As a young prairie boy, John Maier had heard the stories of flooded trenches and huge rats on the front lines during the First World War.
When the Second World War broke out, it was stories like those that convinced him to join the Navy. John eventually became a Signalman on Navy escort minesweepers.
When the HMCS Halifax was commissioned during the war, the entire ships' company was sent to Esquimalt, British Columbia for sea trials which they carried out on a trip to Alaska.
They were accompanied by the comedy troupe Wayne and Shuster who needed a ride to Prince Rupert, B.C. Then it was off to the Panama Canal on their way to patrol the North Atlantic where they spent the remainder of the war.