position 48°42.940N, 004°31.485W.
Commands listed for HMCS Athabaskan (i) (G 07)
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|1||Cdr. George Ralph Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN||2 Feb 1943||5 Nov 1943|
|2||Lt.Cdr. John Hamilton Stubbs, RCN||6 Nov 1943||29 Apr 1944 (+)|
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Notable events involving Athabaskan (i) include:
22 Feb 1943
HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. She was escorted by HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN) and FFS La Combattante (Lt.Cdr. A. Patou).
They arrived at Greenock on 23 February 1943. (1)
5 Mar 1943
HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSC, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt. W.F.B. Webb, DSC, RN) and FFS La Combattante (Lt.Cdr. A. Patou) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)
9 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Blankney (Cdr. P.F. Powlett DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (3)
22 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (3)
26 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. John Henry Wallace, DSC, RN) and HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, RNVR). (3)
29 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Jamaica (Capt. Capt. J.L. Storey, RN), HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN), HMS Stevenstone (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (3)
1 Aug 1943
HMS Umbra (Lt. P.H. May, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Cattistock (Lt. R.G.D. Keddie, DSC, RN), HMS Cambridgeshire (T/Lt. H.F.B. Ashby, RNVR), HMS Ambrose Pare (Skr. J.W. Morris, RNR), HMS Victrix (T/Lt. J.D. Craighead, RNR) and HMS Kingston Andalusite (T/Lt. W.S. Lowe, RNVR). (5)
23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.
On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.
Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.
23 Nov 1943
Around 1645/23, HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN), departed Alexandria to return to the UK. On departure from Alexandria she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. R.H.C. Wyld, RN).
On the 25th HMS Echo was detached to Malta.
Around 1100/26, HMS Renown, HMS Grenville, HMS Ulster and HMS Rocket, arrived at Algiers.
Around 0030/27, HMS Renown departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Grenville, HMS Ulster and HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSO, DSC, RN). They arrived at Gibraltar around 2100/27.
HMS Renown departed Gibraltar for Rosyth around 2245/27 now escorted by HMS Rocket, HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Ulster.
Around 1115/1, HMS Janus and HMCS Athabascan parted company.
HMS Renown, HMS Meteor and HMS Opportune arrived at Rosyth around 1200/3. (6)
1 Mar 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth together with with ML 159 (T/Lt. B.D. Gerrans, RNVR), ML 183 (T/Lt. A.J. Wright, RNVR) and ML 184 (T/Lt. R.W.A. Winter, RNVR) and later with HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Athabascan (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN). (7)
- ADM 53/117877
- ADM 53/118274
- ADM 173/18389
- ADM 173/18284
- ADM 173/18331
- ADM 53/118436
- ADM 173/19217
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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