HMCS Nipigon

There have been 2 vessels named Nipigon in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Nipigon (1st of name) (J154)

Commissioned at Toronto, Ontario, on August 11, 1941, the Bangor Class minesweeper Nipigon arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 5. She was the first of her class to join Sydney Force on October 3, and remained with it until her return to Halifax on January 17, 1942. She was then assigned for varying periods to Halifax Force, Newfoundland Force and Western Local Escort Force. While attached to the latter, it was divided into escort groups and Nipigon became a member of Escort Group W-1.

In early 1944, she underwent a major refit at Lunenburg and Liverpool, Nova Scotia, on completion of which she sailed in May for work-ups in Bermuda. Returning in mid-June, she was assigned to Halifax Force until it was disbanded a year later, afterward performing various duties on the Atlantic coast. Nipigon was paid off at Sydney, Nova Scotia, on October 13, 1945, and laid up at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. She was placed in strategic reserve at Sorel, Quebec, in 1946 and, although reacquired and refitted in 1952, was not again commissioned. Transferred to the Turkish Navy on November 29, 1957, she served as Bafra until 1972.

HMCS Nipigon (2nd of name) (266)

Built by Marine Industries Ltd. in Sorel, the Annapolis Class destroyer Nipigon was commissioned on May 30, 1964. Along with her sister, HMCS Annapolis, she was the only one of the 20 “Cadillacs” originally designed and built to carry and operate a helicopter. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she was a member of the 5th Canadian Destroyer Squadron. She sailed extensively in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and European waters in Canadian and NATO exercises during the Cold War. Between June 27, 1983, and August 22, 1984, in Lauzon, Quebec, she underwent a refit and it entailed very extensive modifications. However, stresses resulting from a new mast, in particular, caused flaws in her hull and superstructure that were not finally resolved until mid-1986. Another refit was begun at Port Weller, Ontario, on August 30, 1988, and completed at Halifax on February 16, 1990. In the course of this refit, she was modified to accommodate a mixed-gender ship’s company.

In May 1993, Nipigon was Canada’s representative at ceremonies commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic off the Welsh coast and at Liverpool, England. Off Newfoundland in 1995, she supported Canada’s position in the “Turbot Dispute” with Spain. During the closing years of her career, Nipigon was a test ship for sonar systems and long-range detection of submarines. She was paid off on July 1, 1998, and left Halifax on October 16, 2001, in tow for Rimouski, Quebec, where she was scuttled as an artificial reef.

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