Masie Dalzell's  HMCS Labrador newpaper articles.
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The top of the world that is..

Capt. Pullen  R/Adm Rayner

  Six Engine Ice

Shopping

Fishing Boat Rescue

Smoke time ?!?!

Clearing Deck

Labrador Doctor

"Brrrrrr"


Excerpt from Don MacNeil's e-mail

Hello Thomas:

My father, Lt. (P) John A. MacNeil, is the pilot in the photo which is the first photo on the left in the second row of pictures. Dad commanded the air detachment on Labrador on one of her last arctic trips in 1956. The other pilot on the right was Sub-Lt. "Fitz" Fitzgerald.

My Dad went on to become Chief Test Pilot for Pratt & Whitney Canada and Chief of Flight operations. He is probably the only person to have flown every one on the Navy's Sea Kings which were all built by P & W except one.

I also served in the RCN from 1963 to 1966 as a stoker on Columbia, Yukon and Ottawa (after the flight deck was added).

On the 56 cruise, my Dad flew a visiting Royal Navy Commander, Peter Savage who was in Canada to evaluate artic warfare operation for the RN. Little did my Dad know at the time, that in 1970 his son (me) who was 13 at the time, would marry CMDR Savages'' daughter. We now have two grown children and three grandsons. My son is a search & rescue pilot and flies the Buffalo aircraft for the CAF out of Comox B.C.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Up Spirits!

Don MacNeil

Ottawa, On.


H.M.C.S. Labrador

H.M.C.S. Labrador was the first and only Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) icebreaker. First laid down in 1951 at Marine Industries in Sorel, Quebec. Marine Industries took four years to build build this 270ft long ship with a 63ft beam and 29ft draft. She had a weight of 6490 tons and wsas based on a modified design of the United States Navy "Wind Class" of icebreakers.

At the time of her construction she was the largest and most complex icebreaker, at time. She was Gyro stabilised (Denny Brown) and had full bridge control of her diesel engines - six @ 2000 HP, two @5000 HP. The ship was equipped with port & starboard healing tanks with 40,000 gal/min. pumps to allow the crew to roll the ship from side to side if she became stuck in ice.

She was commissioned in 1954 over a period of three weeks by Capt. "Long Robbie" Robertson and sailed for Halifax July 10th, arriving July 14th. She re-provisioned and sailed week later for arctic.

Almost didn't make it to sea as on the way to Halifax after her commissioning she lost engine (low oil pressure) power between Sorel and Quebec City and also had a steering gear failure in Richelieu rapids (1000 ft wide) area of the St.Laurance and very nearly grounded herself.

..................................................

Her first cruise involved:

Hydrographic survey
Cosmic ray studies
Magnetic compass studies
Installing navigation markers (Prefabricated - 750 Ibs)
Non-navigable days were declared Sunday
First circumnavigation of North America east to west
Chief Stoker ill - oxygen
Returned to slackers (Halifax) -- 21st Nov. 1954
....................................................

First cruise helicopter pilots:

John Laurie (Senior Pilot)

Duke Muncaster (Co-Pilot)

........................................................

Second cruise:

Refit in Jan. 1955

Prepared to support DEW line work, sea lift in Fox Basin
Set sail in Jan 1955 after workups one year after commissioning
Returned to HFX 18th Nov. after 178 days at sea

..........................................................

Third cruise:

February 20th 1956

Did oceanographic work on Gulf of St. Laurence
Change of command Capt. Pullen
Returned to HFX on 16th Apr.
Left for arctic on 5th of July
Returned 13th Oct. 1956

...............................................................

Labrador carried a hydrographic launch, which is now used by sea cadets in Ottawa, Ontario. H.M.C.S. Labrador Slides


Photo below was submitted by Iain Maciver

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