ANNAPOLIS and Improved RESTIGOUCHE class destroyer escort (DDE)

The ST. LAURENT and ST. LAURENT descended destroyer escorts of the Canadian Navy, also known as the Cadillacs, served for over 40 years before the final ship was paid off in 1998. Several ships have been scrapped, a number have been sunk as artificial reefs, and attempts are being made to preserve one ship as a museum. FRASER is in Bridgewater, NS, although her condition is poor and she is not being kept up, and she has yet to be opened to the general public.

(click on thumbnails for larger image) 

HMCS NIPIGON was the last Cadillac to be paid off, and the on-board pictures here were taken during her open house just prior to being paid off in the summer of 1998. She was one of two ANNAPOLIS class destroyer escorts, which were the first destroyers in the Canadian Navy laid down as helicopter carrying ships.

HMCS NIPIGON in April 1998, leaving Halifax Harbour for a small exercise. The rounded surfaces characteristic of the Cadillacs can be seen to good effect around the bow.
A shot taken broadside of the bridge area. The FMC dual 3"/50 gun is shown to the right, with the lattice mast to the left. The bridge crew can be seen on the open bridge just in front of the fire control radar. The legs of a jack-up oil rig can be seen in the background, behind George's Island in Halifax Harbour.
The Cadillacs introduced a number of inovations, including one shown here. Instead of installing all the anchor handling gear above decks as on most ships, on the Cadillacs it was installed in a compartment below decks under the forecastle. The anchor winch is shown here.
This shot was taken through the port side port on the 3"/50 gun, with the spring that absorbs the port barrels recoil visible in the upper left of the photo.
Looking from the bridge out over the gun shield on the 3"/50.
This picture looks to port from the starboard side of the interior bridge.
Looking to starboard in the interior bridge.
Another shot looking to starboard in the bridge.
The open bridge on NIPIGON. The engine and throttle indicators are visible in the centre of the photo.
This is the manned fire control radar unit. It consists of a SPG 515 fire control radar mounted on a Mk.69 gunnery control system. It is manned by two crewmembers. 
Looking down at the open bridge from the Mk.69 platform.
The starboard interior of the Mk.69 gunnery control system. The Mk.69 unit dates back to the late 1950's, but was only added to the ANNAPOLIS class during refits in the early 1980's. 
A close-up of the port side open bridge.
The port side of the Mk.69 gunnery control system.
The tail end of NIPIGON's quarterdeck. This area used to be dominated by a Limbo mortar well and the deployment gear for the old VDS, but both of these have been removed. 
The transom of NIPIGON now sprorts three ports. The two on the left are for the Nixie torpedo decoy, and the one in the middle is for the CANTASS (CANadian Towed Array Sonar System), which is based on the USN's SQR 19, but with new Canadian processors.
The helicopter deck and hangar. The track in the deck running into the hangar is for the Beartrap helicopter haul-down system. 
This passageway is at the base of the bridge superstructure on the port side, looking aft. The ladder to the bridge is to the left of this photo.
The top of NIPIGON's mast.
This is the forward end of the lattice mast. This mast replaced the original mast during the mid-80s refit. The lower radar is the Marconi SPS 503 air search radar, while the upper is the Raytheon SPS 502 surface search radar. Note NIPIGON's badge on the platform for the SPS 503.
NIPIGON's forecastle taken looking aft towards the bridge. The 3"/50 gun is just in front of the bridge. The hatch on the port side (the right of the photo) leads down to the anchor winch compartment.
The jackstaff is in the background of this shot looking forward on the forecastle.
A view of NIPIGON from the aft starboard quarter. The starboard Mk.32 torpedo launcher can be seen under the hangar at deck level.

When some of the following photos were taken, both GATINEAU and TERRA NOVA were laid up at HMC Dockyard in Halifax. NIPIGON joined them there after she was paid off. The Improved RESTIGOUCHE class was a follow-on to the original ST. LAURENT class, and originally carried a dual 3"/50 gun in the position where the ASROC launcher now is. 

The interior bridge on the RESTIGOUCHE class ships, shown here on GATINEAU, was raised above that of the ships with the 3"/50 gun. The twin 3"/70 Vickers mount, which was fitted to the RESTIGOUCHE and MACKENZIE classes, was taller than the 3"/50 and required the bridge windows to be higher to see over the gun.
This is the base of the lattice mast on GATINEAU. In the late 1960's, four of the RESTIGOUCHE ships were refitted to carry ASROC, and the new lattice mast was a part of this refit.Also visible are the two SATCOM antennas, and GATINEAU's call sign which is painted on the bulkhead in the left of the picture. The Mk.69 gunnery control system is at left and the funnel is to the right.
The transom on TERRA NOVA, shown here prior to her being paid off, is fitted with a NIXIE torpedo decoy and the SQS 510 VDS (variable depth sonar). 
The ASROC launcher on TERRA NOVA. 
Looking at the aft port end of TERRA NOVA's bridge superstructure. 
The aft superstructure on GATINEAU. The Maple Leaf on the funnel has been painted over due to GATINEAU's inactive status.
TERRA NOVA is on the outside with GATINEAU on the inside, as they appeared when laid up in the summer of 1998. TERRA NOVA's port anchor door is fixed in the open position, while GATINEAU's is closed.
The twin 3"/70 Vickers gun on TERRA NOVA. The breakwater is visible in front of the gun on both ships.

Links to Related Sites

  • Improved RESTIGOUCHE class 
  • ANNAPOLIS class


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