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We are a group of volunteers producing this nautical heritage site with information on Canada’s Pacific nautical history and heritage and other topics of general maritime interest. Click the links on the left side of the page to see the archived articles.
Those wishing to actively participate in an on–going discussion and Group investigation of British Columbia’s Nautical History should consider joining the British Columbia Nautical History Facebook group. This is a friendly, polite, positive and very active on–line discussion group (currently 3,200 members) that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.
Recent Featured Articles:HMCS Uganda
21/10/2017 HMCS Uganda, a Colony–class Royal Navy cruiser was transferred to the RCN during the Second World War. She was later renamed as HMCS Quebec and served on the East Coast after returning to Canada from action in the Pacific during the Second World War.
The Monument to Harry Pinner RN
15/10/2017 The monument plaque commemorating the 1899 drowning death of Able–Seaman Harry Pinner RN in Nanaimo BC.
Volunteers at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
11/10/2017 Bob Bell and Captain Adrian Bull are just two of the volunteers who provide the continuity and backbone that has sustained the Museum for more than 50 years.
The Second World War Capture of the M.S. Weser
09/10/2017 The capture of the M.S. Weser during the Second World War by HMCS Prince Robert was a symbolic boost in Canadian morale and an indication that the war was being prosecuted in the Pacific. It was also a reminder that the threats were not all in Europe, Asia and Africa.
07/10/2017 HMCS Armentieres served the RCN on Canada’s west coast for the inter–war period. She survived a sinking, and went on to do service as a tug, even venturing as far as the Arctic Ocean.
The Second World War Submarine Attack on the Freighter Fort Camosun
04/10/2017 The Fort Camosun was a wartime freighter torpedoed by an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine during the Second World War. Her cargo of lumber kept her afloat while she was towed into port for repairs.
The Fate of HMCS Chaleur (II)
01/10/2017 Many online sites have articles that claim that the Canadian minesweeper HMCS Chaleur (II) was broken up in Victoria. Contributor LCDR (Medical Service Corps) Jack A. Frost USN (Retired) shares some of his photos that show her still afloat in California.
30/09/2017 The first Canadian naval ship on the west coast was HMCS Rainbow. While the name may be familiar to ship lovers there are many images of the detail of her construction that have not been widely shared. Here is a collection of image for old naval ship aficionados.
The tug Magellan
28/09/2017 The tug Magellan sank at her berth and was quickly salvaged. Captain Tony Toxopeus shares a picture and the details he witnessed.
21/09/2017 The RFM is a very interesting conversion from a tugboat to a sailing craft. Contributor Drew Clarke shares images he has taken over the years of this most distinctive craft.
The Wreck of the Freighter Humboldt
15/09/2017 The freighter Humboldt went ashore on Mouat Point, North Pender Island on September 29, 1908 while en route from Seattle to Skagway in a dense fog. A radio call brought the steamer Edith (Captain Thomas A. Miller) and she removed all the passengers.
The Sailing Ship Inca
07/09/2017 The sailing ship Inca was an American Five–masted Schooner that carried cargoes to and from British Columbia ports.
The Early Tug Wabash
01/09/2017 The tugboat Wabash was the second tugboat owned by the MacFarlane Brothers at Mill Bay BC. They used this old tug for towing log booms and barges before the First World War.
HMS Amphion’s Crumpled Keel
01/08/2017 Contributor Robert Hanna shares images he took of the remains of HMS Amphion’s keel in Victoria BC. The keel was saved after a repair at Esquimalt BC in the old naval drydock.
The Wreck of the Freighter Northwestern
20/07/2017 The freighter Northwestern went ashore at Latorchu AK USA and was successfully salvaged by the Victoria’based tug Salvor. Over the years the Northwestern was involved in many marine incidents.
The Sub Chaser That Became a Packer Norking
16/07/2017 Contributor Drew Clarke shares images of the Norking. She escorted convoys along the northern coast of South America and near Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. On 1/29/1945, SC 1039 was damaged, along with four other small ships, when the cargo ship Serpens (AK–97) was sunk by an explosion of undetermined origin off Guadalcanal. Andrew Clarke reports that "She was sold to a new owner in 2014 at Ladysmith BC. He put her on the beach to clean the hull and she fell over. The owner then stripped her and scuttled her in 2015." I was very disappointed to learn of this unfortunate turn of events."
Ships of the Bedwell Bay Ship Boneyard
14/07/2017 Contributor Christopher Cole has assembled an inventory of the surplus vessels that once resided in the vessel "boneyard" in Bedwell Bay. These vessels were held in strategic reserve or were simply awaiting disposition as surplus to government requirements. It took several years to clear them out.
Vessels Owned by the Pacific (Coyle) Navigation Co. Ltd. and its Predecessors
11/07/2017 The Coyle Family owned major interests in a series of tugboat companies in Vancouver BC. They owned, over the years, a large fleet of vessels.
The Robert Kerr on the Ways at the Esquimalt Marine Railway Ltd.
10/07/2017 The Robert Kerr was the first vessel up on the ways at the new Esquimalt Marine Railway Co. Ltd. She was scraped and painted, a modest start for a yard that later became Yarrows Ltd.
The Last Days of the Schooner Robertson II
05/07/2017 On Canada Day 2007 contributor Drew Clarke heard a news report of the sinking of the schooner Robertson II. So passionate was his reaction to the story that he mobilized a salvage attempt that, in spite of a heroic effort, was ultimately unsuccessful. He shares his experiences and images from this effort in the article.
The Shanteymen’s Christian Association and the Messenger III.
29/06/2017 The Messenger III is one of the iconic vintage vessels on the British Columbia coast. She carries with her a long and proud history of material and spiritual service to the people of the British Columbia coast.
The Wreck of the Gulf Stream
25/06/2017 The former Second World War era RCN armed yacht HMCS Wolf was converted to passenger service but soon after going into operation met disaster at Dinner Rock when she was wrecked. Many people visited the site to take pictures. The co–author’s father took two interesting closeups which we share.
The Classic Power Cruiser Aileen
21/06/2017 The Classic Power Cruiser Aileen was typical of a beautiful but expensive power yacht on the British Columbia coast. She was later designated a a Vintage Vessel by the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.
Featured Reference Tables:
The Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)
Did your grandfather serve in the Canadian Navy during the First World War? To participate in the First World War naval effort Canada formed the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) which filled out the forces needed to make the navy operational. This is a nominal list of 7,500 of the more than 8,000 who served as members of this organization. There is no publicly available list of members and this represents the result of more than 25 years of research through publicly available sources to produce this one. Each entry is linked to the biography database so interested viewers can see what we have for each name.
Canada’s Naval AviatorsCanada’s Naval Aviators
Few Canadians know about the Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution to Naval Aviation. More than 2,000 Canadians and some other naval aviators who served in Canada comprised this group. Originally published in print by John MacFarlane and Robbie Hughes, more than 25 years ago, this list is now revised and available to visitors to The Nauticapedia.
The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve University Naval Training Division (UNTD)
- UNTD –Nominal List (Interactive Currently Updated)
- UNTD –VIP List (Alphabetical) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –VIP List (Titles) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –Deceased (Alphabetical List) Updated 27/08/2017
- UNTD –Deceased (Chronological List) Updated 27/08/2017
The definitive Nominal List for the University Naval Training Division (UNTD) of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve contains the names of almost 7,000 former members and details of their service. Other lists detail the former members known to be deceased and a list of former members who achieved positions of note in their civilian or military careers.
Canada’s Admirals & CommodoresCanada’s Admirals & Commodores
Canada has a rich naval heritage which tends to have a low public profile. To the detriment of the Navy and our awareness of our national culture and history, Canada’s naval contribution in two World Wars, the Korean conflict and the many United Nations and NATO operations is hidden from public view. The great contribution of the navy is both interesting and important – but it is difficult for history lovers to access the information.
New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!
Volume Four in series
The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four
For more information …
Site News: October 15th, 2017
Databases have been updated and are now holding 50,143 vessel histories (with 4,319 images) and 57,540 mariner biographies (with 3,421 images).