For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


Prince Rupert, BC

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HMCS Chatham, a naval reserve division, was established at 51 McBride St. in Prince Rupert. This unit housed the jetties and buildings which housed the command post and offices of the NOIC Prince Rupert (Commander A.H. Reid), the Naval Officer in Chief. In September 1939 all Canadian seaports came under the authority of the RCN and Public Traffic Regulations came into effect. Accordingly, the NOIC of each port controlled all shipping and all ship movement within the harbour had to have his OK. The port war signal station (PWSS) was on East Kinahan Island on the Southern approaches to Prince Rupert. According to the Prince Rupert newspaper, at its peak, 1,500 sailors called HMCS Chatham home or sailed from its jetties. During WW II, HMCS Chatham was a full time naval division operating 24x7, even though it may have been commanded by a Cdr. RCNR (or RCNVR) at least at the start. (Source: Jerry Proc's RCN Radio Communications Website)