Ernest Charles “Chuck” Wyatt

Battle of the Atlantic Heroes / May 11, 2020

As part of our coverage of 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, the following story was one of many submitted by Canadians to honour the service of someone they knew in this longest battle of the Second World War.

 LCdr (ret’d) Gerald W. Pash, CD

At 17 years of age, Able Seaman Ernest Charles Wyatt enrolled in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve on May 25, 1942, for the duration of the hostilities of the Second World War. In February 1943, after training on both coasts -- at HMCS Naden in Esquimalt, B.C., and HMCS Stadacona in Halifax -- he was posted to Fairmile Motor Launch, Q-051, which operated out of Fort Ramsey, Gaspé, Que., at the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. With further training, he was posted on October 7, 1943, to the corvette HMCS Camrose for duty in the North Atlantic out of HMCS Avalon, Nfld., eventually escorting convoys to and from the invasion beaches at Normandy. Following the end of hostilities in Europe, he volunteered for service in the Pacific and trained at HMCS Naden

He was demobilized on October 5, 1945.  For his service in Europe he was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the Atlantic Star with France-Germany Bar, along with the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and 1939-45 War Medal.  In mid-January 2016, the Government of France recognized him with its highest honour, the Legion of Honour, for his service at D-Day that led to the liberation of France.  He was informed of the award but he died in February 2016 before a formal presentation could be arranged. 

Upon being demobilized, he undertook training to be certified as an electrician’s helper and was employed in the construction industry until he again volunteered for service, on July 19, 1948, in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). He was posted from Victoria’s Naval Reserve Division, HMCS Malahat, to HMCS Naden.  In October, he joined HMC Ships Cedarwood and Rockcliffe which were engaged in experimental sonar trials and training on the Pacific Coast.

He was assigned to Operation REDRAMP to support the City of Winnipeg during the 1950 Red River Flood. When the Korean Conflict broke out, he was posted to HMCS Cayuga and served during the ship’s first two tours of the Conflict, beginning July 3, 1950.  For his service in Korea, he was awarded the Canadian Korea Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for Korea and the United Nations Service Medal. 

Post-Korea, he served on HMC Ships Stettler, Crusader, Comox, Fortune, Ontario and Athabaskan, with service ashore in Naden, Stadacona and HMCS Cornwallis, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.  He was honourably discharged from the RCN at end of his commitment in July 1958. He retrained to be employed as a stationary engineer at the HMC Dockyard central steam heating plant until he retired in 1982 after 38 years of service to Canada.