Ships of Canada Naval Forces 1910-2002, provides this introduction to Gate vessels."The vessels were named after gates in the French fortification at Quebec City and Louisburg. Although designed specifically to operate the gates in anti-submarine booms during wartime these craft served primarily as training vessels in peacetime. Porte Saint John and Porte Saint Louis were based at Halifax with summer forays into the Great Lakes while the others were based in Esquimalt. Porte Dauphine wore a coat of bright red paint while on loan to the Department of Transport as an environmental research ship on the Great Lakes".Photographs of the Gate Vessels, when painted dark grey with the white pendant number, would have been taken shortly after they were in commission. Gate vessels started their service with YMG pendants but ended their careers as YNG's. In their latter years, they were mostly manned by naval reservists.
Halifax, Sydney, Shelburne (N.S.) and several other places had gates and gate vessels during WWII. They used the Battle Class Trawlers of WWI as gate vessels and often one was painted red and the other green to indicate the side of the channel they were working. In peacetime there were no gates, however it is believed that crews went though the exercise of opening and closing a gate.
|It is Commissioning Day for HMCS Porte Quebec YMG 185 in North Vancouver, 1952. Note St Laurent class DDE under construction in the background. At this time, Porte Quebec is fitted with both boom defence gear and minesweeping equipment at the stern along with a Bofors A/A gun on the bow. (DND photo submitted by David Shirlaw)|
|In this mid-1970's photo, Porte St. Jean is being used to represent the entire class. Click to enlarge. (National Film Board photo #1H79-281 LO:39825 submitted by Spud Roscoe VE1BC)|
|PORT DAUPHINE||YMG186||CGYL ||Native N||16/5/51||10/12/52||12/1995|
|PORTE DE LA REINE||YMG184||CYVB||Yearly S||4/3/51||7/12/52||19/12/96|
|PORTE QUEBEC||YMG185||CYVO||Hoodlum G||15/2/51||19/9/52||19/12/96|
|PORTE SAINT JEAN||YMG180||CYWJ ||Wallop F||16/5/50||5/12/51||31/03/96|
|PORTE SAINT LOUIS||YMG183||CYWS ||Thunderbolt U||21/3/51||29/8/52||31/03/96|
 When new with the RCN her call sign was CGYL. As CCGS PORTE DAUPHINE her call changed to CGBM. When the Coast Guard returned PORTE DAUPHINE back to the navy, she was assigned CZGL.
 In the mid 1960s, Porte Saint Louis and Porte Saint Jean had the collective call sign IMPOSITION.
|Displacement: 429 tons full load||Dimensions: 125' 6"L x 26'4" beam x 13' draught|
|Speed: 11 knots||Crew: 3 officers, 20 men|
|Armament: 1 x 40 mm A/A gun ( later removed)|
As always, there were variences depending on the era.
|(1960's). This excerpt from the main photo shows
the antennas. Click to enlarge. (DND photo provided by Spud Roscoe)
1) Radar antenna - unknown.
|CM11 transmitter||(1952) Confiremd as still fitted in the early 1980's. See CM11.|
|TDQ||(1952) VHF transmitter. Records show two frequencies for S/N 2039: 119.34 and 117.90 MHz.|
|RCK .||VHF receiver- (1952) Records show one frequency for S/N 2773: 117.90 MHz|
|AN/URT-502||UHF transmitter (225 to 400 MHz).|
|AN/URR-35||UHF receiver (225 to 400 MHz)|
|CN-86||HF "Seaway Set" as recalled by John MacFarlane. An example was found in Port St. Jean|
|765 AJ||Echo Sounder|
|LN-27||Radar ( specs not known at this time)|
|Model unknown||Sound Reproducing Equipment (SRE)|
Some gate vessel photos reveal a flattop antenna between the foremast and main mast. In later years, communications were conducted from the wheelhouse using state of the art ship/ship/shore equipment. These vessels had concerns regarding top weight and stability.
Terry Misner recalls. "My tape recorder came in handy for copying broadcasts while we were at sea as not only were we Sparkers, we were a bit of everything being 'reg force' and all."
A document from 1952, indicates the type LN-27 radar was fitted. In latter days, they co-located 2 radars (E/I bands) on the main mast. These were the BT-501 and 502 series slaved together and were part of the Decca family of radars. (BT means Bright-Track). When the Gate vessels were paid off they were fitted with Decca radars - one for the X band and one for the S band.
This photo of Porte Dauphine shows the radar in the upper left corner of the photo. Taken in 1985. (Photo # IST85-2016 by Capt. Andrea Rowe)
A document from 1952 indicates the Gate vessels were equipped with Type 135 ASDIC, commonly called Harbour Defence ASDIC ( HDA). It was a special sea-bed mounted form of the ship-borne ASDIC developed by the Royal Navy towards the end of WW1 and first used in 1939. The US had access to this technology and called their HDA a "Herald" - harbor echo ranging and listening device if left on the seabed. It in case the nature of the seabed and tides were unsuitable, the ASDIC could would be secured to the side of the ship.
Contributors and Credits:
1) Ships of Canada's Naval Forces (1910-2001) by Ken Macpherson and Ron Barrie. Vanwell Publishing 2002.
2) Spud Roscoe <spudroscoe(at)eastlink.ca>]
3) John M. MacFarlane (VE7AXU / VA7PX) <John.MacFarlane(at)gvrd.bc.ca>
4) Douglas Stewart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
5) Sentinel Magazine 1983/3
6) Terry Misner <lightning91(at)shaw.ca>
7) Robert Langille EWCS <ewcs(at)ewcs.ca> provided National Archives file: RG24 1983-84/04958
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