By Leading Seaman Kenneth Garrett
Radar Plotter First Class
HMCS Algonquin R17.
June 18th, 1944
We had come into the harbour by the Isle of Wight after an all-night search for E-Boats in the English Channel. I happened to be on duty in the 276 Radar Office,when I noticed a fast moving object coming towards our ship. Thinking it could possibly be an E-Boat (an E-Boat was a very fast German torpedo ship), I immediately reported the sighting to the bridge. The bridge replied to disregard this target, since it was General Crerar and his staff who are making an approach to Algonquin. He and he staff were scheduled to be taken to France the next day. Thinking no more about this, I was relieved from duty and proceeded to my mess in the stern.
After lunch, the ship's messenger came down to my mess and said "Leading Seaman Garrett. You are to report to the Captain's cabin at once for further orders". All the chaps in the mess deck perked up as they thought the ship was ordered out on a dangerous mission. I proceeded to the Captain's Cabin and knocked. Slowly the door opened and immediately I noticed there was about ten army officers in the cabin, and one chap with a red band on his cap.
The Captain replied, "Leading Seaman Garrett. I want you to meet General Crerar Commander and Chief of the Canadian Army". Without thinking, I reached out my hand and said. "Glad to meet you General" . A pin could have dropped and you would have heard it. All of a sudden the Captain started to laugh and all the officers joined in. (By not saluting you put yourself on the same level as the General). The Captain said "Leading Seaman Garrett, the General wants a tour of the Radar Cabins to see how the radar works". I replied "It would be a great honour Sir".
The General loved good jokes and you could hear him all over the ship when he laughed. I got such a kick out of it, I kept on telling him jokes and wasn't sure if he learned anything about the radar or not.
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