DRAFT AS OF 31 JULY 2013
THE STORY OF HMCS OJIBWA
(Derived from her Annual Historical Reports – And Other Academic Sources)
All major units in the Canadian Forces (CF) were required to submit "Annual Historical Reports" (AHRs) through Headquarters, Directorate of History. There is no "operational" reason for these reports. They were a requirement additional to normal operational reports.
Operational reporting was highly classified, usually SECRET or TOP SECRET. The AHRs had to have a minimal classification, usually CONFIDENTIAL. This allowed some sensitive operational information to remain classified over time. AHRs were taken seriously for what they could contribute to naval history. They were not seen to be records of operational achievements. The Commanding Officer’s personality and priorities are somewhat reflected in the reports – some are succinct with minimal information and some are very informative.
OJIBWA’s 34 years of AHRs do not contain secrets. They do however help to tell the story of her service to Canada and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). They also show how OJIBWA contributed to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Navy and international NATO forces. The stories are also about national security, international diplomacy, and reflect on Canada’s ongoing sovereignty and surveillance operations – our stewardship of our waters.
The following story of OJIBWA’s 34 years of service are not "verbatim" they are "edited" from the actual Annual Historical Reports to make them accessible and understandable to those who have not served in the navy. The format and requirements changed through the years and thus there are variances in the content 1967 to 1998. Serious researchers should not use this secondary document, they need to access original Reports and former and serving submariners.
Where possible additional academic research material is provided that does reveal some of the "secrets" from Canada’s Cold War submarine operations.
From Cmdre Ret’d Larry Hickey:
If I were break OJI's service into major themes, I would say the following:
Towards the end of her service, she provided a training platform to qualify sailors in submarines prior to undergoing Upholder conversion training.
1965 – Lt Cdr S.G. Tomlinson RCN(September 1965 – November 1966)
Commissioned into the RCN 23 September 1965.
Would have included a trials program and RN Work-up.
Thomas Sawyer’s dit: After doing day running from „Guz‟ I was suddenly posted to stand by OJIBWA in Chatham. During that period there were good times and bad - some of the bad brought on by stupidity such as someone writing to the UK press complaining that the tots were late during work ups. Anyone with any experience knew there was no rum issue until the days WUPS were done. Unfortunately L/CDR (Sam) Tomlinson bore the brunt of that. On our return to Canada there were press reports of dissention with many of the crew opting for return to general service, of which I was one.
Buster Brown’s dit: I then joined newly refitted Aeneas in the "Pompey Squadron''. It was at the time when Ojibwa had just commissioned and wasdestined to Faslane for work ups. I just missed that one by a hair as "Spud'' Murphy, a 3 badge killick stoker, was landed for a hernia operation. Instead, LSEM Dave Brocklebank joined O-Jay and I remained in Aeneas.
Sailed for Halifax . . .
Thomas Sawyer’s dit: One evening while a few of us were imbibing, the theft of the Stone of Scone by the Scottish Nationalists (on which the kings and queens of England are crowned) came up in conversation. I commented on poor planning, execution, etc, and was told I could not have done better. In a niche of the outside corner of the hotel was a bust of "Torryburn Jean" I said I could make off with it, they said I couldn’t. I proved them wrong and had her in England of 2 1⁄2 years before returning to Canada after commissioning HMCS OJIBWA. I stowed the bust in the motor room bilge for the trip home. Prior to arriving in Halifax, the CO, Sam Tomlinson, made rounds at a time when there was sufficient water in the bilge to cover the base but leave the head sticking out. I gather Sam nearly fell off the ladder when he spotted it.
Arrived in Halifax . . .
George Squance’s dit: Shortly after that I was posted back to Halifax to join HMCS OJIBWA.
The OJIBWA had recently transited the Atlantic ocean submerged, in "Snort" mode, and was abit of a showpiece around the East coast after a succession of cruddy R.N. "A" boats on loan. I seem to recall a lot of sea time on there, standard practice to sail on Sundays to be "on station" half way to Bermuda for when the fleet came looking for us on anti submarine exercise. We were quite a familiar sight around Bermuda find Puerto Rico and a few other God forsaken places in the Caribbean and North Atlantic. The usual ho hum stuff associated with Submarine activities, except for two incidents that came to mind. The first was when a "flexible" let go at 600 feet and the boat needed to be brought up to reduce the pressure of water coming in. The "flexible" were subsequently replace with "aero-quip", which at the time was un heard of in R.N. submarines.
The second incident I recall was when I "passed out" one day off Halifax from exhaustion. I was going through a bad patch on the marital scene at the time and wasn’t sleeping sufficiently. (When does one ever get enough sleep on a submarine, except on "ultra quiet routine". The first thing the "doc" did was stop my tot, which was the very thing I needed most of all. The next development pleased every one on the boat, except perhaps the skipper at the time who was a bit of a tyrant. Doc insisted I was to be hospitalized, which meant coming in alongside Halifax, we were only about fifty miles off at the time. With toilet gear in had I walked over the brow and there was the ambulance awaiting, stretcher "at the ready" on the ground. That seemed a bit daft to me to have to get down and lay out on the stretcher, but that’s how it had to be according to the medics. At the R.C.N.H. I slept for four days except being awakened for meals. Seemingly there were no ill effects and I was returned to the boat - the diagnosis decided on was a "muscular spasm". Just before my time on there the OJIBWA had made the headlines of British tabloid "daily Mirror", indicating some discontent on the boat - the story implicated the skipper adversely came to the Chiefs and Petty Officers mess to let us know he suspected the story hand emanated from that source and expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms, nevertheless the boat and crew turned out to be a normally happy lot. We had some excellent and most dedicated people on there.
1966 – Lt Cdr J. Rodocanachi RCN(November 1966 – August 1967)
Ojibwa was the sole Canadian boat in Halifax during the stand-up of the First Canadian Submarine Squadron in July 1966, and thus played a significant part in the transition from the Royal Navy’s 6th Squadron of A-boats to a Canadian squadron of Oberons.
This was also the time when the Syncrolift was under construction, something new for the naval dockyard, and designed for submarine use. Years later it was used for warship and auxiliary vessels.
From Lund’s Interview with Rodocanachi:
Rodocanachi: In ’66 I got a pier head jump to Ojibwa. There were problems with Ojibwa.
Lund: What was the nature of those problems?
Rodocanachi: Frankly it was, again, between Gigg and personnel. The CO was a good man but he was steeped in, it's all right for me to say as an ex-RN, but steeped in the old RN tradition.
Lund: That was Lieutenant-Commander Sam Tomlinson.
Rodocanachi: Sam Tomlinson, yes, and between the two of them it didn’t make for a very happy combination. In fairness to the crew, when they came back, they had been overseas for some time and they were not a bunch of happy campers. I was sent across to go straight to Ojibwa to try and help sort things out. I was there for a year during which time I was promoted to Commander. And after an initial fraught month where I got rid of some people and got things organized the way I liked it, it ended up well I think. We then got some useful exercises behind us. We went down south to work with the Americans who were very complimentary because they were glad to have a quiet diesel boat to work with too. The training part again, I forced the Canadian training program which after a time people accepted.
Lund: What was the basic complaint, the objection to the Canadian training program? Was it just that we have already qualified as submariners and we don’t have to do this again?
Rodocanachi: Yes, at the time too they’d done the training program in the RN, the men I’m talking about now, which wasn’t nearly as thorough as the RCN one. I mean it was technical. The idea of having, particularly with the kind of operations submarines do which as you know is a lot of sea time, to come in from sea and in the evening do qualification programs on top of their other duties. It was a bind so you can understand to some extent how they felt about it but it was important from my point of view, for the technical efficiency of the submarine, that they do qualify and that they everybody would have the same standard.
Lund: Jim Wood left Grilse, where he had been XO, about the same time you did and he went to Perisher. Obviously, a decision was made somewhere along the line that we would continue with the RN system of training CO’s.
Rodocanachi: Yes, training CO’s, which I agree with as I said earlier on. I felt that the USN basic training was much better and the RN CO qualifying was the better system. Therefore the ideal one was to develop an RCN type basic training and keep on sending our people to Perisher with the UK. It had problems later on I think because, I know of some talk of trying to develop an RCN Perisher but that would be far too expensive. As you know Perisher is a pretty expensive course to run but we got some idea that we could do it on a shoestring. With the availability of ships, it would be very difficult.
Lund: Also at this time, Ojibwa hasn’t come up to her first refit yet, but were people starting to look down the road of how they’re going to refit the submarines and work them up. The decision was made obviously that we’d refit them in Canada and send them over to UK to work them up. Then during the workup, of course, the RN workups team was going to be faced with this crew that’s gone through a different sort of qualification program. Were you talking about that at that time?
Rodocanachi: Later on in headquarters but not at this stage and the ship had only just got there. So as far as the ships’ crew were concerned, myself included, we weren’t looking ahead to that yet. I was aware that we should be able to refit the submarines in Halifax and we had to work towards that but a workup would probably have to be done over on the other side because of a lack of facilities - particularly things like Attack Teacher and so on that we didn’t have in those days.
1967 – Lt Cdr J.C. Wood RCN(August 1967 – August 1969)
Total Miles: 25,776
Surfaced: 11,039 (43%)
Dived: 14,737 (57%)
Days at Sea: 200
Days in Harbour: 165
Days away from Halifax: 230
January to March 1967 – worked under the authority of the USN Commander Submarine Group in the Caribbean with RCN and USN air, surface and subsurface forces.
April to August 1967 – worked in Halifax local areas (including south to Bermuda) with aircraft from Maritime Air Command and did Operational Team Training (OTT) for the Maritime Warfare School. This included the "Sonar Training School" and the "Maritime Patrol Evaluation Unit". Operated with/against the new USN Nuclear submarine USS SHARK.
12-16 May 1967 the crew conducted "Escape Tank Training" at the USN Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut.
In June 1967 HMCS OJIBWA participated in the Naval Review to celebrate Canada’s 100th Anniversary.
On 20 August 1967 Lieutenant Commander J.C. Wood assumed command from Commander J. Rodocanachi who proceeded to a posting at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa.
September 1967 – Exercises in the local areas and Bermuda including another "Operational Team Training".
"On 23 September 1967 , OJIBWA celebrated her second birthday while dived at five hundred feet."
November – On the 2nd of November OJIBWA was visited alongside in Halifax by the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable L. Cadieux PC. MP.
OJIBWA then participated in Exercise "SILEX 67". Exercises in the Halifax area were with the Seventh Canadian Escort Squadron including Canada’s last Aircraft Carrier, HMCS BONAVENTURE and aircraft from Maritime Air Command.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
New London, Connecticut, USA
Quebec City – Opened for 6,900 visitors
Halifax Armed Forces Day Halifax – 2,000 visitors
Ships Company as at 1 Jan 67:
LCdr J. Rodocanchi, Commanding Officer
LCdr J.C. Wood, Executive Officer
LCdr C.T. Gunning, Engineering Officer
Lt G.H Jackson, Operations Officer
Lt J.E.D. Hell, Electrical Officer
Lt F.P. Mace, Navigating Officer
Changes – Joined
Lt R.G. Douglas – 6 Jan 67
Lt L.W. Barnes – 21May 67
SLt J.A. Helps – 21 July 67
LCdr J.C. Wood -25 Aug 67, assumed Command 26 Aug 67
Lt F.F Barrington – 21 July 67
Lt R.J. Gray – 5 Sep 67
Lt M. Coryn – 24 Oct 67
Warrant Officers – 6
Non Commissioned Officers - 59
NOTE: 230 days away from Halifax was a very busy year.
1968 – LCdr J. C. Wood(August 1967 – August 1969)
Total Miles: 17,937
Surfaced: 6,557 (36%)
Dived: 11,380 (64%)
Days at Sea: 140
Days in Harbour: 226
Days away from Halifax: 161
General CO’s Comment: "1968 proved to be a very interesting year for OJIBWA and her crew. The strenuous schedule of 1967 was picked up at the beginning of 1968 and continued until September, when the submarine entered refit. At the year’s end, the refit is seen to be progressing well and morale continues to be high."
January to March 1968 – Sailed 8 Jan for exercises in local areas before proceeding to St George’s Bermuda. Conducted Operational Team Training (OTT 1/68). Joined Exercise "SPRINGBOARD 68" in the Caribbean under the authority of Commander Submarines, Submarine Group SPRINGBOARD. This included submarine services to train other forces and "type training exercises" to improve OJIBWA’s operational effectiveness.
April to July 1968 – Operated in the CANLANT Area (NATO designated area of responsibility) doing "sonobuoy trials" with the Maritime Patrol Experimental Unit (MPEU). Exercised with STANAVFORLANT ships (NATO’s - Standing Naval Forces Atlantic) and participated in NATO Exercise "NEAT PLAY" and OTT 2/68. At the end of June carried out "dependant’s day cruises" in the harbour approaches. A total of 57 dependants were embarked in two cruises. Finally, participated in WOCEX 1/68 in the area between Halifax and Bermuda.
August to September 1968 – Conducted a port visit to Charlottetown PEI, then provided SONEX 3/68 services (SONAR EXERCISE). Participated in DREA (Defence Research Establishment Atlantic) trials in the CANLANT area then provided services for HMCS RESTIGOUCHE’s WUPs (Work Up) programme. In early September exercised in the CANLANT area with Argus MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) then returned to Halifax to commence ‘de-storing’ to get ready for a refit. On 16 September proceeded to the NAD (Naval Armaments Depot) for battery and mast removal. Refit commenced.
St. Georges, Bermuda
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Officers as at 1 Jan 68
LCdr JC Bell, Commanding Officer
Lt JED Bell, Executive Officer
Lt LW Barnes, Engineer Officer
Lt AC Douglas, Operations Officer
Lt MI Comyn, Weapons Officer
Lt RJ Gray, Electrical Officer
Slt JA Helps, Navigating Officer
Ships Company as at 1 Jan 68: 7 officers and 58 men
Ships Company as at 31 Dec 68: 5 officers and 42 men
1969 – LCdr J.E.D. Bell(August 1969 – July 1971)
General CO’s Comment: "HMCS OJIBWA spent the entire year of 1969 in refit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The highlights of the year are as follows:
At the end of 1969, OJIBWA had commenced her harbour trials and expected to complete her refit in early 1970."
Ships Company as at 31 Dec 69:
Commanding Officer, LCdr JED Bell
Executive Officer, Lt(N) RC Perks
Lt(N) LW Barnes
Lt(N) RJ Gray
Lt(N) KG Nesbit
Lt(N) DT Tudor
Lt(N) GJ Archbold
Officers – 7
Warrant Officers – 7
Non-Commissioned Officers – 42
Men – 13
1970 – LCdr J.E.D. Bell(September 1974 – July 1971)
Total Miles: 29,119
Surfaced: 19,758 (68%)
Dived: 9,361 (32%)
General CO’s Comment: "During 1970, OJIBWA steamed 29,119 miles in 174 days at sea; 19,758 surfaced and 9,361 dived. The submarine participated in two international exercises; NATO EXERCISE STEEL RING and CANUS EXERCISE EYEBOLT, and one national exercise MARCOT 2/70 (MARCOT – Maritime Coordinated Operational Training). In addition, services were provided for Canadian and American surface, submarine and air ASW forces."
January to March 1970 – OJIBWA completed her 17-month refit with sea trials in the Halifax areas. She then proceeded to Portsmouth, U.K. for submarine escape training and "attack team training" at HMS DOLPHIN. OJIBWA then sailed to Faslane, Scotland to conduct a four-week work-up with the Royal Navy. After work-ups were completed she carried out her 600 foot deep dive in the Rona Trench, off Scotland, then proceeded to Amsterdam, Netherlands for a port visit.
April to May 1970 – OJIBWA returned to Portsmouth and HMS Dolphin for further training and maintenance preparing for a NATO ASW exercise with forces from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands – EXERCISE STEEL RING, returning to Halifax 8 May.
June to August 1970 – OJIBWA provided services in the local area to a DREA trial team with the ASW research vessel QUEST and for MP aircraft. That was followed by an operational visit to New London, Connecticut to conduct SSK operations with the USS DOGFISH and USS ENTEMEDOR in USN operating areas north and south of Long Island, New York. On 18 June torpedoes were reloaded in New London and OJIBWA sailed to conduct WOCEX 1/70 with HMC Ships SASKATCHEWAN, NIPIGON, ANNAPOLIS and PROTECTEUR. Two days in July was spent doing dependants cruises outside Halifax, while the remainder of the month was for maintenance and leave. August started with independent operations and then SSK exercises with OKANAGAN. OJIBWA opposed the exit from Halifax of STANAVFORLANT under the command of a Canadian Commodore D.S. Boyle. Upon completion of the exercises with NATO forces OJIBWA began a six-day surface passage to Frobisher Bay N.W.T. via the Strait of Belle Isle to rendezvous with HMC Ships PROTECTEUR, ANNAPOLIS and SKEENA. After a two day port visit in Frobisher Bay, OJIBWA opposed the exit of the surface units from the Pike-Reesor Channel. Then the Canadian force continued south-east carrying out ASW training to eventually join HMCS TERRA NOVA and FRASER for MARCOT 2/70. The exercise continued with the surface forces attempting to track OJIBWA into Hudson Strait, down into Ungava Bay and then back out into the Labrador Sea. The exercise ended at Halifax 3 September.
September to December 1970 – At the end of September OJIBWA opposed the exit from Halifax of a USN HUKGRU (Hunter Killer Group) comprised of the USS INTREPID and her escorting units. In October Ojibwa proceeded via Bermuda to Exercise Area Echo for VP TRAINEX 3/70 (providing services to train ASW Maritime Patrol Aircraft). On completion she proceeded to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a port visit. OJIBWA returned to the Bermuda operating areas to train MOAT aircraft and HMC Ships OTTAWA and ASSINIBOINE concluding with an operational port visit to St. George’s Bermuda. She then assisted with work-ups for OTTAWA and ASSINIBOINE. This was followed by a transit for a "start position" with a joint CANUS ASW "EXERCISE EYEBOLT". OJIBWA succeeded in an undetected transit as directed by the exercise. Following a return to Halifax the year ended with a docking and maintenance period.
Portsmouth, U.K. (2)
New London, Connecticut
Frobisher Bay, N.W.T.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
St. George’s, Bermuda
Officers and Ranks not named nor listed
1971 – LCdr C.E. Falstrem(July 1971 – May 1972)
Total Miles: 19,996
Surfaced: 9,540 (48%)
Dived: 10,426 (52%)
Days at Sea: 131
General CO’s Comment: "During 1971 OJIBWA steamed 19,966 nautical miles in 131 days at sea; 9,540 miles surfaced and 10,426 miles dived. The submarine participated in one international exercise; SPRINGBOARD, one CANUS exercise; COSY BOOM, one national exercise; MARCOT 1/71, three TRAINEX’s and one SONEX."
January to March 1971 - OJIBWA completed her maintenance period and sailed via St. George’s, Bermuda for San Juan, Puerto Rico 25 January 1971. In February and March she operated in the Caribbean areas under the authority of COMSUBGRU SPRINGBOARD. This included providing submarine services to a variety of international forces. Port visits included St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Bridgetown, Barbados. On the transit back to Halifax, OJIBWA provided services to VS 880 and HM Ships BACCHANTE and LONDONDERRY.
April to July 1971 - OJIBWA sailed for training in the local areas early in April then departed for MARCOT 1/71 in the Bermuda Operating Areas. On the transit back to Halifax in May she participated in SONEX 1/71. June and July were spent in Halifax doing corrective maintenance.
August to October 1971 – In August OJIBWA returned to the Bermuda areas for TRAINEX 1/71 including a two-day visit to St. George’s. September was a docking period in Halifax. In October following I.S.E. in local waters she conducted post docking trim trials and deep dives. Ojibwa then operated for TRAINEX 4/71 and then acted as the target for the annual V.P Competition (Fincastle Competition). She then transited to Norfolk, Virginia for a port visit.
November to December 1971 – Ojibwa sailed Norfolk for the CANUS exercise COSY BOOM. After her return to Halifax she sailed again for TRAINEX 5/71. This included a transit to Bermuda and another port visit to St. George’s. The operational year ended in the middle of December with a maintenance and leave period in Halifax.
St. George’s, Bermuda (4)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (2)
1971 Ships Company on strength 31 December:
LCdr CE Falstrem, CO
LCdr EE Davie
Capt (S) KG Nesbit
Capt (S) G.C. Oakley
Capt (S) CM Hanington
Lt (RN) THM Strouts
Lt (RN) DJ Parry
Lt (S) GJ Bowen
Lt (S) KF McMillan
Lt(S) F. Scherber
Lt(S) M Stanley
Officers – 11 (Incl 2 RN)
Sergeants and above – 14
Master Corporals and below – 50
1972 – AHR Not AvailableLCdr R.C. Perks (June 1972 – July 1974)
I don't remember too many details of the first six months of 1972 during my time in command of Ojibwa. We did do an Atlantic patrol during the winter, stopping in St. John's for a port visit. It was a great success. We had an open house and hundreds tramped through two feet of snow to come and see the submarine. The people were so very pleased to see us there.
After leaving St. John's we spent some time listening out for Soviet submarines east of Newfoundland. The only boat we detected was HMS Dreadnought on her way to a US port.
Later on in the spring we did an exercise off Bermuda, mostly for the air force. We made a visit to Georgetown which was always a popular port. I can't remember if this was the same visit that the then Minister of National Defence, Edgar Benson, was delivered to us at sea by helicopter and remained with us for the day before going into St. Georges.
I'm afraid this is about all I can recall of those months 40 years ago.
Dear Dan et al,
Great to hear of the renewed interest in Ojibwa and in the efforts to preserve all the historical facts.
Regret to say I did not keep too many files of my time in Ojibwa, however will dig out whatever I can that may be relevant. I do recall that as soon as I took over as CO of Ojibwa, spring of 72, we sailed for an exchange deployment with the RN. My first time taking Ojibwa out of Halifax harbour as the CO was for a three month deployment. Upon arrival in Gosport, I was chastised for not having a complete set of loading gear for minelaying on board. The gear was immediately trucked down from Faslane, as none of the Gosport based Oberons had any either, and we loaded up with exercise mines and sailed for a major exercise. Exciting times!
I plan on attending the ceremonies for Ojibwa on 6 June 2013 and look forward to seeing you there.
1973 – LCdr R.C. Perks(June 1972 – July 1974)
Total days at sea – 81
Total days away from home port - 106
Total Miles steamed – 13,783 (not broken down into surfaced and dived)
Covering Letter, CO’s Comments: "It is of interest to note that with the commencement of OJIBWA’s second refit, on the 4th of June 1974, the submarine is scheduled to be in a non-operational status for a period of approximately 20 months. The major items differing from previous Oberon refits at HMC Dockyard is the additional work arising from changing the escape arrangements from "compartment to Tower escape".
"The submarines second operational commission, Jan 1970 - June 1973 proved most successful. The submarine met virtually every commitment assigned to her and the above demand a great sense of dedication and team effort on behalf of the entire crew. The variety of tasking enabled the OJIBWA to operate in waters from the Arctic to the Caribbean and as far abroad as Europe and to subsequent employment in the North Sea…."
January to February 1973– Ojibwa began the year conducting operations in local areas to prepare for the annual "SPRINGBOARD" exercise in the Puerto Rico operating areas in the Caribbean. She sailed 19 January for the transit south. Operations included a torpedo firing (MK 37) and ASW exercises with surface and air forces.
OJIBWA conducted a port visit to San Juan 17 February 1973. This was noted by the CO as "the first opportunity to use hotel accommodation for the ships company was taken. This privilege was a major factor in the success of the visit and the resulting high morale of the crew."
On the transit back to Halifax, OJIBWA provided services for the work ups of HMCS SAGUENAY in the Bermuda operating areas.
March to May 1973 – March began with a short work period alongside Halifax. During this period OJIBWA’s officers manned the submarine cubicles in the Operations Trainer of the Fleet School to help provide realistic opposition to the students (surface sailors). OJIBWA sailed for the Bermuda operating areas 20 March for several exercises including TRAINEX 1/73 and MARCOT 2/73. The first exercises included two weeks at sea against the ARGUS MPA aircraft. LCdr Perks described it this way: "Subsequent communications revealed that this period was very beneficial to the air crews, but it was quite tedious for the submarine. Much time was devoted to improving the periscope photography technique during this period."
Port visits to St. Georges, Bermuda and to the Royal Navy Dockyard at Ireland Island were conducted. In mid April the MARCOT began with forces of the Standing Naval Forces Atlantic – STANAVFORLANT and the Canadian navy. ONONDAGA and OJIBWA operated as opposition ORANGE submarines, simulating submarines of several types.
LCdr Perks provided some interesting commentary in his AHR: "OJIBWA sailed 30 April for the second half of MARCOT 2/73 in fine calm weather. The first order of business was to oppose the departure of the surface units. Then followed an interesting and rewarding week acting as a C Class Submarine of the ORANGE Force, the last operational duty for OJIBWA. During the latter half of the MARCOT, OJIBWA and ONONDAGA were fortunate to have the unique opportunity to conduct simulated attacks on the entire MARCOT surface force. This event started off with a dived rendez-vous, quickly followed by a coordinated transit into the grain of the surface force MLA (Mean Line of Advance) and then a once in a life time chance to conduct coordinated attacks on a surface force of such magnitude. The entire attack team performed at peak efficiency for this serial as 12 ships were held visually and once the screen was successfully penetrated, simulated torpedo firings were indicated by the numerous green grenades erupting from both attack sectors."
The transit back to Halifax included a full power trial. After a weekend in Halifax OJIBWA sailed once more for port visits to Cornerbrook, Newfoundland and Pictou, Nova Scotia for their annual Lobster Festival.
June to December 1973 – OJIBWA returned to Halifax 1 June to prepare for a long refit. There was a period for defueling, de-storing and de-ammunitioning before the refit began 17 June 1973. The bulk of the refit was done in Halifax so most of the ships company stayed with the submarine carrying out some of the refit work and providing security and fire prevention services.
NOTE: This AHR is unusual in that it contains much additional information in the form of anecdotes.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St. George’s, Bermuda (2)
Ireland Island, Bermuda
Pictou, Nova Scotia
Complement – HMCS OJIBWA – 31 DEC 73
LCdr RC Perks, Commanding Officer
LCdr RJ Gray, Executive Officer
Lt MF Taylor (RN)
Lt RA McCabe
Lt PH Reglar
Lt DF Pelly
Lt GJ Bowen
Officers – 7
Warrant Officers – 4
Sergeants and Corporals – 46
Privates – 1
1974 – LCdr L.W. Barnes(January 1975 – March 1976)
CO’s Letter dated 31 Dec 74:
HMCS Ojibwa spent the year 1974 at HMC Dockyard Halifax N.S. conducting her second refit. The submarine came off the Syncrolift 20 Nov 74. The first battery cell was installed 25 Nov 74 and the battery installation completed 13 Dec 74.
Although there are no operational undertakings to report, the time in harbour allowed the ship’s company the time to attend courses and to take part in a varied recreational program….
It was a quite year for HMCS OJIBWA but by December, 1974 she began to take on the form and feel of a submarine. Her post refit ship’s company began to take shape as the entered the final stages of reassembly."
Personnel as of 31 Dec 74
LCdr JED Bell, Commanding Officer
LCDR JTO Jones, Executive Officer
Lt (N) MR Sovie
Lt (N) K McMillan
Lt (RN) J Collins
Lt (N) GJ Bowen
Lt (N) GP Hunt
SLt P Webster
CWO SA Jennings, CERA
MWO GS Thomas, Coxswain
Officers – 8
Senior Rates – 16
Junior Rates – 31
1975 – LCdr L.W. Barnes(January 1975 – March 1976)
Total Miles: 16,756
Surfaced: 9,268 (55%)
Dived: 7,488 (45%)
Days at Sea: 84
Days in harbour: 161 (does not include refit time)
January to June 1975 – OJIBWA continued her refit with the final trim dive and inclining experiment 29 April. She commenced her post refit trial and calibrations 23 May. OJIBWA’s initial dive took place off the Halifax harbour approaches on 2 June.
July to September 1975 – OJIBWA sailed for Workups at Faslane Scotland tying up alongside 24 July for the ships company to spend two weeks in shore training at HMS NEPTUNE.
Escape Trials: OJIBWA conducted escape trials with Vickers Oceanics Ltd DSRV L1 (Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle) in the Gareloch 9 and 10 Aug. The submarine bottomed in approximately 110 feet of water, and the L1 rendez-voused (sic) and mated with the forward escape trunk. Personnel were then transferred back and forth between L1 and the submarine. This was reported in the press in Navy New, Oct 75 and the International Defence Review, Dec 75. (attached as part of the annual report) Note: OJIBWA was one of the first OBERONS to be fitted with the link up equipment in order to conduct this trial. The RN had not yet started to fit this capability into their submarines.
OJIBWA conducted the "Safety Phase" of her Workups 16-29 Aug including a deep dive to maximum operating depth. Following a port visit to Rothesay, Scotland she was ready to start her Operational Workups 1 Sept. These operations included: underwater photography, surveillance of a variety of targets, landing and recovering Royal Marines, special sonar recording exercises, Sub/Air cooperation exercises with LRMP Aircraft (Long Range Maritime Patrol), Operation Awkward (defence against attack divers), and opposed submerged transits. The Workup concluded with a 48 hour "Operational Assessment" by the "Captain Submarine Sea Training" accompanied by Cdr J.E.D Bell, Commander First Canadian Submarine Squadron. After successful completion of Workups, OJIBWA proceeded to Amsterdam, Holland for a port visit. At the end of Sept OJIBWA sailed to Gosport, England for a maintenance and training period.
October to December 1975 – OJIBWA’s ships company conducted escape training at HMS DOLPHIN then sailed for Halifax 6 Oct. OJIBWA arrived in Halifax 15 Oct for a leave and maintenance period which was meant to last several weeks. However, she was called out to do an important surveillance operation on 20 Oct. This was an operational fisheries patrol conducted Northeast of Newfoundland. The boat returned to Halifax 29 Oct for her much deserved leave/maintenance period.
["Commander Barnes conducted an interesting covert operation off the coast of Labrador in autumn 1975. Commander Barnes’s squadron commander tasked him with gathering intelligence on a Soviet Trawler which was operating off the coast of Labrador near the ballistic missile warning lines between Greenland and North America. Also, it was believed that the Soviet Trawler possibly had a mini-submarine, or Deep Submerged Rescue Vehicle, capability which had to be ascertained. Furthermore, Commander Barnes in HMCS OJIBWA located the trawler and gathered intelligence by taking photos and recorded radio and radar information on the vessel for six days until he returned to port to report his findings. Intelligence gathered by Commander Barnes indicated the Soviet Trawler was actually fishing; however, this mission clearly illustrated the capability that Canada possessed to ensure the integrity of her sovereignty.]
OJIBWA sailed in early December for equipment calibration and a trim dive. She then conducted a Submarine versus Submarine exercise (SSX) with HMCS OKANOGAN. After firing two exercise torpedoes OJIBWA returned to Halifax 8 Dec. OJIBWA sailed 9 Dec to participate in COMBATEX 2/75, an exercise designed to graduate the class of Combat Control Officers who were completing a years training at the Fleet School. OJIBWA returned to Halifax 15 Dec.
Faslane, Scotland (3)
Personnel as of 31 Dec 1975
CO – LCdr LW Barnes
XO – LCdr JTO Jones then Lt (N) GC Oakley
Ops O. -Lt (N) McMillan
Nav O. - SLt S Cowen
EO – Lt (N) MR Sovie then Lt (N) RM Williams
Elect O – SLt DF Harper then Lt (N) RM Williams
Syo – SLt EP Webster then SLt JAY Plante
Commo – Lt (N) RM Williams then SLt EP Webster
WpnsO – Lt (RN) JS Mankertz
Officers – 9
Chief Petty Officers – 2
Petty Officers – 13
Leading Seamen – 33
Able Seamen – 8
Note: This annual report contains press clippings of the Deep Diving Sea Rescue operation.
1976 – LCdr W.J. Sloan(March 1976 – August 1977)
Total Miles: 27,228
Surfaced: 18,279 (67%)
Dived: 8,499 (33%)
Days at Sea: 158
Days away from Halifax: 231
General CO’s Comment: HMCS OJIBWA was at sea more days and steamed more miles during 1976 in support of MARCOM (Maritime Command) commitments than in any other year since 1970.
January to March 1976 – The majority of January and February was spent in the Caribbean supporting Exercise SPRINGBOARD. An operational readiness inspection was carried out with Commander J.E.D. Bell (CANCOMSUBRON ONE) on 30 and 31 Jan which the submarine passed satisfactorily. During SPRINGBOARD , OJIBWA also participated in surface ship operations and coordinated exercises with OKANAGAN. At the end of Feb the boat transited to Charleston S.C. for a port visit and for preparations for the first NATO exercise of the year, SAFEPASS. In Charleston the new Commanding Officer, LCdr W.J. Sloan arrived on board. LCdr Barnes, who had been with the boat since Jan 1975, returned to Halifax and a subsequent posting to the Staff College in Toronto.
SAFEPASS was a multi-threat exercise involving a convoy transiting the Atlantic seaboard to Halifax. OJIBWA simulated a missile firing submarine for the first portion of the exercise and a conventional attack submarine for the second phase. OJIBWA returned to Halifax for a leave and work period 19 Mar.
April to July 1976 – 14 April OJIBWA sailed for the Bermuda operating areas for two weeks of TRAINEX/MARCOT. The MARCOT proved the most interesting as the boat conducted exercises with the Combat Control Officers during their final sea phase of their training and assessment. On return to Halifax 25 May, OJIBWA spent five days at sea for the submarine school and CBC, who were doing a series on DND underwater activities.
OJIBWA departed Halifax 21 June for Bermuda where she took part in two weeks "pro-sub" time with HMCS OKANAGAN and also some underwater filming for a DND sponsored film on underwater activities. After a three day port visit OJIBWA sailed to an operations area south of Bermuda and spent 2 days obtaining some underwater film footage. On completion, a rendezvous was made with HMCS OKANAGAN and SSK and surface attacks were conducted on OKANAGAN and CNAV BLUETHROAT. Underwater looks and photo reconnaissance were also carried out before returning to Halifax 5 Jul for an annual docking, training and leave period.
August to September – OJIBWA sailed for Faslane on 23 Aug with many new submariners on board. I.S.E. was conducted enroute and by the time OJIBWA entered her second NATO exercise, TEAMWORK, the submarine was well worked up. This exercise involved a fast convoy transiting from North America to Scotland, and strike groups (normally an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group) steaming north towards Norway. OJIBWA’s mission was to patrol an area in the U.K.-Faeroes gap and remain undetected for the initial period, then attack the strike forces as they moved north. OJIBWA accomplished her role successfully. On completion of TEAMWORK the submarine steamed down the North Sea to Den Helder, Netherlands for a port visit .
October to December – Ojibwa transited to Portsmouth, U.K. arriving 3 Oct. Exercise COCKFIGHT was the highlight of OJIBWA’s operations during 1976. This exercise is the submarine Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC) operations phase and consequently is played keenly and realistically. Everyone on board learned a great deal during the time spent with "Teacher" and the COQC candidates. OJIBWA spent a week offshore in the outer approaches and a week in the Clyde inner exercise areas conducting SBS, reconnaissance, minelaying and surveillance operations. It was a most demanding time for the whole ships company and everyone subsequently enjoyed the five day port visit to Sunderland U.K.) Oct 18-22. On Oct 22 OJIBWA sailed for a one week short work period at DOLPHIN (Gosport). On completion the boat operated for FOST (Flag Officer Sea Training) in the Portland approaches before proceeding to Halifax to arrive 14 Nov.
OJIBWA only had time for a 2 week short work and leave period before sailing 1 Dec for a two week MARCOT in the Bermuda Op Area. The submarine arrived back in Halifax the 13th for the Christmas leave and work period, prior to departure for the West Coast of Canada in January 77.
Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico (3)
San Juan, Puerto Rico (2)
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Charleston, South Carolina
St George’s, Bermuda
Den Helder, Netherlands
Portsmouth, U.K. (2)
Personnel on Strength 31 Dec 1976
CO – LCdr WJ Sloan
XO – Lt JS Ferguson
EngO – Lt LR Griffin
OpsO – Lt NP Nicolson
NavO – Lt EP Webster
SyO – SLt BW Organ
WpnsO – SLt WC Irvine
ElectO – SLt RR Virkutis
Officers – 8
Chief Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers – 4
Sergeants – 15
Corporals and Privates – 39
1977 – LCdr J.T.O. JONES(August 1977 – July 1979)
Total Miles: 27,545
Surfaced: 19,474 (70%)
Dived: 8,200 (30%)
Days at Sea: 154
Days in Harbour: 202
CO’s Covering Comments: "The WESTEX deployment from 31 Jan – 16 June was the first of its kind carried out by a Canadian submarine. In order to utilize maximum submarine service time the submarine was required to transit at a speed which precluded dived and individual ship exercise…." "In October, OJIBWA was recalled at short notice to conduct an operational CANLANT patrol. The versatility and professionalism shown during this operation was a great credit to the submarine and her crew."
January to August 1977 WESTEX Deployment into the Pacific – OJIBWA spent the month of January preparing for the long deployment to the West Coast, departing 31 Jan via Puerto Rico. The period 7-10 Feb was spent in San Juan preparing for the annual Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI). The ORI commenced on sailing 10 Feb and continued for 48 hours. A high speed was necessary to rendezvous with CFAV BLUETHROAT. The ORI was assessed as "Satisfactory-Good" by the examining squadron staff members. It consisted of an underwater look on CFAV BLUETHROAT; an opposed snort transit; a CASEX versus USS COONTZ and HNLMS FRIESLAND; a dived rendezvous and transit with HMCS OKANAGAN and other emergency drills and evolutions.
A weekend was spent recovering in USNS ROOSEVELT ROADS, P.R. before commencing a week of operations in the P.R. Op Areas with ships and aircraft. The first two days were spent working with USN P-3C’s on the impressive ST CROIX 3D Sound Range. The latter half of the week was spent mainly providing services to HMS Ships HURON, SAGUENAY, FRASER, PRESERVER and USS BIGELOW.
OJIBWA sailed for CRISTOBAL, PANAMA C.Z. 23 Feb. OJIBWA made the rendezvous with HMCS ATHABASKAN as planned off CRISOBAL prior to the canal transit. This transit entailed ten hours at special sea dutymen proving a very long but interesting day for all concerned. The submarine berthed at USNS RODMAN C.Z. 28 Feb.
OJIBWA commenced a fast transit to a rendezvous with ATHABASKAN for the 6th of March. Good weather, favourable currents and running opened up enabled the boat to make good a speed in excess of 13 knots over this period giving the 2 ships a maximum amount of training time whilst the submarine was dived.
During the three days the ships were in company personnel exchanges were carried out on a daily basis and the submarine would spend six hours dived which were split between pro-ship and pro-sub exercises.
On the approaches to the SOCAL (Southern California) Op Areas OJIBWA worked with ARGUS aircraft from VP 407 Squadron and the Second Canadian Destroyer Squadron.
OJIBWA entered San Diego on the 15th of March to a brass band and four star welcome. She was the first submarine to berth at the NEW DIXON PIER at US SUBMARINE SUPPORT FACILITY BALLAST POINT, cutting a red ribbon in the process. OJIBWA sailed out to the SOCAL Op Areas on the 18th. Exercises conducted included an opposed sortie, pro-ship and pro-sub serials and several CASEX serials before commencing the passage northwards. Twenty four hours were spent acting as a submerged target for acoustic trials carried out by CFAV ENDEAVOUR.
The submarine surfaced on the 24th of March and set out for the 3-D sound range facility at NANOOSE (B.C.) via the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Haro and Georgia. Exercise torpedoes were embarked on arrival on the 26th. HMCS TERRA NOVA commenced the trials by firing an ASROC anti-submarine missile at OJIBWA, before the boat fired two MK37 NC weapons at TERRA NOVA.
OJIBWA carried out a night steam to arrive at the naval base at Esquimalt for a 3 week work period on the 28th March 1977.
OJIBWA returned to the NANOOSE Torpedo Range on the 18th of April to fire additional MK 37 NC torpedoes to evaluate tactical procedures and assist the civilian firm NORTHROP with development of the weapon. This was followed by a port visit to Vancouver in company with HMCS GATINEAU and HMNZS OTAGO. Following additional maintenance in Esquimalt, OJIBWA sailed for MARCOT 77 in Op Areas west of Vancouver Island 26 April 77.
The MARCOT included HMCS PROVIDER, KOOTENAY, ATHABASKAN, HMNZS OTAGO, and USS MCKEAN, ORLECK, COOK, ROGERS, HAMNER and various U.S. and Canadian air forces. On completion of the "free play" portion of the exercise on 7 May, OJIBWA proceeded south to rendezvous once again with ENDEAVOUR to assist in further scientific acoustic trials. The passage to San Diego was completed on the surface arriving 13 May to berth alongside USS WAHOO at BALLAST POINT.
OJIBWA sailed 16 May for the SOCAL Areas opposing ATHABASKAN, TERRA NOVA, GATINEAU and PROVIDER, Exercise SOLONGEX. On the final day OJIBWA carried out an SSK attack against the USS WAHOO and later made a dived rendezvous with her to conduct a coordinated attack on the surface forces.
On completion of the exercise OJIBWA surface and proceeded to Acapulco, Mexico arriving 25 May. DESRON TWO Forces also berthed in Acapulco. OJIBWA and ATHABASKAN sailed in company 30 May for Balboa, Panama. Daily CASEX serials were conducted in the forenoons while the ships company enjoyed sunshine in the afternoon. The passage concluded at USNS RODMAN in the canal zone 5 June. Transit of the canal completed late on 6 June.
Enroute for Halifax the submarine dived for ops with HNLMS AMSTERDAM and Dutch aircraft the 8th and 9th of June, for ops with a USN Task Force including the USS BILLFISH (SSN) on the 14th.
OJIBWA carried out a ceremonial entry into Halifax in company with HMCS ONONDAGA in the bright sunshine of 16 June 1977. (Note. 4 ½ months away from Home Port) The period through June to the end of August was taken up with summer leave, fleet refresher training and maintenance.
September to December 1977 – In September OJIBWA sailed for I.S.E. and to conduct a deep dive with HMCS MARGAREE. This was in preparation for MARCOT SNFL 77 from 6-14 Sep. These exercises involved the ships of the STANDING NAVAL FORCE ATLANTIC – HMCS SAGUENAY, HMS AMBUSCADE, HNLMS EVERTSEN FGS HAMBURG, PNS GAGO COUTINO, and USS RICHARD E. BYRD and the Canadian Ships ALGONQUIN, ATHABASKAN, SKEENA MARGAREE and PROTECTEUR.
Prior to returning to Halifax on the 22nd Sep OJIBWA remained at sea to provide services to both helicopters from CFB SHEARWATER and ARGUS aircraft from CFB GREENWOOD and SUMMERSIDE.
OJIBWA took part in a D1 SQUADEX (First Destroyer Squadron exercises) with HMCS ATHABASKAN, SKEENA, MARGAREE and PROTECTEUR between 20-25 October. She took part in a CANLANT patrol from 25 Oct to 4 Nov.
The submarine had a shortened work period until Nov 14 to prepare for the period at sea until Christmas. The week 14-18 Nov was spent once more in the local area assisting in HMCS NIPIGON’s work up with HMCS MARGAREE and PROTECTEUR. A brief weekend saw spent alongside prior to sailing Monday 21 Nov to commence passage to the Bermuda Op Areas for MARCOT 3/77.
OJIBWA arrived in the warm Bermudan water of Op Area Echo on 24 November and immediately began a series of basic CASEX exercises with HMCS SKEENA, MARGAREE, NIPIGON, ATHABASKAN and PROTECTEUR. These basic exercises served to "warm-up" the CCO students (Combat Control Officers), carried on MARGAREE and SKEENA, for the more complicated serials later in the MARCOT. During the breaks between exercises with the ships, OJIBWA provided services for the VP WUPS of Bermuda based USN ORION aircraft and visiting Dutch NEPTUNES and Canadian ARGUS. On 28 Nov OJIBWA completed the first of two scheduled torpedo firings, getting tow of the three Mk 37NC2 exercise weapons away successfully.
Shortly before midnight on the 28th, the submarine developed a defect in the training gear of the sonar type 187c which precluded dive operations. As OJIBWA transited to Bermuda to effect repairs the submarine squadron hastily loaded a spare directing gear onto a CF Search and Rescue BUFFALO aircraft. The submarine arrived in St Georges harbour at 0900Q on the 29th and the sonar department immediately went to work removing the defective parts. The aircraft with the new parts landed at 291830Q and the sonar department worked around the clock to replace it, while the rest of the crew sampled the pleasures of Bermuda.
At 1000Q on 30 Nov OJIBWA sailed from ST GEORGES again fully operational and by 1400 was again doing CASEX serials – this time with the added forces of USS SIMS and AINSWORTH, two KNOX class frigates. The second torpedo firing was accomplished on 3 Dec and this time all three weapons ran successfully.
On Friday, 2 Dec, the government of Bermuda hanged two convicted murderers’ of a previous Bermudan Governor and Police Commissioner. This event sparked off rioting, looting and burning and soon a state of emergency was declared. The decision was made that in lieu of a port visit from 5-8 Dec, a 36 hour stand down at sea would be given. On 5 Dec, OJIBWA’s crew enjoyed a day of sunbathing on the casing, swimming, a small arms shoot and a barbeque. On 6 Dec OJIBWA completed a long overdue full power dived snort trial and exchanged movies with the surface forces.
On the evening of 6 Dec OJIBWA commenced a series of advanced ASW exercises.. On 8 Dec the submarine forces of MARCOT 3/77 were augmented by the arrival of USS DACE (SSN 607). By 10 Dec OJIBWA was working with a wide range of aircraft including Canadian ARGUS and TRACKERS, US ORIONS and B52’s, Dutch NEPTUNES and French ATLANTIQUES. The surface forces were also operating with the HNLMS DRENTHE by this time. Also on 10 Dec OJIBWA’s ward-room was augmented by four Officers who included the Commanding Officer of HMCS OKANAGAN (LCdr J.M. EWAN) and a MARCOT referee (LT J.C. White, USN), increasing the wardroom complement of 14.
OJIBWA returned to Halifax 14 Dec. She spent the remainder of the year involved in a short work period and in the Christmas leave period in preparation for a southern deployment in the New Year.
USNS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico (2)
Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone PCZ (2)
USNS Rodman, PCZ (2)
San Diego, California (2)
Nanoose, B.C. (2)
St. George’s, Bermuda
Personnel on Strength 31 Dec 77
CO – LCdr WJ Sloan then LCdr JTO Jones (1 Aug 77)
XO – Lt (N) JS Ferguson
Lt (N) KF McMillan
Lt (N) NP Nicolson
Lt (N) EP Webster
Lt R Dean
SLt WC Irvine
SLt RR Virkutis
SLt BW Organ
SLt LM Hickey (under training , Commo, ElectO)
SLt CJD Houle
Lt (N) LR Griffin
Lt D Ashling
SLt JAY Plante
Officers – 9
Master Warrant Officer – 1
Warrant Officer – 2
Sergeant – 12
Master Corporal – 14
Corporal – 12
Private – 23
1978 – LCdr J.T.O Jones(August 1977 – July 1979)
Total Miles: 20,995
Surfaced: 13,677 (64%)
Dived: 7,618 (36%)
Days at Sea: 141
Days in Harbour: 224
Report begins: HMCS OJIBWA was in the midst of a AWP on 31 mar 78, preparing for her upcoming UK deployment. She sailed for Gosport on the 17th of April. A trial/trim dive was carried out that evening which revealed no defects or leaks. The entire Atlantic crossing was remarkably calm with the exception of one day when increasing sea state pushed the submarine 6 miles to starboard of the intended track. OJIBWA passed through an area of open pack ice south east of Cape Breton island and through an area where growlers and bergy bits were present off Cape Race, Newfoundland
The programmed Passex with HMS WALRUS was cancelled as she was unable to make good the required SOA due to extremely heavy weather, only one hundred miles from the calm seas OJIBWA was transiting through. Two enroute opportunity exercises were conducted with the RAF Nimrod LRMR Aircraft of #263 OTU.
The submarine finally arrived at HMS Dolphin, Gosport in the forenoon of 27th April for a 3 day port visit. OJIBWA experienced no difficulty in her approach into Haslar Creek.
After a busy social weekend alongside, OJIBWA sailed at 0800A on May Day. Tidal current was such that the boat could complete the circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight however rain and drizzle hampered the view of the needles.
The period 1-12 May was spent in the Channel dodging fishing boats, merchant ships and RN helicopters and Frigates. OJIBWA worked alternately for Flag Officer Sea Training and Flag Officer Plymouth, providing training services to ships undergoing work-ups and 737 Squadron (WESSEX HAS MK 3) carrying out operational flying training. The ships included the new Type 21 frigate ALACRATY, HMS FIFE and other units of the NATO fleet.
On being released from the Portland Exercise Areas, OJIBWA commenced a transit to the Clyde Exercise Areas. Fortunately timing was perfect and the tide was with her, hence good time was made which enabled the ship’s company to sample Scottish hospitality at Campbelltown after arriving at 2000A, 13 May, 1978.
The COQC students were embarked the next day prior to transiting to the FXA’s (North). HMS OPPORTUNE was the other COQC submarine and it was with her that OJIBWA carried out a dived rendezvous, a co-coordinated transit and two SSX exercises. There was a continuous air opposition during this phase and also during the period working with HM Ships ACHILLES and ESKIMO. For the period 21-26 May OJIBWA was in the Clyde River Areas conducting inshore operations such as periscope photography, minelaying and agent recovery. Five students out of the six were successful and were disembarked to a PAS boat after a night at anchor in Kilchatten Bay on 26 May. The next morning the submarine sailed south for a SWP in Gibraltar.
The transit was completed at the breakneck speed of 13 ½ knots arriving there on the evening of 30 May. The submarine remained in Gibraltar until 11 June for the SWP.
OJIBWA sailed from Gibraltar and conducted serials with RAF Nimrod aircraft in the Western Mediterranean. Upon completion a set of impressive fleet maneuvers were carried out with HM submarines OSIRIS, FINWHALE, PORPOISE, SEALION and OPPORTUNE off Gibraltar. The submarine then sailed west through the Straits of Gibraltar to an area 100 miles off the Moroccan Coast.
It was in this area that OJIBWA operated for the Fleet Training Period 13-21 June with HMS FINWHALE, SEALION, OSIRIS and USS STURGEON whilst under scrutiny from the ever present Nimrods. The highlight of these exercises was an underwater look at HMS FINWHALE in very clear waters resulting in excellent quality photographs. From the 18-21st June FINWHALE and OJIBWA carried out a 200 mile long opposed, coordinated dived transit to the vicinity of Cape St Vincent, Portugal.
The monotony of the nil action FTP was broken by an excellent port visit to Setubal, Portugal from the 22-28th June. After sailing, OJIBWA (now fitted with shaker noise makers), simulated a Charlie Class SSN for Nimrods from RAF St Mawgan’s undergoing their ORI. OJIBWA surfaced 29th June and sailed for Gibraltar for the weekend.
OJIBWA’s second visit to Gibraltar was mainly to attend the pre-fleet trial briefing for an exercise with HMS LOWESTOFT. This exercise was conducted with LOWESTOFT as part of the development programme of surface ship passive towed array sonar. The last two days were combined with a covert/active trial exercise with HMS DREADNOUGHT. OJIBWA completed her UK exchange commitments on the 10th July and returned to Halifax 17th July to commence an extensive work period.
The submarine was docked from 16 August-7 November. Owing to a large number of hull valve defects the docking period was extended from the original four weeks to twelve weeks. OJIBWA proceeded to sea for the first time in four months on the 16th of November to participate in the exercise COMBATEX from 21 Nov-01 Dec off Halifax. She sailed again four days later to participate in MARCOT 3/78 with HMCS FRASER, NIPIGON, SAGUENAY, ASSINIBOINE and USS NAUTILUS. Upon completion OJIBWA returned to Halifax for a SWP and Christmas leave period.
Gosport, England (HMS DOLPHIN)
Nominal List of Officers on Strength 1978/79
LCDR J.T.O. Jones, CO, 31 Mar 78-31 Mar 79
Lt (N) K.F. McMillan, XO, 31 Mar 78 – 15 Sep 78
Lt (RN) D.H. Ashling, EO, 28 Nov 78 – 31 Mar 79
Lt (N) D.N. Griffiths, XO/OPSO, 15 Sep 78 – 15 Sep 79
Lt (RN) R. Dean, OPSO/NAVO, 31 Mar 78 – 15 Jul 78
SLt J.A.Y. Plante, XO/OPSO/COMMO/NAVO/EO, 31 Mar 78 – 31 Mar 79
SLt L.M. Hickey, NAVO/WPNSO/ELECTO, 31 Mar 78 – 31 Mar 79
SLt C.J.D. Soule, SYO/WPNSO/CASINGO, 31 Mar 78 – 15 May 78
SLt J.E.H. Langlois, WPNSO/CASINGO, 15 May 78 – 4 Jan 79
Slt J.D. Schweyer, SYO/COMMO, 1 Aug 78 – 31 Mar 79
SLt L.A. Kane, ELECTO/CASINGO, 1 Aug 78 – 31 Mar 79
SLt J.L. Duck, ECECTO, 18 Dec 78 – 12 Mar 79
Other Ranks on Strength 31 Mar 79
Chief Warrant Officer – 0
Master Warrant Officer – 2
Warrant Officer – 4
Sergeant – 12
Master Corporal – 10
Corporal – 5
Private – 34
Total Complement 31 Mar 79
Officers – 8
Men – 67
TOTAL – 75
1979 – Ken McMillan(July 1979 – December 1979)
Total Miles: 4,603
Surfaced: 2,923 (63%)
Dived: 1,680 (37%)
Days at Sea: 34
Days in Port: 56
January to March 1979- OJIBWA conducted day trips out of Halifax 5-8 Feb for familiarization tours for the submarine school and to act as consort for HMCS OKANAGAN’s deep dive. The 8th of February was spent carrying our ISE, ship handling and an anchorage in Bedford Basin. The submarine returned to Jetty 8 at 1300 for the weekend. She sailed Monday to transit to area X-Ray to provide VP services from 12-15 February. OJIBWA sailed again 19 Feb for VP services but developed problems with the communication mast. It was decided to return to Halifax to replace the mast. The mast was replaced utilizing overtime and the submarine sailed the next morning for HS services. After one HS sortie the remainder were cancelled due to poor weather so OJIBWA surfaced and headed southwest to a port visit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After an enjoyable visit OJIBWA sailed from Portsmouth during the eclipse of the sun on 26 February for Halifax. Copious amounts of sea water over the bridge and the extreme cold forced the watch below to the Control Room. The submarine dived in the forenoon on the 27 Feb and finished the remainder of the transit snorting. The next day OJIBWA joined with VP aircraft and conducted VP Ops for 1 ½ days. She arrived in Halifax on 2nd March for a week of maintenance.
OJIBWA sailed 12 March for a port visit to Argentia, Newfoundland. The locals were extremely hospitable and it was with much regret that OJIBWA sailed the next day at 1600Q. While maneuvering in the harbour a defect developed in the main propulsion panel which required and emergency anchorage to carry out repairs. The submarine anchored in Placentia Bay in "poor" holding ground. Repairs were completed in 1 ½ hours. Preparations were made to get underway but the anchor held fast to the bottom despite several attempts to drag it. It was decided to wait until morning to make another attempt to free the anchor. Cable was veered out and an attempt at Slow Astern Together Group Up parted the cable with 1 ½ shackles attached to the anchor. OJIBWA sailed from Placentia Sound to R/V with D1’s task force of HMCS ALGONQUIN, SKEENA and MARGAREE south of Newfoundland.
OJIBWA conducted basic CASEX’s with D1 for the next 2 ½ days then, after a film transfer, detached and commenced a snort transit north. The submarine surfaced 20 March to complete the final 130 miles of the passage to avoid mutual interference with the USS ARCHERFISH who was heading north at the same time. OJIBWA joined with VP aircraft on the 21st March and commenced SUBICEX 1/79. For the next 36 hours OJIBWA utilized the almost perfect sonar conditions to attack ARCHERFISH 5 times in 6 runs. The submarine surfaced on the 22nd of March and headed south towards St John’s , Newfoundland.
The submarine entered St John’s in the afternoon in company with the First Destroyer Squadron for a 4 day port visit. Ottawa sailed from St John’s for a surface passage arriving in home port 30 March, 1979.
[The above narrative from LCdr Jones – Ken McMillan took command in July 79 and departed in Dec 79. The next CO, LCdr J.M. Ewan filed a new, but essentially same AHR that went to the end of the year - below]
April to July 1979 - OJIBWA spent 21 days alongside for a short work period, then sailed for Area Victor for exercises with the Fifth Destroyer Squadron. A broken seal in the communications mast once again forced her back to Halifax for repairs. The following day on the 23 , she sailed in the evening to continue the exercises with D5. On the 26th (April), she fired five NC2 and one NC3 torpedoes at FRASER. The firings went very well, but a ventilation problem in the fore ends gave the tubes crew carbon monoxide poisoning, fortunately with no serious effects. All the practice torpedoes were recovered, and OJIBWA returned to Halifax.
On the 1st of May, OJIBWA sailed for more exercises with D5 and to progress a little independent training for the ships company, lasting for two days. After an overnight stop in Halifax, she sailed on the 4th for a "Shopwindow" for which members of the Halifax Board of Trade rode FRASER, NIPIGON and PRESERVER while the submarine dove, raised and lowered masts, snorted and surfaced between them. On the way home she conducted she conducted "shaker" trials on the McNabs Sound Range. A weekend at home was followed by three days of day steaming for helicopter services, rounded off by a port visit to St John N.B.
The entrance to St John was made more interesting by a delay introduced by having to wait for a container ship to enter harbour first. By the time OJIBWA was free to enter, the tremendous current of the St John river was taking full effect, and the assistance of a tug was required to get her alongside after three quarters of an hour of effort.
After a very "ho-hum" visit, OJIBWA returned directly to Halifax arriving at 1300 on the 16th of May to commence mid-life refit. She completed her third commission having steamed over 100,000 miles, 35,000 of those dived.
The refit officially commenced on 18 June. By the 16th of August, the casing and all extraneous gear had been removed from the pressure hull, safety rails fitted and submarine docked on the Dartmouth Slips for sandblasting and painting. Considerable delays, particularly because of weather kept her on the Slips beyond the scheduled date for docking on the Synchrolift, so the programme was modified to permit ONONDAGA to complete her pre-deployment docking first.
OJIBWA undocked from the Dartmouth Slips on 23 Auf 79 having been thoroughly sandblasted and painted for a cost of $22,216. On the following day, work commenced clearing the interior of paneling, lockers etc. in preparation for removal of the batteries. It took two days to remove #1 battery and five to remove #2. The work was completed on 28th Sep.
On 10 Oct, OJIBWA was finally docked on the Synchrolift and rolled into the shed. By the end of the year, she was virtually an empty shell.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
St John’s, Newfoundland
St John, New Brunswick
Nominal List of Officers on Strength – 1979
LCDR J.T.O. Jones, CO, 01 Jan 79 – o9 Jul 79
LCDR K.F. McMillan, CO, 09 Jul 79 – 06 Dec 79
LCDR J.M. Ewan, CO, 06 Dec 79 – 21 Mar 80
Lt (N) D.N. Griffiths, XO, 01 Jan 79 – 04 Sep 79
LCdr A.B. Dunlop, XO, 04 Sep 79 – 07 Jan 80
Lt (N) J.A.Y. Plante, A-XO/OPSP/COMMO, 1 Jan 79 – 9 July 79
Lt (N) L.M. Hickey, NAVO/WPNSO/DivingO, 1 Jan 79 – 23 July 79
Lt (N) D.H. Ashling, EO, 10 Jan 79 – 09 July 79
Lt (N) D.H. Ashling, EO 17 Oct 79 – 08 Feb 80
SLt L.A. Kane, ElectO, 01 Jan 79 – 31 May 79
SLt R.D. Adams, CommO/CasingO, 16 Apr 79 – 23 July 79
SLt J.D. Schweyer, SyO/ ConfidBooksO, 1 Jan 79 – 1 June 79
Lt (RN) I.S. Mackenzie, TrgO/WpnsO/DivingO, 8 Apr 79 – 1 Sep 79
Lt (N) W.C. Irvine, SyO, 31 Jul 79 – 14 Feb 80
Lt (N) E.F. Gosse, Course, 31 Aug 79 – 31 Dec 79
WO T.A. Shergold, Cox’n, 1 Jan 79 – 25 May 79
WO G.D. Sullivan, Cox’n, 25 May 79 – 21 Mar 80
Other Ranks on Strength 31 Dec 79
Chief Warrant Officer – 1
Master Warrant Officer – 1
Warrant Officer – 3
Sergeant – 11
Master Corporal – 5
Corporal – 2
C-P – 22
Total Complement 31 Dec 79
Officer – 7
Men – 45
Total – 52
1980 – LCdr N.P. Nicolson(June 1980 – January 1984)
HMCS OJIBWA remained in the Submarine Shelter during 1980 continuing the mid-life refit and progressing the installation of Submarine Operational Up-Date Program (SOUP) equipment into the first CF submarine to be so modified. Since the submarine has remained in refit the whole of 1980 the basis of this report is of a Historical Technical Nature.
In early February, while non-destructive testing, a crack was found in the port main engine bedplate beneath number three main bearing support. An in-situation repair was considered by the Naval Engineering Unit to be impossible so a new engine bedplate and associated engine frame was purchased from the United Kingdom. This decision necessitated cutting out the Engine Room hard-patch measuring 8 feet by 12 feet, so that the engine bedplate could be changed. The hole in the submarine hull was cut using a new technique, Plasma Arc cutting, in which only the immediate area beneath the arc is heated.
At the beginning of 1980, approval was given to implement SOUP for OJIBWA’s present refit. Combat system-related work was largely confined to stripping out the old systems and beginning preparations to install the new SOUP equipment. The refit activity rate, starting from a low level in the early part of the year, increased throughout the summer and fall to a high level. Due to the large size of the refit work package, it is necessary to maintain, or even increase, this activity rate through 1981 so that the submarine may subsequently complete this long refit in early 1982.
Nominal List of Officers on Strength – 1980
LCdr J.M. Ewan, CO, 1 Jan 80 – 23 Jun 80
LCdr N.P. Nicolson, CO, 24 Jun 80 – 31 Dec 80
Lt (N) G.M. Day, XO (attached to SM1), 23 Jun 80 – 31 Dec 80
Lt (N) D.H Ashling, EO, 1 Jan 80 – 8 Feb 80
Lt (N) R. Newman, ATL, 18 Jul 80 – 10 Oct 80
Lt (N) E.F. Gosse, CSE, 1 Jan 80 – 31 Dec 80
Lt (N) W.C. Irvine, SyO, 1 Jan 80 – 14 Feb 80
Lt (N) I.B. Brower-Berkhoven, TechO (on loan from CFFS), 28 Jul 80 – 31 Dec 80
Other Ranks / Senior Rates on Strength – 1980
CWO – 1
MWO – 1
WO – 1
SGTS – 7
MCPL – 6
CPL – 6
PTE – 7
Total Complement 31 Dec 80
Officers – 3
Men – 32
Total - 35
Cmdre ret’d Larry Hickey:
1980-1982 Submarine Operational Update Refit – a major mid-life upgrade that changed the Oberons from "clockwork mice" to having a formidable punch with the Mk48 torpedo, making the Oberons strategic assets. Ojibwa was the first to achieve this capability.
This was a complete mind shift on the part of the Cdn Navy.
1981 – LCdr N.P. Nicolson(June 1980 – January 1984)
HMCS OJIBWA’s mid-life refit and Submarine Operational Up-Date Program (SOUP) implementation were progressed throughout 1981.
OJIBWA remained in the Submarine Shelter until 29 June when she was undocked and moved alongside Jetty 8/5. The installation of the batteries was completed by late September and the main engines made ready for trials by the end of the year. The AN/BQG 501’Micro-puffs’ hydrophone array mountings were installed in November. This called for modification of the casing in the vicinity of the arrays and the outboard trunking of the battery ventilation system and the sealing of four forward main vents.
There was an increase in manpower in 1981 and emphasis was placed on training personnel on SOUP equipment and for the up-coming work-up.
Nominal List of Officers on Strength – 1981
LCdr N.P. Nicolson, CO, 1 Jan – 31 Dec 81
Lt (N) W.C. Irvine, XO, 1 Sep – 31 Dec 81
Lt (N) C.D. Soule, OPsO, 18 Jun – 31 Dec 81
Lt (N) R.E. Bush, NAVO, 16 Nov – 31 Dec 81
LCdr E.F. Gosse, CSE, 1 Jan – 31 Dec 81
Lt (N) I.B. Brower-Berkhoven, MSE, 1 Jan – 20 Dec 81
Lt (N) E.R. Joelson, MSE, 14 Dec – 31 Dec 81
Other Ranks / Senior Rates – 1981
CWO – 1
MWO – 1
WO – 7
SGT – 6
MCPL – 9
CPL – 18
PTE – 4
Total Complement – 31 Dec 81
Officers – 6
Men – 46
1982 – LCdr N.P. Nicolson(June 1980 – January 1984)
HMCS OJIBWA officially completed refit on 16 April 82 and the boat immediately entered a post refit maintenance period. The refit was lengthened by the introduction of the SOUP (Submarine Operational Update Programme) equipment fit.
Trials commenced on 10 June and the submarines initial dive was conducted on 11 June. During these trials a bend in the starboard shaft, a result of a collision with Jetty 8, was detected and the submarine went into an unscheduled docking on 18 June.
The docking was completed on 16 July, trials were resumed. These trials included engineering, Navaids, Gyro, log, Torpedo discharge, and BYG trials. Many problems with the new equipment were encountered and much time and energy was spent rectifying these problems prior to sailing for the United Kingdom and Workups.
One high point of the trials period was a port visit to Shelburne N.S. Upon sailing from Shelburne, the submarine was the stage for the television series "Thrill of a Lifetime", and a Thrillee (Episode 2-18, broadcast February 21 1983 – "an executive secretary travels in Canadian Forces submarine HMCS OJIBWA). Upon completion the submarine returned to Halifax on 24 August for short work period to prepare for work-ups.
OJIBWA sailed for work-ups in the United Kingdom on 20 September. Her arrival in Faslane, Scotland on 30 September was the beginning of an intense training and evaluation period. Safety work-ups were conducted form 1-19 Oct and OJIBWA satisfactorily passed assessment on 21 Oct.
The submarine went alongside in Faslane on the 22nd and harbour training week started on the 25th. During this week the operations department carried out training and the Attack Team was lectured on the various operations to be completed during operational work-ups. On the 30th, OJIBWA sailed from Faslane, led through a dummy minefield corridor 200NM long by RMAS WAKEFULL, to the Northern Fleet Exercise areas where an SSX against the Dutch submarine ZWAARDVIS took place until the 2nd of November. OJIBWA’s new equipment worked well and ZWAARDVIS was given a taste of the Canadian fighting spirit as she was frequently detected and attacked while unable to do the same against the O-Boat.
On 3 November, OJIBWA started an opposed transit to the Clyde Inner Exercise area. During this transit an Under Water Look was carried out on the HMS RHYL. Once in the inner exercise area she conducted intelligence gathering exercises until the 6th. Various operations were practiced during the remainder of the operational work-ups including SBS operations (in which OJIBWA set a new record on time taken for the marines to exit the boat), a dived transit of a narrow channel, intelligence gathering and periscope photography or shoreline installations. The submarine successfully passed Operational Assessment on 10 November.
The boat visited Workington in Northern England from 15-19 November for her first real run-ashore since leaving Halifax almost two months before. The town showed the submarine, the first Canadian Warship ever to visit, much hospitality and OJIBWA sailed on the 20th for the channel as payback services for work-ups.
Two weeks were spent in the Portland Exercise areas assisting in the work-up of surface forces of the Royal and German Navies. On 4 December, the submarine had her last port visit of the year in Portsmouth prior to returning home.
Ojibwa sailed for home on 6 December. Some very rough weather was encountered on the transit across the Atlantic and some of the gales (up to Force 11) were strong enough to force the bridge watch below to the control room. Some damage was sustained to the casing and the BQG arrays and OJIBWA arrived home 1 day late, on December 18th, after having to cancel a call in at St John’s, Newfoundland due to heavy weather. The remainder of the year was spent in Halifax in a short work period repairing storm damage.
Rough Trip Proved to Provide a Cure
Ojibwa, as the first "O" boat through SOUP (Submarine Operational Update Program) in the mid-80s was the first Canadian boat to have Ranger fitted. On the way back from RN workups, we hit a series of major storms, so violent that we couldn't dive safely until we got to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. During the storm we lost most of the soft patches, including the port midships Ranger window, the masthead steaming light and other assorted bits and pieces. The weather was so violent that the bottom mounts of the array sheared. The array was still hanging on by the upper mounts when the sea got a bit calmer, so we sent two guys dressed in wetsuits and on safety lines down inside the fin to lash the array down so that we wouldn't lose it. When we finally got dived the set worked like a charm, which was funny because up until then it hadn't worked at all!
Shelburne, Nova Scotia
CO – LCdr N.P Nicolson
XO – Lt (N) W.C. Irvine
OPSP – Lt (N) C.D. Soule
NAVO – Lt (N) R.E. Bush
WPNSO – Lt (N) J.P. Davies
CSE – LCdr E.F. Gosse
EO – Lt (N) E.R. Joelson
SYO – Lt (N) R.L. Truscott
Trainee – SLt D.J. Shergold
Men as at 31 Dec 1982
MWO – 2
WO – 9
SGT – 11
MCpl – 17
Cpl – 16
Pte – 23
1983 – LCdr N.P. Nicolson(June 1980 – January 1984)
HMCS OJIBWA commenced 1983 with a much needed short work period to rectify structural damage which she sustained while transiting home from the United Kingdom and to ensure that the submarine was ready for upcoming sonar trials. This work period was completed on the 21st of February.
The last weeks of February were spent in conducting sonar and noise trials to test the submarines noise husbandry. The 21st to 25th of the month were spent in Bedford Basin progressing these trials and conducting a "fast cruise" for crew training, securing at the mooring buoy each night. At-sea moving sound trials were then conducted in the Halifax operating areas on the 25th and 26th. The results of these efforts were measured at the McNabs Island Sound Range on the 28th of February, and again on the 1st and 2nd of March.
At-sea trials of the AN/BQG 501 sonar were conducted from the 2ndd to 9th of March with a break in Halifax for the weekend.
Sea acceptance trials for the AN/BQG sonar and BYG-501 (Fire Control System) were subsequently conducted from the 15th to the 23rd of March, while an 18 hour period during the 22nd was devoted to a submarine vs. submarine exercise conducted with HMCS OKANAGAN. On the 23rd OJIBWA returned to Halifax and proceeded directly to the deperming buoy where the next five days were spent removing the submarine’s magnetic signature. On the 28th she slipped the buoy and proceeded to the submarine jetty after de-ammunitioning in Bedford Basin. The period of March 29th to 8th April was spent on the synchrolift effecting repairs to the submarine Doppler Log. With repairs complete the boat was then undocked and re-ammunitioned on the 11th, and sailed the next day for sonar trials and to assist in HMCS NIPIGON’s workups, returning to Halifax on the 15th.
On the 18th of April, OJIBWA sailed for her first major deployment of the year which consisted of WSAT (Weapons System Analysis Trials) at the (USN) test range in the Bahamas. After a much appreciated visit to Port Everglade, Florida from the 24th to 28th, the submarine proceeded to the test range where she spent the next four days conducting noise trials and testing the new fire control system with repeated test firings. After a number of torpedo firings it was demonstrated that although the new fire control system outfit was performing splendidly the MK-37 torpedoes were experiencing difficulty in the final stages of target acquisition and attack. On completion of these weapons trials OJIBWA enjoyed an interesting visit to Nassau, Bahamas from the 4th to 7th of May before returning to the weapons range for further noise range runs. She then spent the 8th and 9th conducting assiduous heat and habitability trials on the submarine’s air conditioning plant, thankfully broken up by an evening spent at anchor off Whale Key where the crew enjoyed a barbeque and revitalizing swim. All of the various trials were successfully completed when OJIBWA turned northwards and sailed for home arriving in Halifax on May 16th.
After a hectic week alongside OJIBWA again sailed for sea to act as target submarine for Canadian Aurora Military Patrol Aircraft during the O’Brien Competition from the 24th to 26th of May. After successfully defying the eager airmen, whose 4 hour hunt-and-kill sorties kept everyone alert, the boat, having suffered relatively few attacks, was declared the unofficial winner of the competition.
OJIBWA immediately started southwards to participate in further exercises. OJIBWA’s role in Exercise United Effort from the 26th to 31st of May consisted of simulating an enemy force submarine and interdicting the passage to Europe of an Allied Task Force. After 3 strenuous days opposing the Task Force’s air, submarine, and surface ASW assets, OJIBWA managed to penetrate the Allied screen and conducted a successful attack on the Task Force Flagship, the carrier USS John F. Kennedy while her sister submarine HMCS OKANAGAN was similarly successful in "sinking’ the other carrier, HMS HERMES.
Both submarines then proceeded to the Bermuda Opareas to commence MARCOT 1/83 which ran from June 2nd to 16th. During this exercise OJIBWA conducted anti-submarine exercises with OKANAGAN and USS FLYING FISH until June 4th and then set up a patrol as part of and exercise Maritime Exclusion Zone set up around Bermuda, during which she was involved in surveillance of, and ultimately attack on, the Canadian surface force which had been tasked to "liberate" the island. Unfortunately a defect was discovered in the 187 attack sonar which necessitated a visit to Saint Georges, Bermuda on the evening of the 10th where repairs were accomplished overnight and the submarine was able to rejoin the exercise early on the morning of the 11th. During the last week of MARCOT, OJIBWA managed to conduct many attacks on the "enemy" forces for the training benefit of all. MARCOT came to a pleasant conclusion with another visit to Saint Georges from the 17th to 21st of June for relaxation followed by an uneventful snort transit to Halifax where the submarine arrived on the 25th.
On the 4th of July, OJIBWA was once again hoisted out of the water on the synchrolift to rectify noise problems detected during earlier trials, during an Interim Docking. On the 22nd a fire in the auxiliary machinery space and auxiliary switchboard was caused by a surge in the shore electrical supply. Although the fire was quickly and efficiently extinguished and not injuries were sustained, the complex wiring of the switchboard suffered extensive damage which required prolongation of the docking period until the 28th of October.
The first week of November was spent at sea doing ship exercises to remove "cobwebs" resulting from the long period alongside, and November 7-10th were devoted to intensive monitoring of the submarine’s own noise signature.
After a few days alongside OJIBWA embarked local reservists and conducted special landing operations on the 12th of November in Bedford Basin, however similar operations scheduled for the 13th were canceled due to inclement weather. On the 14th OJIBWA sailed for an operational Canlant Patrol which concluded with her arrival in Argentia, Newfoundland for a port visit from 6th to 10th of December. After four days in port she sailed to the local areas where the submarine was employed along with HMCS HURON as consort for the sea workup phase of HMCS ASSINIBOINE. This duty was complete on the morning of the 16th and the submarine arrived alongside Halifax later that day. On the 19th a Short Work Period commenced with extended until the end of the year.
Port Everglade, Florida
Saint Georges, Bermuda (2)
CO – N.P. Nicolson, LCdr
XO – W.C. Irvine, Lt(N)
OPSO – N.H. Jolin, Lt(N)
NAVO – R.M. Truscott, Lt (N)
WPNSO – C.J. Wright, Lt (N)
CSE – R. Quaia, SLt
EO – E.R. Joelson, Lt (N)
SYO – R.A. Davidson, Lt (N)
ElectO – D.J. Shergold, Lt (N)
Trainee – K.B. Larkin, SLt
Complement at 31 Dec 84
MWO – 2
WO – 6
Sgt – 10
MCpl – 20
Cpl – 14
Pte – 18
1984 – LCdr E.P. Webster(January 1984 – April 1985)
In 1984, OJIBWA maintained a very busy program involving training support for the fleet through Combatex’s and MARCOT’s as well as major NATO exercises and other local training for the submarine. Torpedo firing was also given a high priority, and a version of SBS training conducted.
The year began as OJIBWA completed a short work period and went straight into an ISE period which concluded with an operational readiness inspection. This was utilized to carry out internal evolution as well as coastal patrol operations such as ‘periphotos’ and ‘minelays’. On the morning of 31 January, the USS GREENLING, an SSBN was sighted on the surface off Halifax, so a basic intelligence gathering run was conducted on her. The following week was spent daily sailing with VIP’s including the Commander Maritime Command, Vice Admiral J.C. Wood embarked. This exposed senior MARCOM personnel to the operation of the new SOUP fitted submarines.
The first major exercise of the year was "Teamwork 84". Beginning on 14th of February, Teamwork involved ships, submarines and aircraft from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, West Germany, Norway and Denmark. It was an exercise to test NATO’s ability to keep the sea lines of communication (SLOCs) open between North America and Europe, and to test the escort support provided to the Carrier Battle Group. It was an excellent opportunity for the submarine to experience what a real wartime patrol would be like; weeks of nothing and then in the span of an hour and a half the only chance to attack the task force. It should be noted that this period (38 days) is the longest a Canadian submarine has spent at sea in one stretch.
On completion of Teamwork, OJBWA payed a port visit to Haakonsvern, Norway. Surface transiting back to Halifax, the submarine arrived home on the 8th of April to commence a month long short work period. Beginning on the 7th of May, the submarine sailed to conduct local area operations for the week. The following week the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Jean-Jacques Blais sailed in OJIBWA to experience the submarine environment, first hand. A series of evolutions were conducted including a simulated minelay in the Halifax approaches. After the Minister and his aide disembarked on the 9th of May, the submarine returned to sea and carried out a practice torpedo firing.
The next major exercises began as Ojibwa sailed on the 13th of May for a Combatex/Tacex/MARCOT in the Bermuda Op Areas. Each of these exercises were separated by brief port visits to Bermuda. MARCOT 1/84 began on a somber note, however, when the Canadian ships and aircraft were recalled and tasked with search and rescue for the missing Tall Ship, the "Marquese". OJIBWA was exempt from participating in the search and rescue, and instead sailed on the 4th of June to carry out an SSX with the British submarine, HMS OTTER, but was forced to return to Bermuda overnight to rectify a defect. The first phase of the SSX involved a dived rendezvous with the British submarine, which concluded very successfully. MARCOT continued with exercises against ASW surface forces and ended with a practice torpedo firing on HMS OTTER. On completion of MARCOT, OJIBWA returned to Halifax, arriving on the 20th of June to begin a summer short work/leave period.
The fall running period began on the 27th of August with a week of ISE. On the 9th of September, OJIBWA sailed to participate in Safepass 84. This was a Canadian organized NATO exercise off the eastern seaboard of North America, involving naval forces from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. During this exercise there were several opportunities for the submarine to carry out simulated attacks against surface units including HNLMS TROMP, USS UNDERWOOD, and USCGC DALLAS. As part of Safepass an SSX entitled "Black Orchid" was conducted which involved OJIBWA, an American, and Dutch submarine in the circumnavigation of the Georges Bank. This was a valuable experience for ASW aircraft and the submarines alike in shallow water ASW.
No sooner had Safepass indeed on the 20th of September, than had OJIBWA moved on to her next task which involved loading 30 airborne troops for SBS training in the Bedford Basin, and a night landing in St. Margarets Bay. This is an exercise which is not normally conducted in Canada with our own troops. This exercise proved to be a good experience for the submarine, but particularly for the airborne troops who are seldom exposed to this form of warfare.
The end of September was spent at sea providing support to the HS Squadrons from Shearwater for their annual Helo competition. On the 28th of September OJIBWA conducted simulated attacks on HMCS PRESERVER, HMCS FRASER and HMCS SKEENA as part of a demonstration for a Defence Staff College field day. During the first part of October OJIBWA acted as target for VP aircraft operating from CFB Greenwood. On completion of these services she proceeded to New London, Connecticut, for a port visit to the USN submarine base. OJIBWA returned to Halifax on the 12th of October via the Cape Cod Canal. After acting as workups consort for HMCS IROQUOIS, the submarine transited to New York, New York, for a port visit from the 4th to the 7th of November. From the 10th of November to the end of the year, OJIBWA was involved in a "Docking and Essential Defects" period which was to continue into the early part of 1985.
Nineteen Eighty-Four gave OJIBWA the opportunity to prove herself as an integral part of the fleet. Throughout her comprehensive program she was only delayed one day as a result of a defect. This demonstrates the ability of her personnel to keep her in top notch running condition, even when time is limited.
Saint Georges, Bermuda (3)
New London, Connecticut
New York, New York
LCdr E.P Webster – CO
LCdr A. Langlois – XO
LCdr J.D. Meehan – EO
Lt (N) A.B. Smith – OPSO
Lt (RN) T.W. Spreckley – Sonar O
Lt (N) K.B. Larkin – NAVO
Lt (N) D.W. Brown – CSE
SLt J.C. Currie – Casing O
SLt M.S. Babec – Elect O
Number of NCO’s 31 Dec 84 – 13
Number of MS and Below 31 Dec 84 – 44
1985 – LCdr W.C. Irvine(April 1985 – September 1986)
1985 proved to be an interesting and varied year with much experience gained in all types of operations. The overall efficiency of OJIBWA has been greatly improved both by these operations and the introduction of a new Sea Training organization within the Submarine Squadron.
The year opened with OJIBWA undergoing a DED on the slips at Dartmouth and this was successfully completed on the 1st of February. After a wee and a half of alongside trials and evolutions the submarine slipped and proceeded to Bedford to ammunition and conduct a fast cruise. Then followed a deep dive and some sea training prior to OJBWA’s departure for OSP 1/85 to patrol the CANLANT area on 25 February.
[Insert information on nature of OSPs here]
After a successful patrol OJIBWA returned to Halifax on 30 March being part of a SUB-SMASHEX exercise carried out just prior to arrival. Then followed 3 hectic weeks of SWP, loadout and a TORPEX which was cancelled due to poor weather conditions. On 22 April OJIBWA sailed for Scotland to begin a two month working deployment to the UK.
Her first port of call was Faslane, arriving 02 May. Following the weekend, used to enjoy some of the pleasures of Scotland and some rare but excellent weather, OJIBWA carried out a week of SBS operations in a neighboring Loch. Upon completion of these and a short transit down the Irish Sea, OJIBWA arrived in the Welsh mining town of Swansea where and enjoyable "run ashore" was had by all.
On the 18th of May the submarine sailed for the Portland Exercise Areas and called in to Plymouth for and overnight stay and to collect an operations brief. The following morning OJIBWA headed for the areas and on completion of a week of FOST running she berthed in the holiday resort of Falmouth for a scheduled weekend port visit. A second week of FOST running was interrupted by a defect but this was temporarily rectified during an overnight stay in Portland before the week’s operations were conducted.
On the 31st of May OJIBWA began a transit to Exercise LOCKED GATE which was a simulated blockade of the Straits of Gibraltar. Posing as a Soviet submarine she carried out a snort transit which took her through some simulated straits, successfully evading the marauding BLUE forces. Following a full power trial, OJIBWA arrived for a visit to Gibraltar where, apart from some time off, she conducted some more training with the SBS finally leaving European waters on 13 June.
Arriving in Halifax on 22 June, the submarine had a weekend off before sailing up to Bedford Basin for the 75th Anniversary Fleet Review. It appeared the weather was going to cloud the event but the sun finally came out and, after three days at a buoy during which Her Excellency the Governor General reviewed the force, OJIBWA followed the fleet back to the dockyard for two hectic days of "Ship Open to Visitors".
When all guests had left and the dockyard had almost reverted to normal, the submarine sailed to conduct SSX with HMS SEALION. Unfortunately inclement weather forced the postponement of a TORPEX also programmed and as a result of the reprogramming, 2 days of SSX were cancelled. The second attempt at the TORPEX was partially successful until once again fog caused its premature curtailment.
OJIBWA then spent 2 weeks on the synchrolift from 17-29 July and the SWP she was involved in ended on 18 August. She sailed the following week for a period of ISE.
Following a week plagued with problems OJIBWA finally conducted a TORPEX with IROQUOIS and a SSX with ONONDAGA before leaving for Exercise OCEAN SAFARI. This was duly carried out with several major "kills" claimed.
A week of trials in support of DREA was completed in September and this was followed by a covert landing and recovery of some of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in St. Margaret’s Bay. After two days at sea in support of submarine week, OJIBWA left for a 5 week deployment commencing with a weeks VP TRAINEX off Bermuda. This was followed by an overnight visit to St. Georges (which was another success) before leaving for the local areas and the HS competition.
The highlight of the deployment was a 4 day visit to St. John’s Nfld which was followed by a transit to, and participation in SHAREM 62. This was a pronounced success and OJIBWA finally returned to Halifax for a SWP and Christmas leave arriving on 09 November.
1985 once again proved that OJIBWA is an integral part of the fleet steaming over 20,000 miles, almost half dived she continued to show that the Canadian Forces are capable of carrying out these duties NATO might assign to them.
St. Georges, Bermuda
St. John’s, Newfoundland
LCdr W.C. Irvine – CO
LCdr C.D. Soule – XO
Lt (N) B.W. Carter – EO
Lt (N) C.J. Wright – OPSO
Lt (RN) J.R. Jenkin – Sonar O
Lt (N) J.C. Currrie – NAVO
Lt (N) M.S. Babec – CSE
Lt (N) S.A. Virgin – Casing O
SLt J.G.M. Dussault – Under Trg
SLt J.R.M. Samuel – Under Trg
SLt T.W. Jarmyn – Under Trg
Number of Senior NCMs 31 Dec 85 – 16
Number of Junior NCMs 31 Dec 85 – 45
1986 – LCdr J.A.Y. Plante(September 1986 – August 1987)
HMCS OJIBWA set sail for the first time in 1986 on 6 January. She first carried out degaussing runs in Bedford Basin and then conducted a fast cruise at a buoy also in the Basin. Two days of Independent and Staff Assisted exercises conducted in the Halifax local areas preceded the satisfactory harbour inspection carried out by personnel of MARCOM Headquarters and the First Canadian Submarine Squadron on 13 January. A further two days of Independent Exercises in the local areas were satisfactorily completed with OJIBWA returning alongside Halifax on 16 January. After a weekend alongside OJIBWA sailed again 20 January, this time during a winter storm, for a Caribbean Deployment and exercise SAFEPASS 86. During the passage south OJIBWA exercised with NIPIGON, IROQUOIS, PROTECTEUR and CFAV QUEST, carrying out various sonar trials, arriving at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico (NSRR) on 27 January. Between 28 and 31 January a busy period ensued. Coordinated ASW exercises (CASEXs) were conducted at night in the Puerto Rico Operating Area (PROA), while during the days OJIBWA conducted weapon certification firings on the St-Croix Underwater Tracking Range. The submarine was unfortunately unable to obtain her weapon certified status due to the large number of defects which plagued both the Fire Control System and the Weapons, precluding successful firing of any torpedoes. Following a short Port Visit (PVST) to St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, between 31 Jan and 02 Feb, OJIBWA completed a satisfactory 2 day Combat Readiness Inspection in the PROA.
A prolonged re-ammunitioning evolution alongside at NSRR was finally completed the following afternoon and OJIBWA sailed for Fort Lauderdale arriving on 8 February for a well deserved and much enjoyed 4 day visit to the popular Florida resort. Upon sailing on 17 February OJIBWA headed for the Bahamas Operating Areas where she was to have conducted Noise Ranging Trials at the American Underwater Tracking and Evaluation Center. Due to a lack of funds this was cancelled at short notice and instead she carried out some profitable submarine vs. submarine exercises with HMCS ONONDAGA. Released to exercise SAFEPASS on 21 February, OJIBWA played the part of an ORANGE submarine trying to prevent the escape of convoys into the Atlantic. She made her way up the Eastern Seaboard of the USA "sinking" those targets which presented themselves before finally surfacing at ENDEX on 6 March and arriving home in Halifax on the evening of 8 March.
Between 8 March and 20 May OJIBWA underwent an extensive DED at the Dartmouth shipyard. This enabled her to remain operational until September and refit. Upon completion of the DED she again completed a wee of independent and Staff Assisted Indexes in the local areas, before conducting operation with the Canadian Airborne Regiment who were landed off Ketch Head during the night of 27 may and successfully recovered in the early hours of 30 May. While they were ashore OJIBWA carried torpedo firings against HMCS ATHABASKAN, finally gaining her weapon certification, and a number of underwater looks at CFAV St Charles. Following these fairly busy days OJIBWA had a one day alongside before departing on 01 June for CANLANT PATROL 01/86. This patrol was successfully completed and OJIBWA returned to Halifax on 4 July. The next week, commencing 7 July OJIBWA participated in the ASW phase of HMCS ASSINIBOINE’s Work Ups, before entering a Short Work Period and leave on 11 July.
The final running period of the commission saw OJIBWA complete some Low Frequency trials for the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) between 17 and 24 August and also conduct a number of CASEXes with Exercise NORTHERN WEDDING forces on 24 August. On completion of these exercises OJIBWA surfaced and proceeded to the port Of Boston Massachusetts where the crew enjoyed a 4 day "paying off’ visit between 24 and 28 August. Two further weeks of operations between 2 and 12 of September included a week of Helicopter and CP 140 services and a week of assisting in the ASW phase of HMCS MARGAREE’s WUPs.
Then followed a busy two weeks of extensive pre-refit preparations including destoring and demasting the submarine. OJIBWA finally left the water at 1100 on 29 September 1986, completing her fourth commission with 80,541 miles steamed of which 43,088 were dived (53%).
A short but operationally intensive year, 1986 saw OJIBWA fulfill her duties, within both the CF and NATO to the limit of her abilities.
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico (2)
St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Officers and NCMs on Strength 31 Dec 86
LCdr W.C. Irvine – CO, Jan to Sep
LCdr J.A.Y. Plante – CO, Oct – Dec
Lcdr Soule – XO
Lt (N) D.J. Wright – OPSO
Lt (RN) J.R. Jenkin – NAVO
Lt (N) B.W. Carter – EO
Lt (N) M.S. Babec – CSE
Slt J.R.M. Samuel – Casing O
SLt J.G.M. Dussault – WPNS O
SLt T.W. Jarmyn – SYO
Senior NCMs – 12
Junior NCMs – 44
1987 LCdr Plante(September 1986 – August 1987)
OJIBWA remained in an extended refit throughout 1987. No Annual Historical Report was filed. There was actually no Commanding Officer appointed between Aug 87 and April 88.
1988 – LCdr A.L. MacDonald(April 1988 – February 1989)
HMCS OJIBWA commenced 1988 still in refit. This would last throughout the spring.
On 6 June OJIBWA completed the preliminary drafting of the CF 1148 form signifying the official completion of her 20 month refit. However, quality assurance problems were discovered on a number of hull valves and this precluded conduct of scheduled sea trials while the boat waited for the arrival of new hull valves from the United Kingdom.
Throughout the months of July, August and September, OJIBWA continued to occupy her berth alongside the Submarine Headquarters while the wait for her hull valves continued. During this time, in an effort to keep the crew occupied, a number of adventure training activities were organized including canoeing, sailing, and camping trips. These proved to be most enjoyable for all concerned. On 13 September the hull valves finally arrived and preparations were made to install them.
On 1 October, the submarine docked at the Dartmouth Slips of Halifax Dartmouth Industries Ltd and workers began replacing the hull valves with new ones. In late November the submarine undocked and went back alongside the submarine Headquarters to begin pre-sailing preparations for sea trials.
On 4 December, the Navigating Officer, Lt (N) M. Samuel was tragically killed in a car accident. He was replaced by Lt(N) Mulholland. On 7 December, the boat proceeded to Bedford Basin to conduct safe-for-sea trials with the Submarine Sea Training Group embarked. The submarine departed Halifax on 12 December to conduct a log calibration off Chebucto Head and surfaced engineering trials in the Halifax harbour approached and the local operating areas. The boat returned to Halifax on 15 December for the commencement of Christmas leave.
In total, OJIBWA sailed 333 miles in 1988.
Officers Nominal Roll at Year-end
LCdr A.L. MaDonald – CO
Lt (N) R.M. Truscott – XO
Lt (N) P.D. Hendry – OPSO
Lt (N) T.M. Percy – EO
Lt (N) P.T. Finn – CSE
Lt (N) D.P. Mulholland - NAVO
Lt(N) M. L. Craven – WPNSO
Lt (N) M.J. Halle – ELECTO
Lt (N) D.J. Hart – Trg
SLt M.A. Soper – Trg
SLt M.L. Brisseau – Trg
1989 – LCdr A.L. MacDonald (til 02 Feb 89) - LCdr R.E. Bush (Feb 89- Aug 89) – LCdr R.A. Davidson (Aug 89 – Dec 90)
The 1989 calendar year was both a very busy and very interesting one for HMCS OJIBWA. And although the year was relatively short operationally, OJIBWA accomplished much and established many submarine milestones. In January, the submarine continued her post-refit trials. That program lasted until 24 January with the successful completion of the Deep Dive and Sonar trials. After a day in Bedford Basin shiphandling, the submarine entered a post-trials Short Work Period to prepare for WORKUPS.
On February 2nd LCdr R.E. Bush assumed Command. Later that month on the 20th the Re-dedication Ceremonies for the Fifth Commission were held in HMCS SCOTIAN. On February 20th the Self-Maintenance Period began, lasting until the 16th of March.
On completion of the SMP the boat ammunitioned at CFAD and then conducted indicator buoy trials in Bedford Basin. After spending the 17th – 20th alongside, the submarine went to sea to complete trials, do a log calibration and conduct ISE.
On the 28th of March OJIBWA began the first submarine WORKUPS conducted on Canada. Alongside training and lectures lasted until the 2nd of April when the boat began the at sea safety phase. During the safety phase the submarine touched bottom off of Chebucto Head sustaining minimal damage. An emergence docking was conducted in Halifax 7-16 April during which the rudder was changed.
Safety WUPS were continued in the local Halifax Opares 16-23 April followed by a surface NAVEX enroute Boston, Mass. Two days were spent in Boston for a mid-WORKUPS port visit. A well needed rest for all. The submarine departed Boston on 30 April to begin Operational WORKUPS.
The operational WORKUPS lasted 1-11 May and were conducted in the local Halifax Opareas. After successfully completing WORKUPS the submarine returned to Halifax for a weekend alongside. The crew was rewarded with a port visit to St John’s Nfld 17-21 May and after which the submarine returned to Halifax.
The post WORKUPS SWP lasted 24 May – 22 June. During that period refresher training took place. On the 22nd the submarine proceeded to sea for ISE followed by a classified CANLANT Patrol returning to Halifax 30 June for the Canada Day weekend.
In July the submarine conducted HT 406 "SALTY DIP" training followed by a MK37 Torpedo Exercise. On July 13 the boat held a family day cruise. Beginning the 16th of July the submarine supported SOCT 02/89, providing services until the 23rd. Support to the MPA community was provided in VP ASWEX 1/89 followed by a port visit to New Bedford, Mass., 28-31 July.
The second half of VP ASWEX 1/89 was conducted 1-04 August after which the submarine returned to Halifax. As part of the 75th Anniversary of submarines in Canada the boat tied up alongside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and was open to visitors from the 4th – 7th. On August 5th LCdr Davidson assumed Command of HMCS OJIBWA. The submarine returned to the dockyard on the 7th and commenced a two week summer leave period. On the 20th the boat began a SWP.
During the Short Work Period 20 August to 22 September some refresher training took place. Following the work period the submarine conducted deperming in Bedford Basin, a trial left over from the refit period.
Following a weekend alongside 28 September – 1 October the boat conducted a SMP until 6 October. From the 6th until the 22nd the submarine conducted an ISE/Sea Training period followed by VP ASWEX 2/89. Returning to Halifax the boat was alongside for tours for the Standing Committee on National Defence on the 23rd. OJIBWA sailed 24 October for a port visit to New London, CT., spending five days there, 25-29 October. Sailing from New London the submarine proceeded to the local Halifax Opareas to take part in COMBATEX 2/89. OJIBWA spent the weekend 03-05 November in Halifax and then sailed for TACEX 2/89. Upon completion the submarine returned to Halifax for the weekend 10-13 November.
The remainder of November was spent conducting MK48 Discharge Trials (13-24 Nov) and CANFLTOPS (26 Nov – 1 Dec) in local areas. The submarine provided support to HMCS FRASER for her Annual WORKUPS until the 3rd of December and then returned to Halifax to begin a Short Work Period and MK48 Command Team Training. The Christmas Leave Period began the 22nd of December and lasted through to the end of the year.
In all of 1989 HMCS OJIBWA steamed 12,694 miles. A Canadian Work-ups was conducted, one CANLANT Patrol and preparations began for MK48 Certification.
St John’s, Newfoundland
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New London, Connecticut
Officers Nominal Roll
CO – LCdr A.L. MacDonald till 02 Feb, LCdr R.E. Bush to 05 Aug, Lcdr R.A. Davidson.
XO – Lt(N) Truscott to 16 July, LCdr K.B. Larkin.
OPSO – Lt (N) P.D. Hendry to 04 Aug, LCdr M.L. Craven.
NAVO – Lt (N) D.P. Mulholland to 23 May, Lt (N) S.D. McVicar to 18 Dec, Lt(N) Wamback
SonarO – Lt (RN) R. Hamilton
WPNSO – Lt (N) V. MacIntosh to 24 May, Lt (N) Hart.
DivingO – SLt M. Higginson
EO – Lt (N) T. Percy to 16 Jul, Lt (N) M. Halle
Asst EO – Lt (N) G.A. Ricketts
CSE – Lt (N) P. Finn to 04 Aug, Lt (N) J.J. Kent
Asst CSE – Lt (N) Soper
Under Trg – Lt (N) M. Brisseau, Lt (N) Barstow to 24 May.
1990 – LCdr R.A. Davidson (to 5 Dec 90) – LCdr D.C. Marsaw (Dec 90 – Oct 1993)
The 1990 calendar year was both a very busy and very rewarding one for HMCS OJIBWA. OJIBWA started the year enjoying a Christmas/New Years leave period, this period lasted until the 9th at which time she entered a self maintenance period. The self maintenance period was followed by a period of independent submarine exercises from 12 until the 19th of January. During this period the submarine conducted various trials and additionally exercised various safety and operational evolutions with the assistance of the Submarine Sea Training Group.
After a weekend alongside OJIBWA sailed on the 22nd of January for CARIDOPS 90. Following a pleasant and uneventful transit south OJIBWA arrived at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads on the 29th of January. OJIBWA spent four days alongside loading torpedoes and conduction various weapons system trials. On completion of these alongside trials the submarine sailed for two days of sea trials after which she entered the port of San Juan for a well received port visit which lasted until the 10th of February.
During the period of 10-19 February OJIBWA conducted her first MK 48 torpedo firings. The period consisted of various WSAT trials that eventually led to OJIBWA being certified for the Mk 48. This period was followed by a 36 hour SSX which pitted the AJIBWA against an American SSN.
SENT OF EMM 27 JULY 2013:
My husband & I recently rode our motorcycle from Kingsville Ontario to tour the Ojibwa, after having eagerly waited since seeing her transport on the Daily Planet programme. It was well worth the admittance fee for the excellent guided tour with the little tidbits of juicy ‘background’ info.
We have a friend who was a 6’ 4" weapons officer aboard an American cold war sub, so we mentioned our tour to him. As was intimated during the tour, the submariners have an overworked sense of humor & our friend definitely fit right in....one wonders if it was a prerequisite, or did that happen as a defence mechanism to the crowded conditions? Anyway, when we replied to his query as to the name & class of the sub, this was his reply:
"Ojibwa and Onondaga were the two I recall playing with in a game of under water tag. Both were good can't recall which was better but one was really really good and sneaky too. We like that in a boat driver. They also had beer onboard which we did not and we really really like that a lot. All in all good boats, good crews good fun. See you soon. H.D."
We hope this might brighten your day (this dull, dreary, cloudy rainy one) & provide more fodder for the tour :-)
Fran & Steve Rice
On the 22nd of February OJIBWA commenced her transit to Charleston, SC with a 24 hour sound ranging being completed enroute. On the 1st of March the submarine arrived in Charleston, SC for a four day port visit. Upon departing Charleston OJIBWA participated in exercise SAFEPASS 90 for 72 hours, this period proved to be very uneventful.
OJIBWA’s participation in CARIBOPS 90 ended with the submarines arrival in Halifax on 12 March. On the 15th of March OJIBWA entered her first docking work period which ran until the 26th April. This DWP was followed by a week long self maintenance period.
On 10 May the submarine commenced an ISE period which was busy as a deep dive, trials, safety evolutions and torpedo discharge trials were conducted. On the 18th of May OJIBWA started the first phase of her Annual Workups with various safety evolutions being conducted in the local operating areas. The end of May found the submarine conducting a NAVEX to the Bermuda operating areas, which ended with a four day port visit in Bermuda. On leaving Bermuda, OJIBWA joined MARCOT 1/90 and commenced the operational phase of her Annual Workups.
On the 15th of June OJIBWA returned alongside Halifax and entered a SWP which lasted until the 3rd of August. During the period 13-22 August the submarine conducted independent exercises which included an enjoyable dependant’s day cruise. Having spent the majority of the summer in Halifax the submarine sailed on the 28th of August for EASTLANT.
OJIBWA arrived in EASTLANT on the 8th of September and immediately entered into exercise TEAMWORK 90 which ran until the 17th, this exercise prove to be very interesting and provided valuable training for the submarine. While transiting towards the coast of England, OJIBWA was forced to heave to for 24 hours due to a Force 11 storm. After rectifying storm damage alongside in Faslane, U.K., the submarine transited for a four day port visit in Kiel, FRG via Minches, Pentland Firth, North Sea and the Kiel Canal. After and exciting port visit in Kiel the submarine returned to Faslane via the Baltic Sea, Kattegat, North Sea, Pentland Firth and the Minches.
Following the visit to Faslane the submarine transited via the Irish Sea to Brest, France for a very pleasant three day port visit. A week long working visit to Gosport, U.K. followed this on completion of which the OJIBWA provided services to Flag Officer Sea Training. This FOST support was followed by a return to Faslane, UK, this time to embark six submarine perisher students prior to participation in JMC 903. This exercise provided excellent training for all members of the submarine’s crew. JMC 903 ended the 15th of November, after disembarking the perishers the submarine commenced her transit back to Halifax and arrived on the 24th of November.
Following her arrival OJIBWA entered a self maintenance/short work period which ran until the end of the year. In all, 1990 proved to be a very interesting and valuable for OJIBWA.
US Naval Station Roosevelt Roads
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Charleston, South Carolina
St Georges, Bermuda
Faslane, Scotland (3)
Kiel, West Germany
Officers Nominal Role
CO – LCdr R.A Davidson to 5 Dec, LCdr D.C. Marsaw 31 Dec 90.
XO – LCdr K.B. Larkin
OPSO – LCdr M.L. Craven to 8 Dec, Lt (N) A.R. Wamback 31 Dec 90.
NAVO – Lt (N) A.R. Wamback to 23 Apr, Lt (N) S.D. McVicar to 9 Dec, Lt (N) A.R. Wamback 31 Dec 90.
Sonar O – Lt (RN) R. Hamilton
WPNS O – Lt (N) D. Hart to 01 Apr 90.
Diving O – Lt (N) Higginson to 02 Aug 90
EO – Lt (N) Halle
Asst EO – Lt (N) G.A. Ricketts to 02 Aug 90
CSE – Lt (N) J.J. Kent
Asst CSE – Lt (N) M. SOPER to 02 Aug 90.
Under Trg _ Lt (N) B. Duffley, SLt L. Cassivi, SLt J.M. Reid
1991 – LCdr D. C. Marsaw(December 1990 – October 1993)
The 1991 calendar year was an extremely busy one for HMCS OJIBWA. OJIBWA started the year with a Short Maintenance Period (SMP), which finished on 6 January. The SMP was followed by a period of Independent Submarine Exercises which were completed by 11 January. During this period, the submarine conducted various safety and operational evolutions with the assistance of the Submarine Sea Training Group.
After a battery capacity test alongside and some final preparations, the submarine sailed for the Caribbean on 18 January. During the transit south, the submarine conducted a full program of ASW serials involving Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The submarine arrived in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, for a 2 day working port visit during which preparations were made for the upcoming trials. OJIBWA sailed on 28 January for Deep Discharge Trials conducted in the AFWTF OpAreas then returned to Roosevelt Roads on 31 January for alongside discharge trials which were completed on 2 February. After a short passage, the submarine arrived in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas for a much deserved port visit and to pick up the Submarine Continuation Training Course students. OJIBWA departed on 6 February to return to Roosevelt roads to complete the alongside Sensor Accuracy Trial. OJIBWA conducted Submarine Continuation Training Course 1/91 from 8-10 February in the AFWTF OpAreas before proceeding to the St Croix Underwater Tracking Range to conduct Weapon System Accuracy Trials and MK 48 Certification firings. The firings, conducted between 10-13 February, were very successful with OJIBWA being awarded its Certification on completion. The submarine proceeded to Tortolla for a port visit arriving 14 February. The submarine was very well received in Tortolla and after a most enjoyable and relaxing visit, the submarine sailed on 18 February arriving back in Halifax on 25 February.
After completing a week long pre-docking SMP, OJIBWA docked at the Dartmouth Marine Slips on 1 March for her Docking Work Period II. During the DWP, extensive maintenance, repair and preservation work was carried out. During the final weeks of the DWP, it was discovered that certain hull valves had little or no documentation thus calling the overall of the submarine into question. An extensive investigation was started with the future program of the submarine unknown, and all planning on hold. The submarine undocked on 10 May and remained in Halifax until the decision was made to dock and continue the hull valve investigation.
On 7 June, OJIBWA docked on the Dockyard Synchrolift and was towed into the shed for what was anticipated to be an extended docking. However, after a month on the Synchrolift, the problem was rectified. The submarine was declared safe and undocked from the Synchrolift on 8 August to begin preparations for Annual Work Ups and MK 48 Certification.
The submarine began September with a period of Independent Submarine Exercises from 3-13 September during which Commodore Moore, CANCOMFLT, sailed with OJIBWA for one day. During the ISE period, a mechanical problem affecting the submarine’s operational capability was discovered which resulted in the submarine docking at the Dartmouth Marine Slips on 28 September. After the work was carried out, OJIBWA undocked on 8 October and proceeded to the Sound Range for testing. After a period alongside, the submarine commenced Annual Work-Ups on 15 October and successfully completed them on 29 October.
On 3 November, OJIBWA sailed for a Southern Deployment working with Maritime Patrol Aircraft and conducting training during the transit south. The submarine arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on 11 November for a 6 day working port visit during which time alongside FORACS and weapon loading was carried out. OJIBWA sailed from Ft. Lauderdale on 16 November and transited to the AUTEC range in the Bahamas where it carried out Weapons System Accuracy Trials. Upon completion of the firings, OJIBWA enjoyed a port visit in Nassau, Bahamas from 19-21 November before returning to the AUTEC range. Whilst on the range, the submarine successfully completed its Certification firings and sound ranging. On 24 November, OJIBWA departed the Bahamas and transited to Norfolk, Virginia, arriving 27 November. During the 6 day port visit, OJIBWA was made to feel very welcome by its American hosts. The submarine sailed from Norfolk on 2 December and conducted a pre-deployment work-up for an American submarine finishing on 3 December. After a transit north, the submarine proceeded to New London, Connecticut to pick up an American observer. On completion of the transfer, the submarine proceeded to the Narrangansett Opareas to participate in SUBDEVEX 1/91 working with an American submarine and a Canadian DDH. During the exercise, the submarine carried out a bottoming within a specially surveyed USN Bottoming area. The exercise finished on 10 December, and after a brief transit and MPA Ops, OJIBWA arrived in Halifax on 16 December to finish out the year with Christmas leave.
US Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico (3)
Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas (US Virgin Islands)
Tortolla, British Virgin Islands
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
New London, Connecticut
Officers Nominal Role
CO – LCdr D.C. Marsaw
XO – LCdr K.B. Larkin to 15 Mar, Lt (N) S.A. Virgin to 31 Dec 91
OPSO – Lt (N) A.R. Wamback
EO – Lt (N) Halle to 15 Jul, Lt (N) D. Declaire to 31 Dec 91
CSE – Lt (N) J.J. Kent to 22 Jul, Lt (N) M.A. Soper to 31 Dec 91
NAVO – Lt (N) A.R. Wamback to 01 May, Lt (N) K.M. Marr to 31 Dec 91
SonarO – Lt (RN) R. Hamilton to 07 Mar, Lt (RN) S.J. Kelk to 31 Dec 91
A/CSE – Lt (N) B. Duffley to 20 Aug 91
Officers Under Training – Lt (N) J.M. Reid, Lt (N) L. Cassivi,
SLt M. Byrne, SLt J.J. MacLean, SLt M.A. Lynam, SLt J. Pitman, SLt D. Kohli
1992 – LCdr D.C. Marsaw(December 1990 – October 1993)
This past year HMCS OJIBWA participated in the NATO exercise TEAMWORK, a Submarine Officer Continuation Training period (SOCT) exercise Canadian Fleet Operations (CANFLTOPS), the O’Brien competition and also provided various services to the United States Navy. In late summer, OJIBWA was also tasked to conduct trials for a 2 month period in the Halifax OPAREAS.
The year started with a Short Work Period (SWP) which was completed on 5 February. The SWP was followed by 2 periods of Independent Submarine Exercise (ISE), 5-8 and 10-12 February. Preparations for sea were concluded 19 February when OJIBWA sailed for Faslane, Scotland arriving on 29 February. After a 4 day port visit, the submarine set sail for an ISE period, 4-8 March, followed by its participation in exercise TEAMWORK, 8-21 March. On completion of the exercise, OJIBWA carried on to port visits in Rosyth, Scotland, 25-27 March, in Amsterdam, Holland, 29 March – 03 April and finally in Dublin, Ireland, 2-10 April, when the submarine returned home to Halifax arriving 21 April.
From 22 April to 25 May, OJIBWA carried out a SWP followed by a Self Maintenance Period (SMP). The submarine sailed for ISE, 25-29 May followed by the conduct of SOCT and participation in CANFLTOPS, 1-12 June. On completion, OJIBWA moved on to participate in the OBRIEN
Competition, 13-19 June, concluding with port visits to Portsmouth, Maine, 19-22 June and to New London, Connecticut, 24-27 June.
OJIBWA sailed from New London and provided services to the USN, 28 June – 1 July, before proceeding to Baltimore, Maryland for another port visit, 3-7 July. On completion, the submarine exercised with USN assets before being recalled to Halifax, arriving on 17 July.
On arrival, OJIBWA carried out a SWP, 17 July – 3 August, followed by an ISE period 3-10 August. On 11 August the submarine sailed to carry out trials in the Halifax OPAREAS until 10 October. The submarine then spent the next few days making docking preparations to dock at Halifax Dartmouth Industries Limited 19 October for Docking Work Period III which was still ongoing at year end.
HMCS OJIBWA completed 1992 with 151 days at sea and 29 days alongside ports other than Halifax, in Europe, the United States and Canada. Until refit starts in the fall, 1993 should prove as equally challenging as 1992.
New London, Connecticut
Officers Nominal Role
CO – LCdr D.C. Marsaw
XO – Lt (N) S.A. Virgin to 03 Aug, Lt (N) J.G.M. Dussault to 31 Dec 92
OPSO – Lt (N) A.R. Wamback to 15 Jan, Lt (RN) S.J. Kelk to 12 Oct, Lt (N) D.H. Pokotylo to 31 Dec 92
EO – Lt (N) D.J. LeClaire
CSE – Lt (N) M.A. Soper
NAVO – Lt (N) K.M. Marr to 24 May, Lt (N) M.E. Higginson to 31 Dec 92
SonarO – Lt (RN) S.J. Kelk to 21 Jul, Lt (N) Pokotylo to 07 Dec, Lt (RN) G. Tabeart to 31 Dec 92
A/EO – Lt (N) P.L. Gensey
A/CSE – Lt (N) J.D.C. Jacques, Lt (N) R.A. Duff
Officers Under Training – Lt (N) M.J. Byrne, Lt (N) J.H.F. Pitman, Lt (N) M. Burke, SLt D. Kohli, SLt R. Watt, SLt R. Elford
1993 – LCdr D.C. Marsaw to Oct 93, LCdr P.T. Kavanagh
January marked the end of a docking work period and the beginning of the last operational cycle prior to refit in November. OJIBWA sailed for the period 13 – 17 Jan for an Independent Sailing Exercise (ISE) followed by WORKUPS 20 Jan – 5 Feb with an unscheduled stop in New London CT overnight on the 25th for repairs.
FLEETEX commenced 26 Jan and included various submarine exercises: SSX, CASEXs and freeplay exercises. The freeplay portion served as training for the USN in detection of conventional submarines in shallow waters. This exercise served as the operational phase of the OJIBWA’s WORKUPS. Upon completion, OJIBWA transited back to Halifax from 5-10 Feb, spent a week alongside, and conducted ISE from 18 Feb – 1 Mar.
For the period 5-12 Mar, OJIBWA became the first Canadian submarine involved in fishery surveillance operations in support of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). OJIBWA patrolled a portion of the Hague Line on Georges Bank gathering information on scallop draggers operating in violation of the Canadian fisheries laws. A DFO Officer was embarked for this occasion. The event brought a fair amount of press in New England and in Canada even though OJIBWA only issued warnings to potential violators.
On return to Halifax 12 Mar, OJIBWA entered an SWP/SMP cycle ending mid-April followed by an ISE period 19-30 Apr. Most of the month of May was then dedicated to support ESISS trials and take part in SSX’s (3-28 May). This period included port visits in Boston (6-9 May), New London (11-12 May) and St John’s Nfld (20-25 May) returning to Halifax 28 May. Prior to entering harbour 28 May OJIBWA worked with two USN ships, conducting CASEXs and an Underwater Look.
The annual O’Brien competition took place 7-12 Jun and was the first event of importance for OJIBWA that month. The competition determines the best MPA ASW crew in Canada for the Fincastle competition (the international version). The event was followed by CANFLTOPS 2/93 and SOCT 12-18 Jun. OJIBWA returned alongside Halifax 18 June for the summer leave period as well as a SWP/SMP cycle ending 6 Aug.
August marked the beginning of the last deployment of OJIBWA’s present five year cycle. The first step was an ISE period 9-15 Aug. OJIBWA was forced to return alongside Halifax twice for defect rectification. The second defect delayed OJIBWA’s participation in the following event, the Low Frequency Active Sonar Trials (LFA-11). This was a joint CANUS trial with surface consorts operating in a number of different geometries in order to test LFA performance. This proved to be somewhat boring for the submarine. Monotony was broken when the submarine had to pull out of the trials twice: once for defect rectification and once for a higher priority national tasking in support of the Solicitor General. LFA-11 employment was completed 29 Aug. OJIBWA subsequently surfaced and proceeded to Boston for a port visit 2-5 Sep.
After a good rest period, OJIBWA sailed Boston 5 Sep enroute for the Canadian Operation Areas to act as the target submarine for Fincastle "93", an international MPA ASW competition with England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. An Australian observer was embarked for the occasion. After a series of CASEXs commencing 6 Sep, the competition started with numerous nuclear submarine simulation and conventional submarine tracking and prosecution exercises. The competition concluded 15 Sep with the Australian MPA crew crowned as the 1993 champions.
OJIBWA surfaced 16 sep and disembarked the observer via a helicopter transfer. On completion, the submarine made a port visit to Bermuda 18-22 Sep. After sun and recreation, the submarine transited to Baltimore for the last port visit of the cycle, 25 Sep to 1 Oct. OJIBWA sailed from Baltimore 1 Oct for a surface transit to Halifax. OJIBWA’s safe to dive certificate had expired. Upon arrival in Halifax, the pre-refit preparations took place with much involvement in de-ammunitioning, de-fueling, and de-storing.
HMCS OJIBWA entered refit 15 Nov. A shore office was established on the third floor of the South Street Maritime Command Building. A Technical Services Team (TST) under Maritime Forces Atlantic took control of the submarine for the refit. Some of the submarine crew were used to assist the TST staff on the refit. The remaining personnel are being employed throughout the fleet or on various courses.
Boston, Massachusetts (2)
New London, Connecticut
St John’s, Newfoundland
St Georges, Bermuda
CO – Lt (N) P.T. Kavanagh
XO – Lt (N) S.D. Mc Vicar
NAVO – Lt (N) L. Cassivi
EO – Lt (N) C. Tingle
CSE – Lt (N) Renken
A/CSE – Lt (N) Duff
Coxswain – CPO2 Lavoie
CERA – CPO2 Cascadden
NCM Complement – 62
1994 – LCdr J.G.M. Dussault
The submarine refit continued in January with structural surveys, major equipment strip-out and overhaul phase in progress by SRU under supervision of MARLANT/N42? Technical Services Team.
On the 15th and 16th of January the submarine was cut in two just forward of the Motor Room by Bernard Prieur Hydrolaser Inc. using a method called hydrolaser blasting which is essentially a high pressure (10,000 PSI) jet of water with an abrasive material in suspension. This produced an extremely precise cut and generated no heat and therefore now distortion unlike that caused by the traditional oxy acetylene method. After cutting the submarine in two, the sections were moved apart to allow the two main diesel generator sets to be removed intact. The two diesel generators were replaced by two previously refurbished generators from HMS OSIRUS. This was the first time that the hydrolaser blasting technique was used in a Canadian Submarine refit and has the potential to reduce refit times by as much as two months.
By 11 March the major equipment strip-out was completed and the reinstallation of equipment commenced. On 2 May all structural surveys were completed. Between 8 and 17 August, with the replacement diesel generator set installed, the submarine sections were moved back together and the pressure hull was welded together by SRU staff using standard stick welding techniques.
Throughout the year the crew has been employed at the OJIBWA shore office at the South Street Maritime Command building and in various locations such as TST, HTSM OLYMPUS, the Material Overhaul Program, and on the other two operational submarines, as well as completing required coursing.
CO – LCdr J.G.M. Dussault
A/XO – Lt (N) D.B. Henderson
NAVO – Lt (N) M.J.C. Byrne
EO – Lt (N) C. Tingle
CSE – Lt (N) R.A. Duff
1995 – LCdr J.G.M. Dussault
HMCS OJIBWA remained in refit for the duration of 1995. The production phase of the refit was completed 22 September 1995. Post production, harbour and sea acceptance trials were conducted during the last quarter of the year and carried onto year’s end.
On 25 April the Commanding Officer took care and custody of the submarine. This entailed moving duty watches aboard and for the first time in 18 months the crew took overall responsibility for the safety of the submarine. It also signified the start of a period of greater involvement in the refit and was the first of many milestones enroute to the end of the refit. The crew worked closely with the Technical Services Team (TST) responsible for the refit and were involved in conducting set to work and work acceptance of various submarine systems.
During the late spring and summer months the final parts of the submarine’s crew came together. Refresher and Team Training commenced with an eye towards sea trials at the end of the year. In August, Refit Visit 3 was conducted by Sea Training.
The submarine turned 30 on 23 September and a 30th Birthday Party was held. The function was attended by the entire crew and many past OJIBWA crew members. It proved to be an excellent evening, affording the opportunity for the crew to bond together and reminisce with old friends.
On the 23rd of October the crew finally moved out of the shore offices and aboard the submarine. The second major milestone, the Trim and Incline experiment was successfully conducted on the 30th of October. This signified the start of what would be a hectic and demanding trials period, continuing on to year’s end. It was also the first opportunity to dive the submarine after a period of 2 years. In November the submarine commenced Sea Readiness Inspections (SRI) and continued with alongside and surface sea trials. 16 November saw OJIBWA successfully complete SRI II and obtain clearance to conduct surface operations outside the limits of Halifax Harbour. Yet, with the exception of a Log Calibration, the remainder of the month was spent in Bedford Basin conducting various Marine and Combat Systems trials.
December continued to be a very busy month for the crew. It began with another major milestone; SRI III, and OJIBWA slipping for sea to conduct dived operations for the first time in the local OPAREAS. This week was both demanding and satisfying where both the submarine and crew performed to the satisfaction of Sea Training and successfully achieved the required standard to carry on and conduct dived sea trials. 14 December saw AJIBWA successfully complete the post refit Deep Dive. Happily, this proved to be uneventful as the submarine was very tight and only added to the crew’s confidence in the overall quality of the refit. This was very important since OJIBWA was the first refit where the submarine was cut in half to speed up the work. The remainder of the month was spent conducting main propulsion and torpedo discharge trials.
The submarine completed trials for the year 20 December and entered a well deserved Christmas Leave period on the 21st.
Ship’s Company – 31 Dec 95
Co – LCdr J.G.M. Dussault
XO – LCdr S.D. McVicar
OPSO – Lt (N) M.E. Higginson
EO – Lt (N) T.A. Paterson
CSE – Lt (N) R.A. Duff
NAVO – Lt (N) M.J.C. Byrne
SonarO – Lt (RNLN) M. Folmer
WpnsO – Lt (N) P.E. Bryan
A/EO – Lt (N) R.C. Rankin
A/EO – Lt (N) A.E. Cooper
A/CSE – Lt (N) J.P. Laroche
SYO – Slt R. Cobb
CasingO – Slt G.M. Klein
Coxswain – CPO2 A.P.A. Alarie
CERA – CPO2 J.C. Toole
Chief Electrician – PO1 J.A.J. Provencher
Chief Operations – PO1 J.R. Cronin
CSE Coord – PO1 J.D. Castilloux
13 others carried on strength
Junior NCMs – 50 on strength
1996 – LCdr J.G.M Dussault
HMCS OJIBWA commenced 1996 by completing the remainder of her post-refit equipment trials during the months of January and February. The crew took full advantage of any alongside periods to progress preparations for Post-Refit Workups.
Following a brief but enjoyable port visit in Saint John, NB during the first week in March, OJIBWA returned to Halifax to commence Post-Refit Workups in earnest. The program was divided into two phases, Safety and Operational. The safety phase of Workups took place in the local Halifax Opareas. During this period, the crew of OJIBWA adhered into a cohesive team performing to the satisfaction of Sea Training Staff.
The Operational phase of Workups involved different inshore operations, an opposed transit, a NAVEX from the Halifax Opares to the Narrangansett Bay Opareas (NBOAS) and was concluded by an intensive ASW interaction (SSX) with two US Navy SSNs. The inshore operations and an opposed transit tested the Operations Team in a realistic tactical scenario. Despite weather conditions that made celestial navigation impossible, the Operations Team managed to navigate the majority of the passage by using bottom contour techniques. The SSX provided OJIBWA with its first opportunity to use its newly fitted Towed Array in a tactical scenario. The Towed Array exceeded everyone’s expectations and proved its worth by providing excellent detection opportunities. Upon completion of the Operations Workups phase, OJIBWA’s crew was then treated to a break that included port visits in Groton CT, Boston MA and Grand Manan, NB.
The beginning of June provided some of the ships company with the opportunity to take leave. The Operations and CSE departments turned their attention to the requirements of the Canadian Submarine Weapons Certification Program (CSWCP), a four phased process, which would eventually lead to OJIBWA’s post refit weapons certification. Phases One and Two involved alongside tube, weapons, and fire control systems trials as well as Watch and Command Team Training in Halifax.
By the end of July, OJIBWA was in all respects ready to face Phases Three and Four of CSWCP. This involved a transit to Port Canaveral FL to embark trial staff and exercise weapons. The submarine then proceeded to the AUTEC Weapons Range in the Bahamas to conduct Weapons Systems Accuracy Trials (WSAT) and Proficiency Firings. The Operations Team had only one functioning Fire Control Console due to defects, yet managed to achieve a very satisfactory assessment. Additional activities on the range included conducting sound range trials. The submarine then put into Nassau, Bahamas for a 24 hours rest before continuing on with the busy program.
Prior to slipping Nassau, OJIBWA embarked Submarine Sea Training to assist in performing evolutions, both Operational and Safety, during the transit to Groton CT. Sea Training put the ship’s company through their paces in much the same way they had done during Workups. The crew managed to shake off the rust early and perform to expected standard without difficulty. Unfortunately, an approaching hurricane, "Edouard", caused the cancellation of OJIBWA’s port visit to Groton and submarine proceeded directly to Halifax.
The unscheduled early return to Halifax allowed OJIBWA’s crew a few days rest before beginning the last hurdle in the post refit schedule, the Command Readiness Inspection. Captain (N) McMillan, Commander Fifth Maritime Operations Group, was embarked for what was to be a demanding three days of inshore operations interspersed with intensive opposed transits that pushed the Operations Team to the limits of its ability. As a result, OJIBWA med the standard required and was placed on fully operational status.
OJIBWA spent the remainder of September and the first three weeks of October in a Short Work Period before returning to sea in November as part of Exercise "Amalgam Warrior/CANFLTOPS 2/96. It was a multi-threat ASW exercise in which the submarine was tasked to act in direct support of the Canadian Task Group. A film crew from the Discovery Channel was also embarked to chronicle like in a submarine for the program "Forbidden Places". The documentary will air sometime in the summer of 1997.
The next event on OJIBWA’s busy fall schedule was an extensive CASEX series with maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) from CFB Greenwood. This period was scheduled to provide MPA crews from all three squadrons in Greenwood with training opportunities to home their submarine detection and tracking skills. In total, OJIBWA made herself available for 88 hours of on-station time, earning a "BZ" from the Commander Maritime Air Group. Thereafter, OJIBWA put into Portland ME for a thoroughly enjoyed 3 day weekend.
Before departing Portland, the Submarine Officer Continuation Course (SOCT) joined the submarine from Halifax. This course provides junior officers with the opportunity to learn and practice the skills required to command a submarine. The planned program for the course was intended to take the submarine from Portland, along the coastline of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to a final destination of St John’s, but due to technical defects the submarine was forced to return to Halifax.
OJIBWA closed out 1996 alongside in Halifax preparing for its first Docking Work Period (DWP) in the New Year. Many miles were logged during this long and difficult year. A year that saw OJIBWA evolve from the refit submarine to operational status as a fully trained and certified unit.
St John, New Brunswick
Grand Manan, New Brunswick
Port Canaveral, Florida
List of Officers and Senior NCMs
Co – LCdr J.G.M. Dussault
XO LCdr S.D. McVicar
OPSO – Lt (N) M.E. Higginson
WPNSO – Lt(N) M.J.C. Byrne
NAVO – Lt(N) P.E. Bryan
SonarO – Lt (RNLN) M.J. Folmer
EO – Lt (N) T.A. Paterson
CSE – Lt(N) Duff to 16 Dec, Lt(N) B.E. May to 31 Dec 96
A/EO – Lt (N) R.A. Rankin, Lt (N) A.E. Cooper
CasingO – Lt (N) R.A. Cobb
SYO – Lt (N) G.M. Klein
Coxswain – CPO2 A.P.A. Alarie
CERA – CPO2 D.G. Chitouras
1997 – LCdr J.R.L. Pelletier
HMCS OJIBWA took part in the following operations and exercises during 1997:
HMCS OJIBWA conducted three cocktail parties during 1997. They were held in the following locations:
CO – LCdr J.R.L. Pelletier
XO – Lt (N) M.F. Plaschka
OPSO – Lt (RAN) M.L. Potter
EO – Lt (N) F.G. Berry
CSE – Lt (N) B.E. May
COMMO – Lt (N) C.A. Robinson
NAVO – Lt (N) M.L. Kingston
CasingO – Lt (N) G.M. Klein
Watchkeeper – Lt (N) R.A. Cobb
Trainee – Lt (N) T.R. Keough
18 Chiefs and Petty Officers
57 Junior Rates
This fairly terse Annual Historical Report included a newspaper article from the Victoria Times Colonist "Into the Deep – ANTIQUE SUB KEEPS CHUGGING ALONG": By Norman Gidney, Times Colonist Staff – Aboard HMCS OJIBWA
It’s old and cramped, but Ojibwa may not get out to the West Coast again. So who could pass up the chance to sleep on the submarine’s torpedo rack during a trip from CFB Esquimalt to Vancouver?
Arrival in Vancouver was the end of a 20-hour media trip for seven reporters, but a little more than the halfway point for the crew of 67 on HMCS OJIBWA. They left Halifax on Aug 13, two hurricanes ago and one engine breakdown off Puerto Rico.
Canadian subs aren’t often seen out on the West Coast. Ojibwa’s last trip here was 1977 and the only other trip was by ONONDAGA three years ago. They’re the only conventional subs in North America.
An indication of Ojibwa’s age: Lt.-Cmdr Luc Pelletier, 36, who’s been in subs since 1986, was a four-year-old kid when Ojibwa was launched.
Ojibwa and sister subs Onondaga and Okanagan, all stationed in Halifax, date from the mid-1960s
"This sub is pretty well the oldest Oberon in the world", said the Ojibwa’s captain.
However, the sub contains some of the newest sonar and weapons technology. Ojibwa’s old, but in exercises the diesel-electric subs are usually first to detect the bigger, noisier, nuclear subs, he said.
Conventional subs are fuel-misers – Ojibwa’s still on her first fill from Halifax – and operates about 2 ½ more times efficiently than a surface ship.
Life on a sub is cramped, and to be honest, it’s smelly. The aroma of diesel fuel gets into your clothes.
Under the sea, it’s like flying, but heavy wave action isn’t kind to the sub. When running on the surface, at the stern you get a figure eight motion in rough weather. "You either put up with it or you vomit," said "aft-endie" crewman Paul Tolson.
While they’re proud that nobody has to "hot bunk" – share bunks, as do U.S. and British sub crews – space is at a premium.
The Chiefs and Petty Officers mess – their dining room, lounge – also sleeps 13, in triple decker style. Some walk-in closets are bigger.
Only the Captain has a private "cabin", a small curtained space with a bunk, cupboard and radio console. Added Fred Berry, the sub’s engineer, who bunks with six other officers in the wardroom: "It’s like one big, large Winnebago"
Crowded together, Ojibwa’s crew value what privacy they can grab "in the rack," their bunks.
They joke a lot about life underwater and there’s an easygoing informality among all the crew, but they’re serious about wanting new tools to do the job.
"I hope what the media take away from these dog and pony shows is, look what we’re sending our people to sea in." said Kevin Freake, petty officer and physician assistant, who calls Ojibwa a "floating antique".
1998 – LCdr J.R.L. (Luc) Pelletier(AHR covering letter signed by Lt (N) M.F. Plaschka as "Officer in Charge")
This annual historical report is submitted in accordance with the references and will be the final submission of HMCS OJIBWA.
HMCS OJIBWA commenced 1998 in a leave period that was part of the post deployment leave granted to the submarine crew for the extended deployment to the Pacific Ocean which concluded 17 December 1997. This was followed by a much needed Directed Maintenance Period to rectify and catch up on maintenance prior to the annual workup period (AWUP).
On 7 April 1998 HMCS OJIBWA commenced sailing in the local Halifax operating areas conducting trials and "shaking down" the crew prior to AWUPs. AWUPs were also conducted in the Halifax operating areas as well as during a transit to Boston MA. The shortened safety AWUP was successfully completed and a well-deserved port visit to Boston, MA was conducted. It was then determined that the running period OJIBWA was in was to be her final commissioned deployment.
The final trip was planned and conducted which included port visits in Charlettown, PEI and St John’s NF and included an exercise conducted with the Standing Naval Force Atlantic between the two ports. HMCS OJIBWA conducted her final sail past in Halifax Harbour on a sunny 21 May 1998. For the remainder of the year HMCS OJIBWA was maintained at 180 days readiness conducting submarine training for personnel designated for the Type 2400-class conversion training program. This concluded a long and distinguished career for HMCS OJIBWA as one of the three OBERON class submarines in the Canadian Navy. It is anticipated that final disposal of HMCS OJIBWA will occur sometime during the year 2000.
HISTORICAL NARRATIVE 1998 (Written by the NAVO as part of the final AHR)
HMCS OJIBWA commenced 1998 in a leave period due to an extended sailing schedule at the end of 1997. On 2 February HMCS OJIBWA commenced a Directed Maintenance Period prior to Work-ups. On 07 April HMCS OJIBWA conducted Independent Steaming Exercises in the local areas. Work-ups started 10 April including lectures and were followed by safety exercises at sea. With work-up a success OJIBWA transited to Boston MA. HMCS OJIBWA’s crew enjoyed the sights and hospitality that BOSTON had to offer prior to sailing for Halifax.
On the transit home HMCS OJIBWA was informed that decommissioning would occur towards the end of May 1998. The final cruise program was established and on 4 May 1998 HMCS OJIBWA sailed for Charlottetown, PEI. Upon departing Charlottetown, HMCS OJIBWA sailed to a pre-designated action area in between Newfoundland and Cape Breton to wait for the Standing Naval Force Atlantic and conducted simulated attacks as part of the coordinated exercise the submarine was involved in. Upon completion HMCS OJIBWA transited to St. John’s NF, for her final port visit. HMCS OJIBWA slipped St. John’s on 19 May 1998 and headed to Halifax where she conducted her final sail past on 21 May 1998 to conclude a long and successful career in the Canadian Navy.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
St. John’s, Newfoundland
HMCS OJIBWA List of Officers – 21 May 1998
CO – LCdr J.R.L. Pelletier
XO – Lt (N) M.E. Higginson
OPSO – Lt (RAN) M.L. Potter
SONARO – Lt (N) C. Robinson
NAVO – Lt (N) Kingston
EO – Lt (N) Berry
CSE – Lt (N) B.E. May
A/CSE – Lt (N) T. Keough
CasingO – SLt D.P. Murphy
SYO – SLt J.S. Oulette
U/T – SLt K.F.W. Stagg
HMCS OJIBWA NCMs
Chiefs and Petty Officers – 20
Non-Commissioned Members – 47
The AHR contains a Maritime Forces Atlantic TRIDENT photograph of the OJIBWA’s Sailpast from 21 May 1998 ( TRIDENT Article, Thursday, June 4, 1998)
The submarine HMCS Ojibwa was the centre of attention May 21 as she conducted her final sailpast in Halifax harbor, her decommissioning pennant trailing behind to mark over 32 years of service. Ojibwa now begins the process of going to "extended readiness" status, the first tangible step in the transition to the new Upholder-class submarines. HMCS Okanagan, a sister submarine, is expected to go through the same process in September. HMCS Onondaga, the last of the three Oberons, will soon come out of refit. Onondaga will be Canada’s last operational submarine and will remain in service throughout the transition period. The first Upholder is expected to arrive in Canada from Britain by mid-2000.
1999 ANNUAL HISTORICAL REPORT
A final AHR was submitted for 1999 as OJIBWA continued as a training platform to produce qualified submariners. The OIS was LCdr Plaschka.
She continued at 180 day notice conducting a schedule of fast-cruising in four specific periods through 1999. The report identifies 27 personnel who were qualified "as dolphin wearing submariners."