Canadian Military History Gateway
Organization > Veterans Affairs Canada
Subject > Weapons, Equipment and Fortifications
A list of Canadian vessels that participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in World War II: Royal Class frigates, corvettes, Bangor minesweepers, wooden minesweepers, armed yachts, auxiliaries, and Fairmile motor launches.
Veterans Affairs Canada
A list of ships lost in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Listed beside each ship is the number of lives lost (where known), the date the vessel sunk, and the U-boat that was responsible.
The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which saw German U-boats penetrate the Cabot Strait and the Strait of Belle Isle to sink 23 ships between 1942 and 1944, marked the only time since the War of 1812 that enemy warships inflicted death within Canada's inland waters. The battle advanced to within 300 kilometres of Québec City. A war that pervaded people's lives but was still somehow remote, had become immediate, threatening, and very real. This site outlines the story of this battle.
Table of contents with links to various topics concerning the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Second World War.
In 1944 German U-boats returned to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which had been re-opened to trans-Atlantic vessels, intent on repeating their successes of 1942. By this time the Royal Canadian Navy was more adept at anti-submarine warfare, and its convoy procedures were much improved. Maritime air patrols were more proficient too. The U-boats returned with a potentially deadly advantage, however: the newly invented schnorkel mast.
Reji Martin has used the tools of today to remember the battles of the past. In this collection of 'Virtual' oil pastels, the terrible beauty of people and places involved in war has been caught using a computer program.
This database is an index that can be used to search for the names of Canadian Merchant sailors who were killed while serving in Canada's Merchant Marine. It can also be used to search for the names of Canadian Merchant Navy vessels. You can enter the name of the Canadian Merchant Navy war dead, the vessel they served on, or both.
During the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the last loss of the 1942 season was the largest, and perhaps the most tragic. It was the Sydney to Port aux Basques ferry Caribou, which was sunk by a German U-boat in Cabot Strait during the early morning hours of October 14, 1942. More than any other event, the loss of the Caribou revealed to all Canadians our vulnerability to seaward attack and brought home the fact that the war wasn't just a European show.
When the war began in 1914 Canada had an embryonic naval service consisting of less than 350 men and two ships. However, the Royal Canadian Navy soon assumed an important defensive role as anti-submarine, intelligence gathering, communication, mine sweeping and patrolling capabilities were added to it. These enhancements would form the nucleus of a future, effective naval force.
When Canada join World War II, the nursing service was expanded to all three branches of the military; Navy, Army and Air Force. Each branch had its own distinctive uniform and working dress, while all wore the Nursing Sister's white veil and were commissioned officers. The Sisters travelled overseas by ship in convoys, running the gauntlet of German submarine action in the North Atlantic.