Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945

by Robert C. Fisher (Revised June 2001)

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Canadian Ships Lost, 1939-1945

Part 2: Canadian Ships Lost to Marine Causes or Damaged in Action

Part 3: Other Ships Lost of Canadian Interest

Part 4: Sources



Introduction

The Canadian Merchant Marine had only forty-one ocean-going merchant ships at the outbreak of the Second World War. During the war this fleet underwent tremendous expansion as Canadian shipyards produced 403 merchant vessels. Most of these were taken over by Great Britain and the United States but a significant number sailed under the Canadian flag. The cost of the war was high, fifty-eight Canadian-registry merchant ships were lost to enemy action, or probable enemy action, and 1,146 Canadian merchant sailors perished at sea or in Axis prison camps. In addition, six Canadian Government owned, but British-registered, merchant ships and eight Newfoundland-registered merchant ships were lost to enemy action. Many other vessels serving the war effort were lost at sea to marine causes or accident.

The following tables record the wartime losses of Canadian merchant ships. They are broken down by place of registry (Canada, Britain, Newfoundland), cause of loss (enemy action, marine accident), and extent of damage (total loss, repaired and returned to service). The lists provide the date, position, and cause of loss, the owner, gross registered tonnage (GRT), and whether the ship was sailing independently or in convoy. Information regarding crew size and casualties is included when it is available. The quality of the sources for casualty and crew figures, however, is uneven and they must be used with caution. Discrepancies abound. Dates also must be used carefully. Axis forces generally used their own time zones when recording attacks. Merchant crew survivors may have used local time zones or GMT when reporting the details of enemy attacks to naval authorities. Moreover, ships may not have sunk until several hours (or even days) after the initial attack. It is not always clear which time has been recorded. The lists are as complete as possible but it is recognized, of course, that new information may still come to light and some merchant ships may have slipped through the cracks of official records. Mystery still surrounds the fate of some of the vessels listed below.


I. Canadian-Registry Merchant Ships Lost to Enemy Action

This list includes only merchant ships registered in Canada which were lost, or probably lost, to enemy action. It does not include ships registered in Newfoundland, Canadian-owned ships registered in Britain, or ships lost to marine causes. The Canadian Government owned merchant ships registered in Canada through the following crown corporations: Canadian National Steamships, Canadian Government Merchant Marine, and Park Steamship Company. There is still some doubt regarding the circumstances of the loss of four of these merchant ships: Kenordoc, Proteus, Nereus, and Robert W. Pomeroy. In total, fifty-eight Canadian-registered merchant ships were lost to enemy action.
Date Ship Owner GRT Cause of Loss Position Area Casualties & Notes
15 June 1940 Erik Boye(1) Canadian Government 2,238 Torpedoed by U-38 from convoy HX 47. 50-37N 08-44W South of Ireland There were no casualties.
5 July 1940 Magog Canada Steamships 2,053 Torpedoed and shelled by U-99 after leaving convoy HX 52. 50-31N 11-05W Southwest of Ireland There was no loss of life.
10 July 1940 Waterloo Canada Steamships 1,905 Bombed by German aircraft. 52-53N 02-19E North Sea There were no casualties among the 20 crew.
22 Aug 1940 Thorold Quebec & Ontario Transportation 1,689 Bombed by German aircraft. 51-46N 05-38W Irish Sea Ten men were killed and five wounded of the 23 crew.
15 Sep 1940 Kenordoc Paterson Steamships 1,780 Shelled by U-99 while straggling from convoy SC 3. 57-42N 15-02W North Atlantic Seven men were killed and thirteen survived. It is not clear which U-boat was responsible but some sources credit U-48.
12 Oct 1940 Saint Malo(2) Canadian Government 5,779 Torpedoed by U-101 while straggling from convoy HX 77. 57-58N 16-32W North Atlantic Twenty-nine of the forty-four crew were lost with the ship.
16 Oct 1940 Trevisa(3) Canadian Lake Carriers 1,813 Torpedoed by U-124 while straggling from convoy SC 7. 57-28N 20-30W North Atlantic Seven of the 21 crew were killed.
6 Feb 1941 Maplecourt United Towing & Salvage 3,388 Torpedoed by U-107 while straggling from convoy SC 20. 55-39N 15-56W North Atlantic All 37 crew and DEMS gunners were lost with the ship.
21 Feb 1941 Canadian Cruiser(4) Canadian Tramp Shipping 7,178 Sunk by German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. 06-36S 47-18E Indian Ocean All of the 36 crew were taken prisoner. One man later escaped from the POW camp to Spain.
22 Feb 1941 A. D. Huff Atlantic Transportation 6,219 Sunk by German battlecruiser Gneisenau 47-12N 40-13W North Atlantic Two of the crew were killed and the rest, 40 men, were taken prisoner.
16 Mar 1941 J. B. White Atlantic Transportation 7,375 Torpedoed by U-99 from convoy HX 112. 60-57N 12-27W North Atlantic There were 38 survivors. Two men were killed.
25 Mar 1941 Canadolite(5) Imperial Oil 11,309 Captured by German raider Kormoran. 02-30N 23-48W Central Atlantic The 44 crew were taken prisoner.
7 Apr 1941 Portadoc(6) Paterson Steamships 1,746 Torpedoed by U-124. 07-17N 16-53W Off Sierra Leone The survivors landed at French Guinea and were taken prisoner.
3 May 1941 Europa(7) Canadian Government 10,224 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known Liverpool, UK There were no casualties.
13 July 1941 Collingdoc Paterson Steamships 1,780 Struck mine. Salvaged and sunk as block ship at Scapa Flow. Not known Thames River, UK (off Southend) Two men, the First and Second Engineers, were killed.
15 Oct 1941 Vancouver Island(8) Canadian Government 9,472 Torpedoed by U-558. 53-37N 25-37W North Atlantic There were no survivors. Sixty-four crew, 6 DEMS gunners, and 32 passengers died.
12 Dec 1941 Shinai(9) George L. Shaw 2,410 Seized by Japanese forces. Not known Kuching, North Borneo At least one man, the Chief Engineer, died as a Japanese prisoner-of-war.
19 Jan 1942 Lady Hawkins(10) Canadian National Steamships 7,998 Torpedoed by U-66. 35-00N 72-30W Off North Carolina Seventy-one persons survived of the 321 passengers and crew. See footnote.
4 Feb 1942 Montrolite(11) Imperial Oil 11,309 Torpedoed by U-109. 35-14N 60-05W Northeast of Bermuda There were 20 survivors. Twenty-seven crew and one DEMS gunner perished.
5 Feb 1942 Empress of Asia Canadian Pacific 16,909 Bombed by Japanese aircraft. Not known Off Singapore Fourteen persons were killed and 153 taken prisoner out of 2,651 on board.
10 Feb 1942 Victolite Imperial Oil 11,410 Torpedoed and shelled by U-564. 36-12N 67-14W Northwest of Bermuda All on board were killed: 45 crew and 2 DEMS gunners.
22 Feb 1942 George L. Torian(12) Upper Lakes 1,754 Torpedoed by U-129. 09-13N 59-04W Off Guyana Four survivors of the 19 crew were rescued by a US Navy flying boat and taken to Trinidad.
23 Feb 1942 Lennox(13) Canada Steamships 1,904 Torpedoed by U-129. 09-15N 58-30W Off Guyana Two men were killed and there were 18 survivors.
14 Mar 1942 Sarniadoc(14) Paterson Steamships 1,940 Torpedoed by U-161. 15-45N 65-00W Caribbean Sea There were no survivors.
1 Apr 1942 Robert W. Pomeroy(15) Upper Lakes 1,750 Struck mine off Cromer, England in convoy FN 70. 53-10N 01-10E North Sea One man was killed and two injured of the 21 crew and 2 DEMS gunners.
20 Apr 1942 Vineland(16) Markland Shipping 5,587 Torpedoed by U-154. 23-05N 72-20W Caribbean Sea There were thirty-six survivors and one man was killed.
1 May 1942 James E. Newsom Zwicker & H. O. Emptage 671 Shelled by U-69. 35-50N 59-40W Northeast of Bermuda The nine-man crew survived and landed at Bermuda.
5 May 1942 Lady Drake(17) Canadian National Steamships 7,985 Torpedoed by U-106. 35-43N 64-43W North of Bermuda Six passengers and 6 crew were killed out of 272 persons on board.
7 May 1942 Mildred Pauline A.G. Thornhill 300 Shelled by U-136. 39-40N 55-00W North Atlantic There were no survivors. It was carrying a cargo of molasses from Barbados to St. John's.
8 May 1942 Mont Louis Hall Corporation 1,905 Torpedoed by U-162. 08-23N 58-44W Off Guyana Thirteen of the 21 crew were killed. The 8 survivors landed at Georgetown, Guyana.
9 May 1942 Calgarolite(18) Imperial Oil 11,941 Torpedoed and shelled by U-125. 19-24N 82-30W Caribbean Sea All forty-five crew survived. See footnote.
21 May 1942 Torondoc(19) Paterson Steamships 1,927 Torpedoed by U-69. 14-45N 62-15W Caribbean Sea There were no survivors of the 23 crew.
21 May 1942 Troisdoc(20) Paterson Steamships 1,925 Torpedoed by U-558. 18-15N 79-20W Caribbean Sea All nineteen crew were rescued by HMS Clarkia.
22 May 1942 Frank B. Baird(21) Upper Lakes 1,748 Shelled by U-158 28-03N 58-50W Southeast of Bermuda All 23 crew were rescued by SS Talisman.
30 May 1942 Liverpool Packet(22) Markland Shipping 1,188 Torpedoed by U-432. 43-20N 66-20W Off Nova Scotia Two persons were killed. The 19 survivors rowed to Seal Island.
28 June 1942 Mona Marie Lemuel J. Ritcey 126 Shelled by U-126. 12-22N 60-10W Caribbean Sea The crew survived.
25 July 1942 Lucille M. Frederick Sutherland 54 Shelled by U-89. 42-02N 65-38W Off Cape Sable The 11 crew escaped, including 4 wounded, and rowed 100 miles to shore at Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
29 July 1942 Prescodoc(23) Paterson Steamships 1,938 Torpedoed by U-160. 08-50N 59-05W Off Guyana Five of the 21 crew survived.
17 Aug 1942 Princess Marguerite Canadian Pacific 5,875 Torpedoed by U-83. 32-03N 32-47E Mediterranean Sea Forty-nine persons were killed out of over 1,000 on board. HMS Hero rescued the survivors.
3 Sep 1942 Donald Stewart Canada Steamships 1,781 Torpedoed by U-517 from convoy NL 6 (while passing convoy LN 7). 50-32N 58-46W Belle Isle Strait Three persons were killed out of 19 crew and 1 passenger. HMCS Shawinigan, Weyburn, and Trail rescued 17 survivors.
5 Sep 1942 Lord Strathcona(24) Dominion Shipping 7,335 Torpedoed by U-513. 47-35N 52-59W Conception Bay There was no loss of life.
6 Sep 1942 John A. Holloway Upper Lakes 1,745 Torpedoed by U-164. 14-10N 71-30W Caribbean Sea One man died. Two lifeboats of 23 survivors reached Colombia safely on 12 and 13 September.
7 Sep 1942 Oakton(25) Gulf & Lake Navigation 1,727 Torpedoed by U-517 from convoy QS 33. 48-50N 63-46W Gulf of St. Lawrence Some sources state that 3 lives were lost. Escorts rescued 19 crew.
18 Sep 1942 Norfolk(26) Canada Steamships 1,901 Torpedoed by U-175. 08-36N 59-20W Off Guyana Six men were killed.
9 Oct 1942 Carolus(27) Canadian Government 2,375 Torpedoed by U-69 from convoy NL 9. 48-47N 68-10W St. Lawrence River There were 19 survivors of the 30 crew on board. See footnote.
29 Oct 1942 Bic Island(28) Canadian Government 4,000 Torpedoed by U-224 while straggling from convoy HX 212. 55-05N 23-27W North Atlantic Lost with all hands and survivors picked up from SS Gurney E. Newlin and SS Sourabaya.
2 Nov 1942 Rose Castle(29) Dominion Shipping 7,803 Torpedoed by U-518. 47-36N 52-58W Conception Bay Sources vary. See footnote.
3 Nov 1942 Chr. J. Kampmann(30) Canadian Government 2,260 Torpedoed by U-160 from convoy TAG 18. 12-06N 62-42W Caribbean Sea USS Lea rescued 8 survivors from the 27 crew and landed them at Curaçao.
19 May 1943 Angelus(31) Canadian Government 255 Shelled by U-161. 38-40N 64-00W North of Bermuda USS Turner rescued two survivors from the nine crew.
6 July 1943 Jasper Park(32) Park Steamship Company 7,129 Torpedoed by U-177. 32-52S 42-15E Indian Ocean Four of the crew were killed. HMS Quiberon and Quickmatch rescued 45 crew and 6 DEMS gunners.
22 Mar 1944 Watuka(33) Nova Scotia Steel & Coal 1,621 Torpedoed by U-802 from convoy SH 125. 44-30N 62-51W Off Halifax HMS Anticosti rescued 25 survivors of the 26 crew.
18 June 1944 Albert C. Field Upper Lakes 1,764 Torpedoed by German aircraft while in convoy EBC 14. 50-28N 01-46W English Channel There were 29 survivors of the 33 crew, most of them rescued by HMS Herschell.
3 Dec 1944 Cornwallis(34) Canadian National Steamships 5,458 Torpedoed by U-1230. 43-59N 68-20W Gulf of Maine Seven DEMS gunners and 36 crew were lost. Fishing vessel Notre Dame rescued 5 survivors.
23 Feb 1945 Point Pleasant Park Park Steamship Company 7,136 Torpedoed and shelled by U-510. 29-42S 09-58E South Atlantic Nine men were killed. HMSAS Africana and the fishing vessel Boy Russel rescued 49 survivors.
13 Mar 1945 Taber Park Park Steamship Company 2,878 Torpedoed by Seehund midget submarine while in convoy FS 1753. 52-22N 01-53E North Sea Four DEMS gunners and 24 crew were killed out of the 32 persons on board. The crew was British.
7 May 1945 Avondale Park Park Steamship Company 2,878 Torpedoed by U-2336 while in convoy EN 91. 56-05N 02-32W Firth of Forth Two men were killed and there were 39 survivors. The crew was British. Avondale Park was the last Allied ship lost during the war.

II. Newfoundland-Registry Ships Lost to Enemy Action

This list includes merchant ships registered in Newfoundland that were lost to enemy action during the war. These ships are not included in Canadian wartime records because Newfoundland did not join Confederation until 1949. In total, eight Newfoundland-registered merchant ships were lost to enemy action.
Date Ship Owner GRT Cause of Loss Position Area Casualties & Notes
8 July 1940 Humber Arm Bowater 5,758 Torpedoed by U-99 from convoy HX 53. 50-36N 09-24W South of Ireland There was no loss of life.
4 Aug 1940 Geraldine Mary Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Co. 7,244 Torpedoed by U-52 from convoy HX 60 56-46N 15-48W North Atlantic Two crew were lost and one passenger.
9 May 1941 Esmond Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Co. 4,976 Torpedoed by U-110 from convoy OB 318 60-45N 33-02W North Atlantic There was no loss of life.
20 May 1941 Rothermere Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Co. 5,356 Torpedoed by U-98 after dispersal of convoy HX 126. 57-48N 41-36W North Atlantic Twenty-two men were killed and one was wounded.
10 May 1942 Kitty's Brook (35) Bowater 4,031 Torpedoed by U-588. 42-56N 63-59W Off Cape Sable Nine of her crew were lost of 32 on board. The survivors rowed into Lockeport, Nova Scotia.
11 Oct 1942 Waterton(36) Bowater 2,140 Torpedoed by U-106 from convoy BS 31. 47-07N 59-54W Cabot Strait There was no loss of life. HMCS Vison rescued 27 survivors.
14 Oct 1942 Caribou Newfoundland Government 2,222 Torpedoed by U-69 while under escort between Sydney and Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland 47-19N 59-29W Cabot Strait HMCS Grandmere rescued 101 survivors of 238 persons on board the passenger ferry. In total, 137 persons (31 crew and 106 passengers) died.
3 Sep 1944 Livingston Bowater Paper 2,140 Torpedoed by U-541. 46-15N 58-05W Off Cape Breton One DEMS gunner and 13 crew were killed. There were 14 survivors.

III. Canadian Merchant Ships (British-Registry) Lost to Enemy Action

This list includes merchant ships owned by the Canadian Government but registered in Great Britain instead of Canada. These ships were owned by a crown corporation, Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd., which chartered them to the British Ministry of War Transport. Accordingly, there is no column for owner. Six of these ships were lost to enemy action.
Date Ship GRT Cause of Loss Position Area Casualties & Notes
2 Dec 1943 Fort Athabasca 7,132 Explosion of ammunition ship bombed by aircraft Not known Bari harbour, Italy Thirty-six crew and 3 DEMS gunners were killed.
26 Jan 1944 Fort Bellingham 7,153 Torpedoed by U-360 and U-957 while in convoy JW 56A. 73-25N 25-10E Barents Sea, Arctic Ocean Seven DEMS gunners, 21 crew, and two of the convoy commodore's staff were killed out of 75 persons on board.
15 Feb 1944 Fort St. Nicholas 7,154 Torpedoed by U-410. 40-34N 14-37E Mediterranean Sea There were no casualties among the 63 persons on board.
19 May 1944 Fort Missanabie 7,147 Torpedoed by U-453 while in convoy HA 43. 38-20N 16-28E Mediterranean Sea Forty-nine survived out of the 61 crew.
24 June 1944 Fort Norfolk 7,131 Struck mine off assault beaches, Normandy. Not known English Channel Eight crew were killed and 5 were wounded.
15 Dec 1944 Fort Maisonneuve 7,128 Struck mine in the Scheldt estuary. Not known Netherlands

IV. Canadian-Registry Merchant Ships Lost to Marine Causes

This is a partial list of merchant ships registered in Canada which were lost during the war to marine accident or other causes which were not the result of enemy action. It does not include ships lost in the Great Lakes, vessels of less than 500 gross tons, or ships registered in Newfoundland.
Date Ship Owner GRT Cause of Loss Position Area Casualties & Notes
30 Mar 1940 Thordoc Paterson Steamships 2,158 Stranded on Wingham Point, near Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; declared total loss. Not known Off Cape Breton Island
27 Nov 1940 Lisieux Canadian Government 2,594 Lost in gale. 48-08N 47-50W North Atlantic There were 17 survivors of the 29 crew.
6 Dec 1940 Watkins F. Nisbet
(37)
Upper Lakes 1,747 Ran ashore, wrecked. Stern section was salvaged. Not known Bristol Channel
5 Oct 1941 Mondoc(38) Paterson Steamships 1,926 Struck submerged object and sank. Not known Caribbean Sea Mondoc probably struck Darien rock off the east coast of Trinidad.
25 Nov 1941 Proteus(39) Saguenay Terminals 10,653 Foundered in heavy seas. Not known Caribbean Sea All 58 crew were lost.
12 Dec 1941 Nereus(40) Saguenay Terminals 10,647 Foundered in heavy seas. Not known Caribbean Sea All 61 persons on board were lost.
15 Jan 1942 R.J. Cullen Atlantic Transportation 6,993 Wrecked 2 miles off Barra Island, Outer Hebrides. Not known Sea of Hebrides There was no loss of life.
23 Oct 1942 Canatco(41) Canada Atlantic Transit 2,415 Ran aground on Gannet rock and sank while in convoy LN 11. 53-56N 56-25W Labrador coast SS Canatco sank on 25 October. HMCS Arrowhead recovered the entire crew.
12 Nov 1942 Lillian E. Kerr(42) James L. Publicover 521 Collision with SS Alcoa Pilot. 42-27N 68-35W Gulf of Maine
1 Jan 1943 Hamildoc(43) Paterson Steamships 1,926 Foundered in heavy seas; total loss. 09-10N 60-30W Off Trinidad There was no loss of life.

V. Canadian-Registry Merchant Ships Damaged in Action

This list includes merchant ships registered in Canada which were damaged by enemy action or other war-related causes but survived the incident. It is subjective in that it only includes ships that suffered substantial damage. Ships marked with an asterisk (*) were lost at a later date. This list includes thirteen ships.
Date Ship Owner GRT Cause of Damage Position Area Casualties & Notes
16 Nov 1940 Sherbrooke Canada Steamships 2,052 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known North Sea (off Orfordness)
16 Dec 1940 Bic Island* Canadian Government 4,000 Bombed by German aircraft. 54-12N 17-45W North Atlantic
21 Dec 1942 Europa* Canadian Government 10,224 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known Liverpool, UK
13 Feb 1941 Westcliffe Hall Hall Corporation 1,900 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known North Sea (off Whitby)
12 Aug 1941 Eaglescliffe Hall Hall Corporation 1,900 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known North Sea (off Sunderland)
17 Aug 1941 Kindersley Canada Steamships 1,999 Bombed by German aircraft. Not known North Sea (off Blyth)
11 Dec 1941 Colborne Canadian National Steamships 6,230 Bombed by Japanese aircraft. Not known Penang, Malaysia
7 Feb 1942 Maurienne Canadian Government 3,259 Caught fire and sank. Salvaged and repaired. Not known Halifax harbour (Pier 27/28) There was no loss of life. MV Maurienne re-entered service in 1943.
10 Mar 1942 Lady Nelson Canadian National Steamships 7,970 Torpedoed by U-161. Salvaged and repaired. Not known Port Castries, St. Lucia. Fourteen passengers and 3 crew were killed. Eleven others were hospitalized.
11 Sep 1942 Cornwallis* Canadian National Steamships 5,458 Torpedoed by U-514. 13-05N 59-36W Bridgetown,Barbados
4 Jan 1945 Nipiwan Park(44) Park Steamship Company 2,373 Torpedoed by U-1232 from convoy SH 194. 44-28N 62-59W Off Halifax Two members of the 31 crew were killed and 3 others injured. HMCS Kentville rescued the 29 survivors.
6 Mar 1945 Green Hill Park Park Steamship Company 7,168 Explosion and fire. Declared constructive total loss. Sold, repaired and renamed Phaeax II. Not known Vancouver harbour Two crew and 6 longshoremen were killed. The initial explosion occurred on 6 March but it burned for several days.
12 Apr 1945 Silver Star Park Park Steamship Company 7,243 Collision and fire. Hulk sold, repaired and renamed Santa Cecilia. Not known Off New York

VI. Canadian Merchant Ships (British-Registry) Damaged in Action

This list comprises Canadian Government owned merchant ships which were registered in Great Britain instead of Canada. These ships were owned by Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd., a crown corporation, and chartered to the British Ministry of War Transport. The list is subjective in that only ships that suffered substantial damage by enemy action or other war-related mishaps have been included. Ships suffering only minor or superficial damage have been left out. This list includes five ships.
Date Ship GRT Cause of Damage Position Area Casualty Data & Notes
14 Apr 1944 Fort Crevier 7,130 Severely damaged by explosion of Fort Stikine. Used as a hulk, scrapped in 1948. Not known Bombay, India
14 May 1944 Fort Fidler 7,127 Torpedoed by U-616 from convoy GUS 39. 36-45N 00-55E Mediterranean Sea
11 June 1944 Fort McPherson 7,132 Bombed by German aircraft. 50-02N 00-36W English Channel There was no loss of life.
26 July 1944 Fort McPherson 7,132 Struck by flying bomb while under repair from the previous bombing. Not known Victoria Dock, London, UK
18 Aug 1944 Fort Gloucester 7,127 Torpedoed by German E-boat while in convoy FTM 70. Not known English Channel There was no loss of life.

VII. Canadian Pacific Ships Lost or Damaged in Action

Two Canadian Pacific losses, Princess Marguerite and Empress of Asia, were Canadian-registry and are included in that list as well. The remaining vessels listed below were registered in Great Britain. Niagara was only part-owned by Canadian Pacific. Montrose was converted into an auxiliary cruiser by the Royal Navy and lost as the warship HMS Forfar, and is included here only for convenience. In total, Canadian Pacific lost eleven ships in action; twelve including Montrose.
Date Ship GRT Cause of Loss or Damage Position Area Casualties & Notes
5 Feb 1940 Beaverburn 9,874 Lost. Torpedoed by U-41 while in convoy OA 84. 49-20N 10-07W North Atlantic
18 June 1940 Niagara 13,415 Lost. Struck mine and sank. 35-53S 174-53E Off New Zealand
28 Oct 1940 Empress of Britain 42,348 Lost. Torpedoed by U-32 after being bombed by German aircraft. 55-16N 09-50W Off Ireland
5 Nov 1940 Beaverford 10,042 Lost. Sunk by German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer from convoy HX 84. 52-26N 32-34W North Atlantic
9 Nov 1940 Empress of Japan 26,032 Damaged. Bombed by German aircraft. 53-54N 14-28W North Atlantic
2 Dec 1940 Montrose 16,402 Lost. Torpedoed by U-99 after detaching from convoy HX 90 to go to convoy OB 251. 54-35N 18-18W North Atlantic Montrose had been converted into an Armed Merchant Cruiser and was serving in the Royal Navy as HMS Forfar when lost.
25 Mar 1941 Beaverbrae 9,956 Lost. Bombed by German aircraft. 60-12N 09-00W North Atlantic
1 April 1941 Beaverdale 9,957 Lost. Torpedoed and shelled by U-48. 60-50N 29-19W North Atlantic Twenty-one persons were killed.
5 Feb 1942 Empress of Asia 16,909 Lost. Bombed by Japanese aircraft. Not known Off Singapore Seven persons were killed and 153 taken prisoner of 2,200 on board.
17 Aug 1942 Princess Marguerite 5,875 Lost. Torpedoed by U-83. 32-03N 32-47E Mediterranean Sea Forty-nine persons were killed out of over 1,000 on board. HMS Hero rescued the survivors.
10 Oct 1942 Duchess of Atholl 20,119 Lost. Torpedoed by U-178. 07-03S 11-12W South Atlantic
13 Mar 1943 Empress of Canada 21,517 Lost. Torpedoed by Italian submarine Da Vinci. 01-13S 09-57W Central Atlantic US Navy records state that there were 1,477 survivors of 1,892 persons on board. British sources state that 392 persons died. HMS Corinthian rescued the survivors.
14 Mar 1943 Duchess of York 20,021 Damaged. Bombed by German aircraft. Not known Off Cape Finisterre
11 July 1943 Duchess of York 20,021 Lost. Bombed by German aircraft while in convoy OS 51. 41-18N 15-24W North Atlantic There were 819 survivors out of 908 persons on board. HMCS Iroquois picked up 628 of the survivors.

VIII. Former Canadian-Registry Merchant Ships Lost to Enemy Action

This is a partial list of former Canadian-registry merchant ships that were lost to enemy action during the Second World War while serving under another flag or in another capacity.
Date Ship Former Owner GRT Cause of Loss Position Area Casualties & Notes
15 July 1941 Lady Somers Canadian National Steamships 8,194 Torpedoed by the Italian submarine Morosini 36-00N 21-00W North Atlantic Lady Somers was requisitioned by the Admiralty and was serving in the Royal Navy as an Ocean Boarding Vessel when lost.
6 June 1942 C.O. Stillman Imperial Oil 13,006 Torpedoed by U-68. 17-33N 67-55W Caribbean Sea
28 Feb 1945 Soreldoc(45) Paterson Steamships 1,926 Torpedoed by U-775. 52-15N 05-35W Irish Sea Fifteen persons were killed and 21 survived.



Select Bibliography

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Canada, Department of Transport, Registry of Shipping. "Canadian Vessels Lost by Enemy Action", 16 October 1947.

Canada, Royal Canadian Navy, Office of the Naval Historian. "Canadian Merchant Ships Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action during Second World War, 1939-1945"

Robert Darlington and Fraser McKee. The Canadian Naval Chronicle, 1939-1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing, 1996.

Gary Gentile. Track of the Gray Wolf: U-boat Warfare on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, 1942-1945. New York: Avon, 1989.

Great Britain, Ministry of Defence. British Vessels Lost at Sea: 1914-18 and 1939-45. London: Patrick Stephens, 1988.

Great Britain, Admiralty, Naval Intelligence Division. "Weekly Intelligence Reports". 1940-1945.

Robert G. Halford. The Unknown Navy: Canada's World War II Merchant Navy. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing, 1995.

Felicity Hanington. The Lady Boats: The Life and Times of Canada's West Indies Merchant Fleet. Halifax: Canadian Marine Transportation Centre, 1980.

S.C. Heal. Conceived in War, Born in Peace: Canada's Deep Sea Merchant Marine. Vancouver: Cordillera Publishing, 1992.

S.C. Heal. A Great Fleet of Ships: The Canadian Forts and Parks. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing, 1999.

Charles Hocking. Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam, 1824-1962. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 1969.

Margaret Hogan. Esso Mariners: A History of Imperial Oil's Fleet Operations from 1899-1980. Toronto: Imperial Oil, 1980.

Gaylord T.M. Kelshall. The U-boat War in the Caribbean. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994.

W. Kaye Lamb. History of the Canadian Pacific Railway. New York: Macmillan, 1977.

Lloyd's of London. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 1940-1945.

W.H. Mitchell and L.A. Sawyer. The Oceans, The Forts, and the Parks. Liverpool: Sea Breezes, 1966.

Gene Onchulenko and Skip Gillam. The Ships of the Paterson Fleet. St. Catharines: Riverbank Traders, 1996.

Mike Parker. Running the Gauntlet: An Oral History of Canadian Merchant Seamen in World War II. Halifax: Nimbus, 1994.

Max Reid. DEMS At War! Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships and the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1945. Ottawa: Commoners' Publishing, 1990.

Jürgen Rohwer. Axis Submarine Successes, 1939-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1983.

Jürgen Rohwer. Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999.

Jürgen Rohwer and Gerhard Hümmelchen. Chronology of the War at Sea, 1939-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1992.

John Slader. The Red Duster at War: A History of the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. London: William Kimber, 1988.

John Stanton. "The Green Hill Park Disaster", The Northern Mariner (January 1991), pp.23-38.

E.C. Talbot-Booth. Merchant Ships, 1949-1950. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1950.

David Trembley. How Great the Harvest Is. Thunder Bay: Paterson Steamships, 1984.

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Additional Notes

1. SS Erik Boye (ex-Danish) had been taken in prize by the RCN.

2. SS Saint Malo was a French vessel requisitioned by the Canadian Government. Sixteen survivors (13 Canadians and 3 Free French) escaped in one lifeboat. Two days later they were taken in tow by a lifeboat from MV Port Gisborne. The survivors of Saint Malo boarded the other lifeboat on 21 October. They were rescued by HM Tug Salvonia on the following day, after being adrift for ten days.

3. Some sources state that Keystone Transports Ltd. owned SS Trevisa. The survivors were rescued by HMCS Ottawa, HMS Bluebell, and Keppel.

4. Some sources state that Montreal Australia New Zealand Line Ltd. owned Canadian Cruiser.

5. The Germans renamed Canadolite the Sudetenland. The RAF bombed and sank it at Brest, France on 14 August 1944.

6. The Germans gave the crew provisions. After six days adrift on the water, the survivors landed at French Guinea where they were held prisoner for six months until exchanged for enemy prisoners. One man died while incarcerated and another died after being released while walking to Freetown. The ship was en route from Saint John, New Brunswick to Freetown, Sierra Leone carrying coal and miscellaneous cargo.

7. MV Europa (ex-Danish) had been taken in prize by the RCN.

8. MV Vancouver Island (ex-German Weser) had been captured by HMCS Prince Robert on 25 September 1940.

9. SS Shinai was renamed Shinai Maru by the Japanese. It was bombed or mined and sunk by American aircraft on 17 September 1944.

10. SS Lady Hawkins carried 212 passengers and 109 crew en route to the West Indies. The survivors escaped in three lifeboats. Two were never found. The third lifeboat had 76 persons in it but five of these died. SS Coamo rescued the seventy-one survivors on 24 January and landed them at San Juan, Puerto Rico. In total, 250 of the 321 persons on board were lost

11. A freighter rescued twenty survivors from the Montrolite and landed them at Halifax on 10 February.

12. The German U-boat had interrogated the survivors after the sinking and offered them directions, food and water.

13. SS Athelrill rescued the eighteen survivors. SS Lennox was en route from Paramaribo, Surinam to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

14. Sarniadoc had sailed from Trinidad on 11 March for St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands with a cargo of bauxite.

15. Some sources state that Robert W. Pomeroy broke its back in heavy seas and then was intentionally sunk by Allied forces. This version is not confirmed by the official report of the interview with the Master.

16. SS Vineland was on provisional registry when sunk. The thirty-six survivors landed at Turks Island.

17. SS Lady Drake was en route from Bermuda to Saint John. USS Owl rescued the survivors and landed them at Bermuda.

18. The crew of MV Calgarolite escaped in two lifeboats. Twenty-three survivors landed at Isla Mujeres, Mexico, on 12 May. Twenty-two survivors in the other lifeboat reached Isla Pines, Cuba, on 13 May.

19. Torondoc was en route from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to Trinidad when sunk.

20. Troisdoc was en route from Mobile, Alabama to Georgetown, Guyana when sunk. The survivors were landed at Mobile on 29 May by SS Lady Nelson, after being transferred from HMS Clarkia.

21. Frank B. Baird was en route from St. Lucia to Sydney, Nova Scotia when lost.

22. The nineteen survivors took to the boats and rowed to Seal Island, Nova Scotia. SS Liverpool Packet (ex Sonia) had sailed from New York bound for St. John's, Newfoundland via Halifax.

23. SS Predsednik Kopajtic rescued five survivors out of the twenty persons on board. Prescodoc was en route from Georgetown, Guyana to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad carrying a cargo of bauxite.

24. SS Lord Strathcona was lying at anchor off Bell Island after loading a cargo of iron ore at Wabana, Newfoundland. The crew abandoned ship before the torpedoes struck after witnessing the sinking of another ship at anchor.

25. SS Oakton had sailed from Montreal for Corner Brook, Newfoundland with a cargo of coal.

26. US Navy records state that 13 of 19 crew survived; British sources claim that 14 of 20 crew survived. The survivors were picked up by SS Indauchu. SS Norfolk had sailed from Surinam for Trinidad with a cargo of bauxite.

27. SS Carolus (ex-Finnish) had been taken in prize. It had thirty crew on board, including six Canadians. HMCS Arrowhead and Hepatica rescued the nineteen survivors.

28. SS Bic Island (ex-Italian Capo Noli) had been taken in prize.

29. SS Rose Castle was lying at anchor off Bell Island after loading iron ore at Wabana, waiting to sail with convoy WB 12 for Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sources vary as to the size of the crew and number of survivors. Three DEMS gunners and either forty or forty-three crew were on board. Most of the survivors were rescued by RCN Fairmile Motor Launches. Canadian records state that twenty-seven crew and one gunner were lost. British sources state that twenty-three crew and one gunner went down with the ship. American records maintain that sixteen crew and two gunners survived. The Canadian Book of Remembrance lists 28 crew deaths and two DEMS gunners.

30. SS Chr. J. Kampmann (ex-Danish) had been taken in prize by the RCN.

31. The survivors were landed at Portland, Maine on 27 May 1943. HMCS Prescott seized the French barquentine Angelus as a prize on the Grand Banks and sent her to Sydney, Nova Scotia, 11 May 1942, where she was turned over to the Canadian Government Merchant Marine. She was carrying molasses from Barbados to Halifax when sunk.

32. Jasper Park had sailed from Cochin, India bound for Durban, South Africa. The German U-boat interrogated the survivors in the lifeboats after the attack.

33. SS Watuka was carrying coal from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia to Halifax.

34. SS Cornwallis was carrying a cargo of molasses and sugar from Barbados to Saint John, New Brunswick.

35. SS Kitty's Brook was en route from New York to Argentia, Newfoundland.

36. SS Waterton was en route from Corner Brook, Newfoundland to Sydney, Nova Scotia.

37. The engines were removed from Watkins F. Nisbet and used in a new construction ship.

38. Mondoc was en route from Guyana to the British Virgin Islands when lost.

39. SS Proteus sailed from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on 23 November with a cargo of bauxite. It was lost without a trace. The Admiralty originally suspected sabotage because of the similar circumstances of the loss of SS Nereus (below) but never confirmed it in either case. Research by Rear Admiral George van Deurs, USN suggests that more probably these aging and poorly-constructed colliers broke up in heavy seas following a storm. He was familiar with this type of ship from their service in the USN; in other colliers of this type the acidic coal had seriously eroded the longitudinal support beams making them extremely vulnerable.

40. SS Nereus sailed from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on 10 December with a cargo of bauxite. It was lost without a trace. See SS Proteus above.

41. The crew of SS Canatco stated that an explosion had caused the accident.

42. SS Cyrus Field recovered one member of the crew who died without recovering consciousness. No others were found.

43. SS Hamildoc was en route from Georgetown, Guyana to Trinidad with a cargo of bauxite when lost.

44. The fore-part of MV Nipiwan Park sank, but the after-part was salvaged by the tug Security and towed into Halifax on 5 January. As a result, the ship was not considered "lost" for official purposes. It was repaired with a new bow and renamed Irvinglake. The name of the actual park is "Nipawin" but it was mis-spelled for the ship.

45. Soreldoc was en route from Liverpool, UK to Swansea when hit. The fishing boat Loyal Star rescued the survivors and landed them at Milford Haven, Wales. The US War Shipping Administration had acquired Soreldoc in 1943. It had an American crew and was registered in Panama when it was lost in 1945.



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