Youbou receives news from overseas

1940: KIA and MIA hits community hard according to Industrial Timber Mill Bulletin news reports

Royal Canadian Navy Fleet minesweeper HMCS Guysborough (J52). Ordinary Seaman Alvon Gibson

Royal Canadian Navy Fleet minesweeper HMCS Guysborough (J52). Ordinary Seaman Alvon Gibson

Excerpts from 1940s Youbou Industrial Timber Mill Bulletin news reports on local serviceman overseas.

It was reported that “Lieut. Paul R. Lougheed, age 32, B. C. Regiment, was killed in action in France, August 1942. Before his enlistment in June 1940, he was employed as a millwright in the ITM plant in Youbou. He had lived there since 1936. He and a friend Phil Jones were among the first ITM employees to volunteer for service with the Canadian armed forces. Married while overseas, Lougheed was survived by his wife and his mother.

“Sgt. Albert Patterson, age 27, was killed in action on July 7, 1944 in France at the Battle of Normandy. He was an employee at ITM mill in Youbou at the time he enlisted in the Rocky Mountains Rangers.”

According to another issue of the ITM Bulletin, Patterson was impatient to get overseas so with this end in view, he transferred to the 1st Canadian Scottish, thinking he might get into action more quickly. It was while serving with this regiment, he was killed. A Silver Cross with ribbon, a memorial to their son, was sent to his parents in Nanaimo.

“The parents of Flt. Sgt. Harold Squibb, 26, a former ITM employee, received word that he had been reported MIA (missing in action) after air operations overseas in August 1944. Squibb joined the RCAF in April 1942 and graduated as a navigator-air bomber at Malton, Ontario June 1943. It was later confirmed that Squibb died on August 13, 1944 in Germany.

June 1944: “Bill Adamson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in early 1943 and saw service in England, Africa and India. On March 24, 1944 the plane in which he was a crew member, took off for the Burma Road and from that day to present time nothing has been heard of the plane or its crew.

The authorities have not yet posted the crew as presumed dead but there seems to be little doubt concerning their fate. Bill was a well-known and very popular member of the younger set in Youbou. He was a cousin of Lloyd Moore of Youbou where Adamson lived prior to his enlistment.”

“On September 1944 the parents of Roy Edward Ovington were notified that he had been killed in action (KIA) overseas. He was 19-years-of-age. A brother, Kenneth, is serving with the Canadians in Italy and a third brother, Francis, was called to the army the same day as Roy’s death. A sister, Bernice, is serving in the women’s division of the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

The family, at one time, resided in Youbou where the father, John Ovington, worked as an engineer and was a member of the ITM power house staff at the mill.

The BC Archives website lists the death of Roy Ovington as taking place in France on August 28, 1944.

“Cpl. F. O. Tyler, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Tyler of Youbou, was among a party of 55 Canadian Army war causalities to arrive home on a hospital train Saturday, April 21, 1945. He served overseas with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. His father is ITM’s chief engineer.

Canadian Press dispatch released recently stated that OD Alvon Gibson RCNVR, age 19, son of Mr. I. Gibson, Youbou, was among those who perished when the minesweeper HMCS Guysborough was torpedoed by an enemy submarine in the Atlantic Ocean in March 1945. Besides his father, the boy is survived by his two brothers Russell and Clarence who are both serving with the Canadian forces overseas.”