Submariners Assocation of Canada Easti

Story by Nick Unknown Submariner

by on Nov.14, 2018, under Message Posts, Stories over the ages

For weeks they go without seeing the light of day or taking a breath of fresh air.
Sometimes they don’t shower for a month.
The taste of fresh bread, milk and vegetables is a luxury.
And their clothes always smell of diesel.
They are the men who man Canada’s three submarines.
“Submariners have a tremendous esprit de corps” says Commander Ray Hunt, 44, the man in
charge of our submarine fleet.
“But they have to. It takes an unusual man who doesn’t mind having a foot thrust in his bacon
and eggs first thing in the morning as a colleague gets out of his bunk.”
Bunks are co cramped on board the 98-metre vessel that many of the crew of 65 can’t turn
The forward torpedo room also serves as a bedroom, mess and cinema.
At battle stations some 20 men work in a space no bigger than a good-sized family kitchen.
Because of the unusual demands on men who serve below the waves, every rating is medically
and psychologically tested.
But still there is a high turnover in personnel and a team permanently recruits across the
country for volunteers to man the vessels.
This submarine last year spent 238 days away from her home port of Halifax and 170 of those
days were submerged.

The vessel also recently set a Canadian warship record for staying at sea for 38 days.
But some think the life has its compensations.
“You can never grow old on the seabed because so many youngsters come and go that you
keep up with all if life’s trends and fads” says bearded, pipe-smoking Lt. Issac BrowerBerkhoven,
40 , of Kimberley, BC.
The engineer, the father of 5, is one of the oldest serving Canadian submariners with over 17
years to his credit.
Canada bought three British submarines and spares from Britain at a cost of $50 million in
“Water is the bane of my life,”says the Lieutenant.
“We can make our own-but we never seem to have enough.”
It’s on his command that water pressure is reduced-or sometimes shut off completely.

Submariners take this deprivation in their stride and traditionally don’t shower or shave.
They asleep with their clothes on. “Only when you wash do you notice the stench from those
around you,”says Master WO Lloyd Blagdon, 32 , of Fortune Bay, Nfld. “And they think the smell
of soap on you smells awful.” Engine room artificer Fred Fry, 30 , from Kincardine, Ont says
two things attract most men to submarines. “There’s a bit of extra money involved but the main
thing is being treated like a tourist in ports,” he says.“We stay in hotels while men off surface
ships have to go back to them.” A qualified submariner earns an extra $320 a month.Qualification
is everything in a vessel which expects Every man to know everything there is to
know about it. “In an emergency any man might be called on to do any task and his action may save
everybody,” says Lt.-Cedric Frank Scherber, 29 , of Edmonton, the submarines executive

After a six-week course ashore , ratings learn on-the-job with penalties-usually a loss of some
kind of privilege-falling on the “delinquents” who fail to keep up to a schedule.
Study for qualifications must be made during the six off-duty hours, hard on a man who just
worked six.

It’s common on a submarine to find the cook taking a turn at the planesman’s position-from
which the vessel is steered-or the”scribe” loading a torpedo tube.
The name of the game in submarines is to find and be capable of striking without being

And it’s the sonar men who must know what they are hearing.
“We have no eyes and so must live by our ears,” says PO Brian Cooper, 31, of Halifax, senior
weapons man and torpedo instructor.

“A ships engine gives it away because each ship makes a different sound as it moves through
the water. Sonar and radar equipment also have signatures. When we hear it-we can tell from
where it camEven a dropped spoon could give away the submarine’s position. Everything is mountedrubber to kill noise

Keeping fit on board is hard because of space limitations.
One man had an exercise bicycle installed but gave up when the handlebars and then the
pedals disappeared.

“The sound kept people awake,” says Lt. Graham Day, 28, of London, England, a Royal Navy
exchange officer.

Navigating is done by “dead-reckoning” or mathematics, when the submarine is submerged
because, of course, there is no sun or stars to take a sighting on.
“It can be pretty tricky knowing exactly where we are because of currents,” says navigator
Barry Houle, 26, of Halifax. “Especially when you consider I know one guy who missed
Bermuda-on a destroyer…..”

To help keep up a high moral, Capt. J.M.”Mitch” Ewan recently began a daily newspaper.
“Most contributions are published, including character assassinations,”says the skipper.
“I think the paper helps keep everyone informed about what’s going on-and gives anyone who
wants a chance to let off a bit of steam.”

Two other morale-raisers on board are self-styled comics AB’s Pete Heppleston, 24 , from
Brockville, Ont., and Douglas Liebrock, 24 , from Halifax.
AB Heppleston, who does marvellous imitations of a stampeding herd of elephants and a
rotary floor polisher, worked out on a recent 10-week cruise in the Caribbean that he had
dumped 70,000 gallons of human waste over-board.

AB Liebrock has just been informed he has won a distinguished conduct medal for jumping
overboard to save a colleague’s life.Although unable to swim himself , he jumped to save
a man who had fallen in and then been knocked out by a lifebelt thrown to help him.
“I couldn’t let the man drown,”says the submariner. “He owed me $2, seriously “
Natural diversions, such as The Great Pancake Contest, happen regularly.

In the contest, radar plotter Marc” Mad Dog” Pallard, 23, from Vancouver, was pipped at the
post by AB Mike Fraser, 22, of Sydney,NS.
AB Fraser gulped three pancakes in the last minute to record 25 1/2 pancakes swallowed in 30
waterless minutes
AB Fraser won several other awards when he went on to finish all the pancakes after the

“Being crazy doesn’t help in this job,” says OS David Bell, 18, of Edmonton “You have to be
crazy to survive”

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Message from Wilfy Broyden

by on Jan.04, 2019, under Message Posts

Hi George

Wilfy, here. Do hope that you & yours & all the members of SOCA had a good Festive Season & I wish for you all a Healthy & Happy New Year of 2019. As a Christmas gift I received a book from my step son, Carol lad. Where he found it on this side of the water beats me.
Cover was Canadian Flag with HMCS VICTORIA imposed on it. Title “Submarine Lost” Autther “Daniel Lloyd Little” who lives in Halifax NS.
Although its fictional it is very well researched. Once I started it , that was it, two days lost could not put it down. I think every Submariner should have a read of it. Could you please pass this along to the membership. As the Author lives in Halifax he would be a great Guest Speaker at one of your meetings. Once again greetings to all & a Happy Hogmanay.
Wilfy Broyden “The Wippet ” sends

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This is a link to a Photo Album of the OJ

by on Feb.08, 2015, under Message Posts


This is a link to a Photo Album of the OJ

I thought you might enjoy these. The OJ as seen by the museum people of the ONONDAGA on a special inter museum visit last week. Overall we still think ours is in better shape and a nicer visit.  Moe Allard []

OJ still had the authentic smell. It makes all the difference. Pierre Braun []

From the Director of the Site historique maritimede la Pointe-au-Père

Pour voir des photos de l’objibwa


Serge Guay

Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père
1000, rue du Phare, Rimouski, Québec, Canada G5M 1L8
418 724-6214

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Submarine Sibyl last gun action of the war

by on Jan.27, 2015, under Message Posts


last gun action of the warSubmarine Gunners Target photo 2Submarine Gunners photo
Steve Jenner
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the fallout from fast-attack USS San Francisco

by on Jan.27, 2015, under Message Posts

Although nine years have passed quickly, see attached document  the fallout from fast-attack USS San Francisco  and the struggle in trying to save Machinist Mate Joe Ashley’s life.
When I was Chair, recall that as a result, we (SAOC (E) ) made a donation to the Ashley family in Akron OH. ………….wistfully un-acknowledged.

Some intriguing reading for sure. You can feel it. It’s almost like you’re there.


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by on Jan.27, 2015, under Message Posts

Good Day and Happy New Year to Both of you;

We at the site Historique de Pointe au Père (SHMP) are thinking of starting our season with a special day of ” COME MEET THE MEN WHO SAILED IN OUR SUBMARINES ” As our theme .
The week end of May 29th is our magic day every year as it is the day of our anniversary.
What we need is SUBMARINERS to come to Rimouski for that week end.
Could you ask your members if any are interested in helping us?
The boat is in great shape and at the beginning of each season she still has a slight odor of diesel.
Could you please send me the number of interest from both associations so we can make plans by mid February.
We are willing to defrais accomadations costs.

Yours Aye

Moe Allard

Our objective is the local population.

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Graham Russell

by on Dec.29, 2014, under Message Posts

I was attatched to the 6th Submarine Squadron on Astute for two stints in 57 and 61 to 62 in Halifax and lived in Cork Street with my wife , Very enjoyable times, Graham (Jan) Russell.



Gender: male
Location: United Kingdom


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Martin Thomas Nolan (AKA- Tom)

by on Dec.29, 2014, under Message Posts

Location: London Ontario


Still alive in Ontario. Contrary to popular belief I did not fall off the face of the earth.

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SAOC Belt Buckles

by on Mar.08, 2014, under Message Posts


To  all members

Here is the belt Artist’s Concept.


  1.  leave it as it is
  2. All brass no color
  3. No colour with ‘100’ centered with dolphins
  4. 1914 top right 2014 top left 100 bottom center
  5. as it is no border
  6. as it is with thicker border
  7. All brass with ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY (top) SUBMARINES (bottom)inscribed in thicker border



Approx 15 business days after approval of final art and order confirmation for the buckles to be manufactured I”d like to place an order for a min. of 100 buckles by the 17th Mar. 2014  contact me via email or face book  Or

to cofirm that you would like one

Thank you.

Yevrag Evans

Master Seaman | Matelot-Chef

Naval Combat Information Operator | Operateur d’Information de Combat Naval


National Defence | Defense nationale

Victoria, Canada V9A 7N2

Telephone | Telephone 250-363-5905250-363-5905

Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

PDo you really have to print this e-mail?  Avez-vous vraiment besoin d’imprimer ce courriel?

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HMCS Corner Brook is one of four Victoria-class submarines the navy purchased from Britain.

by on Jan.25, 2014, under Message Posts

A European company that was paid $1 million to provide equipment for the Canadian navy’s submarines has taken the money and run.
The Department of National Defence has been trying since 2009 to get the equipment it paid for from Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies GmbH, a German firm.
But the company is no longer registered in Germany and “cannot be contacted,” according to a December 2012 briefing document for senior department staff.
The Citizen has tracked the firm to Izmir, a city in Turkey, but company officials did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment.
The company was supposed to deliver a transportable acoustic range to the Royal Canadian Navy. It was supposedly being built at the company’s facilities in Turkey but officials with Public Works and Government Services Canada couldn’t locate that site.
The equipment, designed to support submarine operations, was to have been delivered in 2009.
“Contractor has not delivered on key deliverables and cannot be contacted,” pointed out the briefing note obtained by the Citizen. “Neither (Public Works and Government Services Canada) nor DND has been able to reach the contractor since January 2012.”
Canada signed a deal with Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies in December 2008 for the transportable acoustic range and paid the firm a little more than $1 million out of the total price-tag of $1.3 million. But according to the DND briefing the firm ran into a series of unspecified problems with the equipment.
In June 2012, with the delivery almost three years behind schedule, Public Works requested the company provide evidence as to why the contract should not be terminated. It sent letters to the company’s German office and a Turkish address where the equipment was supposed to be manufactured. But those letters couldn’t be delivered, prompting Public Works to determine that Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies was no longer registered in Germany and there was no record of the firm having a Turkish company.
It is now up to DND to try to recover the $1 million.
DND spokeswoman Tracy Poirier stated in an email that “following a default by the contractor, Public Works and Government Services Canada terminated the contract.”
“DND recently received a legal opinion that it can now engage international collections agencies to recover the money the Government of Canada paid to the company,” she added.
The company, however, is still trying to sell its sonar products to other customers.
The firm’s website lists its capabilities in maritime surveillance, noting that: “Our services do not end after distribution, installation and testing of the equipment. We keep close contact to our clients and can provide an individual after-sales support.”
The site also carries details on the company’s mobile acoustic range. “The Mobile Accoustic (sic) Range is a platform for measurement of radiated noise and sea ambient noise,” states the website. “It is developed and successful (sic) tested on surface ships and submarines.”
“Mobile Accustion (sic) Range is easy to deploy,” the site noted.

DND officials could not answer whether the department had properly checked out the credentials of Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies before awarding it the contract.
Navies use such systems to monitor and verify the noise and magnetic signature of their ships and submarines.
A number of firms produce such equipment and, in the case of the Canadian project, three companies bid.
The equipment was to be used on the west coast to support Victoria-class submarine operations. Instead, the Royal Canadian Navy will have to use U.S. military facilities if it wants that capability, according to the DND documents.
Canada purchased its submarines second-hand from Britain and took delivery of the boats between 2000 and 2004. The fleet, however, has been plagued with a series of technical problems and incidents over the years. Navy officers say the fleet is now proving its worth while critics say the submarines should be scrapped.
Source – The Ottawa Citizen

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