Major Rix OC, platoon Cdn Fusiliers arrived, Court of Inquiry into injury, A.A. Section instruction, camera prohibition, out of bounds – New Orleans Club and Alexandra Ballroom, care of boots, dismantling of armament drill, commenced transfer of S/L and F/C equipment in D.S., #2 AA Gun moved to Hill 260, thunder flash usage, theft of paintbrushes and taps, regimental swagger sticks, shows in Mess Hall – In the Navy, Paris Calling, cargo ship aground 5 miles south, General Pearkes visit
War Diary - November 1942
Major Rix OC, Armistice Day not celebrated, drill hall used for first time, Captain Whitehead appointed Acting OC, Ride ‘em Cowboy, Flying Cadets, Wolf Man, Queen of Hearts shown in the Mess Hall, camp barber, bingo in the Mess Hall, saluting is becoming very bad, temporary quarantine due to measles, gale wind – 2 trees fell, 14 day quarantine imposed, request for Parachute Battalion volunteers, listening post at Courtney Bay and Sunderland Point built by Veterans Guard, red and blue R.C.A.s will be worn on walking out uniform, coal miner request, presentation of Wallets, photography regulations
Officer Commanding - Major Rix. It appears that the blank side of old orders were recycled providing something similar to a throwback Thursday. Dutch Harbour and Estevan were reported bombed and a complete coast blackout was imposed with all leave canceled. Movies in the Mess Hall included Convoy, Blondie meets the Boss and I was a Prisoner on Devils Island. Two Bofors anti-aircraft guns arrived, 4.7” gun dismantling began and the first 6” gun arrived.
Major Rix is Officer Commanding. The latest holiday movies are played in the Mess Hall - The Doctor Takes a Wife and The Amazing Mr. Williams. Courts of Inquiry are convened to look into the Gnr Apostoliuk injury and damage to C.A.S.L. S/L #55. There is a stern warning posted in Part I orders 11 April regarding the continual and unwarranted breakage of strikers on 6 Pdr. There have been different variations of saluting reported in Vancouver and an attitude of slovenliness on Yorke Island. The final entry is a report on a night exercise to confirm the reaction of the sentries. Check out the War Diaries here.
The war diary for September 1941 has now been uploaded. Major Piercy is the Officer Commanding and the exchange with 31st Battery for the winter has been decided. There is also a letter regarding a survey of the island with a request for copies. Wish I could request a copy! Check out all the War Diaries here.
Major Piercy Officer Commanding turns over to Captain Osburn as the Yorke Island Battery rotates with the Stanley Park Fort. Quite a bit of activity with firing bring to rounds - 5 shots required to stop one fishboat. Part I order instruction - Wearing of Poppies - "A poppy of reasonable dimensions may be worn on the head-dress by all ranks while on or off duty during the period November 8th to 11th inclusive." Read the war daries here.
Sergeant (Ret'd) Keith Laing has forwarded additional details regarding the salute that was fired for the visiting Soviet destroyers, Sposobny and Gnevny, and tanker, Ilim. Check out the story here. Have you got additional historic notes or photos that you would like to share? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cavanaugh incident
As recorded in the War Diaries dated 28 May 1941
“A Bring to Round was fired at 1336 hours, six shots in all were required to stop this vessel the last shot being by a 4.7. All 6 pdr. Ammunition having been expended. On being contacted by the X.V. this vessel was found to be the U.S. Army Engineers Vessel “Cavanaugh”, the commander of which adopted a very insulting attitude. Incident reported to Naval Authorities.”
Have not been able to find any information on the Cavanaugh. The photo illustrated is one of the US Army Engineer port repair vessels.
Read the remainder of the war diaries here.
With the lifting of the BC COVID travel restrictions, there is an opportunity to organize an expedition to Yorke Island in July! Tentative plans would include:
Wed 14 Jul - drive to Sayward stay overnight Sayward Valley Resort;
Thu 15 Jul - transport to Yorke, island hike, overnight war shelter;
Fri - 16 Jul - 85Vics supervised cleaning activities, overnight war shelter;
Sat- 17 Jul - photo activities, overnight war shelter;
Sun - 18 Jul - Return home.
Main focus of trip is:
A- Assessment of rock facade with focused photographs of damage, and
B - Creation of photographs depicting today's view of historic Yorke Island photos (a collection of then and now pictures)
Interested in joining the expedition? There will be costs for the ferry, transportation, food and lodging. You will need to bring along a rucksack with sleeping bag and camping gear. Donations to help defray the costs would be appreciated.
All the latest happenings with the Vancouver Gunners