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Uniqueness of the HMCS Athabaskan

Heroes Remember

Uniqueness of the HMCS Athabaskan

Interviewer: And I understand from speaking with you, you were aboard the HMCS Athabaskan. Yes Ma’am Interviewer: And tell us about that ship. I mean there were three that left the port at the same time, tell us about the uniqueness of being a part of that. Well that ship was actually at the time was the newest of the class. Of the newest ships we had, she was the 280 Tribal Class Destroyer and actually was the ship I chose, I put in to go to after my trades training. The ship itself, she was a great lady. She was steep in tradition, she was the third class and she was fun. She was a lot of work. She was the most modern ship we had going over but there had to be a lot more modernization of the ship. The crew itself was a good bunch of guys, a really good bunch of guys, obviously we were a very diverse group. We had many different nationalities, our backgrounds. But with that said we also brought on different guys. We brought on the army guys with us and they fit in so well. On board the ship it was work hard, play hard and that was the attitude we had. I had done one trip, my first trip was to Europe but this was a lot different. But the crew itself and everything about it was great. We were such a tight group and we always watched each other’s backs when we were out, that was the part of it that was all being part of it. But we were also, they called us 280 ladies, they called us push button sailors on the steamers. They didn’t think that we, you know, that we – the steamer guys well it’s really hot in the boiler room and all that stuff and you 280 ladies have air conditioned control rooms. But we worked in hot spaces just as well as they did so we sort of had that stigma about us that we weren’t real stokers type of thing, right, they would say that but we were. It was all part of the banter between the different ships.

Mr. Mellor describes unique aspects of being part of the crew of the HMCS Athabaskan and interpretations some sailors had for the work that they did.

Bruce Mellor

Mr. Bruce Mellor was born August 5, 1968 in Hamilton, Ontario. Always having the desire to join the military, Mr. Mellor joined the navy as ordinary seaman on board the HMCS Athabaskan. When instructions were given by the military to take part in the Persian Gulf War, he expressed his strong desire to be a part of this and spent his time at sea as a part of the engineering department with duties as stoker. With 20 years of military service, Mr. Mellor holds great pride for the contribution he made to the navy. Mr. Mellor now resides in Halifax with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 27, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Bruce Mellor
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Gulf War
HMCS Athabascan

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