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A Dog’s Best Friend

HMCS Charlottetown during the Second World War.
(Photo: Ken Macpherson/Naval Museum of Alberta (MC-2183)

One night in December 1941, while serving aboard HMCS Charlottetown off the coast of Newfoundland, Seaman John Garland went ashore. He came back later with a little dog tucked under his arm. Seaman Garland nicknamed him Screech, after a local Newfoundland drink, and the pair became inseparable.

Unfortunately, HMCS Charlottetown was attacked on September 11, 1942, by a U-boat (a German submarine). Taking place in broad daylight, the attack horrified onlookers who watched from the Quebec shore. The ship sank within minutes.

Gandy the dog

Seaman Garland worked quickly to ensure that crew members had life jackets. After that, he went down below to rescue the lovable ship’s mascot. Screech was already in the water, however, and needed no assistance to escape. Tragically, John Garland died in the rescue attempt, along with nine other sailors who had been on board.

Screech was presented to John Garland’s mother by surviving members of the crew a few weeks later.

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