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“Mine Dismantling” Part 1 of 3

Heroes Remember

“Mine Dismantling” Part 1 of 3

It was alright to start with. There would be weeks on end when I had, when I had nothing to do and, and in times like that I would be corralled by the admiral's flag lieutenant to help do jobs in the office with him. But then a gale would blow and all hell would break loose. There'd be reports of mines all over and you would work like mad for a few days and I guess, I guess, well this, this is where I got my mention in dispatches. What happened was, that a mine got into Scapa Flow and into the fleet anchorage and a floating mine, according to the Geneva Convention, it's supposed to be disarmed, to disarm itself by a safety lever on the bottom. But, of course, barnacles and marine growth are apt to get in there and, and prevent this safety lever from functioning properly. So one always had to assume that every, every floating mine was a dangerous mine.

Risking his life, Mr. Sutherland secures a mine which is adrift in the Scapa Flow close to some battleships. Because of this action he was mentioned in a dispatch.

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

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