Match-Making on Chaleur Bay

Before I was stationed overseas, I was assigned to Summerside PEI, to patrol the area for German submarines.  This area, PEI was called the Garden of the Gulf.  There was pretty heavy war -time submarine activity around there.  The base was very active.  I wasn’t excited about my stint there – but I wasn’t disappointed either.

Several sightings of German submarines had been made in Chaleur Bay, New Brunswick over the course of a few weeks in 1942, 1943.  It was decided that they would institute several dawn patrols by putting a depth charge under each wing off 250 pounds.

I flew Ansons at that time.  Ansons were used in Britain and in Canada during the war.  There were four crew:  pilot (myself), student, navigator, and wireless air – gunner.  They were easy to fly – very forgiving craft.  You never had to worry about much when flying that craft.  It was very modern and had a lot of “automation”.   The 250 pounds of under-water bombs were mostly used by the navy – but we carried them too.   The weight of the weapons, however,  reduced the landing and take-off speed of the poor old Anson.

I will never forget this one particular day.  It was a very calm morning.  As we approached the bay, there lay right ahead of us a wake on the water which appeared exactly like the wake caused by the German submarines.

“Frank!”, I called.  “Arm the depth charges!”

Frank, my wireless air gunner, ran up to the nose and we began the “run-in”.  Seconds later I said, “abort, abort”.  The wake belonged to a tugboat towing logs.

The skipper of that tugboat never knew how close he had come to towing a load of toothpicks instead of logs.

Categories: World War II | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Match-Making on Chaleur Bay

  1. Chris

    looks like it was that tugboat operators lucky day

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