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Where to Smoke During a Black Out

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Where to Smoke During a Black Out

All lights on the boat were switched off in order not to be seen by the enemy. The sailors stationed on the aircraft carrier occasionally wanted a smoke. He tells us how they did it without being seen by the enemy.


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.


Where to Smoke During a Black Out

I’m going to tell you exactly how. The sailors, well, you’ve got a gun here and behind your gun you’ve got two guns. So, a 40 millimetre, two 40 millimetres. And behind the 40 millimetres, you opened a door and the place was full of ammunition, OK? You go in there, you close the door and you smoke. That’s what you do [laughter], y’know? Because if you smoke outside, apparently, the flame of a cigarette, in the navy, can be seen by a submarine a mile away or something, I think. Anyhow, it’s an unbelievable distance; with their telescope, they can see the fire from a cigarette a mile away, maybe two, I don’t know. So we got used to not smoking, in any case [laughter]. Oh, yes, that was normal, yes, y’know, it was full of ammunition, there were shelves and you lit your cigarette [laughter] . . .

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