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Assignment on HMS Prosperine

Heroes Remember

Assignment on HMS Prosperine

I became an officer, I guess I was commissioned in sometime in April or May of 1941, and because my mathematics was so terrible, my navigation was likewise terrible. And so I thought I must do something that, that doesn't involve navigation or doesn't commit me to doing navigation. And at that point, the admiralty was looking for volunteers for mine disposal and so I thought, "Well, mine disposal is something I can do." And so I was sent for a, a three-day course to HMS Vernon in Portsmouth, which was the torpedo and mining school, and shown how to disarm all kinds of mines; our own and the German mines. This was really a crazy thing for me to do because I hardly knew how to use a screwdriver. Anyway, that's what I did. And I was appointed to HMS Proserpine, I would call correctly pronounced "Perserpine" but of course the navy mispronounces all their classical names, which was the fleet base at Lyness in the Orkneys on Scapa Flow. And there I shared the mine disposal responsibilities with a very nice Glasgow salesman whose, whose Scottish accent was so ferocious, you almost needed a translator to know what he was talking about. Anyway, the two of us shared this job and so we went out and disarmed mines; they would wash ashore whatever.

Mr. Sutherland became an officer in the navy and volunteers for mine disposal duties.

Donald Marshall Sutherland

Donald Marshall Sutherland, was born in Toronto on the 22nd of June 1916. His parents couldn't afford to send him to university and so he worked at the Bank of Commerce. After the war broke out, he joined navy as an ordinary seaman. Canada didn't have any means of training naval sailors at that time; so he was sent to England to be trained. He was involved mostly in mine dismantling. When he returned to Canada he finished his studies.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Donald Marshall Sutherland
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Mine Disposal

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