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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.


Tea or Coffee

The crew was completely Canadian except for the air force. The pilots, they all came from Australia, New Zealand and a bit from all over. The maintenance mechanics for the planes, who loaded the bombs under the planes, they were British. And our aircraft carrier was HMS British. And we had British rations. So, you can imagine, we lost weight. For breakfast, bacon and eggs, we didn’t have that, y’know. It was fish and chips, I don’t know what they called that, but anyhow, we had an awful time with that. And tea at eleven o’clock, and then tea at four o’clock. We were Canadians, and volunteers, just there for the duration of the war. But in Norfolk, we went on strike. We called it a Canadian strike. We didn’t made a huge fuss, but we wanted Canadian food. So the captain took a plane and went up to Ottawa and spoke to Mackenzie King about it, anyhow, he was his nephew, and he said, “I have a group of Canadians aboard. The crew of the [inaudible] and there’s no problem, they’re used to eating herring.” [inaudible] and herring and whatever, whatever they called it, herring. “But my men can’t . . . They like coffee, corn flakes, milk, sugar, toast.” Fine. So, he came back, and we were allowed to have that because we were getting weak. Me, y’know, I liked the mornings there fine, eggs, bacon let me have it, y’know, sugar, coffee. Tea may be all right, but . . . They were finally forced to separate us, the groups, for sleeping. We didn’t sleep in the same places. I’m telling you this well, because there were disagreements between us, y’know? We guys were there for the war; the other guys, this was their job for life. So, y’know, we weren’t real, real good, we were just beginning and the other guys, well, they had always been on battle ships. And they looked down on us a bit, but that didn’t bother us a whole lot. We actually had a bit of fun with that.

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