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I jumped over the ship's starboard rail into the Atlantic shortly after the second torpedo hit. I say the Atlantic, but by then we had probably reached the outer limits of the Bay of Biscay, roughly 300 miles off the French coast. It was around 7:30 p.m., St. Patrick's Day, 1945, and pretty well everyone was in the water when the wind began to pick up.
I was one of 42 crew members swarming around one Carley float designed to carry 12. By the time we were rescued the next afternoon--19 hours later--six of us from that float were alive.
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His Majesty's Canadian Ship Guysborough, pendant number J52, was a Bangor class minesweeper. Built at Vancouver and commissioned on April 22, 1942, she had eight officers and a crew of 83. Size wise, she w...