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Under the White Ensign

             Several McAllister descendants in our line served in Canadian or British warships in World War II. The record for longest service belongs to Petty Officer William Lawrence (Laurie) McAllister (J34-3-3-4-3-1), who served aboard two Canadian destroyers, HMCS Columbia and HMCS Saskatchewan, from 1940 to 1945. He spent the war years in these ships battling German U-boats in the North Atlantic and later took part in the "Longest Day"--the D-Day invasion in Normandy on June 6, 1944--and the attack on the German submarine base at Brest in France. Others who served include our heroic cousin Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray (J34-3-3-4-5-2), who won the Victoria Cross and gave his life in the closing days of the war against the Japanese while serving aboard HMS Formidable, an aircraft carrier in the British Pacific Fleet. And there was our cousin Lieutenant George Eric McAllister (J34-3-3-9-6-1), who also waged the battle in the Atlantic, aboard HMCS Suderoy V, protecting the convoys against the menace of the submarines. The pictures in this exhibit of the McAllister Gallery are their record--those who guarded our sea frontiers during the grim days of World War II and carried the war home to our enemies. In the words of British naval tradition--Well Done, Lads.

Petty Officer William Lawrence (Laurie) McAllister

Petty Officer William Lawrence (Laurie) McAllister (J34-3-3-4-3-1)

Aboard HMCS Saskatchewan

Petty Officer Lawrence McAllister (second from right, back row) with other men from Ontario aboard HMCS Saskatchewan during World War II.

HMCS Saskatchewan

HMCS Saskatchewan glides toward her mooring at St. John's, Newfoundland. Petty Officer Lawrence McAllister was among the crew of the vessel when this photo was taken during World War II.

HMCS Columbia

HMCS Columbia at sea. Petty Officer Lawrence McAllister served aboard the destroyer for two years during the Second World War.

Lieutenant Robert Hampton (Hammy) Gray

Lieutenant Robert Hampton (Hammy) Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR (J34-3-3-4-5-2)


Chance-Vought F4U-1 Corsair is thought by many to be the best naval fighter of World War II. This aircraft bears the same number and markings as the one flown by Lt. "Hammy"Gray during the war.

HMS Formidable

HMS Formidable had a distinguished record with the British Pacific Fleet in World War II. Lieutenant R. H. "Hammy" Gray was senior pilot of 1841 Squadron in the ship until his death in action on August 9, 1945.

Small Boat--Hammy & Friends

In a small boat, officers from HMS Formidable return from a beach outing in the Philippines. Lt. R. H. Gray is in the lower left corner of the photo. This informal snapshot was taken shortly before his death in 1945.

Lieutenant G. Eric McAllister

Lieutenant G. Eric McAllister (J34-3-3-9-6-1) in informal battle dress at the ship's helm. Behind him are the bins used for storing signal flags on HMCS Suderoy V, the ship in which he served during the Second World War.

HMCS Suderoy Group

The officers and crew of HMCS Suderoy V. Lieutenant G. Eric McAllister (seated, second from left) was second in command of the vessel.

Gun Mount

Convoy duty aboard HMCS Suderoy V on the North Atlantic during the war. The barrel of a gun points seaward, and in the distance, the lean silhouette of a destroyer can be seen.

Ice at Sea

This is why the North Atlantic is called icy. The photo was taken aboard HMCS Suderoy V, the ship in which Lieutenant G. Eric McAllister served. Convoy protection had to be accomplished in fair weather or foul, and such accumulations of ice were common.

Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC 

Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray (J34-3-3-4-5-2) was the Senior Pilot of 1841 Squadron in HMS Formidable, an aircraft carrier in the British Pacific Fleet. He lost his life on August 9, 1945, in the final moments of World War II, while sinking an enemy warship. In World War II, he was one of only 16 Canadians to be awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British decoration for heroism. McAllisters take great pride in his courage and in his life. To read his citation and learn more about him, please visit the following site established by the Veterans Affairs Department of the Canadian government:

This British Military History site owned by Howard Landon McAllister.
Want to Join the British Military History ring?

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