CRGS Cenotaph Project - Basil Whiting


Service Personnel Information 1939–1945

Address on Enrollment:Whaletown, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada
Birthplace:Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Birth: 23 March 1923
Next of Kin:William Henry Evans Whiting and Muriel Alice (Horner) Whiting, Parents
Racial Origin: British
Marital Status: Single
Trade or Calling: Logger
Previous Service in a Military Force:None
Date of Enlistment: 18 November 1940 (Boy Seaman)
City and Province of Enlistment:Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada

Military Service Record 1939–1945

Force: Royal Canadian Navy
Unit: Royal Canadian Navy HMCS Ottawa
Rank: Able Seaman
Service Number: 4037
Commencement of Time on Engagement: 18 November 1941
Honours and Awards: 1939 – 45 Star; Atlantic Star; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp; War Medal
 Mount Whiting in Clendenning Range of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia is named for him.
Photograph: Not yet available
Date of Death: 13 September 1942
Age (at death): 19
Country of Burial: Died at sea
Cemetery: None
Grave Reference: Halifax Memorial Monument Panel 5 inscribed with his name.
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Book of Remembrance: Basil Whiting's name can be found on page 124 of the 1942
Second World War Book of Remembrance

His Story

Basil Evans Whiting was born on March 23, 1923 at Vancouver BC. He was the son of William Henry Evans Whiting, (deceased in 1927) and Muriel Alice Whiting of Whaletown, BC. He did not have any brothers and had one half-sister – Mrs. Jean de Groot, 2165 Howard Ave, Windsor Ontario.

Basil joined the Royal Canadian Navy at Esquimalt, BC on November 18, 1940 as a “boy seaman” at the age of age 17 years, 8 months, stature, 6 feet 1 ¼ inches, chest 38 inches. His residence at time of enlistment was Cortez Island, BC, civilian occupation, logger - faller, employer – James Munroe Logging Co., Whaletown, BC. On November 18, 1941 he signed on for a seven year engagement in the RCN, official number 4037.

Like Able Seaman Ralph (another man on the cenotaph), Basil Whiting underwent naval training at the shore establishments HMCS NADEN and HMCS STADACONA on the west and east coasts of Canada as an Air Gunner. He was also a qualified Bugler.

On September 3, 1941 he was posted to Destroyer H60 HMCS OTTAWA in the rank of Ordinary Seaman. He was promoted to the rank of Able Seaman on January 2, 1942. From September 1941 until the day that OTTAWA was sunk on September 14, 1942, Able Seaman Whiting took part in escort duties in support of 14 trans-Atlantic convoys, primarily on the Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England route. At 02.05 hours on September 14th the German submarine U-91 fired a spread of two torpedoes at a destroyer and observed a hit. Then they saw another destroyer, made a full circle and fired one torpedo at 02.15 hours, which hit amidships and caused the ship to blow up and sink immediately. The U-boat commander Captain Heinz Walkerling thought that they had sunk two destroyers, but in fact HMCS Ottawa under the command of A/Lt.Cdr. Clark Anderson Rutherford, RCN, was hit twice and sank in position 47º55'N, 43º27'W (German naval grid BC 6191) with the loss of 114 crew. There were 67 survivors. Able Seaman Ralph was missing, believed killed in action.

Basil Whiting’s name is engraved on the Halifax Memorial. Honours and Awards: 1939 – 45 Star; Atlantic Star; C.V.S.M. Medal & Clasp; War Medal

Sources and other Canadian Military links Click Here

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