The Canadian Navy of Yesterday & Today
|Submarines of the Royal Canadian Navy|
RCN's involvement with subs originated on the eve of WWI, when the Premier
of British Columbia purchased two submarines. They were built in Seattle,
and intended for the Chilean Navy, but were sold to BC when Chili defaulted.
Named CC1 and CC2, the two subs resembled the 'C' class of the Royal Navy,
and were commissioned into the RCN. After three years of training on the
West Coast, they were ordered to Europe by way of Halifax, NS. There it
was determined that they would most likely not survive a trans-Atlantic
crossing, and they were sold for scrap. DND photo.
At the tail end of the First World War, the Navy obtained two members of the British H Class which had been built in North America. These were considered by the British to be excellent subs at the time, but they didn't see much service in the RCN before being paid off.
the end of WWII, two German U-boats surrendered to the RCN, upon which
the RCN took possession and used them for testing. Both were of the IX
C type. U-190 (shown) was sunk in 1947 by naval aircraft near the position
where she torpedoed and sunk HMCS ESQUIMALT. DND photo.
RN subs were available to aid with ASW training on the East coast of Canada,
it was decided that similiar arrangements would have to be made for the
West coast. Thus it was that USS BURRFISH, a GATO/BALAO class sub, was
borrowed from the USN for ASW training, and she was renamed HMCS GRILSE.
Previous to her service with the RCN, she had carried out 6 war patrols
with the USN in the Pacific. DND photo.
replace GRILSE with a slightly more modern sub, another submarine was purchased
from the USN in 1968 and renamed HMCS RAINBOW. The former USS ARGONAUT,
a TENCH class boat, had undergone the Fleet Snorkel conversion prior to
serving with the RCN. DND photo.
OJIBWA entered service in 1965, and was the first submarine ever built
to RCN order. She is an OBERON class sub, a class designed for the Royal
Navy. She has two operational sisters, ONONDAGA and OKANAGAN, and a fourth,
OLYMPUS, serves dockside as a training platform. She appears here as she
would when she was commissioned. DND photo.
While this is not a picture of a Canadian OBERON class sub (supposedly Chilean), it shows roughly how the OBERON class appears in Canadian service after the major SOUP (Submarine Operational Upgrade Program) refits in the mid-eighties to upgrade sonar and weapons systems. The most obvious difference is the streamlined sonar dome on the bow. (Photo provided by Real Fortin)