Last survivor of HMCS Esquimalt dies

Retired chief petty officer first class Joe Wilson regularly attended remembrance ceremonies in Esquimalt

The lone surviving crew member of HMCS Esquimalt, the last Canadian ship to be sunk by enemy fire during the Second World War, has died.

Esquimalt council remembered retired chief petty officer first class Joe Wilson, who also served in the Korean War, at Monday night’s council meeting.

“This will be a great loss for our community,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said of Wilson, who died Jan. 1. “He gave (this ceremony) so much more meaning.”

Wilson, 89, regularly travelled from his home in Chase, B.C. to attend the township’s ceremony every year on April 16, held to honour HMCS Esquimalt. Wilson was one of a few dozen crew members who survived after the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine in Halifax harbour on April 16, 1945.