There have been two vessels named Elk in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Elk  (1st of Name) (S05 / Z27) / Armed Yacht

HMCS Elk S05 / Z27

Originally launched in 1926 as the yacht Arcadia, Elk 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.

Elk left Halifax for Pictou on 21 June 1940 for conversion and arming, after which she was commissioned at Halifax on 10 September and transferred to the America and West Indies Station. She arrived in Bermuda on 23 September, returning to Halifax on 13 May 1941. Following a major refit there, she sailed for Trinidad on 2 December. On 11 May 1942 she returned to Halifax and was assigned to Sydney Force, serving extensively as escort to Sydney-Corner Brook convoys. In February 1943 she was sent to Halifax for repairs, and in May transferred to Digby as a training ship. A month later, however, she was moved to Shelburne, remaining there until November and then returning to Digby, where she was to be based until the end of the war. She served almost continuously as escort to the ancient British training submarine L.23. Elk was paid off on 4 August 1945 and sold. After long service as a short-haul passenger ferry, Grand Manan III, she was sold in 1968 for breaking up.


HMCS Elk  (2nd of Name) (Q124 / ML124 / 724) / Fairmile Patrol Craft

HMCS Elk Q124 / ML124 / 724

Badge of HMCS Elk

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. Fourteen of the remainder were built on the West Coast and seven at Weymouth, NS. They were numbered Q 050 to 129.

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.

Built on the West Coast later in the war, HMCS Elk was originally launched as ML124. After the war she remained in service as a training vessel, the only Fairmile on the West Coast to do so. She was renamed Elk in 1954 when the Fairmiles were renamed for the armed yachts whose duties that they had taken over.

Battle honours:

Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942


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