Royal Canadian Navy Minesweepers (Bay Class), (YMS-1 Class), YBZ-61, and Minesweeping Auxiliary Ships

RCN Minesweepers (Bay Class), (YMS-1 Class), YBZ-61, and Minesweeping Auxiliary Ships

Bay-class minesweepers

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

HMCS Fortune (MCB 151)

(DND Photo via the CFB Esquimalt Naval Museum)

HMCS Fortune (MCB 151).

(DND Photo)

HMCS Fundy (MCB 145) (II).  second of name, had a very brief career under the White Ensign of the Royal Canadian Navy.  She too was a minesweeper but of very different construction to that of her predecessor.  Of the “Bay” Class, the 152-foot ship was built of wood and aluminIum to comply with modern concepts of mine warfare.  Built at Saint John, N.B., she was commissioned there on 19 March, 1954.  HMCS Fundy sailed to Halifax and there joined the First Canadian Minesweeping Squadron.  However, her pennants, MCB-145, were not to be seen for long in Canadian waters.

In compliance with Canadian foreign policy of mutual aid to our partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, HMCS Fundy (MCB 145), together with other ships of her class, was transferred to France.  At Halifax on 7 April after only eighteen days service, the French Tricolour was hoisted in HMCS Fundy and she was given her new name La Dunkerquoise.

(gandolfi Photo)

HMCS Fundy (MCB 159) III.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Fundy (MCB 159) III, third of name, is another minesweeper of the “Bay” Class and was a member of the First Canadian Minesweeping Squadron, based on Halifax.  Built at Lauzon, Quebec, she was launched on the St. Lawrence on 14 June, 1956, and was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy on 27 November the same year.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Resolute (MCB 154)

HMCS Thunder (MCB 153) (II)

(Brian Dobing Photo)

HMCS Thunder (MCB 153) (II).  Built by the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., she was commissioned on 3 Oct 1957, and served as a member of the Training Group Pacific until paid off on 22 Aug 1997.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Thunder (MCB 153) (II).

HMCS Cowichan (MCB 162) (III)

(DND Photo)

HMCS Cowichan (MCB 162) (III).  Built by Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, she was commissioned on 12 Dec 1957, and was a member of Training Group Pacific until paid off on 22 Aug 1997.  Her specifications on completion were: Displacement: 396 tons; Length: 152 ft, Beam: 28 ft; Draught: 8 ft; Speed: 16 kts; Armament: 1-40mm; Complement: 3 officers, 35 men. Cowichan was sold to private interests and tied up at the wharf at the old Lambert Sawmill, Sooke, BC.

(Brian Dobing Photo)

HMCS Cowichan (MCB 162) (III)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951235)

HMCS Miramichi (MCB 163) (III).  Built by Victoria Machinery Depot, she was commissioned on 29 Oct 1957, and served on the west coast as part of Training Group Pacific until paid off on 16 Dec 1998.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951236)

HMCS Miramichi (MCB 163) (III).

(Brian Dobing Photo)

HMCS Miramichi (MCB 163) (III).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951339)

RCN Minesweepers, HMCS Chaleur (MCB 164) II, HMCS Thunder (MCB 161), HMCS Quinte (MCB 149(, Halifax, Nova Scotia, sometime before 1964.

HMCS Gaspé (MCB 143) (II)

(Bill Fleming Photo)

HMCS Gaspé (MCB 143) (II).  Built by the Davie Shipbuilding Co., Lauzon, Quebec, she was commissioned on 5 Dec 1953, and paid off on 22 Aug 1957.  She was transferred to the Turkish Navy, and was renamed Trabzon, on 31 Mar 1958.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199943)

HMCS Gaspé (MCB 143) (II), 17 Dec 1953.

YMS-1-class minesweeper

HMCS Cordova (MCA 158)

(RCN Photo)

HMCS Cordova (MCB 158).  One of hundreds of motor minesweepers built for the USN during the Second World War, HMCS Cordova was launched as YMS.420 in 1944 at Chicago.  She was purchased by the RCN on 3 Dec 1951, and commissioned as HMCS Cordova from 9 Aug 1952 to 12 Apr 1957, serving primarily as tender to HMCS Discovery.  She was sold in 1970 to Harbour Ferries, Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, and renamed Harbour Queen No. 1, and later renamed Nakaya in 1980.  She was sunk in 1992 as a diving wreck at Porteau Cove Provincial Park, located 40 miles north of Vancouver.

Mine sweeping auxiliary ships

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

(Alcide55 Photo)

HMCS Anticosti (MSA 110) (II), was an Anticosti-class minesweeper that served in the Canadian Forces from 1989 to 2000. Originally an oil rig support vessel, she was purchased in 1989 and saw service until the entry of the newer Kingston-class coastal defence vessels.  The ship was named for Anticosti Island, the second to bear the name.  Following her Canadian naval career, HMCS Anticosti was sold to commercial interests.

(ReadyAyeReady Photo)

HMCS Moresby (MSA 112) (III).  HMCS Moresby (MSA 111) was an Anticosti class minesweeper that served in the Canadian Forces from 1989-2000.  Formery Joyce Tide, commercial oil-rig supply vessel.  After the Kingston-class was commissioned, Moresby was identified as surplus and decommissioned in 2000.

Vacuum Ship YBS-61

(RCN Photo)

The vacuum ship YBZ-61 at work alongside the HMCS Stettler (FFE 311) in 1964.  The YBZ-61 was, in effect, a huge vacuum cleaner whose job was to vent, clean and gas-free the fuel tanks and bilges of warships.  She not only saved time, man hours and money, but made a messy and unpleasant job much easier to tackle.

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