On August 21, 1944 just moments after the noon mess had been called, the crew of HMCS Alberni found themselves struggling for their lives.
While on patrol in the English Channel, 42 nautical miles southeast of the Isle of Wight, the Canadian warship was struck by an acoustic torpedo fired from u-480. The resulting explosion tore away a large portion of the stern. Of the 89 crewman aboard, only 30 would survive the tragedy. The Alberni sank in 30 seconds, carrying 59 men to her final resting place 66 metres below the surface.
To honour the lives of the 59 crewmen, the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) will be hosting a Remembrance Bell ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the sinking of Alberni at precisely noon on Aug. 21. HAMM experienced flooding in July and the main facility will be closed for repairs so the ceremony will be conducted in the main corridor of the museum. The Alberni Memorial Wall inside the main facility will be made available to the public. A small reception will be held in the temporary offices and exhibit space located across the hall from the main section of HAMM.
As with HAMM’s annual Remembrance Day Bells of Peace Ceremony, members of the public are invited to be a bell-ringer for this event. Interested persons or groups wishing to participate can contact Bob Sackett at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call HAMM at 250-897-4611, or drop by HAMM at 625 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.