HMCS Sioux's Third Far East Tour (Korea 1954/55)
Ship's company for Sioux's 3rd
Click to enlarge
We departed Esquimalt on 7 Nov 1954 crossed the Pacific with stops at Hawaii (Pearl Harbour and Hilo), Kwajalien and Guam, arriving in Sasebo, Japan which was to be our Far East home port, on 14 Dec 1954. Between the patrols off Paengyang Do, Korea we did manage to get in a few side trips to Hong Kong, and visits to Nagoya and Yokosuka, Japan ; Okinawa and Keeling, Formosa. What stands out in my mind about the Korean patrols was the cold. Around Christmas we went to a small village near Chinhea, Korea and delivered a few of the Navy League ditty bags to the kids.
A Hilo, Hawaii Welcome
I loved the welcome in Hilo but have often wondered... what happened to the grass skirts?
Susie's Side Party
On all three of the Sioux's tours of duty to the Far East, Susie's side party had the job of painting the ships hull while in Hong Kong. I understand there may have been a small monetary renumeration paid to them but their main compensation was the leftover food from the galley. The Sioux had cafeteria style messing and when you finished your meal Susie's crew took your plate and sorted out what was left into metal containers. Nothing went to waste. They flew the homemade white Sioux flag on their sampan.
Well nobody said it was supposed to be all work and no play.
Hong Kong Harbour
Two Canadian tribals tied up across the harbour in Hong Kong. The nearest one is HMCS Huron 216. I have received information from Don Bjorndal (LSEM1) that the ship behind the Huron is HMCS Iroquois. The Sioux, Huron and Iroquois were the only three Canadian ships in the Far East at that time.
As an aside, I almost met Don 47 years ago. Well, not quite met him, but we were within hailing distance. He was on the Cayuga in 1954 heading back to Canada from Korea while I was on the Sioux heading for Korea. Our ships met somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Altho the numbers are not clear, there is no mistaking the Sioux with it's single funnel and distinctive squid deck and squid handling room.
The Cayuga was a sister ship of the Athabaskan which I served in.
Mahal.. Kong.. Tom.. Kapatial
I met Tom when he was on an R&R from Korea. The Sioux had been assisting in a search for two U.S.M.C. piolts downed in the Pacific off the Japanese coast. We then provisioned in Yokosuka and had a one night shore leave. A few of us were in a bar, somewhere near Tokyo, savouring pusser neats (undiluted) that had been saved in a commerical 40 oz. bottle. Lamb's or Captain Morgan's I would guess. All we ordered from the waitress was coke for a mix and several Australian pongos, seeing the label on the bottle said we should be drinking it straight. Inviting them to the table, one of the Aussie's was handed the bottle and he took what would be one of the biggest "gulpers" I have seen. When he was able to talk again we had a great conversation and later we went to the R&R camp with them. We took Tom back to the ship and he sailed with us to Nagoya where he caught a train back to the R&R camp. I have no idea if anyone asked for permission for him to sail with us but he seemed to fit right in with Quarterdeck Division when leaving harbour. He told me that his father owned a horse ranch and when I was out of the navy I should go to Australia and work on the ranch. Tom, is the job still open ??
Refit - Esquimalt, BC
We departed the Far East on 7 Sept 1955 with stops at Midway Island and Hawaii and arrive in Esquimalt on 24 Sept 1955. The Sioux underwent refit and I was drafted to Naden on 25 Nov 1955 for my RP2 course.
The following article was printed in the Victoria, BC Daily Colonist on Sept 26, 1955.
KOREA VERY QUIET SIOUX BACK HOME
Victoria, Sept. 26 -- The destroyer Sioux, last Canadian naval vessel to serve under the U.N. command in Korean waters, came home to a welcome from more than 1,000 persons at nearby Esquimalt Saturday.
"It's been a long year," said Cmdr A. H. Rankin the destroyers skipper. "There's not very much activity around there (Korea) now."
"Boy- it's good to be back said Lt.Cmdr. Frank Barclay, expressing the feelings of the 235 officers and men who sailed 40,000 miles during the Sioux's third tour of duty off Korea.
The men swarmed ashore for affectionate welcomes from their families, who had difficulty recognizing some because of a bumper crop of beards.
A link to the "Stokers", photos from the Far East Tour is at the left.. courtesy of Danald Rose
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