The Fishermen's Reserve


"The Gumboot Navy"



The Fishermen's Reserve - At the outbreak of World War II, Canada's fledgling navy was not up to the task to patrol the vast area of coastline.  The Fishermen's Reserve, authorized by the Canadian government in 1938, was mobilized and these fishing vessels, converted for use by the RCN, were called into service to patrol the Pacific coast.  These vessels, manned by fishermen who had received 30 days of training, were the first line of defence in the event of an invasion. While they flew the White Ensign, the vessels of the Fishermen's Reserve were commissioned as tenders and therefore did not have HMCS in front of their name. As the war progressed the the threat of an invasion grew less and less likely, the vessels of the Fishermen's Reserve to returned to their owners, sold or converted to for other duties. Steps were taken to disband the Fishermen's Reserve. Personnel were given the choice of transferring to the RCNVR or returning to essential industry. By the early part of 1944 the majority of the men had been transferred to the RCNVR or were discharged, and in Jan 1945, the last Fishermen's Reserve rating was demobilized.  


* The Gumboot Navy : Securing or Sundering British Columbia by Gregory David Kier


* RCNR (Special Service) - Fishermen's Reserve Researched by Bryon Taylor


* Statement of Vessels in the Fishermen's Reserve in Commission - Researched by Bryon Taylor


* Vessels of the Fishermen's Reserve - Index