Page 8 - Capt. Walter Boudreau's Story: Louisbourg Rescue, 1943, & The Sinking of the Angelus
ISSUE : Issue 64
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1
chine guns and kind of sighting you as if they were going to take your picture. And we were wondering, because the laws of naval warfare about that time had changed. It all started when, I think, a Polish destroyer machine-gunned the crew of a submarine that had got into trouble. I think Hitler said that from now on it was total war at sea. And then there were a good many cases of the Germans machine- gunning men in the water. Running through them, you know, fifty men swim? ming around. Run through them, ma? chine-gun them, drop a depth charge. So we were there and won? dering which catego? ry we were going to be in. they get? And, so they weren't interested in what we had. (They weren't interested in the rum?) I guess the captain didn't want a barrel of rum on that submarine, and you can see the point there. The captain was quite OFTEN SINCE COMING ABOARD THE ANGELUS I had noticed proof] of the fact that superstition is not dead in the men who sail wooden ships, i remember the scandalized complaints of the Newfies If any? one lay down a hatch bottom-side-up or sat upon an inverted tub. And I still think of Frank, during the first few days at sea, taking his turn at the wheel and whistling loudly and merrily. Exasperated frowns froze upon him from all sides, and shortly the mate came from below and told him in no uncertain terms what happened to ships whose helms? men made a habit of whistling. (But you kept rowing toward them.) We stopped. We were right there then. We were just looking up at them. They were just twenty feet away. The German captain came out and he spoke English. And he said, "Send your captain up." So Captain Jensen went up. And then the people on the submarine were interested to know if there was anything that could change their menu. Like any fruits, tropical fruits, or some? thing. Bananas or something to change their menu. What was aboard, what could During this voyage toward Halifax, while about In the latitude of Cuba, a shark got under the shadow of the stern and remained there for sev? eral days. We learned that after a time limit of a week this aiso is ta? boo, and after several attempts to scare him off by hurling old nuts and bolts at him had failed, one of the Newfoundlanders said, "If we don't git rid of that thar fish soon, we'll meet trouble." There was a half barrel of salt meat which had gone bad, and Frenchy put a large hunk on a meat hook and towed it astern by a strong line. The shark removed several huge pieces of meat, but finally a jerk embedded the hook firmly ir' his jaw and four of us pulled him out of the water. He was a big devil and hung over the transom alive until evening, when we got a burton fast to the hook, hauled him aboard and operated on him. After that the men felt safer. decent. He told Jen? sen, he said, "Look, we're with? in the air patrol radius here," and he said, "Either I have to take you people prisoners or I have to set you loose." He said, "I'm going to set you loose. You can go back to your boat, you have twenty min? utes . If you want to get things." -Walter Boudreau, writing in The Radder magazine, 1944. BOOKS ARE A GREAT GIFT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR Now the (official) transcript here said that Captain Jensen said. "No, we won't go back because the life? boat was well stocked." That's not what he said, because the lifeboat was not well stocked. The lifeboat was very poorly stocked. The rea? son that we didn't go back is that we start? ed back and as we're getting there we remem? bered that the sub captain had said twenty minutes and he's going to start to shell the ship. Fifteen minutes were gone and we're still not at the boat, at the Angelus. Cap? tain Jenson said, "We're just going to get on in time to get blown up, so we just have to veer off and go." Cape Breton Books First-Rate Literature A Wide Range of Books from Popular to Scholady "THE DOWNTOWN BOOKSTORE" 361 Charlotte St. SYDNEY B1P1E1 (902) 539-8551 and Lewis Parker Cards: PORTRAIT OF CAPE BRETON HISTORY So that's what we did. We just took off and rowed. Tried to see if we could rig up a sail. The boat was not equipped with a sail. So we took some spare oars and made some kind of a crude thing with a couple of cano? pies. And the nine men started off. We figured that we were between the north part of Bermudian waters and getting in toward the George's Bank area. But we were getting out of the W. J. DOOLEY FUNERAL SERVICE LTD. • Peter V. Walsh • Joseph A. Walsh • Daniel P. Campbell 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney, N.S. 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