Canadian Naval Heroes Graphic Vignettes - John Stubbs

Veterans’ Week is a time to reflect on our Royal Canadian Navy history and the courageous sailors who came before us. Lest we forget Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) John Stubbs who commanded His Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Assiniboine and later HMCS Athabaskan. Assiniboine was assigned to North Atlantic convoy runs during the Second World War, and LCdr Stubbs was recognized for outstanding skill in prevailing in a fierce surface battle with a U-boat. In an English Channel action in 1944, HMCS Athabaskan was hit by a torpedo, killing much of the crew including LCdr Stubbs, who refused rescue to keep searching for survivors.

Canadian Naval Heroes - Lieutenant-Commander John Stubbs | From Kaslo, B.C., John Hamilton Stubbs became a naval cadet at age 10 and commanded his first warship at 28. He was a renowned ship handler and tactician, as well as a confident leader who improved the morale in the ships he commanded. LCdr Stubbs first command, HMCS Assiniboine, was assigned to the treacherous North Atlantic convoy runs. When convoy ONS-100 was attacked by six U-boats, LCdr Stubbs relied upon sound tactics to escape with the loss of only four merchant ships. In August 1941, HMCS Assiniboine caught U-210 on the surface in the Atlantic fog. During the battle Assiniboine’s bridge "was deluged with machine gun bullets" but LCdr Stubbs "gave his orders as though he were talking to a friend at a garden party." On fire and riddled with shell holes, Assiniboine rammed U-210 twice and sunk it with depth charges. In 1944, LCdr Stubbs commanded HMCS Athabaskan, which was hit by a torpedo during a battle with two enemy ships. A massive explosion threw most overboard or killed them outright. After fighting off the enemy, HMCS Haida returned to rescue the remaining crew, but LCdr Stubbs refused rescue to help find more sailors. Badly burned and last seen clinging to a life raft, he eventually succumbed to the frigid waters.


Read the full article about LCdr John Stubbs' heroic service during the Second World War.