Unsung Heroes of the Royal Canadian Navy: Incredible Tales of Courage and Daring During World War II

Paperback | May 18, 2005

byCynthia Faryon

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At the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Canadian Navy consisted of just 13 warships and about 3000 permanent and reserve members. By the war's end, however, it had grown into the third largest navy in the world, with 365 warships and more than 100,000 personnel. The men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy came from all corners of Canada to fight in the sea war against the enemy. Together, they exceeded even the highest expectations of their allies.

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At the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Canadian Navy consisted of just 13 warships and about 3000 permanent and reserve members. By the war's end, however, it had grown into the third largest navy in the world, with 365 warships and more than 100,000 personnel. The men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy came from all corners of C...

Cynthia Faryon is an internationally published author and freelance writer residing in Victoria, B.C. Canadian born, she focuses her writing on Canadian content, covering topics such as travel, family issues, biography and history.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:May 18, 2005Publisher:James Lorimer & Company Ltd., PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1551537656

ISBN - 13:9781551537658

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The great ship stands quietly in the morning sun, anxious to find the waves beneath her hull and thirsty for the company of the saltys who will man her. This great Tribal Class Destroyer was built for war. Adopting the tenacity and stubborn pride of the mateys who took two long years to give her life, she stands proudly in front of the men who will take her into battle. The commissioning ceremony is a brief and simple affair, filled with naval tradition and quiet dignity. At the spoken command the new crew stands at ease in the shadow of the destroyer waiting patiently alongside the dock. All eyes are reverent during the prayer of dedication. The crew stands, heads bowed, arms crossed at the wrists, respectfully holding their caps. And, with a few words from the new captain, they remember their fallen comrades and swear to do this great ship justice in the world's fight for freedom. Downwind, the staccato sounds of shipbuilding remind them that their fight is far from over. For this crew and their ship, it is only the beginning. Not only will this destroyer be their weapon and their protector, it will be their home and their friend. Clustered on the top of old barrels, piles of lumber, and the other vantage points along the dockside, the mateys (the men and women who built her) watch in solemn stillness as the finality of their labours settles on them. They are not officially part of this ceremony, but with pride and sadness they watch from a distance. Quietly, they say their goodbyes as the Canadian naval crew (the saltys), who had arrived just before the ceremony, lay claim to the mateys' creation. This morning is the end of more than two years of emotional labour for the mateys. From thoughts to blueprints, from steel to ship, her building had been a grim yet proud chapter in their lives. Throughout the long months in which she had grown from an idea to a lethal weapon of war, they had been touched by the death and destruction that threatened the night skies. The mateys had seen the newsreels of the bombings in Europe, had witnessed the destruction, and had welcomed home their dead to their final resting places. They worked diligently day after day, knowing that many more Canadian boys would sacrifice their lives before this fight was finished. If they could have fought they would have, but we can't all go to war. Some are needed here at home. So, fuelled by familial stories of loss, the mateys' own incensed spirits entered the steel they forged as they built their ship, fighting back the only way they knew how. From where they are gathered they can't hear the words with which the captain charges the crew. But when the hat is thrown into the air and the crew cheers, the mateys cheer, too, with shouts of "Godspeed!" "Make 'em pay!" "Bring her home safely!" Then reluctantly, and more than a little sadly, the mateys leave their newborn in the hands of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). This new "lady" they have created from steel and iron is theirs no longer. She now belongs to the strong young hands of the navy crew who will take her from berth into the vast ocean beyond. They know that as long as there are memories of this great ship and stories shared of her exploits, she, like the lads on board, will never be forgotten. And all the battles, the deaths, the victories, will be remembered with awe and thankfulness for all who served and lived and fought to make this country free.