The First Midshipman In Canada

Kenneth (Gordon) Adey

RCN

Anti-Submarine Trawler HMS Liscomb
(After the war she was recommissioned and became HMCS Liscomb)

My name is Kenneth J. Adey but everyone calls me Gordon... figure that one out? I joined the RCNVR in Winnipeg where we lived. It was at the "stone frigate" HMCS Chippewa. I was 17 years and 6 mos old.

The navy was not unfamiliar to me, as I had been in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets as an ordinary seaman and worked my way up to an A.B., L.S., P.O., and coxswain. Then they made me a mid Shipman. (a snotty). I was the first mid shipman in Canada, and after the war was over, I went back to the cadet movement as a Sub Lt.

Now when I joined the RCNVR, I went back to being an ordinary seaman. We took the train along with many other recruits to HMCS Cornwallis in Nova Scotia for basic training. We arrived at St. John and took the ferry across the Bay of Fundy to Digby and then on to Cornwallis.

After basic training our group was assigned to become gunners, stokers, etc. I was chosen to be a submarine detector. (Asdics) and when I was finished that training, I was sent on a one-man draft to Louisberg, N.S. to pick up a Royal Navy Minesweeper, the HMS Liscomb. We sailed south to Boston where we took on supplies. Then on to St. John's Newfoundland for North Atlantic convoy duty.

On one convoy, we were escorting six slow ships to mid Atlantic where we would be relieved by other ships that would then take them to England. On the way, I picked up a strong echo or "ping", and action stations were called. We continued the run and all of a sudden the echo faded and disappeared. It was obvious to me I had picked up a huge school of fish, likely cod as we were off the Grand Banks area. So I called up to the Bridge to disregard- almost immediately the stern rail depth charges were dropped and tremendous explosions of water rose up. The convoy was supposed to remain in formation but as soon as they heard and saw the explosion, they dispersed as fast as they could go!

There was an informal inquiry as to why the depth charges were dropped and the Rating said he heard me yell up the voice pipe to "ditch the charge"! I'd really said, "Disregard". He said it was "just another colonial who couldn't speak the King's English"! A year later when we went into Halifax harbour I was drafted off the Liscomb and picked up H.M.C.S. TRAIL, a Canadian Corvette where I remained until the end of the war.

I was the only Canadian on the Liscomb but they all treated me real well, and just like one of them. My only regret is that I never got any of their England addresses and I would sure like to know where they are and what they are doing.

K.J. Adey

We Will Remember

animated maple leaf

Thank you, Veterans,

With sincere gratitude from all Canadians


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