Allied Warships

HMCS Athabaskan (i) (G 07)

Destroyer of the Tribal class

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
PennantG 07 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) : Parsons 
Ordered5 Apr 1940 
Laid down31 Oct 1940 
Launched18 Nov 1941 
Commissioned3 Feb 1943 
Lost29 Apr 1944 
Loss position48° 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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1Cdr. George Ralph Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN2 Feb 19435 Nov 1943
2Lt.Cdr. John Hamilton Stubbs, RCN6 Nov 194329 Apr 1944 (+)

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Notable events involving Athabaskan (i) include:

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.

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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