Canadian Merchant Navy

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Canadian Merchant Navy
Flag of Canada.svg
Statistics for the shipping industry of Canada
Total: 184 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)
Totalling: 2,129,243 GRT/2,716,340 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
Cargo ships
Bulk ships66
Cargo ship12
Combination bulk ships1
Container ships2
Roll-on / roll-off ships6
Vehicle carrier1
Tankers
Chemical tanker ships14
Petroleum tanker ships12
Passenger ships
General passenger ships6
Combined passenger/cargo64
Source: This article contains material from the CIA World Factbook which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.
 
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Canadian Merchant Navy
Flag of Canada.svg
Statistics for the shipping industry of Canada
Total: 184 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)
Totalling: 2,129,243 GRT/2,716,340 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
Cargo ships
Bulk ships66
Cargo ship12
Combination bulk ships1
Container ships2
Roll-on / roll-off ships6
Vehicle carrier1
Tankers
Chemical tanker ships14
Petroleum tanker ships12
Passenger ships
General passenger ships6
Combined passenger/cargo64
Source: This article contains material from the CIA World Factbook which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.

Canada, like several other Commonwealth nations, created its own Merchant Navy in a large-scale effort during World War II.

History[edit]

The 529-foot Canadian laker James Carruthers on Lake Huron in 1913.

Within hours of Canada's declaration of war on September 10, 1939, the Canadian government passed laws to create the Canadian Merchant Navy setting out rules and controls to provide a workforce for wartime shipping. The World War II Merchant Navy greatly expanded a similar effort in World War I known as the Canadian Mercantile Marine. The Canadian Merchant Navy played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic bolstering the allies merchant fleet due to high losses in the British Merchant Navy. Eventually thousands of Canadians served aboard hundreds of Canadian Merchant Navy ships, notably the "Park Ships", the Canadian equivalent of the American "Liberty Ships". Rear Admiral Leonard W. Murray reported,

The Battle of the Atlantic was not won by any Navy or any Air Force, it was won by the courage, fortitude and determination of the British and Allied Merchant Navy.[1]

A school was established at St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia to train sailors for the Canadian Merchant Navy, who became known as "Merchant Mariners." Manning Pools, or barracks, were built in major Canadian ports to house Merchant Mariners. Considered a fourth branch of the Canadian military, after the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Merchant Navy suffered the highest casualty rate of the four services.

After the war, Canadian Merchant Navy veterans were denied veterans benefits and official recognition for decades. This was not corrected until the 1990s and many individual cases remain unresolved. Similar to the CMM Veterans status, World War II United States Merchant Marine Veterans were also denied veterans benefits and status until 1988.

An important gesture in 2001 was the creation of Merchant Navy Remembrance Day by the Canadian Parliament which designated September 3 as a day to recognize the contributions and sacrifice of Canadian merchant mariners.[2]

Memorials[edit]

"Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial"(1995) by André Gauthier (sculptor) in Spencer Smith Park
Plaque in Halifax commemorating the contribution of the merchant marine during the World Wars
Engraving of SS Point Pleasant Park, Canadian Merchant Navy Monument, Sackville Landing, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canadian Merchant Navy Memorials[edit]

Monuments to the Canadian Merchant Navy were erected in several Canadian cities:

Fleet[edit]

World War II[edit]

Canadian-Registered[edit]

Ships built in Canada and crewed by Canadian Sailors and named after Parks in Canada[edit]