Our annual commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA) has come and gone. On May 6, outside The Military Museums in Calgary AB, a parade was held to remember all those BOA veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada. There were approximately 10 Battle of the Atlantic veterans who made it to the parade. It was a beautiful warm day with over 350 people on parade.
The Battle of the Atlantic was a pivotal struggle during the Second World War, lasting from September 1939 to May 1945, which was courageously fought by the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), the Canadian Merchant Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. With this success came a high cost. The RCN lost 33 warships and suffered over 2,000 fatalities; the Merchant Navy lost over 70 ships and suffered over 1,700 fatalities; and the Royal Canadian Air Force lost more than 900 aircrew.
The terrible losses of Canadian servicemen impacted all parts of Canada. On December 7, 1941, the corvette HMCS Windflower was sunk off Newfoundland. One of the fortunate survivors was Able Seaman John Abraham, a sailor who would later play a significant role in Calgary’s naval community. AB Abraham continued in the Navy after the war and, in 1960, as a Lieutenant Commander, became the staff officer at HMCS Tecumseh. His son, also named John Abraham, caught the naval bug while serving as a sea cadet with Calgary’s RCSCC Undaunted. He later went on to a career in submarines. We are so lucky that AB Abraham survived the sinking of the Windflower.
The Naval Museum of Alberta is dedicated to remembering the sacrifices of all Canadian naval personnel with an emphasis on those associated with Alberta. If you believe in recognizing and remembering the sacrifices of the Battle of the Atlantic, there are two easy ways that you can help.
First, become a member of the Naval Museum of Alberta Society. https://navalmuseumofalbertasociety.ca/page-1704863
Second, consider making a tax-deductible donation towards preserving our naval history.