Øjenviden beretning om U1006 Episoden 16.okt. 1944

 Følgende er en direkte afskrift af en beretning fra den Canadiske webside:  ” N a v a l   M u s e u m   o f   M a n i t o b a ”                                                                                                                                                           Gunnar A. Axelsen

Reference HMCS Annan (K404) by: Brian ‘Canuck’ Murza

Every morning when I start the computer I greatly enjoy your daily revue of naval operations during that particular day. I was surprised to view the HMCS Annan episode and the story behind it. This whole episode as described was always one of “He did this” and “They did this” however the fact remains that HMCS Outremont was in the middle of this and I as the GI of the ship and being on the 4” gun deck had a view of most of it including the gun’s crew which actually sank the U1006.

We used to patrol the old fashion way Line Abreast day in and day out and always together. If a ship got a contact two would play the game and the others would stand by to help. During all my days on the Outremont from “D” day re the “Tracker Episode” to the patrols in the Bay of Biscay and the patrols of the Faroe Island the system never changed. It’s true that the first attack made by Annan was declared as a dud but the lien abreast was maintained. Outremont was next to Annan. After the attack the squadron always doubled back to try and gain contact again, and turning around put Outremont on the port side of Annan.

The seas were quite calm for this area, practically no wind and it was pitch black out there, when out of nowhere the U1006 opened fire on the Annan. We were not at action stations. This was an unsuspected attack. When I came on deck on the starboard side to join my guns crew I saw the bridge of Annan completely engulfed in fire.

Someone of the guns crew yelled “Submarine on surface” (We always had a partial guns crew closed up) When I reached the gun platform the 4” was already being trained towards the target and I yelled to open fire which they did even when the gun was not on the target. Someone yelled there it is and we fired 4 broadsides at close range because the sub was that close. I always suspected that a submarine would come so close to us as it did during the Ottawa convoy that I had one man stand by with the Bren gun fully loaded. I emptied the gun in the direction of the submarine and we could see crewmembers in the water. While all this was going on we could hear shells whizzing over us and landing close by. Little did we know on the gun deck that one of our own was firing at us? I still say it was the New Waterford with its new twin 4”. It was utter confusion and I heard later that a couple ships came close to colliding. During this period I was getting from the bridge a big “Cease Fire” which I ignored. This order came from a new Sub Lt. who told the Captain we were shooting at people in the water; he never saw the submarine because he was looking for his tin helmet. He wanted me to get Court Martial for disobeying an order. Lcdr. Freeland told him to sit on it. Who was the Sub.? The son of the Mayor of the city of Outremont.

The ship was stopped and we picked up 29 prisoners and put them in the foreword stocker’s mess. The first Lieut. & I tried to talk to the prisoners but none would say a word to us. We gave them warm clothing and blankets and hot coco. The Captain wanted to know if there were any Officers in that bunch. We went back and on a hunch I approached one prisoner who seemed to be better dressed than the others and asked him in French, “Qui est votre Capitaine” (Who is your Captain) the answer was very short. “J’etais” (I was) What do you mean you were? His answer was unexpected and funny. “Le navire est coulee n’nes pas” “Is’nt sunk) was his answer. The Captain offered him his cabin and I took him up to it where he looked around and wanted to go to the heads. I showed him where it was and I told him in French to leave door open. I sat down and watched him go into the heads and I noticed that he took a piece of paper and was trying to stuff it down the toilet. I had a .38 in my sea boot and pointed it at him and he looked at me and stopped. They were his sailing orders.

The orders referred to another submarine also and they had only been at sea for a couple of days from Bergen. The crew was very sullen and would not speak or eat. I asked the Captain why his crew did not want to eat or talk. All he said to me to get rid of the Engineer officer as he was the POLITICO. I told the first lieutenant and we transferred him to another ship. This group of prisoners was transformed in minutes into the best group you could ever take on board as prisoners. They ate sang songs and told stories. The best was that two of the prisoners were Canadians. They were borne in Ottawa and had been sent to Germany to school as it was the custom for German Canadian families to do. I wonder where they are today. We were ordered to head for and dump the prisoners, so we picked up our Engineer Officer and headed for This last portion of the story is etched in my mind and I can’t get rid of it. The Royal Marines are on the jetty waiting for the prisoners which are leaving waiving us goodbye All in a jovial mood except for the Marines who were very business like and not too friendly until the German Engineer Officer was ready to leave the ship. Halfway up the gangplank he stopped turned around and looked at me and I knew what he was going to do. This took a second and to this day I feel the silence as I took my gun and pointed it at him. If he would have saluted “Heil Hitler” He knew and I knew I would shoot. The silence was deafening, he looked at me and he got of the ship. Nobody ever said a word to me. The story doesn’t stop here. Over time I found out who the Captain of the submarine was and it was forgotten until I became the Staff Officer Operations in Montreal and fully attached you might say with the planning of Expo 67. When Mayor Jean Drapeau asked us for visiting ships we prepared the largest visiting ship program ever undertaken. A Squadron of ships a week on their official week at Expo When it came to Germany, this was unheard off because German Naval ships were not allowed to leave their own waters. We obtained a dispensation for this trip and a German Squadron of destroyers was to visit. I spent many hours whit the German Naval Attaché and stories were told back & forth and I told this officer of my encounter with the sub Captain. It’s at this point that I found out he was still in the navy. He was coming to Montreal as Squadron Commander. I looked forward to seeing him again just as if he was long lost friend. The squadron sailed form Germany and he had been replaced so he could go to Paris for a NATO Conference.  The only thing I ever got from him was a short note wishing me well and thanks for taking care of his crew.