Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1950–1989, Submarines: HMCS Grilse (SS 71), Rainbow (SS 75), Ojibwa (S72), Onondaga (S73), Okanagan (S74), HMS Olympus and HMS Osiris

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1950–1989,


Data current to 23 June 2020.

Balao-class submarine

(USN Photo)

HMCS Grilse (SS 71) (II), 26 Sep 1969.

After its service in the United States Navy as USS Burfish, HMCS Grilse was in service on Canada's West Coast from 1961 to 1968.  It was the first submarine to be commissioned into full service since HMCS CH-14 and CH-15 were commissioned in 1921.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Grilse (SS 71) (II). 

Tench-class submarine

(DND Photo)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II).  Commissioned on 15 Jan 1945 as USS Argonaut SS 475. She had been launched in 1944, in time to carry out one war patrol from Pearl Harbor in Jun 1945.  After the war she operated out of New London, Connecticut, from 1946 to 1955, undergoing modification in 1952 to what the USN "Guppy" configuration.  She was paid off on 2 Dec 1968 and purchased from the USN.  HMCS Rainbow was commissioned on 2 Dec 1968, and served in the RCN until she was paid off on 31 Dec 1974.  She was returned to the USN in 1974 and broken up in 1977.

(USN Photo)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4462625)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II), 22 Dec 1968.

  (USN Photo)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II).

Oberon-class submarines

HMCS Ojibwa (S72); HMCS Onondaga (S73); HMCS Okanagan (S74); HMS Olympus – training ship; HMS Osiris – spare parts.

 (Author Photo)

Oberon-class submarines, Halifax, ca 1974.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Ojibwa (S72), conducting submerged submarine rescue vehicle trials at the Royal Navy submarine base in Faslane, Scotland on 1 Sep 1975.

 (Peter Giesbrecht Photo)

Originally intended for service with the Royal Navy as HMS Onyx, the submarine was transferred to Canadian ownership before completion, and entered RCN service in 1965.  Ojibwa operated primarily with Maritime Forces Atlantic until her decommissioning in 1998.  In 2010, Ojibwa was laid up at CFB Halifax awaiting disposal.   The submarine was towed to Port Burwell, Ontario, in 2012, for display with the Elgin Military Museum, and was opened to the public in 2013.  She is now the new focal point of the Elgin Military Museum, Naval Museum of History, 3 Pitt Street, Port Burwell, Ontario.

  (Letarteen Photo)

 (Dennis Jarvis Photos)

HMCS Onondaga (S73).  (Letarteen Photo)

Built in the mid-1960s, Onondaga operated primarily with the Maritime Forces Atlantic until her decommissioning in 2000 as the last Canadian Oberon.  Several plans for the disposal of the submarine were made and cancelled before the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski purchased it for preservation.  The submarine was moved into location during 2008, and is open to the public.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Okanagan (S74) off the coast of Toronto, Nov 1990.

HMCS Okanagan has been scrapped.

 (Author Photo)

Oberon class submarine alongside, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia.  HMCS Onondaga has moved to the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec.