Let’s Talk About: U-Boats in St. Lawrence

Filed under: Opinion |

by Evelyn Couch

I knew at the time there was a Nazi U-Boat in the St. Lawrence River because my sailor husband told me. But, in all these years since, I did not know there were several, until now. An article in the May/June issue of Legion magazine reports there were many.

Only air patrols were active over the St. Lawrence when U-553 sank two steamers south of Anticosti Island.

The article states there was a media frenzy. I was not living in Ontario at the time, but my family never mentioned it.

The U-132 arrived two months later, and three ships were torpedoed. Then the U-boat crash-dived to escape and slammed into cold sea water. The dive stalled just as the HMCS Drummondville bracketed the U-Boat with depth charges. Although damaged, it managed to escape.

You can read about it in detail in the Legion magazine. It makes us realize how close we were to being taken over by the Nazis in World War II. It is referred to in the magazine as one of the most remarkable U-Boat cruises.

I did a story with a veteran who had been on the ships that carried supplies from Canada to Britain, and he was reluctant at first to talk because he said it was so horrible. When he did talk, he said he could not finish it. I think he knew about the U-boats in the St. Lawrence.