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St Laurent DDH 205 in the Scheldt 1966
Ships and Harbours
No: 2173   Contributor: Ken Watson   Year: 1966   Manufacturer: Unknown   Country: Belgium
St Laurent DDH 205 in the Scheldt 1966

HMCS StLaurent follows Gatineau and Columbia in line ahead, Scheldt Estuary 1966.
Picture added on 17 May 2007
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Due to her sleek lines , she was called a "Cadillac" at that time 64 we had the best anti submarine force in the world

Added by Mike Houlihan on 05 May 2011.
I sailed in St. Laurent on this cruise which eventually took her as well as Gatineau and Columbia to Gothenburg, Sweden and to Helsinki, Finland. I was a P1RS, nominally attached to HMCS Gloucester as an instructor. For the Baltic cruise, all Radiomen Special (RS) attached to ships based in Halifax were detached to St. Laurent, Gatineau and Columbia -- I believe we were more than two dozen RS-rates. The detachment was headed by LT (SB) William Hillaby (now deceased) and was tasked with monitoring Eastern Bloc navies. Hillaby was an electronics and communications specialist with special skills in the Russian language.

St Laurent had just come from a refit and, prior to departing for the Baltic cruise, underwent tests of the variable depth sonar (VDS) equipment. These did not go well and the VDS cable became snarled around the ship's propulsion equipment, thus requiring a tow. The Admiral, J.C. O'Brien, if my memory serves, was not pleased to see a photo of St. Laurent (DDE205) being towed by a tug with the number 205 on her side.
Anyway, we proceeded on the cruise to the Baltic, stopping in Portsmouth and Antwerp enroute.
The stop in Gothenburg was uneventual, but the transit to Helsinki was memorable for the number of Soviet navy vessels that constantly kept an eye on us. St. Laurent had a hangar which was used to house the ship's Jeep because she had not yet been supplied with a helicopter. The hangar door did not close properly and thus a curtain made of pusser canvas was rigged across the opening and flapped constantly. Patrol boats of the USSR Navy would come close attempting to see what we had concealed in the hangar. Sorry, fellows, just a rusty old navy Jeep.
Operationally, the trip to Helsinki was a great success, especially as Helsinki is only about 200 NM from Leningrad (now known as St.Petersburg).
In Helsinki, as we were entering harbour, we saw a truly enormous Canadian Flag secured to one of the waterfront buildings. It was especially pleasing to see, especially as the Maple Leaf Flag was just over a year old at the time.
A great cruise, enabling us to show off our wonderful Cadillacs, and also to enable us to perform many of the RS functions in an operational theatre.

Added by Ray White on 26 July 2011.
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