The Athabaskan (219) I served in was the second RCN ship to bear the name. The first Athabaskan (G07) was torpedoed in the English Channel on 29 April 1944 with the loss of 128 lives. One of the survivors who was rescued by a German destroyer kept a diary while a POW and his nephew has a web site, Stuart Kettles War Diary, with excerpts from this diary.
This photo was on the Athabaskan's 1956 Christmas card.
English Channel 1944
I must admit that life on board the Athabaskan came as a bit of a shock after being pampered with cafeteria style messing and bunks on the Sioux. Broadside messing and hammocks seemed so... ah.. quaint.
Our sea time was mainly training exercises along the BC coast, stopping at places like Kitimat and Kemano. Somehow, I think possibly because I had picked up my "hook" while in Naden, I automatically became an expert in the operation of a motor cutter and was designated as the Captain's Motor Boat coxswain. Fortunately I got "on the job" training during landing party exercises on the rocky BC coast before I ever had to ferry the Captain around. Other than a few bumps and leaving some paint on submerged rocks there were no disasters. However, there was a heart stopping close encounter with disaster when I went to Quadra as a motor boat coxswain. But there is a God and there was a happy ending ;-)
If you have reached this particular page by a search