In Memoriam - Rear Admiral Desmond William (Debby) Piers

Second World War hero Rear Admiral Desmond William (Debby) Piers died in Halifax on Tuesday at 92. Born in Halifax in 1913, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a cadet in 1932 while a student at the Royal Military College. After serving on convoy duty in the Atlantic, he became commanding officer of HMCS Restigouche in June of 1941, at 28. He spent the next two years defending convoys against German U-boats, gaining a reputation as one of the RCN's most able young officers. He received the Distinguished Service Cross when he left Restigouche in 1943. He commanded HMCS Algonquin during the D-Day invasion of Normandy and later received France's Légion d'honneur. He remained in the navy after the war ended, serving as senior Canadian officer afloat (Atlantic) and later assistant chief of naval staff (plans) at naval headquarters. He was appointed rear admiral in August of 1962 and made chairman of the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington. He retired from the navy in June of 1967 after 35 years of service and later served as Nova Scotia's permanent trade delegate in Britain.

Sandra Martin, Globe and Mail, 03/11/05

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