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Graphical element Home > War and Military > Faces of War FranÁais
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Selected Photographs: Graphical element ArmyGraphical element NavyGraphical element Air Force


Selected Photographs: Navy



The Royal Canadian Navy

Photograph of Chief Petty Officer Lowther delivering a lecture about various types of ammunition, Royal Canadian Navy Gunnery School, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1940. Photographer unknown

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Chief Petty Officer Lowther delivering a lecture about various types of ammunition. RCN Gunnery School, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1940. Photographer unknown.

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) expanded to become the third-largest navy in the world, enlisting 99,688 men and 6,500 women, and operating 471 warships of various types: aircraft carriers, cruisers, armed merchant cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes, motor torpedo boats, minesweepers, landing craft, armed yachts and auxiliary ships. The RCN's main operational responsibility was the Battle of the Atlantic, fought throughout the war to protect convoys of troopships and merchant ships running between North America and the United Kingdom. The RCN also supported the Allied landings in North Africa in November 1942, and contributed 110 ships and 10,000 men in support of the invasion of Europe in June 1944. In 1945, the cruiser HMCS Uganda joined the British Pacific Fleet in operations against Japan. During the war, RCN ships sank or shared in sinking a total of 29 enemy submarines. The cost was substantial: the RCN lost 24 ships to enemy action, and suffered 2,024 fatal casualties during the war.

Photograph of Seaman Gunner R.E. Walsh chopping ice from the superstructure of the corvette HMCS LUNENBURG, Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 1942. Photographer unknown

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Seaman Gunner R. E. Walsh chopping ice from the superstructure of the corvette HMCS Lunenburg. Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 1942. Photographer unknown.

Photograph of shipís company of the cruiser HMCS UGANDA, August 1945. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses

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Shipís company of the cruiser HMCS Uganda, August 1945. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses

Photograph of two personnel members handling the LL magnetic minesweeping cable aboard the minesweeper HMCS LLOYD GEORGE off Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne

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Personnel handling the LL magnetic minesweeping cable aboard the minesweeper HMCS Lloyd George off Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne.

 
Photograph of signallers Marian Wingate and Margaret Little of the Womenís Royal Canadian Naval Service at work. St. Johnís, Newfoundland, April 1945. Photograph by Petty Officer Edward W. Dinsmore.

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Signallers Marian Wingate and Margaret Little of the Womenís Royal Canadian Naval Service at work. St. Johnís, Newfoundland, April 1945. Photograph by Petty Officer Edward W. Dinsmore.

An unidentified sailor checking the stowage of depth charges at the stern of the frigate H.M.C.S. MATANE in heavy seas off Bermuda, January 1944. Photo by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne.

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An unidentified sailor checking the stowage of depth charges at the stern of the frigate HMCS Matane in heavy seas off Bermuda, January 1944. Photo by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne.

Photograph of survivors of the minesweeper HMCS CLAYOQUOT, which was torpedoed by the German submarine U-806, being rescued by the corvette HMCS FENNEL off Halifax, Nova Scotia, December 24, 1944. Photographer unknown

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Survivors of the minesweeper HMCS Clayoquot, which was torpedoed by the German submarine U-806, being rescued by the corvette HMCS Fennel off Halifax, Nova Scotia, December 24, 1944. Photographer unknown.

 
Photograph of Able Seaman Enio Girardo of the corvette HMCS EDMUNDSTON, who was rescued by his shipmates after being washed overboard in a storm at sea. St. Johnís, Newfoundland, October 13, 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses

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Able Seaman Enio Girardo of the corvette HMCS Edmundston, who was rescued by his shipmates after being washed overboard in a storm at sea. St. Johnís, Newfoundland, October 13, 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses.

Photograph of a 4.7-inch (12 cm) gun crew of the destroyer HMCS ALGONQUIN piling shell cases and sponging out the gun after bombarding German shore defences in the Normandy beachhead. France, June 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant Richard G. Arless

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A 4.7-inch (12 cm) gun crew of the destroyer HMCS Algonquin piling shell cases and sponging out the gun after bombarding German shore defences in the Normandy beachhead. France, June 1944. (Front, L-R): Ordinary Seamen K. Allen and R. De Guire. (Rear, L-R): Able Seamen G. Trevisanutto and J. Van Dyke, Ordinary Seamen A. Irwin and E. Mathetuk. Photograph by Lieutenant Richard G. Arless.

Photograph of damaged stern of the destroyer HMCS SAGUENAY, St. Johnís, Newfoundland, Canada,  November 18, 1942. SAGUENAY was rammed by SS EZRA south of Cape Race, and lost her stern when her depth charges exploded. Photographer unknown

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Damaged stern of the destroyer HMCS Saguenay. Saguenay was rammed by SS Ezra south of Cape Race, and lost her stern when her depth charges exploded. St. Johnís, Newfoundland, November 18, 1942. Photographer unknown.

 
Photograph of Commander Clarence A. King, D.S.O., D.S.C., Commanding Officer of the frigate HMCS SWANSEA, on SWANSEAís bridge at sea. Circa December 1943 to January 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne.

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Commander Clarence A. King, D.S.O., D.S.C., Commanding Officer of the frigate HMCS Swansea, on Swanseaís bridge at sea. Circa December 1943 to January 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant Gilbert A. Milne.

Photograph of Commander Adelaide Sinclair, Director of the Womenís Royal Canadian Naval Service. Ottawa, Ontario, July 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses

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Commander Adelaide Sinclair, Director of the Womenís Royal Canadian Naval Service. Ottawa, Ontario, July 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses.

Photograph of privates in the stokerís mess of the corvette HMCS KAMSACK. February 17, 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses

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Stand easy in the stokerís mess of the corvette HMCS Kamsack. February 17, 1943. Photograph by Lieutenant Gerald M. Moses.

 
Photograph of a Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun crew of the destroyer HMCS ALGONQUIN at action stations in Arctic waters. April 20, 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant John D. Mahoney

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A Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun crew on the destroyer HMCS Algonquin at action stations in Arctic waters. April 20, 1944. Photograph by Lieutenant John D. Mahoney.

Photograph of radar plotters Able Seamen William Ewasiuk and Harry Henderson of the destroyer HMCS IROQUOIS, at sea. August 21, 1944. Photograph by Petty Officer Glen M. Frankfurter

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Radar plotters Able Seamen William Ewasiuk and Harry Henderson of the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, at sea. They played a key role in a five-hour surface action in which eight German ships were destroyed or damaged while attempting to leave St. Nazaire, France. August 21, 1944. Photograph by Petty Officer Glen M. Frankfurter.

 
 

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