Category Archives: What’s New?

HAIDA’s torpedo tubes

Visitors to HAIDA often ask about the brass letters, “F”, “I”, “R” and “E” on the loading doors of the QR Mk VIII torpedo tubes. I have heard guides explain, incorrectly, that it was meant to indicate the order in which the tubes should be fired. Since the tubes had to be fired from aft to forward to avoid interference, this would only have worked when the tubes were trained to starboard.

The use of F-I-R-E may have been a bit of whimsy on someone’s part but it ended there. On a ship with two launchers, the after ones were Q-X-Y-Z while quintuple launchers used F-I-R-E-M and P-Q-X-Y-Z.

Source: British Naval Weapons of World War Two: The John Lambert Collection, Volume 1: Destroyer Weapons, Seaforth Publishing, 2019.


In July of 2018, I posted an item about the totem pole that was pilfered by the crew of the Flower Class corvette, HMCS QUESNEL, from Alert Bay, BC, in 1942 and has never been found.

Last week, I got a packet of pictures that had belonged to Leading Signalman Roy George Nixon of Dundas, who served in QUESNEL at the time. One shows the totem being repainted, likely by the ship’s cox’n, who is identified as J.M. McKeown.

Since the ship was scrapped in Hamilton in 1946, it is possible that the missing totem is still somewhere in the Hamilton area. It would be a great finish to the story to have it return home to Alert Bay.

CCGS HUDSON in Hamilton

Some pictures of CCGS HUDSON during her stay in Hamilton at Heddle Marine in 2017. 

HUDSON in Heddle Marine’s floating drydock, seen from Hillyard Street

The Hudson, a survey and scientific research vessel which operates out of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was launched by Saint John Shipbuilding in New Brunswick on 28 March 1963 and is thus weeks away from her fifty-sixth birthday.  The refit in Hamilton, which was expected to take five months, dragged on till HUDSON was finally towed from Hamilton uncompleted in November of 2017 so that she did not get stuck in the Great Lakes by the closure of the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

Now Chantiers Davie in Lévis, Quebec has declined to bid on a subsequent twenty million dollar refit, stating that the “level of degradation to the hull, fuel tanks, onboard systems and other structural elements presents a serious and real threat to the safety of life at sea as well as the environment.”