Admirals’ Medal Recipients

Admirals’ Medal

Established in 1985, in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Naval Service of Canada, the Admirals’ Medal is bestowed upon individual Canadians in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the advancement of maritime affairs in Canada.  Named for Vice-Admiral Rollo Mainguy and Rear-Admirals George Stephens and Victor Brodeur, the silver medal was established by their respective sons who also rose to flag rank: Vice-Admirals Daniel Mainguy, Robert Stephens and Nigel Brodeur.  It is awarded annually for outstanding achievement in the areas of maritime related science, technology and academic studies or for the application of practical maritime skills warranting special recognition.

Recipients of the Admirals’ Medal:

2016 -- Dr Milner

2015 -- Dr James A. (“Jim”) Boutilier

2014 -- Vice-Admiral Charles M. Thomas & Rear-Admiral Eldon Healey

2013 – Mr. Robert P. (Bob) D'Aoust

2012 – Commander (RCN  Res, Ret’d.) Fraser McKee, CD

2011 – No award presented

2010 – Mr. Ken Macpherson

2009 – Commander (RCN Ret’d) Peter T. Haydon, C.D.

2008 – Captain (N) William H. Wilson, O.M.M., C.D.

2007 – Robert Grenier, O.C.

2006 – Dr. A.E. Collin

2005 – Vice-Admiral (Ret’d) H. MacNeil, CMM, CD

2004 – Mr. R.M. Eaton

2003 – Dr. W.A.B. Douglas (Ret’d Cdr), CD, PhD

2002 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) P.G. Chance, CD, M.N.I.

2001 – Dr. A.W. May, O.C.

2000 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) Anthony (Tony) B.C. German, CD*

1999 – Captain (RCN, Ret’d) D.P. Ryan, CD*

1998 – Vice Admiral H.G. DeWolf, C.B.E., D.S.O., D.S.C., CD*

1997 – Rear-Admiral (RCN, Ret’d) R.W. Timbrell, C.M.M., D.S.C., CD*

1996 – Rear-Admiral (RCN, Ret’d) A.H.G. Storrs, D.S.C, CD*

1995 – Dr. Joseph B. MacInnis, C.M., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.G.S., L.L.D.(Hon)

1994 – Mr. William Andrew O’Neil, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization

1993 – Ambassador John Alan Beesley, O.C., Q.C.

1992 – Rear-Admiral (RCN, Ret’d) Frederick William Crickard, O.M.M., CD*

1991 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) Charles Herbert Little, C.D., M.A., F.R.C.G.S.*

1990 – Captain (RCN, Ret’d) Thomas Charles Pullen, O.C., CD*

1989 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) Charles Robert Nixon, CD, M.Sc., P.Eng*

1988 – Miss Moira Dunbar, O.C., M.A., F.R.S.C.*

1987 – Dr. Michael Curtis Eames, B.Sc., M.Eng., D.Sc.*

1986 - Commander (RCNR, Ret’d) Louis C. Audette, OC, QC, BA, L.Ph., LLB*

1985 – Commodore (RCNR, Ret’d) Robert I. Hendy, V.R.D., Q.C., CD*

Note: an asterix (“*”) has been placed beside the name of the recipients who are known to be deceased.

Admirals’ Medal Recipients - Accomplishments

2016 -- Dr Milner

Dr Marc Milner is Director of the Brigadier Milton F Gregg VC Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick.  After working in the Directorate of History (DND), he joined the History Department at University of New Brunswick.  His work on naval history includes Canada’s Navy: The First Century (1999 and 2010), HMCS Sackville 1941-1985 (1998), and Battle of the Atlantic (2003) which won the C.P. Stacey Prize for the best book in military history in Canada.  He is recognized for achievement as a prolific and authoritative historian of the Royal Canadian Navy, exemplified through a longstanding commitment to HMCS Sackville and support of the aims of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust in educating the public on the significance of Canada’s role in the Battle of the Atlantic.

2015 -- Dr James A. (“Jim”) Boutilier

Dr Boutilier has had a 60-year career in the maritime realm as a naval officer, academic, author, public servant, expert lecturer and global affairs policy adviser.  His field of expertize has become Asia-Pacific defence and security, particularly with regards to maritime issues.  He is recognized for his achievements in this field, which he has leveraged to great effect in support of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces.

2014 -- Vice-Admiral Charles M. Thomas & Rear-Admiral Eldon Healey

Admirals Thomas & Healey were awarded the Admirals’ Medal for their leadership in spear-heading the Canadian Patrol Frigate program from concept to implementation, in that no other class of ships has ever provided more benefit to Canada economically, militarily and geopolitically.  “Chuck” Thomas joined the RCN at HMCS Venture in 1954, attended the Royal Naval Engineering College (Manadon) in 1960, and commanded HMCS Fraser and the 4th Canadian Escort Squadron.  In flag rank, he served as Chief of Maritime Doctrine and Operations (1984-87), as Commander Maritime Command (1987-89), and finally as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, from which position he retired in 1991.  Ed Healey graduated from Royal Roads Military College in 1955 and attended the Royal Naval Engineering College (Manadon) in 1959.  He was involved in most naval ship procurement projects from that of HMCS Provider in 1962 until appointed Program Manager for the Canadian Patrol Frigate Program in 1984.  Upon retirement in 1985 he became Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) until his “second” retirement in 1990.

2013 – Mr. Robert P. (Bob) D'Aoust

Mr. D’Aoust's interest as a genealogist led him to undertake a seven-year project to research the 2,143 Canadian sailors killed in the Second World War, published as a four-volume set entitled Ultimate Sacrifice.  He has generously donated his research files to the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust for use in their own Book of Remembrance Project.

2012 – Commander (RCNR, Ret’d) Fraser McKee

Mr. McKee has an abiding interest in history, particularly with respect to Canada’s Navy.  A prolific writer and one of Canada's best known writer/researcher on Canadian naval history, he has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Volunteers for Sea Service, The Armed Yachts of Canada, HMCS Swansea, Canadian Naval Chronicle, Sink All the Shipping There and Three Princes Armed.  He has also published a number of major articles addressing naval themes, including “How to Run a Mess Dinner” and has edited three newsletters including ‘Bumph’ and ‘STARSHELL’.  

He continues to be heavily involved with a number of organizations in his community and as a public speaker, he continues to help promote the RCN to a wider audience primarily in the Toronto area on history and current naval affairs.

2011 – no award.

2010 – Mr. Ken Macpherson

Mr. Macpherson, a well-known author, editor and historian, has written and collaborated on several books about the ships of the Royal Canadian Navy and Maritime Command.  Some of these works include: The Ships of Canada’s Naval Forces 1910-1985 (and updates to 2002); The River Class destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy; Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939-1945; and most recently Cadillac of Destroyers: HMCS St Laurent and Her Successors.  Before retirement in 1987, Mr Macpherson was a historian in the Ontario Provincial Archives and custodian of its photograph collection.

2009 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) Peter T. Haydon, CD

For his many years of service to the Canadian Navy, as well as his contributions to educating the public with regard to maritime affairs.”

2008 – Captain (N) William H. Wilson, O.M.M., CD

Captain(N) Wilson is selected for his service to the Royal Canadian Navy, his dedication to the development of Canadian naval heritage, most especially in the creation of the Naval Museum of Alberta and the formation the Naval Museum of Alberta Society. He has worked tirelessly during his career as an officer in the naval reserves and has been a long time supporter of the Calgary naval community. This support he has extended without qualification to the entire Calgary military community.

2007 – Robert Grenier, O.C.

Robert Grenier is the acknowledged leader in the world of archaeology and underwater conservation.  Among other achievements as Chief of Parks’ Canada’s Underwater Archaeology section, he discovered North America’s oldest heritage wreck off the coast of Labrador.  The innovative methods he developed there made the Red Bay site an international model for scientific research.  A great communicator and renowned consultant, he has been associated with a number of films and projects, particularly the protection of the Titanic and the Empress of Ireland.  Through his many commitments, such as the chairmanship of an international UNESCO committee, he helps us understand the importance of preserving our underwater heritage so that he can continue to reveal its secrets to us.

2006 - Dr. Arthur E. Collin, MSc, PhD

Dr. Collin was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his leadership in national and international research efforts on the Arctic, ocean and aquatic sciences and the environment.  In particular, he studied the physical oceanography of the polar basin and the Arctic Archipelago between 1956 and 1960.  Later he was appointed as the Scientific Advisor for the Maritime Forces (1965) and as the Dominion Hydrographer (1968).  From 1971 to 1980 he served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Environment.  During his tenure he headed Canada’s delegation on long-range transportation of atmospheric pollution.  Even after retirement Dr. Collin remains an active member of the Council of Science and Technology Advisors and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Science Advisory Council.  He is also involved with Canadian Geographic Society’s Massey Medal, which recognizes achievement in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada.

2005 – Vice Admiral (Ret’d) H. MacNeil, CMM, CD

Vice Admiral MacNeil was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of not only his extensive naval service, but also for his significant personal contribution to Canadian maritime heritage specifically, for his tireless efforts in preserving and protecting the naval and marine history and heritage of both the city of Halifax and the Province of Nava Scotia for the benefit of all Canadians.  In particular, Vice Admiral MacNeil, while Chair of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, ensured the future of the National Canadian Naval Memorial, HMCS SACKVILLE, by making all of the necessary arrangements to incorporate SACKVILLE into the development of the Halifax Waterfront.

2004 – Mr. R.M. Eaton

Mr. Eaton was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his efforts in substantially improving the safety of maritime navigation through the development and implementation of state-of-the-art electronic navigational aids.   From 1970 to his retirement, Mr. Eaton was almost continually involved in contributing to programs and techniques to improve navigation and vessel positioning for platforms involved in hydrographic surveying and oceanographic research.  In 1982, he began work to develop specifications for an electronic chart database and studied the effect of the electronic chart on safe navigation.  And between 1980 and 1997 his work on Loran C calibration, primarily in Atlantic Canada, resulted in Canada having the only hydrographic office capable of issuing Loran chart lattices all of which were calibrated to actual observations in the charted area, as opposed to lattices based on predictions. 

2003 – Dr. W.A.B. Douglas, CD, R.C.N. (Ret’d), Ph.D., M.A., B.A.

Dr. Douglas was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his notable and unique contribution to the naval and military history of Canada.  He has demonstrated a lifelong passion for his work and has been a major contributor to the education and professional development of Canadian officers.  He was one of the individuals responsible for the establishment of the Canadian Nautical Research Society and the revitalization of the Society’s journal, The Northern Mariner.  He opened opportunities for advanced studies in both official languages and served as a graduate studies supervisor for military students at several universities.  He initiated the project that led to development and eventual publication of the Official Operational History of the RCN on 1 May 2003.

2002 – Commander (RCN, Ret’d) P.G. Chance, CD, M.N.I.

Commander Chance was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition for his long and distinguished naval career and his continued contribution to maritime interests and youth of Canada.  He became interested in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his leadership qualities coupled with tremendous enthusiasm and drive has seen the program grow and flourish.  His interest in the Maritime Awards Society of Canada has resulted in the development of endowment funds for university scholarships for post graduate studies in maritime fields and through public forums, has raised national awareness of maritime issues.  Recruitment of naval oriented volunteers across Canada in support of ALS research resulted in a remarkable increase in national awareness of the disease and substantial funding.

2001 - Dr. A.W. May, O.C.

Dr. May was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition for his long and distinguished career as a maritime biologist, a civil servant and an academic.  He served as a marine scientist in Newfoundland and in Ottawa during which time he published over 60 works on the North Atlantic fishery.  He was a senior civil servant whose career culminated with appointments as the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the President of the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada.  He completed his career as the President of Memorial University.  He has also been a member or chair of over 50 national and international committees related to science and technology.  He has maintained his active interest in naval affairs and has hosted a number of meetings at Memorial University. 

2000 - Commander (RCN Ret’d) A.B.C. (Tony) German, CD

Commander German was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his continuous and enthusiastic efforts in promoting public appreciation of Canadian maritime matters in general and the work of the Royal Canadian Navy in particular.  His book, “The Sea is at Our Gates” is the standard work on the history of the Canadian Navy.  He continues his efforts in current and ongoing work outlining the history of developments in the Canadian Navy for use by the Defence Department in preparation of the Navy’s orientation program for new entries as well as reviewing the entire script of its earlier history.

1999 – Captain (RCN Ret’d) D.P. Ryan, CD

Captain Ryan was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his ingenious, unique and major contribution in the recording of our Navy’s history and his dissemination of that history in an accessible, popular format.  The “Seasoned Sailors” series meets an urgent need to record the stories of sailors before all memories are obliterated and records are either forgotten or destroyed.  This series provides valuable material for students of history as well as those who feel that history is a live, flesh-and-blood human business rather than as something remote and academic.

The “Seasoned Sailors” series required a prodigious amount of work, considerable complex equipment that had to be assembled and the development of a different range of skills.  He successfully enlisted the help of the National Archives and Department of National Defence Archives to ensure the preservation of the series.  He pursued each professional quality production with such vigour and dedication so that this uniquely valuable record of a key element of our naval history could exist.  Canada is richer for it.

1998 – Vice Admiral H.G. DeWolf, C.B.E., D.S.O., CD*

Vice Admiral DeWolf was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his life and accomplishments as a successful Naval Officer with a varied and challenging background.  It is the view of his shipmates that he was an office and a gentleman who always had time for the men he served with.  He always showed his respect for the efforts made by his ship’s company.

As one of Canada’s most highly respected naval officers of the Second World War, he retired from an illustrious career in 1961 as the Chief of the Naval Staff.  He entered the Royal Navy (RN) College of Canada as a Cadet in September 1918.  Early in the Second World War, as Captain of HMCS ST. LAURENT he took part in the evacuation of France.  While on anti-submarine duty in the North Atlantic he led his crew on one of the largest at sea rescues, plucking survivors of the SS Arandora Star from the ocean’s chilly waters, after the ship was torpedoed by a U-boat.  As Captain of HMCS HAIDA, he took part in escort convoys in the arctic waters of Murmansk and later in a series of successful night actions in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.

1997 – Rear Admiral (RCN, Ret’d) R.W. Timbrell, C.M.M., D.S.C., CD*

Rear Admiral Timbrell was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his life and accomplishments as a successful Naval Officer with a varied and challenging background.  His breadth of seafaring and administration background was of particular value in his appointment as President of the Dominion Marine Association for ten years.  In this capacity, he considerably elevated the profile of the Association and engaged federal and various provincial government departments and agencies in discussions of a wide range of issues of importance to the Canadian marine community.  In particular, he was instrumental in re-establishing the Canadian Ship-owners Association whose aim was to promote a substantial Canadian commercial presence on the deep sea.

1996 – Rear Admiral (RCN, Deceased) A.H.G. Storrs, D.S.C, CD*

Rear Admiral Storrs was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his life and accomplishments as a consummate seaman and the application of this experiences that made an effective and lasting impact upon the officers and men of the Royal Canadian Navy, including members of the Naval Air branch, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.  In particular his many appointments in the Navy and other positions, were challenging, as he was in many cases the first person, from a naval background, to fill such a position.  His ability to overcome challenges and his impact on those who would come after illuminates his considered and unassuming contributions to Canada through the application of practical maritime skills, which were matched only by his intellectual and practical depth and breadth.

1995 – Dr. Joseph B. MacInnis, C.M., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.G.S., L.L.D. (Hon)

Dr. MacInnis was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of his many contributions in diving medicine and underwater exploration in the high Arctic and in the deep ocean.  In particular, he made significant medical contributions to human performance under the sea and invented underwater stations for submerged work in the Great Lakes and in the Northwest Passage.  In 1970, he formed the James Allister MacInnis Foundation for underwater research and education in Canada.  His endeavours include leading the first team of scientific divers under the North Pole, discovering the world’s northernmost shipwreck in Canada’s Northwest Passage and being the first Canadian to dive to the TITANIC in the foothills of Canada’s Grand Banks.

1994 – Mr. William Andrew O’Neil, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization.

Mr. O’Neil was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition for his outstanding contribution to Canada in the development of measures relating to the safety of international seafarers and to the protection of the marine environment from ship-source pollutants.  In particular, as Secretary-General for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr. O’Neil showed unwavering dedication to the solving of maritime-related problems.  He has emphasized the importance of making IMO a proactive rather than a reactive organization and has campaigned for the improvement of safety for oil tankers, bulk carriers and ferries.  He has continually stressed the importance of the human element, including the requirement for higher standards for management and the need for improved training and certification for seafarers.

1993 – Ambassador John Alan Beesley, OC, QC

Ambassador Beesley was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition for his significant and lasting contributions while representing Canada in the committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and in the United Specialized Agencies and organs in Geneva, Paris and Vienna.  In particular, he was recognized for the major role that he played in the negotiations on the Law of the Sea and Arctic Sovereignty. He concluded bilateral and multilateral agreements on fisheries, boundaries of territorial seas, continental shelf limits, deep sea-bed mining, passage through international straits, the preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and on hijacking of ships and aircraft.  He was also responsible in advancing and protecting Canada’s interests in multilateral trade (GATT and UNCTAD), outer space, human rights and refugee matters.  

1992 – Rear Admiral (RCN Ret’d) Frederick William Crickard, OMM, CD*

Rear Admiral Crickard was awarded the Admirals’ Medal in recognition for his work in the realm of Oceans Policy and for his promotion of maritime defence matters to a broader audience through public speaking presentations.  By virtue of his lifelong naval career, RAdm Crickard was consistently successful in projecting a clear, rational and persuasive argument for maintaining military vigilance and for the strengthening of Canada’s security through the acceptance of responsibility by the navy for the safeguarding of three oceans.

1991 – Commander (RCN Ret’d) Charles Herbert Little, CD, MA, F.R.C.G.S.

Commander Little was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his outstanding efforts in the organization and development of the University Naval Training Division (NRTD) program.  The program instilled in its graduates a deeper awareness, appreciation and understanding of Canadian maritime affairs then previous programs.  Many of the graduates from the NRTD program went on to establish life long careers in the Royal Canadian Navy and all benefited significantly from Commander Little’s efforts.

1990 – Captain (RCN ) Thomas Charles Pullen, OC, CD*

Captain Pullen was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his significant contribution to navigation, exploration, geographical knowledge and the advancement of science in the Arctic.  In particular, he was recognized for his achievements while in command of HMCS LABRADOR and subsequently in support of different projects in the Arctic.  He was noted for applying his rare expertise and remarkable intellect to problems of Arctic operations and for his tireless efforts in becoming a leading expert in his field through intensive study, which was considered to be of extraordinary and special importance to Canada and to maritime affairs.

1989 – Commander (RCN Ret’d) Charles Robert Nixon, CD, M.Sc., P.Eng

Commander Nixon was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his significant personal contributions to Canadian maritime affairs in his career as a naval officer with service in Korea and in peacetime.  He developed a sound reputation for well-written papers on maritime affairs, Canada’s involvement in NATO, and Canada’s involvement in domestic and international security and disarmament initiatives.  Outside of his military service, Commander Nixon has worked for the public service and was appointed as Deputy Minister of National Defence.  During his appointment as Deputy Minister, he was deeply involved in the development of National Defence as a department and ensured that the Canadian Navy continued to exist in the face of tremendous economic and financial pressures.  Before he left the post of Deputy Minister he dedicated himself to obtaining the approval for the Canadian Patrol Frigate, Long Range Patrol Aircraft and CF-18 Fighter Aircraft projects.

1988 – Miss Moira Dunbar, OC, MA, F.R.S.C.

Miss Dunbar was awarded with the Admirals’ Medal in recognition of work in the Arctic while employed with the Defence Research Board of Canada.  She was influential in the promotion of winter navigation and in the setting up of an ice reconnaissance and forecasting service in Canada.  Her pioneering works in the use of side-looking airborne radar in the observing of sea-ice greatly assisted in the studies of currents and the movement of sea-ice. Miss Dunbar has also earned worldwide recognition as a historian of the Polar Regions through her varied and numerous published papers in English and Russian about navigation in the ice-covered waters of Canada and the Canadian Arctic

1987 – Dr. Michael Curtis Eames, B.Sc., M.Eng., D.Sc

Dr. Eames was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his significant and noteworthy contributions to Canadian maritime activities through his research and related scientific studies during his career.  In particular, his contributions in hydrodynamics and systems analysis have been extremely valuable in naval planning for future operations and policy.

1986 – Commander (RCNR Ret’d) Louis C. Audette, OC, QC, BA, L.Ph., LLB

Commander Audette was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his permanent and significant contribution to maritime affairs in Canada.  His achievements in maritime international affairs have greatly benefited the seagoing countries of the world.

1985 – Commodore (RCNR, Ret’d) Robert I. Hendy, VRD, CD, QC. 

Commodore Hendy was awarded the Admirals’ Medal for his continuing and widely recognized contribution to maritime affairs over a period of years in his capacity as Senior Naval Officer, Toronto.  He has served as the Chairman for the Conference of Defence Associations and as the National President for the Navy League of Canada.  He is one of the founders of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies and has been instrumental in the initial organization of the Royal Canadian Naval Association.