During World War II, Canadian shipyards produced a number of Corvette Class warships to help the Allied cause in the Battle of the Atlantic. They were named after smaller Canadian cities and towns.
The HMCS Oshawa was laid down on October 6, 1942 by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd at Port Arthur, Ontario. Named for the City of Oshawa, the ship was launched on June 10, 1943 and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on July 6, 1944 at Port Arthur.
HMCS Oshawa (J330/174) was an Algerine minesweeper of the Royal Canadian Navy. She arrived in Halifax on August 18. She worked down in Bermuda in September and on her return was allocated to Western Escort Force W-6 as a Senior Officer’s Ship. The group was disbanded in June 1945, and HMCS Oshawa was paid off into maintenance reserve at Sydney on July 28. She was recommissioned on October 24 and in November sailed for Esquimalt, British Columbia.
She arrived there December 21 and on February 26, 1946 was paid off into reserve. During one more commission from April 11, 1956 to November 7, 1958, she was extensively converted for oceanographic research, a role she continued, civilian-manned, until sold and broken up at Victoria, British Columbia in 1966.
The HMCS Oshawa‘s nameplate was lost when the ship was broken up for scrap. It was returned to Oshawa’s Naval Veteran’s Club after a scuba diver found the old plate at the bottom of the harbour in Victoria.
The nameplate was restored to its Second World War gloss and was mounted on the upper deck of the Oshawa Naval Veterans Club which also has the official crest and the bell that tolled the watches on His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Oshawa. City of Oshawa native, Harold Harmer in 1991, recalls his memories as a torpedoman on Oshawa in 1944.
My memories go back to the day I joined her in 1944 for her cruise to Bermuda. Then we joined the Sixth Escort Group and sailed on the Triangle Run (St. John’s to New York to St. John’s) escorting convoys to the mid-point in the Atlantic.
-Harold Harmer, 1991