Royal Canadian Navy
Overview
 
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

. The Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

. Over the course of history, the RCN has played a role in the First World War, contributed significantly to the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War, and was a part of NATO's force buildup during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.
Encyclopedia
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

. The Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

. Over the course of history, the RCN has played a role in the First World War, contributed significantly to the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War, and was a part of NATO's force buildup during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. In 1968, the RCN was amalgamated with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 to form what is today the unified Canadian Forces, and was renamed Maritime Command until 2011, when its former name was reinstated.

Formative years

During the early years of the 20th century, there was growing debate within the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 as to the role the Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

s would play in defence
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

 and foreign affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

. Because of the developing naval arms race
World War I naval arms race
The naval arms race of the early 20th Century preceded and was one of the several intertwined causes for World War I. It was primarily between the United Kingdom and the German Empire...

 with Germany, a key part of this discussion focused on naval issues. In Canada, the naval debate came down to a choice between two options: either the young country could provide funds, support and manpower to the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, or it could form its own navy, which could help support the Royal Navy if necessary. After extensive political debates, Canadian politicians chose the latter option.

On March 29, 1909, George Foster
George Eulas Foster
Sir George Eulas Foster, PC, PC, GCMG was a Canadian politician and academic. He coined the phrase "splendid isolation" to describe British foreign policy in the late 19th century....

 introduced a resolution in the House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 calling for the establishment of a Canadian Naval Service. The resolution was not successful; however, on January 12, 1910, the government of Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Wilfrid Laurier
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, GCMG, PC, KC, baptized Henri-Charles-Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada from 11 July 1896 to 6 October 1911....

 took Foster's resolution and introduced it as the Naval Service Bill
Naval Service Bill
The Naval Service Bill of 1910 was a piece of Canadian government legislation, which was put forward by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Prior to the bill's introduction Canada did not have a navy of its own, a state of affairs that left the Dominion dependent on the British Royal Navy for...

. After third reading, the bill received royal assent on May 4, 1910, becoming the Naval Service Act which created a Department of the Naval Service
The Creation of the Canadian Navy
At the onset of Confederation in 1867, political planners in Canada and Great Britain realized that Canada had substantial maritime interests to protect. Boasting the fourth largest Merchant Marine in the world, and deriving the majority of its foreign capital through maritime trading should have...

 under the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who also became the Minister of the Naval Service. The act called for:
  • a permanent force
  • a reserve (to be called up in emergency)
  • a volunteer reserve (to be called up in emergency)
  • the establishment of a naval college


The official title of the navy was the Naval Service of Canada (also Canadian Naval Forces), and the first Director of the Naval Service of Canada was Rear-Admiral Charles Kingsmill
Charles Kingsmill
Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill was the first Director of the Royal Canadian Navy.Charles Edmund Kingsmill was born at Guelph, Ontario in 1855 and educated at Upper Canada College in Toronto. He was the son of John Juchereau Kingsmill, Crown Attorney for Wellington County and Ellen Diana...

 (Royal Navy, retired), who had previously been in charge of the Marine Service of the Department of Marine and Fisheries. A request to change name of the Naval Service of Canada to Royal Canadian Navy on January 30, 1911, brought a favourable reply from King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 on August 29 of that year.
The naval college was established in the dockyard at Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1911 as "Royal Naval College of Canada
Royal Naval College of Canada
The Royal Naval College of Canada was a naval college set up in Canada by the Royal Navy; it existed from 1911 to 1922. The school educated about 150 students until it closed due to declining numbers and cuts from Ottawa. The aim of the college was to instruct recruits a course of study that...

". The Royal Naval College was established to impart a complete education in Naval Science. Graduates were qualified to enter the Imperial or Canadian Service as midshipmen although a Naval career was not compulsory. The course provided a grounding in Applied Science, Engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, Navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and Modern Languages and was accepted as qualifying for entry as second-year students in Canadian Universities. The program aimed to develop both the physical and mental including discipline, the ability to obey and take charge, and honour. Candidates had to be between their fourteenth and sixteenth birthdays on July 1 following the examination. The original Royal Naval College of Canada facilities were destroyed in December 1917 in the Halifax explosion
Halifax Explosion
The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows"...

. What could be salvaged was moved to HMCS Stone Frigate at the Royal Military College of Canada
Royal Military College of Canada
The Royal Military College of Canada, RMC, or RMCC , is the military academy of the Canadian Forces, and is a degree-granting university. RMC was established in 1876. RMC is the only federal institution in Canada with degree granting powers...

 (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

. The "Royal Canadian Naval College" moved in 1919 to a building in the naval dockyard at Esquimalt, British Columbia
Esquimalt, British Columbia
The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is bordered to the east by the provincial capital, Victoria, to the south by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the west by Esquimalt Harbour and Royal Roads, to the northwest by the...

. The college was closed in 1922.

To form the nucleus of its new navy
The Creation of the Canadian Navy
At the onset of Confederation in 1867, political planners in Canada and Great Britain realized that Canada had substantial maritime interests to protect. Boasting the fourth largest Merchant Marine in the world, and deriving the majority of its foreign capital through maritime trading should have...

, and to train Canadians for the country's planned fleet of five cruisers and six destroyers, Canada acquired two ships from Great Britain. The cruiser was the first ship commissioned into Canada's navy on August 4, 1910, at Portsmouth, England. She arrived at Esquimalt, British Columbia
Esquimalt, British Columbia
The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is bordered to the east by the provincial capital, Victoria, to the south by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the west by Esquimalt Harbour and Royal Roads, to the northwest by the...

, on November 7, 1910, and carried out fishery patrols and training duties on Canada's west coast. Another Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Niobe, became the second ship commissioned into the Canadian navy on September 6, 1910, at Devonport
HMNB Devonport
Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport , is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy . HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon, England...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and arrived at Halifax
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, on October 21, 1910—Trafalgar Day
Trafalgar Day
Trafalgar Day is the celebration of the victory won by the Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. The formation of the Navy League in 1894 gave added impetus to the movement to recognise...

.

These initial plans encountered significant setbacks following Laurier's defeat in the 1911 federal election
Canadian federal election, 1911
The Canadian federal election of 1911 was held on September 21 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 12th Parliament of Canada.-Summary:...

, in which the debate about naval policy played a significant part. The new Conservative government, led by Robert Borden
Robert Borden
Sir Robert Laird Borden, PC, GCMG, KC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as the eighth Prime Minister of Canada from October 10, 1911 to July 10, 1920, and was the third Nova Scotian to hold this office...

, had opposed the Naval Service Act while they were in opposition, and replaced it with a Naval Aid Bill
Naval Aid Bill
The Naval Aid Bill is a bill introduced in the Canadian House of Commons, by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden on December 5th, 1912. The Borden government invoked closure on the debate, for the first time ever, on May 15, 1913. It was defeated in the Liberal-dominated senate,...

, which called for Canada to give money to Great Britain to help fund ships for the Royal Navy. The Liberal-dominated Senate
Canadian Senate
The Senate of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the House of Commons, and the monarch . The Senate consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister...

, however, defeated the bill. The Royal Canadian Navy now found itself in limbo, with very limited funds for operations, two obsolescent cruisers, and no prospect of new ships being built or acquired.

Despite the problems of these early years, some Canadians were still active supporters of a national navy. Building on earlier, unofficial efforts, a volunteer reserve came into being in May 1914 as the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR). Its initial establishment was 1,200 men, and it was divided into three distinct geographic areas: (1) Atlantic, (2) Pacific, and (3) Lake (representing inland areas). During the First World War, it would expand considerably, and also establish an "Overseas Division" specifically for service with the Royal Navy.

Immediately before the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the premier of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, in a fit of public spirit, purchased two submarines (CC1
HMCS CC-1
HMCS CC-1 was a CC class submarine used by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was launched in 1913 in Seattle, Washington as the submarine Iquique for Chile. This deal fell through and the boat, along with , was offered to British Columbia's premier Sir Richard McBride, just nine days before the...

 and CC2
HMCS CC-2
HMCS CC-2 was a CC class submarine used by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was launched in 1913 in Seattle, Washington as the submarine Antofagasta for Chile. This deal fell through and the boat, along with , was offered to British Columbia's premier Sir Richard McBride, just nine days before the...

) from a shipyard in Washington. The submarines had been built for the Chilean Navy
Chilean Navy
-Independence Wars of Chile and Peru :The Chilean Navy dates back to 1817. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea".This led to the...

 but the purchase had fallen through. On August 7, 1914, the Government of Canada purchased the boats from the Government of British Columbia, and they were consequently commissioned into the RCN.

First World War

At the outbreak of the First World War on 5 August 1914, two government vessels, the CGS Canada (renamed ) and the CGS Margaret
CGS Margaret
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 World War I...

, were immediately pressed into naval service, joining , and the two submarines and , to form a six-vessel naval force. At this point, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Ottawa were planning to significantly expand the RCN, but it was decided that Canadian men would be permitted to enlist in either the Royal Navy or its Canadian counterpart, with many choosing the former.

During the fall of 1914, HMCS Rainbow patrolled the west coast of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, as far south as Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, although these patrols became less important following the elimination of the German naval threat in the Pacific with the December 1914 defeat of Admiral Graf
Graf
Graf is a historical German noble title equal in rank to a count or a British earl...

 Maximilian von Spee
Maximilian von Spee
Vice Admiral Maximilian Reichsgraf von Spee was a German admiral. Although he was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, the counts von Spee belonged to the prominent families of the Rhenish nobility. He joined the Kaiserliche Marine in 1878. In 1887–88 he commanded the Kamerun ports, in German West...

's German East Asiatic Squadron off the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

. Many of Rainbow's crew were posted to the east coast for the remainder of the war and by 1917 Rainbow was withdrawn from service.

The early part of the war also saw HMCS Niobe actively patrolling off the coast of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 as part of British blockading
Blockade of Germany
The Blockade of Germany, or the Blockade of Europe, occurred from 1914-1919 and was a prolonged naval operation conducted by the Allied Powers during and after World War I in an effort to restrict the maritime supply of raw materials and foodstuffs to the Central Powers, which included Germany,...

 forces, but she returned to Halifax permanently in July 1915 when she was declared no longer fit for service and was converted to a depot ship. She was heavily damaged in the December 1917 Halifax Explosion
Halifax Explosion
The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows"...

.

CC-1
HMCS CC-1
HMCS CC-1 was a CC class submarine used by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was launched in 1913 in Seattle, Washington as the submarine Iquique for Chile. This deal fell through and the boat, along with , was offered to British Columbia's premier Sir Richard McBride, just nine days before the...

 and CC-2
HMCS CC-2
HMCS CC-2 was a CC class submarine used by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was launched in 1913 in Seattle, Washington as the submarine Antofagasta for Chile. This deal fell through and the boat, along with , was offered to British Columbia's premier Sir Richard McBride, just nine days before the...

 spent the first three years of the war patrolling the Pacific; however, the lack of German threat saw them reposted to Halifax in 1917. With their tender, HMCS Shearwater, they became the first warships to transit the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 flying the White Ensign
White Ensign
The White Ensign or St George's Ensign is an ensign flown on British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. It consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton....

 (the RCN's service flag). Arriving in Halifax on October 17, 1917, they were declared unfit for service and never patrolled again, being scrapped in 1920.

On September 5, 1918, the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service
Royal Canadian Naval Air Service
The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was established in 1918 during the First World War in response to the Royal Canadian Navy's recommendation that defensive air patrols be established off Canada's Atlantic coast to protect shipping from German U-boats.Britain warned Canada that an attack by a...

 (RCNAS) was formed with a main function to carry out anti-submarine operations using flying boat
Flying boat
A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water. It differs from a float plane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections from the fuselage...

 patrol aircraft. The U.S. Navy's
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 Naval Air Station Halifax
Naval Air Station Halifax
The Naval Air Station Halifax, also NAS Halifax, was a United States Navy Naval Air Station located in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, Canada.NAS Halifax was established in 1918 in the months following the United States' entry into World War I...

, located on the eastern shores of the harbour at Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia
Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia
Eastern Passage is a Canadian urban community in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality.Located at the southeastern edge of Halifax Harbour, fronting the Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Passage derives its name from the narrow strait separating the mainland from McNabs Island and Lawlor Island, both...

, was acquired but following the November 11, 1918 Armistice, the RCNAS was discontinued.

Inter-war period

Following a draw-down in the RCN after the war, the RCN undertook to find a mission and found it in taking over many of the civilian responsibilities of the Marine Service of the Department of Transport. Even though by 1922 the RCN had been cut back to 366 men and had paid off its last remaining cruiser HMCS Aurora
HMS Aurora (1913)
HMS Aurora was an Arethusa-class light cruiser launched on 30 September 1913 at Devonport Dockyard.Construction started in 1912 and she was commissioned into the Royal Navy and saw service as part of the Grand Fleet from 1914 to 1915, as leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla...

, the Navy kept two destroyers donated by the Royal Navy, HMCS Patriot
HMCS Patriot
HMCS Patriot was a Thornycroft M class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy.Built by Thornycroft & Company, Southampton, she was launched on 20 April 1916 as and served in the Royal Navy in World War I....

 and HMCS Patrician
HMCS Patrician
HMCS Patrician was a Thornycroft M class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy.Built by Thornycroft & Company, Southampton, she was launched on 5 June 1916 as and served in the Royal Navy in World War I....

, until they were replaced in the late 1920s by two other ex-Royal Navy vessels HMCS Champlain and HMCS Vancouver
HMCS Vancouver (F6A)
HMCS Vancouver, , was a Thornycroft S class destroyer, formerly HMS Toreador built for the Royal Navy in 1917-19.This ship, along with her sister HMS Torbay, were donated by the British Government to Canada in March 1928 to replace their two existing destroyers, HMCS Patrician and HMCS Patriot...

, and thereby maintained ships in service throughout the lean years.

On January 31, 1923, the RNCVR was replaced by the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve
Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve
The Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve was a naval reserve force of the Royal Canadian Navy, which replaced the Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve .-Foundation:...

 (RCNVR) The initial authorized strength of the RCNVR was 1,000 all ranks. Twelve Canadian cities (Calgary, Charlottetown, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Ottawa, Prince Rupert, Quebec City, Regina, Saint John, Saskatoon and Vancouver) were earmarked for divisions of “Half-Company” strength, i.e. 50 men, all ranks. Three larger cities (Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg) were ordered to man to a “Company” strength, which was 100, all ranks. The first commission was given, on 14 March 1923, to Lieutenant Frank Meade, who established a Company sized detachment in Montreal. By the end of 1923, twelve units had been formed.

In 1931, the RCN underwent a major facelift when the first ships specifically built for the RCN, the destroyers and , were commissioned at Portsmouth, England.

In late January 1932, Skeena along with Vancouver provided protection to British assets and civilians in El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 at the request of the British Consul in San Salvador following the outbreak of a peasant uprising
1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising
The peasant uprising of 1932, also known as La matanza , was a brief, peasant-led rebellion that occurred on January 22 of that year in the western departments of El Salvador...

. A landing party was briefly sent ashore at Acajutla
Acajutla
Acajutla is a seaport and municipality in Sonsonate Department, El Salvador. The town is located at on the Pacific Coast of Central America and is El Salvador's principal seaport from which a large portion of the nation's exports of coffee, sugar, and balsam are shipped. As a municipality,...

, but the situation there improved and the sailors saw no combat, although the two ships remained in the area until the end of the month.

Throughout the 1930s, the RCN, along with its sister services, was starved of funding and equipment. Nevertheless, this decade saw the RCN slowly begin its rebuilding, as Ottawa joined London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, and Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 in a growing apprehension of the ramifications of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

's rearmament and the adventurism of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and procured two more destroyers from the Royal Navy: HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Restigouche. By the outbreak of war in September 1939, however, the RCN still had only six River class destroyers
Canadian River class destroyer
The River class was a class of fourteen destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy that served before and during the Second World War. They were named after Canadian rivers.-Description:...

, five minesweepers
Fundy class minesweeper
The Fundy-class minesweepers were a class of four minesweepers operated by the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.The class derives its name from the lead ship and are all named after bays in Canada. The Fundy Mineseepers were modified versions of the British "Basset" class trawler...

 and two small training vessels, bases at Halifax
CFB Halifax
Canadian Forces Base Halifax is Canada's east coast navy base and home port to the Atlantic fleet, known as Maritime Forces Atlantic....

 and Victoria
CFB Esquimalt
Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is Canada's Pacific Coast naval base and home port to Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters....

, and altogether 145 officers and 1,674 men.

Second World War

The RCN expanded substantially during the Second World War, with the larger vessels transferred or purchased from the US and British navies (many through the Destroyers for Bases Agreement
Destroyers for Bases Agreement
The Destroyers for Bases Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom, September 2, 1940, transferred fifty mothballed destroyers from the United States Navy in exchange for land rights on British possessions...

), and the smaller vessels such as corvette
Flower class corvette
The Flower-class corvette was a class of 267 corvettes used during World War II, specifically with the Allied navies as anti-submarine convoy escorts during the Battle of the Atlantic...

s and frigate
River class frigate
The River class frigate was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic....

s constructed in Canada. By the end of the conflict Canada had the third-largest navy in the world, behind the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, but only two ships larger than destroyers, the light cruisers HMCS Uganda and HMCS Ontario
HMCS Ontario (C53)
HMCS Ontario was a Minotaur class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy as HMS Minotaur , but transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy on completion and renamed Ontario....

. Although it showed its inexperience at times during the early part of the war, a navy made up of men from all across the country, including many who had never before seen a large body of water, proved capable of exceeding the expectations of its allies. By the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN was the primary navy in the northwest sector
Canadian Northwest Atlantic
Canadian Northwest Atlantic Command was the zone of operations during the Battle of the Atlantic that stretched from north of New York City to 47 degrees west. It was set up at the Atlantic Convoy Conference, held in Washington DC from 1-12 March 1943, and placed under the command of Rear-Admiral...

 of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and under the command of Rear Admiral Murray
Leonard W. Murray
Rear Admiral Leonard Warren Murray, CB, CBE was a officer of the Royal Canadian Navy who played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic. He commanded the Newfoundland Escort Force from 1941–1943, and from 1943 to the end of the war was Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic...

 was responsible for the safe escort of innumerable convoys and the destruction of many U-boats — an anti-submarine capability that the RCN would build upon in post-war years. The Norwest Atlantic theatre was the only theatre not under command of either a Brit or American during the entire war.

At the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, Canadian ships (either alone or in conjunction with other ships and planes) sank a total of 27 U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s, and either sank or captured 42 Axis surface ships. But the real victory was not so much in the statistics of battle, as in the successful completion of 25,343 merchant ship crossings, carrying 181,643,180 tons of cargo and a significant proportion of the Canadian and US forces for the eventual victory in Europe. Canada lost 24 ships in five different theatres: first was the Fraser sunk in a collision while evacuating refugees from France in 1940; Athabaskan
HMCS Athabaskan (G07)
HMCS Athabaskan was the first of three destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy to bear this name. It was a destroyer of the Tribal-class, built in 1940-1941 in the United Kingdom by Vickers Armstrong of Newcastle upon Tyne with Parsons engine works....

, Regina
HMCS Regina (K234)
HMCS Regina was a Royal Canadian Navy Flower-class corvette which took part in convoy escort duties during World War II.She was laid down at Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel on 22 March 1941 and launched on 14 October of that year. She was commissioned into the RCN on 22 January 1942...

, Alberni
HMCS Alberni (K103)
HMCS Alberni was a Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy .-Construction:She was ordered on 14 February 1940 from Yarrows Ltd. in Esquimalt, British Columbia and laid down on 29 April. She was launched on 22 August 1940 and commissioned into the RCN on 4 February 1941. She...

 and Trentonian were lost in 1944 during Operation Neptune
Operation Neptune
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 , beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time...

 and cross-Channel escort duty; Louisburg and Weyburn
HMCS Weyburn (K173)
HMCS Weyburn was a Royal Canadian Navy which took part in convoy escort duties during World War II.Weyburn was laid down at Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company, Port Arthur on 21 December 1940, launched on 26 July 1941, commissioned 26 November 1941, and was lost after being struck by a mine on 22...

 sank in the Mediterranean during the North African invasions of Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

; eight ships were sunk protecting Canadian coastal waters Bras d'Or, Chedabucto, Clayoquot and Esquimalt
HMCS Esquimalt (J272)
HMCS Esquimalt was a that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.The Esquimalt served on the Atlantic coast of Canada conducting anti-submarine patrols in the approaches to Halifax Harbour...

 (minesweepers), Otter and Raccoon
HMCS Raccoon
HMCS Raccoon was an armed yacht that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. She was sunk by in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in September 07, 1942. Raccoon was escorting convoy QS-33 in the Strait of Belle Isle. The entire ship crew was lost.- References :**...

 (armed yachts), and Charlottetown and Shawinigan (corvettes); and nine ships were lost on Atlantic escort duty Margaree
HMS Diana (H49)
HMS Diana was a D-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. Ordered in 1931, the ship was constructed by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, and entered naval service in 1932. Diana was initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet before she was transferred to the China Station in early 1935...

, Levis
HMCS Levis (K115)
HMCS Lévis was a Royal Canadian Navy which took part in convoy escort duties during World War II.She was laid down at Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon on 11 March 1940 and launched on 4 September of that year...

, Windflower
HMCS Windflower (K155)
HMCS Windflower was a Royal Canadian Navy which took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War.Windflower was laid down at George T. Davie & Sons Ltd., Lauzon on 24 February 1940 and launched on 8 August 1940...

, Spikenard, Ottawa, St. Croix
USS McCook (DD-252)
The first USS McCook was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She transferred to the Royal Navy and then to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS St. Croix during World War II.- As USS McCook :...

, Valleyfield, Skeena
HMCS Skeena (D59)
HMCS Skeena was a River-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1931-1945.She was similar to the Royal Navy's A-class and wore initially the pennant D59, changed in 1940 to I59....

 and Guysborough
HMS Guysborough (J52)
HMS Guysborough was a turbine-engined of the Royal Navy. She was built by North Vancouver Ship Repairs, North Vancouver and launched on 21 July 1941. She was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy and was torpedoed and sunk at 6:50pm on 17 March 1945 by U-868 while escorting a convoy in the Bay of...

 (on loan to the RCN from the RN
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

). Altogether the RCN lost 1,797 seamen, and 95 became prisoners of war.

As the end of the war against Germany approached, attention focused on Japan. At the end of 1944, some RCN ships were deployed with the British Pacific Fleet
British Pacific Fleet
The British Pacific Fleet was a British Commonwealth naval force which saw action against Japan during World War II. The fleet was composed of British Commonwealth naval vessels. The BPF formally came into being on 22 November 1944...

, joining the many Canadian personnel already serving with the Royal Navy in the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

. Ottawa was also laying plans to expand the RCN's capabilities beyond its anti-submarine
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 orientation. The war in the Pacific was expected to culminate with a massive invasion of Japan itself, and this would need a different navy than that required in the Atlantic.

Britain was nearly bankrupt after five and a half years of war and was looking to shrink its military somewhat, especially since the United States was now the dominant power in the Pacific. With this in mind, the RCN and the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 were to receive many ships considered surplus to the RN's needs, with the end goal being a powerful Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

 of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n, British, Canadian, and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 ships alongside the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. As in the First World War, the war ended before these plans came to fruition. With the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan's surrender was effected.

With the end of the war, the RCN stopped expanding. A planned transfer of two light aircraft carriers from the Royal Navy, and was slowed, and when Warrior was found to be unsuitable for a North Atlantic winter, she was sent to the west coast and the next year was replaced by Magnificent, with Warrior being returned to the RN. Canada still had two light cruisers, and HMCS Uganda
HMCS Quebec (C66)
HMCS Quebec was a Crown Colony–class light cruiser that served the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Uganda during World War II and under its last name during the Cold War.-Royal Navy service:...

 (later HMCS Quebec), a number of Tribal class
Tribal class destroyer (1936)
The Tribal class, or Afridi class, were a class of destroyers built for the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Australian Navy that saw service in World War II...

 and other destroyers, and a mass of frigates, corvettes, and other ships, the majority of which were mothballed by 1947.

1949 'mutinies'

In the late winter of 1949, the RCN was shaken by three almost simultaneous cases of mass insubordination variously described as "Incidents" or "Mutinies":
  • On February 26, when the destroyer was on a fuelling stop at Manzanillo, Colima
    Manzanillo, Colima
    The name Manzanillo refers to the city as well as its surrounding municipality in the Mexican state of Colima. The city, located on the Pacific Ocean, contains Mexico's busiest port. Manzanillo was the third port created by the Spanish in the Pacific during the New Spain period...

    , Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    , ninety Leading Seamen and below — constituting more than half the ship's company — locked themselves in their messdecks, and refused to come out until getting the captain to hear their grievances.
  • On March 15, in another destroyer — , at Nanjing
    Nanjing
    ' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

    , China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     — eighty-three junior ratings held a similar protest.
  • On March 20, thirty-two aircraft handlers on the carrier , which was on fleet manoeuvres in the Caribbean
    Caribbean
    The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

    , briefly refused an order to turn to morning cleaning stations.


As noted by Dr Richard Gimblett, researcher and himself a retired naval officer the respective captains in all three cases acted with great sensitivity, entering the messes for an informal discussion of the sailors' grievances and carefully avoided using the term "mutiny," which could have had severe legal consequences for the sailors involved. Specifically, the captain of the Athabaskan, while talking with the disgruntled crew members, is known to have placed his cap over a written list of demands, which could have been used as legal evidence of a mutiny, and pretended not to notice it.

Still, the Canadian government of the time — the early years of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 — felt apprehensive of "The Red Menace
Red Scare
Durrell Blackwell Durrell Blackwell The term Red Scare denotes two distinct periods of strong Anti-Communism in the United States: the First Red Scare, from 1919 to 1920, and the Second Red Scare, from 1947 to 1957. The First Red Scare was about worker revolution and...

," especially since the naval sailors' discontent coincided with a Communist-inspired strike in the Canadian merchant marine (also, one of the incidents occurred in a country — China — where the local Communists were in the fast process of winning a civil war and gaining power).

Defence Minister Brooke Claxton
Brooke Claxton
Brooke Claxton, PC, DCM, KC was a Canadian veteran of World War I, federal Minister of National Health and Welfare and Minister of National Defence.-Early life:...

 appointed Rear-Admiral Rollo Mainguy
Rollo Mainguy
Vice-Admiral Edmond Rollo Mainguy, OBE, CD, RCN was a Canadian naval officer.He was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1901 and attended the Royal Naval College of Canada during World War I....

, Flag Officer Atlantic Coast, to head a commission of inquiry. The Mainguy Report — described by Dr Gimblett as "a watershed in the Navy's history, whose findings, recommendations and conclusions remain a potent legacy" — concluded that no evidence was found of Communist influence or of collusion between the three crews.

The "General Causes Contributing to [the] Breakdown of Discipline" noted by the commission included:
  • Collapse of the Divisional System of personnel management;
  • Failure to provide Welfare Committees for the airing of petty grievances, which led to sailors informally adopting a kind of equivalent to a sit down strike;
  • Frequent changes in ships' manning and routines with inadequate explanation;
  • A deterioration in the traditional relationship between officers and petty officers;
  • The absence of a distinguishing Canadian identity
    Canadian identity
    Canadian identity refers to the set of characteristics and symbols that many Canadians regard as expressing their unique place and role in the world....

     in the Navy.


The last issue — an assertion of "an uncaring officer corps harbouring aristocratic British attitudes inappropriate to Canadian democratic sensitivities" — went beyond the question of sailors' morale and touched on the basic identity of the Canadian Navy and indeed, on the national identity of Canada as a whole.

It was to have ramifications in the process undertaken in later decades, painful to many of the officers concerned, of deliberately cutting off many of the British traditions in such areas as ensigns and uniforms.

Cold War

Immediately after the end of the Second World War, Canada, like many other countries, dramatically reduced its military expenditures. For the RCN, this meant large cuts to its personnel strength and number of commissioned ships. The emergence of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), followed by the outbreak of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, prompted the Canadian government to dramatically increase its military spending. For the RCN, this resulted in increased numbers of personnel, the recommissioning and modification of some Second World War ships held in reserve, the design and construction of new classes of ships, and the upgrading of its recently created aviation capabilities. RCN destroyers formed part of Canada's initial response to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

' call for assistance during the Korean War, and were sent to Korean waters to join other UN naval forces. The Canadian ships' duties included "exciting but dangerous" shore bombardments and the destruction of North Korean trains and railway lines. Initially dispatched in 1950, Canadian destroyers maintained a presence off the Korean peninsula until 1955.

At much the same time, the growing Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 submarine threat led the RCN to update and convert existing ships to improve their anti-submarine capabilities. Most notably, 21 wartime River class frigate
River class frigate
The River class frigate was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic....

s were extensively converted to Prestonian class frigate
Prestonian class frigate
The Prestonian-class ocean escort frigate was a class of 21 frigates that served with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1953-1967.They were converted from mothballed s that had been placed in reserve following the end of World War II. The first vessel to be reactivated and undergo refit was which was...

s during the mid-to-late 1950s. The RCN also acquired several new classes of anti-submarine destroyer escort
Destroyer escort
A destroyer escort is the classification for a smaller, lightly armed warship designed to be used to escort convoys of merchant marine ships, primarily of the United States Merchant Marine in World War II. It is employed primarily for anti-submarine warfare, but also provides some protection...

s (DDEs) to augment its fleet. Built in Canada, these ships pioneered innovative design features, including a distinctive rounded upper part of the hull which helped seawater drain from the deck during the extremely rough weather and also helped minimize winter-time ice buildup. The first of these new ships were the seven St. Laurent class
St. Laurent class destroyer
The St. Laurent class destroyer was a class of destroyers that served the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s....

 DDEs, which were soon followed by the Restigouche
Restigouche class destroyer
The Restigouche class destroyer was a class of destroyers that served the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from the late-1950s to the late-1990s....

, Mackenzie
Mackenzie class destroyer
The Mackenzie-class destroyer was a class of warship used by the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces from the 1960s-1990s. Six such ships were envisioned, of which four were completed to this specification...

, and Annapolis
Annapolis class destroyer
The Annapolis class destroyer escort was a class of ships that saw service with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces from the 1960s-1990s....

 classes with seven, four, and two vessels respectively. Following the construction of these new ships throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, the RCN was able to retire most of its remaining vessels dating from the Second World War.

Seeking to improve its ships' anti-submarine capabilities, the RCN pioneered the use of large ship-borne helicopters on small surface ships like destroyers in the rough waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific. The recovery of helicopters to a wildly pitching flight deck was made possible by the invention of the "Bear Trap", a cable and winch system which hauled a helicopter, hovering at full power, to the flight deck in all manner of conditions. Using this technology, the St. Laurent class DDEs were upgraded to destroyer-helicopter (DDH) vessels during the early to mid-1960s to accommodate recently acquired CH-124 Sea King
CH-124 Sea King
The Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter designed for shipboard use. The Canadian variant is based on the US Navy's SH-3 and has been continuously in service with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces since 1963.-Design and development:The advent of...

 anti-submarine helicopters. Other ships also received upgrades to increase their anti-submarine capabilities. The RCN was also actively involved in the development of various forms of ship-borne sonar
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

, most notably the variable depth sonar (VDS), which greatly increased the ranges at which submarines could be detected. The improved capabilities conferred by these innovations contributed to Canada's NATO allies giving the RCN an expanded anti-submarine role in the North Atlantic. Much of the RCN's experimental work in these fields was conducted in conjunction with the Defence Research Board, and it would later include experiments leading to the development of the fastest warship ever built, the 60 knots (117.6 km/h) .

The RCN also expanded and improved its aviation capabilities during much of this period. While it had provided crews for the British aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s and during the Second World War, and Canadians had served in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

, Canada had no carriers of its own until HMCS Warrior
HMS Warrior (R31)
HMS Warrior was a Colossus-class light aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946 to 1948 , the Royal Navy from 1948 to 1958, and the Argentine Navy from 1959 to 1969 .- History :Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, she was originally to be called HMS Brave; the Royal...

 entered Canadian service in 1946. Warrior proved unsuitable for North Atlantic winters, however, and was replaced by in 1948. By the mid-1950s, Magnificent was no longer used as an active aircraft carrier, but was used as a vehicle transport during Canada's peacekeeping response to the 1956 Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, before being paid off. Her replacement, , was a more modern aircraft carrier which had been substantially rebuilt to accommodate an angled flight deck and other improvements. During this time, the RCN also used stations at HMCS Shearwater
CFB Shearwater
Canadian Forces Base Shearwater , commonly referred to as CFB Shearwater, was a Canadian Forces Base located in Shearwater, Nova Scotia on the eastern shore of Halifax Harbour in the Halifax Regional Municipality....

 and HMCS Patricia Bay to operate carrier-based fighter and anti-submarine aircraft, including the British Supermarine Seafire
Supermarine Seafire
The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire specially adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. The name Seafire was arrived at by collapsing the longer name Sea Spitfire.-Origins of the Seafire:...

 and Hawker Sea Fury
Hawker Sea Fury
The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.-Origins:The Hawker Fury was an...

, and the American F2H Banshee
F2H Banshee
The McDonnell F2H Banshee was a single-seat carrier-based jet fighter aircraft deployed by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps from 1948 to 1961. It was one of the primary American fighters used during the Korean War and was the only jet-powered fighter ever deployed by the Royal...

, the RCN's only jet fighter. Anti-submarine aircraft included variants of the Fairey Firefly
Fairey Firefly
The Fairey Firefly was a British Second World War-era carrier-borne fighter aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm ....

, the Grumman Avenger, and a version of the Grumman Tracker built by de Havilland Canada
De Havilland Canada
The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. company was an aircraft manufacturer with facilities based in what is now the Downsview area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada...

.

Unification

On February 1, 1968, the personnel of the Royal Canadian Navy, along with those of the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 and the Canadian Army, were transferred to the new, unified Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, established under separate legislation, the National Defence Act. The naval forces were restructured as Canadian Forces Maritime Command
Canadian Forces Maritime Command
The Royal Canadian Navy , is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Forces. Operating 33 warships and several auxiliary vessels, the Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by...

 (MARCOM), with Fleet Air Arm units being transferred to the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 (AIRCOM).

For many of the serving naval personnel, the transition - giving up the old ensigns, and even more the adoption of army-type ranks and green uniforms instead of the distinctive naval ones - was a very painful process. Researcher Alan Filewood recalls:

I grew up in a navy family; my father was a regular force officer who had risen from the lower deck, and he was himself the son of a petty officer who had come to Canada as one of the British Royal Navy crews that brought Canada's first warships to this country in 1911 and elected to stay to build the RCN. Growing up in a naval family, I was imbued with the traditions of a service that prided itself on its British roots.


I recall vividly the day the armed forces paraded in Ottawa to witness the lowering of the old service ensigns and the raising of the new. My mother was a naval vet, a former WREN, and at this transformative moment of national symbolism, she wept; with the lowering of the White Ensign something disappeared from her history. Sometime later my father came home demoralized in his new army-style uniform with an army rank. Like many other naval officers, he retired soon thereafter.


The controversy included the dismissal of Rear-Admiral William Landymore
William Landymore
Rear-Admiral William Moss Landymore, OBE, CD was a Canadian naval officer.-Career:Landymore commenced studies at the Royal Military College of Canada as cadet # 2399 in 1934...

, senior officer in the Atlantic, who tried to secure commitments that naval traditions would be maintained, but was later fired by Defence Minister Paul Hellyer
Paul Hellyer
Paul Theodore Hellyer, PC is a Canadian engineer, politician, writer and commentator who has had a long and varied career. He is the longest serving current member of the Privy Council, just ahead of Prince Philip.-Early life:...

 for his opposition to the changes.

MARCOM was formed on 7 June 1965 as part of the integration reorganization of the services into six functional commands. The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act was given Royal Assent on 1 February 1968 and the Royal Canadian Navy ceased to exist as a separate service. The headquarters for MARCOM was based at CFB Halifax.

Canadian sailors exchanged their RCN uniforms for a rifle-green uniform common to all services (known as "CF green") and adopted an army-based rank structure. Only cap and collar badges identified "naval" personnel. These policies were somewhat reversed in the 1970s when MARCOM returned to a naval-based rank structure. In 1987 the Canadian Armed Forces introduced its Distinctive Environmental Uniforms (DEUs) for its three environmental commands. The new naval uniform was broadly similar to the former RCN uniform except that officers' uniforms contained six rather than eight buttons on the front of the tunic and the "square rig" for other ranks was not re-introduced. In addition, the executive curl on officers' rank insignia was omitted and the rank insignia of other ranks continued to follow the pattern used by the army.

The 1968 unification of the Canadian Armed Forces was the first time a nation with a modernized military had combined sea, land, and air branches into a unified-command structure. The move also saw the fleet air arm of the RCN become the Maritime Air Group. These air units were eventually placed under the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 (AIRCOM) after that command was created in 1975.

In the mid-1990s, MARCOM headquarters were consolidated from Halifax at NDHQ
Department of National Defence Headquarters (Canada)
The Major-General George R. Pearkes Building is the principal location of Canada's National Defence Headquarters and is located in Ottawa, Ontario....

 in Ottawa at the same time that AIRCOM headquarters moved from Winnipeg and LFC headquarters moved from Saint-Hubert, Quebec
Saint-Hubert, Quebec
Saint-Hubert is a borough in the city of Longueuil, located in the Montérégie region of Quebec, Canada. It had been a separate city prior to January 1, 2002, when it along with several other neighbouring south shore municipalities were merged into Longueuil. According to the Quebec Statistics...

.

Re-structure

Following the 1968 unification, MARCOM undertook several changes to its force structure. The sole remaining aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

, , was nearing the end of her service life, being a Second World War–era vessel. In the early 1970s, it was decided to pay Bonaventure off and not find a replacement, instead focussing on the traditional blue-water navy
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

.
The fleet was enhanced in 1972 with the addition of the four new Iroquois-class destroyers, also known as the Tribal class. By the mid-1970s, the navy was looking at a new class of frigate-helicopter (FH) vessels to replace the aging St. Laurent
St. Laurent class destroyer
The St. Laurent class destroyer was a class of destroyers that served the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s....

, Restigouche
Restigouche class destroyer
The Restigouche class destroyer was a class of destroyers that served the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from the late-1950s to the late-1990s....

, Mackenzie
Mackenzie class destroyer
The Mackenzie-class destroyer was a class of warship used by the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces from the 1960s-1990s. Six such ships were envisioned, of which four were completed to this specification...

, and Annapolis
Annapolis class destroyer
The Annapolis class destroyer escort was a class of ships that saw service with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces from the 1960s-1990s....

 classes. This design evolved into the Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF), which was promised by the government in the early 1980s during a period of increased military spending. By the late 1980s, with construction of the first six vessels underway (by now called the Halifax-class frigates), construction of six further vessels was announced. Nine of the twelve CPF vessels were built at Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick
City of Saint John , or commonly Saint John, is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the first incorporated city in Canada. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. In 2006 the city proper had a population of 74,043...

, and the remaining three were built at Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon is a former city in southern Quebec, Canada, located on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Lévis. Founded in 1910, Lauzon had a population of about 14,500 when it merged with Lévis in 1989...

.

The mid-1980s saw the announcement of the Tribal Update and Modernization Program (TRUMP), which saw the four early-1970s Iroquois-class destroyers updated into area air-defence destroyers. The update saw these vessels become the first non-US ships to carry the Standard SM-2
RIM-66 Standard
The RIM-66 Standard MR is a medium range surface-to-air missile originally developed for the United States Navy . The SM-1 was developed as a replacement for the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar that were deployed in the 1950s on a variety of USN ships...

 anti-aircraft missile.

The 1990s saw the addition of the Kingston-class coastal defence vessels which enhanced MARCOM's minesweeping and route survey capabilities. Manned by naval reservists, the Kingston-class is also used for training.

Fleet rationalization

In 1977, the Maritime Command recommended structure based on a fleet consisting of 24 destroyers and frigates, three submarines, three support ships, 36 long range patrol aircraft and 45 maritime helicopters. Despite a realistic fleet structure at the time, the Progressive Conservative minority government led by Joe Clark
Joe Clark
Charles Joseph "Joe" Clark, is a Canadian statesman, businessman, and university professor, and former journalist and politician...

 offered an expensive vision. The conservative party wanted an expensive fleet structure consisting of 16 destroyers and frigates, 20 submarines, 13 minesweeping vessels, 12 fast attack craft, three escort merchant vessels, 36 long range patrol aircraft, 45 maritime helicopters and 84 shore-based attack aircraft. In 1984, DND requested a revision during the "Capabilities Planning Guide", which included a largely status quo fleet consisting of a 24 destroyers and frigates, four submarines, 12 mine clearance vessels, three support ships, 18 long range patrol aircraft, 18 medium range patrol aircraft and an unspecified number of maritime helicopters. In 1985 the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary is part of Canada's Department of National Defence nationwide security and defence forum research centres. Currently it has over 50 students at both the Masters and PhD level with...

 recommended a fleet consisting of four nuclear submarines, three helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier is a term for an aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. The term is sometimes used for both ASW carriers and amphibious assault ships....

s, eight patrol vessels, four polar icebreakers and many helicopters and patrol aircraft.

In 1987, a defence White Paper suggested Canada purchase SSN and specifically the Trafalgar class submarine
Trafalgar class submarine
The Trafalgar class is a class of nuclear-powered fleet submarines in service with the Royal Navy. They are a direct follow on from the Swiftsure class and were, until the introduction of the Astute class, the Royal Navy's most advanced nuclear fleet submarines.Seven boats were built and...

. However the plans fell through due to cost. After the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the reorganization of the Russian Navy in 1991, the Maritime Command plan to maintain the capacity to defend the Canadian interest in the region was based on a fleet consisting of four destroyers, 18 frigates, six submarines, three supply ships and 12 minesweeping vessels. The plan was scrapped and re-evaluated in 1993, since the original plan could not be met with the money the government had provided at the time.

Action post-1968

MARCOM provides vessels for Standing Naval Force Atlantic and for exercises off Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 in support of Canada's defence obligations for northern Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), patrols the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans in support of Canadian sovereignty, and is tasked by NATO with anti-submarine
Anti-submarine weapon
An anti-submarine weapon is any one of a range of devices that are intended to act against a submarine, and its crew, to destroy the vessel or to destroy or reduce its capability as a weapon of war...

 patrols for the northwest Atlantic.

In August–September 1990, MARCOM hurriedly modernized and deployed the Restigouche-class destroyer escort , the Iroquois-class destroyer , and the supply ship to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 in support of Operation Desert Shield and later Operation Desert Storm, where the Canadian Navy led the coalition maritime support operation. relieved the task force and was the first coalition ship to visit Kuwait City at the end of the war.

During the mid to late 1990s, MARCOM provided vessels for a NATO task force patrolling the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 off the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

. As part of Operation Apollo
Operation APOLLO
Operation APOLLO was the codename for an operation conducted by Canadian Forces in support of the United States in its military operations in Afghanistan. The operation took place from October 2001 to October 2003...

, Canada's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, 20 MARCOM vessels have been patrolling in the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 in recent years.

In 1995, Canada was involved in a minor non-shooting skirmish with a few European countries in a conflict over fishing rights that was nicknamed the Turbot War
Turbot War
The Turbot War of 1995 was an international fishing dispute between Canada, and Spain in which Canada stopped a Galician fishing trawler in international waters and arrested its crew...

.

On 4 May 2010, Senators William Rompkey and Hugh Segal announced their intention to introduce a motion into the Senate asking the Canadian Government to rename Maritime Command as the Canadian Navy, in order to recognize the Canadian Naval Centennial. As of May 2010, the executive curl on officers uniforms have been restored.

On June 29, 2010, the Canadian Navy celebrated its 100th anniversary in Halifax, Nova Scotia
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

. 18 international vessels from several countries took part in the celebrations, including USS Wasp
USS Wasp (LHD-1)
USS Wasp is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, the tenth to bear the name, the flagship of the Second Fleet and the lead ship of her class. She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Navy-Marine Corps team's newest amphibious warship...

and HMS Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal (R07)
HMS Ark Royal is a decommissioned light aircraft carrier and former flagship of the Royal Navy. She was the third and final vessel of Invincible-class...

. The warships were reviewed by Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, and Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

. This was Day Two of the Queen's nine day visit to Canada.

As part of the Canadian navy’s centennial celebrations, SONAR, the naval mascot, which is based on a Newfoundland dog, was “recruited” into the navy in 2010.

On May 12, 2011 HMCS Charlottetown came under fire by small craft off the coast of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. This was the first time that a Canadian naval vessel had been under hostile attack since the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

.

Legacy

What many think of as the modern Canadian Navy is officially known as the Canadian Forces Maritime Command
Canadian Forces Maritime Command
The Royal Canadian Navy , is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Forces. Operating 33 warships and several auxiliary vessels, the Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by...

 (MARCOM), which was officially established 7 June 1965 as one of six functional commands which were formed under the integration reorganization of the Canadian services. The Royal Canadian Navy effectively ceased to exist February 1, 1968, when the Canadian Forces Reorganization Act was given Royal Assent. However, MARCOM, being the operational commander of the naval forces of Canada, is represented as the "Canadian Navy" and maintains many of the traditions of its predecessor. As the Canadian Monarch
Monarchy in Canada
The monarchy of Canada is the core of both Canada's federalism and its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government and each provincial government...

 is the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian military, commissioned Canadian naval ships, as units of the Canadian Armed Forces, use the prefix HMCS "Her/His Majesty's Canadian Ship/Submarine
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship
The designation Her Majesty's Canadian Ship , is applied as a prefix to any Canadian Forces warship. In the reign of a king, the designation changes to His Majesty's Canadian Ship; the French version of the title remains unchanged in this instance...

," a unit designation that began with the establishment of the Royal Canadian Navy and is continued to this day under the Canadian Forces. On December 14, 2010, the Canadian Senate passed a motion urging the federal government to change the name of Canada’s naval force from Maritime Command to a title that included the word “navy.” Both "Canadian Navy" and "Royal Canadian Navy" were considered acceptable.

Decommissioned fleet


|- style="background:#aabccc; color:black"
!Class or name
!Type
!Builder
!Quantity
!Year Entered Service!!Details
|-
|
| escort destroyers
|
Canadian Vickers, Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...


Halifax Shipyards
Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax
Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax was a British Royal Navy base in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1759 to 1905. The Halifax Yard was the main year round base of the Royal Navy's North American Station when first established in 1759 during the Seven Years' War....

, Halifax NS
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...


Burrard
Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.
Allied Shipbuilders Ltd is a privately held shipbuilding and ship repairing company established in Canada in 1948.-Company profile:Founded in 1948 by Arthur McLaren , Allied Shipbuilders is one of the older continually operating commercial shipyards on the Pacific Coast of North America...

, Vancouver, BC
Yarrows, Esquimalt, BC
Esquimalt, British Columbia
The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is bordered to the east by the provincial capital, Victoria, to the south by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the west by Esquimalt Harbour and Royal Roads, to the northwest by the...


Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited was a Canadian ship building company, in Sorel, Quebec, with a shipyard located on the Richelieu river about 1 km from the St. Lawrence River. It employed up to 10,000 people during the post WWII boom....

, Sorel, Quebec
| style="text-align:center;"|7
| 1955–1994
| all but 2 scrapped; Saguenay (Nova Scotia) and Assiniboine (Caribbean) were sunk as artificial reefs
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
|
| escort destroyers
|
Canadian Vickers, Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...


| style="text-align:center;"|4
| 1962–1994
| 3 were sunk with 2 as artificial reefs; Qu'Appelle's status is unknown
|-
|
| escort destroyers
|

Halifax Shipyards
Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax
Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax was a British Royal Navy base in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1759 to 1905. The Halifax Yard was the main year round base of the Royal Navy's North American Station when first established in 1759 during the Seven Years' War....

, Halifax NS
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...


Burrard Dry Dock
Burrard Dry Dock
Burrard Dry Dock Ltd. was a Canadian shipbuilding company headquartered in North Vancouver, British Columbia . Together with the neighboring North Van Ship Repair yard and the Yarrows Ltd...

, North Vancouver, BC
Victoria Machinery Depot
Victoria Machinery Depot
Victoria Machinery Depot Ltd. was a ship builder located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.This was a historic metalworks and shipyard in Victoria, Canada. From the late 1850s on, with the Fraser Canyon and Cariboo Gold Rushes British Columbia was dependent upon Californian supplies and ships...

, Victoria, BC
| style="text-align:center;"|7
| 1958–1997
| St Croix was scrapped, Gatineau and Terra Nova are laid up in Halifax and rest sunk as reefs
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
|
| escort destroyers
|
MIL Davie Shipbuilding
Davie Shipbuilding
Davie Shipbuilding is a historic shipbuilding company located in Lauzon, Quebec. The facility has undergone restructuring and is currently operating as Davie Yards Incorporated.-History:...

, Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon is a former city in southern Quebec, Canada, located on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Lévis. Founded in 1910, Lauzon had a population of about 14,500 when it merged with Lévis in 1989...


| style="text-align:center;"|1 –
| 1970–2005
| Sunk as a target ship by US and Canadian ships off the coast of BC in 2007
|
|-
|
| diesel electric submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...


|
Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness is an industrial town and seaport which forms about half the territory of the wider Borough of Barrow-in-Furness in the county of Cumbria, England. It lies north of Liverpool, northwest of Manchester and southwest from the county town of Carlisle...


| style="text-align:center;"| 3 (+2 spares)
| 1964–2000
| one sold to a museum in Rimouski, Quebec, the spare purchased for parts was scrapped, other spare to be scrapped, two others remain laid-up at Dartmouth jetty, across from main naval base
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
|
| diesel electric submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...


|
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard , often called the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is a United States Navy shipyard located in Kittery on the southern boundary of Maine near the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is used for remodeling and repairing the Navy's ships...

, Kittery, Maine
Kittery, Maine
Kittery is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,543 at the 2000 census. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey's Island, Kittery includes Badger's Island, the seaside district of Kittery Point, and part of the Isles of Shoals...


| style="text-align:center;"| 1 ( USS Argonaut (SS-475)
USS Argonaut (SS-475)
USS Argonaut was a operated by the United States Navy . Constructed at Portsmouth Navy Yard during the second half of 1944, Argonaut was commissioned into the USN in 1945 and operated during the final year of World War II, although her only contact with the Japanese was when she sank a junk in...

 renamed as )
| 1968–1974
| returned to US to be scrapped
|-
|
| AOR (oiler replinishing ship)
|
Davie Shipbuilding
Davie Shipbuilding
Davie Shipbuilding is a historic shipbuilding company located in Lauzon, Quebec. The facility has undergone restructuring and is currently operating as Davie Yards Incorporated.-History:...

, Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon, Quebec
Lauzon is a former city in southern Quebec, Canada, located on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Lévis. Founded in 1910, Lauzon had a population of about 14,500 when it merged with Lévis in 1989...


| style="text-align:center;"| 1 –
| 1963–2003
| sold as barge and latter scrapped
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
| N/A
| ASL
|
Aspa Quarto
| 1 –
| 1978–1997
|
|-
|
| escort destroyers
|
Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited was a Canadian ship building company, in Sorel, Quebec, with a shipyard located on the Richelieu river about 1 km from the St. Lawrence River. It employed up to 10,000 people during the post WWII boom....

, Sorel, Quebec
| 2
| 1964–1997
| both sunk; Annapolis is a reef and Nipigon sunk in Quebec
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
|
| light aircraft carrier
|
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries is a Northern Irish heavy industrial company, specialising in shipbuilding and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland....

, Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...


| 1 –
| 1957–1970
| scrapped in Taiwan
|-
|
| escort maintenance
|
Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.
Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.
Allied Shipbuilders Ltd is a privately held shipbuilding and ship repairing company established in Canada in 1948.-Company profile:Founded in 1948 by Arthur McLaren , Allied Shipbuilders is one of the older continually operating commercial shipyards on the Pacific Coast of North America...

, Vancouver, BC
| 2
| 1959–1970
| status unknown
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
| N/A
| escort hydrofoil
Hydrofoil
A hydrofoil is a foil which operates in water. They are similar in appearance and purpose to airfoils.Hydrofoils can be artificial, such as the rudder or keel on a boat, the diving planes on a submarine, a surfboard fin, or occur naturally, as with fish fins, the flippers of aquatic mammals, the...

 Frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...


|
Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited
Marine Industries Limited was a Canadian ship building company, in Sorel, Quebec, with a shipyard located on the Richelieu river about 1 km from the St. Lawrence River. It employed up to 10,000 people during the post WWII boom....

, Sorel, Quebec
de Havilland Canada
De Havilland Canada
The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. company was an aircraft manufacturer with facilities based in what is now the Downsview area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada...

, Toronto, Ontario
| 1 –
| 1970s
| now at Musée Maritime du Québec
|-
| Glen-Class I tugs
Glen class tug (1943)
The Glen class tugs were a class of tugboats of the Royal Canadian Navy built during World War II. There were three designs of tug; two were of steel-hulled construction and the other was wooden-hulled. Of the 20 of the class built, 16 were of the steel-hulled type; 11 built by Russel Bros. of Owen...


| tug
|
| 4 – Glendevon, Glenevis
|
| WWII ships
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
| YBZ-61
| vacuum ship
|
| 1
|
|
|-
| Saint Class Deep Sea Tugs
| ocean tug
| Saint John Dry Dock, Saint John, NB 1957 
| 3 – St. Anthony ATA 531, St. John ATA 532, St.Charles ATA 533
|
| stricken beginning in 1972
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
| Naval Research Vessel
|
|
| 1 – CFAV Endeavour
Endeavour class Oceanographic Research Ship
The Endeavour class is a class of non-combat naval ships used by the Canadian Forces for oceanographic research.There was only one ship built under this class .-References:*...


|
| 1968–1998
|-
|
| Submersible
| 1 - SDL-1 SDL-1; built by International Hydrodynamics Corporation of Vancouver, BC
|
| 1971–1998
| sold in 1998
|}

Retired aircraft


! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Country of Manufacture
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Canadian Designation
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|In Service
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Notes
|-
| F2H Banshee
F2H Banshee
The McDonnell F2H Banshee was a single-seat carrier-based jet fighter aircraft deployed by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps from 1948 to 1961. It was one of the primary American fighters used during the Korean War and was the only jet-powered fighter ever deployed by the Royal...


| McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 
| carrier based jet fighter
| N/A – F2H-3
| 39; 34 on carrier
| ex-United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 delivered 1955–1958; retired 1962; 3 survive as museum pieces all others scrapped
|- style="background:#efefef; color:black"
| S-2 Tracker
S-2 Tracker
The Grumman S-2 Tracker was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare aircraft to enter service with the US Navy. The Tracker was of conventional design with twin engines, a high wing and tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the world...


| Sikorsky Aircraft
Sikorsky Aircraft
The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. Its parent company is United Technologies Corporation.-History:...

 
| Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 aircraft
| CS-2F Tracker
S-2 Tracker
The Grumman S-2 Tracker was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare aircraft to enter service with the US Navy. The Tracker was of conventional design with twin engines, a high wing and tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the world...


| 99
| delivery 1956–1957; all carrier based aircraft were transferred to land operations after 1970; 1 restored all others scrapped
|-
| Sikorsky H-19 "Horse"
| Sikorsky Aircraft
Sikorsky Aircraft
The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. Its parent company is United Technologies Corporation.-History:...

 
| plane guard helicopter
| H04S-3
| 2?
| acquired 1956; retired 1967 and replaced by CH-124 Sea King
CH-124 Sea King
The Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter designed for shipboard use. The Canadian variant is based on the US Navy's SH-3 and has been continuously in service with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Forces since 1963.-Design and development:The advent of...

 (till 1970)
|}

Ensigns and jacks

On March 3, 1911, the RCN was authorized the use of the White Ensign
White Ensign
The White Ensign or St George's Ensign is an ensign flown on British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. It consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton....

, which remained the main identifying flag of the navy for the next 54 years. At the same time, the Canadian Blue Ensign was designated the jack of the RCN. However, because naval tradition dictates that the jack is worn at the ship's bow only when moored or on "dress ship" occasions, HMC ships normally had no distinctly Canadian flags when under way, the White Ensign being identical to the Royal Navy's ensign. Because of this, a tradition developed of painting a green maple leaf on ships' funnels to mark the ship as Canadian.

When British and Canadian foreign policies began to diverge in the 1950s (highlighted by the two countries' different roles in the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

), having an ensign identical to the Royal Navy's became less satisfactory. In 1961, a policy of wearing the Canadian Red Ensign
Canadian Red Ensign
The Canadian Red Ensign is the former flag of Canada, used by the federal government though it was never adopted as official by the Parliament of Canada. It is a British Red Ensign, featuring the Union Flag in the canton, defaced with the shield of the Coat of Arms of Canada.-History:The Red Ensign...

 from the masthead (in addition to the Canadian Blue Ensign at the jack staff when appropriate, and the White Ensign at the ensign staff) was established. On February 15, 1965, the White, Blue, and Red ensigns were all replaced by the new National Flag of Canada, the Maple Leaf flag.

RCN Roundel

Shortly after the Second World War, Canadian military aircraft began using roundels featuring a red maple leaf. While the RCAF used a “silver maple” style, aircraft of the RCN used a roundel based on the sugar maple. In 1965, both the RCAF and RCN adopted the same roundel with the stylized leaf found in Canada’s new flag.

Directors of the Naval Service

  1. Admiral Sir Charles Kingsmill
    Charles Kingsmill
    Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill was the first Director of the Royal Canadian Navy.Charles Edmund Kingsmill was born at Guelph, Ontario in 1855 and educated at Upper Canada College in Toronto. He was the son of John Juchereau Kingsmill, Crown Attorney for Wellington County and Ellen Diana...

     1910–1920
  2. Commodore Walter Hose
    Walter Hose
    Walter Hose was a Canadian Admiral. He was the founder of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.Hose was born on a ship in the Indian Ocean and joined the Royal Navy when he was 14. Hose transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1912, serving in a variety of commands during World War I...

     1921–1928

Chiefs of the Naval Staff

  1. Rear-Admiral Walter Hose
    Walter Hose
    Walter Hose was a Canadian Admiral. He was the founder of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.Hose was born on a ship in the Indian Ocean and joined the Royal Navy when he was 14. Hose transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1912, serving in a variety of commands during World War I...

     1928–1934
  2. Vice-Admiral Percy W. Nelles
    Percy W. Nelles
    Percy Walker Nelles, CB was a flag officer in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Chief of the Naval Staff from 1934 to 1944. He oversaw the massive wartime expansion of the RCN and the transformation of Canada into a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic. During his tenure U-boats raided the...

     1934–1944
  3. Vice-Admiral George C. Jones 1944–1946
  4. Vice-Admiral Howard E. Reid 1946–1947
  5. Vice-Admiral Harold Taylor Wood Grant
    Harold Taylor Wood Grant
    Vice-Admiral Harold Taylor Wood Grant, was a Canadian naval officer and a post-war Chief of the Naval Staff....

     1947–1951
  6. Vice-Admiral Rollo Mainguy
    Rollo Mainguy
    Vice-Admiral Edmond Rollo Mainguy, OBE, CD, RCN was a Canadian naval officer.He was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1901 and attended the Royal Naval College of Canada during World War I....

     1951–1956
  7. Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf
    Harry DeWolf
    Vice Admiral Henry George "Harry" DeWolf was a Canadian naval officer who was made famous as the first commander of during World War II....

     1956–1960
  8. Vice-Admiral Herbert S. Rayner 1960–1964

Commanders of Maritime Command

  1. Vice Admiral
    Vice Admiral
    Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

     J.C. O'Brien 1968–1970
  2. Vice Admiral Henry A. Porter 1970–1971
  3. Rear Admiral Robert W. Timbrell 1971–1973
  4. Vice Admiral D.S. Boyle 1973–1977
  5. Vice Admiral A.L Collier 1977–1979
  6. Vice Admiral J. Allan 1979–1980
  7. Vice Admiral J.A. Fulton 1980–1983
  8. Vice Admiral James C. Wood 1983–1987
  9. Vice Admiral Charles M. Thomas 1987–1989
  10. Vice Admiral Robert E. George 1989–1991
  11. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John Rogers Anderson
    John Rogers Anderson
    John Rogers Anderson, is a Canadian retired Admiral and civil servant.-Military career:Anderson was born in British Columbia and attended University of British Columbia; he graduated with a BSc and attended a Long Operations Officers course. He joined the Navy in 1963 and worked his way up the...

     1991–1992
  12. Vice Admiral Peter W. Cairns 1992–1994
  13. Vice Admiral Larry Murray
    Larry Murray
    Vice Admiral Larry E. Murray, CMM, CD is a Canadian retired civil servant, retired Vice Admiral and former acting Chief of the Defence Staff.-Military career:...

     1994–1995
  14. Vice Admiral Lynn Mason 1995–1997

Chiefs of the Maritime Staff

  1. Vice Admiral Gary Garnett 1997–1997
  2. Vice Admiral Greg R. Maddison 1997–2001
  3. Vice Admiral Ron D. Buck 2001–2004
  4. Vice Admiral M. Bruce McLean 2004–2006
  5. Vice Admiral Drew W. Robertson 2006–2009
  6. Vice Admiral P. Dean McFadden 2009-2011
  7. Vice Admiral Paul A. Maddison 2011-present

Pre-unification senior officers of the RCN

In August 1964 the position of Chief of the Naval Staff was formally abolished when amendments to the National Defence Act came into force. Responsibility for naval matters was split between the newly established Defence Staff in Ottawa and operational headquarters in Halifax (for the Atlantic fleet) and Esquimalt (for the Pacific fleet).

Flag Officer, Atlantic Coast
  1. Rear Admiral Jeffrey V. Brock, 1963-1964
  2. Rear Admiral William Landymore
    William Landymore
    Rear-Admiral William Moss Landymore, OBE, CD was a Canadian naval officer.-Career:Landymore commenced studies at the Royal Military College of Canada as cadet # 2399 in 1934...

    , 1964–1966


Flag Officer, Pacific Coast
  1. Rear Admiral Mickey G. Stirling, 1964–1966
  2. Rear Admiral John A. Charles, 1966–1969


Principal Naval Adviser, CFHQ
  1. Vice Admiral Kenneth L Dyer, 1964–1966
  2. Vice Admiral Ralph L. Hennessy, 1966–1968


Commander, Maritime Command
  1. Rear Admiral William Landymore
    William Landymore
    Rear-Admiral William Moss Landymore, OBE, CD was a Canadian naval officer.-Career:Landymore commenced studies at the Royal Military College of Canada as cadet # 2399 in 1934...

    , 1966-1966
  2. Rear Admiral J.C. O'Brien, 1966–1968


Heritage

This history of the Royal Canadian Navy is preserved and presented at the Maritime Command Museum
Maritime Command Museum
The Maritime Command Museum is a Canadian Forces museum and National Historic Site located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada which collects, preserves and displays the artifacts and history of the Royal Canadian Navy...

 in Halifax, the Canadian War Museum
Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the museum covers all facets of Canada’s military past, from the first recorded instances of death by armed violence in Canadian history several thousand years ago to the country’s most recent...

, the Naval Museum of Alberta
The Military Museums
The Military Museums is a reorganization of the former Museum of the Regiments in Calgary, Alberta, announced by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, on June 3, 2006...

 and naval museum on several bases. Several RCN vessels have been preserved including the corvette HMCS Sackville, which serves as Canada's Naval Memorial, as well as the destroyer HMCS Haida and the auxiliary patrol ship HMCS/CSS Acadia
CSS Acadia
CSS Acadia is a former hydrographic surveying and oceanographic research ship of the Hydrographic Survey of Canada and its successor the Canadian Hydrographic Service....

 which served the RCN in both the First and Second World Wars.

Film and books

  • Corvette K-225
    Corvette K-225
    Corvette K -225 is a 1943 film starring Randolph Scott and Ella Raines. It was released in the UK as The Nelson Touch. Tony Gaudio was nominated for the 1943 Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on the film....

    (1943), centres on the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Produced by Howard Hawks
    Howard Hawks
    Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era...

    .
  • A Canadian Second World War Naval officer is one of the main characters in Jan de Hartog
    Jan de Hartog
    Jan de Hartog was a Dutch playwright, novelist and occasional social critic who moved to the United States in the early 1960s and became a Quaker.- Early years :...

    's novel The Captain
    The Captain (1967 novel)
    The Captain is a 1967 novel by Dutch writer Jan de Hartog.Ocean-going tugboats, a highly specialized field of nautical enterprise in which the Dutch have always taken the lead, were the subject of De Hartog's book, "Hollands Glorie" - in which the highly skilled tugboat sailors were depicted The...

    .

See also

  • Bibliography of Canadian military history
    Bibliography of Canadian military history
    This is a bibliography of works on the military history of Canada.-To 1914:* Baugh, D.A. The Global Seven Years War 1754-1763: Britain and France in a Great Power Contest *Boulton, Charles A. . Toronto....

  • Barber's pole: Canadian Naval Group—nickname for a battle group
  • Fleet of the Royal Canadian Navy
  • List of aircraft of the Royal Canadian Navy
  • List of Royal Canadian Navy bases (1911-1968)
  • Uniforms of the Canadian Forces: Navy
  • Royal Canadian Navy
    Royal Canadian Navy
    The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

  • Royal Canadian Naval Air Service
    Royal Canadian Naval Air Service
    The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was established in 1918 during the First World War in response to the Royal Canadian Navy's recommendation that defensive air patrols be established off Canada's Atlantic coast to protect shipping from German U-boats.Britain warned Canada that an attack by a...


External links

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