PM An­nounces Name of the First Arc­tic/Off­shore Pa­trol Ship

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Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper an­nounced the name of the first of the Royal Cana­dian Navy’s (RCN) Arc­tic/Off­shore Pa­trol Ships (AOPS). Her Majesty’s Cana­dian Ship Harry DeWolf, named in hon­our of a wartime Cana­dian naval hero, will be the first of a fleet of AOPS de­signed to bet­ter en­able the RCN to ex­er­cise sovereignty in Cana­dian wa­ters, in­clud­ing in the Arc­tic. The Prime Min­is­ter made the an­nounce­ment at His Majesty’s Cana­dian Ship Haida, for­merly com­manded by Vice-Ad­mi­ral Harry DeWolf, which cur­rently serves as a mu­seum ship and is lo­cated on the water­front of Hamil­ton, On­tario. Sub­se­quent ships in the class will be named to hon­our other prom­i­nent Cana­di­ans who served with the high­est dis­tinc­tion and con­spic­u­ous gal­lantry in the ser­vice of their coun­try. The Arc­tic/Off­shore Pa­trol Ships Class will hence­forth be known as the Harry DeWolf Class, with HMCS Harry DeWolf as the lead ship.

A na­tive of Bed­ford, Nova Sco­tia, Vice-Ad­mi­ral Harry DeWolf (RCN) was dec­o­rated for out­stand­ing ser­vice through­out his naval ca­reer, which in­cluded wartime com­mand of HMCS St. Lau­rent from 1939-40, for which he was twice the sub­ject of a Men­tion in Dis­patches (a na­tional hon­our be­stowed for dis­tin­guished ser­vice). Later, his 1943-44 com­mand of HMCS Haida helped that ship gain the rep­u­ta­tion as “Fightingest Ship in the RCN,” par­tic­i­pated in the sink­ing of 14 en­emy ships, and for which he was again twice the sub­ject of a Men­tion in Dis­patches and awarded both the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Or­der and the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Cross. A con­sum­mate leader both ashore and afloat, his ex­cep­tional wartime ser­vice was rec­og­nized with an ap­point­ment as a Com­man­der of the Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire and as an Of­fi­cer of the U.S. Le­gion of Merit. He was also awarded the Cana­dian Forces Dec­o­ra­tion, soon after its cre­ation, to rec­og­nize his good con­duct through­out his ca­reer. He went on to be­come a popular and ef­fec­tive post­war Chief of the Naval Staff from 1956 un­til 1960.

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