HMCS Protecteur seen from the USS Chosin during towing operations after the fire. This photo gives you a sense of Protecteur's size and the challenge of towing her.
I was very pleased to see the United Church of Canada website tell the story of Protecteur's chaplain, Padre Mike Gibbons (a United Church chaplain serving with the Canadian Armed Forces). All of us in the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service are especially proud of Mike's service during the fire and in the days that followed. As Mike told me the story, in the days following the fire, with much personal kit lost and the ship's laundry unusable, the crew worked in ragged, smoke-stained uniforms through many difficult attempts to establish a tow line and get the ship safely to port.
His ability to make connections with the US Navy chaplains at Pearl led to the Protecteur's crew getting much-appreciated bedding and other comforts on their return, a reminder of how the networks between chaplains of allied nations can significantly benefit the mission.
His padre colleagues are very proud of Mike's service and example, which are in the very best traditions of the Chaplain Service. It is also very gratifying to see a Canadian denomination recognizing the work of one of their own clergy in the military.