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The history of the Canadian Submarine Service and Boats have been summed up by many authors over the years with different poins of view. Here we will try to bring to you the summation, pictures, and any related articles that will give a overview of our proud history, Enjoy!



Report of the Commissioner Concerning Purchase of Submarines (the original ones in 1914)

A bit of history here. View link below

Submitted by: Robert Bergeron


Battle of Atlantic Sunday May 2, 1939

“Greater love hath no one than this, that they lay down their life for their friends. Whom but the bravest of individuals would contemplate such a sacrifice? Whom but a heroic individual would make such a sacrifice? Whom but the most selfless individual would voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way knowing that this sacrifice might indeed be theirs to make?.........

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*This was extracted from a message sent out of NDHQ by the CMS



Early in 1961, when the former United States submarine USS BURRFISH was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS GRILSE, there were those who said “The RCN now has its first submarine.”  They were wrong by six submarines and 46 years.

Submarine service in the RCN goes back to 1914.  The RCN’s first submarines were CC 1 and CC 2, which were purchased on the dubious authority of the Premier of British Columbia when his province, at the outset of the First World War, was in a state of alarm. Cont'

For the full story Click Here
By Hal Zerbin  


The Canadian-built British H-boats

As early as the end of August 1914, Canadian Vickers placed a proposal before the Deputy Minister for the Naval Service to build two or three Electric Boat Company submarines for the RCN at Montreal. At 400-tons dived displacement and mounting four 18-inch torpedo tubes in the bow, they were similar to CC1 but with improved engines. Vickers was offering to have the first two boats completed by the 1915 opening of navigation on the St. Lawrence River for a price of $572,000 each. This was $2,800 less than what had been paid for the CC-boats, plus a considerable return to the Canadian economy through wages and materials purchased in Canada. A further $50,000, it was claimed, would have been recoverable from customs duties. The third vessel, it was predicted, could be ready for trials a month after the first pair.

For the full story Click Here
© J. D. Perkins, 1999


Memorial at CF Dockyard Esquimalt B.C.

This memorial is located at CF Dockyard Esquimalt B.C. and was dedicated to Canada’s

West Coast submarines and to all who have served in boats of the silent service by Rear–Admiral B. Johnston on 12 March 1996.

Photo supplied by: Elmer Jones
Plaque Details:
CC1 & CC2, Canada’s first submarines were purchased by British Columbia and given to the RCN on August 6, 1914.  They patrolled the B.C. coast in WW1. The first Canadian Naval vessels to transit the Panama Canal under the white ensign.  They served as training vessels on the Bras D’or lakes until 1920. Later HMCS Grilse SS71 served on the west coast 1961 – 1969 followed by HMCS Rainbow SS75 1968 – 1974 Both served with distinction in a continuous series of anti-submarine warfare exercises.

In case you've never seen a Gun Action that actually drew blood (for real)


Photo & article supplied by: Steve Jenner
In 1945, I was First Lieutenant of HMS Sibyl (Lieutenant Commander HR Murray RN), working out of Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). On our last Patrol, and just before the BOMB was dropped, we carried out a gun action against an oil barge being towed south down the Malayan coast, and I took the attached pictures from the bridge, during what was, almost certainly, the last British submarine 3 inch gun action of WW2.
We subsequently got strafed by an aircraft for our trouble! The pictures show the gun firing. ABST "Sam" Weller is on the left. He was the junior member of the Motor room staff, and AB Rigby is on the right - He was an ABRP (Radar Plot) rating. We only had a rather primitive Airguard Radar (look outs were really more reliable!). I can't remember the names of the gunlayer or trainer. In the picture of the target on fire, you can just make out the tug, if you look carefully to the right of the burning barge.
The third picture is of Sibyl in the starboard trot alongside HMS Wolfe in Trinco, and the Scratcher, A/PO "Soapy" Watson has his back to the camera, by the gun tower hatch. When he was confirmed PO, I remember having to tie his tie, because, as a boy entry, he had never worn one!

-CDR Steve Jenner


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