For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


HMCS Clayoquot J174

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.


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     


- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

BATE, John Redvers

OS, V75753, RCNVR

MPK - 24 Dec 1944 


OS, V70636, RCNVR

MPK - 24 Dec 1944 

COLBECK, Arthur Wayne


MPK - 24 Dec 1944 

FINLAY, Paul William


MPK - 24 Dec 1944 


AB, 4229, RCN

MPK - 24 Dec 1944 

MUNRO, William James


MPK - 24 Dec 1944 

Drafted to Clayoquot on 07 Jul 1944 as Slt, RCNVR

NEIL, John David


MPK - 24 Dec 1944 

SMITH, Lloyd Welsey

AB, V1796, RCNVR

MPK - 24 Dec 1944 




     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Benson, William Lloyd


Bridgman, Arthur Graham






Ewart, John Hamilton


Drafted to Clayoquot 20 Jun 1941 at Lt, RCNVR - appointed as XO 03 Jul 1941

Furlott, P. Douglas






Husoy, Peder







Mountain, Arthur


Nordlund, Robert Nelson






Pridham, Ernest Robert







Smith, Murdo


7th Commanding Officer

See HMCS West York

Thomson, George Alexander Victor


1st Commanding Officer





Wright, Thomas Alfred







Former Crew Members

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


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


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

MacKenzie, Laurrie (Survived the sinking of HMCS Clayoquot)


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


McDonald, Bob 


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

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


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


Power, Lorne 


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


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



Photos and Documents





Lieutenant Bill Benson - Greatest Hockey Legends website

The Loss of HMCS Clayoquot - Canadian Military History

The Memory Project - Lorne Power

Nova Scotia Shipwrecks - In Memory of HMCS Clayoquot

WWII Veteran Bob McDonald: A Life of Service