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Rough Seas and Loose Cargo

Heroes Remember

Rough Seas and Loose Cargo

There was one trip I made to England and we got, in the middle of the, about February I think, and there were reports the subs, submarines were around, German subs were around and it was just getting dark and it was kind of cold if you’ve went out, had to bail out. So in the meantime they had barrels, 45 gallon drums on the deck, but the holes were all filled up. So they had those oil barrels two high and they had rope around. It was pretty rough all the way over. I think it took us 18 days to go over. I think it was and instead of doing nine knots an hour we were only doing five, so you could see how rough that was. So in the meantime we were laying down on our beds so this would be below deck too, and all of a sudden about two o’clock in the morning we heard this “boom, boom, boom!” Oh, oh, we’re getting torpedoed now. So we got up and this is kind of funny afterwards and here it was the barrels the rope chafed, the barrels came flying out. So, like you go to bed with your clothes on at this time. It didn’t take us long to get out of bed. So when you get in to a storm like that, the way it worked on me after a few days, a couple of weeks of that, your head would get kind of heavy, you’d feel kind of like numb in the head, you know. I guess your head going up and down.

Mr. MacDonell describes a very long voyage in rough seas, and losing a deck load of barrels which broke loose.

Angus MacDonell

Angus MacDonell was born in Judique, Nova Scotia on December 17, 1924. His father died when he was young, and he went to work in his uncle's sawmill for fifty cents a day. His mother remarried, to the brother of Angus L. MacDonald, the premier of Nova Scotia. He tried unsuccessfully to enlist in the air force as a tail gunner, but the need was low. As a result Mr. MacDonell joined the Merchant Navy, where he served with engine room crew aboard several ships, both as stoker and fireman.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Angus MacDonell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Atlantic Ocean
Battle of the Atlantic
Merchant Navy
Warrant Officer

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