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Striking the Bottom!

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Striking the Bottom!

Mr. Jobin leaves Vancouver aboard HMS Nabob for Bremerton, in the United States, to load the ship with ammunition. Once it was loaded, the ship peacefully returned toward Vancouver and at the mouth of the Fraser River, the ship struck the sea bottom.


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.


Striking the Bottom!

We were off to learn to shoot and then we went to Bremerton in the United States, to collect our ammunition. They loaded our ship there with . . . we had twenty, no, two 5-inch, four twin [inaudible] on each side and four [inaudible], twin [inaudible] on each side. These guns really took some ammunition. And [inaudible], that’s ammunition, eh, clips of four, y’know, in canisters. Anyhow, we went to get that and came back. I don’t know what happened to the captain, we didn’t question him too much, but we hit the bottom, at the mouth of the Fraser River. The sand banks move around there, at the mouth of the Fraser River, which comes into the British Columbia interior. So we were stuck there, but the ship wasn’t damaged. We entered this way; there was scarping, and when we hit, I was on the flight deck, there was some shaking and we stopped. In the open sea. You couldn’t see the shore and you hit the bottom. It took four days. They sent tugboats and other boats. I think there were thirteen or fourteen boats attached behind us and at high tide, they all pulled. High tide was at the stroke of three, I think it was, or three ten. So, they all pulled at once. They missed their shot. But the next day, all of a sudden, they got it loose. But we had to move all our ammunition we had loaded in the United States onto barges. We had to unload all that and put it in barges in order to get afloat, to lighten the load, and afterwards, we had to load it all back on [laughter], get it? Then we went to North Vancouver. There were dry docks there so we went into one of the dry docks, then they inspected the bottom of the boat to see if there was any damage. We could have hit rocks or, I don’t know what, wreckage or sand banks . . . dunes, that were there. But the boat was OK.

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