On July 31, 1942, Convoy SC-94 departed Sydney, NS for Europe. The Assiniboine was one of the escorts. 5 days in, a German U-boat sank one of the freighters, and sent a message alerting others to the convoy's position and heading. 18 U-boats responded. At 1125 on August 6th, the Assiniboine spotted U-210, and set the stage for a 7-hour battle in the bad weather and fog. The Assiniboine increased speed to 22 knots, bearing down on U-210, firing her forward guns at the submarine. U-210 immediately dived, forcing Assiniboine to use depth charges. No wreckage was spotted, and no contact was made by sonar, so Assiniboine rejoined the convoy. 6 hours later, U-210 was again spotted and Assiniboine renewed her pursuit. The U-Boat commander used the bad weather to his advantage, weaving in and out of the fog, never allowing the Assiniboine's guns an opportunity to engage her. The two continued to weave into and away from each other as the submarine sought an chance to dive. At one point, due to the close proximity of the combatants, the Assiniboine could engage only with her .50 Calibre machine guns. During this engagement, the Assiniboine suffered a serious gasoline fire below the bridge. Finally, as U-210 tried to dive, the Assiniboine was able to ram her just abaft the conning tower. This damage caused her to surface, only to be rammed a second time. U-210 sank just two minutes after. 6 Germans, including the Captain, and one Canadian were killed, with many more wounded. Assiniboine's Captain, LCdr John Hamilton Stubbs, received the Distinguished Service Order. First Lieutenant., Lt. Ralph Hennessy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Coxswain, Acting Chief Petty Officer Bernays, who stayed at the helm of the Assiniboine despite the smoke and fire aft of the bridge, received the rarely awarded Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. The story of the Assiniboine is a testament to the Royal Canadian Navy's professionalism and tenacity. In 2003, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the CFB Halifax Officer's Mess commissioned a mural of this famous engagement, to remind its members and guests of Canada's important contributions in the North Atlantic.
Commemorate HMCS Assiniboine, and the Battle of the Atlantic.
About the Convoy Cup Foundation.
The Convoy Cup recognizes the historical contribution of the port of Halifax to the convoy lifeline to Europe during World War II, and perpetuates the memory of the courageous men and women of the merchant marine, navy and air force.
We continue to honour the sacrifices made by veterans of past and present conflicts, who contributed so much to the peace and security we enjoy today.