For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS MINAS J165 / 189

Gunshield art

HMCS Minas J165

Post wartime badge


Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1941-44,   Normandy  1944



Laid down: 18 Oct 1940

Launched: 22 Jan 1941

Commissioned: 02 Aug 1941

Paid off: 06 Oct 1945

Re-acquired by RCN: 1952

Re-Commissioned: 15 Mar 1955

Paid off: 07 Nov 1955

Fate: Sold for scrap in 1958. Broken up in 1959


Named for Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy, she was built at Vancouver and commissioned there 02 Aug 1941. She sailed for Halifax on 13 Sep 1941, arriving on 19 Oct 1941. After brief service with Sydney Force, she was assigned in Jan 1942, to Newfoundland Force. In Nov 1942 she transferred to WLEF, and when WLEF was divided into escort groups in Jun 1943, she became a member of EG W-7. That December she was re-assigned to W-4. On 01 Feb 1943, she collided with HMS Liscomb outside Halifax, necessitating a month's repairs. Minas left Halifax for the U.K. on 20 Feb 1944, with Blairmore, Fort William and Milltown, via the Azores. on arrival in the U.K. on 08 Mar 1944, she was assigned to the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla for invasion duties, and was on hand on D-Day. In Sep 1944 she proceeded to Canada to refit at Dartmouth, N.S., returning to Plymouth in Jan 1945. There she rejoined the 31st Flotilla until she sailed again for Canada on 04 Sep 1945. She was paid off into reserve at Shelburne on 06 Oct 1945, and later moved to Sorel, but was re-acquired by the RCN in 1952 and re-commissioned on 15 Mar 1955 for training on the west coast.  Paid off on 07 Nov 1955, she was sold in Aug 1958, and broken up at Seattle in 1959.


Minas' return to Canada:  After the invasion of Normandy and after we had completed most of the work that we needed to do there, we got sent back to Canada for a refit and I remember the day, we got word, pick up a convoy that was sailing back to Canada, to America. And we headed from the English Channel out, we were working in the English Channel at the time and we headed into the Atlantic to pick this convoy and we went by the Channel Islands. At this time, the Channel Islands had not yet surrendered and theyíre still occupied by Germans. And of course, to us, I guess we didnít know it at the time and we could see the beach over there on our left and we could see the water actually slopping up on the beach and we were sailing past it, happy as hell, heading back to Canada when all of a sudden, the big guns on the island start firing on us. We were a little minesweeper all by ourself. The old man [Lt. James Barrett Lamb], quick thinking guy, he just ordered the ship to turn toward the island and the next salvo, you know, these are 12 inch guns I think, and the next salvo went over the top and some of them exploded in the air and some of them, when they hit the water. And then he ordered black smoke. (Source: The Memory Project - excerpt for the entry of William Lorne Empey)


Minas' return to Canada: Minas had been working off the coast of France when it was ordered back to Canada and the skipper, James B Lamb, wanted to take the shortest route possible. He didnít take into account that the Channel Islands were still in German hands and that his course was well within the range of their big guns. All hell was breaking loose around them and the skipper had ordered smoke but for some unknown reason there was none. My father (Hugh Menzies) was not on watch at the time and made his way to the engine room as fast as he could and was able to produce the requested smoke screen. According to my father, the stoker on duty was quite notorious for making smoke when not required or wanted and when they needed it badly it couldnít be produced. He explained that the some damage was done to the superstructure and the crew was told to keep quiet about it and as far as I know the incident was never reported. My father and the rest of the crew had a good deal of respect for Lamb even though he was younger than many of them. (From the memoirs of Hugh Cameron Menzies, Sto PO, submitted by his son Bill Menzies)


Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          The Ship's Bell


Commanding Officers

Lt J.C. Barbour, RCNR - 02 Aug 1941 - 24 Nov 1941

Lt J.C. Barbour, RCNR - 02 Dec 1941 - 13 Sep 1942

Lt William Frederick Wood, RCNR - 14 Sep 1942 - 17 Jun 1943

Lt James Barrett Lamb, RCNVR - 18 Jun 1943 - 25 Oct 1944

Lt John Gault Kingsmill, RCNVR - 26 Oct 1944 - 01 Sep 1945

LCdr Kenneth Albert Stone, RCN - 15 Mar 1955 - 07 Nov 1955


     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Bailie, Theodore S.


Balch, Kenneth James

Baxendale, Francis Wilmont


Brown, Norman Frank


Served in Minas 03 Sep 1942 to 29 Sep 1942

Bruce, Frank


Burns, H.W. Marshall






Cockburn, Alfred J.


Dimond, Douglas






Goodwin, Willard







Kerr-Wilson, John R.

Lamb, James Barrett






McCombie, Gerald


McKenzie, J.W.


Menzies, Hugh C.




Palmquist, Rolf Challinor


Salvisburg, John

Savage, Gordon T.

Sharpe, John W.



Former Crew Members

Bernatchez, Joseph Jean Thomas Henri Maurice, Lt, RCNVR - 28 Apr 1943


Bosley, Raymond Sedgemore Locke, Slt, RCNVR - 11 Feb 1944


Campbell, R., L/Tel - 1945


Churchward, R., ERA - 1945


Milink, W., L/Ck - 1945


Cunningham, F.A., Lt - 1945


Emond, J.L., Ck - 1945

Eriksen, Thorstein, Lt (E), RCNR - 07 Jun 1942


Hawkesford, Ronald Carstairs, A/Wt (E), RCNVR  - 10 Apr 1942


Hebert, Joseph Andre Leopold, A/Lt, RCNVR - 20 Feb 1944


Hoffman, Ward Roderick, Slt (E), RCNVR - 31 May 1943


Howarth, W., Sto - 1945


Jamieson, R., Tel - 1945


Kingsmill, John Gault, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1942


Lillie, Edward Burns, Slt, RCNVR - 19 Feb 1943

McCarthy, John Alt, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Apr 1945


Miller, L.H., S/Sto


Needham, D., Sto - 1945


Nichols, W.A., AB - 1945


Rosser, Ralph F., Electrician - 1945    The Memory Project


Williams, Ian Graham Harvard, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1943


Wolff, R., Sto - 1945


Photos and Documents


Gunshield art on HMCS MINAS J165

Courtesy of the Naval Museum of Halifax

HMCS New Minas' hockey team

Crow's Nest newspaper - Feb 1944

HMCS Minas J165 - This photo was taken in the English Channel shortly before the D-Day assault on the beaches of Normandy

Photo from the collection of Rolf "Pelle" Palmquist, published here courtesy of his nephew Ben.

HMCS Minas J165

From the collection of Ken Balch

Courtesy of Mary Kienapple

PO ERA Ken Balch on HMCS Minas J165

From the collection of Ken Balch

Courtesy of Mary Kienapple

District Naval Men Back From Overseas

The Free Press, London, ON, 09 Oct 1945

Crew members of HMCS Minas return home


Sailors listed in article:  AB R.F. Rosser, AB W.A. Nichols, L/Tel R. Campbell, Tel R. Jamieson, Cook J.L. Emond, CERA K.J. Balch, Lt F.A. Cunningham CO, ERA R. Churchward, L/Cook W. Milink, Sto W. Howarth, Sto D. Needham, Sto R. Wolff, Sto J. Salvisburg, L/Sto L.H. Miller


From the collection of Ken Balch

Courtesy of Mary Kienapple







(MB01) Marshall Burns and shipmates on HMCS MINAS. Marshall leaning on Kisby ring  (MB02) Marshall Burns with ammunition belt on HMCS MINAS  (MB03) Marshall Burns sitting on minesweeping paravane on HMCS MINAS  (MB04) Marshall Burns on HMCS MINAS  (MB05) Marshall Burns on duty as Quartermaster on HMCS MINAS - note the lanyard attached to the pistol on his belt.







(MB06) Marshall Burns on gun deck of HMCS MINAS  (MB07) Sailors doing gunnery drills on HMCS MINAS  (MB08) Marshall Burns in quarterdeck hatch to minesweeping stores on HMCS MINAS  (MB09) Damage to HMCS MINAS after colliding with HMS LISCOMB off Halifax Harbour on 01 Feb 1943. View from inside the seaman's mess deck  (MB10) Damage to HMCS MINAS after colliding with HMS LISCOMB off Halifax Harbour on 01 Feb 1943.  View looking into the seaman's mess deck.  All that remains of her pendant number is the "5" - the J16 are missing due to the damage.





(MB11) Unidentified sailor sitting on what is believed to be the screw of HMCS MINAS while she is being repaired after her collision with HMS LISCOMB  (MB12) Marshall Burns on the quarterdeck of HMCS MINAS in St. John's, NFLD.  Note the ice-covered corvette in the background  (MB13) Ice-covered corvette alongside St. John's, NFLD.  Photos taken from HMCS MINAS


From the collection of H.W. Marshall Burns, LS, RCNVR


Courtesy of Joe Burns