Battle of the Atlantic – remembered at sea

The crew of HMCS Vancouver form up for the Battle of the Atlantic parade in honour of the Battle of the Atlantic, on Operation Projection Indo-Asia Pacific, South China Sea, May 2. Photo by LS Nick Korbel, HMCS Vancouver

The crew of HMCS Vancouver form up for the Battle of the Atlantic parade in honour of the Battle of the Atlantic, on Operation Projection Indo-Asia Pacific, South China Sea, May 2. Photo by LS Nick Korbel, HMCS Vancouver

Lt(N) Tony Wright, HMCS Vancouver ~

In the South China Sea during Operation Projection Indo-Asia-Pacific, HMCS Vancouver slowed to five knots and went to minimum manning.

All available personnel fell in on the flight deck on May 2 to honour those who served and those that were lost in the Battle of the Atlantic – the longest running military campaign of Second World War.

Arrayed against U-Boats and warships of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German air force), the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and allies sought to protect merchant convoys as they travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to support the war effort in Europe and Russia.

The German blockade of Britain was eventually won, but at a cost of 3,500 Allied merchant ships and 175 Allied warships, and 72,200 Allied naval and merchant seamen that died in the Atlantic.

On a bright, sunny day with a calm South China Sea, Vancouver’s crew remembered the loss and sacrifice of the Battle of the Atlantic. Commander Christopher Nucci spoke to the crew about the hardship and cost to the sailors who sailed during the war. He spoke of the heritage of HMCS Vancouver, as the Battle of the Atlantic is one of the ship’s battle honours.

The ship’s bell rung for each RCN ship that was lost, and with Leading Seaman Narozanski, Cdr Nucci laid a wreath in the ocean. The bugler played the Last Post and the ship’s company stood in silence and reflection as they remembered the sailors who came before them.


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