For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


HMCS Arvida K113

From the collection of William (Bill) Johns, Signalman

Courtesy of Tim Johns

Click on the above photo to view a larger image


Laid down: 28 Feb 1940

Launched: 21 Sep 1940

Commissioned: 22 May 1941

Paid off: 14 Jun 1945

Sold: 1946. Renamed SS La Ceiba in 1950

Fate: Final disposition unknown.


Built at Quebec City, she was commissioned there on 22 May 1941 and arrived at Halifax on 06 Jun 1941. She joined Sydney Force in Jul 1941 acting as escort to local sections of transatlantic convoys until Sep 1941, when she joined Newfoundland Command. She left Sydney on 05 Sep 1941 to join her maiden ocean convoy, SC.43, and was thereafter in almost continuous service as an ocean escort until the end of 1943. In Jun 1942, she became a member of EG C-4 and, in May 1943, of C-5. While escorting convoy ON.188 in mid-Jun, 1943, she was damaged by her own depth charges and arrived at Iceland on 16 Jun 1943 for repairs that took a week to complete. Three of Arvida's convoys received particularly rough handling by U-boats: ONS.92 (May 1942), ON.127 (Sep 1942), and SC.107 (Nov 1942). While with ON.127 she rescued survivors of the torpedoed HMCS Ottawa on 13 Sep 1942. She had major refits at Saint John (Jan - Apr 1942); Lunenburg/Saint John (Dec 1942 - Mar 1943); and Baltimore, Md. (Jan - Apr 1944). While at Baltimore she was given her extended fo'c's'le, afterward joining EG W-7 of WLEF. In mid-May, 1944, she was sent to Bermuda to work up, returned to Halifax on 09 Jun 1944, and in Aug 1944 joined EG W-2. In Dec 1944 she transferred to W-8, remaining with that group until the end of the war. Arvida was paid off on 14 Jun 1945, at Sorel and later sold for commercial use, entering service in 1950 as the Spanish-flag La Ceiba.


Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          


Excerpts from the wartime diary of Joe Lees while serving in HMCS Arvida


Commanding Officers

Lt Alastair Ian MacKay, RCNR - 22 May 1941 - 20 Sep 1942

A/LCdr Dudley Gawen King, RCNVR - 21 Sep 1942 - 15 Mar 1944

Lt Donald William Green Storey, RCNVR - 16 Mar 1944 - 19 Nov 1944

Skpr/Lt E.S.N. Pleasance, RCNR - 20 Nov 1944 - 04 Dec 1944

Lt Donald William Green Storey, RCNVR - 05 Dec 1944 - 30 Dec 1944

Lt J.C.P. Desrochers, RCNVR - 31 Dec 1944 - 17 Jan 1945

Lt Donald William Green Storey, RCNVR - 18 Jan 1945 - 14 Jun 1945


     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Bessey, James William


Briggs, Mervin Joel


Served in Arvida as a SD






Campbell, Emile


Christopher, Joseph


Clauson, Robert George





Fisher, Douglas Carl







Johns, William Francis


Served in Arvida as a Signalman






Kersey, Patrick J.


Kreason, Robert A.


Krealing, Keith Mills



Lees, Joseph Ambrose Walter


Served in Arvida 18 April 1941 - 21 May 1943



MacKay, George Byron


Served in Arvida as a Telegraphist

Morrison ,Cecile


Served in Arvida 1941-1945





Reid, Donald Woodward



Scalzo, Raymond


Towle, John W.


Trenholm, Douglas Stuart


Drafted to Arvida 26 May 1942 as Slt, RCNVR



Ship's Mascot







 Former Crew Members

Belyea, Peter Macmillan, Lt, RCNVR - 16 Feb 1944


Burnell-Jones, Eric Crathern Brind, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944


Clarke, John Alfred, Slt, RCNVR - 19 Jul 1941


Frayne, Ralph - 1943


Funk, John, AB, RCNVR

Jackson, Robert Paul, Slt, RCNVR - 22 May 1941


Johnston, Derek Robert Lukin, RCNVR - Jan 1945


King, Dudley Gawen, Lt, RCNVR - 22 May 1941


Mann, Roger James, Slt, RCNR - Jan 1943

MacDonald, Maurice John Lothian, Mate, RCNR - 22 May 1941


Pearce, Richard Calley, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1942


Stinson, Clarence Ralph, Slt, RCNVR - 21 Apr 1945


Wyatt, John Angus, Lt, RCNVR


Photos and Documents


Splice the Mainbrace


HMCS Arvida celebrating the surrender of Italy.  Photo taken 08 Sep 1943 in St. John's


Lt John Wyatt on right side with note pad keeping track of tots issued.


Behind the chief measuring the rum - with no shirt and holding a white mug - is Patrick J. Kersey


Source: Lt. John D. Mahoney / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-142439

Survivors from torpedoed merchant ship aboard HMCS Arvida 14 Sep 1942, St. John's Harbour

Source: Lt Gerald M. Moses / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-136285

HMCS Arvida K113, Halifax, summer 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

HMCS Arvida K113

Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

HMCS Arvida K113

Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

Newspaper article on Douglas Fisher performing duties of the ship's doctor on HMCS Arvida when she picked up survivors at sea.

Courtesy of Ian Chaykowski

McCokney (left) and Doug Fisher (right) of HMCS Arvida, on HMS Seawolf, Halifax, NS, just prior to her being sold for scrap. Seawolf was transferred on the RCN on 29 Jan 1943 to assist in anti-submarine training. She was paid off on 23 Jun 1945 and sold for scrap in Nov 1945.

From the collection of Doug Fisher

Courtesy of Ian Chaykowski

Mervin Briggs, SD, on the fo'c's'le of HMCS Arvida K113

From the collection of Mervin Briggs

Courtesy of Robert Briggs

Mervin Briggs, SD, on the quarterdeck by the depth charge racks of HMCS Arvida K113

From the collection of Mervin Briggs

Courtesy of Robert Briggs

Mervin Briggs, SD, by the carley floats on HMCS Arvida K113 - 18 Sep 1943

From the collection of Mervin Briggs

Courtesy of Robert Briggs


Photos on and from HMCS Arvida K113


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6


(1) Sailors on HMCS Arvida K113 with mascot.  Joseph Lees 2nd from left  (2) Joseph Lees on HMCS Arvida K113  (3) Joseph Lees on HMCS Arvida K113  (4) HMCS Arvida K113 in rough seas.  (5) Survivors on the upper deck of HMCS Arvida K113  (6) Survivors from sunken ship rescued by HMCS Arvida's work boat crew.

From the collection of Jospeh Ambrose Lees

Courtesy of Richard Lees