HMCS Border Cities

A naval ship travels on the water.

HMCS Border Cities J344.

There has been only one vessel named Border Cities in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Border Cities (J344)

The Border Cities was an Algerine class minesweeper. The Algerine class ships were designed as small vessels that could serve in several roles and not just as minesweepers. Their predecessors, the Bangor class minesweepers, were bluff-bowed ships, very wet in a head sea, and arguably less comfortable even than corvettes in rough weather. These faults were eliminated in the Algerine class, all twelve of which were built at Port Arthur, Ontario. Intended as convoy escorts, they were not fitted with minesweeping gear. Although larger than corvettes, the latter outperformed them as ocean escorts. The Algerines found particular favour as Senior Officers’ ships in Western Local groups. 

Alternatively named for Windsor, Ontario, which name was already being worn by another Allied ship, Border Cities was commissioned at Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay, Ontario, on 18 May 1944. She arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia in mid-June, and on 8 July proceeded to Bermuda for work-ups. Returning to Halifax on 3 August, she was assigned as Senior Officer’s ship to Escort Group W-2 of Western Local Escort Force. In June 1945, she was assigned to Atlantic Coast Command and, in August, placed temporarily in maintenance reserve at Sydney, Nova Scotia.

With four sister ships, she departed for the west coast on 10 November 1945, and was paid off into reserve at Esquimalt, British Columbia on 15 January 1946. She was sold for scrap in 1948 and broken up at Victoria, British Columbia, soon afterward.

  • Builder: Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Port Arthur, Ontario
  • Date commissioned: 18 May 1944
  • Date paid off: 15 January 1946
  • Displacement: 990 tons
  • Dimensions: 68.6 m x 10.8 m x 2.6 m
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Crew: 107
  • Armament: one 4-inch (102-mm) gun, eight 20-mm guns (4 x II), one Hedgehog and depth charges.

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1944-1945
  • English Channel 1944-1945
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