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Duties at Sea as a Sonar Man

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Duties at Sea as a Sonar Man

My trade was sonar. We were trained for submarine detection. The ship was a sonar or a submarine detecting or a submarine type of warfare ship and so we were trained to search for submarines. And we were trained to a very high level. We went through the training in American sonar training school in Pearl Harbour before we went to Korea and I am sure the assessment we got was very, very high but the war in Korea was a land war. There was not much of a threat to the naval forces other than just air and so we were aware of that. We still had to stand watches, like and man sonar. When we went a lot of the military that took part in the war was still there. A lot of the navy ships were stationed in and out of Japan and so we were assigned a port in Japan where we would get our supplies and our recreation away from, like it would be a home port away from our home port. It was Sasebo, Japan. And so we would go out on patrol on the west coast of Korea. There was a ceasefire. There was tension there. The armies were still closed up there and the South Korean Navy were in charge of doing the minesweeping and so they would do that with smaller ships without armament to protect themselves. So they detailed destroyers to be supportive of the mine sweepers. We would be with a group of mine sweepers. We would anchor and they would do their minesweeping in the daytime and at night they would come and anchor around us. We supplied them with medical and fresh water. So we would get an assignment like that for a two week stint every so often and when we would leave and another destroyer would come in and take our place. So we were very busy having those kind of duties and when we weren’t doing that we would be exercising with other United Nations Forces Navy and that was interesting working with so many different nations.

Mr. Flett describes his role in detecting and searching for submarines on board the HMCS Crusader.

Victor Flett

Mr. Victor Flett was born September 5, 1928 in Selkirk, Manitoba. He was the youngest of five, with one sister and three brothers. At three years of age his mother passed and he was then raised by his grandmother. Living on “Grandfather’s land” and attending a one room schoolhouse, life for Mr. Flett was challenging although he considers it a great inspiration to his success in life. During his later years, Mr. Flett chose to join the navy and took part in the Korean War holding rank of ordinary seaman on board the HMCS Crusader with an occupation as sonar man. Mr. Flett retired after 33 years of service. He married, raised a family and now resides in his hometown of Sooke, British Columbia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 3, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Victor Flett
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
HMCS Crusader
Ordinary Seaman
Sonar Man

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