HMCS Cape Breton

A ship travels on the water on a cloudy day

HMCS Cape Breton K350

There have been two vessels named Cape Breton in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Cape Breton (1st of the name) (K350)

Alternatively named for the Town of Sydney, Nova Scotia because that name was reserved for another Commonwealth ship and commissioned at Quebec City, Quebec on 25 October 1943, the River class frigate Cape Breton arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 28 November, and worked up in St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia in January 1944. Assigned to Escort Group 6, a support group based at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, she left Halifax for the United Kingdom on 24 February. Cape Breton operated at various times from Londonderry, Portsmouth and Plymouth, and in April 1944 sailed to North Russia, returning with convoy RA.59. She was also on hand at D-Day.

She returned to Canada for a refit in late 1944, arriving on 6 November at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. With work completed in April, she was then sent to Bermuda for work-ups. Assigned to Escort Group 9, she left St. John’s, Newfoundland on 9 May with convoy HX.354, and later that month sailed from Londonderry direct to Vancouver, British Columbia. A refit begun on 26 June was cancelled before completion, and the ship was paid off 26 January 1946. After several months in reserve at Esquimalt, British Columbia, she was sold and expended as a breakwater in 1948, reportedly at Kelsey Bay, British Columbia.

A ship travels on the water on a foggy day

HMCS Cape Breton 100

HMCS Cape Breton (2nd of the name) (100)

The Cape Breton was an escort maintenance ship. This modified Fort-type cargo ship was launched at Vancouver in 1944 as HMS Flamborough Head. She continued in service with the Royal Navy, but was acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952 and renamed Cape Breton upon commissioning on 31 January 1953.

She served at Halifax until 25 August 1958 as a repair ship and training establishment for technical apprentices. Converted to an escort maintenance ship at Esquimalt, Cape Breton was commissioned there on 16 November 1959 for service on the West coast. On 10 February 1964, Cape Breton was paid off into reserve and subsequently functioned as a towed mobile support facility and accommodation vessel at Esquimalt, until replaced by a shore building in 1993. Sold to the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, she was sunk as a sport-divers’ wreck on 20 October 2001 off Snake Island, near Nanaimo.

Badge of HMCS Cape Breton

Motto: “La chance ne change pas la course” (Chance changes not our race)

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1945
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