Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Warships (HMCS) Commissioned 1910–1930

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Warships (HMCS) Commissioned 1910–1930

Data currrent to 25 May 2019.


 (DND Photo, CN-1997)

HMS Charybdis, Canada’s first Naval training ship

Although Royal Canadian Navy did not come into official existence until 1910 and its first ship was the HMCS Rainbow, there was a warship in Canadian service before then.

HMS Charybdis was acquired from the Royal Navy by the Dominion of Canada on 26 July 1881, making its home port in Saint John, New Brunswick.  She was a 21-gun Pearl-class corvette, launched on 1 July 1859 at the Chatham Dockyard in the UK.  She was armed with 20 8-inch (43-cwt) smoothbore muzzle-loading (SBML) guns mounted on broadside trucks, and one 10-inch 68-pounder (95-cwt) SBML pivot-mounted at the bow.  She was a full-rigged ship, 200 feet long at her gun deck and was powered by a 2-cylinder single screw propeller and could make 11.2 knots (20.7 km/h) under steam.

She served at several Royal Navy stations and ports, including Vancouver, British Columbia early in 1862.  In October 1880, HMS Charybdis was loaned to the Canadian government for service as a training ship.  The Governor General stated in a dispatch to the Colonial Secretary that his government "would not be averse to instituting a ship for training purposes if the Imperial Government would provide the ship".  Capt. Peter Astle Scott RN, retired, who had made a second career in the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries, was sent to England to bring the ship to Canada, which was only possible after repairs had been carried out (at the expense of the Canadian government).  As a Dominion government ship under the commander of the fishery fleet, she wore the blue ensign of Canada and the long blue commission pendant.  Found unsuitable for training because of costs and crew size, she was returned to the RN in Aug 1982 and towed to Halifax, where whe was sold in 1884, and broken up.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3247076)

HMS Charybdis under refit at Esquimalt, 1870.

Founding of the Naval Service of Canada (1910), and the formation of the Royal Canadian Navy (1911)

The Naval Service of Canada (NSC) was established following the introduction of the Naval Service Act by Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier.  It was intended that it should be a distinct naval force for Canada, and that, should the need arise, it could be placed under British control.  The bill received royal assent on 4 May 1910.  The NSC was initially equipped with two former Royal Navy (RN) vessels, HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow.  King George V granted permission for the service to be known as the Royal Canadian Navy on 29 August 1911.

During the first years of the First World War, the RCN was equipped with six ships which patrolled both the North American East and West coasts to deter the German naval threat.  A seventh ship, HMCS Shearwater, joined the force in 1915.  Just before the end of the war in 1918, the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service (RCNAS) was established with the purpose of carrying out anti-submarine operations.  The RCNAS was disbanded after the armistice of 11 November 1918.

After the war, the Royal Canadian Navy took over certain responsibilities of the Department of Transport's Marine Service, and slowly started to build its fleet, with the first warships specifically designed for the RCN being commissioned in 1932.


HMCS Rainbow (the RCN’s first ship, Apollo class); HMCS Niobe (the RCN’s second ship, Diadem class); HMCS Aurora (Arethusa class)

 (Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs, VPL 3132)

HMCS Rainbow Rainbow in Vancouver harbour, 1914.

HMCS Rainbow, formerly HMS Rainbow, was an Apollo-class protected cruiser built for Britain's Royal Navy by Palmers at Hebburn-On-Tyne in England.  She was launched on 25 March 1891 as HMS Rainbow and entered service in 1893.  She was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910.  During the First World War, HMCS Rainbow was the only major Commonwealth warship on the western coast of North America at the outbreak of war.  She patrolled the Pacific coast as far south as Panama.  In 1916 and early 1917, she transported $140 million in Russian bullion between Esquimalt and Vancouver.  This money was placed in trust with Canada by the Russian government for protection due to the impending Russian revolution.  She was paid off on 8 May 1917.  On 5 July 1917 she was recommissioned to serve as a depot ship at Esquimalt.  She was paid off again on 1 June 1920 scrapped. 

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM54-S4-: Mil P290.09)

HMCS Rainbow, with a civilian examining one of her guns, 20 July 1914. 

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Rainbow in 1910.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Rainbow in 1910.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Rainbow, Vancouver, ca 1912.

  (City of Vancouver Archives and RCN Photos)

HMCS Rainbow, Aug 1910.

HMCS Niobe

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Niobe ca. 1910, Royal Canadian Navy.  HMS Niobe was a ship of the Diadem-class of protected cruiser in the Royal Navy.  She served in the Boer War and was then given to Canada as the first ship of the then newly created Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Niobe.  After patrol duties at the beginning of the First World War, she became a depot ship in Halifax.  Damaged in the 1917 Halifax Explosion, she was scrapped in the 1920s.  Two of HMCS Niobe's 6-inch guns are preserved in the City of Saint John, New Brunswick.

(RN Photos)

HMS Niobe in 1897 before being transferred to the RCN as HMCS Niobe in 1910.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Niobe.

 (A MacLauglan Photo)

HMCS Niobe, Halifax.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332976)

HMS Niobe in drydock in Halifax, 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-139151)

HMCS Niobe quarterdeck, 6-inch guns.

 (Author Photos)

HMCS Niobe 6-inch QF Gun, HBOC Mk. II, Serial No. 749, 1898, on display at HMCS Brunswicker, Saint John, New Brunswick.

 (Author Photos)

HMCS Niobe 6-inch QF Gun, 3 Field Regiment, Saint John, New Brunswick.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4046357)

HMCS Niobe stamp issued in 2010. 

HMCS Aurora

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3400003)

HMCS Aurora, Esquimalt, British Columbia, 1921.

HMS Aurora, one of eight Arethusa-class light cruisers, was launched on 30 September 1913 at Devonport Dockyard.  She had served with the Grand Fleet from 1914 to 1916.  The RCN took possession of HMS Aurora on 1 November 1920 and renamed her HMCS Aurora.  She was decommissioned in 1922 and scrapped in 1927.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Aurora, ca 1921.

  (Colin Stevens Photo)

4-inch/45 QF Mk. IV Gun, on a single mount, (Serial No. 985), from HMCS Aurora.  This naval gun is located in front of the Merchant Navy, Army, Navy & Air Force (ANAF) Hall, 9831 4th Street, Sidney, British Columbia.

 (Author Photos)


HMCS Patrician (Thornycroft “M” class); HMCS Patriot (Thornycroft “M” class); HMCS Champlain (Admiralty “S” class); HMCS Vancouver (F6A) (Admiralty “S” class).

HMCS Patrician and HMCS Patriot came to Canada in 1920, along with the cruiser HMCS Aurora as replacements for HMCS Rainbow and HMCS Niobe.  HMCS Patrician served on the West Coast, while HMCS Patriot served on the East coast, both as training ships.  Both were sold for scrap in 1929.

HMCS Patrician

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3724011)

HMCS Patrician (Thornycroft “M” class).

(IWM Photo SP1654)

HMCS Patrician, shown here when it was HMS Patrician (G56) in RN service in 1916.

HMCS Patriot

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3724024)

HMCS Patriot (Thornycroft “M” class).

(RCN Photo MC-10024)

HMCS Patriot (Thornycroft “M” class).

HMCS Champlain

(IWM Photo, KMD-03502)

HMCS Champlain, ca. 1932.

HMCS Vancouver

 (IWM Photo, IKMD-04359)

HMCS Vancouver.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3400265)

HMCS Vancouver, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, July 1928.

HMCS Shearwater

 (DND Photo)

HMS Shearwater was a Condor-class sloop launched in 1900.  She served on the Pacific Station and in 1915 was transferred to the RCN as HMCS Shearwater, serving as a submarine depot ship until 1919.  She was sold to the Western Shipping Company in May 1922 and renamed Vedas.

The class was armed with six 4-inch/25-pounder (1 ton) quick-firing (QF) breech loading (BL) guns and four 3-pounder QF BL guns.  The guns were arranged with two on the forecastle, two amidships and two aft.  In 1914, two of her 4-inch guns were landed and used to defend Seymour Narrows in British Columbia after the First World War broke out.  The Condor class had a protective deck of 1–1 12 in (2.5–3.8 cm) to steel over machinery and boilers.  The guns were equipped with gun shields which had .22 in (5.6 mm) armour.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Shearwater.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Shearwater, ca 1918.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259181)

HMCS Shearwater, left and HMCS Rainbow, right on the British Columbia coast, 1910.


HMCS CC-1 (“CC” class); HMCS CC-2 (“CC” class); HMCS CH-14 (“H” class); HMCS CH-15 (“H” class)

HMCS CC-1 and CC-2

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA11354)

HMCS CC-1 (left) and CC-2 (right).

HMCS CC-1 and HMCS CC-2 were CC-class submarines used by the Royal Canadian Navy.  The submarines were launched in 1913 in Seattle, Washington, with CC-1 initially named as the submarine Iquique for Chile.  CC-2 was also launched in Seattle in 1913 as the submarine Antofagasta, also for Chile.  A deal for the sale of these two submarines to Chile fell through and both were offered to British Columbia's Premier Sir Richard McBride, just nine days before the declaration of war in 1914.  On 4 August 1914, the day the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, the submarines departed at night (to maintain secrecy from the Chilean, German, and U.S. governments) for handover to BC authorities near Victoria, BC.  The Dominion Government of Canada later ratified the sale although there was a Parliamentary investigation of the cost of both boats, over twice the annual budget for the entire RCN in 1913-14.  The submarines entered into service for the RCN, as HMCS CC-1 and HMCS CC-2 on 6 August 1914.

HMCS CC-1 and CC-2 were assigned to the west coast with the home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia, and conducted training operations and patrols for three years.  Together with the cruiser HMCS Rainbow, CC-1 and CC-2 were the only Canadian or British ships defending the west coast of Canada between 1914 and 1917.  Britain had tasked the defence of British Columbia to the Imperial Japanese Navy's North American Task Force.  In 1917 the submarines were transferred to Halifax on the east coast, along with their mother ship, the submarine tender HMCS Shearwater.  Their passage through the Panama Canal was the first time a Canadian warship transitted the Panama Canal under the White Ensign.  All arrived in Halifax where preparations were made to send the two submarines to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.  Unfortunately, both submarines were deemed unsafe for transatlantic crossing, and were held in Halifax as a Training Assistance Boat.  Their veteran crews were highly valued but were not able to conduct any other operations than training.  Their continued use was too expensive, and their unseaworthiness resulted in both vessels being paid off, and disposed of in 1920.

(RCN Photo)

HMCS CC-1 on patrol.

(RCN Photo)


(DND Photo)

HMCS CC-1, with HMCS CC-2 in the background, near Vancouver, on its way back to CFB Esquimalt, BC, circa 1916.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS CC-2 on patrol.

  (RCN Photo)

HMCS CC-1 and CC-2.

HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15 

(RCN Photo, HS-22592)

HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15 in drydock.

HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15 were H class submarines used by the Royal Canadian Navy from 1919.   They were originally built for the Royal Navy as HMS H-14 and HMS H-15 in 1915.  Both submarines were ordered in December 1914 and completed at the Fore River Yard in Quincy, Massachusetts in December 1915 in the then-neutral United States.  When the US government discovered the construction, they impounded H-14, H-15 and other completed sister ships, only releasing them following their own declaration of war two years later.  H-14 and H-15 werre launched in 1917.  They saw service with the Royal Navy in Bermuda.  In February 1919 the Royal Navy presented H-14 and her sister ship, H-15 to the Royal Canadian Navy where they were renamed HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15, respectively.  Both were commissioned in Halifax in June 1919.  The CH class was used to replace the CC class submarines.  Like the CC class subs, the H class did not last long and both were paid off on 30 June 1922.  CH-15 was scrapped in 1922, and CH-14 was scrapped in 1927.

The RCN did not acquire any more submarines until after the Second World War.  On the 12th and 13th May 1945, U-190 and U-889 formally surrendered at sea to ships of the RCN, war having ended days earlier.  Both were large Type IX C submarines, built at Bremen in 1942 (U-190) and 1944 (U-889).  They were almost immediately commissioned into the RCN for testing and evaluations.

(IWM Photo, PMR78-517)

HMCS CH-14 (left) and HMCS CH-15 (right) in dry dock in Halifax, circa 1920.  In late 1919, Her Majesty’s Submarines H-14 and H-15 arrived in Halifax from the Royal Navy. They were fully refitted at the Halifax Shipyard and were commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.

(DND Photo)

HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15 in Halifax Harbour circa 1920.

 (Ralph Reginald Pattison collection Photo)

HMCS CH-14, alongside HMCS Patrician, Saint John, New Brunswick.

Captured First World War German Submarine

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3192652)

German First World War submarine UC-97 (minelaying-type) on public display at Toronto, Ontario in early June 1919.  The submarine was a on a tour that went on to Lake Michigan.

Dominion Government Hydrographic Survey ships converted to Patrol Boats

HMCS Acadia (converted from civilian use); HMCS Cartier/Charny (converted from civilian use)

HMCS Acadia

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Acadia, ca 1944.  She was a Dominion government hydrographic survey ship commissioned as a patrol vessel from 16 Jan 1917 to March 1919.  She carried out anti-submarine patrols in the Bay of Fundy as well as off the south shore of Nova Scotia and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  She then resumed survey duty until the outbreak of the Second World War when she was again commissioned on 2 Oct 1939, initially serving as a training ship for HMCS Stadacona, then later patrolling the Halifax approaches from May 1940 to March 1941.  She served as a training ship at Halifax for anti-aircraft gunners, and as a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship (DEMS).  In June 1944 whe went to HMCS Cornwallis as a gunnery training ship.  She was paid off on 3 Nov 1945 and returned to the Dominion government.  She was retired from service on 28 Nov 1969 and today serves as a museum ship at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax harbour.

 (Author Photo)

HMCS Acadia preserved in Halifax.

HMCS Cartier

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566768)

HMCS Cartier, 25 Oct 1940.  A Dominion government hydrographic survey ship, HMCS Cartier served as an armed patrol vessel on the east coast during the First World War.  She reverted back to government service between the wars, but was recommisioned as a training ship at Halifax on 18 Sep 1939.  She was renamed HMCS Charny on 9 Dec 1941.She was paid off on 12 Dec 1945.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Cartier.

HMCS Algerine, Sloop

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3399834)

HMCS Algerine. 

HMS Algerine was a Phoenix-class steel screw sloop of the Royal Navy.  She was launched at Devonport in 1895, saw action in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and later served on the Pacific Station.  She was stripped of her crew at Esquimalt in 1914, and transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1917, being commissioned as HMCS Algerine.  She was sold as a salvage vessel in 1919 and wrecked in 1923.


HMCS Constance (converted from civilian use); HMCS Curlew (converted from civilian use); HMCS Petrel (converted from civilian use)

HMCS Constance

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA191938)

HMCS Constance.

HMCS Constance was a commissioned minesweeper of the Royal Canadian Navy during the First World War.  Originally built as a fisheries cruiser for the Department of Marine and Fisheries, upon completion she was transferred to the Department of Customs, and was used by the Customs Preventive Service.  Along with sister ships CGS Curlew, and CGS Petrel, Constance was fitted with mine sweeping gear in 1912.  All three vessels were taken into naval service after the outbreak of war in 1914, and were used for patrol or examination duties.  After the war, Constance was sold for commercial use.  Remaining in service until the early 1930s, she was chartered by the Customs Preventive Service in 1928-29.

HMCS Curlew

 (RCN Photo, MC-10009)

HMCS Curlew.

Patrol boats

HMCS Canada (converted from civilian use); HMCS Florence (converted from civilian use); HMCS Galiano (converted from civilian use); HMCS Grilse (converted from civilian use); HMCS Gulnare (converted from civilian use); HMCS Hochelaga (converted from civilian use); HMCS Lady Evelyn (converted from civilian use); HMCS Laurentian (converted from civilian use); HMCS Malaspina (converted from civilian use); HMCS Margaret (converted from civilian use); HMCS Newington (converted from civilian use); HMCS Restless (converted from civilian use); HMCS Stadacona (converted from civilian use)

HMCS Canada.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Canada (converted from civilian use).

CGS Canada was a patrol vessel, sometimes referred to as a cruiser in the Fisheries Protection Service of Canada, an enforcement agency that was part of the Department of Marine and Fisheries.  Canada is considered to be the nucleus of the RCN for her role in training Canadian naval officers and asserting Canadian sovereignty.  Canada saw service in the First World War and was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Canada in 1915.  She underwent a refit to become a naval patrol ship which saw her forecastle raised and the Maxim guns for fisheries patrol use were replaced with two 12-pounder and two 3-pounder naval guns.  She served on the Atlantic coast.  HMCS Canada was decommissioned from the RCN in Nov 1919 and she resumed her former civilian fisheries patrol duties as CGS Canada before being retired from government service in 1920.  She was sold for commercial use and renamed MV Queen of Nassau.  On the verge of being sold again, the ship sank in the Straits of Florida on 2 July 1926.

 (Bud (Donald) Rose Photo)

HMCS Canada, St. Johns, Newfoundland, ca 1918.

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Florence.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Galiano.  Canadian fisheries patrol vessel CGS Galiano.  Cconverted from civilian use, she served during the First World War as HMCS Galiano and was lost in October 1918.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Grilse (converted from civilian use), commissioned patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy during the First World War, shown here in 1916.

 (RCN Photo, B-011786)

HMCS Gulnare (converted from civilian use), alongside HMCS Loos, 20 Sep 1937.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Hochelaga (converted from civilian use).

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Lady Evelyn (converted from civilian use).

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Laurentian, (converted from civilian use).

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Malaspina (converted from civilian use).  The Canadian government ship GCS Malaspina served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the First and Second World Wars as HMCS Malaspina.

 (Vancouver City Archives Photo)

HMCS Malaspina (converted from civilian use).

 (Vancouver City Archives Photo)

HMCS Malaspina (converted from civilian use).

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Margaret (converted from civilian use).  CGS Margaret was a Canadian Government Ship, and was the first vessel to be built specifically for the Customs Preventive Service.  Delivered in 1914, she was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and served as HMCS Margaret during the First World War.  Following the war, Margaret was returned to the Customs Preventive Service, and was transferred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1932.  Sold shortly thereafter, she was subsequently acquired by the Brazilian Navy and renamed Rio Branco.

 (CGS Photo)

HMCS Newington, shown as CGS Newington, before being converted from civilian use for service with the RCN during the First World War.  Prior to the war, the ship served as a fishing trawler and lighthouse tender for the Canadian government.  Following the war the vessel was returned to government service.  CGS Newington was converted to a tugboat in 1920.  Sold to private interests in 1920 the ship sank on 26 August 1959 while laid up in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia.

HMCS Restless (converted from civilian use)., this ship served throughout the First World War as an examination vessel on the west coast.  Built in 1906, she was purchased for fishery patrol two years later. She served as a training ship at the Royal Naval College of Canada, Esquimalt, from 1918 to 1920, when she was donated to the Navy League of Canada for sea cadet training. She was sold in 1927, but remained in commercial service until about 1950, when she was destroyed by fire in Saanichton Bay, BC.

(IWM Photo, CN-3275)

HMCS Stadacona (converted from civilian use), became a commissioned patrol boat of the RCN, serving in the First World War and postwar until 1920.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Tuna was a commissioned torpedo boat of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that served during the First World War.  Built as the high-speed civilian yacht Tarantula, the vessel was one of several converted yachts the RCN used during the war.   She was designated as a torpedo boat after the installation of two 14-inch (360 mm) torpedo tubes and a 3-pounder gun.  The ship was commissioned on 5 Dec 1914 as HMCS Tuna, and assigned to patrol duties based out of Halifax.  In July 1916,HMCS Tuna underwent an overhaul at Sorel, Quebec.  On 10 May 1917 HMCS Tuna was paid off due to an irreparable engine mount fracture.  She was sold for salvage in June 1918, and stripped.  Her hull remained in Halifax's Northwest Arm until the 1930s.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Tuna, ca 1916.

P.V. type minesweeping trawlers.  Seven served as RCN minesweepers.  These ships were built before the First World War in the USA.  Initially constructed and used as fishing trawlers they were taken into service with the RCN during the First World War for patrol duty along the Atlantic coast.  They were each armed with a single QF 12-pounder gun.  Following the war they were returned to their original service.

HMCS P.V. I (PV type), HMCS P.V. II (PV type), HMCS P.V. III (PV type), HMCS P.V. IV (PV type), HMCS P.V. V (PV type), HMCS P.V. VI (PV type), HMCS P.V. VII (PV type).  

Original names prior to commissioning in the RCN: P.V. I William B. Murray, P.V. II Amagansett, P.V. III Herbert N. Edwards, P.V. IV Martin J. Marran, P.V. V Rollin E. Mason, P.V. VI Leander Wilcox, and P.V. VII Rowland H. Wilcox.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS P.V. II (PV type) minesweeping trawler, ca 1916.

TR (Castle-class) Minesweeping Trawlers

 (Naval Museum of Alberta Photo)

HMCS TR 9.  Built at the Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., TR 9 was completed on 16 May 1918.  She was paid off on 15 Feb 1919, and sold in 1920.  She was renamed Somersby.

The Castle-class minesweeper was a highly sea worthy naval trawler adapted for patrol, anti-submarine warfare and minesweeping duties and built to UK Admiralty specifications.  Altogether 197 were built in the UK between 1916 and 1919, with 60 put in service with the RCN, and others built in India and later New Zealand.  Many saw service in the Second World War.  They were each armed with a single QF 12-pounder gun.  Early in the Second World War, ten Canadian-built trawlers that had been sold into commercial service after the First World War with a number of European countries, were captured by the Germans when they overran France, Belgium and Norway and taken into service with the Kriegsmarine.

HMCS TR 1 (Castle class), HMCS TR 2 (Castle class), HMCS TR 3 (Castle class), HMCS TR 4 (Castle class), HMCS TR 5 (Castle class), HMCS TR 6 (Castle class) all built at Port Arthur Shipbuilding, Port Arthur, Ontario. 

HMCS TR 7 (Castle class), HMCS TR 8 (Castle class), HMCS TR 9 (Castle class), HMCS TR 10 (Castle class), HMCS TR 11 (Castle Class), HMCS TR 12 (Castle class), all built at Collingwood Shipbuilding, Collingwood, Ontario. 

HMCS TR 13 (Castle class), HMCS TR 14 (Castle class), built at Thor Iron Works, Toronto, Ontario.

HMCS TR 15 (Castle class), HMCS TR 16 (Castle class), HMCS TR 17 (Castle class), HMCS TR 18 (Castle class), all built at Polson Iron Works, Toronto, Ontairo.

HMCS TR 19 (Castle class), HMCS TR 20 (Castle class), built at Kingston Shipbuilding, Kingston, Ontario.

HMCS TR 21 (Castle class), HMCS TR 22 (Castle class), HMCS TR 23 (Castle class), HMCS TR 24 (Castle class), HMCS TR 25 (Castle class), HMCS TR 26 (Castle class), HMCS TR 27 (Castle class), HMCS TR 28 (Castle class), HMCS TR 29 (Castle class), HMCS TR 30 (Castle class), HMCS TR 31 (Castle class), built at Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Quebec.

HMCS TR 32 (Castle class), HMCS TR 33 (Castle class), HMCS TR 34 (Castle class), built at Government Shipyards, Sorel, Quebec.

HMCS TR 35 (Castle class), HMCS TR 36 (Castle class), built at Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, Quebec.

HMCS TR 37 (Castle class), HMCS TR 38 (Castle class), HMCS TR 39 (Castle class), HMCS TR 40 (Castle class), HMCS TR 41 (Castle class), HMCS TR 42 (Castle class), HMCS TR 43 (Castle class), HMCS TR 44 (Castle class), built at Port Arthur Shipbuilding, Port Arthur, Ontario.

HMCS TR 45(Castle class),HMCS TR 46 (Castle class), HMCS TR 47 (Castle class), HMCS TR 48 (Castle class), HMCS TR 49 (Castle class), HMCS TR 50 (Castle class), built at Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, Quebec.

HMCS TR 51 (Castle class), HMCS TR 52 (Castle class), HMCS TR 53 (Castle class), built at Government Shipyards, Sorel, Quebec.

HMCS TR 54 (Castle class), HMCS TR 55 (Castle class), HMCS TR 56 (Castle class), HMCS TR 57 (Castle class), built at Kingston Shipbuilding, Kingston, Ontario.

HMCS TR 58 (Castle class), HMCS TR 59 (Castle class), and HMCS TR 60 (Castle class), built at Tidewater Shipbuilding, Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332779)

HMCS TR 8, Halifax, Nova Scotia ca 1918.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS TR-35 (left) ready for launching, TR-36 on the right, Lauzon, Quebec, 1918.

CD-class Naval Drifters

 (DND Photo)

C.D. 27 armed drifter in RCN service, ca 1917.

The CD-class naval drifters were armed wooden-hulled boats constructed in 1917 for the Royal Navy in Canada.  100 were ordered for use in British waters during the First World War numbered from CD 1 to CD 100, of which 42 were transferred to the RCN and 18 were transferred to the USN.  In Canadian waters, the drifters patrolled the Maritimes.  At the end of the war, the drifters were either sold into mercantile service or scrapped.  Some survived in British service and were be used during the Second World War.

C.D. 1 to C.D. 50, built at Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, Lauzon, Quebec.

C.D. 51 to C.D. |53, built at Government Shipyards, Sorel, Quebec.

C.D. 54 to C.D. 59, built at Sorel Shipbuilding & Coal Co., Quebec,

C.D. 60 to C.D. 61, and C.D. 68 to C.D. 70, built at H.H. Sheppard & Sons, Sorel, Quebec.

C.D. 62 to C.D. 67, built at LeClaire & Sons, Sorel, Quebec.

C.D. 71 to C.D. 96, built at Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec.

C.D. 97 to C.D. 100, built at Harbour Commissioners, Montreal, Quebec.

Battle Class Trawlers

HMCS Arleux (Battle-class); HMCS Armentières (Battle-class); HMCS Arras (Battle-class); HMCS Festubert (Battle-class); HMCS Givenchy (Battle-class); HMCS Loos (Battle-class); HMCS Messines (Battle-class); HMCS St. Eloi (Battle-class); HMCS St. Julien (Battle-class); HMCS Thiepval (Battle-class); HMCS Vimy (Battle-class); HMCS Ypres (Battle-class)

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Arleux was one of twelve Battle class Naval trawlers used by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).  Named after the April 1917 Battle of Arleux, she was built by Canadian Vickers, at Montreal, and commissioned on 5 June 1918.  After the First World War, Arleux was transferred to the Department of Marine and Fisheries, but remained notionally a naval vessel until June 1922.  While Arleux was a fisheries patrol vessel, she often served as a mother ship to the east coast's winter haddock fishing fleet.  Reacquired by the RCN and re-commissioned in September 1939, Arleux was designated Gate Vessel 16 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1940.  Sold in February 1946, Arleux foundered in August 1948 off White Head Bay, Nova Scotia.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Armentières, ca 1918.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Armentières, 27 May 1933.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Arras, ca 1918.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Festubert, ca 1918.

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Ypres was also one of the twelve Battle class Naval trawlers used by the RCN.  Named after the 2nd and 3rd battles of Ypres, she was built by Polson Iron Works in Toronto, Ontario, and was commissioned on 13 November 1917.  Like many of the RCN's Battle class trawlers, Ypres was decommissioned in 1920.  After being recommissioned on 1 May 1923 as a training ship, in November 1932 she was again decommissioned and was placed in reserve. Refitted as a gate vessel in 1938 and recommissioned, Ypres was designated Gate Vessel 1, and formed part of the Halifax boom defences until 12 May 1940, when she was accidentally rammed and sunk by the British battleship HMS Revenge, but without loss of life.  After this incident, the crews of other gate vessels would pretend to make elaborate preparations for a collision every time the Revenge visited Halifax.  (Ken Macpherson and John Burgess, The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910-1993 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships, (St. Catharines, Ont.: Vanwell Pub., 1994), p. 25).

Fundy-class Minesweepers

The Fundy-class minesweepers included four minesweepers operated by the RCN during the Second World War.  All four ships entered service in 1938 and the class was discarded in 1945, sold for mercantile service.  Three ended up sold to Chinese interests, while one remained active in Canada until 1987.  The class derived its name from the lead ship, HMCS Fundy, and are all named after bays in Canada.  The Fundy-class minesweepers were modified versions of the British Basset-class trawler mineseepers.  The Canadian ships were given extra strengthening for ice conditions.  Two were initially assigned to the west coast and two, including HMCS Fundy, to the east coast.

HMCS Comox (J64), HMCS Fundy (J88), HMCS Gaspé (J94), HMCS Nootka/Nanoose (J35)

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo)

HMCS Comox (J64), ca 1937.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Fundy (J88), ca 1938.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Gaspé (J94).

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Nootka/Nanoose (J35)

Training Vessels

HMCS Skidegate.  Built in 1927, she was owned by Packers Steamship Co., Ltd., Vancouver BC, from 1927 to 1931. Later owned by J. Dutton of Vancouver then J.J. Cross Marine Supplies. Named Ochecac, she was purchased in 1938 and commissioned on 25 Jul 1938, for training purposes in connection with the Fishermen's Reserve, formed that year on the west coast.  Of declining use as the war progressed, Skidegate was paid off on 18 Feb 1942.  Sold in 1946 to John Steffich (MO), Vancouver BC.  In 1946 she was renamed as the Santa Rosa.

HMCS Venture

The only sailing vessel among the thirteen ships serving in the RCN on the eve of the Second World War, this three-masted schooner was built at Meteghan, Nova Scotia, and commissioned on 25 October 1937 as a training ship. With war imminent, VENTURE was paid off on 1 September 1939 to become an accommodation vessel at Halifax for ratings on the staff of the Rear Admiral, 3rd Battleship Squadron, RN. In November 1941, she was commissioned as guard ship at Tuft's Cove, at the entrance to Bedford Basin. She gave up her name on 13 May 1943 to the former yacht Seaborn and thereafter was known as Harbour Craft 190. She was sold on 10 December 1945 to a Halifax firm and renamed Alfred & Emily. Engaged first in the sealing trade and then in carrying coal, she was lost by fire at sea in 1951.

Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3407944)

HMCS Karluk, icebound, Oct 1913.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3407943)

HMCS Karluk, icebound, Oct 1913.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3611364)

HMCS Karluk.

Karluk was an American-built brigantine which, after many years' service as a whaler, was acquired by the Canadian government in 1913 to act as flagship to the Canadian Arctic Expedition.  While on her way to the expedition's rendezvous at Herschel Island, Karluk became trapped in the Arctic pack ice and, after drifting for several months, was crushed and sank in January 1914.  Of the 25 aboard (crew and expedition staff), eleven died, either during the attempts to reach land by marching over the ice, or after arrival at the temporary refuge of Wrangel Island.  Several designations have been applied to the ship after her acquisition by the Canadian government, including "HMCS" (His Majesty's Canadian Ship),"DGS" (Dominion Government Ship), and "CGS" (Canadian Government Ship).  It is not clear whether the "HMCS" designation was formal or informal; HMCS is used for Royal Canadian Navy ships.  Although Karluk sailed under a non-navy captain and with a non-navy crew, she flew the Canadian Blue Ensign, the jack of the Royal Canadian Navy.

St. John’s, HMCS Cabot,  220 Southside Road, Pier 27.

(Able Seaman Brittany Hayes Photos, HMCS Cabot)

QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss Gun, inside the main entrance to the ship.  This gun was used on board HMS Calypso.

(RN Photos)

HMCS Calypso, profile view and under full sail.  A corvette of the Royal Navy, she was sent to Newfoundland in 1902 where she served as a training vessel for the Newfoundland Naval Reserve before and during the First World War.  The author was onboard this vessel during her scrapping in 1971.  The remains of her hull still exist in a coastal bay near Lewisporte, Newfoundland.

(The Rooms Provincial Archives Photo)

HMS Calypso in RN service.

(RN Photo)

HMCS Calypso.  The author was onboard this vessel during her scrapping in 1971.  The remains of her hull still exist in a coastal bay near Lewisporte, Newfoundland.

Sea Battle

(Author's artwork)

Sea battle, d'Iberville on the Pelican, engaging three British warships in Hudson Bay.

This sea battle took place near present day Churchill, Manitoba, when Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661-1706) on the Pelican attacked and defeated three Hudson's Bay Company ships, sinking two in a pitched naval battle near York Factory in Hudson Bay.

His Majesty's Ships (HMS) visiting Canadian ports at the turn of the century

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3192245)

HMS Canada, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 20 Sep 1889.

Four ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Canada:

HMS Canada (1765), a 74-gun third rate  ship of the line launched in 1765.  She became a prison ship in 1810, and was sold broken up in 1834.

HMS Canada was to have been a 112-gun first rate ship of the line.  She was laid down in 1814, but cancelled in 1832 and broken up on the stocks.

HMS Canada (1881) was a screw corvette launched in 1881 and sold in 1897.

(Chilean Navy Photo)

HMS Canada (1913) was a battleship that the Chilean navy had ordered as Almirante Latorre.  She was launched in 1913, but the British government purchased her in 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War.  The British government resold her to Chile in 1920, and as Almirante Latorre (shown in service on 24 Dec 1921), she served the Chilean Navy until she was broken up in Japan after 1959.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332850)

HMS Crescent, Flagship of the North America and West Indies Squadron, Halifax, NS, 1900.  The Imperial navy base in Halifax was known as the "Warden of the North".

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332915)

HMS Retribution, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 1903.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332917)

HMS Ariadne, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 1903. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332926)

HMS Ariadne, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 1903. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332914) 

HMS Fantome, North America and West Indies Squadron, Halifax, NS, 1903.