Dr Richard Gimblett, MSC, CD, RCN (ret’d), holds history degrees from the Royal Military College of Canada (BA 1979), Trent (MA 1981) and Laval (PhD 2000). As a surface warfare officer in the Canadian Navy (1975-2001) he served in ships of various classes on both coasts, notably as Combat Officer in HMCS Protecteur for the Gulf War of 1990-91, and held staff appointments ashore including co-authoring the official history of the Canadian Forces in the Persian Gulf War (Dundurn 1997) and responsibility for developing the Navy’s strategic plan Leadmark 2020 (DND 2001). He recently retired as Command Historian for the Royal Canadian Navy (2006-2018), remains an Adjunct Professor of History at Queen’s University Kingston, and is President of the Canadian Nautical Research Society (www.cnrs-srcn.org). His published works have revised interpretations of the origins of the RCN, the naval mutinies of 1949, the nature of command in the RCN, and Canadian naval operations in the Gulf region. He is a principle author of The Seabound Coast: The Official History of the RCN, Volume I, 1867-1939 (Dundurn 2010) and contributing editor of a trio of volumes for the Navy’s Centennial: The Naval Service of Canada; Citizen Sailors (with Michael Hadley); and From Empire to In(ter)dependence: The Canadian Navy and the Commonwealth Experience, 1910-2010 (The Northern Mariner XXIV: 3 & 4, Summer & Fall 2014).
The banner photo is of a commissioned painting of Rich, entitled “Bassett Away”, firing an Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) from HMCS Gatineau in the spring of 1984 on the Nanoose Range. The ASROC is a torpedo housed in a rocket-fired missile that when launched in the direction of the enemy vessel will later deploy a parachute and enter the water heading towards the target.
Rich and Jean Morin are seen here with the Governor-General Romeo Leblanc at the launch of their book about Canadians in the first Gulf War in 1990-91.
Below is a picture of Guy Killaby on HMCS Iroquois along with Naval Historian Rich who was on an official visit to Combined Task Force 150 in the Persian Gulf during Op Altair in 2008.
Rich Gimblett received the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) from the Governor-General of Canada, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette, on the 5th of November 2018 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The citation reads as follows:
Richard Gimblett is recognized internationally as our country’s premier post-Cold War naval historian. His research and advice contributed significantly to the creation of a national monument to the Royal Canadian Navy in Ottawa and to the re-introduction of the Canadian Naval Ensign for warships and other designated vessels. His analysis of past operations and partnerships has influenced the strategic direction of the navy’s involvement in world maritime security.