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HMCS Gatineau NorthSea 1966
Ships and Harbours
No: 958   Contributor: Ken Watson   Year: 1966   Manufacturer: Unknown
HMCS Gatineau NorthSea 1966

HMC Ships Gatineau and Columbia enroute Helsinki Spring 1966.
Picture added on 09 February 2007
add commentComments:
I remember this trip. We also visited Gotenberg Sweden.

Added by Gord Paul on 15 March 2007.
Thats right Gord, which ship were you in?

Added by Ken Watson on 15 March 2007.
Hmcs gatineau was my first ship in 1960 and was also my last ship before I was discharged in 1964.i also sailed on hmcs chaudiere for 32 months. I am looking for a good picture of gatineau suitable for framing.

Added by Dennis Woods on 15 March 2007.
I was on Gatineau

Added by Gord Paul on 15 March 2007.
I was also on this trip on the Gatineau. It was my 1st ship posting. I was a radioman. Chief's name was O'Reilly. Had some good friends on that ship. Huck Finn, Richard Paquin were the main ones. I cannot seem to find much info regarding the ships company

Added by Bob Murray on 07 January 2008.
Hi Bob if you'd like a large higher resolution of this picture, drop me an eMail.Cheers Ken ex ERA HMCS Columbia 1966.

Added by Ken Watson on 07 January 2008.
Hmcs gatineau was my first ship when I joined in 1989. I did two nato tours on her and were some of my best times in the navy to date. I think my father-in-law marcel van der borch (hull tech) was on that nato and my wife was born during the cruise. Everybody called him dutch.

Added by Tim Clegg on 13 May 2008.
does anyone remember a winston sharkey? he was on this ship around 1964

Added by Linda Dyke on 26 June 2008.
I was lucky enough to be posted on the Gatineau in May 1987. We had the best Old Man, XO and Chief anywhere. I swear almost everyone on board really wanted to be there and we had some great times! Our first port was New York. I saw the Yankees play on the 4th of July, I saw Paul Simon at the Gardens, I drank tequila and ate the worm at Lucy's Danger Ranger bar and I loved being on that ship.
The next 3 years I was a storesman but most of all I had so much fun and a lot of laughs with some great guys. It would be great to have a get together for anyone who served on her.
Does anyone know where she is now?

Added by Dan Coates (L/S at the time) on 26 September 2008.
The Gatineau was my first & last ship. I spent my entire time in the navy on her. From march 1960 to sept 1962.I had good friends on her Two of them were Ray Obay & Don Barret. Would love to here from them.

Added by Ray Wells on 19 October 2008.
I had the distinct honour to be the Commanding Officer of GATINEAU from July of 1992 until December 1994. During that year and a half, the CPFs were just starting to come online. None was yet available for operations, and so a few "steamers" were given all the east-coast tasks. It was wonderful. We did a famous SNFL during which we were supposed to be in the Baltic, and ended up in the Adriatic off Yugoslavia implementing UN sanctions against that country. Officially, Canada (certainly NDHQ) seems to have forgotten entirely about OPERATION MARITIME MONITOR (which preceded SHARP GUARD). During that SNFL, we also made it through the Bosporus and into the Black Sea - the only Canadian warship ever to do that. Later, we were on scene in the Caribbean when UN sanctions were ordered against Haiti. The three-ship Canadian task group was joined by two US warships. We met, divided up the country on the chart, and established the sanctions regime within 24 hours of the UN declaration. GATINEAU was a great ship, and had the best lines of any Canadian warship thanks to that IRE refit. She is still, as of summer 2008, alongside in Halifax awaiting final disposal.

Added by Bob Allen on 24 October 2008.
Hi bob: thanks for your great info on gatineau's late history.very interesting, and as stated not well known! which othe ire's were involved? kind regards, ken

Added by Ken Watson on 25 October 2008.
my first ship on the west coast was the gatineau, we took her through the panama canal to halifax and brought the huron back, great trip, hi to spanky, baby doc, and all the crew, rowan, nick, salty.

Added by Rowan Maclean on 05 December 2008.
My father Robert Gordon Meadows was on this ship in WWII, served on-ship 467 days from 1940-44. He was involved in D-Day and had many fond memories. I was researching this ship for his Eulogy, as he passed away on Jan 23/09. He also went by the nick-name "Danny" (for Danny Meadow mouse)

Added by Grant Meadows on 26 January 2009.
Hello Grant: This HMCS Gatineau DDE 236 was built in the late 50's, your dad's ship was a River Class destroyer (ex Royal Navy) during WW2.These later ships were anti-submarine DDE's designed and built in Canada for the RCN. Cheers, Ken

Added by Ken Watson on 26 January 2009.
I commisioned this ship in 1959 as a leading seaman.we where so proud of her, because it was the newest vessal in the fleet.

Added by Norbert (Bob)Tilleczek on 14 March 2009.
Hi Bob, good to hear from you.Thanks for your bit on Gatineau History, Cheers, Ken

Added by Ken Watson on 14 March 2009.
Gatineau still sits on the dartmouth side of halifax harbour, berthed with terra nova, just under the macdonald bridge. The three o-class submarines are there as well. You can see her on goggle earth! the famous coastal transfer in the spring of 1987 will be remembered by many. Before we left the west coast (i was xo at the time, later to have the honour to become co in 1992), we painted that ship from top to bottom. She looked great, and admiral yannow, garbed in engineers' coveralls, inspected virtually every space in the ship to ensure that we were in tip top shape before departure. While transitting through the panama canal, and at a great stop in charleston, south carolina, we virtually painted the ship again. We were very proud of her appearance as we entered halifax, and were distraught and dumbfounded by the awful condition of huron as we took her over. She was filthy. It was apparent to me that huron's ships' company had simply stopped trying when they knew the ship exchange was going to happen. Some may disagree with this somewhat harsh assessment, but I will stand by it. I do have a few great digital pictures of gatineau at her best, including the one of her taking a "greenie" over the bridge as she comes alongside the tanker for a ras. E-mail me if you want one.

Added by Bob Allen on 14 March 2009.
spent 3 best years of my life on Gatineau, Always a happy ship.
Wish we could save her. Anybody got any ideas?

Added by Gord Paul on 15 March 2009.
Hi Gord, I'm afraid they have been stripping both Gatineau and Terra Nova since last Summer with intentions of sinking as reefs in Great Lakes, St Lawerance area. Our only ship left now in one piece is Fraser, lets hope she's saved and not another Avro Arrow/Canadian Military/Industrial History/Heritage horror show.Rgds, Ken.

Added by Ken Watson on 15 March 2009.
Hi, I was a cook on that ship from 1983 to 1985 I was wondering if some of the boys still there?

Added by Stephane Clement on 06 November 2009.
I served on the Gatineau from 83-85 as well. NWT.
out in march of 85. did a west pac trip on her in 83. great trip. my first one.lot of good memories on the decks and off of that old tub.
As for her future, i have just been told that the Gatineau as well as the Terra Nova will be tore up over the next six or so months after they tow them to Pictou Shipyards.

Added by Kris Harris on 07 November 2009.
Thanks for advising I remember a couple of body's on the ship like P.O. Stagg, and P.O.Duffy Coporal Ship, and also Don. He was a cook like me and we went to Hawaii..

Added by Stephane Clement on 16 November 2009.
Hello everyone,
Was on the Gatineau in the later 60's and sailed with her through the Panama Canal to Esquimalt for refit. That trip remains as one of my fondest memories.

Added by Cliff Smallacombe on 17 December 2009.
Hello..I was transferred to the Gatineau on Jan 6th 1963.I was a signalman fresh out of Cornwallis
and she was in refit in Halifax.I remember we sail into Philly or some port in the usa and our captain who was also C5 tried to dock between two ships.He hit a us destroyer in the front,reversed and hit one in the rear and bounced off the side of another one.I can still see the signalman waiting on the bow to raise the ensign.i never saw a man run so fast.haha The sirens on the us destroyers were just a blaring and I was told the ship in front was taking on water.I was on the bridge at the time.Our CPO was Sullivan and I look back with fawn memories. I was transferred to the Nipigon. if you would like to converse.

Added by Clay Outwater on 17 January 2010.
I served on the Gatineau from 72 to 76 then went to the Quapplle. Both were good ships when I was on board. Shame that they will scrap them both.

Added by Dennis Keough (Garfield) on 24 January 2010.
I served in Gatineau in 1969. Went to the nato Revue at Spithead then sailed to the west coast for refit. Great trip

Added by Joe Fortune on 03 March 2010.
I served on the Gatineau from Aug 65 to Jan 66 as a cook. Did a lot of growing up on that ship. Roger Turcotte and Bill Featherstone were shipmates I've recently come across...HMCS Gatineau is now in Pictou being scrapped, My youngest son sent me pic of her...."That's no way to treat a lady"!!!

Added by Bill Corrigan on 21 May 2010.
Bill, is there anyway you could post the picture or maybe fire me a copy?

Added by Kris Harris on 22 May 2010.
I served on the HMCS Columbia 260 from April 62 to April or May 64

Added by Gary Dares 54083H on 06 September 2010.
Hi Gary: Thanks for your comment.My ship also 1965 until she left for the West Coast around 67 I believe. Rgds, Ken

Added by Ken Watson on 06 September 2010.
i commissioned the gatineau in 1959 and would like to hear from shipmates

Added by Ross Ramsay on 14 September 2010.
I served on the Gatineau from 1960 to 1964 as bosn, My name is Dave Williams I remember Ray Wells and Shiner Wright I enjoyed my time on board. I would like to hear from some of my old shipmates. I live in Montreal and the Fraser just passed through the seaway on the way to scrap

Added by Dave Williams on 03 October 2010.
I served on Gatineau 1963-65, after my sonar 2's course. Got my hook and later transferred to RA, (Radio Air)

Added by Bill, (Barney) Featherstone on 25 October 2010.
I was on Gatineau , 62 to 07/64. Great ships company, especially the XO, LT/CDR Cowboy Copus, Who when he got in the bag, he would appear on top part of ship with his Bagpipes. Remember??

Added by Russ Jenkins on 24 November 2010.
I spent some time on the "GUTS". My time on her was an unexpected gift. In 91-92 the navy was in transition. The pool of steamer sailors was gradually growing smaller as the training system tried to stay abreast of new frigates coming off the ways in St John. We had a satisfactory work-up and an interesting trip or two. Went Co-ed. Ended up with a black nose (bull ring). She had a "CANDO" crew.
Although I sailed on several ships after her I always looked for her in the harbour. The last of the river ladies.

Added by Wally Szumilak on 04 March 2011.
Nice sight. I served in Gatineau Nov 3, 1964 through Jan 17, 1967. Started as abfc1 and left as an lsfc2. I remember the trip to Helsinki and Gotenboug. I remember being shadowed the the Russians. I also remmeber that we sailed to close to Russina waters for thier liking and that a group of Russian vessels sailed close enough for us to yell to each other.

I have photos of a children's party we threw in Helsinki. As I recall we did a OR skit in which we did an operation removing various and sundry items from the patient. I don't recall who the surgeon was, but I think he was drinking. At least the photo would give that imppresion. All fake of course.

I also remeber picking up the pieces of that argus. I think that was during Operation Spring Board in the caribean. It was a sad time.

Anyway a good sight. Enjoyed it.

Added by Lorne Norman on 12 August 2011.
I recall the Argus also Lorne....We must have been on her at the same time. I have a few photos I took of parts and debris we put on the morter well covers on my web site...(

Added by Bill,(Barney) Featherstone on 12 August 2011.
I served on the HMCS Columbia from 1962 to 1965, I was unable to keep my food down and my weight continued to slide. Due to this being a health hazard and I wasn't gaining any I was released with an honourable discharge in late June of 1965. Would anyone have pics of the Columbia at all.It would be greatly appreciated as I'm into retirement years now, wish I could have stayed in then, I was having a ball, what with the travel and the women. I sure do miss it. Any pics of the ship would be great. Thanks in advance Gary Dares

Added by Gary Dares on 13 August 2011.
I also served on the Gatineau, made a lot of good mates over the years onboard. Made may of the trips that were spoken about most rembered was the day in New York City when the Old Man "Andy Fulton" got his draft to the UK and he went around the quarter deck with his draft notice collecting sippers.
Great Skipper will always be remebered with fond hearts.

Added by Dave Gordon on 15 September 2011.
I served on the Gatineau from 1964 to 1967, many great times and great shipmates.

Added by John Mccormick on 17 September 2011.
The former HMCS GATINEAU "the GUTS" slipped her berth in Halifax and under tow (Atlantic Elm) 10:30 hrs Nov 17 arriving Pictou Hbr at 09:30 Nov 19. There, at AECON`s Facilities she was dismantled, from the superstructure down to the hull. Then she was unceremoniously towed stern first up to the shore for the final tear down. Its difficult enough to outlast a class or two of ships. But when you find your old shipmates smiling out at you from the obit section of the Chronically Horrid, it makes you appreciate every wakey-wakey. At least now I`ll be able to cross the Angus L without looking down for her in the camber at NAD. She was a great girl with the classic lines of a genuine river lady. I got on board her by sheer luck. She had one of the best crews I`ve ever served with.

There is a photo of her in the shipping news, lining up for departure from Halifax.


There are also photos of her in at the jetty in PICTOU awaiting her sister ship on one of the brightest days of the fall. Not a breath of wind. (various links) As well break up itself.

Added by Wally Szumilak on 28 December 2011.
I served on HMCS Gatineau from May 1965 until Sept 1969, weapons department as a firecontrolman. Took it around to Victoria and they flew us back to Shearwater with a very wet stopover in Trenton.

Added by Lloyd Dawson on 22 August 2012.
Hi, I was also on that trip to Helsinki, Gotenburg and we also were in Northern and Southern Ireland and England.
I was an ABSW2.

My Name is Tyler Card

Added by Tyler Card on 14 June 2013.
Just stumbled across this site. Wish I had found it sooner. I was a sparker on the Gatineau from Aug/63 to Nov/64. Anybody remembers me shoot me a line

Added by Abe Wiebe on 02 January 2014.
I was a weapons man on the Gatineau from 1962 until late 63. I left the Navy in 65. I was 22 when I left and while the experience was valuable I felt like I needed something more and today having retired from a non-profit corporation I feal like I made the right decission.

Added by Ronald J MacPherson on 21 September 2014.
Hi all, I was on the Europe/Baltic trip in 1966. Portsmouth, Dublin, Antwerp, Londonderry, Helsinki and Gotenburg. It was my first trip accross the POND. Sonarman and Clearance Diver.

Added by Les Findlay on 31 October 2014.
I served on Gatineau from 1965 thru 1967 when I Joined the Submarine Service and left the RCN in 1970.

Added by Les Findlay on 31 October 2014.
God, it's good to be retired......

Added by Les Findlay on 18 November 2014.
I was an electrician in Gatineau from '63-'64 when I transferred to the Australian navy. One good ship she remains a very fond memory of the black gang in eleven mess and our little run to Europe. aye Ready aye

Added by John Tripp (Admiral) ABLM on 27 October 2016.
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