Thursday, November 17, 2016

Photographs: Charles 'Chuck' Rose, RCNVR and Combined Ops

Chuck Rose from Chippawa, Ontario

Chuck Rose lands at Greenock, Scotland in January 1942
From the collection of Joe Spencer

As far as I know and understand, 950 - 1000 Canadians volunteered to join Combined Operations during WW2, most with an earlier link to the RCNVR, the Wavy Navy. The men came from both east and west coasts, enticed by bulletins and announcements related to hazardous duties overseas, duties on small craft, with 9-days leave - "if you just sign here" - thrown in for good measure. Early drafts to C.O. came from Halifax in late 1941, many of the first volunteers from SW Ontario and for example, HMCS Star, Hamilton.

Memoirs from these men are rare but we can learn a bit from WW2 photos. If I can find 5 or 6 good photographs related to a particular member of Combined Ops I will gather them here in order to share some of their story.

Before landing in Scotland in January 1942, Chuck took initial training in Hamilton (at HMCS Star). He then moved on to HMCS Stadacona in Halifax.

He likely appears in a rare photo (below) of new recruits on parade at the completion of training in Hamilton, summer 1941.

Photo Credit - Doug Harrison

Chuck appears in two photos taken in November 1941, with the Effingham Division in Halifax.

Top row, second from left.
Photo Credit - St. Nazaire to Singapore Vol. 1

Third row from top, first on left
Photo Credit - Doug Harrison

Chuck went with his mates to HMS Northney for training (on Hayling island, south coast of England), shortly after arriving in Scotland.

Chuck is third from left, between Joe Spencer and Doug Harrison
Photo Credit - Joe Spencer

Chuck Rose trained at HMS Quebec, Inveraray (as well as at other UK locations) in preparation for the Dieppe Raid and the invasions of N. Africa, Sicily and Italy before returning to Canada in December 1943.

Chuck sweeps out his landing craft, S. England
Photo Credit - Lloyd Evans, Markham

Chuck left, tries his hand at machine gun practice?
Photo Credit - Lloyd Evans

Chuck (front left) and mates, gussied up for leave, Glasgow 1943
Photo Credit - Joe Spencer 

Chuck, lower left, aboard SS Keren on route to Sicily 1943

Chuck, left of centre, aboard Aquitania, bound for Canada, Dec. 1943

 Chuck, far right, at Toronto train station, Dec. 1943 - Jan. 1944

 Chuck (2nd left) lights a cig on way to Vancouver Is., Jan. 1944

Chuck and mates at Combined Ops Centre, Comox, Vanc. Is. 1944 - 45

Chuck, front row, second left, pitches for Navy 1 ball team 
Scene is Lewis Park, a short walk east of downtown Courtenay

Chuck, back centre, practices w mates on The Spit, Comox 

 Navy 1 ball team. An away game? E.g., at Campbell River?

 Doug and Chuck (above) lead the Navy Nine to a win

Last photo from out west. Last days in RCNVR and Combined Ops.
Likely taken at HMCS Naden, Esquimalt days before discharge.
Chuck Rose standing tall, back row, centre.

Doug Harrison and Chuck Rose at a Navy Reunion, circa 1960s.

Unattributed Photos GH

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