The Ships of the Bedwell Bay Ship Boneyard

by Christopher J. Cole and John MacFarlane 2017

Sales Advertisement

One of a number of advertisements placed by the War Assets and Disposal Corporation for the sale of vessels in the Bedwell Bay boneyard. (Photo from Victoria Daily Colonist November 21, 1945.)

In a matter of months after VJ day in 1945 many vessels of the Canadian navy, army and air force were handed of to the War Assets Corporation for disposal. Most vessels had their armaments removed and then were mothballed into "ghost fleets" or "boneyards" up and down the BC coast. The largest one was located in Bedwell Bay. Bedwell Bay is a large inlet, sheltered and convenient for tow boats to deliver them from Vancouver Harbour. Bedwell Bay is located off of Indian Arm with the Village of Belcarra overlooking the Bay.

Many of these vessels were built during the war and were only a few years old but the Government of Canada could not afford to maintain such a fleet and with the war over these fighting craft were put up for sale. Some of the smaller craft were built on fishing vessel plans so they were easily sold into the fishing industry after the War. Some were already in the fishing industry before the war and were then sold again to go fishing. Most of these being the boats from the Fishermen’s Reserve.

Most of the Frigates were scrapped or turned into breakwaters except for two that went on to become pilot vessels on the Hooghly River in India. Some of the Minesweepers and Corvettes were converted to became passenger vessels. One of the Corvettes that was laid up in Bedwell Bay became the famous salvage tug Sudbury. There were deals to be had and the War Assets and Disposal Corporation wanted to move these vessels along so by 1950 the majority of these veterans of the War were gone from Bedwell Bay.


Some of the vessels in the ship ‘boneyard‘ at Bedwell Bay in Indian Arm BC.(Photo from City of Vancouver CVA 586–4207.)

Boneyard Vessels

Advertisement(Photo from Victoria Daily Colonist March 1947.)

Chamiss Bay

Newspaper advertisement for the Chamiss Bay (with name mispelled as Chemis)(Photo from Victoria Daily Colonist.)

Boneyard Vessels

Ships in strategic reserve(Photo from Vancouver Archives CVA 1184–346.)

Boneyard Vessels

Ships in strategic reserve(Photo from Vancouver Archives CVA 586–4206.)

In 1946 some of the vessels were kept in strategic reserve, available to the navy should Canada have become involved in a military action or UN police action.

Royal Canadian Navy Vessels

Royal Canadian Air Force Vessels

US Navy Vessels

  • USS YMS.159

Misc. Vessels

Canadian Army Vessels

To quote from this article please cite:

Cole, Christopher J. and John MacFarlane (2017) The Ships of the Bedwell Bay Ship Boneyard. 2017.

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