For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS KOOTENAY 258

 

WE ARE AS ONE

HMCS Kootenay post IRE conversion. DND / RCN photo

 

Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1943-45,   Normandy  1944,   English Channel  1944,   Biscay  1944

 

 

Laid down: 21 Aug 1952

Launched: 15 Jun 1954

Commissioned: 07 Mar 1959

Paid off IRE Refit: 14 Jan 1970

Re-commissioned: 07 Jan 1972

Paid off for DELEX refit: 

DELEX Refit completed: 21 Oct 1983

Paid off: 18 Dec 1995

Fate: Broken up at Manzanillo, Mexico circa 2003/2004

 

First of her class to be launched, Kootenay was built at Burrard Dry Dock, Vancouver, and commissioned there on 07 Mar 1959. After working up, she was transferred to the east coast. In Apr 1963, 12 RCN ships, Algonquin, Micmac, Cayuga, St. Croix, Terra Nova, Kootenay, Swansea, La Hulloise, Buckingham, Cape Scott, CNAV Bluethroat and CNAV St. Charles, took part in NATO Exercise New Broom Eleven, an exercise designed to test convoy protection tactics (click here to see the newspaper article). On 23 Oct 1969, while in European waters, she suffered a gearbox explosion that killed 9 crewmen and injured 53 others. She was towed to Plymouth - part of the way by Saguenay and then to Halifax by a salvage tug. It was the RCN's worst-ever peacetime accident. While she was under repairs, it was decided to convert her to an IRE. She was re-commissioned on 07 Jan 1972. Transferred to the west coast, she departed Halifax on 23 Jan 1973 and arrived in Esquimalt on 12 Feb 1973. HMCS Kootenay had left Esquimalt on 14 May 1973 on Westploy 2/73. Kootenay’s routine was similar to that of Terra Nova, exercising with American and Australian naval vessels, and assisting broken-down fishermen. When the Canadian continent left Saigon on 31 July 1973, she was just fifty miles off the coast, the closest either ship was allowed to approach Vietnam. Kootenay then proceeded home to Esquimalt. On 08 May 1986, HMCS Provider, HMCS Restigouche, HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Kootenay, departed Esquimalt for Exercise RIMPAC 86 and returned on 21 Jun 1986. On 01 Jun 1989, Kootenay collided in fog off Cape Flattery with the M.V. Nord Pol, sustaining a sizeable gash in her bow, which was replaced with a matching section from Chaudiere. From 03 to 07 Jun 1990, Kootenay visited Vladivostok as part of a Canadian Task Group, the first to do so since World War II. On 16 May 1994, HMCS Kootenay 258 departed Esquimalt, BC for Exercise RIMPAC. She departed Hawaiian waters and the exercise on 21 Jun 1994, for Operation Forward Action, Haiti, arriving in the Op Area on 13 Jul 1994. She returned to Esquimalt on 10 Oct 1994. In 1995, Kootenay participated in EX UNITAS off the coast of Chile. Returning home, she made a final port visit at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; departing there on 16 Nov 1995. Kootenay's boilers were shut down for the final time on 05 Dec 1995 after she returned from de-ammunitioning at Rocky Point. On 18 Dec 1995, she was paid off and, on 06 Nov 2000, towed out of Esquimalt with Restigouche to be sunk as an artificial reef off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Restigouche was sunk off Acapulco, but Kootenay was not. She was later towed to Manzanillo, Mexico where she was last photographed in 2003. The Kootenay ended up under arrest as the purchasers didn't pay some kind of import fee and it ended up in a proverbial Mexican mess between the Mexican federal government and the harbour authorities and the owners. Last seen she was being scrapped at the dock and they later ran the remaining part of the hull up on the beach and took her right down to the keel. Sad ending for a great ship.

 

Commanding Officers

Cdr Reginald John Pickford, RCN - 07 Mar 1959 - 11 Jul 1960

Cdr Harry Shorten, RCN - 11 Jul 1960 - 19 Sep 1962

Cdr D.H. Hayes, RCN - 19 Sep 1962 - 15 Jan 1965

Cdr Christopher Gratrix Pratt, RCN - 15 Jan 1965 - 01 Jun 1966

Cdr William P. Rikely, RCN - 01 Jun 1966 - 01 Jul 1967

Cdr George Coulson McMorris, RCN - 01 Jul 1967 - 15 Nov 1968

LCdr Maurice Henry Tremblay, RCN - 15 Nov 1968 - 21 Mar 1969

Cdr Neil St. Clair Norton - 21 Mar 1969 - 14 Jan 1970

Cdr James Lewis Creech - 12 Jan 1972 - 17 Feb 1973

Cdr Richmond Hill Kirby - 17 Feb 1973 - 14 Jun 1974

Cdr James Dixon Spalding - 14 Jun 1974 - 16 Jul 1976

Cdr Basil Patrick Moore - 16 Jul 1976 - 27 Jun 1978

Cdr Bruce Johnston - 27 Jun 1978 - 11 Aug 1980

Cdr Brain Harwood Beckett - 11 Aug 1980 - 28 Jun 1982

Cdr Steen Kais Jessen - 28 Jun 1982 - 09 Jan 1983

Cdr P.C. Young - 24 Jan 1984 - 05 Jul 1985

Cdr B.R. Melville - 05 Jul 1985 - 30 Jul 1987

Cdr J. Dickson - 30 Jul 1987 - 21 Jul 1989

Cdr G.V. Davidson - 27 Aug 1989 - 21 Jul 1991

Cdr James D. Fraser - 21 Jul 1991 - 29 May 1992

LCdr M.R. Bellows - 29 May 1992 - 31 Jul 1992

Cdr D.J. Kyle - 31 Jul 1992 - 21 Jun 1994

Cdr R.H. Dawe - 21 Jun 1994 - 18 Dec 1995

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

 

BOUDREAU, William Alfred

CPO2, N12368, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

BOURRET, Serge Pierre Joseph

LS, 48188-H, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

CRABBE, Thomas Gordon

LS, N53650, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

GALLOWAY, Nelson Murray

AB, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

HARDY, Michael Alan

AB, 58548-H, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

HARMAN, Eric George

CD, PO1, H30595, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

HUTTON, Gary Wayne

LS, N63018, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

PARTANEN, Vaino Olavi

CV, CD, CPO1, 8833H, RCN

died - 23 Oct 1969 

STRINGER, Lewis John

CV, CD, PO1, RCN

died - 25 Oct 1969 

 

 

Three ships in evening's misty dusk
Helm down and pointed away
Behind them, in Neptune's arms
They leave a man to stay

Like most of us, he was not great
No King would know his name
His pride of ship and honour
Were all that he could claim

He did his job, he fought, he won
He followed nature's whim
Yet, in the fleet
Eight hundred men reflect and think of him

Dear God, accept this man, our friend
Who we leave here today
And grant us the strength to carry on
With one less light to guide the way

October 23, 1969

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

- crew member on the day of the Kootenay Explosion, 23 Oct 1969

A-B

Anderson, Sam

____-____ 

LSWU at the time of the explosion 

Babin, Gord

____-____ 

P2WS at the time of the explosion

Barber, Alfred Lloyd

1938-2009 

LSER at the time of the explosion

Barfoot, Clayton Gordon Crozier

1936-2013 

P2WU at the time of the explosion

Beaudoin, Donald Thomas

1953-2012

Beckett, Brian Harwood

1936-2013

14th Commanding Officer

Beckett, Rex

____-____ 

P1ER at the time of the explosion

Belisle, Daniel

____-2015 

ABER at the time of the explosion

Blandin, Guilluame Francois

____-2015

Bourque, Donald Joseph

____-2008

Bourque, Gil

____-____ 

ABET at the time of the explosion

Boyles, Alex Foster

1935-2013 

LSRP at the time of the explosion

Bramwell, Paul

1926-2016 

P1SN at the time of the explosion

Brown, Ernest

____-2012 

LSWU at the time of the explosion

Brown, K.T.

____-____ 

P2WS at the time of the explosion

Burlingham, Garry Irwin

____-2016 

Slt at the time of the explosion

 

 

 

 

C-D

Chambers, Ronald Joseph

____-2004

Cheeseman, Ashley D.

____-1976 

LSER at the time of the explosion

Christie, Robert William

1937-2006   

P2MA at the time of the explosion

Church, Daniel

____-2009 

ABCK at the time of the explosion

Corcoran, Gerald

____-2016

Served in Kootenay 1966

Constantine, Gordie

____-____ 

ABER at the time of the explosion

Cormier, Clarence Noel

1938-2016

Costin, Frank William

____-2004

Served in Kootenay in 1963 as XO

Curry, Donald George

____-2014

Dewar, John Scott

1951-2016

Served in Kootenay as XO

Drapeau, Guy

____-2010 

ABRP at the time of the explosion

Duckworth, Joe

____-____ 

ABRM at the time of the explosion

Duquette, Gilles

____-2014

Dzioba, Lawrence

1932-2007

 

E-F

Earl, Kevin William

1957-2016

Exley, Earl, William

____-1996 

C1RM at the time of the explosion

Freeman, Keith Ingram

1945-2013

Fancy, Fraser George

1944-2013 

ABWS at the time of the explosion

 

G-H

Gadd, Gerry

____-____ 

Slt at the time of the explosion

Gammie, Wayne

1948-2015 

OSER at the time of the explosion

Gardner, Raymond Arthur

1936-2012

George, Robert

1936-2005 

C2HT at the time of the explosion

Giroux, Gord

____-1991 

P1SW at the time of the explosion

Godin, Jacques C.

1951-2010 

OSSN at the time of the explosion

Gold, Greg

____-____ 

ABBN at the time of the explosion

Grant, Gary

____-1970 

OSSG at the time of the explosion

Griffin, Edward Joseph

____-2010 

ABSG at the time of the explosion

Grove, Roger Wayne

1958-2013

Haggett, Winston

____-____ 

LSBN at the time of the explosion

Hall, Russ

____-____ 

P2RM at the time of the explosion

Hanlon, Bruce

____-2007 

ABBN at the time of the explosion

Harrison, D. Larry

1942-1997 

LSHT at the time of the explosion

Hart, Willy

____-____ 

P1BN at the time of the explosion

Henderson, Leslie Frederick Maynard

1924-2010

Horncastle, Bob

____-____ 

C2RP, Cox'n at the time of the explosion

 

 

 

I-J

Jackson, Roy Mathew

1927-2016

Jeffers, William Cameron

____-2015

 

 

 

K-L

Kane, Ronald

____-____ 

LSRP at the time of the explosion

Kennedy, Don

____-____ 

Cpl CK at the time of the explosion

Kidder, Larry

____-2014

Kirby, Richmond Hill

1929-2006

10th Commanding Officer

Kreitz, David

____-2013

Kux, Hubert Ernest

1944-2007

Lelonde, Richard C. 

1948-2015 

ABST at the time of the explosion

Lemon, Denis Ernest

1925-2013

 

 

M-N

Mac Innis, Alexander Joncas

1940-2012

MacGregor, Ron

____-____ 

C2WS at the time of the explosion

MacKinnon, John Ray

____-____ 

P1ER at the time of the explosion

MacKnight, Wayne

____-2013 

P1ER at the time of the explosion

Mainguy, Daniel Nicholas

1930-2010

McDougall, David W.

1948-2013 

ABER at the time of the explosion

John McLean

____-____ 

P1LT at the time of the explosion

McLeod, Ernie

____-____ 

P1ER at the time of the explosion

Milley, Gary Gordon

____-2014

Moore, Daniel G.

____-2015 

ABFC at the time of the explosion

Mowat, Robert Alexander Laird

1950-2009

Muise, Peter Kenneth

1934-2015 

LSCK at the time of the explosion

Munday, Robert William

1938-2009 

Lt at the time of the explosion

Nieforth, Angus Walter

1938-2010

Norton, Neil St. Clair

1928-2010 

C.O. at the time of the explosion

8th Commanding Officer

Nutley, Robert G.

____-2010 

ABHT at the time of the explosion

 

 

 

 

O-P

Parent, Neil

____-2006 

LSRM at the time of the explosion

Perreault, Marcel

____-____ 

ABWU at the time of the explosion

Perry, Alan

____-____ 

ABSN at the time of the explosion

Pickford, Reginald John

1920-2012

1st Commanding Officer 

Pitre, Ralph

____-____ 

LSBN at the time of the explosion

Plourd, Lindy Merlin

1951-2012 

ABRM at the time of the explosion

Purvis, Lawrence

1943-2013 

LSER at the time of the explosion

 

 

 

Q-R

Reid, John Maxwell

____-2005

Served in Kootenay in 1958 as Lt, RCN, TAS Officer

Rieffenstein, Clark Edward

____-1969 

Slt, NavO at the time of the explosion

Robertson, Douglas Wayne

1945-2014

Richard, Égide

1946-2016

Served in Kootenay 1966 - 1967

Ring, Gordon Russell

____-2016 

C2ER at the time of the explosion

Robichaud, Edgar Joseph

1949-2014 

Slt at the time of the explosion

Rombough, Wallace Ormand

1926-2006

Served in Kootenay 10 Nov 1964 - 24 Jan 1965 as a P1ER4

Rutherford, Robert

1939-2008

Served in Kootenay as an Radar Plotter, Radar Maintainer and later as Cox'n 1984-1987

 

 

S-T

Sabb, Don

1934-2011 

LSCK at the time of the explosion

Shorten, Harry

____-1986

2nd Commanding Officer

Siggers, John

____-____ 

LSBN at the time of the explosion

Sinyerd, Vincent Orville

1934-2012 

P2WU at the time of the explosion

Slater, Herbie

____-____ 

ABRP at the time of the explosion

Sorenson, Hap

____-2007 

LSBN at the time of the explosion

Spalding, James Dixon

1938-2016

11th Commanding Officer

Switzer, Jerry

____-____ 

LSST at the time of the explosion

Taggart, Rod

____-____ 

P1ST at the time of the explosion

Teepell, Theodore M.

____-____ 

P2ER at the time of the explosion

Taylor, Richard Keith

1954-2006

Served in Kootenay in 1989 as LCdr, XO

Tessier, Yves Georges

1936-2010

Tiffin, Burton

1933-2012 

LSHT at the time of the explosion

Tremblay, Maurice Henry

1930-1996 

LCdr, XO at the time of the explosion

7th Commanding Officer

 

U-V

Vansickle, John

____-____ 

P1WU at the time of the explosion

Viney, James

____-2007 

P2SN at the time of the explosion

 

 

 

W-X

Walker, Herman

____-____ 

LSSW at the time of the explosion

Warren, Willy

____-1973 

OSSG at the time of the explosion

Wavryk, Walter Lawrence

____-2015

Weisgerber, Ron

____-1975 

LSSW at the time of the explosion

Williams, Reginald K.

1941-1998 

LSER at the time of the explosion

Y-Z

Zabok, Ronald

1943-2015

 

 

 

 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

      Honourary Kootenay Crew Members    

 

Those listed here were on board HMCS Kootenay on the day of the explosion - 23 Oct 1969.  While they were not members of her crew, they witnessed the events of that day and are considered by those who were there as honourary crew members.

 

Ching, George

1929-2012

C2SG, Squadron Chief Signalman

Findlay, Fergus

____-____

LCdr, Squadron officer

Jones, David B.

1937-____

Lt, Engineering Officer

HMCS Bonaventure

Perry, George Joseph

____-2011

LS Squadron Steward

Walton, Wally

____-____

Cdr, Squadron Officer

 

Former Crew Members

 

- crew member on the day of the Kootenay Explosion, 23 Oct 1969

Adams, Lloyd, ABFC 


Allen, George, P2ET 


Arimare, Joe, ABRP 


Aris, Michael (Mike), ABSN 


Armstrong, Jack, LSWS 


Armstrong, Walter, ABER 


Arnott, Gary, LSSG 


Ashley, David, ABRM 


Atkins, Tom G., ABBN   


Atkinson, Richard, ABRP 


Baillargeon, Dennis, Slt 


Baird, Lorne, OSRM 


Barber, Boyd, ABWU 

 

Barkhouse, (??), ABBN 


Barnett, Alex (Barney), ABWU 


Beacock, Ron, ABFC 


Bell, Allan (Dinger), ABER 


Bellefeuille, Michael Joseph, OSER 

 

Berbeck, Robert - Jul 1986 - Apr 1987


Billard, George, LSER 


Boisvert, Jean-Pierre, ABRM 


Boutin, (??) (Boots), OSER 


Boyd, Mike (Rick), LSST 


Bradley, Bill, LSWS 


Brayshaw, Ray, ABET 

 

Briggs, Pat, OSSN


Bronson, Roger, P2FC 


Bushell, David J., ABFC 


Bussiere, Clement, P2ER 

 

Cameron, Dave Dan, OSSN


Carter, Ken, LSWS 


Chamberlain, Jack, LSSG 


Clark, Wayne, LSSN 


Constantine, Goldwin (Connie), ABER 


Cormier, (??), OSER 


Corr, Jerry, P1SG 


Cosens, James Victor, LSSN 


Cottrell, Allan, ABBN 


Couvrette, Denis, P1RM 


Crocket, Harold, C2RP 

 

Cryer, John, LSHT 


Cully, Dan, P1FC 


Dandy, Dave, OSWU 


Dean, James (Jim), LSER 


Desrosiers, Ray (Dez), LSFC 


Dooling, Larry, ABBM 

 

Elford, Jack, ABBN   

 

Evans, David John - 1984 - 1986


Finnamore, Russel, LSET 


Fisher, Kenneth G., ABWS 

 

Forbes, Gordon, LT Weapons Officer 


Forbes, Lance, ABSG 


Fox, Francis (Frank) J., ABRP 


Freeborn, Larry, P2RP 

 

Freisen, Stoney, LSET 

Gallant, Wayne, ABRP 

 

Galletly, Brian, LSER 

 

Garneau, Claude, OSSN 


Gillingham, Gerry, P1ER 


Gordon, Bob, Pte, SW (Airforce) 


Gourley, David W., LSRP 


Gratton, Bob (Charlie), ABER 


Gray, Archie, P2ST 


Gregory, John H., P2ER 


Halsall, Shawn Dennis, ABSG 


Hawkins, C. Ross, C2ER 


Hawse, Donald (Paul), ABRM 


Hazel, K.W., P1AW 


Helpert, David, ABRP 


Hewens, Ken, ABER 


Hildebrand, Ron, ABST 


Hodder, Peter, OSSG 


Holm, Dave, ABBN 


Holmes, Doug, LSRP 


Hopper, Warren, ABFC 


Howell, Jerry, ABSW 


Hughes, Brian, ABBN 


Hughes, Robert (Bob), Slt 


Hutchinson, Jack, LSRP 


Inman, Dave, ABSN 


Jefferson, Bill, LSST 


Johnson, David, LSRP 


Johnston, Cyril, Slt 


Judd, John, OSER 


Keenliside, John, Slt 


Kelso, Donald, ABWU 


Kennedy, Allan F., Lt, Engineering Officer 

 

Kilbourn, Jack, OSSN

 

Kloosterman, Jim


LaCroix, Janel (PJ), OSER 


Langille, Ernie, LSER 


LaPage, C.J. (Joe), LSSW 

 

Larcheveque, Richard, Sig - Sep 1972 - Mar 1973


Larocque, Ray, ABSN 


LeGier, Chris, LSSN 


Leonard, Serge, Airman SW (Airforce) 

 

Logan, Don, Sig - 01 Aug 1961 - 14 Jun 1962


MacDonald, Dave, ABBN 


MacDonald, Jim, ABCK 


MacDonald, Wayne, ABWU 


MacEachern, John, ABFC 


MacEachern, Ken, OSSW 


MacGregor, Joe, P2FC 


MacKenzie, Brian (Oily), ABER 


MacPhee, Hugh, P2WU 


Marshall, Alexander (Sandy), LSRP 


Martell, Bill, LSSW 


Martens, Rick, ABRM 


McCann, Jim, ABRP 


McGuire, Gary, ABRP 


McLeod, Robert, LSER 

McNaughton, George, P1LT 

 

Millar, Paul, ABRM 

 

Miller, Gord (Dusty), Lt, Supply Officer 

 

Moffat, Ernis, Mister, Deck Officer 


Montague, John, Slt 

 

Moore, Lee, LSSN


Morgan, Grenfell (Gary), OSSN 


Morris, Mike, LSWS 


Mosley, Jim, ABSN 

 

O'Sullivan, Harold (Sully), P1ER 


Palbom, John, ABSN 


Palmer, Jim, C2SN 


Patrick, Thomas, OSSG 


Peers, Al, LSFC 


Penny, Les, P2CK 


Prince, regean, ABSN 


Quinn, Rick, ABFC 


Reid, Ed, LSSN 


Reid, Grand (William) ABFC 


Reimer, Tom, ABFC 

 

Richard, Andrew, LSCK 

 

Rilley, Harold W., P2SG 


Rockwood, Gerry - 1981

 

Rogers, Reg - 1976 - 1978, 1980 - 1981


Rowland, Steve, ABHT 


Roy, John Robert, C2ET 


Russell, Bob, P2PW 


Salt, Brian, OSRM 


Saunders, Earle, P1WS 


Saunders, Russel W., CPL Engineer (Airforce) 


Savery, Robert, ABET 


Schwartz, Art, Lt, CommO 


Shimansky, John, ABET 


Sorhus, Al, OSRM 

 

Specht, Tony - paying off crew


St-Amour, Michel, OSER 


Steele, John, ABWU 


Stewart, Brian, ABWU 

 

Stuart, Bob - 1983 - 1986


Stutely, Jim, LSRM 


Swan, Steve, LSWU 


Swire(s), Al, ABAW 


Taylor, Doug, CPl CK (Army) 

 

Tanner, Gerald (Gerry), RM - 1965 - 1968


Theriault, J.L. (Roger), P2WS 

 

Tremblay, Gilbert (Gigi), LS-MS, EW - 02 May 1983 - 16 Jul 1984


Tymchuk, Wayne, ABSG 


Watson, J.R. (Harry), LSWU 


Weber, Brian, ABWU 


Webster, John, OSSG 


White, Ron, P2ET 


Wickens, Tom, OSHT 


Williams, Fritz, ABER 

 

Wills, Al, FC - Apr 1978 - Jul 1979


Winters, Gerald, LSSN 


Womack, John, ABWS 


Young, Tom, ABRP 

 

      Honourary Kootenay Crew Members    

 

Those listed here were on board HMCS Kootenay on the day of the explosion - 23 Oct 1969.  While they were not members of her crew, they witnessed the events of that day and are considered by those who were there as honourary crew members.

 

Bryan, Harry 

LS Air Bosn / Bugler

HMCS Saguenay

Volunteer bugler at Kootenay burial services and at Kootenay Memorial reunions

 Cormier, Rene

LS, Air Bosn/Firefighter

HMCS Bonaventure

Gadbois, Ed

LS  Air Bosn/Firefighter

HMCS Bonaventure

Henderson, Doug

LCdr

Squadron Operations Officer

Homer, Joe (Doc)

Slt

Squadron Medical Officer

Lynch, Grant

P2ET

HMCS Saguenay

Malasgar, Moe/Mac

P2 Air Bosn/Firefighter

HMCS Bonaventure

Malloy, John

HMCS Bonaventure

Moore, D.H. (Doug)

LS

Squadron Signalman

Morres, Mike

LCdr

Squadron Weapons Officer

Oliver, James B. (Jim)

LS

Squadron Signalman

Swiss, John

HMCS Bonaventure

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

Links

Awards to members of HMCS Kootenay due to their actions during the gearbox explosion on 23 October 1969

HMCS Kootenay

HMCS Kootenay - Acceptance Programme after IRE Conversion - 1972

Kootenays Boast Proud Naval Heritage

Kootenay Memories

Once Upon the Brine - Life at Sea and Ashore in the Canadian Navy during the Cold War (1946-1989)

Personal photo gallery of Leslie F.M. Henderson

Seaforth veteran, Ron Hildebrand, remembers HMCS Kootenay

The Canadian Navy Yesterday and Today - HMCS Kootenay gearbox explosion

 

HOME PAGE     SHIP INDEX      CONTACT