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US Admiral Requests Assistance of the Athabaskan

Heroes Remember

US Admiral Requests Assistance of the Athabaskan

One of the other tasks that Athabaskan did in the Gulf War, the US Admiral called me up and said we’ve got one of our ships has been hit by a mine off Kuwait city and we need to send a tug up there but the tug can’t go through a minefield, we need a ship that has got an anti-mine sonar system which Athabaskan had and it had two helicopters that we could fly around and the water is quite clear so you can see mines if you are looking for them and you can avoid them as you are going through and the US Admiral said and we need, he said, “I have boiled it down to one ship, the Athabaskan and you’re in her so can you do it?” And we said yep, we’re trained, we’ll do it. So for I would say 72 hours you could hear a pin drop, the whole ship was shut down into compartments so that if we did hit a mine, the damage would be as minimized as possible. We sailed up, went a circuit around Princeton, the captain of Athabaskan, John Pickford said uh those poor guys and you could see the stern of the ship was about to fall off, lucky it didn’t but they latched onto the tug and he sent several cases of beer over to the captain who sent a message to all the US ships saying, “Hey, next time thank you for all your sympathy notes but next time send beer like Athabaskan!” Anyway we got them safely out through the minefield, back through the minefield and they were going to go to Dubai but they couldn’t make it that far so they ended up in Bahrain and then back we went on station but just one of the stories of what happened to the Canadian ships that were out there.

Vice Admiral Miller shares the story of how our Canadian Ship, Athabaskan, provided assistance after an American ship was hit by a mine off Kuwait city.

Duncan “Dusty” Miller

Born in the United Kingdom, Duncan “Dusty” Miller immigrated to Canada in 1954. At the age of 15 and having a strong desire to join the military, Mr. Miller went to the recruiting centre but could not be accepted until 16 years of age. He then attended Bishop’s University in Lennoxville. During his career, Mr. Miller rose to the rank of Vice Admiral where he became the Naval Task Commander aboard HMCS Athabaskan during the Persian Gulf War. Vice Admiral Miller later retired from the military and now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 26, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Duncan “Dusty” Miller
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Persian Gulf
Gulf War
HMCS Athabascan

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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