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We would operate very quietly

Heroes Remember

We would operate very quietly

The US admiral called my admiral and indicated they were under a lot of operational stress just because of the, of the, of the influx of Soviet ballistic missile firing submarines and wondered if, if we could help. So our whole programme was changed on the basis of a phone call. And the fitting of the towed array was advanced fairly dramatically. And we went through a number of of trials and became the first non US ship to actually track, Soviet ballistic missile firing submarine in the Bermuda box, and we were very proud of ourselves, because from the point at which we gained contact for the ten days of patrol, we maintained continual contact, which I think was a first at that time. The intent of this was, in those days, was to do it all entirely passively so that while you were tracking the submarine, which was a Soviet Delta Class submarine, the submarine wasn't aware that it was being tracked. And you'd have to be in a position that you could localize it very quickly, in order to put it out of . . . to attack it, if that became necessary, given that it was carrying ballistic missile targeted on North American cities. So, all of this had to be done in a manner that we knew where they were, but they didn't know where we were. And one of the advantages of, of Iroquois and that kind of destroyer, was with gas turbine engines, very quiet. So, we would operate very quietly, on our smaller engines and, and use passive means to detect and localize, so when we sailed, we sailed . . . in fact, we sailed for the entire patrol, without any radar, without any radio communications, other than through satellite communication. And we did everything using passive means, so we would get information about where submarines were operating and then basically proceed and try to detect them and then to localize them. And you're talking 70 to 100 miles here. It's not like it's, it's thousands of yards. We would launch our special helicopter, and it would go out and put buoys in the water, listening buoys, and get a much more precise position, and course and speed, and then and so it would be a series of those, those things, and as long as, as long as we maintained contact and used our helicopter, then long- range patrol aircraft or other assets would be used on other submarines. So, that was, was basically it, but because of the nature of the potential threat, we were required to report, once you're in contact, every two hours, and I would be part of that. So, for that whole period, you're up every two hours making sure that you are in contact. And every so often, it's not like you have an absolute precise sense of where it is . . . I mean you do maintain contact, but you continually have to refine where is it actually and, and all that. And that, as I say went on for I think ten days to two weeks. <P>

Mr. Murray describes passive surveillance of Soviet missile submarines off Bermuda.

Lawrence Edward Murray

Mr. Murray was born in Stratford, Ontario, on June 6, 1947. Strongly influenced by family and friends who had joined the Navy, he entered officer training at HMCS Carleton base in Ottawa. Following that, he began his progression through the rank echelon, starting on the west coast aboard the HMCS Fraser as the Navigation Officer. Once on the east coast, he joined the crew of HMCS Algonquin as her Combat Officer, then became Executive Officer or Second in Command aboard HMCS Athabascan. Mr. Murray then moved to HMCS Iroquois as her Commanding Officer. He then rose to the position of Squadron Commander, 1st Canadian Destroyer Squadron. During his service, the Canadian Navy was actively involved in both NATO / Cold War ( primarily surveillance of Soviet submarines ) and Fisheries Patrol activities. He also led a rescue mission off the Grand Banks, saving the entire crew of a disabled merchant ship during a hurricane. After leaving the Navy, Mr. Murray pursued a career in the Canadian Public service, and is currently the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lawrence Edward Murray
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
North Atlantic Ocean
NATO and Fisheries Patrol
HMCS Iroquois
Squadron Commander
2nd Vice Admiral

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