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Fooling the Enemy

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Fooling the Enemy

After basic training in Québec, Mr. Jobin’s training continued in Halifax where he learned to be a gunner and served in the military police at the navy technicians’ school in Saint-Hyacinthe. He was then sent to the Bay of Fundy to patrol the Atlantic


Guy Jobin

Mr. Jobin’s father was a chemist for a mill in Chandler, in the Gaspé. During the Depression, his father left to go work in Masson, in the Outaouais Region, and the family joined him 18 months later. They settled in Buckingham and when war was declared young Guy Jobin, a lover of ships, wanted to enlist in the Navy. He did his basic training in Québec and then went to Halifax to learn to fire guns before being sent to British Columbia. His group of Canadians left on the British aircraft carrier HMS Nabob. The ship went down the Pacific coast, crossed the Panama Canal and stopped in Virginia before arriving in England, at Liverpool. There they found the remains of a city damaged by 9 days German bombings. The Nabob was active in the British Isles throughout the war. During a mission to Scapa Flow in northern Scotland, the boat was hit by a torpedo. Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Jobin was hospitalized for awhile.


Fooling the Enemy

When we arrived in Halifax, the first nights we slept in an arena with a cement floor. There was no more room in the barracks. They were building barracks but they couldn’t keep up, y’know? We slept there a good week or two before we had barracks. I was OK with it, y’know? I had training. And they were building the school to teach us how to launch torpedoes, the school for gunners, because we were still practicing how to fire a gun with wooden guns and a [inaudible] brass shell. You would put that in and changed it anyway. Since they didn’t have real guns at the school to train us, I had not become acquainted with real guns at the school; there were wooden guns, y’know? That was basic. It was the beginning of the war in ’42, because the first years of the war, ‘40-‘41, there wasn’t a lot happening. The troops were settled in England and the navy, well, our problem was that there weren’t enough ships for the sailors who were enlisting. So they had us doing all sorts of jobs. Painting here and there, the barracks, helping in construction.

I was in the navy police in Sainte-Hyacinthe, at the communications technicians’ school, y’know, flags, those things. They put me in there and I was in the navy police, not that I was very strong but we watched out, y’know, in the town, in Sainte-Hyacinthe, so that the sailors didn’t cause too much trouble. You had to be in at 11 o’clock. After that, they sent me to the Bay of Fundy, in St. John, New Brunswick. I was on a small boat that patrolled the Bay of Fundy. Did you know that some of the merchant ships had wooden guns on them and they were going to remove the wooden guns to replace them with real ones. When the boats – this was before military convoys were formed – these boats did OK on their own. When the Germans saw that they had a gun, they didn’t get too close, but it was a wooden gun. Y’know, these are all experiences we had.

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