(Compilation of material by JD Perkins, Larry Hickey, Wilf Lund, Mike Kemp, and George Malcomson. With gratitude to SAOC West for the information).
Born in 1924 as one of 10 siblings, Ed Gigg joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) as an Ordinary Seaman as soon as he came of age in 1942. After initial seamanship and trade training in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was assigned to convoy escort duties in the North Atlantic. Recognized quickly for his abilities, he received his commission in 1943 and was transferred to submarine service in that same year.
During the war years he served on HM Submarines OBERON (N21), UTHER (P62), and TRADEWIND (P329) as both Weapons Officer and Navigator. In the process, he spent time at Barrow-in Furness, in Cumbria, and sailed in an anti-submarine role in the Clyde. Later, he deployed to the Far East and Austrialia and, in 1945, transferred to the RCN regular force.
At war's end, he commissioned HMCS Crusader (R228) in Greenock, Scotland then, in 1946, trained as a Naval Aviator with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. He ended up qualifyied in Seafires, Fireflies, and carrier landings. In 1948, Ed returned to Canada and served in 826 Firefly Squadron at HMCS Shearwater and onboard HMCS MAGNIFICENT (CVL 21).
However much he enjoyed the life of an aviator, the lure of the deep called him once again and in 1950 he returned to submarine service with the RN and served as XO on HMS Alderney (P416). He completed Perisher in 1953 and became Commanding Officer of HMS Selene (P254) and HMS Tally-Ho (P317) before returning to Canada in 1955.
In 1960, he completed the US navy's Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) course and, in 1961, he commissioned HMCS Grilse as her first Commanding Officer. In 1966, Cdr. Ed Gigg became the inaugural SM1 - Commander, First Canadian Submarine Squadron (CANCOMSUBRONONE).
On the evening of Friday, 23 August 2013, with his family around him, Ed Gigg passed away. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Gwendolyn, along with four children.