HMCS Fort Steele

There has been only one vessel named Fort Steele in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Fort Steele  (140) / Reserve Training Vessel

HMCS Fort Steele 140

Badge of HMCS Fort Steele

HMCS Fort Steele bears the distinction of being the smallest vessel ever commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy. The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve (RCNR) had undergone serious budget cuts in the 1960s as it was felt that it would not be able to practically respond in the case of a nuclear war. This frequently left the reserve scrambling for any opportunity to improve their compliment of aging ships. When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Marine Division disbanded in the early 1970s, a number of its ships were deemed suitable for turning over to the Naval Reserve Divisions (NRDs) to supplement the supply of unit tenders for local training and visibility in the community. HMCS Fort Steele was the largest of these.

In 1973 she was assigned, on transfer to the Navy, to the Reserve Training Unit (Atlantic) in Halifax, NS, for general seamanship training. She operated in the Maritimes and Great Lakes regions. NRDs could sign her out for off-season weekend unit training, and during the summers she carried a full-time crew in support to the main reserve training period.  After paying off, she was disposed of through the Crown Assets Distribution Centre.


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