Who am I
* Under exercise conditions, as a cadet-midshipman in HMCS Yukon in an
exercise off Northern Ireland where HMS Ocelot tried to penetrate our
screen, we in the surface ship were able to continue tracking a
highly-evasive conventional submarine until we forced it to the
* I had been on board HMCS Bonaventure in October 1969 as one of her
two operations room officers (both RMC classmates) when she went to
the aid of HMSC Kootenay, which had suffered an explosion and fire
during a fullpower trial in the English Channel.
* In February 1970, while a lieutenant and the Operations Officer of
HMCS Saskatchewan, heading southwards off the coast of Nicaragua, I
received word that my wife, Marilyn, had presented me with our first
daughter, Susan, in Victoria
* In 1970, the HMCS Saskatchewan had more than 300 days at sea away
from Halifax, including a five-month stint as the flagship for the
Standing Naval Force Atlantic.
* During a rather boring NATO maritime exercise off the Straits of
Gibraltar, we were successful in forcing a Portuguese submarine to the
surface, much to the delight of the senior naval authorities in the
exercise. Indeed, one of the after action reports included the line,
“A great two day exercise compressed into two weeks.”
* With the hostile phase of the exercise underway we received
intelligence reports that a real Soviet Foxtrot-class conventional
submarine was in the area and monitoring the exercise. Along with the
Captain, we all wanted to bring the submarine to the surface as before
– our pride was at stake. The submarine dropped a decoy to remain in
its last position while it slipped away below the temperature layer
and under HMSC Skeena, which was landing its helicopter.
* The Captain, naturally enough, was furious. As he stormed out of the
ops room, he snarled at us over his shoulder, “Do you two know what I
was doing before I came in? Well, I was writing your PERs! And right
now I’m going back to change them!” Like I say, a career-defining
* While the Canadian task group was sailing from the Mediterranean to
the UK, the Captain took the HMCS Saskatchewan on a surprise
full-power trial from off the Brest Peninsula, at full speed across
the densely fogenshrouded and cluttered English Channel, and into the
Solent off Portsmouth.

A) 6585 Richard Archer (RRMC RMC ’65)

B) 6533 Gordon Forbes (RMC ’65)

C) 5611 Gerald Stowe (RRMC RMC ’62)

D) 5281 Bob Munday (RRMC RMC ’61)

richard-archer.JPGAnswer: 6585 Richard Archer (RRMC ’65) is the editor of Soundings,
the newsletter of the Ottawa Branch of the Naval Officers Association
of Canada. He has also taken on the job of updating the Association
Constitution and By-Laws. He wrote about his career defining moment
with contributions from his RMC classmate, Gord Forbes in the May 2006
edition of Soundings. Richard F Archer had joined HMCS Saskatchewan as
a newcomer to the crew, relieving ex-cadet Bob Munday who had remained
in Halifax.


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