HMCS Kalamalka

A ship on the water.

HMCS Cranbrook J372, sister ship to HMCS Kalamalka J395.

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

HMCS Kalamalka (J395)

With the entry of Japan and the United States into the Second World War in 1941, Naval authorities on the west coast were faced with the likelihood of Japanese submarine and mining activities for the first time. It was recognized by the naval service that the existing steel-hulled Bangor, Suderoy and Fundy Class minesweepers were only partially adequate against magnetic mines, degaussing being difficult and not completely effective. Smaller wooden minesweepers, which could be more easily degaussed, were ordered instead – eight for the west coast and two for the east coast.  

Kalamalka, one of ten wooden-hulled Llewellyn Class minesweepers, was built at the A.C. Benson Shipyard Ltd., in Vancouver, British Columbia and was commissioned in that city on 2 October 1944. She was alternatively named for the lake near Vernon, British Columbia, because there already was a ship named Vernon in another Commonwealth navy. She was equipped with “double-L” magnetic minesweeping gear.

She was employed on the west coast mainly as a patrol vessel, operating out of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Most patrols were carried out without incident. In January 1945, Kalamalka was ordered to investigate a possible mine sighting after a report of a suspicious object was filed by the Superintendent of the Wireless Telegraph Station located at Dead Tree Point, south of Graham Island (Queen Charlotte Islands). The object was positively identified as a mine and a mine disposal officer was brought in. For the rest of the war, she continued to patrol coastal waters.    

Kalamalka was paid off 16 November 1945, handed over to the War Assets Corporation three days later and sold in 1947.

There is no known photo of Kalamalka during her naval service; a photo of her sister-ship Cranbrook has been used.

  • Commissioned: 2 October 1944
  • Paid off: 16 November 1945
  • Displacement: 228 tons
  • Dimensions: 36.4 m x 6.7 m x 2.7 m
  • Speed: 12 knots
  • Crew: 23
  • Armament: four 12.7-mm machine guns (2 x II).
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