Where the History of Canada's Navy Comes Alive!   


"On 20 September 1943, while escorting convoy ON.202, south of Iceland, HMCS ST. CROIX was torpedoed and sunk by U-305. Sixty-five members of the ship's company perished. Five officers and seventy-six men were rescued by HMS ITCHEN, however, only two days later, the ITCHEN was also torpedoed by an enemy submarine. Only one ST. CROIX sailor survived."

On Sunday 1 May 2005, at HMCS CHIPPAWA, Winnipeg, Manitoba, the annual service that commemorates the Battle of the Atlantic will be held in honour of HMCS ST. CROIX and the fourteen Manitobans that perished on 20 September 1943.

Three years ago, CHIPPAWA’s former Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Commander Claude Michon, established a slightly modified routine for the annual CHIPPAWA Battle of the Atlantic service. On top of the regular service, where all losses from the Battle of Atlantic are commemorated, there is also a special segment where a specific ship is commemorated. Most importantly, the relatives of the Manitobans that were lost in that ship are invited to the service.

In 2002, CHIPPAWA held a poignant ceremony in commemoration of the eight Manitobans that perished on the SHAWINIGAN. Two families were represented at the service, and members of both families spoke to the gathering, making the service much more meaningful for all. The next year, in 2003, the ALBERNI was commemorated. Eight families attended the service. As well, two survivors of the tragedy were also attendance. In 2004, HMCS VALLEYFIELD was commemorated. This was the largest service to date with families of 10 of the 17 Manitobans that perished in the VALLEYFIELD in attendance.

This year, the committee, which is still lead by (now former) Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Commander Claude Michon, has decided that the ST. CROIX will be the ship to be commemorated in 2005.

For any questions concerning the ST. CROIX commemoration, please contact the Chair of the Naval Museum of Manitoba Mark Nelson.



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