Humour in Uniform: Hot times on the HMCS Protecteur

Frank was relieved to hear that Vice-Admiral (ret’d) Larry Murray (Franks passim) was safe and sound in Hawaii after an engine room fire crippled the HMCS Protecteur.

Readers of a certain age will recall the shortarsed goniff stepped in as acting Chief of Defence Staff in ’96, after the Somalia scandal pole-axed Gen. Jean Boyle.

Alas, Larry ultimately failed to secure the top spot, his prospects by no means helped by his own hip-deep involvement in the ugly affair. The Somalia Inquiry pronounced him guilty of “wilful blindness in a deliberate cover-up” and not “the right man to lead the Canadian armed forces.”

Everybody’s a friggin’ critic.

But Murray sailed on regardless, topping up his pension in the civil service as DM at Veterans’ Affairs and then Fisheries and Oceans.

Last year, he got a fun Order of Canada.

Larry, it turns out, was the highest-ranking tourist aboard the Protecteur, one of 17 crew family members deadheading back aboard the supply ship when it caught fire Feb. 27.

The fruit of his loins, LCdr Jeffrey Murray, is Executive Officer aboard Protecteur, and seems to have picked up the Murray talent for monumental cock-ups. The ship, scheduled for retirement next year, is now toast and almost certain to be towed off to India and scrapped, with its replacement not due in service until at least 2019-2020.

This represents a significant loss to Canadian naval history. During the Gulf War, Protecteur developed a reputation as the best little whorehouse in the Canadian Navy after two female sailors were sent home for supplementing their pay by servicing fellow crew members, and a third was packed off for aggressive clam-digging.

We will now observe an erotically-charged minute of silence.

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