HMCS Cowichan

There have been 3 vessels named Cowichan in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Cowichan (1st of the name) (J146)

Commissioned at Vancouver, British Columbia on July 4, 1941, the Bangor class minesweeper HMCS Cowichan sailed from Esquimalt for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 6 and arrived on September 10. After working up in Bermuda, she was initially assigned to Halifax Local Defence Force, but was transferred in January 1942 to Newfoundland Force and in September to Western Local Escort Force.

In June 1943, HMCS Cowichan became a member of Escort Group W-6. She remained with the group until February 1944, when she was ordered to the United Kingdom for invasion duties. She left Halifax on February 19 with HMCS Caraquet, HMCS Malpeque and HMCS Vegreville via the Azores for Plymouth, Great Britain, arriving on March 13. Assigned to the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla, she was present on D-Day. HMCS Cowichan returned to Canada for refit late in February 1945, and resumed her duties overseas in June.

Proceeding home in September, she was paid off on October 9, 1945 and placed in reserve at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Sold in 1946 to a New York buyer and converted for mercantile purposes under Greek flag, she still existed in 1956 under her original name.

HMCS Cowichan (2nd of the name) (147)

In 1951 and 1952, the Royal Canadian Navy ordered 14 ships of the Bay class as replacements for the aging minesweepers of wartime construction. They were re-classed as patrol escorts in 1972.

Built by the Davie Shipbuilding Co., Lauzon, Quebec, the Bay class minesweeper HMCS Cowichan was commissioned on December 10, 1953, but was paid off on March 31, 1954 and transferred to the French Navy. Renamed La Malouine, she served until 1977.

HMCS Cowichan (3rd of the name) (162)

Built by Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, the Bay class minesweeper HMCS Cowichanwas commissioned on December 12, 1957, and was a member of Training Group Pacific until paid off on August 22, 1997.

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1941-45
  • Normandy 1944
  • English Channel 1944-45

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