Tag Archives: HMCS Ojibwa

Volunteer, retired Canadian Submariner receives Diamond Jubilee medal

Local volunteer and retired navy chief Larry Skaalrud has been honoured with a new medal.

Skaalrud, 70, an Airdrie resident since 1996, received a Diamond Jubilee Medal on Nov. 27 during a ceremony at McDougall Centre in Calgary.

“It’s a feeling you just can’t explain,” said Skaalrud who said it was an honour to receive it.

He was nominated by members of the Submariners Association of Canada, an organization Skaalrud started in 1995.

Involved with the Canadian Navy for 32 years, Skaalrud said he and other submariners wanted a way to stay in touch.

During his time with the Navy, he worked on submarines. He said the longest trip he took underwater was 29 days from Victoria to Hawaii.

“You really get to know one another,” he said, explaining the organization is a way for everyone to remain connected years later.

He said inside the submarine about 74 officers would work together. Now, because of technology, less crewmen are needed – about 60. He said everyone worked together and knew how to man all aspects of the vessel.

After forming the submariner association in 1995, two other chapters have started up in Canada.

The association attends local memorial ceremonies and services, naval ceremonies, and provides financial assistance to veteran groups and area sea cadets.

It’s open to people qualified on submarines and hosts reunions, the most recent one four years ago, which allows former submariners to get together and remember their days together.

He also said new submariners are part of the organization as well.

He’s still involved with the association and recently toured the HMCS Ojibwa, Canada’ first Cold War submarine, now decommissioned and docked in Port Burwell Harbour, Ontario as the centrepiece for the new Museum of Naval History.

Skaalrud who grew up in Carsland, left when he joined the navy. He returned to his home province in 1996 and settled in Airdrie.

And once he arrived, Skaalrud immersed himself in the community here and worked eight years at the City of Airdrie as a utility technician.

He is a past president of the Airdrie Legion, a former member of Citizens on Patrol and helps with Ducks Unlimited. Currently, he is president of Airdrie Village Association, a group of local residents dedicated to maintaining the atmosphere of Airdrie’s downtown neighbourhoods.

The Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

The medal honours significant contributions and achievements by 60,000 Canadians.

Source – Airdrie City View

Canadian Submarine arrives at military museum

HMCS Ojibwa is nearly home.

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Home, for the last of Canada’s Oberon class submarines, is the Elgin Military Museum in Port Burwell, Ontario on the north shore of Lake Erie.

When it was decommissioned from the Royal Canadian Navy in 1998, the vessel was destined to be scrapped, but a movement to save the ship resulted in it becoming the property of the museum. The plan is for the museum to turn the HMCS Ojibwa into a land-based historical artifact located next to the Elgin Military Museum of Naval History—a submarine interpretation centre—and now that plan is entering its final stage.

The sub arrived at the port November 27th. It was originally scheduled to have arrived the week before, but ongoing dredging work at the port proved insufficient to provide clearance for the sub and the barge that carried it from Hamilton, Ontario. With the work complete, and an obstruction (believed to be an old seawall) cleared, the barge and sub were free to dock.

On November 28th, 2012 the sub is to be lifted off the barge and placed into the concrete cradles that will be its permanent home.

Heavy lift and transport company Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd and Heddle Marine will work together to carefully shift the weight of the submarine from the barge using 48 axle-lines of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).

The SPMT trailers will be assembled and rolled onto the barge using ramps, which will provide the transition between the barge and the shore.

On the barge, the SPMTs are positioned under the transportation stands and the submarine is then hydraulically elevated. When the submarine is secure, the roll-off procedure will use a ballast plan that consists of filling the barge compartments with water as needed to maintain a level position and avoid undue stress on the barge and submarine.

Once it has been successfully rolled off the barge, HMCS Ojibwa will be transported to its final resting place and positioned onto its permanent mount at the museum.

The submarine has spent the past few months making its last voyage from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Port Burwell, with a stop in Hamilton where it underwent some refurbishing.

“Ojibwa presented a unique opportunity to bring the story of Canada’s role in the cold war and our entire rich naval history to central Canada. She began her service in the height of the Cold War earning herself a proud place in Canadian history,” says Ian Raven, executive director of the Elgin Military Museum.

“Many people will be surprised to learn what a key role Canadian O-boats played in the Cold War undertaking dangerous covert missions and shadowing Soviet nuclear submarines.”

The Ojibwa is the second Canadian submarine to be turned into a museum exhibit. The HMCS Onondaga is an Oberon-class (as is the Ojibway) sub that now resides at the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec, and is open to the public.

 Source – Canadian Manufacturing