Lewis John Stringer CV

b. 03/08/1930 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. d. 25/10/1969 England.

DATE OF CV ACTION: 23/10/1969 English Channel.

CV Canada

He was the son of Joseph and Annie Stringer of Hamilton, Ontario,  Husband of Christina Stringer and father of Louise, Susan and Jacqueline Stringer of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. PO2 Stringer enlisted October 21, 1948 in Hamilton. His other awards and decorations include Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) and Canadian Centennial Medal 1967.

He was one of nine sailors who died as a result of a gearbox explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay. The inferno on the lower decks injured 53 others. It was the worst peacetime accident in Canadian naval history. The ship was one of eight Canadian Navy destroyer-escorts conducting full power trials and NATO exercises on October 23, 1969 in the English Channel. Four sailors were buried in England, four were buried at sea off Plymouth and one rests in a Canadian cemetery.


Sgt Lewis John Stringer of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Hamilton, Ontario, who died from the effects of smoke inhaled while he organized the evacuation of men from the ship’s cafeteria following an explosion aboard HMCS Kootenay. HMCS Kootenay, one of seven “Restigouche”-class destroyer-escorts in the Canadian navy was conducting full-power trials on October 23, 1969, in the western approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships. At 8:21 in the morning there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room. Sgt Stringer, a supply technician, was off-duty in the cafeteria. He understood the danger immediately and stepped into the exit to use his body to block the way to the smoke-filled passageway. He instructed others in the cafeteria to get down on the deck, breathe through their sleeves and crawl out by way of the galley. Sgt Stringer waited until the last man had made good his escape before attempting to leave himself. He collapsed in the galley and although rescued, he succumbed later.



Sec. 10D, Lot P-9