"[...] he must have seen the aircraft carrier with all the planes on the deck and he dove right down into that. But he was very close, I could see him in the cockpit [...]"
I joined the [HMCS] Orillia, a corvette [lightly armoured escort vessel], [pendant number] K119. From there, went on convoy duty, escorting ships over to the British Isles. I don’t know if it was the first or second trip, but we were starting out and ASDIC [Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee] dome went on us and we couldn’t pick up submarines. So we had to go to the nearest port; and the nearest port was Iceland. So went up in there and on the steps, and got repaired; and come back out and beat it, and joined a convoy. And we got over there all right, it was great, yeah. No sweat and it was all right on the way back and maybe a couple of weeks here until the convoys were formed and then wherever you were, if you were in Halifax and the convoy left there; and they picked up Sydney and St. John’s, Newfoundland and quite a bunch of ships going across the ocean.
They kept trying to keep away from the regular sea lines. I think that’s where the, in the first part of the war, they were sinking so many ships. But when they changed and went, I think, a little further north, that they were getting more submarines than they had before. The convoys going across, you have to see it to see how many ships. You couldn’t see them all, but you could see a lot of them. But they were there. And when they got over to around Ireland, they’d break up, what port they were going to because they all couldn’t go in the one port. They’d usually send them south to England, west to England and northern Ireland, Scotland, whatever.
So I got drafted to the [HMCS] Kitchener, the K225. So I spent time on her until I come off of that; and I was drafted to the [HMCS] Uganda, going to the Pacific warfare. So anyway, we got out in the Pacific and we were taking up our position; and we had about I’d say maybe six raids of suicide [Japanese Kamikaze] planes. There was one day in particular that I remember and I could see the plane come in because I was on the bridge in clear view. And I don’t know how he ever got through the shell bursts and that there; and I figured that was the day I was going to be killed. But, anyway, he come up and he, just above our mast there; and he must have seen the aircraft carrier with all the planes on the deck and he dove right down into that. But he was very close, I could see him in the cockpit, looked like he was all bent over and everything like that.
The plane dove on the flight deck off the carrier. And that went to fire and what they did was they used their hoses and that there, high spray, and just dumped them over the side. They don’t save anything, they had to dump them over the side and turn on the wind, and go back to Australia for refit or damage repair. I don’t think they’d be able to get a plane off the deck after that there. That plane diving in there, setting them planes on deck, because we were going up for a raid. And the planes were all on the flight deck.
Stayed there until about, I think, maybe it might have been when the Americans dropped them bombs. I think then they sent word to our ship, Canada, you can go home now. By the time we got past the west coast, Japan had surrendered.