HMCS Regina is getting spruced up for the annual RimPac naval exercises. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, Regina will be sporting "dazzle" pattern camouflage paint of the wartime era.
Damn but she looks pretty nice.
Heart of Oak Steady, boys, Steady
Didn't know they used this in WW2. Thought it was a Great War thing.
It began in WWI, UU, but appeared on some RCN warships in WWII. The first HMCS Athabascan (Tribal class) appears in photos with dazzle camouflage but most of these destroyers were in simple grey. It was fairly common on Canadian frigates and our Flower class corvettes.
Speaking of Flower-class corvettes, I had a friend in grade school and we were both fanatics about airplanes, and, peripherally, all the accoutrements of war. In grade 6 (sixth grade in local dialect) we undertook to rewrite the history of the Second World War so that the Axis powers won, meaning that we got to draw a whole phantasmagoria of battleships, tanks and fighters from out fertile, if misguided, imaginations. Both of us came from families that held progressive values and there was some subtle pressure to redirect our energies. So last week, a book shows up in the post, a monogram of the Flower-class corvettes with a prominent paperclip at the back where one would find the listing of all the ships of the class, and there was HMCS Alberni. Stirred up considerable mud.
I dated a young woman whose father was executive officer on one of these corvettes. He didn't get into the "shoot, shoot/bang, bang" stuff but went on at some length abut the horrible conditions the crews had to endure crossing the storm tossed North Atlantic in the winter season. I was told they bobbed like corks and rolled until the gunwales were well underwater but it was their lightness that kept killer waves from taking them down by the bows. No one had a stitch of dry clothing by day 2 and the food, prepared under those miserable conditions, was appalling.
I found a list of RCN ships in WWII yesterday and, yes, Alberni was there.
Your comment, Danneau, led me to take a closer look at Alberni. Very interesting. Built at the Yarrows shipyard in Esquimalt. They used to make us run through there if the weather was dark and really miserable. Then it was through the canal to Halifax. Torpedoed in 1944 and went down in less than one minute with the loss of 50 hands. I also found there was a corvette named for my parents' hometown of Leamington.
A lot of history in those little boats.
I'm not exactly objective. But these folks, in my opinion, represent the best of us.
They answered the call, Owen. I'm not sure we have that in us any longer. My first base was Esquimalt. It's common for a lot of "old hands" to retire around military bases. Esquimalt is a favourite for RCN vets. Comox is the top choice for RCAF retirees.
I was sitting at the bar in a downtown Victoria pub. One of the WWII "Tars" took the next seat and we had a brief conversation. He mentioned he joined the RCN at the recruiting depot in Regina or Saskatoon, straight off the farm. He thought it would be over in a year or two and then he'd be back working his father's land. He never did go back except for visits - and funerals.
He talked about taking the train east for basic training, I think it was HMCS Cornwallis. He was astonished at all the prairie boys on that train who enlisted in the navy, guys who had never glimpsed the sea, any sea, or a ship much less a warship. These prairie kids became the backbone of the wartime navy.
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