Vessels Owned by or Operated by the Canadian Army

compiled by John M. MacFarlane 2013

This list is currently under development and is not complete. These vessels were mainly operated by the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.

In the early days the Army water transport began operation at Halifax NS with personnel based at the Citadel. They required water transportation to and from various units and installations around the harbour. The used the steam–powered Lily to freight personnel, stores, and ammunition. The vessels were owned by the War Office for the Imperial Army and the vessels were crewed by civilians. Jurisdiction was transferred to Canada in 1904–1905.Canada purchased the Alfreda and the Armstrong which were built in the UK and and taken over by the Canadian Army Service corps (Water Transport Section). Crews were civilians. In 1918 the crews were draughted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force and wore blue uniforms.

In 1920 when the Army was reorganized they wore naval pattern uniforms and held army ranks. During the Second World War crews wore Army battle dress. The complement in the Second World War grew to 125 officers and men. They operated ferry and freight transport to coast defence installations with detachments in Sydney NS, Saint John NB, Shelburne NS, and St. Johns

Newfoundland. Among other duties they salvaged cargoes from ships damaged by enemy action at the entrance to eastern Canadian ports. The unit was disbanded in March 1948.

Author’s Note: This is a partial list (work in progress).


Note to Reader: Vessel names containing Roman numerals in parentheses (e.g. Floater (II)) indicates more than one vessel in the database with the same name. The numerals in parentheses are NOT part of the vessel name but are used to distinguish one vessel from another in the database.


To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2013) Vessels Owned By or Operated by the Canadian Army. Nauticapedia.ca 2013. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Fleets_Cdn_Army.php

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