HMCS Thunder

There have been three vessels named HMCS Thunder in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Thunder (1st of name) (J156) / Bangor-class minesweeper

Commissioned at Toronto, Ontario, on 14 October 1941, HMCS Thunder arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 30 October. After working up, she joined Sydney Force, but in January 1942 was transferred to Western Local Escort Force and subsequently to Halifax Local Defence Force, Shelburne Force, Halifax Force, and back to Sydney Force. She sailed with HMCS Bayfield, HMCS Georgian and HMCS Mulgrave from Halifax on February 18, 1944 for Plymouth, UK via the Azores. Arriving on 13 March, she was allocated to the 32nd Minesweeping Flotilla as Senior Officer’s ship, but was later transferred to the 4th Flotilla and was present on D-Day. HMCS Thunder returned to Canada in August 1944 to refit at Sydney, Nova Scotia, but returned to Plymouth in late November when assigned to the 31st Flotilla. In May 1945, in the Bay of Biscay, she accepted the surrender of the German auxiliary minesweeper FGi-07. She sailed for Canada in September 1945 to be paid off on 4 October at Halifax, and was broken up at Sorel, Quebec in 1947.

HMCS Thunder (2nd of name) (153) / Bay-class minesweeper

In 1951 and 1952, the Royal Canadian Navy ordered fourteen ships of the Bay Class as replacements for the aging minesweepers of wartime construction. These ships were very similar to the Royal Navy’s Ton Class of the same vintage.

Built by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec, the Bay Class minesweeper HMCS Thunder was commissioned on 15 December 1953 serving from Halifax, and paid off on 31 March 1954, the date of her transfer to the French Navy. Renamed La Paimpolaise, she served until 1986.

HMCS Thunder (3rd of name) (161) /Bay-class minesweeper

Built by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., the second Bay-class minesweeper HMCS Thunder was commissioned on 3 October 1957, and served much of her career with Training Group Pacific. She provided ship handling for junior officers, until paid off on 22 August 1997 in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1941-1944
  • Normandy 1944
  • English Channel 1944-1945

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