For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS NOOTKA R96 / 213

Photos and Documents

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The launching of HMCS Nootka at Halifax on 26 Apr 1944

RCN photo

Courtesy of Phil Charlton

HMCS Nootka R96 - prior to 1949

From the collection of Gordon Arnold (Art) Broster

Courtesy of Cathy Robinson

HMCS Nootka

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

HMCS Nootka firing at a railway bridge circa 1951

Source: Canada. Dept. of national Defence /Library and Archives of Canada / MIKAN no. 3599841

HMCS Nootka conducting Naval Fire Support Korea, 1951

Source: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-142437

HMCS Nootka Korea

 

The Naval Historical Section DND

Submitted by William Anderson

Courtesy of David Bakody

 

The patrol carried out by Nootka from 28 May to 9 June was the most noteworthy of the period, Nootka arrived off Yang-do north east of Songjin, on the 28 May to relieve HMAS Warramuga with TE 95.22, which at time consisted of the Australian destroyer and the U.S. Ships Endicott (CTU), Fowler , John W. Thomason and Swallow. The interdiction campaign against the coastal railway was still the most important of the task element's duties, but it's ships were at this time also conducting a vigorous offensive agai9nst North Korea junks and sampans, an offensive which aimed not only at stopping fishing and sneak mine laying but also at preventing a repetition of the recent (19 February) amphibious raid on the Yang-do group. The ships on the east coast were not having it all their own way in the interdiction and anti-junk campaign however for the enemy coastal batteries were becoming increasingly aggressive and accurate. In March 1952 only two U.S. had been hit by these shore batteries in April the figure jumped to six and when Nootka arrived in may another seven ships had already suffered hits (24) Nootka was soon to learn that these statistics at least did not lie and that the tales told around Sasebo of the deadly accuracy of the east coast shore batteries were not much exaggerated.

 

Nootka's first encounter with these guns came on the morning of 30 May when she sailed with Thomason to bombard targets near Kyongsong below Chongjin. Nootka had been shelling gun positions in the Kyong-song area for about half an hour and had just shifted fire to a large junk pulled up on the beach when eight guns sited along the coast opened fire simultaneously. The fire was fast and frighteningly accurate; the third salvo was on its way towards Nootka immediately following the explosions of the first rounds, some of which landed within ten yards of the ship. The second salvo was even closer, and several shells landed under the flare of the port bow, abreast the bridge, so close that those on the bridge could not see the points of impact. The blast blew the steel helmet off the lookout in the sponson dazing the man temporarily, and threw columns of water upon the bridge and into the director.

 

The moment the enemy opened up Nootka went full speed ahead, turning and twisting to avoid the fall of shot while she made smoke to cover the withdrawal of Tomason who was also under fire. Now occurred a very fortunate accident and one which may well have saved Nootka from being hit. For as soon as the destroyer began to belch smoke the after funnel caught fire and whenever the ships guns let off a salvo, great gusts of smoke .flame and sparks burst from the funnel. The unseemly display served a good purpose, for the enemy was almost certainly deceived into thinking the shells were striking home with marvellous regularity. At any rate his salvoes marched along beside the ship, keeping perfect step with her movements, and Nootka steadied on a straight course being "very loath to upset so amicable an arrangement" All this time the range and at 9000 yards the enemy's salvoes began to trop astern. At 12,000 yards the ship was apparently out of danger, but Nootka steamed on into the fog bank increasing the range to 14,000 yards before reversing course and steaming back to have the last word. Though the ship decreased range to 11,000 yards to pound the offending batteries with everything she had they did not open fire again and Nootka was able to return with dignity. En route to Yong-do the members of the ship's company amused themselves by collecting enemy shell fragments as souvenirs, there were shell fragments everywhere on the upper decks and it is said even some were found in the galley.

 

On 1 June Nootka again came under fire from batteries just south of Chongjin , but this was a mild affair compared with the previous action. During the daylight hours of her patrol she cruised up and down along the coast from Hungnam in the south to Chongjin in the north, pounding away at the coastal railroad shore battery positions, beached junks and sampan and other suitable targets. At night she operated even closer to shore watching for fishing craft, delivering her nightly quota of harassing fire on the various Packages and Derails and occasionally engaging targets of opportunity such as truck convoys using the coastal road. It was certainly a very busy patrol especially for the Gunnery Department, as she fired well over 2,000 rounds from the main armament alone.

HMCS Nootka R96

From the photo collection of Lt VS Curry, CD, RCN (Ret'd)

Courtesy of Gerry Curry

Nootka's bell housed at 56 RCSCC Campbeltown, Holden, Alberta, around 85 km south east of Edmonton

Photographer: Jason Finkbeiner, CD Lt(N)

Courtesy of Bill Cummins



Christening of William H. Cummins on HMCS Nootka

 

Photo 2: Ldg. Seaman John "Jack" Cummins, William. H. Cummins and Shirley H. Cummins (nee Dowling) - 25 Sep 1955

 

Photo 3: Shirley H. Cummins and William H. Cummins

 

From the collection of John Cummins

Courtesy of Bill Cummins

Ship's bell of HMCS Nootka showing the inscription William Herbert Cummins 25 Sep 1955

From the collection of John Cummins

Courtesy of Bill Cummins

Jason Finkbeiner, CO of the cadet corps in Holden Alberta shipped Nootka's bell to the Royal Canadian Legion in Sturgeon Falls Ontario so John Cummins (L) could pose with the bell along with his son. Together, they are holding Bill's christening photos - August 2011

Courtesy of Bill Cummins

HMCS Nootka 213 steaming back to Halifax at 3 knots escorted by HMCS Buckingham.  Nootka was damaged when she hit the sea wall in Bermuda - summer 1963

From the collection of John Cummins

Courtesy of Bill Cummins

HMCS Nootka, 1952

Marsh Brothers Birthday - cook on their left baked a cake

Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan

Sunday divisions on HMCS Nookta in the Yellow Sea - 1952

Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan

Nootka Communicators having a wet, Japan 1952.

L-R: Marsh twins 1st & 2nd, Gord (Lucky) Lusk (R.I.P.) 3rd, remainder unknown

 

 "I sailed with Lusk in Magnificent 1951. In March 1955, three weeks after my release from Navy, I was member of North York Police. After completing a two week intro course and still in plain clothes, I hopped into the right hand seat of a cruiser. Guess who was the uniformed driver?? Gord Lusk."

Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan

The Key to the City of Baltimore

Presented to Cdr V.J. Murphy, RCN, HMCS Nootka DDE 213 on 26 May 1963

Courtesy of Paul Swank

LCdr C.E. Richardson, RCN dressed as on Ordinary Seaman on HMCS Nootka R213

LCdr Richardson was Commanding Officer of HMCS Nootka from 17 Sep 1951 to 14 Oct 1951

Courtesy of Christopher Richardson

North Korean P.O.W.s on HMCS Nootka during her first Korean War Tour

From the collection of Joseph C. Lees

Courtesy of Richard Lees

Crossing the Line Certificate, AB Joseph Lees, HMCS Nootka

From the collection of Joseph C. Lees

Courtesy of Richard Lees

 

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