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.
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.
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.