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Tag: Cadillacs of Destroyers

Tin-Can Canucks: Now on Sale

The long wait is over!

Tin-Can Canucks is officially on sale. Available through CreateSpace & Amazon you can find it online–and hopefully on the shelves of a book store near you.

The book’s foreword is by Vice-Admiral M.F.R. Lloyd, CMM, CD who is the current Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian navy. It covers the history of the destroyer-type warship in the Canadian Navy from 1915 to 2016.

You can get your copy through these vendors:

Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from GoodReads
Buy from CreateSpace
Buy from Amazon
 For more information, see TinCanCanucks.com

 

Cheers,

Sean

Tin-Can Canucks: HMCS Yukon

(Save the featured image–from ShipSpotting.com, see below–photos and associated captions are from For Posterity’s Sake)

This post is another of a series of excerpts from my book Tin Can Canucks.  As the book is still under development these posts should be considered as part of a work in progress.  These excerpts are presented as they’ve been developed and may not be in chronological (or any logical) order.

HMCS Yukon Specifications

Length: 366’
Beam: 42’
Draft: 13’ 6″
Displacement: 2380 tons

Laid Down: 25-10-1959
Launched: 27-7-1961
Commissioned: 25-5-1963
Paid Off: 3-12-1993

Armament: 4 x 3”/50 HA/LA guns, 2 x Limbo ASW mortar, homing torpedoes

HMCS Yukon

HMCS YUKON circa 1975 Courtesy of Robert Berbeck

The first Canadian warship to carry the name, HMCS Yukon was built by Burrard Dry Dock Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia.  When she was commissioned she was the third of the Mackenzie-class to enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy.

She sailed from the west coast to Halifax on July 27th, 1963 and would operate out of that port for the next 17 months.  On January 5th, 1965 she returned to Esquimalt to exchange crews with fellow Cadillac Destroyer HMCS Ottawa, which had been ordered to transfer to Halifax.

Cartoon about a collision between HMCS Yukon and USS Kitty Hawk.

Yukon, sister ship HMCS Mackenzie, and the supply ship HMCS Provider left Esquimalt on May 4th 1970, bound for Japan.  The pair of Mackenzie-class destroyers arrived in Hakodate on May 22nd, while their compatriot Provider went instead to Yokosuka.  During their deployment they undertook exercises with naval units from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.  The three Canadian ships also visited the ports of Kobe, Osaka, and Sasebo before returning home to Vancouver Island.[1]

After undergoing a mid-life refit in February of 1975, Yukon was transferred to Training Group Pacific where she took up the role of instructional vessel for Maritime Surface and Sub-surface (MARS) Officers.  She underwent her DELEX life extension refit at Barrow Yarrow Inc. in Esquimalt staring May 28th, 1984, and had her hull and machinery repaired to bring her up to as close to as new vessel as practicable.  The DELEX also saw replacement of sensor equipment no longer supported or maintained with more up to date equipment, and the addition of a set of lightweight ASW torpedo tubes.[2]  Yukon returned to service on January 16th, 1985.

The next year, she was one of three Canadian warships to visit Australia in celebration of the Royal Australian Navy’s 75th Anniversary.

Yukon today. Dive photos of the former HMCS Yukon at Mission Bay in 2013
Courtesy of Photographer: Michael Kazma © 2013
Copyright Owner: Michael Kazma / Shark Chums

Paid off on December 3rd 1993, Yukon was eventually sold to the San Diego Oceans Foundation.  On April 25th, 1999 she was towed from Vancouver, bound for San Diego where it was intended to sink her as a diver’s wreck on July 15th.  She would sink at the intended site a day early however, due to rough weather.[3]

[1]  (Barrie & Macpherson, 1996) p. 57

[2]  (Lynch, Twilight of the St Laurents, 1990) p. 189

[3]  (MacPherson & Barrie, Ships of Canada’s Naval Forces: 1910-2002, 2004) p. 259

Featured Image Via:

ShipSpotting.com
© Chris Howell

 

Cheers,

Sean

Assiniboine Underway in 1982

Tin-Can Canucks: HMCS Assiniboine (II)

This post is another of a series of excerpts from my book Tin Can Canucks.  As the book is still under development these posts should be considered as part of a work in progress.  These excerpts are presented as they’ve been developed and may not be in chronological (or any logical) order.

HMCS Assiniboine (II)Specifications

Length: 366’
Beam: 42’
Draft: 13’ 2″
Displacement: 2263 tons

Laid Down: 19-5-1952
Launched: 12-2-1954
Commissioned: 16-8-1956
Paid Off: 14-12-1988

Armament: 4 x 3”/50 HA/LA guns, 2 x Limbo ASW mortar, homing torpedoes

When Marine Industries Ltd. of Sorel, Quebec delivered HMCS Assiniboine (II) to the Royal Canadian Navy it was the first post-war warship built by that yard for the RCN which subsequently commissioned her the 16th of August 1956. Her arrival in Halifax on the 25th saw her assigned to the Third Canadian Escort Squadron.[1]  She, her squadron-mates and ships from the First Canadian Escort Squadron undertook a goodwill tour of North Europe ports in October and returned back in Halifax in mid-November.

With sister HMCS Margaree (II), Assiniboine took part in an International Naval Review at Hampton Roads, Virginia in June of 1957.

HMCS Assiniboine in swell

DND photo, courtesy of RCNA Peregrine.

She was transferred to Esquimalt in January of 1959 where she became part of the Second Canadian Escort Squadron.  She hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in mid-July when they travelled from Vancouver to Nanaimo, British Columbia.

In 1962 she underwent conversion to a destroyer helicopter escort (DHH) which saw her after end remodeled to include a flight deck and hangar.  The single stack was split in two each of which was outboard of the helicopter hangar.  To make room for the flight deck the aft 3-inch/50 mount and the Limbo anti-submarine mortars were removed.  Assiniboine was the first of her class to undergo conversion; much of the work was done by the Victoria Machinery Depot Company of Victoria, British Columbia.  The remainder of the work was undertaken by HMC Dockyard Esquimalt.

HMCS Assiniboine and Sea King Helicopter

This photograph shows two major postwar Canadian naval technology developments: operating large helicopters from relatively small ships, and the variable depth sonar. (courtesy http://www.warmuseum.ca/)

June 28, 1963 she recommissioned and departed for Halifax in September.  There she had the “Beartrap” rapid helicopter haul down equipment installed and became the trials vessel for this system.  In that capacity she spent two years chasing storms around the North Atlantic, purposely hunting for poor weather in which she could trial the “Beartrap” system.  Ultimately the trials were successful and the “Beartrap” became a common fitting on all future Canadian destroyers and frigates.[2]

In January 1975 she rendered assistance to the freighter Barma, rescuing her crew after the freighter began to take on water some 185 miles off Boston.

Assiniboine was selected for the Destroyer Life Extension Refit (DELEX) which she undertook entering dock at the Canadian Vickers yard in Montreal on April 23rd, 1979.  She returned to service in mid-November.

In June of 1981, Assiniboine was leading four other vessels NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) out of Halifax harbour when she grounded on Point Pleasant Shoal in heavy fog.  It took several tugboats to get her free.  Her participation in a NATO exercise was thus canceled while she underwent a damage inspection and repairs.[3]

Assiniboine Limbo Well in 1956

Limbo well of HMCS Assiniboine in a photo dated October 1956. (Courtesy Rick E. Davis)

In 1984 she was assigned to escort the Tall Ships Race from Bermuda to Halifax during the early summer.  When the British sailing vessel Marques sank, Assiniboine took up a prominent role in the search for survivors.  She would receive the Chief of Defence Staff Unit Commendation for her efforts, becoming only the second ship in the RCN to receive it.

She returned to Halifax in July of 1984 having discovered fractures in her upper deck stringers and plating.  She entered dry-dock for repairs on July 17th at Marine Industries Ltd.’s Sorel shipyard—her birthplace—for a ten month refit.  This stretched out to seventeen months due to a strike at the shipyard.[4]

HMCS Assiniboine was decommissioned on December 14th, 1988, and taken out of service the following January.  After being surveyed post-decommissioning it was discovered that her steaming plant was in excellent condition, and as she was of similar configuration of the remaining steam-powered destroyers, it was decided to use her as the alongside steam training vessel, replacing HMCS St.Croix (II).[5]

She served as a floating classroom for technicians at the Fleet School for 6 years before being handed over to Crown Assets for disposal.  She subsequently sank in the Caribbean Sea while under tow to the breakers.  In 32 years while under commission she had sailed some 700,000 nautical miles.

[1]  Wartime RCN ships built by Marine industries’ Sorel yard included Flower-class corvettes Arrowhead, Bittersweet, Dunvegan, Fennel, Sherbrooke, Sorel, Calgary, Fredericton, Kitchener, La Malbaie, and Regina as well as Bangor-class minesweepers Brockville, Esquimalt, Transcona, and Trois-Rivières.  They would later build the  hydrofoil HMCS Bras d’Or in 1968 with their last ship for the Canadian Navy being the frigate HMCS Calgary which was commissioned in 1995.

[2] Known in other navies as a Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device (HHRSD) the “Beartrap” was developed by the RCN’s Experimental Squadron VX-10 in conjunction with Fairey Aviation in the 1960s.

[3]  (Cleaves, 1981)

[4]  (Barrie & Macpherson, 1996) p. 19

[5]  (Lynch, Twilight of the St Laurents, 1990) p. 192

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