HMCS Alberni: Lest We Forget

The board of directors, managers and staff of the Port Alberni Port Authority joins the rest of the country in expressing our deepest gratitude to those who have served our great country in the Royal and Canadian Armed Forces as well as the Merchant Navy and to those that continue to protect our democracy at home and abroad today. Many of these exemplary men and women, including those who have served alongside our Canadian troops among our allied nations, live or have lived in the Alberni Valley, thus extending their National legacy of service to local contributions that not often enough are recognized and appreciated.
As we look towards November 11th to remember those that gave the greatest sacrifice for us and our allies Port Alberni has a direct link to the Canadian Navy. On February 4, 1941 the HMCS Alberni was commissioned after being built in Esquimalt’s Yarrows Shipyard. The corvette class vessel was assigned to such duties as plying alongside the HMCS Agassiz, forming the Newfoundland Escort Force to Iceland; based out of Londonderry, the Alberni supported landings between London, Gibraltar and North Africa; serving the Gulf Escort Force in the St. Lawrence River and Seaway; and joining 16 other corvettes in the United Kingdom to support Operation Neptune. These are but a few of the duties admirably performed by the hardworking crew of the vessel that so proudly resembled the work ethic and character of the community for which she was named. On August 21, 1944, on orders to relieve HMCS Drumheller on patrol for German U-boats leading to the beaches of Normandy, the HMCS Alberni was struck by a torpedo in the English Channel. Sinking in less than a minute 59 crew perished. 31 were rescued*
On November 11th choose how you wish to recognize our veterans. Whatever and however you choose to observe this date we encourage you to, at least, take a moment to consider the sacrifices of those who served, such as those on the HMCS Alberni, who ensured that we do, in fact, have such choices of personal freedom under our privileged way of life; lest we forget.
*Source: The Naval Museum of Manitoba