HMCS BLUE HERON
HMCS BLUE HERON
The “Bird” Class vessel, HMCS BLUE HERON, was built by the Hunter Boat Works of Orillia, on Lake Simcoe, Ontario. She was launched on 7 May 1956 and commissioned on the 30th of the following July.
The vessel was one of four constructed to take the place of the Fairmile motor launches, which had served notably in the Second World War, but which were obsolescent. These vessels were a little smaller than the Fairmiles, displacing 66 tons at full load and measuring 92 by 17 feet. They were armed with one 20-mm Oerlikon gun, depth charges and a hedgehog.
BLUE HERON sailed for Hamilton, Ontario, on 7 August 1956. There she came under the orders of the Commanding Officer, Naval Divisions, and, with her sister ships, CORMORANT, and MALLARD, cruised on the Great Lakes during the rest of the summer as part of the Reserve Training Squadron. On 11 September, the three ships started down the St. Lawrence River, bound for Halifax.
At Quebec, the formed the escort for the “Algerine” Coastal Escort, HMCS WALLACEBURG, with the Right Honourable Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada, embarked for a cruise to Tadoussac and up the Saguenay River to Port Alfred. After accompanying him back to Quebec, the “Birds” were free to carry on to Halifax, where they arrived on 24 September. There, on 19 November, BLUE HERON was paid off and towed to Sydney, N.S., to be laid up.
The vessel never again commissioned in the Navy. From 28 February 1957 to 6 May 1968, she was on loan to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who used her for patrol duties off Halifax and, during the navigable season, in the St. Lawrence River. The police relinquished her in 1968 in favour of a new, more modern vessel. BLUE HERON was then placed in reserve, where she remained until 1970, when she was sold to J. Thomas Porter of Montreal.