Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1950–1989, Destroyers (St. Laurent, Restigouche, Mackenzie, Annapolis and Iroquois Class)

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1950–1989,

Destroyers

Data currrent to 18 July 2019.

St. Laurent-class helicopter destroyers (initially built as destroyer escorts, later refit and redesignated)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II); HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II); HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II); HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III); HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II); HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II); HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II)

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II), was the first ship delivered postwar to the RCN by Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec, and was commissioned there on 16 Aug 1956.  In January 1959, after two years' service on the east coast, she was transferred west, and in Jul 1959, had the honour of carrying Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip from Vancouver to Nanaimo.  In Jun 1962 she began her conversion to a helicopter carrying destroyer (DDH), the first of her class to under the procedure, which was largely carried out by the Victoria Machinery Depot.  Re-commissioned on 28 Jun 1963, she returned to Halifax.  In Jan 1975, Assiniboine took off the crew of the freighter Barma, which was shipping water 185 miles off Boston.  Between Apr and Nov 1979, she completed her Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX) program at Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal.  On 30 Jun 1981, HMCS Assiniboine grounded on Point Pleasant Shoal at the entrance of Halifax Harbour.  In Jan 1984, while en route to Florida for Exercise Northern Wedding, a crack was found in Assiniboine's main deck.  She was forced to return to Halifax after a port visit at Fort Lauderdale while the rest of the squadron continued on the exercise.  En route to Halifax she had to remain within sight of land.  Later that year, while acting as escort for the Tall Ships race from Bermuda to Halifax, HMCS Assiniboine took a lead role in the search for survivors of the lost British sailing vessel Marques, but sadly only one was found.  On 17 Jul 1984, HMCS Assiniboine went into refit at Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec.  After thirty-two years' service, and with more than 700,000 nautical miles under her keel, she was paid off on 14 Dec 1988, afterward serving as a floating classroom for fleet technicians at Halifax until Jan 1995, when she was turned over to Crown Assets for disposal.  She was sold for scrap in 1995.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II), 

 (Comox Air Force Museum Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II), with a Piasecki HUP-3 helicopter, RCN (Serial No. 51-16622) landing on the rear deck, Aug 1963. 

 (Comox Air Force Museum Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II), with a Piasecki HUP-3 helicopter, RCN (Serial No. 51-16622) on the rear deck, Aug 1963. 

(Comox Air Force Museum Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II), with a Piasecki HUP-3 helicopter, RCN (Serial No. 51-16622) landing on the rear deck, Aug 1963. 

 (Michael Forshaw Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II).

 (PH1 Mussi, USN Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) underway in the Norwegian Sea.  The ship's Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King helicopter hovers over the water off the ship's port quarter.

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II)

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II), 1983.  Laid down by Burrard Dry Dock Co., Ltd, Vancouver and completed by Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, HMCS Fraser was commissioned on 28 Jun 1957, and served on the west coast.  On 16 Jan 1958, HMCS Fraser, along with HMCS Cayuga 218, HMCS Crescent 226, HMCS Margaree 230, and HMCS Skeena 207 departed Esquimalt, BC, for a Far Eastern Training cruise.  On 7 Apr 1964, the ashes of Vice Admiral Howard Emmerson Reid, who Crossed the Bar 3 May 1962, were consigned to the sea from HMCS Fraser.  On 12 Jan 1965 HMCS Fraser departed Esquimalt for blast tests of Kahoolawe, Hawaii.  The blast test was conducted on 6 Feb 1965 and during the trip back to Esquimalt, on 23 Mar 1965 the ashes of Rear Admiral Ernest Patrick (Pat) Tisdall were consigned to the sea.  HMCS Fraser arrived back in Esquimalt on 16 Apr 1965.  HMCS Fraser then transferred coasts and proceeded to Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, where on 2 Jul 1965 she began her conversion to DDH configuration.  She was re-commissioned on 22 Oct 1966, and was thereafter based at Halifax.  On 15 Jun 1967, HMCS Fraser conducted the first landings of a Sea King helicopter.  She demonstrated the Canadian-designed Beartrap helicopter haul-down system at Washington, DC, in Oct 1967.  On 14 May 1969 HMCS Fraser attended the Spithead Review off Portsmouth as Canada's representative.  During her 1970 Great Lakes deployment HMCS Fraser visited Thunder Bay as part of the celebrations of the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Port Williams into the city of Thunder Bay.  On 12 Apr 1973, HMCS Fraser was paid off into Category "C" Reserve and was re-commissioned on 11 Mar 1974.  On 17 Jul 1976, HMCS Protecteur, along with HMCS Skeena and HMCS Fraser arrived at Montreal in support of the 1976 Olympics.  She underwent her DELEX refit at Canadian Vickers Ltd., between 19 Oct 1981 and 28 May 1982, and was thereafter utilized for testing.  She was the first RCN ship to be fitted (1986) with an experimental towed array sonar system (ETASS), and was made the test bed for the NIXIE torpedo decoy system and later a tactical aircraft beacon (TACAN).  In 1988 she was equipped to operate the HELTAS helicopter, equipped for a passive acoustic role.  HMCS Fraser was among the ships enforcing UN sanctions against Haiti between Oct 1993 and Mar 1994.  She returned from her first tour in time for Christmas 1993, and sailed for her 2nd tour on 1 Jan 1994.  On 10 Jan 1994, HMCS Fraser experienced a minor boiler room fire in which 4 crew members suffered minor injuries.  HMCS Fraser arrived in the Haiti Op Area on 13 Jan 1994 and departed on 25 Mar 1994 having completed two tours during which she conducted 73 boardings and 450 hailings; spending 134 days on station.  She arrived back in Halifax on 31 Mar 1994.  By this time, she was the sole survivor of her class, and in October 1994, she replaced HMCS Assiniboine in her classroom role until 18 Dec 1997, when she arrived at Bridgewater to become a floating museum.  The conversion to a museum never transpired and she was later sold and broken up at Port Maitland, Ontario, 2010-2011.  Her 3"50 was removed and shipped to the Reserve Unit HMCS Prevost where it was mounted.

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II).

 (F.R. Volpe, USN Photo)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II).

 (Cathy Robinson Photo)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II).

 (Daryl Payne Photo)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II).

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II)

(USN Photo)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II).  A product of Halifax Shipyards Ltd., HMCS Margaree was commissioned on 5 Oct 1957 for services on the west coast.  She was named after the Margaree River, Cape Breton Island, NS.  On 16 Jan 1958 Margaree, in company with HMCS Cayuga 218, Crescent 226, HMCS Fraser 233, and HMCS Skeena 207 departed Esquimalt, BC, for a Far Eastern Training cruise, returning on 2 Apr 1958.  She began her conversion to a DDH at Victoria Machinery Depot on 25 Sep 1964.  Re-commissioned on 15 Oct 1965, she returned to Halifax.  On 1 Apr 1979, some 200 nautical miles south of Halifax, using gunfire she sank the bow section of the tanker Kurdistan, which had been towed there for that purpose after breaking in half on 15 Mar 1979 south of Cabot Strait.  On 12 Mar 1980, HMCS Margaree and HMCS Huron rescued the crew of the stricken MV Maurice Desgagnes.  HMCS Margaree commenced her DELEX refit at Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, on 5 May 1980, being towed to HMC Dockyard, Halifax, when it appeared she might become ice-bound before its completion the following year.  In later years she was several times Canada's representative in Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL).  In Aug 1991 HMCS Margaree took part in a re-enactment of the signing of the Atlantic Charter at Argentia, Newfoundland.  Paid off on 2 May 1992, she was sold to Global Shipping Co., Tampa, Florida, for $193,393.00.  She departed Halifax under tow of the Russian Tug Afanasiy for India, to be broken up on 14 Mar 1994.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951255)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II), 10 Feb 1958.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951237)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II), Esquimalt, BC, ca 1958.

 (Calvin Locke Photo)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II), aerial view.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II), aerial view.

 (PH1 Michael D.P. Flynn, USN Photo)

HMCS Margaree (DDH 230) (II), nderway during exercise Fleet Ex 1-90.

HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III)

 (Brian Dobing Photo), as a DDE.

HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III).  Built by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, HMCS Ottawa was commissioned there on 10 Nov 1956.  In 1957 she was fitted with an experimental deck over her stern to test the feasibility of operating a helicopter from a ship of her type.  On 2 Mar 1961, HMCS Ottawa in company with HMCS Saguenay 206, and  HMCS St. Laurent 205 departed Esquimalt for Operations with US Carrier Division 17 off Hawaii; returning to Esquimalt on 4 Apr 1961.  She began her DDH conversion at Victoria on 24 May 1963 . Re-commissioned on 28 Oct 1964 and destined to be based at Halifax, she left Esquimalt on 2 Feb 1965.  In 1968 HMCS Ottawa became Canada's first designated francophone naval unit. She returned to her builder for DELEX refit, 19 Apr to 26 Nov 1982.  

From 4 Aug 1984 until 31 Dec 1984, HMCS Ottawa was part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic, having relieved HMCS Fraser at a turnover in Lubeck Germany.  Port visits during this deployment were: Lubeck, Germany (4-7 Aug), Copenhagen, Denmark, (10-13 Aug), Aarhus, Denmark (17-21 Aug), Hamilton, Bermuda (7-10 Sep), Halifax, NS (20-26 Sep), Charleston, NC (1-22 Oct), Savannah, GA (27-30 Oct), Mayport, FL (30 Oct - 1 Nov), Island of Montserrat (10-14 Nov), New Orleans, LA (20-24 Nov), Mayport, FL (28 Nov -05 Dec).  From 20 Jun 1988 to 29 Jul 1988, HMCS Ottawa carried out a St. Lawrence River and Great lakes cruise. 

She was paid off on 31 Jul 1992, and on 4 Apr 1994, after being sold to Global Shipping Co., Tampa, Florida, for $243,000.00, she departed Halifax under tow of the Russian Tug (Ukrainian flagged) Sapfir, destined for India to be broken up.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III).

 (Andrew Hurst Photo)

HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III), visiting Malta.

 (Bruce Walter Photo)

HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III), arriving at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II)

 (KimJongUnchained Photo)

HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II).  Built by Halifax Shipyards Ltd., HMCS Saguenay was commissioned on 15 Dec 1956.  On 11 Jun 1957, HMCS Saguenay was presented with the "Kingdom of Saguenay" flag by Chicoutimi, Quebec.  She transferred to the west coast in 1959.  On 28 Mar 1960, HMCS Saguenay, in company with HMCS Ottawa 229, and HMCS St Laurent 205 departed Hong Kong after a port visit during an operational cruise in the Pacific.  They returned to Esquimalt on 29 Apr 1960.  On 2 Mar 1961, HMCS Saguenay, in company with HMCS Ottawa 229, and HMCS St. Laurent 205 departed Esquimalt for Operations with US Carrier Division 17 off Hawaii; returning to Esquimalt on 4 Apr 1961.  Burrard Dry Dock Ltd started her conversion to a DDH on 22 Aug 1963.  Re-commissioned on 14 May 1965, she returned that July to Halifax.  On 15 Jul 1970, HMCS Saguenay was grounded off Port Hood, NS.  She was re-floated the next day, and was not damaged by the grounding.  In October 1977, she took part in Exercise Ocean Safari and in Jan/Feb 1978 she was on Fish Pat.  She began her DELEX refit at Versatile Vickers, Montreal, on 29 Oct 1979, returning to service on 23 May 1980.  On 3 Apr 1986, HMCS Saguenay has a misfire of her 3"50 gun off Osborne Head, NS.  The guns crew and one civilian received non life-threatening injuries.  On 16 Aug 1986, while on SNFL exercise in the Baltic, she collided with the German submarine U-17.  Returning home for repairs, she was again in service in Mar 1987.  HMCS Saguenay was paid off on 26 Jun 1990 and, on 25 Jun 1994 at 1100 hrs, she was scuttled as a recreational divers' wreck between Cross Island and Sculpin Shoal, outside Lunenburg, NS.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821229)

HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II) and HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229), Key West, Florida, 1957.

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II)

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II).  Built at Burrard Dry Dock, Vancouver, HMCS Skeena was commissioned on 30 Mar 1957.  On 16 Jan 1958, HMCS Skeena, in company with HMCS Cayuga 218, HMCS Crescent 226, Fraser 233, and HMCS Margaree 230, departed Esquimalt, BC, for a Far Eastern Training cruise; returning to Esquimalt on 2 Apr 1958.  On 26 May 1964, HMCS Skeena 207 DDE, departed Esquimalt for the east coast for her conversion to DDH which began on 1 Jul 1964 at Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec.  On 14 Aug 1965, after a year's work, she was re-commissioned in DDH format and allocated for service out of Halifax.  On 27 Jul 1970, along with HMCS Annapolis and HMCS Protecteur, she departed Halifax to celebrate Manitoba's Centennial with visits to Fort Churchill, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Wakeham Bay.  In 1972 she was designated a French Language Unit.  On 17 Jul 1976, HMCS Protecteur, along with HMCS Skeena and HMCS Fraser arrived at Montreal in support of the 1976 Olympics.  HMCS Skeena underwent her DELEX refit at Montreal between 12 Apr and 20 Nov 1981.  On 22 May 1985 HMCS Skeena 207 and USS Richard F. Byrd departed Leixoes, Portugal to intercept and observe the Kiev Task Group that entered the Atlantic from the Mediterranean.  In the summer of 1991 she took part in the NATO exercise Ocean Safari '91, soon afterward visiting St. Lawrence and Great Lake ports to encourage recruiting and public awareness.  She was paid off on 1 Nov 1993, and on 3 Jul 1996 left Halifax in tow for India to be broken up.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951155)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II), testing anti-radioactive fallout wetting spray in Bedwell Harbour, BC, 1957.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821372)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II), commissioning, 1957.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II).

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II). RASing from HMCS Ontario, 1958.

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II).  

HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II)

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II), 1966.  Name ship of her trend-setting class of "Cadillacs," HMCS St. Laurent was built by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, and commissioned on 29 Oct 1955.  In February 1956 she proceeded to the US Trials Centre at Key West, Florida, for three months' evaluation, after which she visited Washington, arriving on the Potomac River on 15 Apr 1956.  Afterwards she departed for the UK and in the course of the latter excursion escorted HMY Britannia on a state visit to Sweden.  On 2 Feb 1960, HMCS St. Laurent, then stationed on the west coast, departed Esquimalt with two of her sisters, HMCS Ottawa 229 and HMCS Saguenay 206, on a 2 1/2-month Pacific cruise, visiting Long Beach, Pearl Harbour, Yokosuka, Okinawa and Hong Kong.  On 28 Mar 1960 they departed Hong Kong after a port visit and returned to Esquimalt on 29 Apr 1960.  On 2 Mar 1961, HMCS St. Laurent, in company with HMCS Ottawa 229, and HMCS Saguenay 206, departed Esquimalt for Operations with US Carrier Division 17 off Hawaii; returning to Esquimalt on 4 Apr 1961.  HMCS Saguenay was test-fitted with VDS prior to being converted to a DDH at Burrard Dry Dock, Vancouver.  Re-commissioned on 4 Oct 1963, she departed Esquimalt on 7 Jan 1964 for a world cruise and then transferred to the Atlantic Fleet.  HMCS St. Laurent was paid off for the final time on 14 Jun 1974.  She remained in Halifax as a source for spare parts for her sister ships.  On 1 Jan 1980, she left under tow of the tug Odin Salvator for Brownsville, Texas, to be broken up, but on 12 Jan 1980, the towline broke in a gale and she foundered off Cape Hatteras.

 (Daniel Miller Photo)

HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II), London, England, 1956.

 (Daniel Miller Photo)

HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II), 1956.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4718898)

Restigouche-class destroyer escorts

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II); HMCS Columbia (DDE 260) (II); HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II); HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) (II); HMCS Restigouche (DDE 257) (II); HMCS St. Croix (DDE 256) (II); HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II)

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II).  Built at Halifax Shipyards and the last of her class, HMCS Chaudiere was commissioned on 14 Nov 1959.  On 2 Oct 1967, she left Halifax to serve on the west coast.  Her intended conversion to an IRE was abandoned for reasons of economy, and in 1970 her complement was reduced to training level.  On 23 May 1974, she was paid off and thereafter used as a source of spare parts for others of her class.  Her bow was removed in 1989 to replaced that of HMCS Kootenay, which had been damaged in a collision.  HMCS Chaudiere was sunk as a sport divers' wreck in Sechelt Inlet, BC, on 5 Dec 1992.  Lt (N) Dale Ray Skaarup served on this ship.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II).

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II).

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II).

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II)

 (Raymond Cumby Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II).  Laid down at Davie Shipbuilding Ltd, Lauzon, Quebec, HMCS Gatineau was the first post-war product of Davie Shipbuilding.  Launched two years later, she was towed to Halifax for completion to avoid freeze-up and commissioned at HMC Dockyard, Halifax, on 17 Feb 1959.  For the next ten years she served at part of the 5th Canadian Escort Squadron (the Barber Pole Squadron) . In March 1965, HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Gatineau participated in the search for a Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair CP-107 Argus that had disappeared 60 miles (97 km) north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  In Mar 1968 she was the first Canadian warship to become a member of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT).  HMCS Gatineau was transferred west, departing Halifax on 16 Jul 1969; arriving at Esquimalt on 14 Aug 1969 with port visits to Bermuda, Panama, Acapulco and San Diego.  On 9 Sep 1969 she began her IRE conversion at Ship Repair Unit (Pacific).  The two year conversion introduced the VDS and ASROC to the class and one her re-commissioning on 14 Apr 1971 she was classified as an IRE.  She then became part of the Second Canadian Escort Squadron.  Her DELEX refit was also carried out at SRU(P) between Sep 1981 and 12 Nov 1982.  In Apr 1987 she resumed her duties in Halifax.  In Jul 1993, she played host to three visiting Soviet warships and afterward escorted them to sea while carrying out exercises along the way.  In the fall of 1993, HMCS Gatineau, along with HMCS Fraser and HMCS Preserver, assisted in the enforcement of UN sanctions off Haiti.  Early in 1995 she took part in the NATO exercise Strong Resolve off the coast of Norway, acting as flagship for the four other Canadian ships involved.  Apr 1995 found her operating in support of Fisheries and Coast Guard ships off Newfoundland during the "Turbot Dispute" with Spain.  She was finally paid off on 1 July 1998.  On 18 Sep 2009, DND called for bids for "the removal, dismantling and disposal" of HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Gatineau.  On 4 Nov 2009, DND announced that Aecon Fabco had won the bid and would tow both vessels to their Pictou Shipyard in Pictou, Nova Scotia.  HMCS Gatineau departed Halifax Harbour on 17 Nov 2009, under tow by the tugboat Atlantic Elm and arrived in Pictou on 19 Nov 2009, for breaking up.

 (Brian Dobling Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II).

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II).

 (Terry Gunn Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II), Dublin, Ireland, 1966.

 (Author Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II), Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951312)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II), view of Chicago, 1959.

HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) (II)

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 482151)

HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) (II), in the first lock of the Welland Canal, Ontario, 1959.

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) (II), visiting Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 1986.

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259)

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259).

(USN Photo)

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259), PearlHarbor, Hawaii, 1986.

Mackenzie-class destroyer escorts

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261); HMCS Qu’Appelle (DDE 264) (II); HMCS Saskatchewan (DDE 262) (II); HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4997190)

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261), 21 Sep 1962.

(USN Photos, PH2 M. Correa)

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261), 1992.

HMCS Qu’Appelle (DDE 264) (II)

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Qu’Appelle (DDE 264) (II) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 1990.

HMCS Saskatchewan (DDE 262) (II)

 (DND Photo)

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Saskatchewan (DDE 262) (II)

HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)

 (Brian Dobing Photo)

HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)

Annapolis-class helicopter destroyers

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265) (II); HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II)

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265) (II)

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265).  Built at Halifax Shipyards Ltd., HMCS Annapolis was commissioned on 19 Dec 1964.  She was the twentieth and last of the Cadillacs.  HMCS Annapolis served most of her career with the RCN on the east coast.  On 27 Jul 1970, along with HMCS Skeena and HMCS Protecteur, she departed Halifax to celebrate Manitoba's Centennial with visits to Fort Churchill, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Wakeham Bay.  In June 1974, while flagship of SNFL, HMCS Annapolis went to the aid of a Sea King helicopter which had lost an engine and ditched.  After rescuing its crew, HMCS Annapolis recovered the helicopter and loaded it onto a barge and towed it to Den Helder, there bringing it onboard for return to Halifax.  On 14 Aug 1989, HMCS Annapolis left Halifax for Esquimalt where she served primarily as a training ship.  From 3 Jun to 7 Jun 1990, HMCS Kootenay, HMCS Annapolis, HMCS Huron had a port visit at Vladivostok, Russia.  On 10 Mar 1994, HMCS Annapolis departed Esquimalt to participate in Operation Forward Action, Haiti.  Arriving on station on 25 Mar 1994; she departed the Op Area on 23 Apr 1994.  HMCS Annapolis was decommissioned from the RCN on 15 Nov 1996 and placed in reserve.  She was paid off in 1998 and stripped of all weapons and sensors before being laid up at CFB Esquimalt.  HMCS Annapolis was sold to the Artificial Reef Society of BC in 2008 and was sunk as an artificial reef near Gambier Island, BC, on 4 Apr 2015.

 ( Serge Joncas Photo)

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265) with the Standing Naval Force Atlantic, Funchal, Madeira, 1977.

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265)

 (Bbaumgardner Photo)

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265) (II).

HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II)

 (National Archives and Records Administration Photo, 6409100)

HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II), underway during NATO Exercise "Ocean Safari '85".

HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II).  Built by Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, HMCS Nipigon was commissioned on 30 May 1964 with the wife of the then Governor-General Georges P Vanier DSO MC & Bar CD, Madame Pauline Vanier, as her sponsor.  She arrived in Halifax for the first time on 7 Jun 1964 serving most of her career with the Atlantic Fleet.  On 18 Oct 1965, a fire broke out aboard the ship, causing the death of three crew; no official cause for the explosion and subsequent fire has ever been given. 

At approximately 2030 hours on 18th October 1965, while at sea, two explosions occurred in 12 Mess on HMCS. Nipigon.  The force of these explosions blew the locked cover off a tank containing JP 5 helicopter fuel causing a flash fire in the Mess.  The compartment directly above the Mess contained ammunition.  At the time of the explosions there were eleven men in 12 Mess, one of which was Leading Seaman White.  Although burned about the face and hands when escaping from the Mess, Leading Seaman White rushed to the Quartermaster's lobby to inform the lifebuoy sentry of the explosions in order that Command could be informed.  He then returned to the area of the Mess to assist where needed but when advised that one man who appeared to be unconscious had not escaped from the Mess, immediately donned a set of breathing equipment and re-entered the Mess.  The Mess at this time was filled with fumes from the JP 5 fuel and heavy black smoke.  Freeing the unconscious man Leading Seaman White, with the assistance of Able Seaman Gray who had just entered, carried the man to the foot of the hatch and then searched all bunks to ensure no one else was trapped.  Then,  with the assistance of the Able Seaman and other crew members, brought the man up to the mortar well on the deck above.  Leading Seaman White then assisted the damage control parties in flooding the JP 5 fuel tank with sea water and the removal of smouldering material.  Although burned by the initial flash fire, Leading Seaman White alerted Command, re-entered the fume and smoke filled Mess to rescue a comrade, and did excellent work in a dangerous area which contained an open JP 5 fuel tank adjacent to stored ammunition before obtaining medical attention for himself.  This fine display of courage in the face of serious injury or possible death, is a credit not only to Leading Seaman White, but also his ship and the Canadian Forces.  LS White was awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry for his actions.

During her service she was primarily used as a training ship.  On 7 Nov 1971, while operating off Bermuda, HMCS Nipigon's Sea King lost power on her engines and crashed into the sea at about 2200 hrs.  There was a loss of three crew who were never recovered.  Only the navigator was found by rescue crew.  Seas were heavy with no moon and a strong wind.

On September 10, 1979 while underway at sea, a gasket from a steam line heated at 850o ruptured in the boiler room of the destroyer.  PO Marsh ordered all personnel to evacuate the immediate area and remained at the boiler room console to carry out the emergency shut-down procedures.  Outside, the main power had failed, semi-darkness made any action most difficult, while confusion and a sense of danger were evident.  CWO McIntosh proceeded without hesitation through the escape hatch, although the heat was intolerable.  He reached the console with difficulty and both he and PO Marsh with only ventilation fans keeping the steam from smothering them, calmly and correctly took appropriate action to minimize machinery damage and restore safety.  CWO John McIntosh and PO Patrick Marsh voluntarily exposed themselves to grave danger to ensure the safety of the ship and prevent possible loss of life on board . Both CPO McIntosh and PO Marsh were awarded the Star of Courage for their actions.

On 27 Jun 1983, she was paid off for her DELEX refit at Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec.  She was re-commissioned on 22 Aug 1984.  On 28 Apr 1985 HMCS Nipigon provided SAR assistance to fishing vessel Lady Marjorie.  The crew was rescued and the vessel was sunk by gunfire from HMCS Nipigon.  The Crown was subsequently sued by vessel owners.  An out of court settlement was reached.  On 22 Feb 1987 HMCS Nipigon's helicopter assisted in the rescue of the crew from the burning tug Gulf Gale off Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.  On 19 May 1993 HMCS Nipigon departed Halifax with HMNZS Endeavour and HMNZS Canterbury for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic ceremonies off the coast of Wales and Liverpool.  On 14 Jun 1995 HMCS Nipigon's crew members along with DFO enforcement officers boarded the Spanish trawler Patricia Nores and found 11 tonnes of turbot in excess of amounts recorded in the ship's log.

She was paid off on 2 Jul 1998 and sold for use as an artificial reef.  She was sunk in the St. Lawrence River north-east of Rimouski, Quebec on 22 Jul 2003.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Nipigon (266)

 (US National Archives Photo)

HMCS Nipigon (266)

Iroquois-class area air defence destroyers.  HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280), HMCS Huron (DDH 281), HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282), and HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283).

HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280)

 (Dirtsc Photo)

HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280).  First of her class, HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280) was built by Marine Industries Ltd. at Sorel and commissioned on 29 July 1972.   In 1978 she took part in exercises off Portugal, with French units in the Bay of Biscay, and with German units off the coast of Denmark, returning home on 7 Jul 1978 after logging some 14,300 nautical miles.  In Sep 1980, HMCS Iroquois was the subject of shock trials for the 280 class.  These took place off the coast of Nova Scotia.  After the 3rd and largest of the explosions, HMCS Iroquois had to be towed back to port.  During this evolution, one of the tow lines parted and killed a crewman, Robert J. Purcell, on the tug Glenevis.  On 4/5 Dec 1983, while on fishery patrol off the Grand Banks, HMCS Iroquois answered an SOS from the Panamanian-registered Ho Ming 5, in danger of capsizing owing to shifting cargo. In gale-force winds, the destroyer’s Sea King took off eleven of the twenty-man crew, the remaining nine being rescued by her Zodiacs.  Eighteen of her ship’s company were decorated for their bravery during the episode.  She underwent her TRUMP refit between 1 Nov 1989 and 3 Jul 1992.  Between 25 Sep 1993 and 15 Apr 1994, she served with the blockading force off the coast of the former Yugoslavia.  While so employed she conducted 98 boardings.  Relived by HMCS Halifax on 15 Apr 1994, she returned to Halifax, arriving on 25 Apr 1994.  She was appointed the flagship of Maritime Operations Group 1 (MOG 1) on 17 Jun 1995.  Maritime Operations Group 1 left Halifax on 22 Feb 1996 and headed south for exercises, stopping in Grenada where she played host to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and a number of Caribbean heads of state.  Aug 1998 saw HMCS Iroquois replace HMCS Athabaskan as the flagship of the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL).  She returned to Halifax on 15 Dec 1998.  On 21 Mar 2000, HMCS Iroquois, as a member of a Canadian Task Group, left Halifax and headed south for spring exercises.  While enroute south, news arrived that the bulk carrier Leader L had gone down some 700 kilometres northeast of Bermuda.  The task group was re-directed to offer assistance.  13 survivors were picked up along with six bodies, 12 sailors were missing. HMCS Iroquois landed the survivors and bodies in Bermuda before rejoining the task group.  On 17 Oct 2001, with HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Preserver, HMCS Iroquois departed Halifax for the Arabian Sea to support a US- led coalition against international terrorism. She returned to Halifax on 27 Apr 2002.  In the course of that 193-day deployment, she spent 171 days at sea, 51 of them consecutively, one of the longest continuous patrols in the history of the RCN.  Soon after departing Halifax for a second deployment to the Arabian Sea, on 27 Feb 2003 she suffered a Sea King crash on deck, fortunately without serious injuries.  Upon arriving in the Arabian Sea, she served as the flagship of the multi-national Task Force 151 from Mar to July 2003.  She made a third deployment to the Arabian Sea as flagship of the multi-national Task Force 150, Jun-Sep 2008.  In her last years of service, she performed two major representational voyages: to Baltimore, Maryland, in Jun 2012 for the War of 1812 Bicentennial; and to Liverpool, UK, in May 2013 for the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic.  In 2014, it was found that rust had caused extensive damage to her hull and she was laid up alongside Halifax, where she was deemed not worth repairing.  HMCS Iroquois was paid-off on 1 May 2015 at HMC Dockyard, Halifax.  At 1600 on 24 Nov 2016, under tow from the tug Atlantic Spruce, the former HMCS Iroquois departed Halifax en route to Liverpool, NS and the breaker's yard.

 (Emmet Francois Photo)

HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280), New York, 1986.

 (Dirtsc Photo)

HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280).

 (Jim Henderson Photo)

HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280).

 (National Museum of the USN Photo)

Standing Naval Force Atlantic underway.  HMS Danae (F-47), HMCS Iroquois (DDH-280), HMCS Protecteur (AOR-509), HNLMS Van Nes (F-805), USS Sellers (DDG-11) and FGS Augsburg (F-222), 9/1/1982

HMCS Huron (DDH 281)

(USN Photo, Photographer's Mate 1st Class Franklin Call)

HMCS Huron (DDH 281).

Built by Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, HMCS Huron was commissioned on 16 Dec 1972.   HMCS Huron actually got her start two days early because of the ice conditions in the St Lawrence.  Commissioning divisions were short and cold, -20 C with a strong north wind.  When she came down the river she needed ice breaker assistance to get by Quebec City.  Also the supply system failed the ship in that the crew were not issued modern weather jackets.  At Halifax, 1973 she required a great deal of ship's trials on machinery, sound, weapons etc.  Each ship new ship of her class was given a first in class trial to be done.  HMCS Huron was chosen to do helicopter trials,  She sailed south in Jan 1974 for exercises with the USN, returning in mid-Mar 1974.  Early in Apr 1974 she sailed for the Mediterranean with HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Preserver.  After visiting Lisbon, Portugal, she exercised with the USN Med Fleet off the southern tip of Italycalling at the ports of Naples and Barcelona, and then returning to Halifax in mid-Jun 1974.  In mid-Jul 1974 HMCS Huron sailed for NATO - the first of the 280 class to do so on that deployment, serving on station until mid-Dec 1974.  In early 1975, she sailed to carry out missile firings off Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.  This involved tracking trials using the CF9.  Because of the limited fuel range of these aircraft., they would have had to fly over Cuba.  The Captain could not get the over flight clearance, and therefore had to work out of Key West for three weeks.  For the rest of the year she took part in Ex SAFE PASS and had a refit.  She sailed in early Jan 1976 for WUPS and exercises out of Roosevelt Roads. She took part in another Ex SAFE PASS from Mayport, Florida up the coast, which ended just off Halifax.  HMCS Huron sailed for a second NATO deployment early in Jul 1976.  While in Kiel, Germany, HMCS Huron's crew conducted a 3-week self-maintenance routine.  On sailing from Kiel, the NATO SQN transited the Kattegat at night at high speed.  The NATO SQN had been dispatched to intercept the Russian air craft carrier Kiev that had broken out of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean Sea with her escorts and headed north.  At that time she was one of Russia's latest and newest warships.  During the transit, the ship ran over a shoal, tore off the underwater telephone and took 2 or 3 large chunks off the props.  The ship entered Oslo for a port visit, and upon assessing the damage, HMCS Huron had to leave the SQN early and return Halifax for repairs. She was tied up along Halifax for approx 6 weeks before repairs began.

HMCS Huron represented Canada at the Silver Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead on 28 Jun 1977, and in 1981 carried Governor-General Edward Schreyer on a tour of five Scandinavian ports.  On 12 Mar 1980, HMCS Margaree and HMCS Huron rescued the crew of the stricken MV Maurice Desgagnes.  Later in her career, she was transferred to Esquimalt, BC.  She served on MARPAC missions protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Pacific Ocean and enforced Canadian laws in its territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone.  HMCS Huron was also deployed on missions throughout the Pacific and to the Indian Ocean; specifically the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea on anti-terrorism operations.  HMCS Huron took part in a port visit, along with HMCS Kootenay 258 and HMCS Annapolis 265 at Vladivostok, Russia from 3 to 7 Jun 1990.  In the winter of 1991 HMCS Huron was deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation FRICTION, the CF's contribution to Operation DESERT STORM (the Gulf War) to replace her sister ship HMCS Athabaskan as the flagship of the Canadian Naval Task Group.  HMCS Huron arrived after hostilities ceased and patrolled for several months before returning to Esquimalt.  HMCS Huron was deployed to the Adriatic Sea in 1993 in support of the United Nations naval embargo of the former Yugoslavia.  On 15 Jul 1993, HMCS Huron began her TRUMP refit at Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec.  In 1999 HMCS Huron intercepted a civilian ship smuggling illegal migrants off the coast of British Columbia.  Paid off on 31 Mar 2005, she was sunk as an exercise target ship 14 May 2007 during Operation TRIDENT FURY, a live-fire exercise conducted by MARPAC 100 km (54.0 mi) west of Vancouver Island.

 (Arthur J. Matthews Photo)

HMCS Huron (DDH 281).

 (Florida keys Public Libraries Photo)

HMCS Huron (DDH 281).

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282)

  (Master Corporal Jonathan Barrette, Canadian Forces Combat Camera Photo) 

Third of her class, and built by the Davie Shipbuilding Co., Lauzon, HMCS Athabaskan was commissioned on 30 Sep 1972.  On 26 Nov 1981, she was dispatched, along with HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Preserver, to the aid of the MV Euro Princess, which was badly holed and drifting down on the drill-rig Rowan Juneau, off Sable Island.  Rescue helicopters took off the ship's crew, while HMCS Athabaskan’s Sea King helicopter evacuated 44 from the drill-rig despite 60-knot winds.  This procedure had to be done “free-deck” at both ends, owing to a malfunction of her Beartrap.  The abandoned merchant ship was recovered by CGS Alert.

On 24 Aug 1990, HMCS Athabaskan departed Halifax as one of three ships representing Canada in the Persian Gulf conflict, returning on 7 Apr 1991.  Not resting on the laurels of her predecessors, the crew of HMCS Athabaskan proved their mettle on 18 Feb 1991.  On that morning, USS Princeton was patrolling 28 nautical miles off Failaka Island in the Persian Gulf when, at 7:15 a.m. local time, two MN103 Manta bottom-mounted influence mines detonated, one just under the port rudder and the other just forward of the starboard bow.  The blasts cracked the superstructure, buckled three lines in the hull, jammed the port rudder, flooded the No. 3 switchboard room through chilled water pipe cracks, and damaged the starboard propeller shaft.  BM3 Ford was seriously injured, along with two other crewmembers who sustained various injuries.  At great risk to his ship and crew, the CO of HMCS Athabaskan navigated her, with the use of the Seaking helicopters to locate mines, though the minefield to deliver damage-control supplies to the severely damaged USS Princeton.  HMCS Athabaskan then guided USS Princeton thorough the minefield until relieved by the minesweeper USS Adroit.

In Oct 1991 she was turned over to MIL, Lauzon, for her TRUMP refit, after which, on 3 Aug 1994, she was provisionally accepted by the Navy.  In the fall of 1995 she took part, with HMCS Kootenay, in the two-month Exercise UNITAS, along with ships from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, the US and Uruguay.  On 15 Mar 1999 HMCS Athabaskan departed Halifax for a six month deployment with SNFL, rejoining the Force again at the beginning of 2000.  On 3 Aug 2000 she was handed a rather bizarre assignment: to board (via helicopter) the GTS Katie 160 kilometres off Newfoundland.  The freighter had a cargo of Canadian military equipment destined from Kosovo to Bécancour, Quebec, which her chartered Captain had refused to land because of a dispute over payment.  She was compelled by the boarding party to deliver her cargo as originally intended.  In Sep 2005, with HMCS Toronto, HMCS Ville de Québec and the CCGS Sir William Alexander, she deployed to Louisiana to assist disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.  On 21 Apr 2006, as flagship of the NATO Standing Maritime Group One (SNMG 1) she was moored at Devonport, UK, to mark the 80th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II.  In Jan 2010, with Halifax, she deployed to provide disaster relief following the major earthquake in Haiti.  That same year, on 29 Jun 2010, she was the the command ship for HM Queen Elizabeth II for the International Fleet Review marking the Canadian Naval Centennial.  Following a refit in St Catherine’s, Ontario, while being towed back to Halifax in Dec 2012, she broke loose from her tow off Cape Breton Island, sustaining some hull damage.

HMCS Athabaskan was paid off in Halifax, NS, on 10 Mar 2107.  She was the last of the Iroquois Class destroyers.

 (Mike Ellis Photo) 

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282), missile launch.

 (Cpl Tony Chand, Formation Imaging Services Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).

 (Scott Murphy Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).

 (Mike Ellis Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).

 (Scott Wright Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).

 (Torphoto Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).

 (Gerald Doutre Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan 282 RASing with USS Wisconsin during the Gulf War 1990-1991, Persian Gulf.

 (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel Gaither, USN Photo)

HMCS Athabascan (DDG 282) underway with HMCS Halifax (FFH 330) and HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) in September 2015.

HMCS Algonquin (DDH 283)

 (Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jayme Pastoric, USN Photo)

HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283) underway in close formation with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  

The last of her class, HMCS Algonquin (DDH 283) was built by the Davie Shipbuilding Co., Lauzon, and commissioned on 3 Nov 1973.  In Nov 1974, HMCS Algonquin rescued the crew of the fishing vessel Paul & Maria, which was sinking 80 miles east of Halifax.  In the fall of 1977, she took part in the Caribbean exercise CARIBOPS ‘77, in the process being the first of her class to cross the equator.  On 26 Sep 1978, she relieved HMCS Huron as the flagship of the SNFL, staying with the Force until the end of the year.  By the end of her tenth year in service, HMCS Algonquin had steamed more than 200,000 nautical miles and spent an actual three years at sea.  During that period, she had taken part in more than twenty multinational exercises and completed four tours of duty with SNFL, three of them as flagship.  On 1 Mar 1986, she responded to a call for help from the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, two of whose officers had boarded the Panamanian trawler Peonia 7.  Ignoring orders to put in to St. John’s, the vessel’s captain had headed to sea with the DFO officers still on board.  HMCS Algonquin overtook her and enforced the original orders.  On 26 Oct 1987, she commenced her TRUMP refit at MIL Davie, Lauzon.  Labour problems and contract disputes delayed completion of the work until 11 Oct 1991.  On 29 Mar 1993, HMCS Algonquin sailed to join SNFL, again as flagship, and transited the Suez Canal to join the other NATO vessel in the Adriatic enforcing the blockade of the former Yugoslavia on 24 Jun 1993. She transferred to the west coast in Aug 1994.  Early in 1995 she took part in an a US battle group training exercise off southern California.  That fall, HMCS Algonquin test-fired her SM2 missile on the Pacific Missile Range in the Hawaiian Islands.  On 18 Mar 1996 she left Esquimalt to participate in Exercise WESTPLOY '96, acting as flagship of a group including HMCS Preserver, HMCS Regina and HMCS Winnipeg.  During three months the ships visited Japan, Russia and South Korea and afterward took part in RIMPAC '96 off Hawaii.  In mid-Jan 1997, she began what was foreseen as a 12-month, $15 million refit but which proved to cost almost $25 million, re-entering service in May 1998.  More exercises with Pacific rim countries followed during 2000 and 2001.  On 23 Mar 2002, she departed Esquimalt for the Arabian Sea to support the US-led coalition against international terrorism, arriving back on 14 Oct 2002.  For the next decade she continued to act as the west coast flagship through a range of national and international exercises.  On 12 Jun 2010, she was the command ship for Her Excellency Governor-General Michaëlle Jean for the International Fleet Review marking the Canadian Naval Centennial.  On 30 Aug 2013, HMCS Algonquin was involved in a collision with HMCS Protecteur which resulted in considerable damage to her hangar.  The damage was never repaired and she was paid off on 11 Jun 2015.  On 9 May 2016, the former HMCS Algonquin departed Esquimalt, BC, under tow, destined for Liverpool, NS, to be broken up.  In Jun 2016, she arrived alongside at the yard of R.J. MacIsaac Construction at Liverpool to be broken up.

Note: The 5"54 cal gun on the 280s were named after the Oto Melara technicians who installed them and did the FSR work in Canada.  The names for the guns were as follows:  HMCS Iroquois - Pasquale, HMCS Huron - Tulio, HMCS Athabaskan - Leno and HMCS Algonquin - Luigi.

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Algonquin (DDH 283)

 (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach, USN Photo)

HMCS Algonquin (DDH 283)

 (USN Photo)

HMCS Algonquin (DDH 283)