Canadian Merchant Navy
|Statistics for the shipping industry of Canada
|Total: 184 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)
|Totalling: 2,129,243 GRT/2,716,340 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
|Combination bulk ships
|Roll-on / roll-off ships
|Chemical tanker ships
|Petroleum tanker ships
|General passenger ships
|Foreign ownership and documentation
|Note: Of these, 15 are foreign-owned: France 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 4, United States 9. 223 Canadian vessels are registered in other countries: Australia 7, Bahamas 102, Barbados 13, Cambodia 2, Cyprus 2, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 70, Liberia 4, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 4, Norway 1, Panama 5, Spain 5, USA 1, Vanuatu 5. (2010)
|Source: This article contains material from the CIA World Factbook which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.
Canada, like several other Commonwealth nations, created its own Merchant Navy in a large-scale effort during World War II.
The 529-foot Canadian laker James Carruthers
on Lake Huron
Within hours of Canada's declaration of war on September 10, 1939, the Canadian government passed laws to create the Canadian Merchant Navy setting out rules and controls to provide a workforce for wartime shipping. The World War II Merchant Navy greatly expanded a similar effort in World War I known as the Canadian Mercantile Marine. The Canadian Merchant Navy played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic bolstering the allies merchant fleet due to high losses in the British Merchant Navy. Eventually thousands of Canadians served aboard hundreds of Canadian Merchant Navy ships, notably the "Park Ships", the Canadian equivalent of the American "Liberty Ships". Rear Admiral Leonard W. Murray reported,
The Battle of the Atlantic was not won by any Navy or any Air Force, it was won by the courage, fortitude and determination of the British and Allied Merchant Navy.
A school was established at St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia to train sailors for the Canadian Merchant Navy, who became known as "Merchant Mariners." Manning Pools, or barracks, were built in major Canadian ports to house Merchant Mariners. The Merchant Navy was considered a fourth branch of the Canadian military alongside the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, and suffered the highest casualty rate of the four.
After the war, Canadian Merchant Navy veterans were denied veterans benefits and official recognition for decades. This was not corrected until the 1990s and many individual cases remain unresolved. Similar to the CMM Veterans status, World War II United States Merchant Marine Veterans were also denied veterans benefits and status until 1988.
An important gesture in 2001 was the creation of Merchant Navy Remembrance Day by the Canadian Parliament which designated September 3 as a day to recognize the contributions and sacrifice of Canadian merchant mariners.
- "Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial (1995)" by André Gauthier (sculptor) was erected on the shore of Lake Ontario in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario. The 6’4” high cast bronze statue depicts a WWII Canadian sailor in the position of attention saluting his lost shipmates. The model for the statue was a local Sea Cadet wearing Mike Vencel's naval service uniform. On the black granite base, the names of Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Navy ships sunk during WWII are engraved.
- A commemorative plaque in SS Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia unveilled in 1967, "When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in 1914, Canada and Newfoundland's participation was virtually unquestioned. With the onset of the Second World War in 1939 Canadians and Newfoundlanders once more rushed to enlist and were a major factor in the Allied victories in both conflicts. During two world wars the main duty of the Royal Canadian Navy was to escort convoys in the Atlantic and guard merchant vessels against the threat of attack by German submarines. In the Second World War, it also escorted ships in the Mediterranean and to Russia and supported the Allied landings in Sicilian, Italian and Normandy campaigns as well as in the Pacific. The Canadian Merchant Navy's duties included the transportation of troops and supplies to the Allied armies and food for the United Kingdom, extremely dangerous work which resulted in considerable losses."
- at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "In memory of 2200 known Canadian Merchant Seamen and 91 Canadian vessels lost by enemy action and those who served in the cause of freedom - World War I 1914-1918; World War II 1939-1945; Korean Conflict 1950-1953"
Monuments to the Canadian Merchant Navy were erected in several Canadian cities:
World War II
- Beacon Hill
- Elk Island Park
- Erik Boye (HX-48)
- Magog (HX-52)
- Kenordoc (SC-3)
- St.Malo (HX-77)
- Trevisa (SC-7)
- Maplecourt (SC-20)
- Canadian Cruiser
- A.D. Huff
- J.B. White (HX-112)
- Vancouver Island
- USS Proteus
- USS Nereus
- Lady Hawkins
- Empress of Asia
- George L. Torian
- Robert W. Pomeroy
- James E. Newsom
- Lady Drake''
- Mildred Pauline
- Mont Louis
- Frank B. Baird
- Liverpool Packet
- Mona Marie
- Lucille M.
- Princess Marguerite
- Donald Stewart
- Lord Strathcona
- John A. Holloway
- Oakton (Q533)
- Bic Island (HX-212)
- Rose Castle
- Chr. J. Kampmann (TAG-18)
- Jasper Park
- Albert C. Field
- SS Point Pleasant Park
- Taber Park (FS-1753)
- Avondale Park
- Watkins F. Nisbet
- R.J. Cullen
- Bic Island
- Lady Nelson
- Nipawin Park (SH-194)
- Silver Star Park
- Green Hill Park
- Kootenay Park
- Salt Lake Park
- Westbank Park
- Donald Roach
- Kyle Lapierre
- Lake Chelan
- Elk Island
- Hillcrest Park
- Lady Rodney
- Sunset Park
- 10,000 ton Dry Cargo: 117
- 4,700 ton Dry Cargo: 32
- 10,000 ton Tankers: 13
- 3,600 ton Tankers: 6
- 2,000 ton Tanker: 1
- 10,000 ton Dry Cargo Fort Ships built for Britain: 97
- 10,000 ton Stores Issuing Ships for Britain: 12
- Total ships built in Canada 1942 to 1945: 278
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Comox Valley Record
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 18:52:30 -0700
I believe this to be the perfect opportunity to remind us all of the sacrifices made by the men of the Merchant Navy. The Canadian Merchant Navy lost over 1,700 seamen during WWII. The British Merchant Navy lost in excess of 32,000, the highest per ...
Sat, 02 May 2015 15:52:30 -0700
Canadian merchant navy veteran Ray Cameron is eager to share war-time memories with his grandson during the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. At 17 years old, Josh Perin is the same age as Cameron when he joined the merchant ...
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:26:15 -0700
He said the current Canadian merchant navy fleet is small, and the horrors experienced by the merchant navy during the Second World War don't mean anything to most current sailors because they've never had to worry about dealing with U-boats and ...
Canada NewsWire (press release)
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:18:45 -0700
In all, some 12,000 men and women served with the Canadian Merchant Navy. "Working with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force, our nation's merchant mariners guided convoys of ships as the Battle of the Atlantic approached ...
The Kingston Whig-Standard
The Kingston Whig-Standard
Fri, 08 May 2015 04:37:30 -0700
Together, the Canadian Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) provided a lifeline to Europe. However, throughout the six year battle, Nazi U-boats targeted supply convoys, sinking many supply ships.
Fri, 01 May 2015 02:34:07 -0700
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Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:54:02 -0700
Members of the Merchant Navy Veterans' Association gathered in Halifax Wednesday for the last time to honour those who supplied Allied forces in Europe during the Second World War. The group has been gathering annually since the government ...
Sun, 03 May 2015 16:26:15 -0700
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Pierre Lemieux lays a wreath during the National Battle of the Atlantic parade and ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Sunday, May 3, 2015. Matthew Usherwood/Ottawa ...
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