Veteran Stories:
Frank John Dion

Navy

  • Frank Dion, October 2009

    The Memory Project; Historica Canada
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"If we seen a sub, well, everything closed up. And we’d search for the sub. And the convoy just kept on going."

Transcript

I joined up when I was 18 years of age in Ottawa. And from there, went to Montreal and then Digby, Nova Scotia, took my training. And then from there, I went to Halifax and asked for a draft to Newfoundland. And I got it without any question. I was I think a couple days there. I was aboard the freighter […] but we went to Newfoundland. It landed there, worked in the records office for a while and finally got a ship. It was the first frigate that was built. Her name was [HMSCS] Dunver. Named for Verdun, Quebec. We became the, what was it, the number one ship for convoys. We were known as C5, the Barber Pole group. Every ship in the group had a barber pole insignia wrapped on the funnel. That’s where my station was, I was a bridge lookout at sea. It was cramped. You just had enough space to hang your hammock, climb into it. The best sleep I ever got was in a hammock. Just like a baby. You’re swinging all the time. I couldn’t sleep in a bed when I got home. I got so used to that hammock. You’re looked after very well. Oh, they formed up in harbours along the Atlantic coast and we picked up […]. When we went to sea, we picked them up on the Grand Banks [of Newfoundland] and then took them right across. We took the largest convoy across the Atlantic. We got across, I think we lost two or three […], we lost. And we got […] ourselves, so … If we seen a sub, well, everything closed up. And we’d search for the sub. And the convoy just kept on going.
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