Henry George DeWolf

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Henry "Harry" George DeWolf (born in Canada in June 26 1903) is a Canadian naval officer and is considered Canada's submarine pioneer.

Early Life

Harry DeWolf was born in Bedford, Nova Scotia, on June 26 1903. His father owned and operated DeWolf & Sons, a shipbrokerage business. DeWolf entered the Royal Canadian Navy in 1918 at age 15 when he attended the Royal Canadian Naval College at Royal Roads in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Military Career

DeWolf graduated from the Royal Canadian Naval College in 1921 and was sent on an exchange with the Royal Navy to serve on board the battleship HMS Resolution. He was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant in 1924 and took a 6-month course in gunnery, torpedoes and navigation at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Returning to Canada in the spring of 1925, he was posted to one of the Royal Canadian Navy's two destroyers, HMCS Patriot.

In early 1930, Lieutenant DeWolf received his first command, the Battle class trawler HMCS Festubert at Halifax. In 1932 he was posted to the destroyer HMCS Vancouver and then to the destroyer HMCS Skeena. He fought the inconclusive skirmishes in the Atlantic with the Syndicalist Navy and there he became convinced that submarines would be the key to win the conflict.

In 1933 DeWolf argued for the inclusion of modern submarines in the Royal Canadian Navy and won the support of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, but he was opposed by Admiral Roger Keyes, the Chief of the Naval Staff. In the end Keyes was replaced by Admiral Percy Nelles and DeWolf's idea was enforced. In July 1935 DeWolf was promoted to Rear-Admiral and posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. He was made Assistant Director of Intelligence and Plans and responsible for the Submarines Naval Program.

Personal Life

In May 1931 DeWolf married Gwendolen Gilbert of Somerset, from Bermuda, who he had met while serving aboard HMCS Patriot which had spent a winter training in the Caribbean several years earlier.

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