The royal canadian air force fleet



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THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE FLEET


By Spurgeon G. “Spud” Roscoe
CYSR or VXMC = ANY OR ALL ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE MARINE CRAFT
The Collective Call Sign for the RCAF Marine Craft during World War II was CYSR.

The Collective Call Sign for the RCAF Marine Craft after World War II was VXMC.

Neither collective call sign appeared in the International Telecommunication Union Publications.

I do not know of any use made of either collective call sign.

_____________________________________________________________________________
The Royal Canadian Air Force had a navy that started operations in 1935 as the Marine Section and then Marine Squadrons. Some of their vessels entered service in 1928 so I feel confident they had boats of various descriptions when the Royal Canadian Air Force was created in 1924. This was a fleet to assist in the operation of their flying boats, to act as a fast search and rescue service for downed aircraft and a fleet of supply vessels to service their various bases around the coasts.
The air force treated their vessels a lot like they treated their aircraft. Their aircraft had registrations they used for identification and the various crews often gave their aircraft a distinctive name that was treated more or less as graffiti. All air force marine craft were given a pendant number that commenced with the letter M and the biggest percentage were small dories, scows, barges, workboats, canoes and similar small vessels. The numbers that have been found go from M-1 to M-1011 inclusive.

The larger RCAF craft, the ones fitted with an engine, often carried three crewmembers, one a skipper, one an engineer and the other a radio operator. This was often the crew in one of their aircraft so the marine craft were treated the same. There were a few large supply vessels and several of these made some interesting voyages. There were several high-speed motor launches called Crash Boats and some of these were capable of over forty knots in speed.

Nearly everything transmitted in radiotelegraph during World War II was done in a coded form. One favourite system used during this war by the various military organizations to ensure radio silence by the mobile stations was the use of two coast or ground stations. One station would call another and pass a message. On receipt of this message the station receiving would retransmit it back to the transmitting station. This would not only ensure accuracy on the receiving station’s part but would give any station monitoring this traffic, two chances of obtaining a solid copy. This was the practice with the marine vessels and aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. They had two stations on the East Coast, one at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and the other at Botwood, Newfoundland. Dartmouth used call sign 7AW and Botwood H7H, at least during a portion of the war. All their ships and aircraft used a frequency of 6666 kilohertz during the day and 3333 kilohertz at night. Their operators managed to work Bella Bella, British Columbia on 6666 kilohertz from Botwood on occasion.
These Coast or Land Station Radio Operators monitored three frequencies continuously, one frequency in the left earpiece and another in the right of their headset, and the third on speaker. They could switch these frequencies around so that they had one frequency only in their headset. I have been unable to identify the third frequency. Some of the land station operators were WD’s. A WD was a girl from the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

LCdr David J. Freeman CF (ret’d) sent me an extensive list of radio call signs in use during World War II in July 2010. This was the first I was to learn that the RCAF Marine Craft were assigned call signs during the war with a C prefix as though they were part of the naval fleet. I will add these call signs to these vessels.

The RCAF Marine Craft were assigned these sixteen call signs during World War II but I do not know what use they made of them:
CYSB CYSJ CYSN CYSV

CYSD CYSK CYSP CYSW

CYSF CYSL CYSQ CYSX

CYSG CYSM CYST CYSZ


I have not found anyone who operated these stations that can remember the call signs they used.
Geoff D. Pilborough wrote two histories of the RCAF Marine Squadrons, volume one and volume two. Volume one is ISBN 1 898875 11 1 and volume two is ISBN 1 898875 17 0. I will refer to these two publications throughout this exercise as volume one or volume two. Anyone with any interest in this fleet would enjoy these two books. The other book I mention is “Canadian Warship Names” by David J. Freeman ISBN 1-55125-048-9 and this book is most interesting. I have spent many hours lost in the pages of all three books.
LCdr B. H. Taylor has done a lot of research on this fleet and has been very helpful in sharing this research with me. He has actually gone over my early effort with this fleet that was mainly what I had copied from Mr. Pilborough, LCdr Freeman, what I found within the International Telecommunication Union Publications, the Janap Lists and an old navy list of call signs.
On page 18 of volume one Mr. Pilborough states that a decision was made to install RCAF radio stations at Cartwright, Northwest River, Hopedale and Hebron in Labrador and Canada Bay, Newfoundland in 1941. The material, supplies and crews to construct these stations was delivered with:

RCAF M.302 ARISTOCRAT CGCV

RCAF M.361 OK SERVICE V CGXB

CGS MONTCALM CGSM

The crews in these ships helped construct these stations and the ships were used to house the construction crews while building these stations. When the building was completed a small number of WOG’s (Wireless Operator-Ground) were left to operate the stations. In October 1941 the RCAF M.361 OK SERVICE V went back to these stations and brought the operators out to Goose Bay and Halifax for the winter. I have no further information on these stations but they sound like they would be mainly for the RCAF Marine Squadron vessels.

The same radio station fitted in the Catalina aircraft was also fitted in some of these vessels. The Catalina aircraft was the same PBY aircraft as the Canso except it had no wheels and was therefore restricted to the water, a true flying boat. This radio station was a separate receiver and transmitter built by Northern Electric. The receiver was a general coverage version known as an AR1. The transmitter was two channel or frequencies only, 3333 kilohertz and 6666 kilohertz, known as an AT1. The AT3 two channel transmitter and the AR88 general coverage receiver were old friends from the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) back in the 1950’s. There must be some connection since they have the same AT and AR prefix. Some of the air force vessels at least some of the crash boats had Collins radio equipment. The radio equipment manufactured by Art Collins’ company in the United States was considered the very best available. A photograph can be seen of one of these stations between pages 42 and 43 in volume two. The air force did not train their Marine Squadron radio operators. They were graduates of the various civilian radio schools around Canada and had to pass the code at 12 words per minute. The air force paid for this course on completion.

A. H. Keith Russell was very active in amateur radio and was the Canadian General Manager with the American Radio Relay League before World War II. He had been a pilot in the Royal Navy Air Arm during World War I and graduated from the University of Toronto as a lawyer after the war. He joined the RCAF in September, 1939, and retired an Air Commodore in December, 1944. He was in charge of communications training and the training had terminated by December, 1944. This meant that he could take an early retirement and return to his legal practice. He held amateur radio call sign VE3AL and after World War II was instrumental in setting up the communications system for the RCAF Reserve. Anyone with an interest in radio could participate in this program. One did not have to be a member of the RCAF Reserve. This gave the RCAF a good system of communications in any emergency. I feel confident Keith Russell had a lot of influence on the operation of the radio stations within the RCAF during the war.

The RCAF had some seamanship and engineer training at their base in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia but their crews held the regular government certificates of proficiency from the civilian schools around Canada for their larger vessels. Some of their engineers actually had courses with some of the companies that manufactured some of the engines in their vessels. Some of the gasoline engines in use in these vessels were the same engines used in some of the aircraft in service at the time. I know one engineer who actually served with the vessels for awhile and then with one of the aircraft fighter squadrons. The RCAF base in Dartmouth ran some boat building courses and they did major maintenance on all their small vessels including the high speed crash boats at that location.
There was an RCAF Manual for Seaman but none of the crewmembers that I know knew this. This was ‘Manual for Seamen’ H.Q. 570 – 43H 100 – JAN – 44. It is a most interesting document and has a photograph of the various Marine Craft.

I found the naming of the RCAF Marine Craft interesting. According to a memorandum dated September 17th, 1940 The Honourable Minister for Air gave permission for Marine Craft to be named in addition to numbering and the 36 foot to 50 foot boats were to be named after birds. Looking up the description of each bird these vessels are named for is a complete education in itself. I did not realize there were so many ducks, sandpipers, and so on. These water birds were a most appropriate name for these vessels although there had to be some confusion with various aircraft that were named for water birds at the same time. The 50 foot to 70 foot boats were to be named for Canadian lakes such as Lake Huron, Lake Erie and so on and the boats 70 foot and up were to be named for Indian tribes such as Mohawk, Micmac and so on. Another memorandum dated September 19th, 1940 suggested names for water birds, lakes and Indian tribes and it was suggested that the word Lake was to be dropped from the name. Simply making it Huron rather than Lake Huron and so on. RCAF HURON was named for the first nation Indian tribe and not the lake of the same name.

LCdr David Freeman managed to obtain some documents listing some of the World War II international call signs of these RCAF Marine Craft. The air force marine craft call signs I managed to find were all right after World War II and they all had a VX prefix. I also found some radiotelephone call codes for these marine craft in an old Joint Army Navy Air Force Publication better know by the acronym Janap.
The Janap Lists, the International Telecommunication Union List of Ship Stations and the old navy list I found, list these RCAF Marine Craft by name and do not have their “M” pendant number. LCdr Taylor states the official name for an RCAF Marine Craft was “M” then the number followed by the name such as M.157 HERON. He stated the “M” number and the name were always quoted in official correspondence and the few vessels that were registered with the Department of Transport were named this way and he suggested I do the same with this list.
This is simply another example of the reason I became interested in this history in the first place. I will never understand why we had so much confusion with such things. If the official name was M.396 KINGFISHER it should have been listed this way in the Janap Lists, the International Telecommunication Union Lists and that old navy list. KINGFISHER was the reason I became interested in this RCAF Marine Craft fleet. I was trying to find HMCS KINGFISHER and I kept finding a Canadian Warship KINGFISHER listed with, to me at the time, an odd ball VXCP call sign. I had been in the habit of communicating with Canadian fishing and merchant vessels using a four letter call sign with the VX prefix.

A warship is listed in the International Telecommunication Union publications by name followed by crossed swords indicating a warship. There is very little detail except the nationality of the vessel and call sign with these warship entries. Whereas a merchant ship is listed with the full radio detail including frequencies, the radio authority operating the station such as Marconi, and if the ship is fitted with radar and radio direction finding equipment. Even the charges for sending a message to the ship are included. Various vessels will be listed with one or two letters to indicate a Government Vessel, Icebreaker, Fishing Vessel, Tug and so on. Therefore, KINGFISHER is listed in the International Telecommunication Union Lists with the letters CAN to indicate Canada, the VXCP call sign and the crossed swords only. VX is a Canadian call sign prefix and therefore indicates the country in which that vessel is registered also.

I found RCAF KINGFISHER and HMCS KINGFISHER listed in the same issue of the International Telecommunication Union List of Ship Stations, along with all the other vessels around the world with the KINGFISHER name. The difference between the two Canadian listings was simply the call sign only. HMCS KINGFISHER was assigned the CGKK call sign. This was the 1959 List of Ship Stations and the last time the Canadian military ships were listed in this publication. I purchased a lot of the records from the International Telecommunication Union in micro fiche diazo form, but I cannot figure out how to transfer these to this document via my scanner.

This is a portion of the top of page 289 of the International Telecommunication Union List of Ship Stations 7th edition – December 1966. Unfortunately this is the only copy I have that I can scan and use here. As you can see there are 3 KINGFISHER’s and because there are more than one each is shown with the oblique stroke and their call sign. MAOP is the call sign of the top listing and the G indicates it is in the United Kingdom. In other words it is HMS KINGFISHER. The crossed swords indicate it is a warship and the CP indicates that this ship’s radio station is open to public correspondence. The Canadian military ships did not have the CP or any other designation and the only other detail they displayed was code 2) stating their accounts were handled by the Telecommunications Branch of the Department of Transport in Ottawa, Ontario.

The second KINGFISHER on the list is a Canadian vessel that belonged to Nipigon Lake Timber Company Limited at Port Arthur, Ontario. Fort William and Port Arthur were combined years ago and became the city of Thunder Bay. The call sign of this KINGFISHER is VCJV, the Ca states it is a Cargo Ship, the CV states that the Radio Station is open exclusively to correspondence of a private agency and the H24 states the Radio Station is open 24 hours or continuous while the ship is at sea. The 40 is the basic ship station charge per word in centimes of gold-francs for a radiotelegram. The 3) states that the ship’s radio station accounts are handled by the Canadian Marconi Company in Montreal. The tu states the radio frequencies in use by the radio station per the chart located at the bottom of page 289 and reproduced below.

As you can see the Canadian Cargo Ship KINGFISHER is fitted with Radiotelephone only, both medium and high frequencies. These frequencies would be AM or Audio Modulated.


The next KINGFISHER on the list as can be seen is owned by Bing Crosby and is an American ship with a radiotelephone call sign, WR2643. This was probably Bing’s yacht. The reason it is listed this way with the * and his company address is that any radio charges are to be billed direct to that address. The HX states the radio station has no specific hours of operation. I will not waste anymore space in further explanations but it is worthy of note that the KINGS POINT with call sign WDYU was not fitted with radiotelephone and the little screen with the wiggly line indicates she was fitted with radar. This was the “good old days” when everything was radiotelegraph only.
Getting back to the RCAF Marine Craft, in 1942 it was realized that the letter “M” was the prefix of pendant numbers assigned to naval vessels of the RCN and RN. It was also realized that RCAF vessels operating outside harbours were considered minor warships and therefore the RCN assigned these RCAF vessels a “B” pendant number. These vessels were to retain their “M” number and use it in official correspondence but not to show it where it could be confused with a naval vessel.
I have the RCAF Marine Craft listed via five separate lists by; Name, “M” number, “B” number, International Call Sign, Radiotelephone Call Code and with a description of the 40-footers at the end of these lists.

This is a list of the RCAF Marine Craft in alphabetical order by name:

This is what has been found with their name, international call sign if known, radiotelephone call if known, pendant number or numbers, year entered service or years of service and a brief description. The four letter call sign with the VX prefix is the call sign assigned after the war.

RCAF ABADIK

M.407 and B117

1941 - 1945

81-foot High Speed Rescue

A former USN PT5 with triple propellers and with Vimalert engines of 3,600 brake horsepower

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one and another photo on page 83 of volume two.


RCAF ABNAKI

VXCB

Radiotelephone “Flashlight G”

M.233 and B109

1941 to 1952

70-foot High Speed Rescue

This vessel is spelled ABONAKI in the Janap Lists and ABANAKI in the history of these vessels by Geoff D. Pilborough. There were six of these 70 foot high speed rescue launches built by the Canadian Power Boat Company, Montreal, Quebec, and delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. All six were named after First Nation North American Indian Tribes. Therefore I do not agree with the spelling of any of the names for this one. I believe this vessel was named for the Abenaki Indian tribe on the Canadian Vermont border. At least that is the way they spell it and the way I always heard it pronounced. This tribe nearly disappeared from mass sterilization during the first part of the twentieth century. I have the name as spelled in the official lists of these vessels and the International Telecommunication Union List of Ship Stations. The ITU List of Ship Stations is the one we were taught to use when in doubt about the spelling of a ships name. The Supplement to the National Geographic Magazine for May 2007 spells this tribe Abenaki and I believe some first nation people helped produce this supplement. World Book Encyclopaedia spells this tribe as Abnaki. The U.S. Navy had the Abnaki Class of Tug. A friend of mine was a radioman in one, the USS PAIUTE with call sign NZNG. Therefore, this must be another way to spell the name of this tribe. That was the way they spelled the tribe in that listing but I found another listing for this tug that claims she was a Cherokee Class of Tug. History is full of errors and it is impossible to not record errors no matter how hard we try to avoid them.

The Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Squadrons both Volume One and Volume Two by Geoff D. Pilborough have a lot of errors and the most frustrating one is RCAF ABNAKI and RCAF NOOTKA. They are mixed-up many times including the front cover of Volume One. It is very hard to keep them straight.
An excellent photo of RCAF ABNAKI is found on the front cover of volume one although it is labelled RCAF NOOTKA. Another photo can be seen between pages 82 and 83 volume two and another between pages 98 and 99.
The six 1941 high speed rescue launches, pendant numbers, international call sign, name and radiotelephone call were as follow:
M233 B109 VXCB RCAF ABNAKI “Flashlight G”

M235 B162 and B111 VXCN RCAF HURON “Irium G”

M231 B159 and B107 VXCR RCAF MALECITE “Extort F”

M234 B161 and B110 VXCS RCAF MONTAGNAIS “Event E”

M208 B105 VXCT RCAF NOOTKA “Giddy U”

M232 B160 and B108 VXDG RCAF TAKULI “Irium H”


All six high-speed launches were transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1951. Their RCAF names were dropped and everything was changed except for the three digits of the “M” numbers. The RCAF number in their pendant was used by the RCN as their name. The six were with pendant number, international call sign, name and radiotelephone call:

208 CYWZ HMC HSL208 “Calamity N”

231 CGJX HMC HSL231

232 CYWB HMC HSL232 “Chapel Y”

233 CYWX HMC HSL233 “Ellsworth G”

234 CGWD HMC HSL234

235 CZGN HMC HSL235

HMC HSL broke down to His Majesty’s Canadian High Speed Launch. I was unable to locate three of the radiotelephone calls as can be seen. These six vessels served six years and were turned over to Crown Assets Disposal Corporation in 1958.
RCAF ABNAKI was based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. From 1952 until 1958 this one was HMC HSL 233 with call sign CYWX and was based at HMCS SHEARWATER, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I found no record of her after 1958. One of these vessels apparently burned while with the Navy and one was used as living accommodation in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. This one could have been one or the other.
RCAF ADVENTURER

M.3


1942

26-foot Range Boat (Type III) at RCAF Station Trenton


RCAF ALBATROSS

M.440


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch built in 1942


RCAF ALBATROSS

Radiotelephone “Chapel A”

M.848

1953 – 1962



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue built in 1952

This vessel was renamed RCAF HERON because it would have been a nightmare trying to keep it separate from the 10 Grumman Albatross aircraft then members of Search and Rescue. It is reported that she called Comox Tower for a radio check and received clearance to land.


RCAF ALLIGATOR

M.703


Served until 1948

Tracked Landing Craft

Reclassified as a Landing Vehicle Track October 27th, 1948

RCAF ALOMA/CORMACK

M.580 and B134

1943

58-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in1932


Based at Eastern Air Command, Newfoundland

This vessel was built in Sydney, Nova Scotia and was owned by Dave Burchell of Bras d’Or and sold to the Moosehead Olands of Saint John, New Brunswick in 1946. When a yacht she was named ALOMA and it is rather odd to see the RCAF record her name this way.


RCAF AMARYLLIS

M.9


1941

105 foot Wooden Supply Vessel (Type II)

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia
RCAF AMORITA

M.449


40-foot Range Boat and Rescue Boat

Listed in Canadian Warship Names and renamed RCAF JAGER according to the Comparison Table.


RCAF ANJOANNE

M.279


Built in 1937

This vessel was wood but the type is unknown


RCAF ARISTOCRAT

CGCV

M.302 and B113

1940 – 1944

A wooden 98-foot Supply Vessel (Type I) built in 1932 and former Rum-runner with a Buchanan engine

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and a photo can be seen between pages 130 and 131 in volume two. RCAF ARISTOCRAT arrived from the northern stations on September 11th, 1943, and departed Dartmouth for sea in gale warnings on October 10th, 1943. She arrived at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, on October 19th, 1943. She towed RCAF BEAVER to Mill Cove, Nova Scotia, on January 18th, 1944, and she towed RCAF ELAINE W to Mill Cove, Nova Scotia, on January 23rd, 1944. According to Canadian Warship Names this vessel was HMCS ARISTOCRAT an auxiliary vessel from April 1944 until July 1946. This vessel transferred to the navy on February 12th, 1944.

RCAF ARRESTEUR

CGSJ


M.305 and B114

1939 – 1946

High Speed Rescue

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and a photo can be seen on page 83 of volume two. The former RCMP ARRESTEUR call sign CGSJ and the air force listed her as High Speed Rescue but one has to wonder what they mean by high speed.


RCAF ARROW

M.537 and B179

1944

60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III)



Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia
RCAF ASTRA

M.160


26-foot Sailing Sloop
RCAF A. T. and B. No. 17

M.486


1942 – 1944

84-foot wooden Large Scow built in 1939


RCAF ATLIN

M.12 and B165

1942 - 1946

65-foot length overall Range Boat (Type I)

Based at Western Air Command, Sea Island Patricia Bay, British Columbia
RCAF AUKLET

M.446


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch built in 1942


RCAF AVOCET

Radiotelephone “Charity X”

M.793

1950 – 1965



25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat built in 1950

RCAF BABINE

M.534 and B177

1943 - 1946

60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1943

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

RCAF BALDPATE

M.609


1944 – 1946

38-foot wooden Crash Boat built in 1944

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

This vessel was built by Falconer Marine Industries Limited.


RCAF BANOSKIK

M.408 and B118

Served until 1945

81-foot High Speed Rescue

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one. A former USN PT7 built by the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It had four Hall-Scott Engines in tandem coupled to two shafts.
RCAF B. C. STAR

M.427


1942 – 1943

72-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1940

This was a Western Air Command Supply Vessel and was lost with all hands. The cause of the loss is unknown off Cape St. James, British Columbia on July 24th, 1943.

RCAF BEAVER

M.522 and B137

1942 – 1946

170-foot Supply Vessel (Type I) built in 1942

Based at Eastern Air Command

Built by Smith and Rhuland, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Departed Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on January 21st, 1944, and arrived back at Dartmouth on March 6th, 1944, completely covered in ice from a very interesting voyage to Iceland. This vessel grounded on August 20th, 1946, off Cape James at the entrance to James Bay and became a total loss. There was no loss of life. A photo of this vessel under construction can be seen between pages 22 and 23 of volume one. Another photo can be seen between pages 130 and 131 of volume two.



Royal Canadian Air Force

RCAF M.522 BEAVER


RCAF BINGBALL

M.283


1940

18-foot Bombing-up Dinghy

Based at Eastern Air Command
RCAF BITTERN

CGXL


M.196

1940


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia


RCAF BLACK DUCK

M.872


Served until 1965

40-foot High Speed Rescue

This is a steel forty-foot High Speed Rescue Boat that served from the 1950’s to 1965 and is now restored at the Maritime Museum, Vancouver, British Columbia. This vessel was taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965 according to Canadian Warship Names, and was turned over to the museum in 1985. Photographs of this vessel can be seen on page 17 of volume two.
RCAF BLACK GOOSE

VXCD


Radiotelephone “Disband B”.

M.610


1944

40-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1944

Based at Eastern Air Command, Mont Joli, Quebec

Transferred to the RCN 1954


RCAF BLUE BILL

M.1


Built for the RCAF in 1941

1942

38-foot overall Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia

This vessel was allocated to No. 32 O.T.U. RAF Patricia Bay but controlled by the RCAF.

RCAF BLUE GOOSE

VXCF


Radiotelephone “Catapult D”

M.611


1944 – 1952

40-foot Range Boat (Type II) built in 1944

Transferred to the RCN on January 21st, 1952
RCAF BOUNTY

M.378


1941 – 1943

38-foot Range Boat (Type III) built in 1931

Based at Eastern Air Command and was on loan from Mr. Molson, Montreal, Quebec, and was wrecked in Halifax Harbour on July 27th, 1943.
RCAF BRANT

VXCG


Radiotelephone “Event F”

M.267


1942 – 1953

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Bella Bella, Prince Rupert, British Columbia
RCAF BRAS D’OR

M.413 and B119

58-foot High Speed Rescue vessel that served until 1946

Two photos can be seen between pages 98 and 99 of volume two. Based at Eastern Air Command and was a former 58 foot USN PT3. The former HMC HSL262 with pendant Number V262 and a photo can be seen between pages 130 and 131 in volume two.


RCAF BUTTERBALL

M.384


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch


RCAF CANADA GOOSE

VXCJ


Radiotelephone “Menu M”

M.614


1944

36-foot Range Boat (Type II) built in 1944

RCAF CAPE CANSO

M.426


1942 – 1944

73-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1941

Based at Western Air Command
RCAF CAREY

M.296 and B126

40-foot Range Boat (Type VI)
RCAF CHILKO

M.10


1942 - 1946

65-foot length overall Range Boat (Type I)

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.
RCAF COMBAT

CGJB


M.350

1941


54-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1940

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

A Supply and Salvage Vessel that joined the RCAF fleet on August 23rd, 1941. This vessel had been a patrol craft as HMCS COMBAT and believed to have joined the naval fleet sometime in 1940, according to Canadian Warship Names. A photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one.
RCAF COOT

M.495


1942

35-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1940

Based at Western Air Command, Prince Rupert, British Columbia

The former RCAF VIKI K.


RCAF CORMORANT

CGXM


M.197

1940


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

A Seaplane Tender with two Buchanan eight engines.
RCAF CRANE

M.443

1942

40-foot Refueling Launch built in 1942

RCAF CURLEW

M.428


1942 – 1947

40-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1925

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.
RCAF CYGNET II

M.303


This vessel was a wooden vessel built in 1935 of 43-feet
RCAF DABCHICK

Radiotelephone “Extort G”

M.364 and B127

1942


37-foot Aircraft Crash Boat built in 1941

Based at Eastern Air Command, North Sydney, Nova Scotia

Several records of these vessels list this one as BABCHICK and now I know what a Dabchick is.
RCAF DEERLEAP

M.592 and B154

71-foot wooden vessel built in 1929

Unknown according to the various lists of these vessels

Based at Western Air Command
RCAF DETECTOR

CGPZ


M.306 and B115

1939 – 1946

High Speed Rescue

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

The former RCMP DETECTOR call sign CGPZ

She is listed as High Speed Rescue but one has to wonder what they mean by high speed.

A photo can be seen between pages 146 and 147 in volume two.


Kenn Haycock

RCAF DETECTOR

RCAF DORIS III

M.347


45-foot wooden vessel built in 1939
RCAF DUCK

VXCK

Radiotelephone “Jingle P”

M.178


1938 – 1959

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Fitted with two Kermath engines

Based at Eastern Air Command, Trenton, Ontario


RCAF EGRET

M.494


Range Boat (Type II)
RCAF EGRET

M.925


Served until 1965

40-feet High Speed Rescue

This vessel was taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965 and served until 1984.
RCAF EIDER

VXCL


Radiotelephone “Jigger N”

M.202 and B103

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Built for the RCAF by Gidley Boat Co Penetanguishene, Ontario in 1940

A photo can be seen between pages 146 and 147 in volume two.


RCAF ELAINE W

CGXD


M.300 and B112

1941 – 1946

79-foot Supply Vessel (Type II)

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

A photo can be seen between pages 98 and 99 in volume two.
RCAF EMPRESS

M.96 renumbered was M.1 in 1928

1928

Unknown
RCAF ESKIMO


M.456 and B125

1943 – 1947

155-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type I) built in 1942

Based at Eastern Air Command

Departed Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on January 12th, 1944, and arrived back at Dartmouth on March 17th, 1944, after a brief stop at St. John’s, Newfoundland, for repairs, from a very rough voyage to Iceland and back. This vessel was the former RCAF M.456 LAWRENCE K. SWEENEY. A photo of the ice accumulated on this vessel during the above trip is found between pages 22 and 23 in volume one.

RCAF ESKIMO II

“M” Number unknown

Unknown according to the lists of these vessels but it is listed in Canadian Warship Names.
RCAF EVA CLARE

M.298


General Utility Boat that served until 1943 that had been built in 1931

According to Canadian Warship Names a vessel with the name Eva Clare became a guard ship at Toronto as HMCS EVA CLARE from August 14th, 1943 until January 1st, 1944 and had been the former RCAF M.298.


RCAF EVERGREEN I

M.432


Range Boat

Listed in Canadian Warship Names and renamed RCAF PLOVER.


RCAF FLAMINGO

M.502


1942 – 1946

32-foot wooden General Utility Boat with engines rather than an engine built in 1937

Based at Eastern Air Command, North Sydney, Nova Scotia
RCAF FLAMINGO

Radiotelephone “Disband A”.

M.847

1953 – 1965



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue

Taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965

RCAF FLAMINGO was based at CFB Comox with RCAF HERON and one other forty-footer. A photograph of this can be seen on page 19 of volume two.
RCAF FREDERICK H II

M.307

1940

92-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) and a former Rum Runner built in 1929

Based at Eastern Air Command

This vessel blew up and sank on August 15th, 1940 off Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, while taking a load of aviation gasoline in barrels from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland. An American swordfish vessel rescued the crew. There was no loss of life or serious injuries.

RCAF FULMAR

M.291


1942

40-foot Range Boat (Type III)

Based at Western Air Command, Prince Rupert, British Columbia
RCAF FUSLIER

M.579


1943 – 1945

40-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1929

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia
RCAF GADWALL

CGXQ


M.199

1940


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Alliford Bay, British Columbia

This vessel was a seaplane tender and crash boat.
RCAF GANDER

M.444 and B132

Self-propelled 40-foot Refueling Launch
RCAF GANNET

M.521 and B124

1941

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat



This vessel was ex Imperial Airways 38-foot tender No. 1060
RCAF GANNET

M.873


Served until 1965

40-foot High Speed Rescue

This one was based at Cold Lake, Alberta and much fishing was enjoyed from her I am sure. She was transferred to the Navy on April 1st, 1965. She wound up in a used boat yard in Edmonton and a photo of this can be seen on page 18 in volume two.
RCAF GARGANEY

M.204 and B122

1942

40-foot Range Boat (Type III) (Armoured Target Boat)



Based at Eastern Air Command

RCAF GENERAL MACKENZIE

M.639


1943

High Speed Rescue

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

This one sounds more army than air force and more cargo vessel than high speed rescue but it is all we have found so far.


RCAF GILLEY NO.21

M.650


1942 – 1944

92-foot General Purpose Scow built in 1922


RCAF GLENFRUIN

M.297


1940 – 1942

39-foot wooden General Utility Boat

This vessel was chartered by the RCAF 1940 – 1942 for use as a safety boat on bombing ranges.

This vessel was chartered by the RCN 1944 – 1945 for use at a Sea Cadet Camp at Rotary Island, Ganaoque ON.


RCAF GODWIT

M.445


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch built in 1942


RCAF G OF G 8

M.640


1942 – 1944

92-foot wooden Large Scow built in 1920

Listed in Canadian Warship Names
RCAF GOOSE

M.448


1942 – 1945

36-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1932

This was the former cabin cruiser PANDA and was chartered by the RCAF

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia

RCAF G.P.R. No. 1

“M” Number unknown

1942

90-foot wooden General Purpose Scow built in 1923

RCAF GREBE

CGXP


M.198

1940


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Coal Harbour, British Columbia


RCAF GRAY GOOSE

VXCM


Radiotelephone “Fido H”

M.612


1944 – 1952

40-foot Range Boat (Type II) built in 1944


RCAF GUILLEMOT

Radiotelephone “Disband B”

M.849

1953 – 1965



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue

Taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965 and served until 1984


RCAF GULL

M.429


1942 – 1946

36-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1940 at Stevenson, BC.

This vessel was based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, BC.

This was a General Utility Boat and had been a fishing vessel belonging to Japanese Canadians. As RCAF GULL she carried a total crew of skipper, engineer and wireless operator. That description is in the history of these vessels by Geoff D. Pilborough.


RCAF HAIDA

CGXT


M.206

1941 – 1946

82-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built for the RCAF by Star Shipyards (Mercer’s) Limited in 1941.

This vessel was based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and joined the RCAF fleet in 1944 according to Canadian Warship Names. A photo can be seen between pages 162 and 163 in volume two.

RCAF HALDO

M.346


1941 – 1946

30-foot Range Boat (Type III)


RCAF HARLEQUIN

M.617


30-foot Range Boat (Type III)
RCAF HERON

M.157


1937 – 1946

A 38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Ucluelet, British Columbia

A Crash Boat and Seaplane Tender built by the British Power Boat Company, United Kingdom.

A photograph is found between pages 22 and 23 of volume one.
RCAF HERON

This vessel probably retained the “Chapel A” radiotelephone call

M.848

1962 – 1965



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue built in 1952

This one started out as RCAF ALBATROSS but from confusion with the 10 Grumman Albatross aircraft then in service had to be renamed. This one was taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965. From the photographs I have seen of these vessels it appears as though they had their pendant number and an RCAF Roundel painted on each bow with the name painted across the stern. This one appears to have been at CFB Comox with RCAF FLAMINGO and one other at one time. This photograph can be seen on page 19 of volume two.


RCAF HESQUIAT

M.596 and B182

1944

104-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1944



This vessel was a sister to M.597 KIMSQUIT and was based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia.
RCAF HILI-KUM

M.582

1943

46-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1939

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

RCAF HURON

VXCN


Radiotelephone “Irium G”

M.235 – B111 and B162

1941 to 1953

70-foot High Speed Rescue

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and a photo can be seen on page 38 of volume two. A sister of RCAF ABNAKI and became HMC HSL 235 with call sign CZGN from 1952 until 1958. In 1959 this one became the yacht MARBORENE and later the yacht SEAWARD a photo can be seen on page 170 of volume two.
RCAF IBIS

M.399 and B129

1943

40-foot General Utility Boat built in 1942



Based at Eastern Air Command at Yarmouth and LaHave, Nova Scotia

A safety range boat with a diesel engine and was a copy of a Cape Island Boat and a sister to RCAF ROVEN M-400. Her Skipper was Sgt. John Cunningham, Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia.


RCAF JAGER

M.449


1942

36-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1941

The former RCAF M.449 AMORITA

Based at Western Air Command, Boundary Bay Bella Bella, British Columbia


RCAF KAGOME

CGXV


M.295

This vessel was a General Utility Boat that served until 1943


RCAF KADIAC

M.654

1944 – 1945

65-foot wooden Schooner built in 1938

Based at Eastern Air Command

A white sailing yacht with accommodation for about ten people fitted with a three-cylinder diesel engine.

This vessel went aground on the Magdalene Islands, Quebec, on June 19th, 1944 and was towed back to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, by RCAF ELAINE W arriving on June 27th, 1944.

RCAF KIMSQUIT

M.597


1944

114-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1944 and a sister of M.596 HESQUIAT


RCAF KINGFISHER

VXCP


Radiotelephone “Disband A”

M.396


1942

40-foot General Utility and Diving Boat fitted for Range Duties/Towing Winch built in 1942

Based at Eastern Air Command
RCAF KITTIWAKE

M.290


1942 – 1946

40-foot Range Boat (Type III)

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

A forty-foot Bombing Range and Target Towing Vessel with three Chrysler Crown engines and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one.


RCAF KNOT

Radiotelephone “Equal S”

M.810

1953 – 1965



25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat

A Knot is a red-breasted Sandpiper that breeds in the Arctic.


RCAF LAPWING

M.615


1944 – 1946

30-foot Range Boat (Type III) built in 1942


RCAF LAWRENCE K. SWEENEY

M.456 and B125

Based at Eastern Air Command

A Supply Vessel

The Sweeney family of Western Nova Scotia had a sizeable fleet and made a lot of money rum running. This vessel was built in 1942 and was renamed RCAF M.456 ESKIMO before it had a chance to do any rum running. Corporal Lawrence Sweeney was engineer in RCAF M.400 ROVEN.
RCAF LE GAULOIS

M.529

1942 – 1944

Unknown 47-foot wooden vessel built in 1933

RCAF LOON

M.265


1942

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Alliford Bay, British Columbia
RCAF LUCKY PEGGY

M.153


38-foot General Utility Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

This was a Cape Island Boat and a former rumrunner that was capable of ten knots in speed. It is believed to have been one of the first air force marine craft when the marine service was first formed in 1935 and a photo of this vessel can be seen between pages 22 and 23 of volume one.
RCAF MALAHAT

VXCQ

Radiotelephone “Catapult B”

M.467 and B171

1946 – 1952

86-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1944

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and a photo can be seen between pages 116 and 117 in volume two. Transferred to Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on May 31st, 1946, and sailed around via the Panama Canal. Canadian Warship Names states this vessel joined the RCAF fleet in 1946. In September 1949 this vessel became stranded up in the Hudson Strait and was rescued by HMCS SWANSEA. This was the longest tow by a Canadian Frigate. The tow was one of eleven hundred miles from where SWANSEA found her to Goose Bay, Labrador. This incident is recorded on pages 144 to 146, along with a photograph of this vessel in the book HMCS SWANSEA by Fraser M. McKee. In 1957 this vessel became the Canadian Naval Auxiliary Vessel (CNAV) SCATARI with call sign CZFZ and Radiotelephone “Marian”. She looked a lot like a small wooden tugboat. The Navy used her on the Great Lakes as a reserve naval training vessel.

RCAF MALECITE

VXCR


Radiotelephone “Extort F”

M.231 – B107 and B159

1941 – 1953

70-foot High Speed Rescue

A sister of RCAF ABNAKI

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

This vessel became HMC HSL231 with call sign CGJX in 1952.

In 1957 this vessel became a yacht and is still registered as MALECITE in 2007.


RCAF MALLARD

M.158 and B100

1937 – 1945

A 38-foot Crash Boat

A Seaplane Tender built in the United Kingdom by the British Power Boat Company

Based at Eastern Air Command


RCAF MALLARD

VXZG


M.871

1955 – 1964

40-foot High Speed Rescue built in 1955

This one was based at Vancouver with RCAF SKUA and a photo can be seen of this on page 19 in volume two. This vessel was a Canadian built forty-footer that served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1955 until 1964. In 1964 this vessel became the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter (CCGC) MALLARD and was a Search and Rescue Vessel based at Vancouver, British Columbia.


RCAF MANDARIN

M.194 and B101

1942

40-foot Range Boat (Type VI)


A Target Towing Vessel converted from an armoured Target Boat built by the British Power Boat Company in the United Kingdom. These vessels were forty feet long, either triple or twin screw and very fast. They were designed for towing hydrofoils and other targets at high speed. A winch with a drum holding many hundred feet of fine steel cable was mounted in the after cockpit. There were no quarters on board for the crew. A distinguishing feature was the downward slope of the bow. This provided additional visibility for the crew when the vessel was at speed. RCAF M.194 MANDARIN was based at Eastern Air Command, Hantsport, Nova Scotia and a photo can be seen of this vessel on page 20 of volume two.

RCAF MANX

Radiotelephone “Event E”

M.851

Served until 1965



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue

Taken over by the Navy on April 1st, 1965 and continued to serve until 1981


RCAF MELVILLE

M.560


1944

60-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type III)

This vessel had accommodation for eight crewmembers and arrived at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, on September 30th, 1944.

Based at Eastern Air Command and a photo of this vessel can be seen on page 18 of volume two.


RCAF MERGANSER

M.441


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch built in 1942


RCAF MERMAID

M.528


Served until 1943

Unknown 52-foot wooden vessel built in 1939


RCAF MICMAC

CGXJ


M.207

1940 – 1943

84-foot Supply Vessel (Type II)

Based at Eastern Air Command

This vessel was wrecked on the East Coast of Nova Scotia on March 6th, 1943.
RCAF MIDNIGHT SUN

M.425


1942 – 1944

70-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1938

Based at Western Air Command

RCAF MOHAWK

M.573 and B139

1944 – 1946

114-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1944

Based at Eastern Air Command and a photo can be seen between pages 130 and 131 in volume two.

This vessel arrived at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on October 22nd, 1944, from her builder’s yard. She was built at the John H. LeBlanc Shipyard, Weymouth, Nova Scotia, along with fifteen “B” Class Fairmiles for the Royal Canadian and the United States navies. My old friend Captain Charles H. Melanson was in command for her first sea trials. He was very pleased with her but claimed the air force was not that happy with her speed. The air force likes to arrive yesterday so would not likely be impressed with the speed of any vessel. This vessel was still listed as MOHAWK II, a private cargo vessel in the 1979 List of Ships on Register in Canada. The official lists state this vessel is still registered in 2007 and when I mentioned this to Captain Melanson he said he had heard that she went to Newfoundland and must still be there. She must have been well built with good material to have lasted this long.

RCAF MONTAGNAIS

VXCS


Radiotelephone “Event E”

M.234 – B110 and B161

1941 – 1953

70-foot High Speed Rescue

This vessel was a sister of RCAF ABNAKI and was built for the RCAF by the Canadian Power Boat Company in 1941. She was based at Eastern Air Command and a photo can be seen on page 38 of volume two. This vessel was HMC HSL234 with call sign CGWD from 1952 until 1958. This vessel was the yacht MONTAGNAIS in 1964 and renamed VANCOUVER SPIRIT. A photo of this vessel can be seen on page 171 in volume two.
RCAF MURRE

M.398


1942

40-foot General Utility Boat built in 1942


RCAF MUSKOKA

M.704 and B141

1944

65-foot Supply Vessel (Type III)


RCAF NAIAD

M.388


This vessel was a wooden 35-foot Range Boat (Type III) built in 1938 and based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.
RCAF NAOMI W

M.595 and B183

1943 – 1945

36-foot wooden General Utility Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia
RCAF NAUTILUS

M.362


1940

55-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1928


RCAF NICOLA

M.11

1942 - 1946

65 foot length overall Range Boat (Type I)

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia

This vessel is spelled NIKOLA on some of the lists.

RCAF NICTAK

M.447 and B123

Served until 1945

80-foot High Speed Rescue

A former United States Navy PT6.

Based at Eastern Air Command and a photo can be seen between pages 22 and 23 of volume one.


RCAF NIMPKISH

Radiotelephone “Chapel Z”

M.535

1944 – 1961



60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1944

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and a photo under repair can be seen between pages 162 and 163 in volume two.


RCAF NIMPKISH II

M.975


1960 – 1965

75-foot Supply Vessel (Type II)


RCAF NO.4

“M” Number unknown

Fire Fighting Launch
RCAF NOOTKA

VXCT

Radiotelephone “Giddy U”

M.208 and B105

1941 – 1951

70-foot High Speed Rescue

This vessel was a sister of RCAF ABNAKI based at Eastern Air Command.

This vessel was in collision with the Steam Ship PONTIAC with call sign KFML on November 23rd, 1943, in the approaches to Halifax Harbour. She had six feet cut off her stern. There were no casualties. She was repaired at RCAF Station Dartmouth and re-entered service on June 17th, 1944. This vessel was HMC HSL208 with call sign CYWZ and pendant 208 from 1952 until 1958 and her radiotelephone was “Calamity N”. I found no record of her after 1958. One of these vessels was used as living accommodation in Summerside, Prince Edward Island and this may be the one. A photo of HMC HSL208 and RCAF NOOTKA can be seen on page 6 of volume two. Two photos can be seen between pages 146 and 147 in volume two but her number is labelled wrong. There are more photos and story on page 173 in volume two.

RCAF OK SERVICE V

CGXB


M.361and B116

1940 – 1944

112-foot Supply Vessel (Type I) built in 1940

Based at Eastern Air Command

This vessel was returned to her owners on April 24th, 1944, and she first appears in the International List of Ship Stations with call sign CYBG in 1947.
RCAF OSOYOOS

M.414 and B120

59-foot High Speed Rescue that served until 1945

A former United States Navy PT4 fitted with three Packard engines coupled to three shafts, and built by Fisher Boat Works, Detroit, Michigan. This vessel was the former HMC HSL263 with pendant V263. A photo can be seen between pages 22 and 23 volume one and another two in appendices one of volume one.


RCAF PELICAN

VXCW


Radiotelephone “Inlet V”

M.264


1941

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Ucluelet, British Columbia
RCAF PENGUIN

M.442 and B131

40-foot Refueling Launch
RCAF PETREL

M.431


1942 – 1946

38-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1930

Based at Western Air Command, Coal Harbour, British Columbia
RCAF PINTAIL

M.165


1936

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat and a photo can be seen between pages 130 and 131 in volume two.


RCAF PLOVER

M.432

1942

35-foot Range Boat (Type II) built in 1941

The former RCAF EVERGREEN I as listed in Canadian Warship Names

Based at Western Air Command, Ucluelet, British Columbia


RCAF PUFFIN

VXCY


Radiotelephone “Charity W”

M.430


1942

39-foot wooden Range Boat (Type II) built in 1941

This was the former fishing boat SEAMAID Y II

Based at Western Air Command, Alliford Bay, British Columbia


RCAF RANDY BOY

M.503


Served until 1945

Unknown
RCAF RED BIRD

M.389

1940 – 1945



Range Boat (Type III)
RCAF RED BIRD Y

“M” Number unknown

1942

Unknown vessel 31-feet in length


RCAF REDHEAD

VXCZ


M.201and B102

1940


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

This vessel was built by Grew Boats Limited Penetanguishene, Ontario and was fitted with new Chrysler Engines on September 1st, 1944. Redhead is a type of duck. RCAF M.201 REDHEAD was the executive wagon of this fleet around Nova Scotia during the war. Any high ranking officer or official was transported in this vessel or her identical sister RCAF EIDER if this one was not available. This one was fitted with the first radar of the day and radio direction finding. Radio direction finding was the big navigational aid of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

RCAF RED WING

M.1


Launch
RCAF RED WING Y

“M” Number unknown

1942

Unknown
RCAF REEL FISHER



M.530 and B167

1942 – 1944

61-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1940

Based at Western Air Command


RCAF RETREIVER

M.542


147-foot wooden Transport Barge built in 1944

This vessel was a sister to M.541 TRANSPORTER


RCAF RIDEAU SPRAY

M.301


41-foot General Utility Boat built in 1929 but no dates of service were listed
RCAF RINGBILL

M.203 and B104

1940

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat



Based at Eastern Air Command

This vessel was equipped with a Buchanan eight engine and was transferred to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, on November 27th, 1943


RCAF ROVEN

M.400 and B130

1942 – 1946

40-foot wooden General Utility Boat built in 1942 called a Range Boat Type II in some of the records. RCAF ROVEN had one 85 horsepower General Motors Diesel Engine called a Gray Marine Diesel, and could make around nine knots. Her Skipper was Sgt. Gus Henneberry, Sambro, Nova Scotia. Engineer Cpl. Lawrence Sweeney. Wireless Operator Bill Miller, Plaster Rock, New Brunswick.




HARC Files

Bill Miller

Bill held amateur call sign VE1AKB that was changed to VE9AKB when New Brunswick went to the VE9 prefix for amateur radio call signs.

The ROVEN’s Radio Station was a Bendix AR1 General Coverage Receiver and AT1 Transmitter for two channels of radiotelegraph only; 3333 and 6666 kHz.

Based at Eastern Air Command, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

RCAF ROVEN departed Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on November 6th, 1943, and returned to Dartmouth from Yarmouth on September 5th, 1945.


I had heard of this vessel for several years before I did the research for this project. Those who knew and operated this vessel always referred to it as M-400. I did not know it had a name until this research and this is the attitude I mentioned. The name, although official and assigned was still treated as graffiti.
RCAF RUFF

Radiotelephone “Event F”

M.807

1953 – 1965



25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat built in 1950

A Ruff is a European or Asiatic Sandpiper.


RCAF SANDERLING

M.874


Served until 1965

25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat


RCAF SANDPIPER

M.385


1942

40-foot Refueling Launch


RCAF SANDPIPER

Radiotelephone “Extort F”

M.808

Served until 1965



25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat
RCAF SARANA

M.304


This vessel was a wooden vessel built in 1936 of 36-feet
RCAF SCOTER

CGXK

M.172

1938 – 1946

38-foot wooden Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Bella Bella/Annette Island, British Columbia and was still registered to the Department of Public Works, Ottawa, Ontario, in 1989 and that is 51 years for a wooden boat. The registration on this vessel was suspended on August 29th, 2002. This meant that the Department of Transport could not locate the vessel and presumed that it was out of existence.

RCAF SEAGULL

M.607


General Utility Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command

Built by Hunter Boats, Orillia, Ontario

Transferred from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to Trenton, Ontario, on May 26th, 1946 and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one.


RCAF SEA HORSE

M.380


1943 – 1945

34-foot Range Boat (Type III)


RCAF SEA-MEW

M.591


1943

Aircraft Tender

Based at Western Air Command
RCAF SEA SPRAY

M.598


Supply Vessel (Type III)

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia


RCAF SEKANI

CGXS


M.205

1940


84-foot Supply Vessel (Type II)

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and this vessel carried Dingy M-383 as her lifeboat. This vessel received a quick rename when it was pointed out that its previous name, RCAF SIWASH was not a proper first nation tribe.


RCAF SETON

M.532 and B175

1943

60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1943



Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia
RCAF SHELDRAKE

M.195 and B121

1942

40-foot wooden Range Boat (Type VI)


RCAF SHOVELLER

CGXR

M.200

1940 – 1953

38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Patricia Bay, British Columbia and a photo can be seen at the back of volume two.

RCAF SILVER SPRING

M.433


Range Boat

Renamed RCAF SNIPE


RCAF SIYO II

M.5


1942 - 1943

39 foot Wooden General Utility Boat


RCAF SKEENA MAID

M.536 and B170

1943 – 1944

Unknown 47-foot wooden vessel built in 1940

Based at Western Air Command
RCAF SKUA

Radiotelephone “Extort G”

M.850

1953 – 1964



40-foot steel High Speed Rescue built in 1952

This one was based beneath the Burrard Bridge, British Columbia and a photo can be seen on page 14 of volume two and another on page 19 of volume two. This vessel was transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard and because the Coast Guard already had CCGS SKUA, a World War II type landing craft, she was renamed MOORHEN and as the CCGC MOORHEN was based at Vancouver as a Search and Rescue vessel. It is rather odd that she received a name within the Coast Guard fleet. The Canadian Coast Guard built a fleet of these 40-foot steel vessels described at the end of this RCAF Marine Craft section. The Coast Guard called them a cutter with the acronym CCGC as in Canadian Coast Guard Cutter. The first one was CCGC 101 that had been purchased from the U.S. Coast Guard. These Canadian cutters were built at various Canadian shipyards. They were not named but numbered beginning with 101.



Radio Officer John Turgoose VE3NFK

CCGS SKUA with international call sign CGGD

This photograph was taken from the tanker EDOUARD SIMARD call sign CYCJ in 1976

RCAF SNIPE

VXDB


Radiotelephone “Jingle Q”

M.433


1942 – 1952

38-foot Range Boat (Type II)

Based at Western Air Command, Bella Bella, British Columbia

A Range Patrol Utility Boat with a diesel engine that served the Workshop Seaplane Tender M.159. This vessel was the former RCAF SILVER SPRING and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one.


RCAF SNOWBIRD II

VXNZ

M.769

1949 – 1953

203-foot steel Supply Vessel (Type I) built in 1942

A former United States Navy Landing Craft that had seen service in the South Pacific during World War II.

This vessel was the former USS LSM-323 according to Squadron Leader S. C. Burridge the officer commanding 122 Marine Squadron, RCAF. He made that statement when the vessel first arrived at Patricia Bay, British Columbia. LSM was the acronym for a Landing Ship Medium. Canadian Warship Names states this vessel joined the RCAF fleet in 1949. According to The Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Squadrons Volume II page 8 this is the same vessel as RCAF SNOWBIRD. The RCAF managed to obtain it while frozen in at Tuktoyaktuk at the mouth of the McKenzie River in the North West Territories in 1951. It had been up north for three years and was to be used to haul freight from Cambridge Bay to Tuktoyaktuk, but this project did not work out. An RCAF crew brought the vessel down the west coast, through the Panama Canal and up to Halifax. The RCAF Marine Squadrons were terminated at this point and this vessel remained working for the air force as a supply ship for their northern stations with a civilian crew. Photos of this vessel can be seen between pages 8 and 9 of volume two. NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive has four interesting photographs of USS LSM-323 and some detail on her World War II service in the Pacific.



Rolf F. Illsley

USS LSM-323 somewhere in the Pacific in 1945




United States Navy Photograph

This is an overhead view of USS LSM-437 a sister of USS LSM-323


RCAF SNOW GOOSE

VXDC


Radiotelephone “Equal S”

M.613


1944

40-foot Range Boat (Type II) built in 1944


RCAF SNOW PRINCE

CGKS


M.348 and B152

1941 – 1944

66-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1937

Based at Western Air Command

Canadian Warship Names states it joined the RCAF fleet on September 12th, 1942.
RCAF SONGHEE

VXDF


Radiotelephone “Gismo T”

M.468


1944 – 1953

86-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1944

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

Canadian Warship Names states this vessel served from 1944 until July 24th, 1953.


RCAF SOOKE

M.533

1943 – 1946

60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1943

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia but the records indicate it was at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on July 24th, 1945

RCAF SPOONBILL

M.351


1940

35-foot General Utility Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command, North Sydney, Nova Scotia

Owned by Joe Penny and had a new propeller fitted at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on January 2nd, 1944.


RCAF SPRAY IV

“M” Number unknown

Unknown – her D.O.T. number was 312722

This vessel was attached to RCAF Station Dartmouth in the 1920’s


RCAF SPRINGTIME

M.428


Listed in Canadian Warship Names

Renamed RCAF CURLEW


RCAF SQUAMISH

M.469


95-foot Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1937

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia


RCAF STUART

M.531 and B174

1943 – 1946

60-foot Supply Vessel (Type III) built in 1943

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia and a photo can be seen between pages 164 and 165 in volume two.
RCAF SWAN

M.271


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat
RCAF TAKULI

VXDG

Radiotelephone “Irium H”

M.232 – B108 and B160

1941 – 1952

70-foot High Speed Rescue

A sister of RCAF ABNAKI

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia

This vessel arrived at Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, after sailing around via the Panama Canal on October 14th, 1947. This vessel was HMC HSL232 with call sign CYWB from 1952 until 1958.

Radiotelephone “Chapel Y” This one was believed to have been destroyed by fire and a photo can be seen in appendices one at the back of volume one.

RCAF TEAL

VXDJ


Radiotelephone “Chapel A”

M.266


38-foot Aircraft Crash Boat

Based at Western Air Command, Bella Bella, British Columbia and a photo can be seen between pages 162 and 163 in volume two.


RCAF TRANSPORTER

M.541


147-foot Transport Barge

This vessel was a sister to RCAF M.542 RETREIVER

Based at Eastern Air Command and a photo can be seen in Appendices One at the back of volume one and another on page 82 of volume two.
RCAF UMBRETTA

M.493


1942

40-foot General Utility Boat

Based at Eastern Air Command

Helped RCAF M.302 tow RCAF BEAVER on January 15th, 1944 and towed RCAF DETECTOR to the Marine Slips on January 25th, 1944.


RCAF VIKI K

M.495


Range Boat

Renamed RCAF COOT


RCAF WALTER M

M.540


1942 – 1944

54-foot wooden Supply Vessel (Type II) built in 1925

Based at Western Air Command
RCAF WHISTLER

M.292


1942

40-foot Range Boat (Type III)

Based at Western Air Command, Coal Harbour, British Columbia
RCAF WIDGEON

M.514

1942

40-foot wooden General Utility Boat built in 1937

Based at Eastern Air Command

This vessel departed Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on August 16th, 1945, for a convalescent home at St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. The total crew was two men, both Corporals a seaman and engineer. This vessel was capable of carrying thirty passengers. This is another potential name to create confusion with the Grumman aircraft of the same name.

RCAF WILLET

M.518


1942

30-foot Range Boat (Type III) and Crash Tender built by Shepherd Boat Works, Niagara.

Based at Western Air Command, Vancouver, British Columbia but this vessel was at Eastern Air Command in 1943. These records often do not agree.
RCAF WOODCOCK

Radiotelephone “Fido H”

M.809

Served until 1965



25-foot steel Aircraft Crash Boat

Canadian Warship Names states this vessel was taken over by the navy on April 1st, 1965 as CFAV WOODCOCK and remained with the navy until about 1982.


RCAF ZUIZAN

M.397 and B128

1942

40-foot General Utility Boat



Based at Eastern Air Command, North Sydney, Nova Scotia



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