HMCS Portage

There has been only one vessel named HMCS Portage in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Portage (J331 / 169)

The HMCS Portage was an Algerine Class minesweeper. The Algerine Class ships were designed as small vessels that could serve in several roles and not just as minesweepers. Their predecessors, the Bangor Class minesweepers, were bluff-bowed ships, very wet in a head sea, and arguably less comfortable even than corvettes in rough weather. These faults were eliminated in the Algerine Class, all twelve of which were built at Port Arthur. Intended as convoy escorts, they were not fitted with minesweeping gear. The Algerines found particular favour as Senior Officers’ ships in Western Local groups. After the war, most found employment for many years on hydrographic survey duties or as training ships for reservists.

Named for Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, she was commissioned at Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay, Ontario on 22 October 1943 and arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 28 November.

After working up in St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, HMCS Portage was assigned to Escort Group W-2 of Western Escort Force as Senior Officer’s ship in January 1944. In mid-April, she was transferred, still as Senior Officer, to W-3, and continued as such until late October when she underwent an extensive refit at Liverpool, Nova Scotia. She then proceeded to Bermuda for work-ups, rejoining W-3 in March 1945.

The group was disbanded in June and HMCS Portage was placed in maintenance reserve first at Sydney, Nova Scotia, and then at Halifax, where she was paid off on 31 July 1946. She was reactivated for training purposes during the summers of 1947 and 1948, and spent most of the period between 1949 and 1959 in the same role, much of the time on the Great Lakes. She was finally paid off on 26 September 1958, and scrapped at Sorel, Quebec, three years later.

  • Displacement: 1006 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 68.6 m x 10.8 m x 2.6 m
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Crew: 107
  • Armament: one 4-inch (102-mm) gun, eight 20-mm guns (4 x II), one Hedgehog mortar and depth charges.

Battle honours

Atlantic 1944-1945

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