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“Mine Dismantling” Part 3 of 3

Heroes Remember

“Mine Dismantling” Part 3 of 3

The, the weird part of all this was, of course, this was all observed by the Home Fleet. I'm thinking, the CNC and actually the, the mine ultimately turned out to be, turned out to be safe but of course there was no, there was no way of knowing that. Anyway for that I was recommended for the George Medal. And then sometime after that I was out with my torpedo gunner's mate, we had so many mines and it was getting, getting dark and there was a mine ashore on the island of Flotta and reported. And so we went to, we went to, to deal with this and it was sunset and the, the tide was just beginning to flood and so we, we walked toward the mine, and we were about 40 yards away I suppose, but the, the land went down like that and I, I was going to secure it but my, my torpedo gunner's mate, a marvellous person, said, "Sir, I don't think we should do that, it's too late." And so just as we turned around to go, the mine blew up and blew us to flat to the ground and all this had been watched by the, by a local signal station who sent down an ambulance and, of course, the ambulance, when the ambulance got there they could find nothing, nothing at all. Meanwhile, we'd walked across to the signal station to tell them that we were okay.

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 nominated for the George Medal.

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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