For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
STRINGER, Lewis John, CV, CD, PO2, 10699, RCN, died - 25 Oct 1969, HMCS KOOTENAY - Son of Joseph and Annie Stringer of Hamilton, ON; husband of Christina Stringer and father of Louise, Susan and Jacqueline Stringer of Dartmouth, NS.
Petty Officer Lewis Stringer was one of nine sailors who died as a result of a gearbox explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay on 23 Oct 1969. PO2 Stringer died of his injuries two days after the explosion. For his courage, he was posthumously awarded the Cross of Valour, Canada's second highest bravery decoration. PO Stringer is buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, NS.
Cross of Valour citation: "Sgt Lewis John Stringer of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Hamilton, Ontario, who died from the effects of smoke inhaled while he organized the evacuation of men from the ship's cafeteria following an explosion aboard HMCS Kootenay. HMCS Kootenay, one of seven "Restigouche"-class destroyer-escorts in the Canadian navy was conducting full-power trials on October 23, 1969, in the western approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships. At 8:21 in the morning there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room. Sgt Stringer, a supply technician, was off-duty in the cafeteria. He understood the danger immediately and stepped into the exit to use his body to block the way to the smoke-filled passageway. He instructed others in the cafeteria to get down on the deck, breathe through their sleeves and crawl out by way of the galley. Sgt Stringer waited until the last man had made good his escape before attempting to leave himself. He collapsed in the galley and although rescued, he succumbed later."
Ships served in:
Naming Certificate naming Stringer Lake, Ontario in honour of PO2 Lewis Stringer
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