TSJ Visits Cold War OBERON Class Submarine HMCS Ojibwa

TSJ Visits Cold War OBERON Class Submarine HMCS Ojibwa

Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting the HMCS Ojibwa, located in Port Burwell, Ontario, at the Museum of Naval History on the shore of Lake Erie. It was a fascinating journey back through time, to the tense days of the Cold War and into the claustrophobic interior of an Oberon class submarine that housed 70 crew and was in service from 1965 – 1998. The sub is on display as an exhibit of the Elgin Military Museum, is about 100 meters long and five stories high, and despite its age, remains a colossal monument to a time of war and peace.

I’ve included some pictures for you to see, but I encourage you to visit the sub, take a tour inside, and experience — for just a short period of time — what the crew endured for months while on a tour. The producers of Fast and the Furious 8 (The Fate of the Furious) also visited the sub as research for their submarine sequences in the movie, and it’s hard not to feel the creative juices flowing while studying the torpedo room, the command cabin, the galley, the electrical rooms, and more. The knowledgeable guide told wonderful stories of the vessel’s missions, and showed me how the crew slept, ate, and worked while on duty.

Consider going to Port Burwell this Spring or Summer to visit the sub. It really is magnificent. I used the experience as research for an upcoming novel; the claustrophobic nature of the cabins and control rooms inspired my writing. I can’t wait for you to read the end results. Below my signature find links to the museum. Thanks to my guide, Wally Buchanan.  The pictures do not comprise the entire tour; I saw much more of the sub than I can post here.

— TSJ, 5 February 2020

HMCS Ojibwa

From hmcsojibwa.com


The tour begins in the torpedo room.  Escape hatch in ceiling also pictured.


A Mark 48 torpedo mock up.


It’s difficult to move quickly anywhere on the sub.


I’m 6′ tall. Some crew were taller, and were on board for months at a time.  The Captain for many years was 6’7″.  The bunks were only 6′ long.

After this point, I was not allowed to take more photos until we exited the sub at its stern hatch.  Needless to say, there was a lot more to see,  including:  the control cabin, electrical room, ballast (trim) control, the officer’s mess, the galley, the two large diesel engines, and more.

Stern diving plates, rudder, screws.


The shape of the screw blades was classified at the time; they had to be covered with tarps when in dock.


Here you can see the size of the boat. That is not rust; it’s an adhesive used to secure the noise-canceling surface (noise-suppression coating and/or anechoic tiles). The sub will get a fresh coat of black paint soon.


Photo from hmcsojibwa.com. Visiting the sub was an incredible experience. Highly recommended.


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“Reading The Savage Deeps is like watching a movie … mesmerizing … Torpedos, mines, imploded subs, and bodies litter the ocean floor … Johnston is an author skilled in bringing life to his characters through dialogue, engaging readers’ emotions by their behaviors and thinking, and creating brilliant settings, all of which play out like scenes in a movie.” — Five Stars from Readers’ Favorite

The Savage Deeps delivers on every level.” — SFcrowsnest


“If you’re looking for a techno-thriller combining Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and John Le Carré, The War Beneath will satisfy … a ripping good yarn, a genuine page-turner.” — Amazing Stories
“One very riveting, intelligent read!” — Readers’ Favorite
“If you like novels like The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising,
you will certainly enjoy The War Beneath.” — A Thrill A Week
“If you’re here for thrills, the book will deliver.” — The Cambridge Geek
“… an engaging world that is highly believable …” — The Future Fire
“This is a tense, gripping science fiction/thriller of which Tom Clancy might well be proud . . . When I say it is gripping, that is the simple truth.” — Ardath Mayhar
“… a thrill ride from beginning to end …” — SFcrowsnest
“… if you like Clancy and le Carré with a hint of Forsyth thrown in,
you’ll love The War Beneath.” — Colonel Jonathan P. Brazee (RET),
2017 Nebula Award & 2018 Dragon Award Finalist
“Fast-paced, good old-fashioned Cold War espionage … a great escape!” — The Minerva Reader



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