Canadian Navy Unveils Name of 6th Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

 In Defense, Sea, Uncategorized, Canada, Forces & Capabilities, FVEY

The Royal Canadian Navy’s sixth Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) will be named in honour of Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, a Canadian naval hero of the Second World War, the Department of National Defence announced.

The names of the six Harry DeWolf-class AOPS will honour promi­nent Canadian naval fig­ures who served Canada with the high­est dis­tinc­tion.

For the first time in its 110-year his­to­ry, the RCN has named a class of ships after promi­nent Canadian naval fig­ures, hon­our­ing their lead­er­ship, achieve­ments and hero­ism while serv­ing Canadian inter­ests at sea. The other five AOPS are named Harry DeWolf, Margaret Brooke, Max Bernays, William Hall, and Frédérick Rolette.

In late July, the first AOPS, Harry DeWolf, was deliv­ered to the Royal Canadian Navy by Halifax Shipyard. The second unit, HMCS Margaret Brooke, was launched at the yard in November last year.

The ships are being built under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), which was cre­at­ed to replace the cur­rent sur­face fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. Over the next few decades, Halifax Shipyard will build six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard, and 15 Canadian sur­face com­bat­ants for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Harry DeWolf-class will be capa­ble of armed sea-borne sur­veil­lance of Canada’s waters, pro­vid­ing gov­ern­ment sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness of activ­i­ties and events in these regions, and coop­er­at­ing with part­ners to assert and enforce Canadian sov­er­eign­ty.

Robert Hampton Gray

Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and served as a pilot in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Lt Gray embarked on HMS Formidable with 1841 Squadron, which joined the war in the Pacific as part of Operation ICEBERG in April 1945.

Lt Gray was award­ed the Victoria Cross posthu­mous­ly, for courage and deter­mi­na­tion in car­ry­ing out daring air strikes on the Japanese destroy­er HIJMS Amakusa. On August 9, 1945 he led two flights of Corsair air­craft to attack naval ves­sels in Onagawa Bay. He opened the attack run flying straight into con­cen­trat­ed anti-air­craft fire, and was hit almost imme­di­ate­ly. With his air­craft on fire, and one bomb lost, he con­tin­ued the attack and released his remain­ing bomb on the escort vessel HIJMS Amakusa, caus­ing the ship to cap­size and sink. His air­craft then crashed into the sea, and his body was never recov­ered.

Naval Today source|articles

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