BOFORS Gun Comes Home!

During World War II, the Otis Fensom Elevator Company plant in Hamilton was converted to war work and began producing barrels and mounts for the BOFORS 40mm anti-aircraft gun.  The first gun came of the line on 21 August 1941 at the plant at Ferrie Street East and Victoria Avenue and thousands were produced during the war by Hamiltonians, both men and women.

BOFORS guns served on Canadian naval vessels and with army units during the Second World War and then after the war on the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS MAGNIFICENT and as airfield defence for Canadian airfields in Germany.  They were retired and then recalled to service on HMCS ATAHABASKAN, TERRA NOVA, RESTIGOUCHE and PROTECTEUR during the First Gulf War in 1991and finally were mounted as the main armament on the KINGSTON Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels built between 1994 and 1997

Last week, HMCS STAR, Hamilton’s Naval Reserve Division, received a surplus 40mm Mk NC1 Naval gun mounting which was mounted as a memorial inside the gates of Canadian Forces Reserve Barracks off Dock Service Road.  The mounting contains gun number L/7780 which is stamped OFE/C (Otis Fensom Elevator / Canada) 1942.  Its new home is less than one kilometre from the place where it was produced seventy-six years ago!

Long Overdue Facelift for HMCS HAIDA

Recent visitors to the ship will have noticed that while the exterior appearance of the hull is excellent, the decks and superstructure look forlorn and unloved with peeling paint, bare patches and obvious corrosion everywhere.  That should soon change with a six-week work period between October 8th and November 16th.   Decks and superstructure are to be sandblasted and painted with spot repairs of corroded areas; scuttles, doors and hatches will be cleaned, and new gaskets installed; wood rails sanded and varnished; and new white oak stripping installed on the bridge dodger.  An electrical upgrade will bring HAIDA into compliance with modern electrical codes, decommissioning the old 225 volts dc and 24 volts dc systems, installing new LED lighting throughout the ship while preserving the heritage nature of the old system and providing discrete ac power supplies for radios, navigation lights & radar scanners.