HMCS NIPIGON 266

 

Annapolis Class Destroyer

 


 

HMCS NIPIGON 266

Exercise Ocean Safari 1985

 

Laid down: 05 Aug 1960

Launched: 10 Dec 1961

Commissioned: 30 May 1964

Paid off for DELEX refit: 27 Jun 1983

Re-commissioned: 22 Aug 1984

Paid off for refit: 30 Aug 1988

Re-commissioned: 16 Feb 1990

Paid off: 01 Jul 1998

Fate: Sunk as an artificial reef ON 22 Jul 2003.

 

Built by Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, 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 07 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. LS Doyle Clement White and Able Seaman Wendell Tolson Gray were awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry for their actions that day.

 

B.E.M. Citation for LS Doyle White:  "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. 

 

B.E.M. Citation for AB Wendell Gray:  "At approximately 2030 hours on 18th October 1965, while at sea, two explosions occurred in 12 Mess on HMCS Nipigon. The force of the explosions blew the locked cover off a tank containing JP5 helicopter fuel causing a flash fire in the Mess. Directly above the Mess was a compartment containing ammunition. At the time of the explosion, Able Seaman Gray was in the main cafeteria. Immediately making his way to the upper deck, he was instructed by the Damage Control Officer to break out all available breathing equipment. When informed that LS White had entered the Mess to free an unconscious man, he quickly donned same, and following the Leading Seaman into the mess, assisted in the evacuation of the man to the mortar well on the deck above. The Mess at this time was filled with fumes from the JP5 fuel and heavy smoke. Returning to the area, AB Gray entered the Mess on three successive occasions with fire fighting and other equipment and assisted the damage control parties in clearing the Mess of the smouldering material. Although the youngest in the group, AB Gray assisted in the rescue of a comrade, entered the Mess on several occasions where there was an open JP5 fuel tank, and assisted the damage control parties with the fire-fighting and removal of smouldering materials. His actions throughout this incident, in 12 the face of serious injury or possible death, have brought credit not only to himself, but also to his ship and the Canadian Forces."

 

During 04-11 Oct 1971 HMCS NIPIGON was operating in the Clyde area of the UK which included acting as a target for the UK Perisher Couse. Port visits included Anchor Llandudno, North Wales 12 oct 1971 and Liverpool, England 12-16 Oct 1971

 

On 07 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.

 

In 1972 HMCS NIPIGON has port visits at Estoril, Portugal 19-23 Apr 1972 followed by Lisbon, Portugal also in Apr 1972.

 

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, confusion and a sense of danger were evident, but 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, Que. 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 vessel 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 helo 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 02 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.

 


 

RCN Memories: 

Three Shipmates Remembered - The Crash of HMCS NIPIGON'S Sea King

 

Nov 7th is a lot tougher than Nov 11 - The Crash of HMCS NIPIGON'S Sea King

 

You must wear a tie - A run ashore in Bermuda

 


 

Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          Commissioning Book          The Ship's Bell

 


 

Commanding Officers

 

Cdr Roy Donald Saxon, DSC, RCN - 30 May 1964 - 19 May 1966

Cdr John Burleigh Chapleau Carling, RCN - 19 May 1966 - 11 Sep 1967

Cdr R.F. Choat, RCN - 11 Sep 1967 - 19 Aug 1968

LCdr O.S. Chorneyko - 19 Aug 1968 - 04 Feb 1969

Cdr Robert Campbell Brown - 04 Feb 1969 - 31 Aug 1970

LCdr Leo I. MacDonald - 31 Aug 1970 - 29 Sep 1970

Cdr A.H. Brookbank - 29 Sep 1970 - 19 Jun 1972

Cdr David Austin Avery - 19 Jun 1972 - 10 Apr 1974

Cdr James Douglas Sine - 10 Apr 1974 - 23 May 1975

Cdr Francis Henry Stephen Hope - 23 May 1975 - 01 Sep 1976

Cdr H.L. Davies - 01 Sep 1976 - 15 May 1978

Cdr Richard Clifford Waller - 15 May 1978 - 12 Jun 1980

Cdr Dale Edward Gibb - 12 Jun 1980 - 19 Jul 1982

Cdr Wilfred Gourlay D. Lund - 19 Jul 1982 - 02 Apr 1984

Cdr Hans Werner Hendel - 02 Mar 1984 - 15 Jul 1986

Cdr Duncan Edward (Dusty) Miller - 15 Jul 1986 - 05 Oct 1987

Cdr E.J. Lerhe - 05 Oct 1987 - 06 Jan 1989

Cdr M.A. Wylie - 06 Jan 1989 - 12 Jul 1989

Cdr S.C. Doucette - 12 Jul 1989 - 21 Jun 1991

Cdr K. Steve White - 21 Jun 1991 - 16 Jul 1993

LCdr C.L. Mofford - 16 Jul 1993 - 18 Aug 1993

LCdr E.P. Deslauriers - 18 Aug 1993 - 02 May 1994

Cdr M.P. Palmer - 02 May 1994 - 18 Jan 1996

Cdr G.A. Prudat - 18 Jan 1996 - 21 Aug 1997

Cdr J.D. Penman - 21 Aug 1997 - 01 Jul 1998

 


 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

DICK, Allan E.

Lt (N), C.A.F.

died - 07 Nov 1971

McCREA, John O.R.

LS, C.A.F.

died - 07 Nov 1971

OSTAFICIUK, Lawrence M.

Lt (N), C.A.F.

died - 07 Nov 1971

PERRIER, Patrick A.

OS, RCN

died - 18 Oct 1965

PITT, Thomas S.

AB, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1965

READE, Roderick E.

AB, RCN

died - 19 Oct 1965

ZENKNER, Andrew N.

OS.EW, C.A.F.

Lost at sea - 27 Mar 1979

 

 

 

 


 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A

 

Ayotte, Ricky T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B

 

 

C

 

 

D

 

 

E

 

 

F

 

 

G

 

 

H

 

 

I

 

 

J

 

 

K

 

 

L

 

 

M

 

 

N

 

 

O

 

 

P

 

 

Q

 

 

R

 

 

S

 

 

T

 

 

V

 

 

W

 

 


 

Former Crew Members

 

Bakody, David, P1ERA

 

Bell, Michael, AirDet - 1977-1978

 

Brooks, John

 

Dawe, Charlene, OS.SW

 

Edison, William GH. (Bill), P2ET

 

Gallagher, Jean, Cook

 

Gervais, John, RP

 

Gohlish, Heinz E., Lt (N)

Kloosterman, Steve, HT - 1977-1980

 

Lake, Belinda - 1990 - 1992

 

Lapierre, Brian, ET

 

Larcheveque, Richard, OBSV/AESOP - 1981-1982 (aircrew)

 

Linton, Stacey, PTE(T), SW

 

Marsh, Patrick Garfield, P2ER, SC

 

McGean, Darren, Pte, Stwd

McIntosh, John Lorne, C1ERA

 

Miller, Duncan E.

 

Olsen, Darren Mark

 

Pinnell, Terry, Lt - Sep 1976 - Jan 1979

 

Rockwell, Rod L. (Rocky), MS.ET

 

Ruff, Eric

 

Tremblay, Gilbert (Gigi), OS.EW - LS.EW - 28 Mar 1978 - 01 Dec 1981

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

HMCS NIPIGON 266

HMCS NIPIGON 266

DND Photo # DNS-33488

Courtesy of the Comox RCAF Museum

HMCS NIPIGON 266 Ship's Company Dance - 1965

Dance held after the trip to Holland

Some pers in the photo: P2 Mark Trembley and his wife; the wardroom stewards and their wives; and William (Bill) Starr, Cdr Saxon's Steward

Courtesy of William Starr

 

Two Newspaper articles from the Picton Gazette, Picton, Ontario on the death of AB Thomas S. Pitt, OS Patrick Perrier, and AB Roderick Reade.

Courtesy of Terrie Robinson

HMCS NIPIGON - date unknown

Courtesy of Jim Brannen

HMCS NIPIGON 266 Ship's Company Dance - 1966

Dance held after the Southern cruise.

Some pers in the photo: P2 Mark Trembley and William (Bill) Starr, Cdr Saxon's Steward

Courtesy of William Starr

 


 

HG69

HG70

HG71

(HG69) HMCS NIPIGON 266  (HG70) HMCS NIPIGON 266  (HG71) HMCS NIPIGON 266 - Halifax, Jan 1971

 

HG72

HG73

HG74

HG75

HG76

(HG72) HMCS NIPIGON 266 during MARCOT '71 off Bermuda   Bermuda - 1971  (HG73) St. George's, Bermuda - 1971  (HG74) Ireland Island, Bermuda - 1971  (HG75) Hamilton, Bermuda - 1971  (HG76) Town Cut Channel - the entrance to St. George's Harbour 24 Feb 1972

 

HG77

Soviet ship Akademik Sergey Korolyov photographed from HMCS NIPIGON 266 during an East Coast Patrol 17 Apr 1971

Historical note: The Akademik Sergey Korolyov was a space control-monitoring ship or Vigilship (Veladora) constructed in 1970 to support the Soviet space program. Named after Sergey Korolyov, the head Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s, the ship also conducted upper atmosphere and outer space research. The ship mainly operated in the Atlantic Ocean monitoring spacecraft trajectory, telemetry data, and guaranteed a communications link with the cosmonauts. The ship had about 1200 accommodations, including 79 laboratories, in which 188 scientific workers performed their duties.

 

HG78

HG79

(HG78) Sea Cadets boarding HMCS NIPIGON 266 at Digby, NS - 21 Jul 1971  (HG79) Boston Navy Yard - 1971

 

The Governor General's Cruise

South Coast of Newfoundland 1-12 Aug 1971

Conducted by Lt. Gov. Ewart J.A. Harnum

HG80

HG81

HG82

HG83

HG84

(HG80) Lt. Gov. Ewart Harnum flanked by his Aide de Camp  (HG81) St. Pierre, Island of St. Pierre.  The islands St. Pierre and Miquelon are a French archipelago off the South coast of Newfoundland  (HG82) Belleoram, Nfld  (HG83) Transiting the Grey River  (HG84) Grey River, Nfld

 

Lt Gov. Harnum was the 5th Lt. Gov or Newfoundland and served from 1969-1974.

 

Most places visited were inaccessible by road. Therefore annual visits by sea from the Lt. Gov. were a local highlight. Coming alongside was not always possible and NIPIGON usually anchored, the Lt. Gov. and party being taken ashore by helicopter. This was further complicated by severe fog and blind pilotage was more frequent than visual entries. For each visit, several Nipigons accompanied the Lt. Gov. It was a busy and fascinating two weeks that introduced us to a part of Canada that we would normally never see.

 

Ports Visited: St. Pierre (France), Pool's Cove, Belleoram, English Harbour, Harbour Breton, Hermitage, Gaultois, McCallum, François, Rencontre Baym Grey River, Ramea, White Bear Bay, Burgeo, Grand Bruit, La Poile, Petites, Rose Blanche and Port Aux Basques

 

HG85

(HG85) The Crash of HMCS NIPIGON'S helo with the loss of three crew

 

Helicopter Crash - the Air Controller's perspective:  On the night of 6th November 1971, tragedy struck. NIPIGON'S helicopter crashed shortly after take-off with the loss of three men - both pilots and the sonar operator.

 

Helicopter 4020 (call sign: Skirt-Two-Zero) recovered, fueled and changed crew during a night screening exercise on the destroyer squadron's return passage to Halifax. NIPIGON (call sign: Night Ruler) re-launched about 2200 local (0200Z on the 7th). It was a dark night with moderate to high winds but conditions initially were night VFR. Two-Zero was tasked with ASW screening several miles ahead of the main body. The launch was routine, flying stations were stood down and the LSO (Paddles) turned Two-Zero over to the air controller in the ops room for employment. Communication was established and air control advised the vector to screening station. Almost immediately Two-Zero reported a terse "single engine". NIPIGON came to emergency flying stations which included turning the sea boat out and preparing the flight deck for immediate recovery. Two-Zero was trying to gain height but could not make an emergency recovery as it was still full-up with fuel. Little could be done from ops other than to warn other ships in company, who readied their sea boats and night lights, and also monitored the air control frequency. Two-Zero's last report was "dumping fuel", and then silence …..

 

Further attempts to communicate were unsuccessful. Then the final transmission from NIPIGON: "Skirt-Two-Zero, Night Ruler. Nothing heard. Out".

 

The remainder of the night was spent by all ships and their sea boats in search and recovery, mainly rescue of the TACO, whose position was next to the window and managed to escape, and also various loose parts. This became more difficult due to deteriorating weather conditions. The depth of water, about 1,500 fathoms (from memory), made future recovery impossible.

 

 

HG86

HG87

HG88

 

(HG86) Halifax Harbour - 27 Feb 1972  (HG87) HMCS NIPIGON 266 pulling away after completing a RAS with HMCS PRESERVER 510 - 14 Apr 1972  (HG88) HMCS NIPIGON 266 entering St. John's, Nfld - May 1972

 

From the collection of Heinz Gohlish

 

Courtesy of Heinz Gohlish

 


 

John Le Forte (centre) on fo'c's'le of HMCS NIPIGON 266

Courtesy of John Le Forte

 

     

 

Picnic on the flight deck of HMCS NIPIGON in 1982.  The 3rd photo shows the after-picnic clean-up.

Courtesy of John Knudsen

 

HMCS NIPIGON iced-up

50th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic

Fleet Review Anchorage Diagram

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Engine room of HMCS NIPIGON 266

Source: Canadian Naval Alumni page on Facebook

Headstone in memory of Nigel Zenkner, lost at sea - 1979

Courtesy of Steve Ewert

HMCS NIPIGON conducting a RAS with USS Iowa (BB61) while part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL) 1985

Quarterdeck part ship hand on HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Crossing the Line on HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

HMCS NIPIGON 266

Courtesy of John Le Forte

HMCS NIPIGON 266 inboard of HNoMS Bergen F301

Courtesy of John Le Forte

HMCS NIPIGON's NATO '93 T-shirt

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Bridge of HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Below decks HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Below decks HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Mess deck lockers on HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of John Le Forte

1 mess - HMCS NIPIGON 266

Courtesy of John Le Forte

Quarter deck of HMCS NIPIGON 266

Courtesy of John Le Forte

LSSW Frank (last name not known) with OSSW Charlene Dawe in the Wardoom Pantry of HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

LSSW Frank (last name not known) with OSSW Charlene Dawe in the Wardoom Pantry of HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Pte SW Stacey Linton with Pte SW Darren McGean in the Wardroom with the 2nd Sick Bay lights over the Wardroom Table on HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Pte(T) SW Stacey Linton on HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

HMCS NIPIGON breaking the ice during Fishpat 92

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

HMCS NIPIGON breaking the ice during Fishpat 92

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Roche Perce from the ocean side Fish Pat 92 (The never ending Fish Pat, we did something like 186 days fish pat that year)

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Roche Perce - Fish Pat 92

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

The Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo taken from HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Sgt SW Clem Licayao playing Golf while the ship was at Ultra Quiet State as we were towing the array

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba MCpl SW Mitch Cormier, of HMCS NIPIGON

"I got pics to prove that I was there."

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

HMCS NIPIGON 266 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Hangar of HMCS NIPIGON

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

Emergency Landing of the Dutch Helo during NATO 91

Courtesy of Mitch Cormier

 

Top - The fishing vessel Lady Marjorie, shortly before being sunk by gunfire from HMCS NIPIGON

 

Bottom - The fishing vessel Lady Marjorie on fire after being hit by shells from HMCS NIPIGON

The fishing vessel Lady Marjorie on fire after being hit by numerous HE rounds from HMCS NIPIGON

 

Courtesy of Michael Collacutt

Letter to crew of HMCS NIPIGON 266 for their professionalism during an Sea King flight emergency

Courtesy of Jeff Eastham

Newspaper article on HMCS NIPIGON's final sail past

Courtesy of John Leforte

Former HMCS NIPIGON being towed out of Halifax Harbor on Tuesday, 16 Oct 2001, enroute for Rimouski, Quebec, to be sunk as an artificial reef

Courtesy of John Floyd

The End is Near

 

Former HMCS NIPIGON, Rimouski, Quebec, summer 2003

Sunk warship to be artificial reef

Newspaper article on the sinking of the former HMCS NIPIGON as an artificial reef near Rimouski, Quebec.

Courtesy of Terrie Robinson

 


 

HOME PAGE     SHIP INDEX      CONTACT