HMCS Provider (AOR 508)

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HMCS Provider (AOR 508) at Pearl Harbor 1986.jpg
HMCS Provider at Pearl Harbor for RIMPAC 86
Career (Canada)
Name: Provider
Ordered: 15 April 1958
Builder: Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Company Limited, Lauzon, Quebec[1]
Laid down: 1 May 1961
Launched: 5 July 1962
Commissioned: 28 September 1963[1]
Decommissioned: 24 June 1998[2]
Homeport: CFB Halifax (1963–1969)
CFB Esquimalt (1969–1996)
CFB Halifax (1996–1998)
Motto: Ready to Serve
Fate: Scrapped in Turkey in 2003
General characteristics
Class and type: Provider-class replenishment oiler
Displacement: 7,300 long tons (7,400 t) light
22,000 long tons (22,000 t) full
Length: 168 metres (551 ft)[1]
Beam: 23.2 metres (76 ft)[1]
Draught: 9.1 metres (30 ft)[1]
Propulsion: Double reduction geared turbines
2 water boilers
single shaft
21,000 shp (16 MW)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Complement: 142 (11 officers, 131 enlisted) - 166
Armament: Helicopter-launched Mark 46 Mod 5 torpedoes
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky CH124A Sea King helicopters[3]
Aviation facilities: Aft deck hangar

Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Provider was the sole ship of the Canadian Provider-class replenishment oiler. She was the first dedicated auxiliary oiler replenishment ship commissioned for the Royal Canadian Navy in 1963. She was built by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Company Limited of Lauzon, Quebec.

Originally assigned to the East coast, her open deck made her vulnerable and she was reassigned to the West coast.


First authorized in 1959, Provider was built by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Company Limited of Lauzon, Quebec and was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1963.[4] Provider was considered a prototype for the Protecteur-class replenishment oiler.[5]

The hoses and wire system that the Canadians had designed for Provider‍ '​s replenishment at sea operations became standard for all NATO replenishment oilers.[1]

A refit was completed on Provider at Burrard Dry Dock in 1982.[6] Another refit was scheduled for Provider in 1987 to accommodate the desegregation of the Navy.[7] Nineteen women joined a crew of then 210 on board Provider in 1987 after her refit.[8]


Provider was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, along with two destroyers, in May 1967 to help support Canadian troops who were part of the United Nations Emergency Force in Gaza.[9]

Provider was first stationed at CFB Halifax but was moved to CFB Esquimalt in 1969.[2]

Along with Mackenzie and Yukon, Provider attended Canada Week at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.[10]

Provider, along with Huron, Annapolis, and Kootenay, were the first western warships to visit the former Soviet base of Vladivostok since 1937. Over a four-day period in June 1990, over 30,000 Russians toured the four ships, and their crews were welcomed into the town with open arms. Over 50,000 lapel pins, stickers, and flags were given by the crews of the Canadian ships, as well as showing the locals what a screwdriver was.[11] After leaving Vladivostok, Provider rescued 88 Vietnamese who were adrift in the South China Sea before making a port call in Manila.[12]

Provider escorted Huron to the Panama Canal in January 1991. Huron was on her way to CFB Halifax for refitting before heading into the Gulf War.[13] Had the Gulf War continued, Provider and Restigouche would have either joined or relieved other Canadian ships in the war zone.[14]

Relieving ships from CFB Halifax, Provider joined the United Nations embargo against Haiti in late 1993.[15]

In 1996, the home port of Provider was once again changed back to CFB Halifax.[2]


The ship was paid off 24 June 1998,[2] two years later than originally planned,[16] and remained in Halifax Harbour until 2002 while she awaited auction.[17]

Provider arrived in Aliağa, Turkey for scrapping on 28 August 2002.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gimblett, Richard H. (13 October 2009). The Naval Service of Canada, 1910-2010: The Centennial Story. Dundurn Press. pp. 152–161. ISBN 9781459713222. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Navy ship has last sail". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. 25 June 1998. p. A11. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "She's 15 years old but HMCS Huron beefs up West Coast fleet". The Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia Network). 26 November 1987. p. D1. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Canadian Naval Review (PDF). Vol. 6, Num. 1. Spring 2010. p. 31. 
  5. ^ Marine News. Vol. 37. World Ship Society. 1983. p. 422. 
  6. ^ Stewart-Patterson, David (17 May 1982). "Lack of new shipbuilding orders worries executives". The Globe and Mail. p. R5. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "Storm signals flying over women at sea". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). 29 April 1987. p. A1. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "19 women join crew of navy ship". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). 26 September 1987. p. A1. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Tracy, Nicholas (1 October 2012). Two-Edged Sword: The Navy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 147. ISBN 9780773587816. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Canadian Shipping and Marine Engineering News. Vol. 41. Maclean Pub. 1969. p. 348. 
  11. ^ Goodspeed, Peter (18 June 1990). "Canadian sailors become celebrities in Siberian port". Toronto Star (Star Media Group). Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "Philippine government lets refugees leave Canadian ship". The Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia Network). Citizen News Services. 24 June 1990. p. A12. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ Farrow, Moira (4 January 1991). "Victoria unfurls flags as its sailors leave for war zone". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). p. A2. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Restigouche and Provider won't be going to gulf". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). 1 March 1991. p. A3. Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "Canadian ship to police embargo". Kitchener - Waterloo Record (Metroland Media Group). 6 November 1993. p. A3. Retrieved 1 December 2013. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ Sokolsky, Joel J. (1995). Canada, Getting it Right This Time: The 1994 Defence White Paper. DIANE Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 9781428914247. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Brean, Joseph (26 April 2002). "Canadian warship on the auction block: HMCS Provider made headlines with rescue of refugees on South China Sea". National Post (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 1 December 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "SeaWaves Today in History". Shirlaw News Group. 17 October 2009. ISSN 1710-6966. OCLC 77076813. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 

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