HMCS Huron – Target Practice?

Reading CBC this afternoon I noticed that the navy hopes to use a decommissioned destroyer, the HMCS HURON [image], as target practice off the west coast of BC.

My question is “Why wouldn’t we strip the ship and sell off the parts/scrap?”

It can’t possibly be a good idea to use a bunch of ammunition to send the boat to the bottom of the Pacific.

Note that I fully support the creation of artificial reefs – but towing a boat 100kms off-shore and blowing it up seems more like littering to me.

What do you think?

From Navy ship to be sunk during target practice exercise

A Canadian warship that has been tied up at the dock at CFB Esquimalt since 2001 will be towed out to sea off the west coast of Vancouver Island next year and used for target practice.

The navy says this will be the first time it has used one of its ships for target practice. In the past, it has sold old vessels for scrap or turned them into artificial reefs for divers.

9 Replies to “HMCS Huron – Target Practice?”

  1. I just heard of this travisty. I sailed on her in the late 70’s. She was a great vessel and it seem to be a shame to see her go like this.


  2. I agree with the concept of using a decomissioned ship as an artificial reef, as long as it is cleaned up, and all environmental concerns have been taken care of.

    I don’t agree with how this is to be done, it should have holes cut in the hull, and explosives should be detonated to send her to the bottom.

    We have already done this with several naval vessels, such as HMCS Columbia, Chaudiere, Yukon, Saskatchewan, and Saguenay, to name a few. However, this will be the first Tribal(Iroquois) class vessel that I am aware of, to suffer this fate, the rest are still in service.

  3. Its not the first time the Canadian Navy has used one of its ships for target practice.

    Following the end of WW II hostilities two large Type IXC German U-Boats, U-889 and U-190, formally surrendered at sea to units (U-190 to HMCS THORLOCK & HMCS VICTORIAVILLE) of the Royal Canadian Navy. The white ensign flew from U-190’s mast at 0001 GMT 12 May 1945. The submarine was then were taken to Bay Bulls, Newfoundland. Both submarines were commissioned into the RCN for testing and evaluation.

    On 1946-01-12 U-889 was turned over to the United States Navy and sunk by torpedo off of New England in 1947. U-190 was paid off by the RCN 1947-07-24

    An operation designated “Exercise Scuppered”, a combined multi-ship and aircraft attack was planned for Trafalgar Day 1947-10-21. The object was to sink U-190 in a position about 50 miles south-east of Halifax, Nova Scotia near the position where she had sunk HMCS ESQUIMALT 1945-04-16 … the last Canadian warship to be lost during the war.

    The exercise was supposed to start with RCN units: 826 Squadron Fireflies attacking the submarine with rockets; followed by 4.7 inch gunfire from Tribal destroyers HMCS NOOTKA and HMCS HAIDA; then 883 squadron Seafires were to drop 250 lb bombs; followed up by HMCS NEW LISKARD carrying out an anti-submarine mortar (hedgehog) attack.

    However, the exercise did not come off quite as planned. The two destroyers, NOOTKA and HAIDA, had to abort the first run as NEW LISKARD, fouled the range. The second run at thirty knots was “delayed”, some present saying because the senior gunnery observer inadvertently leaned on the “Check Fire” bell-push on NOOTKA’s bridge. By the time the destroyers finally started to shoot, the aircraft were on target with their rockets and U-190 was already settling. The sinking honours went to 826 Squadron Fireflies (piloted by Lts. Jim Burns, Doug Ross, and Freddy Rice) but the surface and air components of the RCN have never , according to reports, completely agreed who sank her.

    Here’s hoping the navy has better luck sinking HMCS HURON!

    That distinction of being the last Canadian Naval vessel to be sunk by ‘friendly fire’ goes to HMCS KAPUSKASING who, after performing non-naval duties after WWII for several years, was returned to the Navy in 1972 and was expended as a target 1978-10-03. I’ve not seen and record of this sinking so I presume the Navy had better luck sinking her than they did with U-190. They must have kept Naval Air out of the exercise!

  4. I am looking for any surviving member of the crew of the HMCS Kapuskasing that served with my father, Malcolm Laing in 1944-45. Please E-mail me if you can help. Thanks, James Laing.

  5. James Laing posted that he wanted to know of anyone serving on the Kapuskasing with his father Malcolm Laing. My father-in-law Bernie Trepanier “Trep” was on that ship. He is alive and I was just researching to print him some pictures. I have a crew picture to email and his navy picture to help remind.

    Still interested?

  6. I served on the HMCS Huron for nearly 3 years, from 1959 to 1962. I was in the engineering branch, anyone who has seved
    during those years, please drop me a note, love to hear from you.

  7. HMCS Kapuskasing. What I would like to know is do anybody knowns exactly where it was sink. I presume it was in/near Halifax cause Maritime Command or the Royal Canadian Navy always been there. Anyone known I would be very happy to know. Other if more pictures or more history of the ship would be nice.

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