STRANG L. G. GURNEY

Lieutenant | Royal Canadian Navy

 

For nearly seven months the H.M.C.S. Sioux patrolled Korean waters, bombarded the peninsula's foreign shores, and was unofficially the mine killing champion of the United Nations' fleet.  She was one of the first vessels to respond to the crisis in Korea among two other Canadian destroyers, the Cayuga and Athabaskan.

During the Second World War, Gurney was loaned to the Royal Navy for service aboard the HMS Glasgow.  Between October 1943 and July 1944 she saw plenty of action in the Atlantic and off the coast of France in support of the Normandy landings.

In late October, Gurney returned to control of the Canadian Navy on the HMCS Uganda, a ship that would become infamous during her tenure under British command.  Manned by an all volunteer force, the Uganda faced a vote in mid-1945 when the crew was asked who wished to re-volunteer.  Only one-third of the crew elected to continue service, so the ship captain honored the vote and moved to depart toe Pacific.  Many had volunteered with the understanding they would be fighting against Germany, not Japan, a policy shared by the government - others needed to escape the constant kamikaze attacks.  To add insult, the ship did not fly under the usual Canadian ensign, and while petty did fuel some spite in addition to poor supply conditions due to a focus on the European theater.  In all, the Uganda and her crew served gallantly, Gurney himself decorated for service as Senior Petty Officer Radar Operator, but the whole ordeal was seen as a mutiny.  The crew was thankful to return to their families and the captain regarded with respect for serving his men faithfully.

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