HMCS Sault Ste. Marie

There has been only one vessel named HMCS Sault Ste. Marie in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Sault Ste. Marie (J334 / 176)

The HMCS Sault Ste. Marie 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, now Thunder Bay, Ontario. Intended as convoy escorts, they were not fitted with minesweeping gear. Although larger than corvettes, the latter outperformed them as ocean escorts. 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.

Commissioned at Port Arthur on 24 June 1943, she was the first Algerine Class ship to join the Royal Canadian Navy. Originally intended to be named The Soo, she was renamed owing to objections from her namesake city.

HMCS Sault Ste. Marie arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 8 August 1943 and proceeded to Bermuda for work-ups in September. On her return, she joined Escort Group W-9 of Western Escort Force, serving as Senior Officer’s ship until mid-April 1945. She then transferred as Senior Officer to W-7 until the group was disbanded in June.

After a short period in reserve at Sydney, Nova Scotia, she was ordered to the west coast and arrived at Esquimalt, British Columbia, on 12 December. She was paid off into reserve on 12 January 1946, but re-commissioned for reserve training on 7 May 1949. HMCS Sault Ste. Marie returned to the east coast in December 1955, and spent the summers of 1956 through 1958 on the Great Lakes conducting training.  She was paid off on 1 October 1958, and broken up in 1960 at Sorel, Quebec.

  • Date commissioned: 24 June 1943
  • Date paid off: 1 October 1958
  • 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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