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Getting the HMCS Terra Nova Equipped for Sea

Heroes Remember

Getting the HMCS Terra Nova Equipped for Sea

I was posted into, well initially Annapolis, we took Annapolis to the west coast and then brought Terra Nova to the east coast and I was the executive officer or second in command. And interestingly being a ship that was built and designed in the 1950’s being steam powered, I was on vacation in the summer of 1990 and we heard the announcement that Canada was going to send some ships to the Persian Gulf and I said to my family, I said, “Well there’s no way they are going to be sending Terra Nova,” because she’s so old right? And then the next day I heard that it was Terra Nova that was selected and I said, “Really?” And so we came off leave and immediately set to work to get the ship readied and converted. They had to change out some older weapon systems and they installed the harpoon and Vulcan phalanx, closed in weapon systems and enhanced its’ sensors and electronic systems. And my main role as executive officer was really looking at the manpower and the internal ship organization where the captain and the combat officer and the engineering officers were focused on the engineering aspects and the operational aspects. So in the weeks leading up to our deployment we were having to look at our people that were on leave that were medically unfit, that were undergoing training, people that we had embarked but were not qualified but doing their on board training and we had to, you know, we had to sort of set up our manpower so that all our billets were filled with qualified people and ready to go. If I recollect correctly it was more or less the end of July that we were given the word and we sailed on the 24th of August so it was only a matter of weeks. So it was, the dockyard was going 24 hours 7 days a week and we had people coming and going, it was a very busy time.

Mr. Bathurst speaks about preparing to take part in the Persian Gulf War as executive officer of the HMCS Terra Nova.

David Bathurst

Mr. David Bathurst was born March 21, 1951 in the United Kingdom. His father, being a member of the Royal Navy, saw a better future for his family in Canada and immigrated there and joined the Royal Canadian Navy. Following his father’s path, during his teenage years, he made the decision to enter military college and enrolled in Royal Military College as an officer cadet. Upon completing university he was immediately guaranteed employment and continued on to Esquimalt for training before moving back to the east coast and rose through the ranks to Executive Officer on board the HMCS Terra Nova, a key part of his career. Mr. Bathurst is now retired from the military and works as a real estate agent. He contributes his success in life to the elaborate training and experiences he had during his military career. Mr. Bathurst and family presently reside in the province of Nova Scotia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 27, 2016
Person Interviewed:
David Bathurst
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Persian Gulf
Gulf War
HMCS Terra Nova
Lieutenant commander

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