Disaster aboard HMCS Kootenay

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Disaster aboard HMCS Kootenay

Disaster aboard HMCS Kootenay

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

The worst peacetime disaster in Canadian naval history occurred 51 years ago this week when nine crew were killed and another 53 injured in an explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay.

The engine-room accident on Oct. 23, 1969, marked the last time Canadian service personnel were buried overseas and it helped bring about sweeping changes to shipboard fire-prevention and firefighting systems.


Lest We Forget Posters
Rescue tugs to the rescue
Rescue tugs to the rescue

Rescue tugs to the rescue

Story by Sharon Adams

German submariners referred to the period from July to October 1940 as Die Glückliche Zeit, or the Happy Time, when their wolf packs sank more than 280 Allied ships.

It was not too happy for Convoy HX-77. Between Oct. 11 and 13, a wolf pack targeted its 42 cargo ships, picking off six vessels carrying 35,000 tonnes of supplies and war materiel to the United Kingdom.

At just after 10 p.m. in a gale on Oct. 11, the cargo ship Port Gisborne was hit by a torpedo from U-48 in the North Atlantic, about 180 kilometres off Ireland.


This week in history
This week in history

October 20, 1671

Bachelors in New France are ordered to marry filles du roi (King’s Daughters)
—800 young French women who immigrated in 1663-73 in a program sponsored
by King Louis XIV—or else lose their hunting, fishing and fur-trade rights.


CWT Vacation Club
Legion Magazine

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