b. 27/05/1928 Antrea, Finland. d. 23/10/1969 English Channel.
DATE OF CV ACTION: 23/10/1969 English Channel.
He was the son of Ivar Partanen of LaSalle, Quebec, and husband of Ethel Anne Partanen and father of Lesley A. Partanen of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. CPO Partanen enlisted February 4, 1950 in Montreal. His other awards and decorations include United Nations Service Medal for Korea, Korea Medal and Centennial Medal (1967).
He was one of nine sailors who died as a result of a gearbox explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay. The inferno on the lower decks injured 53 others. It was the worst peacetime accident in Canadian naval history. The ship was one of eight Canadian Navy destroyer-escorts conducting full power trials and NATO exercises on October 23, 1969 in the English Channel. Four sailors were buried in England, four were buried at sea off Plymouth and one rests in a Canadian cemetery.
CWO Vaino Olavi Partanen was Chief engine room artificer aboard the HMCS Kootenay. He remained at his post to inform the bridge when an explosion and fire devastated the engine room. HMCS Kootenay, one of seven “Restigouche”-class-destroyer-escorts in the Canadian Navy was conducting full power trials on October 23, 1969 in the Western Approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships. At 8:21 in the morning there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room. There were immediate orders to clear the engine room but CWO Partanen, in full knowledge that he was in mortal danger, remained behind in order to report the situation by telephone to the officer of watch on the bridge. He died moments after attempting to make his effort.
BURIAL LOCATION: BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY, BROOKWOOD, SURREY.
Plot 4, Grave 224008, Row A