HMCS Cougar

There have been three vessels named Cougar in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Cougar (1st of name) (P15 / Z15) / Armed Yacht

HMCS Cougar P15 / Z15

Originally named Breezin’ Thru when she was launched in 1916, Cougar was one of several American yachts discretely acquired in the Second World War and refitted for the RCN despite strict American neutrality and regulations preventing the sale of vessels for belligerent purposes.

Commissioned on the west coast, she was employed initially on anti-submarine patrol from Esquimalt, and then transferred in May 1942 to Prince Rupert Force. In June 1944, she returned to Esquimalt as an examination vessel before being paid off. Sold to a California buyer in 1946, she resumed her original name for a time before sinking in a hurricane at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1950.


HMCS Cougar (2nd of name) (Q104 / 704) / Fairmile Patrol Craft

HMCS Cougar Q104 / 704

Badge of HMCS Cougar

The versatile 112-foot B class motor launch was designed in England by the Fairmile Company and the boats were accordingly known as Fairmiles. Eighty were built in Canada, fifty-nine of them in Great Lakes boatyards. The Fairmiles played a useful role as escorts in the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and as escorts to convoys between Newfoundland and the mainland. They also carried out A/S patrol, port defence, and rescue duties, releasing larger escort craft urgently needed elsewhere. Most of the Fairmiles were sold at the end of the war, but seven remained in service. ML 104 was renamed Cougar in 1954 when the Fairmiles were renamed for the armed yachts whose duties that they had taken over.


Cougar (3rd of name) (PCT 61) / Orca-class Patrol Craft

Cougar PCT 61

Intended as a modern replacement for the YAG-300 class training tenders, the Orca-class (designated Patrol Craft Training) operate year round in B.C. coastal waters, principally as training vessels. While not specifically assigned an operational role, these vessels patrol coastal waters reporting suspicious activity, pollution infractions, and fishing violations. They are also frequently tasked for search and rescue operations, providing assistance to boaters in distress, and representing the RCN by appearing in local festivals and maritime events. Cougar was the seventh Orca constructed.


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