VE Day: HMCS Prince Rupert Photo and a Distinguished Service Medal


HMCS Prince Rupert (K324)

HMCS Prince Rupert (K324)

During World War Two my late father served with the Royal Canadian Navy. He spent much time on the HMCS Prince Rupert which was part of the convey known as the Murmansk Run, a dangerous convoy route that saw Canadian Merchant Navy and Royal Canadian Navy seamen sail into the Arctic Ocean to deliver war materials to the Soviet Union.

Charles Scott Steen had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his acts during the role played by the Prince Rupert in the sinking of a German U-boat.

While going through some old photos the other day I ran across one my father had taken aboard the Prince Rupert on VE Day. He was savvy enough to write on the back the date and details of the picture. They were in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia when the shot was taken. The fellows shown in the picture are singing in celebration; an allusion is made to drink having been taken!

The names of those pictured are inscribed on the back as well. With the powers of Google at my fingertips I did a little research and was able to find out that one of my father’s pictured shipmates – Charles Scott Steen – had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his acts during the role played by the Prince Rupert in the sinking of a German U-boat.

On March 13,  1944 German U-boat U-575 was sunk in the north Atlantic north of the Azores, in position 46°18’N, 27°34’W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigate HMCS Prince Rupert, the US destroyer USS Hobson the US destroyer escort USS Haverfield and by depth charges from a British Wellington and Fortress aircraft (Sqdn. 172/B and 206/R and 220/J) and Avenger aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Bogue.

Naval Museum of Manitoba

Naval Museum of Manitoba

I was able to garner this information from several sites including the Naval Museum of Manitoba. I contacted the curator via the email provided but have received no reply. I was trying to locate Mr. Steen, or a family member to see if they might be interested in the photo.

If I am lucky enough to have a reader who knows of Mr. Steen or his family I post the photo below and hope you will bring it to their attention.

SteenHaving been scuttled after the war, the ship’s hull now makes up part of a breakwater at Royston, British Columbia.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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3 thoughts on “VE Day: HMCS Prince Rupert Photo and a Distinguished Service Medal

  1. Hi. My good friend Jack Nield, and I believe his first wife Sharon (now deceased), were both from Dauphin. I will send him a copy of this to see if he can add anything to the story. P.

  2. All of he crew of the HMCS Prince Rupert are gone now My late fatherinlaw ws John B Pearson and he was also awarded medals What sets John apart is he was barely 15 when se snuck into the navy with a forged letter form his mother. It was an honour to know some of the crew and the last one passed about two yers agol Carolyn Lighthart Pearson

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