HMCS Discovery

There has been only one establishment named Discovery in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Discovery / Naval Reserve Division

HMCS Discovery

HMCS Discovery’s beautiful buildings are situated on the picturesque and historic military reserve of Deadman Island. Originally constituted as the “No. 2 Company Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve” in 1914, it was disbanded after the First World War. Brought back to life with the creation of the modern naval reserve in 1923, the Vancouver Half-Company was commissioned as HMCS Discovery in 1941. Although a major recruiting centre, Discovery was busiest at war’s end as a demobilization centre for the entire West Coast.  

Discovery was named after the vessel commanded by Captain George Vancouver, RN, while surveying the northwest coast of North America. The name Discovery has a distinguished history in the Royal Navy, having been awarded battle honours for engagements during the 1st Dutch War (1652-54), and the French Revolutionary War (1793-1803).

Before the Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, the RCN was a part of a shared Commonwealth Battle Honours list. This meant that RCN ships could perpetuate the honours of their British namesakes. After Unification, it was decided that new Canadian ships would only carry Canadian honours. HMCS Discovery was commissioned before this change and never paid off, so she is allowed to maintain the Commonwealth honours.

Deadman Island’s location is of growing importance to maritime security operations for the Port of Vancouver. With its own helipad and sea access, it offers a secure command and control capability and an ideal location to coordinate efforts between the Department of National Defence, the port, and other federal departments. In 2010, HMCS Discovery provided maritime security for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Canada’s largest peacetime domestic operation to date.

Badge of HMCS Discovery

Motto: “Steadfast and Vigilant” 

Battle honours:


Page details

Date modified: