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Remembering World War II
Joseph E. Doucette
Canadian Merchant Navy
S.S. Maplecourt (Montreal)
Date of Death:
February 6, 1941
Age at Death:
Halifax Memorial (Nova Scotia, Canada)
The 35th name on the WWII list of the Yarmouth War Memorial
Commemorated on page 128 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance
Joseph E. Doucette was the son of P. Doucette, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and the husband of
Nellie Doucette, Lower Wedgeport, Nova Scotia.
The Canadian steamship Maplecourt of 3,388 tons was on a voyage from Montreal to Preston,
Lancashire, UK,when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine U-107 under command of
Günter Hessler on February 6th, 1941 when about 300 miles west of the Hebrides. The SS
Maplecourt carried 3604 tons of general cargo, including 1540 tons of steel.
At 17.52 hours on 6 Feb 1941 the unescorted SS Maplecourt, a straggler from station #84 in
convoy SC-20, was hit just aft of the engine room by one stern torpedo and sank rapidly by the stern
about 120 miles west of Rockall located 430 km (270 miles) north-west of Ireland, 460 km (290 miles)
west of Great Britain and 700 km (440 miles) south of Iceland. The U-boat had chased the ship for
about eight hours and missed with one torpedo during a first submerged attack at 13.53 hours. The
Germans observed survivors managing to abandon ship in two lifeboats, but they were never seen
again. All the crew of 38 were lost.
The ship had been rebuilt in 1920 and converted from a passenger ship to a cargo ship of 3,388
tonnage and fitted with a Triple expansion engine. The owner of the SS Maplecourt was the United
Towing & Salvage Co Ltd, Port Arthur, Ontario. The home port was Montreal.
Raymond Berry (Fireman/Trimmer; aged 29 of Yarmouth, NS) and Ernest F. Trefry (Ordinary
Seaman; aged 19 of Yarmouth, NS) also died February 6, 1941 on SS Maplecourt.
Sources and Information:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Veterans Affairs Canada
Joseph E. Doucette