All posts by Dinger

About Dinger

A sea cadet at RCSCC LION from 1963 to 1968, I joined the Naval Reserve at HMCS STAR in 1968 as a Bos'n. I was an Officer Cadet in the ROUTP, commissioned in 1971, and awarded my watchkeeping ticket in 1973. I served at sea, at one time or another, in all five Gate Vessels and HMCS FORT STEELE & CHAUDIERE as well as the Coast Guard icebreaker Louis St. Laurent and served as OIC of the patrol vessels RALLY and RAPID. At STAR from 1968 to 2007, I served as XO twice and then as CO from 2002 to 2005. I rounded out my career by serving as SSO Training at NAVRESHQ in Quebec City in 2008, retiring in 2009 as CO of HMCS HUNTER in Windsor. I was Executive Director for the Friends of HMCS HAIDA till 2011 and have been an active volunteer onboard HAIDA since she arrived in Hamilton in 2003.

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.