Bangor Class Minesweeper




Source: Canadian War Museum

George Metcalf Archival Collection CWM 19990081-016_2

Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum


Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1942-44,   Gulf of St. Lawrence  1942



Laid down: 20 Jun 1940

Launched: 03 Oct 1940

Commissioned: 22 Aug 1941

Fate: Sunk on 24 Dec 1944


Laid down as HMS Esperanza, she was renamed CLAYOQUOT J174 in 1940. Named after Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, she was commissioned at Prince Rupert on 02 Aug 1941. After working up, she left Esquimalt on 10 Oct 1941 for Halifax, arriving 14 Nov 1941. Initially assigned to Halifax Local Defence Force, she was transferred in Mar 1942, to WLEF and in May 1942 to Gulf Escort Force. While serving with Gulf Escort Force she rescued 55 survivors of HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN, torpedoed and sunk near Cap Chat on 11 Sep 1942. In Oct 1942 CLAYOQUOT joined Sydney Force. She arrived at Halifax on 29 Dec 1942 for a major refit, which was progressively carried out there and at Liverpool and Pictou, N.S. Completing her refit in May 1943, she re-joined Sydney Force in Jul 1943 after working up. In Jan 1944, she was transferred to HMCS CORNWALLIS for officers' training in A/S warfare, and in Oct 1944 was re-assigned to Halifax Force. On 24 Dec 1944, while taking station on convoy XB.139, she was torpedoed and sunk three miles from Sambro Light Vessel by U- 806, losing eight of her crew.


The following is from McLean, Douglas M. (1994) "A Loss of the HMCS CLAYOQUOT," Canadian Military History: Vol. 3: Iss. 2, Article 4 - The torpedo struck without warning. HMCS CLAYOQUOT was returning from an anti-submarine sweep in the approaches to Halifax harbour when its stern rose into the air, mangled by the detonation of a German T-5 acoustic homing torpedo. The men aboard felt two concussions, the second likely being depth charges stored on CLAYOQUOT'S stern set off by the torpedo. Whatever the details, the explosions were devastating for the small Bangor class minesweeper. A grainy photograph of the doomed ship shows the stern blasted vertical, the ship listing to starboard. CLAYOQUOT lasted barely ten minutes after being hit, just long enough for all but eight of her crew to escape. The worst fate befell two young officers trapped in the port forward-cabin. These men called out through a port hole for axes to chop their way to freedom, but all the axes were underwater. The merciless sea closed around them as the ship vanished.



Photos and Documents



Commanding Officers


A/LCdr George Alexander Victor Thomson, RCNR - 28 Aug 1941 - 18 Nov 1941

A/LCdr R.B. Campbell, RCNR - 19 Nov 1941 - 13 Apr 1942

Lt Henry Ernest Lade, RCNR - 14 Apr 1942 - 07 Apr 1943

Lt Claude Lane Campbell, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1943 - 05 Mar 1944

Lt Donald Richard Baker, RCNVR - 06 Mar 1944 - 11 Apr 1944

Lt Claude Lane Campbell, RCNVR - 12 Apr 1944 - 15 Jun 1944

Lt Murdo (Red) Smith, RCNR - 16 Jun 1944 - 28 Jul 1944

A/LCdr Alexander Craig Campbell, RCNVR - 29 Jul 1944 - 24 Dec 1944



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     


BATE, John R.


MPK - 24 Dec 1944



MPK - 24 Dec 1944

COLBECK, Arthur W.


MPK - 24 Dec 1944



MPK - 24 Dec 1944



MPK - 24 Dec 1944


MUNRO, William J.


MPK - 24 Dec 1944

NEIL, John D.


MPK - 24 Dec 1944

SMITH, Lloyd W.


MPK - 24 Dec 1944




     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


(s) - Survived the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT




Former Crew Members


(s) - Survived the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT


Batt, Alex, Coder (of Islington, ON) (s)

Beaulieu, Joseph D.M.G. Sto PO, RCNVR (s)


Cameron, Alan Malcolm, SLt (E), RCNVR - 15 Apr 1944


Cameron, Milton Leslie Alexander, Lt, RCNVR (of Halifax) (s)


Campbell, Claude Lane, Lt, RCNVR - 06 Mar 1944


Carnine, Grant Leroy, SLt, RCNVR - 28 Jul 1943


Colbeck, Arthur Wayne, SLt, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1944


Carlstrom, Edward Bjorn, SLt (E), RCNVR - 20 Apr 1944


Dorion, Phil, Cook (of Canora, ON) (s)


Fitzpatrick, James William, SLt, RCNVR - 19 Apr 1943 

Georges, Joseph Bertrand, Stoker (s)


Huck, George D., Tel (of Guelph, ON) (s)

Jones, Austin Henry, LS, RCNVR (of St. Lambert) (s)


Kenny, Ronald William, Sig (of Fredercton, NB) (s)


Luty, August, SA (of Winnipeg, MB) (s)


MacKenzie, Laurrie (s)


Mancini, Harry, Stoker, RCN (s)


McCaffrey, George Frederick William, SLt, RCNVR - 24 May 1943


McDonald, Bob 


McLeese, William Stewart, Lt (E), RCNVR - 17 Feb 1944


Mitchell, G. (s)


Morrison, Alan Robert, Stewart, RCNVR (s)

Murray, Allan, Sto (of Souris, MB) (s)


Nelles, Malcolm Kenyon, Lt, RCNVR - 15 Feb 1944


Ohlson, Albert, Sto PO (of Stettler, AB) 


Page, Marcel Raymond, Mate, RCNR - 19 Mar 1943


Petrie, Willy, L/Coder, RCN (of Ottawa) (s)


Power, Lorne 


Priest, Gordon, OS (s)


Smith, Malcolm Edward, SLt, RCNVR - 22 Mar 1943


Thomson, George Alston, A/LCdr, RCNR - 20 Jun 1941


Tindall, E.A., AB (of Timmins, ON) (s)


Williams, R.  (s) 



Photos and Documents


HMCS CLAYOQUOT J174 circa 1941-42


Photo taken from HMCS QUINTE J166


From the collection of George Crewe

Courtesy of Catherine Crewe


   HMCS CLAYOQUOT J174 in the Halifax approaches - 09 Jul 1941


Christmas Card


The Last Patrol of CLAYOQUOT, Christmas Eve 1944


Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan

Christmas Card




Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan



From the collection of François Messier, AB, RCNVR


Courtesy of Denis Messier





(WM25-WM27) HMCS CLAYOQUOT - Immediately after being hit by acoustics torpedo at No. 1 Buoy, Halifax Approaches, 24 Dec 1944, 1042 P.  Ships in Company - HMCS KIRLAND LAKE, HMCS TRANSCONA


From the collection of Lt William J. Miller, RCNVR 


Courtesy of Heather Edwards



Survivors from HMCS CLAYOQUOT being brought aboard HMCS Fennel

Source: Canada at War

Newspaper clipping Lt Finlay, Lost at Sea

Source: Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Newspaper clipping on the death of Slt Munro

Source: Canadian Virtual War Memorial


Newspaper article on the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT

Montreal Daily Star 31 Jan 1945

Courtesy of Peggy Higginson

Jack Maloney on HMCS CLAYOQUOT J174 - starboard side, forward by the bridge.

Courtesy of David Hamilton


Courtesy of David Hamilton

Newspaper article on Jack Maloney home on survivors leave after the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT J174

The Harrow Sentinel, Amherstburg, ON, 01 Feb 1945

Newspaper article on survivors of HMCS CLAYOQUOT J174 being landed from HMCS FENNEL


The Harrow Sentinel, Amherstburg, ON, 01 Feb 1945


Article on Casualties and Ottawa district survivors of the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT


The Ottawa Evening Citizen 31 Jan 1945


Courtesy of "Operation Picture Me"

Survivors of the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT from the province of Quebec

Survivors of the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT from the province of Ontario


From the collection of J. Vincent Wesley, CPO, RCNVR


Courtesy of Marilynn Taylor