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Once Navy - Always Navy

St Lawrence Seaway Official Opening

Ship Details

HMY Britannia  HMS Troubridge HMCS Cape Scott 
Restigouche HMCS Kootenay HMCS Fort Erie 
USS Forrest Sherman    USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr HMCS Gatineau  
HMCS Inch Arran 

HMY Britannia

HMY Britannia was launched on 16 April 1953 and commissioned on 7 January 1954. During her 44 years of active service she conducted 696 Royal visits overseas and 272 in home waters. Among her numerous deployments she sailed to the Antarctic in 1956–57, she was used to open the St Lawrence Seaway in 1959, she was the focus of national events, such as The Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review and in 1994 she embarked an unprecedented number of Heads of State for the 50th commemorations of the D-Day landings. Britannia’s final international period of Royal duty came in 1997 when the Prince of Wales presided over the formal hand over of Hong Kong to China.

In addition to her official duties the Yacht provided the Royal Family with a place to relax, in particular during the annual cruise of the Western Isles. Britannia was decommissioned on 11 December 1997 and is now an official visitor site in Leith.

HMS Troubridge

HMS TROUBRIDGE was originally built as a 'T' class destroyer (1,730 tons) built and laid down by John Brown on 23rd September 1942 and was completed in 1943. (Ship adopted by Walthamstow London). During 1955-57 she was converted to a Type 15 frigate (2,240 tons). I served on her from 5th September 1964 to 4th February 1966, once again mainly in the Mediterranean.

The BBC radio comedy team (Leslie Phillips, Jon Pertwee, Ronnie Barker etc.) of the "
Navy Lark" (HMS TROUTBRIDGE) were closely linked with the ship. Their "Ships Badge" was very similar to ours with the exception that the bridge in the centre of the badge was broken! The tapes of the "Navy Lark" were specially sent to the Troubridge and were often played over the SRE.

HMS Troubridge had refitted in Malta and was one of the ships that were there for Malta's Independence Day on Monday 21st September 1964. Lord Louis Mountbatten represented the Queen in the authoritative hand-over.

On one occasion she was used by a film crew to portray an American warship in the film "
The Bedford Incident" starring Richard Widmark. The ship was at 'Action Stations' when the cameras rolled and was used as part of the film.

Note: Only three type 15 conversions had this type of bridge - Ulster, Troubridge & Zest

HMCS Cape Scott

HMCS Cape Scott (ARE 101) was a Cape-class escort maintenance ship. Built for the RN as HMS Beachy Head in 1944. It was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1947 as RNN Vulkaan and returned to the RN in 1950. It was sent to the RCN in 1952 and served till 1975.
Launched: Commissioned: 1944; 1947, 1959. Paid off: 1947; 1950; 1975 Displacement: 8580 tons Length: 4422 feet Width: 57 feet Draught: 20 feet Top Speed: 11 knots Crew: 270 Armament: none.

HMCS Restigouche
HMCS Restigouche (DDE 257) was a Restigouche-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from 1958-1994.

She was the lead ship of her class, having been commissioned into the RCN on 7 June 1958 carrying the pennant number DDE 257 as a destroyer escort.

Restigouche was selected by the Canadian Forces for the Improved Restigouche (IRE) program and completed this refit in 1972. She was also selected as one of 10 destroyers in the Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX) program and completed this refit on 29 November 1985.

She was decommissioned from active service in the CF on 31 August 1994.

She was sunk as an artificial reef off Acapulco, Mexico in 2001.

HMCS Kootenay
HMCS Kootenay was one of the seven destroyer escorts of the Restigouche class ordered in 1952. The design was a development of the St Laurent class, itself a development of the British Type 12 frigate. Compared with the St Laurents the most noticeable differences "were the replacement of the forward 3"/50 with a 3"/70, and the presence of a fire control director atop the bridge superstructure. In order to see over the new gun mount, the bridge was raised one full deck higher than on the previous ships."

Kootenay was commissioned in 1959, and along with three other ships of the Restigouche class, she was modernised 1972 to the Improved Restigouche (IRE) standard. Whereas the St Laurents' had been given Sea King helicopters when they were modernised, the Restigouches had the aft 3 in turret replaced by an octuple ASROC launcher instead. The old mast was replaced with a new, taller lattice mast, and the stern was altered in order to accommodate a new variable depth sonar.

On 23 October 1969, Kootenay suffered the Canadian Navy's worst peacetime accident when one of her gearboxes exploded; the explosion and the ensuing fire killed 9 crew members and injured at least 8 others.[14] In 1989, she collided with a freighter and suffered damage to her bows, which was repaired using the bow from her sister ship Chaudiere.

In 1983, Kootenay was given further set of upgrades known as the Destroyer Life Extension Program (DELEX).

Kootenay was paid off on 18 November 1995. She was sunk off Mexico as an artificial reef in 2001.

HMCS Fort Erie




RIVER Class 43-44 Programme


1445 tonnes


301.5 ft.


36.6 ft.


9 ft.

Top Speed:


# Officers:


# Crew:



2-4" (1 x II), 4-20mm, Hedgehog


(Hull Number): K670


George T. Davie & Sons Ltd., Lauzon. Que.

Laid Down:






Paid Off:



Recommissioned as a Prestonian Class on 17-Apr-56.


Number 312.


Paid Off 26-Mar-65


USS Forest Sherman DD-931

Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath Me.
Laid Down: October 27 1953
Launched:  February 5 1955
Commissioned: November 9 1955
Decommissioned: November 5, 1982
Fate:  Stricken 7/27/90; sold 1994; repossessed 1996;
  Currently berthed at Philadelphia, awaiting disposal

At the beginning of the “Inland Seas” USS Forrest Sherman was assigned the honour or representing the United State and her Navy at the Seaway opening ceremonies in Montreal, 26 June 1959, wherein Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower officially dedicated the Seaway on her behalf of the two countries.  During “Inland Seas” Forrest Sherman transited portions of all five Great Lakes and visited the ports of Detroit, Duluth, Bay City, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio entertaining at open house over 110,000 visitors.  Fittingly, in the last port, Cleveland, Forrest Sherman was presented her Battle Efficiency Awards for top performance in Anti-Submarine Warfare, Engineering and Damage Control, and Operations.  The presentation of these awards by Commander Destroyer Force, Atlantic, Rear Admiral E.B. Taylor, was one of Forrest Sherman's proudest hours.  At this point CDR William M. Montgomery relieved Captain Leavitt as commanding officer.
On 4 August, Forrest Sherman emerged from the St. Lawrence River to once again take her place on the high seas wither the operating Fleet. 

USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. DD-850

Kennedy is an example of a Gearing class destroyer, which were built during WW2 and became the workhorses of the Cold War destroyer navy. JPK , as we call her, served with great distinction during the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and America's space program to name just a few. DD850 now proudly displays her colours as a museum ship to educate the public and serve as a memorial to those who sailed aboard destroyers. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. is a National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Naval Ships Association at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts.

oseph P. Kennedy, Jr. ( DD-850) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., 26 July 1945; sponsored by Miss Jean Kennedy, sister of Lt. Kennedy; and commissioned at Boston 15 December 1945, Comdr. H. G. Moore in command.

The new destroyer sailed 4 February 1946 for shakedown training in the Caribbean. She returned to her homeport, Newport, in April, and was occupied for the next few months in Naval Reserve Training. Arriving Norfolk 8 October, the ship joined Admiral Leahy's flagship Wisconsin BB-64, and other units for a cruise to Chile and Venezuela. She transited the Canal twice on this voyage, and was reviewed by the President of Venezuela 25 November 1946. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., returned to her home port 14 December 1946.

During 1947 the destroyer operated on the East Coast and in the Caribbean. She sailed for fleet manoeuvres off Puerto Rico 9 February and upon completion steamed eastward to join the 6th Fleet in the .Mediterranean. During this period of great unrest in Europe, the fleet carried out the important role of peacekeeper and stabilizer. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. visited various Mediterranean ports before arriving Newport 26 June 1948. The remainder of the year was spent in antisubmarine exercises and the first half of 1949 saw her make two training cruises to the Caribbean.

During the post war years, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was involved in Korea and had flag showing visits to Oslo, Norway, and Bremerhaven,

After a needed period of overhaul at Boston, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., arrived Annapolis once more 3 June 1959 for midshipman training. Along with other ships of the task group, she entered the St. Lawrence and represented the Navy at the opening of the Seaway 26 June 1959. Following the ceremonies, in which both President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II took part, the destroyer entered the Seaway and steamed to Chicago 2 July. The ship visited various ports before returning to the Atlantic 6 August. I

Now the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. DD850 proudly tells the tale of destroyer life at sea during a tense time in world relations. She is berthed at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. With her is the USS Massachusetts (BB59), USS Lionfish (SS298), and two PT boats from World War II.


HMCS Gatineau 236

Builders: Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon Quebec
Laid Down: 30-Apr-53
Launched: 3-Jun-57
Commissioned:   17-Feb-59
Paid Off: 24-May-96
Class:  Restigouche
Displacement: 2,366 / 2,390 (post refit) tonnes
Length: 366 / 372 (post refit) ft.
Width: 42 ft.
Draught:  13.5 / 14.1 (post refit) ft.
Top Speed: 28 knots
Officers: 12
Crew: 237
Weapons: 4 - 3" (2 x II), 2 Limbo, Homing Torpedoes.
  After IRE refit: 2-3" (1 x II), 1  Limbo, 1 ASROC, Homing
Remarks: Modified as Improved Restigouche Class 1969-1971.
  DELEX refit in 1983.

  HMCS Inch Arran

Navy The Royal Canadian Navy
Type Frigate
Class River 
Pennant K 667 / 308
Built by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. Ltd. (Lauzon,
  Quebec, Canada) 
Ordered 1 Feb, 1943 
Laid down 25 Oct, 1943 
Launched 6 Jun, 1944 
Commissioned 18 Nov, 1944 
End service 23 Jun, 1965 
Loss position Broken up 1970
History Decommissioned on 28 November 1945.
Recommissioned as a Prestonian class frigate with pennant number 308 on 23 August 1954.
Decommissioned on 23 June 1965. 

Disposal 1959 Inch Arran  was obviously giving a stay of execution as both official and unofficial records show her being paid of in 1965.

During the Second World War, the RCN started naming vessels after towns and cities. It soon became apparent that we had too many names in common with our allies - Paris, London, Windsor, Dartmouth, Verdun, etc., and the principle was that no two Allied warships should have the same name.

So the RCN came up with the idea of using "alternative" names for their ships to 'honour' selected communities. INCH ARRAN was the alternative name for Inch Arran Point in Dalhousie N.B.. The point was named by John Hamilton an early settler and native of the Island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The word “inch” is also of Scottish origin and refers to a small point of land. HMCS Inch Arran remained in service to the end of the war and as late as the 1960s.  Used in a training role on the Eastern Coast of Canada until finally paid off on 23 June 1965, Sold for conversion into a museum / youth club but broken up in 1970 when the venture failed to materialise


This page last updated December 15th, 2013

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