HMCS Nanaimo

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

HMCS Nanaimo (1st of name) (K101)

Commissioned at Esquimalt, British Columbia, on April 26, 1941, the Flower Class corvette Nanaimo arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 27 and for the next 3 months carried out local duties. In October, she was assigned to Newfoundland Command and left for Iceland on her first trip as an ocean convoy escort. After 3 round trips to Iceland, she escorted convoy SC.68 to Londonderry, Northern Ireland in February 1942. Her return trip was to be her last Atlantic crossing, for in March she was reassigned to Western Local Escort Force. In November 1944, she was allocated to Pacific Coast Command, arriving in Esquimalt, British Columbia, on December 7. There she underwent a refit, but was one of the few corvettes to survive the war with a short forecastle. She was paid off on September 28, 1945, and sold for mercantile use. Converted to a whale-catcher in 1953, she entered service as the Dutch-flag Rene W. Vinke, finally being broken up in South Africa in 1966.

HMCS Nanaimo (2nd of name) (702)

In May 1992, a contract was let to Halifax Shipyards Ltd, Halifax, Nova Scotia, to build 12 Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) of the Kingston class. They were designed to commercial standards and intended to conduct coastal patrols, minesweeping, law enforcement, pollution surveillance and response as well as search and rescue duties. The ships were fitted with modular payloads to carry out the assigned duties.

Allocated to the west coast, Nanaimo left Halifax on November 12, 1996, arriving in Esquimalt on December 19. The first MCDV to be based on the west coast, she was commissioned at Nanaimo, British Columbia, on May 10, 1997. She is crewed almost entirely by naval reservists. Over the years, she has provided support to other government departments such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Customs, and Fisheries and Oceans (including the Canadian Coast Guard) and participated in search and rescue operations and environmental disaster response. She has also served as a training platform for junior officers and conducted route survey missions. In July 2004, the Outdoor Life Network filmed an episode on board Nanaimo of “Truth, Duty, Valour” which focused on Nanaimo and the role of the reservist working in the navy. In 2005, she conducted a helicopter hoist exercise with a United States Coast Guard Dauphine, the first time that type of helicopter operated with an MCDV. Nanaimo continues to support Canada’s defence objectives both domestically and internationally.

Motto: “Faith and Labour”

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1941-1944
  • Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944
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