Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Royal Canadian Navy Warships

HMCS Shearwater, left and HMCS Rainbow, right on the British Columbia coast, 1910.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259181)

Warships of the Royal Canadian Navy

HMCS Athabaskan DH282.  (Author's artwork).

Photos and artwork by the Author except where credited.  Updated on 14 Jan 2017.

Ships of the Royal Canadian Navy Commissioned 1910–1930

Cruisers

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

HMCS Rainbow, Aug 1910.  (City of Vancouver Archives)

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 and scrapped in 1920.

HMCS Niobe ca. 1898 - 1915, 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.  (RCN Photo)

HMS Niobe in drydock in Halifax, 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332976)

HMCS Niobe.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA209548)

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HMCS Niobe ca. 1915.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Niobe stamp issued in 2010.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4046357)

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

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

6-inch QF Guns awaiting installation in HMCS Prince David, RCN, 19 Aug 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394502)

HMS Aurora, 1913.  (Royal Navy Photo)

(Photo courtesy of Colin Steves)

HMCS Aurora, QF 4-inch/45 Mk IV Gun, now on display in front of the Merchant Navy, Army, Navy & Air Force (ANAF) Hall, 9831 4th St, Sidney, British Columbia.

HMCS Aurora, Esquimalt, 1921.

HMS Aurora was an Arethusa-class light cruiser launched on 30 September 1913 at Devonport Dockyard.  The RCN took possession of her on 1 November 1920 and renamed her HMCS Aurora.  She was decommissioned in 1922 and scrapped in 1927.

Destroyers

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

HMCS Patriot.  (RCN Photo MC-10024)

HMS Patrician in RN service(1916).  (IWM Photo SP1654)

HMCS Champlain, ca. 1932.  (IWM Photo KMD-03502)

HMCS Vancouver.  (IWM Photo IKMD-04359), left and HMCS Vancouver, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, July 1928.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3400265)

Submarines

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

HMCS CC-1 on patrol.  (RCN Photo)

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.  (RCN Photo), left, & (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA11354), right.

The submarines 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.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_CC-1.

HMCS CH-14 and HMCS CH-15 in drydock.  (RCN Photo, HS-22592 left, and IWM Photo, PMR78-517, right)

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.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_CH-14.

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.

Captured First World War German Submarine

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

RCN 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); HMCS TR series 1–60 – 45 built (minesweeping); HMCS CD-1-100 – 37 built (minesweeping); HMCS PV-I-VII – 7 built (minesweeping)

(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.

 (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 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).

Minesweepers

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 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 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), 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), 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), HMCS TR 13 (Castle class), HMCS TR 14 (Castle class), HMCS TR 15 (Castle class), HMCS TR 16 (Castle class), HMCS TR 17 (Castle class), HMCS TR 18 (Castle class), HMCS TR 19 (Castle class), HMCS TR 20 (Castle class), 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), HMCS TR 32 (Castle class), HMCS TR 33 (Castle class), HMCS TR 34 (Castle class), HMCS TR 35 (Castle class), HMCS TR 36 (Castle class), HMCS TR 37 (Castle class), HMCS TR 38 (Castle class), HMCS TR 39 (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), HMCS TR 51 (Castle class), HMCS TR 52 (Castle class), HMCS TR 53 (Castle class), HMCS TR 54 (Castle class), HMCS TR 55 (Castle class), HMCS TR 56 (Castle class), HMCS TR 57 (Castle class), HMCS TR 58 (Castle class), HMCS TR 59 (Castle class), and HMCS TR 60 (Castle class).

HMCS TR 8 (Castle class), Minesweeper, ca 1916.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo,MIKAN No. 3332779)

Survey ships

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

HMCS Acadia preserved in Halifax.

HMCS Cartier.  (RCN Photo)

Sloops

HMCS Algerine (converted from civilian use); HMCS Shearwater (converted from civilian use)

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

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 Shearwater.  (RCN Photos)

HMS Shearwater was a Condor-class sloop launched in 1900.  She served on the Pacific Station and in 1915 was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy 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.

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)

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.

HMCS Hochelaga.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Gulnare.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Lady Evelyn.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Laurentian.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Florence.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Stadacona.  (IWM Photo CN-3275)

HMCS Stadacona was a commissioned patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that served in the First World War and postwar until 1920.

Torpedo boat

HMCS Tuna (converted from civilian use)

HMCS Tuna.  (RCN 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.

The RCN and the Battle of the Atlantic

            The RCN played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic.  Although the RCN was very small at the start of the war, by 1942 it was carrying out a major share of the defence of North American waters while escorting trans-oceanic convoy of merchant ships and fighting German U-boats.  By 1944, the RCN and RCAF had grown to the point where they were providing a significant contribution to our Allies in other theatres of the war.  At the same time, Canada’s Merchant Navy Veterans sailed at tremendous risk, often in highly inflammable tankers or in freighters loaded with ammunition. More than 25,000 merchant ship voyages were made from North America to Britain under RCN escort delivering roughly 165 million tonnes of cargo to sustain the UK.  

Canadian warships and aircraft sank, or shared in the destruction of some 50 U-boats.  Connections to New Brunswick include the frigate HMCS Saint John and the destroyer HMCS St. Croix sank two U-boats each, although the destroyer was later sunk in September 1943 by an acoustic torpedo.  The Saint John-built corvette, HMCS Shediac, participated in several convoy battles.  In July 1942, it engaged three U-Boats in a single night, ramming one and damaging another.  The corvette HMCS Sackville has been restored and is preserved in Halifax as Canada’s National Naval Memorial.

A large naval establishment in Saint John oversaw the inspection of all merchant shipping from the western hemisphere bound for German-controlled ports in Europe.  Naval Control of Shipping HQ in Saint John oversaw shipping throughout the waters around New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and parts of Quebec. The Naval Reserve Division at HMCS Brunswicker located in Lower Cove enlisted nearly 2,300 recruits for the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR).

RCN Ships Commissioned 1930–1950

Aircraft carriers

HMS Nabob (D77) (Ameer-class); HMS Puncher (D79) (Ameer-class); HMCS Warrior (R31) (Colossus-class); HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) (Majestic-class)

HMS Nabob (D77) at sea before being transferred to the RCN.  (Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Ordnance QF 40-mm Bofors AA Gun Mk XI in Twin Mounting practic firing, HMS Nabob (D77), Jan 1944.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230534)

HMS Nabob (D77) was hit by a torpedo during an operation in northern waters on 22 Aug 1944.  Despite her damaged condition, Nabob turned homeward with a skeleton crew and reached her base after sailing 1,070 miles at a steady ten knots, proceeding homewards under her own steam, her stern low down in the water.  The damaged carrier is shown steaming under her own power for Scapa Flow.  (RCN Photo)

HMS Nabob (D77), off the coast of British Columbia, in March of 1944.  (Photo Courtesy of Corvus Publishing Group, Canada's Navy)

HMS Nabob (D77) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Navy during 1943 and 1944.  The ship was built in the United States as USS Edisto (CVE-41) (originally AVG-41 then later ACV-41) but did not serve with the United States Navy.  She was laid down on 20 October 1942, launched 22 March 1943, and transferred under Lend-Lease to the United Kingdom on 7 September 1943 prior to her commissioning as HMS Nabob (D77) into the Royal Navy.  She served as an anti-submarine warfare carrier and the ship's crew was largely drawn from personnel provided by the Royal Canadian Navy.  Flight crew were Royal Navy personnel (852 and 856 Naval Air Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm).  On 22 August 1944, while returning from a strike against the German battleship Tirpitz (Operation Goodwood), she was torpedoed by U-354 in the Barents Sea and sustained heavy damage.  Five days later she steamed into Scapa Flow under her own power but had lost 21 men.  She was eventually judged not worth repairing, was beached and abandoned then cannibalized for other ships and decommissioned on 30 September 1944, but retained as part of the Reserve Fleet.  She was returned to USN at Rosyth and stricken for disposal 16 March 1946.  Sold for scrapping in the Netherlands 3/1947.  Resold and converted as the merchant Nabob of Norddeutscher Lloyd (later renamed Glory).  She was sold for scrap in Taiwan in 1977.  Nabob is one of three Royal Navy escort carriers built in the United States which is listed as lost in action (2 sunk and 1 heavily damaged and never repaired) during the Second World War.

These ships were all larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers.  They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships.  All the ships had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m).  Propulsion was provided a steam turbine, two boilers connected to one shaft giving 9,350 brake horsepower (SHP), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).  Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires.  Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck.  Armament comprised: two 4 inch Dual Purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20-mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts.  They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft. Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Nabob_(D77).

HMS Puncher (D79) underway with Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers onboard.  (Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

(Photos courtesy of the Royal Navy)

HMS Puncher (D79) at anchor.

HMS Puncher (D79) anchored at Halifax, Nova Scotia with Fairey Firefly and Supermarine Seafire aircraft onboard, 1946.  (Royal Canadian Navy Photo)

HMS Puncher (D79).  (RCN Photo)

HMS Puncher (D79), originally named USS Willapa (AVG-53/ACV-53/CVE-53) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier (originally an auxiliary aircraft carrier) in the United States Navy, leased to the United Kingdom.  Willapa was laid down on 21 May 1943 at Seattle, Washington, by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation and reclassified CVE-53 on 10 June 1943.  Launched on 8 November 1943, the ship was transferred under lend-lease to the Royal Navy on 5 February 1944 to be manned by a Canadian crew.  Renamed HMS Puncher (D79), the carrier served the Royal Canadian Navy except for Fleet Air Arm personnel in the Atlantic and Mediterranean for the duration of hostilities.  Stationed with the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, Puncher initially served in a training role, but was re-tasked to strike and convoy air protection (CAP) after her sister ship, HMS Nabob was torpedoed off Norway in 1944.  Also part of her squadron was the US escort carrier USS Shamrock BayPuncher also provided convoy air protection on the Murmansk/Arkhangelsk convoy route which she did six times. Strike operations included against German occupied Norway industrial and shipping targets such as the steel works at Narvik on the west coast of Norway.  Fleet Air Arm squadrons assigned to Puncher included Fairey Barracuda torpedo bombers, Fairey Firefly fighter/bombers, American-built Hellcat (Wildcat) fighters and Avenger torpedo bombers.  The Barracuda was one of the largest carrier-borne aircraft in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and required rocket assistance to take flight from the small flight deck.  The Admiralty had determined that, in the post-war world, Canada would have her own aircraft carriers. Both HMS Puncher and HMS Nabob were crewed by RCN crews to establish the knowledge base for the future carriers assigned to that country, HMCS Warrior (ex HMS Warrior), HMCS Magnificent (ex HMS Magnificent) ("The Maggie"), and HMCS Bonaventure (ex HMS Powerful) ("The Bonnie").  Decommissioned on 16 February 1946 at Norfolk, Virginia, and returned to American custody that day, the escort carrier was struck from the Navy Registry on 12 March 1946, having never seen active service with the United States Navy.  Initially sold to William B. St. John, of New York City, on 9 January 1947, the carrier was subsequently resold to a British firm on 4 February 1947 and converted for mercantile service.  She later served successively as Muncaster Castle, Bardic and Ben Nevis until she was scrapped in Taiwan in 1973.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Puncher_(D79).

HMS Warrior (R31).  (Royal Navy Photos)

HMCS Warrior (R31).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA129207)

HMCS Warrior.  (Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

HMS Warrior (R31) was a Colossus-class light aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946 to 1948 (as HMCS Warrior), the Royal Navy from 1948 to 1958, and the Argentine Navy from 1959 to 1969 (as ARA Independencia (V-1)).  Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, she was originally to be called HMS Brave; the Royal Navy had originally intended to rush her into service for operations in the Indian Ocean during  the Second World War, thus she was built without heaters for some onboard equipment since heat was unnecessary in tropical operations.  She was launched on 20 May 1944 and completed on 24 January 1946. She was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, commissioned as HMCS Warrior and placed under the command of Captain Frank Houghton.  She entered Halifax harbour on 31 March 1946, a week after leaving Portsmouth.  The RCN experienced problems with the unheated equipment during operations in cold North Atlantic waters off eastern Canada during 1947.  The RCN deemed her unfit for service and, rather than retrofit her with equipment heaters, made arrangements with the Royal Navy to trade her for a more suitable aircraft carrier of the Majestic class which became HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) on commissioning.  HMCS Warrior returned to the United Kingdom and was recommissioned as HMS Warrior (R31) on 23 March 1948.  Eventually sold to Argentina, she was scrapped in 1971.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Warrior_(R31).

Cruisers

HMCS Uganda (C66) (Ceylon-class), later renamed HMCS Quebec (C66); HMCS Ontario (C53) (Minotaur-class)

HMCS Uganda (C66).  (Legion Magazine Archives Photo)

Sailors setting shell fuses on board HMCS Uganda (C66), 23 Jun 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3624562)

HMCS Uganda (C66) bombarding Sukuma Airfield on Miyako Jima, 4 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191651)

(RCN Photo)

HMS Uganda, was a Second World War-era Crown Colony-class light cruiser launched in 1941.  She served in the Royal Navy during 1943 and 1944, including operations in the Mediterranean, and was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Uganda (C66) in October 1944.  She served in the Pacific theatre in 1945 and was put into reserve in 1947. When she was reactivated for the Korean War in 1952 she was renamed HMCS Quebec.  She was decommissioned for the last time in 1956 and scrapped in Japan in 1961.

(Photo courtesy of State Library of Victoria, Australia)

HMCS Ontario was a Minotaur class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy as HMS Minotaur (53), but transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy on completion and renamed Ontario.  HMS Minotaur was laid down on 20 November 1941 by Harland & Wolff of Belfast and launched on 29 July 1943.  She was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in July 1944, and completed and commissioned as Ontario on 25 May 1945 at Belfast.  After commissioning she was worked up on the River Clyde in Scotland.  She sailed to join the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the Pacific Theatre, but was too late to see active service, although she was employed in the operations at Hong Kong, Manila and in Japan.  She returned home for refit, arriving at Esquimalt on 27 November 1945.  In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  She was used for training duties postwar until paid off on 15 October 1958.  She arrived at Osaka for breaking up on 19 November 1960.

Normandy invasion fleet, June 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233795)

Destroyers, A, C, D, E, F, G, H, Wickes and Clemson Class

HMCS Saguenay (D79) (A class destroyer); HMCS Skeena (D59) (A class destroyer); HMCS Assiniboine (I18) (C class destroyer); HMCS Fraser (H48) (C class); HMCS Ottawa (H60) (C class); HMCS Restigouche (H00) (C class); HMCS St. Laurent (H83) (C class); HMCS Kootenay (H75) (D class destroyer); HMCS Margaree (H49) (D class); HMCS Gatineau (H61) (E class destoyer); HMCS Qu’Appelle (H69) (F Class destroyer); HMCS Saskatchewan (H70) (F class); HMCS Ottawa (H31) (G class destroyer); HMCS Chaudière (H99) (H class destroyer); HMCS Buxton (H96) (Wickes class); HMCS St. Croix (I81) (Wickes class); HMCS St. Francis (I93) (Wickes class); HMCS Annapolis (I04) Clemson class; HMCS Columbia (I49) (Clemson class); HMCS Hamilton (I24) (Clemson class); HMCS Niagara (I57) (Clemson class); HMCS St. Clair (I65) (Clemsonclass).

HMCS Assiniboine (I18) (C class destroyer), 1 Nov 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3399942)

HMCS Ottawa and Assiniboine, Halifax, 19 Aug 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3305629)

HMCS Restigouche (H00) (C class), 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207420)

HMCS Saguenay (D79) (A class destroyer), Montreal, 1932.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN No. 3399173 and 3399174)

HMCS Saguenay (D79) (A class destroyer), Montreal, 1934.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN No. 3399179)

HMCS St. Croix (I81) (Wickes class).  (George Metcalf Archival Collection, CWM Photo, 19900085-1040)

HMCS St. Croix (I81) was a Wickes class destroyer that was originally commissioned as USS McCook (DD-252), until she was transferred to the RN and then to the RCN in 1940.  She sank U-90 in the North Atlantic on 24 July 1942. HMCS St. Croix was torpedoed in the mid-Atlantic and lost on 20 Sep 1943.

HMCS St. Laurent (H83) (C class), 15 Aug 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3399121)

HMCS Skeena (D59) (A class destroyer).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Ottawa (H60).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Ottawa (H60) was a C-class destroyer commissioned as HMS Crusader for the RN in the early 1930s. Crusader was sold to the RCN in 1938 and renamed HMCS Ottawa.  She was initially deployed on the Canadian Pacific Coast before the Second World War, but was transferred to the Atlantic three months after the war began. Together with the British destroyer HMS Harvester, she sank the Italian submarine Comandante Faa' Di Bruno in the North Atlantic in November 1941.  She served as a convoy escort during the battle of the Atlantic until sunk by the German submarine U-91 on 14 September 1942. 

 (Regia Marina Photo)

Comandante Faà di Bruno, an Italian Marcello-class submarine, was sunk in November 1940 by a combined effort from the destroyers HMCS Ottawa and HMS Harvester, attacking a convoy they were defending

HMCS Assiniboine signalmen, 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566952)

HMCS Assiniboine, QF 2-pounder pom-pom Mk. VIII, V.S.M. (Vickers, Sons & Maxim LL) Automatic Gun ,10 July 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566434)

HMCS Assiniboine, QF 2-pounder pom-pom Mk. 1, V.S.M. (Vickers, Sons & Maxim LL) Automatic Gun, being fired on 10 July 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566440)

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Fraser was a C-class destroyer initially built for the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Crescent in the early 1930s.  Crescent was sold to the RCN in late 1936 and renamed HMCS Fraser.  She was stationed on the west coast of Canada until the beginning of the Second World War when she was transferred to the Atlantic coast for convoy escort duties.  The ship was transferred to the United Kingdom (UK) in May 1940 and helped to evacuate refugees from France upon her arrival in early June.  Fraser was sunk on 25 June 1940 in a collision with the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta while returning from one such mission.

 (RN Photo)

HMCS Margaree (H49) was a D-class destroyer commissined as HMS Diana for the Royal Navy, entering naval service in 1932. Diana was transferred to the RCN in 1940 and renamed HMCS Margaree.  She served for just over a month with the RCN before being sunk in a collision with a large freighter she was escorting on 22 October 1940.

HMCS Niagara (I57) (Clemson class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Niagara (I57) (Clemson class) viewed from the air during the capture of U-570.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Niagara was one of 50 American four-stack destroyers transferred to the RCN in 1940.  Originially named for Admiral Henry K. Thatcher, the USS Thatcher (DD-162) was a Wickes-class destroyer laid down on 8 June 1918 at Quincy, Massachusetts, by the Fore River Plant of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation; launched on 31 August 1918; and commissioned on 14 January 1919. 

The European situation had taken a drastic turn with the fall of France in June 1940.  British destroyer forces in the wake of the disastrous Norwegian campaign and the evacuation of Dunkirk found themselves thinly spread, especially after Italy entered the war on Germany's side. Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed to the United States for help.

In response, America's President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing the transfer of 50 "over age" destroyers to the British in return for 99-year leases on strategic base sites in the western hemisphere. USS Thatcher was accordingly withdrawn from the Atlantic Squadron she was serving with in Destroyer Division 69 for transfer to the Royal Canadian Navy, which had been allocated six of the "50 ships that saved the world," as these vessels came to be known.

As such, USS Thatcher and her five sisters arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 20 September 1940, the third group of the "flush deckers" transferred.  Decommissioned on 24 September 1940, USS Thatcher was struck from the Navy list on 8 January 1941.

Renamed HMCS Niagara following the Canadian practice of naming destroyers after Canadian rivers (but with deference to the U.S. origin), after the Niagara River forming the border between New York and Ontario.  Niagara departed Halifax on 30 November; proceeded eastward via St. John's, Newfoundland; and arrived in the British Isles on 11 December.  Early in 1941, the destroyer was allocated to the 4th Escort Group, Western Approaches Command, and based at Greenock, Scotland. Subsequently transferred to the Newfoundland escort force, Niagara operated on convoy escort duties into the summer of 1941. While she was operating with this force, she took part in the capture of a German U-boat, U-570.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. I (OY-C).  (RCAF Photos)

A Lockheed Hudson bomber, flying from Kaldaðarnes, 30 miles southeast of Reykjavík, Iceland, located U-570 running on the surface off the Icelandic coast on 27 August 1941. The "Hudson" attacked the U-boat with depth charges, damaging the enemy craft so severely that she could not submerge. Soon, some of the German crew appeared on deck displaying a large white cloth - possibly a bed sheet - indicating that they had surrendered.  Patently unable to capture the submarine herself, the Hudson radioed for help.

 U-570 captured.  (RAF Photo)

Niagara sped to the scene and arrived at 08:20 on 28 August 1941. Rough weather initially hampered the operation but eventually, by 18:00, Niagara had placed a prize crew aboard the submarine and had taken U-570 in tow. During the operation, she also took the 43-man crew of the enemy craft on board. Towed to Þorlákshöfn, Iceland, the U-boat eventually served in the Royal Navy as HMS Graph.

German U-Boat U-570 enters dock at Barrow-in-Furness after her capture by the Royal Navy, later re-named HMS Graph.  (RN Photo)

In January 1942, Niagara escorted the tempest-battered Danish merchantman Triton into Belfast, Northern Ireland, after the freighter had been severely mauled in a storm at sea.  In March the destroyer rescued the survivors from the American merchantman SS Independence Hall, which had run aground off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and had broken in half.  The next month, she picked up two boatloads of survivors from the sunken steamer SS Rio Blanco, which had been torpedoed by U-160 on 1 April 1942, 40 nautical miles (74 km) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The destroyer subsequently underwent boiler repairs at Pictou from May to August 1942 before resuming coastwise convoy operations between Halifax and New York and escort duty in the western Atlantic.  Another refit at Pictou came in June and October 1943, before she continued her coastwise convoy escort missions through 1944.

Niagara became a torpedo-firing ship - first at Halifax and later at St. John, New Brunswick - from the spring of 1945 until the end of World War II in mid-August 1945, training torpedomen. Decommissioned on 15 September 1945, Niagara was turned over to the War Assets Corporation on 27 May 1946 and broken up for scrap soon thereafter.  (Intrnet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Thatcher_%28DD-162%29)

Destroyers, Tribal, V, and C 1943 Class

HMCS Athabaskan (G07) Tribal class; HMCS Athabaskan (R79) (Tribal class); HMCS Cayuga (R04) (Tribal class); HMCS Haida (G63) Tribal class); HMCS Huron (G24) (Tribal class); HMCS Iroquois (G89) (Tribal class); HMCS Micmac (R10) (Tribal class); HMCS Nootka (R96) (Tribal class); HMCS Algonquin (R17) (V class destroyer); (HMCS Sioux (R64) (V-class); HMCS Crescent (R16) (C class (1943) destroyer); HMCS Crusader (R20) (C class)

HMCS Algonquin (R17) (V class destroyer), enroute to France, 18 June 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233946)

Tribal Class Destroyer, study for the Canadian 1942 1 dollar stamp.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2242383)

Tribal Class Destroyer stamp issued in 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2185091)

HMCS Athabaskan (G07).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Athabaskan, (G0)7.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Algonquin(R17) (V class destroyer), gunners cleaning a 4.7-inch gun after shelling the Normandy beachhead, June 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223884)

HMCS Algonquin, Twin 3-inch gun mount, 21 Jan 1955.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3348210)

HMCS Algonquin, Ordnance QF 40-mm Bofors Twin AA gun crew.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3577106)

HMCS Cayuga (R04), 218, (Tribal class), 20 Aug 1958, left and 1956, right.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4476764 and 4821142)

HMCS Chaudiere gun crews, 7 Jan 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201926)

HMCS Crescent (R16).  (IWM Photo, FL 10054)

HMCS Crusader(DD 228) underway.  (IWM Photo)

HMCS Haida (G63) off the coast of Korea, ca. 1952-1954.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo), left, (RCN Photo), right.

HMCS Haida, one of two main twin 4-inch Mk 16 gun turrets.  (Balcer Photo)

HMCS Hamilton, QF 4-inch gun training, 10 Aug 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201273)

HMCS Huron (G24).  (Photo courtesy of TheEastCoastRoys), left, and (RCN Photo), right.

HMCS Iroquois (G89), 217.  (RCN Photos)

Torpedo handling on an RCN Destroyer, Halifax, March 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567270)

HMCS Saguenay, Depth Charge Thrower, 30 Oct 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576681)

HMCS Micmac 214, HMCS Athabaskan 219, HMCS Nootka 213, HMCS Cayuga 218.  (RCN Photo)

Frigates

HMCS Annan (K404) (River-class); HMCS Antigonish (K661) (River-class); HMCS Beacon Hill (K407) (River-class); HMCS Buckingham (K685) (River-class); HMCS Cap de la Madeleine (K663) (River-class); HMCS Cape Breton (K350) (River-class); HMCS Capilano (K409) (River-class); HMCS Carlplace (K664) (River-class); HMCS Charlottetown (K244) (River-class); HMCS Chebogue (K317) (River-class); HMCS Coaticook (K410) (River-class); HMCS Eastview (K665) (River-class); HMCS Ettrick (K254) (River-class); HMCS Fort Erie (K670) (River-class); HMCS Glace Bay (K414) (River-class); HMCS Grou (K518) (River-class); HMCS Hallowell (K666) (River-class); HMCS Inch Arran (K667) (River-class); HMCS Joliette (K418) (River-class); HMCS Jonquiere (K318) (River-class); HMCS Kirkland Lake (K337) (River-class); HMCS Kokanee (K419) (River-class); HMCS La Hulloise (K668) (River-class); HMCS Lanark (K669) (River-class); HMCS Lasalle (K519) (River-class); HMCS Lauzon (K371) (River-class); HMCS Levis (K400) (River-class); HMCS Longueuil (K672) (River-class); HMCS Magog (K673) (River-class); HMCS Matane (K444) (River-class); HMCS Meon (K269) (River-class); HMCS Monnow (K441) (River-class); HMCS Montreal (K319) (River-class); HMCS Nene (K270)(River-class); HMCS New Glasgow (K320) (River-class); HMCS New Waterford (K321) (River-class); HMCS Orkney (K448) (River-class); HMCS Outremont (K322) (River-class); HMCS Penetang (K676) (River-class); HMCS Port Colborne (K326) (River-class); HMCS Poundmaker (K675) (River-class); HMCS Prestonian (K662) (River-class); HMCS Prince Rupert (K324) (River-class); HMCS Ribble (K525) (River-class); HMCS Royal Mount (K677) (River-class); HMCS Runnymede (K678) (River-class); HMCS Sea Cliff (K344) (River-class); HMCS Springhill (K323) (River-class); HMCS St. Catharines (K325) (River-class); HMCS Saint John (K456) (River-class); HMCS St. Pierre (K680) (River-class); HMCS St. Stephen (K454) (River-class); HMCS Ste. Thérèse (K366) (River-class); HMCS Stettler (K681) (River-class); HMCS Stone Town (K531) (River-class); HMCS Stormont (K327) (River-class); HMCS Strathadam (K682) (River-class); HMCS Sussexvale (K683) (River-class); HMCS Swansea (K328) (River-class); HMCS Teme (K458) (River-class); HMCS Thetford Mines (K459) (River-class); HMCS Toronto (K538) (River-class); HMCS Valleyfield (K329) (River-class); HMCS Victoriaville (K684) (River-class); HMCS Waskesiu (K330) (River-class); HMCS Wentworth (K331) (River-class); HMCS Loch Achanalt (K424) (Loch-class); HMCS Loch Alvie (K428) (Loch-class); HMCS Loch Morlich (K517) (Loch-class)

HMCS Beacon Hill (K407) (River-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Nene (K270) (River-class).  (IWM Photo, FL16727)

HMCS Penetang (K676) (River-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Waskesiu (K330) (River-class), 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821046)

HMS Nene, later HMCS Nene, was a River-class frigate, designed for anti-submarine operations, which was crewed by both the British and the Canadian navies during the Second World War.

HMCS La Hulloise (K668) (River-class).  (IWM Photo, A 8098)

HMCS Charlottetown (K244) (River-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Swansea (K328) (River-class), in rough seas off Bermuda, Jan 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194362)

Corvettes

HMCS Agassiz (K129) (Flower-class); HMCS Alberni (K103) (Flower-class); HMCS Algoma (K127) (Flower-class); HMCS Amherst (K148) (Flower-class); HMCS Arrowhead (K145) (Flower-class); HMCS Arvida (K113) (Flower-class); HMCS Asbestos (K358) (Flower-class); HMCS Atholl (K15) (Flower-class); HMCS Baddeck (K147) (Flower-class); HMCS Barrie (K138) (Flower-class); HMCS Battleford (K165) (Flower-class); HMCS Beauharnois (K540) (Flower-class); HMCS Belleville (K332) (Flower-class); HMCS Bittersweet (K182) (Flower-class); HMCS Brandon (K149) (Flower-class); HMCS Brantford (K218) (Flower-class); HMCS Buctouche (K179) (Flower-class); HMCS Calgary (K231) (Flower-class); HMCS Camrose (K154) (Flower-class); HMCS Chambly (K116) (Flower-class); HMCS Charlottetown (K244) (Flower-class); HMCS Chicoutimi (K156) (Flower-class); HMCS Chilliwack (K131) (Flower-class); HMCS Cobalt (K124) (Flower-class); HMCS Cobourg (K333) (Flower-class); HMCS Collingwood (K180) (Flower-class); HMCS Dauphin (K157) (Flower-class); HMCS Dawson (K104) (Flower-class); HMCS Drumheller (K167) (Flower-class); HMCS Dundas (K229) (Flower-class); HMCS Dunvegan (K177) (Flower-class); HMCS Edmundston (K106) (Flower-class); HMCS Eyebright (K150) (Flower-class); HMCS Fennel (K194) (Flower-class); HMCS Fergus (K686) (Flower-class); HMCS Forrest Hill (K486) (Flower-class); HMCS Fredericton (K245) (Flower-class); HMCS Frontenac (K335) (Flower-class); HMCS Galt (K163) (Flower-class); HMCS Giffard (K402) (Flower-class); HMCS Guelph (K687) (Flower-class); HMCS Halifax (K237) (Flower-class); HMCS Hawkesbury (K415) (Flower-class); HMCS Hepatica (K159) (Flower-class); HMCS Kamloops (K176) (Flower-class); HMCS Kamsack (K171) (Flower-class); HMCS Kenogami (K125) (Flower-class); HMCS Kitchener (K225) (Flower-class); HMCS La Malbaie (K273) (Flower-class); HMCS Lachute (K440) (Flower-class); HMCS Lethbridge (K160) (Flower-class); HMCS Levis (K115) (Flower-class); HMCS Lindsay (K338) (Flower-class); HMCS Long Branch (K487) (Flower-class); HMCS Louisburg (K143) (Flower-class); HMCS Louisburg (K401) (Flower-class); HMCS Lunenburg (K151) (Flower-class); HMCS Matapedia (K112) (Flower-class); HMCS Mayflower (K191) (Flower-class); HMCS Merrittonia (K688) (Flower-class); HMCS Midland (K220) (Flower-class); HMCS Mimico (K485) (Flower-class); HMCS Moncton (K139) (Flower-class); HMCS Moose Jaw (K164) (Flower-class); HMCS Morden (K170) (Flower-class); HMCS Nanaimo (K101) (Flower-class); HMCS Napanee (K118) (Flower-class); HMCS New Westminster (K228)  (Flower-class); HMCS Norsyd (K520) (Flower-class); HMCS North Bay (K339) (Flower-class); HMCS Oakville (K178) (Flower-class); HMCS Orillia (K119) (Flower-class); HMCS Owen Sound (K340) (Flower-class); HMCS Parry Sound (K341) (Flower-class); HMCS Peterborough (K342) (Flower-class); HMCS Pictou (K146) (Flower-class); HMCS Port Arthur (K233) (Flower-class); HMCS Prescott (K161) (Flower-class); HMCS Quesnel (K133) (Flower-class); HMCS Regina (K234) (Flower-class); HMCS Rimouski (K121) (Flower-class); HMCS Rivière du Loup (K357) (Flower-class); HMCS Rosthern (K169) (Flower-class); HMCS St. Lambert (K343) (Flower-class); HMCS Sackville (K181) (Flower-class); HMCS Saskatoon (K158) (Flower-class); HMCS Shawinigan (K136) (Flower-class); HMCS Shediac (K110) (Flower-class); HMCS Sherbrooke (K152) (Flower-class); HMCS Smiths Falls (K345) (Flower-class); HMCS Snowberry (K166) (Flower-class); HMCS Sorel (K153) (Flower-class); HMCS Spikenard (K198) (Flower-class); HMCS Stellarton (K457) (Flower-class); HMCS Strathroy (K455) (Flower-class); HMCS Sudbury (K162) (Flower-class); HMCS Summerside (K141) (Flower-class); HMCS The Pas (K168) (Flower-class); HMCS Thorlock (K394) (Flower-class); HMCS Timmins (K223) (Flower-class); HMCS Trail (K174) (Flower-class); HMCS Trentonian (K368) (Flower-class); HMCS Trillium (K172) (Flower-class); HMCS Vancouver (K240) (Flower-class); HMCS Ville de Québec (K242) (Flower-class); HMCS Wetaskiwin (K175) (Flower-class); HMCS Weyburn (K173) (Flower-class); HMCS West York (K369) (Flower-class); HMCS Whitby (K346) (Flower-class); HMCS Windflower (K155) (Flower-class); HMCS Woodstock (K238) (Flower-class); HMCS Arnprior (K494) Castle-class; HMCS Bowmanville (K493) (Castle-class); HMCS Copper Cliff (K495) (Castle-class); HMCS Hespeler (K489) (Castle-class); HMCS Humberstone (K497) (Castle-class); HMCS Huntsville (K499) (Castle-class); HMCS Kincardine (K490) (Castle-class); HMCS Leaside (K492) (Castle-class); HMCS Orangeville (K491) (Castle-class); HMCS Petrolia (K498) (Castle-class); HMCS St. Thomas (K488) (Castle-class); HMCS Tillsonburg(K496) (Castle-class)

Corvette freshly constructed.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3554046)

HMCS La Malbaie (K273) (Flower-class) Corvette under construction, stamp study.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo,  MIKAN No. 2242400), left, and Corvette shipbuilding stamp.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2204003), right.

HMCS Battleford (K165) (Flower-class).  (Legion Magazine Archives Photo)

HMCS Bowmanville (K493) (Castle-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Calgary (K231) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Chambly (K116) and HMCS Orillia (K119).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA105310)

HMCS Moose Jaw (K164) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

U-501 was a Type IX C U-boat commissioned on 30 April 1941.  The boat served with the 2nd U-boat Flotilla until she was sunk off Greenland on 10 September 1941 by HMCS Chambly and HMCS Moose Jaw.  U-501 was taking part in a mass attack on Allied Convoy SC 42 when she was detected by HMCS Chambly with sonar and damaged with depth charges.  The U-boat's captain Hugo Förster decided to scuttle the submarine and surfaced, where she was spotted by the corvette HMCS Moose Jaw, which attempted to ram her.  The U-501 turned at the last moment so that the two vessels were running parallel, only feet apart.  For unknown reasons, Hugo Förster surrendered himself and abandoned his command by leaping from the submarine's bridge to the deck of the Moose Jaw.  The Moose Jaw veered away and the U-boat's first watch officer took command and continued with the scuttling.  A nine-man party from the Chambly got on board the U-501 in an attempt to seize secret papers, but the submarine sank under their feet.  One Canadian sailor and eleven Germans died.  The remaining thirty-five crewmen were taken prisoner.  This was the first U-boat kill by the RCN during the Battle of the Atlantic.  (Blair, Clay (1999). Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939-41. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 392).

U-505, Type IXC similar to U-501, on display in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois. (Jeremy Atherton Photo)

HMCS Lévis was a Flower-class corvette which took part in convoy escort duties until she was torpedoed by U-74 and sunk off Greenland, 19 Sep 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA136257)

HMCS Pictou (K146) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Regina (K234) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Rimouski (K121) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Rosthern (K169) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Weyburn (K173) (Flower-class).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS North Bay (K339) (Flower-class), Hedgehog array, Oct 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394476)

HMCS Prescott (K161) (Flower-class).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604328)

HMCS Sackville (K181) (Flower-class), alongside in Halifax Harbour, 2005.

QF 4-inch/45 Gun Mk IX, mounted on the forward deck in a gun turret, HMCS Sackville.

HMCS Sackville (K181) (Flower-class), Hedgehog Anti-Submarine projector/mortars, 40-mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun Mk. VIII on AA mount.

HMCS Sherbrooke (K152) (Flower-class), QF 4-inch gun firing,  June 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3455882)

HMCS Shediac (K110) (Flower-class).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3554094)

HMCS Spikenard (K198) (Flower-class), torpedoed by U-136 (Type VIIC) in the mid-Atlantic on 10 Feb 1942. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MC-2975)

RCN, Misc.

RCN warship in drydock, Portsmouth, England facing HMS Victory.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3715774)

Oerlikon 20-mm AA gunner, RCN LCI (Large), UK, May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3303867)

RCN sailor operating a Rangefinder, RCN Gunnery School, Halifax, 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566929)

Submarines

HMCS U-190 (surrendered and recommissioned U-boat); HMCS U-889 (surrendered and recommissioned U-boat)

U-190, 3 Jun 1945, St Johns, Newfoundland.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194317 and MIKAN No. 3191843)

U-190, St Johns, Newfoundland, 15 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191501), and 20 Nov 1947, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229371)
U-190 surrender flags, June 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191842)

U-889 surrender off Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 13 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238913), left and off Shelburne, Nova Scotia to the RCB crew of Fairmile Motor Launch Q117, 13 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238579)
U-889 surrender off Shelburne, Nova Scotia, overflown by a Canso from No. 161 Sqn, 13 May 945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194315)

U-744 being boarded by sailors from HMCS Chilliwack, 6 Mar 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191699)

German two-man "Biber" submarines guarded by two Canadian Military Policemen from No. 1 Provost Coy, CPROC, Ijmuiden, Netherlands, 25 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3211661)

German two-man "Biber" submarine, Kiel, Germany, 18 May 1945.  Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit Sgt.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229360)

German Second World War Kriegsmarine Molch mini-submarine War Prize, on display in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.  This submarine was brought to Canada by Farley Mowat's Intelligence Collection Team in 1945.

Minesweepers

HMCS Border Cities (J344) (Algerine-class); HMCS Fort Frances (J396) (Algerine-class); HMCS Kapuskasing (J326) (Algerine-class); HMCS Middlesex (J328) (Algerine-class); HMCS New Liskeard (J397) (Algerine-class); HMCS Oshawa (J330) (Algerine-class); HMCS Portage (J331) (Algerine-class); HMCS Rockcliffe (J355) (Algerine-class); HMCS Sault Ste. Marie (J334) (Algerine-class); HMCS St. Boniface (J332) (Algerine-class); HMCS Wallaceburg (J336) (Algerine-class); HMCS Winnipeg (J337) (Algerine-class); HMCS Bayfield (J08) (Bangor-class); HMCS Bellechasse (J170) (Bangor-class); HMCS Blairmore (J314) (Bangor-class); HMCS Brockville (J270) (Bangor-class); HMCS Burlington (J250) (Bangor-class); HMCS Canso (J21) (Bangor-class); HMCS Caraquet (J38) (Bangor-class); HMCS Chedabucto (J168) (Bangor-class); HMCS Chignecto (J160) (Bangor-class); HMCS Clayoquot (J174) (Bangor-class); HMCS Courtenay (J262) (Bangor-class); HMCS Cowichan (J146) (Bangor-class); HMCS Digby (J267) (Bangor-class); HMCS Drummondville (J253) (Bangor-class); HMCS Esquimalt (J272) (Bangor-class); HMCS Fort William (J311) (Bangor-class); HMCS Gananoque (J259) (Bangor-class); HMCS Georgian (J144) (Bangor-class); HMCS Goderich (J260) (Bangor-class); HMCS Granby (J264) (Bangor-class); HMCS Grandmère (J258) (Bangor-class); HMCS Guysborough (J52) (Bangor-class); HMCS Ingonish (J69) (Bangor-class); HMCS Kelowna (J261) (Bangor-class); HMCS Kenora (J281) (Bangor-class); HMCS Kentville (J312) (Bangor-class); HMCS Lachine (J266) (Bangor-class); HMCS Lockeport (J100) (Bangor-class); HMCS Mahone (J159) (Bangor-class); HMCS Malpeque (J148) (Bangor-class); HMCS Medicine Hat (J256) (Bangor-class); HMCS Melville (J263) (Bangor-class); HMCS Milltown (J317) (Bangor-class); HMCS Minas (J165) (Bangor-class); HMCS Miramichi (J169) (Bangor-class); HMCS Mulgrave (J313) (Bangor-class); HMCS Nipigon (J154) (Bangor-class); HMCS Noranda (J265) (Bangor-class); HMCS Outarde (J161) (Bangor-class); HMCS Port Hope (J280) (Bangor-class); HMCS Quatsino (J152) (Bangor-class); HMCS Quinte (J166) (Bangor-class); HMCS Red Deer (J255) (Bangor-class); HMCS Sarnia (J309) (Bangor-class); HMCS Stratford (J310) (Bangor-class); HMCS Swift Current (J254) (Bangor-class); HMCS Thunder (J156) (Bangor-class); HMCS Transcona (J271) (Bangor-class); HMCS Trois-Rivières (J269) (Bangor-class); HMCS Truro (J268) (Bangor-class); HMCS Ungava (J149) (Bangor-class); HMCS Vegreville (J257) (Bangor-class); HMCS Wasaga (J162) (Bangor-class); HMCS Westmount (J318) (Bangor-class); HMCS Comox (J64) (Fundy-class); HMCS Fundy (J88) (Fundy-class); HMCS Gaspe (J94) (Fundy-class); HMCS Nanoose (J35) (Fundy-class); HMCS Alder Lake (J480) (Lake-class); HMCS Ash Lake (J481) (Lake-class); HMCS Beech Lake (J482) (Lake-class); HMCS Birch Lake (J483) (Lake-class); HMCS Cedar Lake (J484) (Lake-class); HMCS Cherry Lake (J485) (Lake-class); HMCS Fir Lake (J486) (Lake-class); HMCS Hickory Lake (J487) (Lake-class); HMCS Larch Lake (J488) (Lake-class); HMCS Maple Lake (J489) (Lake-class); HMCS Oak Lake (J490) (Lake-class); HMCS Pine Lake (J491) (Lake-class); HMCS Poplar Lake (J492) (Lake-class); HMCS Spruce Lake (J493) (Lake-class); HMCS Willow Lake (J495) (Lake-class); HMCS Coquitlam (J364) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Cranbrook (J372) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Daerwood (J357) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Kalamalka (J395) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Lavallee (J371) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Llewellyn (J278) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Lloyd George (J279) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Revelstoke (J373) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS Rossland (J358) (Llewellyn-class); HMCS St. Joseph (J359) (Llewellyn-class)

HMCS Esquimalt (J272).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Clayoquot (J174).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA16969)

HMCS Burlington (J250).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4090375)

HMCS Goderich (J260) (Bangor-class).  (RCN Photo)

Armed trawlers

HMCS Anticosti (T274) (Isles class); HMCS Baffin (T275) (Isles class); HMCS Cailiff (T276) (Isles class); HMCS Ironbound (T284) (Isles class); HMCS Liscomb (T285) (Isles class); HMCS Magdalen (T279) (Isles class); HMCS Manitoulin (T280) (Isles class); HMCS Miscou (T277) (Isles class)

Armed merchant cruiser

HMCS Prince David (F89) (Prince-class); HMCS Prince Henry (F70) (Prince-class); HMCS Prince Robert (F56) (Prince-class)

HMCS Prince David (F89).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Prince David (F89), Oerlikon 20-mm Anti-Aircraft Gun, Kithera, Greece, 16 Sep 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394410)

HMCS Prince Henry (F70).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3612526), left and LCAs leaving HMCS Prince Henry during a training exercise, May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191678)

HMCS Prince Henry (F70) Ordnance QF 40mm Bofors AA Gun.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3612507)

HMCS Prince Robert (F56), Esquimalt, British Columbia.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233654)

Training schooner

HMCS Venture

Armed yachts

HMCS Ambler (Q11); HMCS Beaver (S10); HMCS Caribou (S12); HMCS Cougar (Z15); HMCS Elk (S05); HMCS Grizzly (Z14); HMCS Husky (S06); HMCS Lynx (Z07); HMCS Moose (Z14); HMCS Otter; HMCS Raccoon; HMCS Reindeer (S08); HMCS Renard (S13); HMCS Sans Peur (Z02); HMCS Vison (S11); HMCS Wolf (Z16).

HMCS Ambler (Q11).  (RCN Photo) left, (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3589808), right.

HMCS Elk (S05).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Otter.  Lost in a fire, sinking off Halifax on 26 Nov 1941.  (RCN  Photo)

Auxiliary

HMCS Adversus (auxiliary); HMCS Alachasse (auxiliary); HMCS Andrée Dupré (auxiliary); HMCS Bras d’Or (auxiliary minesweeper); HMCS Cedarwood (auxiliary); HMCS Dundalk (auxiliary); HMCS Dundurn (auxiliary); HMCS Eastmore (auxiliary); HMCS Fleur de Lis (auxiliary); HMCS French (auxiliary); HMCS Jalobert (auxiliary); HMCS Laurier (auxiliary); HMCS Laymore (auxiliary); HMCS Macdonald (auxiliary); HMCS Macsin (auxiliary); HMCS Marvita (auxiliary); HMCS Mastodon (auxiliary); HMCS Mont Joli (auxiliary); HMCS Moonbeam (auxiliary); HMCS Murray Stewart (auxiliary); HMCS Nitinat (auxiliary); HMCS Norsal (auxiliary); HMCS Preserver (auxiliary); HMCS Provider (auxiliary); HMCS Rayon d’Or (auxiliary); HMCS Reo II (auxiliary); HMCS Ross Norman (auxiliary); HMCS Sankaty (auxiliary); HMCS Shulamite (auxiliary); HMCS Standard Coaster (auxiliary); HMCS Star XVI (auxiliary); HMCS Sunbeam (auxiliary); HMCS Vencedor (auxiliary); HMCS Venosta (auxiliary); HMCS Venture II (auxiliary); HMCS Viernoe (auxiliary); HMCS Whitethroat (auxiliary)

HMCS Adversus (auxiliary), commissioned 7 Sep 1939, wrecked when she ran aground 20 Dec 1941.  (RCN Photo)

Sankaty (a.k.a. HMCS Sankaty, a.k.a. Charles A. Dunning) was a propeller-driven steamer that served as a ferry on the American East Coast, to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia; and served as a minelayer for the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.

RCN ratings with a mine aboard the minelaying vessel HMCS. Sankaty off Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 1941.  (RCN Photo)

Fisherman’s reserve

HMCS Allaverdy (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS B.C. Lady (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Barkley Sound (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Billow (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Bluenose (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Camenita (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Canfisco (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Cape Beale (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Cancolim (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Capella (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Chamiss Bay (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Combat (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Comber (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Crest (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Dalehurst (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Departure Bay (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Early Field (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Ehkoli (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Fifer (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Flores (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Foam (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Howe Sound I (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Joan W. II (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Johanna (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Kuitan (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Leelo (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Loyal I (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Loyal II (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Maraudor (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Margaret I (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Meander (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Merry Chase (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Mitchell Bay (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Moolock (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Moresby II (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Nenamook (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Ripple II (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS San Tomas (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Santa Maria (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Seiner (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Signal (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Smith Sound(Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Spray (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Springtime V (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Stanpoint (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Surf (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Takla (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Talapus (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Tordo (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Valdes (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Vanisle (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS West Coast (Fisherman’s Reserve); HMCS Western Maid (Fisherman’s Reserve)

HMCS Leelo.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3515987)

HMCS Margaret.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2922325)

Torpedo boats

HMCS Santa Maria (patrol boat); HMCS San Thomas (patrol boat); HMCS CMTB-1 (torpedo boat); HMCS S-09 (torpedo boat)

HMCS Santa Maria.  (RCN Photo E-1331)

Motor Torpedo Boats

MTB 462, 29th Flotilla, UK, 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA144574)

MTB WL230 loading landing craft for the raid on Dieppe, Aug 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194301)

Fairmile Q065.  (RCN Photo)

Fairmile ML106, HMCS Beaver PTC706, built at Grew Boats, Penetanguishene and delivered 28 August 1943.  She served with the 70th Flotilla in Bermuda during the war.  On 28 June 1948, she was assigned to HMCS Star but suffered a serious fire in July of 1949 that required costly repairs. In September of that year she was reclassifed as PTC706 and in 1954 was renamed Beaver.  In May of 1956, she was transferred to HMCS York but was declared surplus in November of 1957 as a result of dry rot.  She was laid up at the Hamilton Harbour Commission and by 1961 was reported to be in ruins.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524493)

Fairmile ML, NW Europe, damaged harbour, ca 1945.  ((Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166338)

RCN Command and Control

RCN Operations Room, St. John's, Newfoundland, 24 Sep 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3334452)

RCN Commandos

Able Seaman Armand Therien, RCN, Commando, UK, 20 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201854)

RCN Commandos landing on Mike Beach, Juno Sector, Normandy, 8 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 335518)

Infantry in a light landing craft, ca 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3964057)

Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913

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

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.

Commissioned 1950–1989

Majestic-class light aircraft carrier

HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21);  HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22)

RCN Sea Fury fighters on deck.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Magninficent (CVL 21) in the mid-1950s with 15 Grumman Avenger AS.3 of No. 881 Sqn. and two Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 fighters of No. 871 Sqn. on deck.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) at anchor in Halifax harbour.  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) was a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier that served the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946–1956.  The third ship of the Majestic class, Magnificent was built by Harland and Wolff, laid down 29 July 1943 and launched 16 November 1944.  Purchased from the Royal Navy (RN) to replace HMCS Warrior, she served in a variety of roles, operating both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.  She was generally referred to as the Maggie. Her aircraft complement included Fairey Fireflies and Hawker Sea Furies, as well as Seafires and Avengers.  Her last role was as a transport during the Suez Crisis, carrying a large part of the Canadian peacekeeping force to Egypt, its vehicles parked on her deck.  Magnificent was decommissioned by the RCN in 1956 replaced in RCN service by HMCS Bonaventure, another RN Majestic class carrier (HMS Powerful) that had not been completed at the end of the war.  Magnificent was returned to the RN in 1957 and placed in reserve until disposed of. The ship was broken up in Faslane in July 1965.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Magnificent_(CVL_21).

Grumman TBM-3W Avenger aircraft on the flight deck of the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21), circa 1953.  (USN Photo)

Grumman Avenger AS.3 aircraft flying past the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21), circa 1953.  (USN Photo)

Mariner Miracle, 1953

A U.S. Navy Douglas AD-4B Skyraider from Attack Squadron VA-75 Sunday Punchers, Carrier Air Group 7 (CVG-7) from the USS Bennington (CVA-20), piloted by LTJG Jim Elster, ready for launch from the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21), after the so-called "Mariner Miracle" in 1953.  In September 1953 the carriers USS Wasp (CVA-18), USS Bennington and HMCS Magnificent were taking part in naval exercise "Mariner" in the North Atlantic.  On the afternoon of 23 September 1953, with 42 planes aloft, the carriers were completely socked in by fog.  The aircraft were unable to find and return to their carriers in the fog and as they ran low on fuel, Vice Admiral T.S. Combs and Rear Admiral H.H. Goodwin ordered all aircraft to ditch near the submarine USS Redfin (SSR-272) at 1620 hrs.  Just as the aircraft were about to do so, however, the fog lifted slightly and all planes were ordered to land on the first carrier platform they could find.  All 42 aircraft were recovered safely with only minimum fuel remaining.  USN LTJG Elster's Skyraider landed on HMCS Magnificent and while onboard Canadian sailors painted a red mapleleaf on the American stars.  It is reported that in spite of many refits and repairs, the maple leaf was still intact on the aircraft many years later. 

HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22).  (RCN Photo)

HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22), ca. 1960.  (USN Photo)

HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22)(RCN Photos)

HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22) was a Majestic class aircraft carrier.  She served in the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces Maritime Command from 1957 to 1970 and was the fifth and the last aircraft carrier to serve Canada.  The ship was laid down for the British Royal Navy as HMS Powerful in November 1943.  At the end of the Second World War, work on the ship was suspended in 1946.  At the time of purchase, it was decided to incorporate new aircraft carrier technologies into the design.  Bonaventure never saw action during her career having only peripheral, non-combat roles.  However, she was involved in major NATO fleet-at-sea patrol during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As HMS Powerful she was laid down at Harland and Wolff in Belfast on 21 November 1943, and launched on 27 February 1945.  Work was suspended after the end of the Second World War, and was not resumed until the ship was bought by Canada.  She was acquired in the early 1950s by the Royal Canadian Navy, which was looking to replace its aging Second World War–vintage light carriers Magnificent (another Majestic class carrier) and Warrior, which were deemed unsuitable for the jet age.  Several surplus US and UK ships were considered, and the then-incomplete HMS Powerful, a Majestic-class light fleet carrier, was purchased in 1952 from the Royal Navy on the condition that it be refitted with an angled flight deck and steam catapult.  Bonaventure, named after Bonaventure Island, a bird sanctuary in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was commissioned into the Canadian Navy upon completion of its refit and modernization on 17 January 1957.

HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22) McDonnell F2H-3 Banshees.  (RCN Photos)

Bonaventure carried five squadrons. Initially, she had up to 34 planes and helicopters embarked at any time.  The number of aircraft gradually reduced until the refit in 1967, when the air group peaked at 21 aircraft.  Initially, two types of fixed-wing aircraft were operated from Bonaventure.  The McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee was flown by VF 870 and VF 871 Squadrons, while Grumman CS2F Tracker anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft were operated by VS 880 and VS 881 Squadrons.  Bonaventure also carried Sikorsky HO4S helicopters operated by HS 50 Squadron.  By 1958, Bonaventure was able to conduct around-the-clock sustained operations, keeping four Trackers and two HO4Ss in the air at all times, saturating an area of 200 square nautical miles (690 km2) with anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  The Banshees were retired in 1962.  In 1964 new Sikorsky CHSS-2 Sea King helicopters were added to Bonaventure's complement.  In 1966 the carrier docked in Quebec for a mid-life refit.  This second refit took 18 months and cost $11 million.  After the 1968 unification of the Canadian armed services, Bonaventure was decommissioned in Halifax, on 3 July 1970, and was scrapped in Taiwan in 1971.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Bonaventure_(CVL_22).

St. Laurent-class helicopter destroyers (initially built as destroyer escorts, later refit and redesignated)

HMCS Assiniboine (DDH 234) (II); HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II); HMCS Margaree (H49) (D class); HMCS Ottawa (DDH 229) (III); HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) (II); HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II); HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II)

HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) (II), 1983.  (USN Photo)

HMCS Margaree (H49) (D class).  (USN Photo)

HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) (II) and HMCS Ottawa, Key West, Florida, 1957.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821229)

HMCS Skeena (DDH 207) (II), commissioning, 1957.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821372)

Restigouche-class destroyer escorts

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II); HMCS Columbia (DDE 260) (II); HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II); HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) (II); HMCS Restigouche (DDE 257) (II); HMCS St. Croix (DDE 256) (II); HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259)

HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235) (II). Lt (N) Dale Ray Skaarup served on this ship.   (RCN Photo)

HMCS Gatineau (DDE 236) (II).

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259).

Mackenzie-class destroyer escorts

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261); HMCS Qu’Appelle (DDE 264) (II); HMCS Saskatchewan (DDE 262) (II); HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)

HMCS Mackenzie (DDE_261), 1992.  (PH2 M. Correa, USN Photo)

Annapolis-class helicopter destroyers

HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265) (II); HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II)

HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) (II).  (PH3 J. Elliott, USN Photo)

Iroquois-class area air defence destroyers (decommissioned ships only, see also “current ships” section above)

HMCS Huron (DDH 281)

HMCS Huron (DDH 281).  Photographer's Mate 1st Class Franklin Call, USN Photo)

Balao-class submarine

HMCS Grilse (SS 71) (II)

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

Tench-class submarine

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II), 22 Dec 1968.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4462625)

HMCS Rainbow (SS 75) (II).  (USN Photo)

Oberon-class submarines

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

Oberon class submarine alongside, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The surviving Oberon class submarines are moving to new homes.  HMCS Ojibwa (S72), Oberon class submarine is now with the Elgin Military Museum, Naval Museum of History, 3 Pitt Street, Port Burwell, Ontario.  HMCS Onondaga has moved to the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec.  HMCS Okanagan has been scrapped.

YMS-1-class minesweeper

HMCS Cordova (MCB 158)

HMCS Cordova (MCB 158).  (RCN Photo)

Bay-class minesweepers

HMCS Chaleur (MCB 144) (I); HMCS Chaleur (MCB 164) (II); HMCS Chignecto (MCB 156) (II); HMCS Chignecto (MCB 160) (III); HMCS Comox (MCB 146) (II); HMCS Cowichan (MCB 147) (II); HMCS Cowichan (MCB 162) (III); HMCS Fortune (MCB 151); HMCS Fundy (MCB 145) (II); HMCS Fundy (MCB 159) (III); HMCS Gaspé (MCB 143) (II); HMCS James Bay (MCB 152); HMCS Miramichi (MCB 150) (II); HMCS Miramichi (MCB 163) (III); HMCS Quinte (MCB 149) (II); HMCS Resolute (MCB 154); HMCS Thunder (MCB 153) (II); HMCS Thunder (MCB 161) (III); HMCS Trinity (MCB 157); HMCS Ungava (MCB 148) (II)

Bird-class patrol vessels

HMCS Blue Heron (PCS 782); HMCS Cormorant (PCS 781) (I); HMCS Loon (PCS 780); HMCS Mallard (PCS 783)

Provider-class auxiliary oil replenishment

HMCS Provider (AOR 508)

Cape-class escort maintenance ships

HMCS Cape Breton (ARE 100); HMCS Cape Scott (ARE 101)

HMCS Cape Breton (ARE 100) was a RCN Cape-class escort maintenance ship.  Originally built for the Royal Navy as HMS Flamborough Head in 1944 she was transferred in 1952.  Upon her commissioning she was the second ship to bear the name Cape Breton.  (IWM Photo FL13145)

Porte-class gate vessels

HMCS Porte Dauphine (YMG 186); HMCS Porte de la Reine (YMG 184); HMCS Porte Quebec (YMG 185); HMCS Porte St. Jean (YMG 180); HMCS Porte St. Louis (YMG 183)

Miscellaneous vessels

Wind-class icebreaker

HMCS Labrador (AW 50)

Hydrofoil prototype

HMCS Bras d’Or (R-103) (I), later renamed HMCS Baddeck (R-103) (II) when FHE 400 was built.  HMCS Bras d’Or (FHE 400) (II)

HMCS Bras d'Or, maritime Museum of Quebec, L'Islet sur Mer, Quebec.

Surveyor

HMCS Cedarwood (AGSC 539)

Diving support ship

HMCS Cormorant (ASL 20) (II)

Mine sweeping auxiliary ships

HMCS Anticosti (MSA 110) (II); HMCS Moresby (MSA 112) (III)

Yard Diving Tenders

CFAV Raccoon (YDT 10)

YAG 300 Series Training Vessels

CFAV Grizzly (YAG 306); CFAV Wolf (YAG 308); CFAV Otter (YAG 312); CFAV Caribou (YAG 314); CFAV Badger (YAG 319); CFAV Lynx (YAG 320)

Yard Auxiliary General (YAG) 319.  (Photo courtesy of FireForEffect)

Coastal Defence and Shipboard Guns preserved

Coastal Defence Gun, Point Pleasant Park Battery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

3-inch 50-calibre twin gun mount, Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, Toronto, Ontario.

Naval Guns on display in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

Oerlikon 20-mm AA Gun Mk 4 on RCN Mk V Mounting.

QF 1-pounder pom-pom, Vickers-Maxim Mk I Automatic Gun.

QF 1¼-pounder pom-pom, Vickers-Maxim Mk III Automatic Gun from CGS Canada.

QF 2-pounder Mk VIII Gun on Single Mounting from HMCS Kamloops.

Ordnance QF 40-mm Bofors L/60 gun in Mk VC Boffin Mounting.

Ordnance QF 40-mm Bofors AA Gun Mk XI in Twin RP50 Mk IV Mounting.

BL 4-inch Gun Mk XXI, on High Angle Mk XXIV Single Mounting.

BL 4-inch Gun Mk XVI, on Mk XIX Twin High Angle Mounting, 1942, from HMCS Victoriaville.

Squid Anti-submarine Mortar Mk IV.

FMC 3-inch/50 Twin Gun Mk 33, HMCS QuAppelle McKenzie class destroyer.

Canadian Naval Reserve Units

Vancouver, HMCS Discovery

 QF 6-pounder 7-cwt Hotchkiss Guns (Serial Nos. TBC), Montreal, 1941-42, mounted on Vickers and Sons and Maxim 8-pound 1901 stand.  Alberni Street.

Victoria, HMCS Malahat

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun (Serial No. 1213), weight 8-0-0, and Limber.  20 Huron Street.

The Naval Landing Guns found in Canada probably originated on early ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, such as HMCS Niobe, HMCS Aurora, HMCS Rainbow and others.

Calgary, HMCS Tecumseh

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun, mounted on a wooden wheeled carriage, (Serial No. 1034), 1899, weight 8-0-0 (896 lbs), carriage (Serial No. 94), 1899, and Limber (Serial No. 9936).  Queen Victoria cypher.  This gun has a breech screw for a 12-pounder 12-cwt NLG, (Serial No. 111), 1917.  Several of the photos of the breech screw seem to have “12-pr 12-cwt A & 8-cwt” on them.  This suggests that the breech screw was common to the two guns.  Both were ship’s guns and this would have simplified spare parts.  The Naval Landing Guns found in Canada probably originated on early ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, such as HMCS Niobe, HMCS Aurora, HMCS Rainbow and others.

USN 5-inch Gun Mk 38, Mod 6, (Serial No. 13256), NSN L9999-1941-44124, Carriage (Serial No. 7313), Training Gear (Serial No. 4399).  1820-24 Street SW.

Edmonton, HMCS Nonsuch

US Navy 5-inch Gun Mk 37 Mod 2, (Serial No. 538) from Gerald Bull’s HARP project in Suffield.  These guns have been specially modified by Gerald Bull for testing at Suffield.  They are also the same type of gun that was on the Second World War Carriers HMCS Nabob and HMCS Puncherin the RCN.  The gun stands in the Northwest corner inside the security fence facing the Municipal Airport.

HMCS Nonsuch, 5-inch Naval Gun, Edmonton, Alberta.

Regina, HMCS Queen

Possible gun used for gun run drills, TBC.  100 Navy Way.

Saskatoon, HMCS Unicorn, Naval Reserve, 405-24 St E.

(Photo courtesy of PO1 Warren Noble)

QF 4-inch Gun Mk XVI in a Mk XIX twin mount, mount (Serial No. 146).  405-24 St E.

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun, mounted on a wooden wheeled carriage, (Serial No. 1210), 1899, weight 8-0-0 (896 lbs), and Limber (Serial No. 9936).

Winnipeg, HMCS Chippewa

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun, mounted on a wooden wheeled carriage, (Serial No. 71), 1898, weight 7-3-10 (878 lbs), and Limber (Serial No.).  1 Navy Way.

Hamilton, HMCS Star

Russian SBML 36-pounder Gun, by Armstrong at Alexandrovski, with double-headed Eagle, Crimean War trophy.  6.75-inch gun, stamped Armstrong 1837 J68 ½, (Serial No. 25457).  Captured at Sevastopol in 1855, given to Hamilton by Queen Victoria in 1860.  The Hamilton and District Officers’ Institute mounted the gun as a centennial project in 1967.  This gun is now mounted at HMCS Star.

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun, ca. 1903.  Used by the Hamilton Sea Cadet Corps for the last 90 years or so.

Kingston, HMCS Cataraqui

18th Century SBML Gun, HMS Princess Charlotte, 1812, inside the drill hall.  650 Catherine St North.  24 Navy Way.

London, HMCS Prevost

Ordnance QF 3-inch/50 Twin Gun M33 turret, HMCS Fraser.  19 Becher Street.

Ottawa, HMCS Carleton

Blomefield 9-pounder SBML replica guns (two), mounted on wood naval carriages.  79 Prince of Wales Drive.

Thunder Bay, HMCS Griffon 

QF 4-inch Gun Mk XVI in a Mk XIX twin mount, 125 North Algoma Street.

Ordnance QF 3-inch/40 (12-pounder) Gun Mk V HA, 125 North Algoma Street.

Toronto, HMCS York

(Photo courtesy of Will S.)

Twin 4-inch Mk XIX Mounting R.P. 50/51 series guns in a naval gun turret, Adm. No. 541

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8-cwt Naval Landing Gun659 Lakeshore Blvd West.

Windsor, HMCS Hunter

Possible gun used in gun drills, TBC.  960 Ouellette Ave.

Montréal, HMCS Donnacona

 (Photo courtesy of LCdr Geoff Hamilton)

SBML 1-pounder brass gun mounted on a wooden naval gun carriage, 2-inch bore (a 1.9-inch ball is 1 lb).  This gun is most likely a presentation replica, and is on display inside the ship’s drill hall.  3525 St-Jacques Street.

Québec City, HMCS Montcalm

Ordnance QF 40-mm Bofors AA Guns.  CFFS (Q) has four of these guns, all used for training.  One is on HMCS Montcalm’s parade square for students to practice gun drills, one is in a training simulator (FATS) at 170 Dalhousie Street, and two are operational and used on a range at CFB Valcartier.  All RCN Kingston Class vessels continue to operate the QF 40-mm Bofors AA Gun.

Rimouski, HMCS D’Iberville

No guns at present.  84, Montée Industrielle et commerciale.

Saguenay, HMCS Champlain

Possible gun used for gun drills, TBC. 

Sept-Îles, HMCS Joliet                     

Possible gun on order, TBC.  366, Rue Arnaud.

Trois-Rivières, HMCS Radisson

QF BL 4-inch Guns on naval mounting (two) in front of the Naval Reserve HQ.  1000, Île Saint-Christophe.

Charlottetown, HMCS Queen Charlotte

Blomefield SBML 32-pounder Gun, weight 47-3-4 (5,352 lbs), Walker & Co., 6, K ing George III cypher, 210 Water Street at Haviland Street.

Millar RML 32-pounder Gun, weight 58-2-0 (6,552 lbs), 1854, King George III cypher, 210 Water Street at Haviland Street.

Halifax, HMCS Scotian

(Photo courtesy of PO2 Tim Muise)

Possible Vickers .303-inch Machine Gun, mounted on the wall inside the ship.

(Photo courtesy of PO2 Tim Muise)

Brass Mortar, inside the ship.

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

(Photos courtesy of Able Seaman Brittany Hayes, HMCS Cabot)

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

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.

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) guns in action

Twin .50 cal MGs, shipboard.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3356796)

Ordnance QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk V (3-inch-40) BL Gun with shield aboard ship.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3356795)

Oerlikon 20-mm AA Gun mounted on a Landing Craft Infantry (LCI), RCN, May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3303867)

QF 2-pounder pom-pom, Vickers, Sons & Maxim LL Machine Gun Mk. I weight (410 lbs), VSM 1905 manned on an RCN destroyer, 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3566993)

Naval gunners loading 4-inch shells.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3598672)

Present day RCN Warships

Active Halifax Class Frigates

HMCS Halifax FFH 330, HMCS Vancouver, FFH 331, HMCS Ville de Quebec FFH 332, HMCS Toronto FFH 333, HMCS Regina FFH 334, HMCS Calgary FFH 335, HMCS Montreal FFH 336, HMCS Fredericton FFH 337, HMCS Winnipeg FFH 338, HMCS Charlottetown FFH 339, HMCS St. John’s FFH 340, HMCS Ottawa FFH 341.

HMCS Ville de Quebec FFH 332.

HMCS Toronto (FFH 333).  (USN Photo)

Iroquois Class Destroyers

HMCS Iroquois DDG 280, HMCS Athabaskan DDG 282, HMCS Algonquin DDG 283.

HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283).  (USN Photos)

Active Protector Class Auxiliary Vessels

HMCS Protecteur AOR 509, HMCS Preserver AOR 510.

HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509).  (USN Photo)

HMCS Preserver AOR 510, Halifax harbour, 2005.

HMCS Preserver AOR 510, refueling HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Margaree at sea, 2 Aug 1971.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4718902)

Active Kingston Class Coastal Defence Vessels

HMCS Kingston MM 700, HMCS Glace Bay MM 701, HMCS Nanaimo MM 702, HMCS Edmonton MM 703, HMCS Shawinigan MM 704, HMCS Whitehorse MM 705, HMCS Yellowknife MM 706, HMCS Goose Bay MM 707, HMCS Moncton MM 708, HMCS Saskatoon MM 709, HMCS Brandon MM 710, HMCS Summerside MM 711).

HMCS Saskatoon near Esquimalt, British Columbia and a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter that is practicing personnel transfers.  (Photo courtesy of  Rayzlens)

Victoria Class Submarines

HMCS Victoria SSK 876, HMCS Windsor SSK 877, HMCS Corner Brook SSK 878, HMCS Chicoutimi SSK 879.

HMCS Windsor (SSK 877).  (Alan Rowland, Royal Canadian Navy Photo)

Sail Training Ship

HMCS Oriole (KC 480)

HMCS Oriole (KC 480).  (RCN Photo)

Support and Auxiliary Vessels

Orca Class Training Tenders

CFAV Orca (PCT 55), CFAV Raven (PCT 56), CFAV Caribou (PCT 57), CFAV Renard (PCT 58), CFAV Wolf (PCT 60), CFAV Grizzly (PCT 60), CFAV Cougar (PCT 61), CFAV Moose (PCT 62).

Torpedo and Sound Ranging Vessels

CFAV Sikanni (YTP 611), CFAV Stikine (YTP 613)

Oceanographic Research Ship

CFAV Quest (AGOR 172)

Yard Diving Tenders

Unnamed (YDT 11), CFAV Granby (YDT 12), CFAV Sechelt (YDT 610), CFAV Sooke (YDT 612).

Fireboats

CFAV Firebird (YTR 561), CFAV Firebrand (TTR 562)

Tugboats

CFAV Glendyne (YTB 640), CFAV Glendale (YTB 641), CFAV Glenevis (YTB 642), CFAV Glenbrook (YTB 643), CFAV Tillicum (YTM 555), CFAV Lawrenceville (YTL 590), CFAV Parksville (YTL 591), CFAV Listerville (YTL 592), CFAV Merrickville (YTL 593), CFAV Marysville (YTL 594).

Yard Auxiliary General

CFAV Pelican (YAG 4), CFAV Gemini (YAG 650), CFAV Pegasus (YAG 651), CFAV Albatross (YAG 661), CFAV Black Duck (YAG 660)

Sea Battle

Sea battle, d'Iberville, engaging three British warships in Hudson Bay.  (Author's artwork)

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

HMS Canada, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 20 Sep 1889.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3192245)

HMS Crescent, Flagship of the North America and West Indies Squadron, Halifax, NS, 1900.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332850)

HMS Retribution, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 1903.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332915)

HMS Ariadne, North America and West Indies Squadron in drydock, Halifax, NS, 1903.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332917)

HMS Fantome, North America and West Indies Squadron, Halifax, NS, 1903.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3332914)