For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


HMCS Prince David


Laid down: 1929

Launched: 1930

Acquired by RCN: 19 Dec 1939

Commissioned: 28 Dec 1940

Paid off: 11 Jun 1945

Fate: Sold in 1947 to commercial use. Broken up in 1951


Formerly a three-funnelled Canadian National Steamships liner, she was purchased on 19 Dec 1939, and after very extensive conversion commissioned at Halifax on 28 Dec 1940, as an armed merchant cruiser. After working up at Bermuda in Jan and Feb, 1941 Prince David was assigned to the RN's America and West Indies Station for the rest of the year. That December she was transferred to Esquimalt and in May, 1942, after refit at Esquimalt and Vancouver, joined Esquimalt Force. During her refit, scenes from the 1942 film Commandos Strike at Dawn were filmed using Prince David and Nenamook. From Aug to Nov she served under USN control in the Aleutian campaign. She then resumed her former duties out of Esquimalt until the beginning of Mar 1943, when she was paid off for conversion to an infantry landing ship. The rebuilding, which took place at Esquimalt and Vancouver, was completed that December, and shortly after re-commissioning she left for the U.K. via Cristobal and New York. Upon arrival in the Clyde in Feb 1944, Prince David joined Combined Operations Command, and landed troops in Normandy on D-Day. In Jul she left for the Mediterranean to take part in Operation "Dragoon," the invasion of southern France, on 15 Aug. She was extensive service in the Mediterranean until damaged by a mine on 10 Dec 1944, off Aegina Island, Greece. Repaired at Ferryville, North Africa, she left in Mar 1945, to refit at Esquimalt, but saw no further service was was paid off on 11 Jun 1945. Charlton Steam Shipping Co. purchased Prince David in Sep 1946. By Feb 1947 Prince David was in Britain undergoing conversions to her superstructure for passenger service. Renamed Charlton Monarch, she entered the immigrant trade and ran from Britain to Australia. Prince David seemed to be predisposed to striking underwater hazards: in 1932 as CNSS Prince David she spent six months hard aground on the North-East Breaker at Bermuda; in 1941, she was aground again in Bermuda; during her Alaskan tour, she struck an uncharted piling; and in the Mediterranean an exploding mine opened a 17-foot (5 m) hole in her plates. These events, plus the pre-war years of neglect, may have contributed to her early end. She lasted only 6 years and was broken up at Swansea in 1951.


Photos and Documents          The Ship's Bell          The Three Princes - The Legion Magazine


Commanding Officers

Cdr. W.B. Armit, RCNR - 28 Dec 1940 - 24 Mar 1941

Cdr. Kenneth Frederick Adams, RCN - 25 Mar 1941 - 01 Dec 1941

Capt. V.S. Godfrey, RCN - 02 Dec 1941 - 18 Mar 1942

A/LCdr. Thomas Douglas Kelly, RCNR - 19 Mar 1942 - 16 Apr 1942

Capt. Valentine Stuart Godfrey, RCN - 17 Apr 1942 - 17 Apr 1942

Cdr. Thomas Douglas Kelly, RCNR - 18 Apr 1943 - 01 May 1943

Cdr. Thomas Douglas Kelly, RCNR - 23 May 1943 - 14 May 1945

LCdr Charles Archibald McDonald, RCNR - 14 May 1945 - unk

Cdr. Thomas Douglas Kelly, RCNR - unk - 11 Jun 1945



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

COWE, James W.


died - 07 Mar 1944


Ck (S),  RCNVR

died - 14 Jul 1941



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

























Former Crew Members


Arnison, Alfred Boden, A/LCdr (E), RCNR - 10 Jul 1940 (stand by)


Berry, Verne Harrington, SLt (El) (R), RCNVR - 18 Mar 1944


Beveridge, John Cyril, A/Lt, RCNVR - 21 Feb 1944


Carmichael, Angus Hector, Skpr, RCNR - 09 Jun 1941


Carter, Roderick Chrysler, A/LCdr, RCNVR - 08 Jun 1943


Chown, Edwin George, Lt, RCNVR - 04 May 1942


Crowhurst, Kenneth Guy, Lt, RCNVR - 17 Jul 1944


Denyer, Harry George, Lt, RCNR - 09 Jun 1941


Fairweather, Robert Gordon Lee, Paym/SLt, RCNVR - 18 Jul 1942


Graham, Donald Ferguson, A/Lt, RCNVR - 21 Feb 1944

Gibson, Bryce, RCNVR 


Gilmer, George Robert Edward, Lt, RCNVR - 08 Jun 1943


Hatfield, Byron Maxwell, Paym/SLt, RCNVR - 17 Jun 1941


Heyward, Lefty - Dec 1940


Hudson, George Frederick Willoughby, Lt, RCNR - 19 Mar 1942


Hunter, Robert, Skpr/Lt, RCNR - 13 Apr 1945


Jamieson, Robert Douglas, SLt (E), RCNVR - 18 Apr 1944


Kirkland, William Reid, Lt, RCNR - 17 Jun 1941


Lang, Hector Craig, SLt, RCNVR - Jan 1942


Lee, Eric Hammon, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 10 Jul 1942


McBeath, John David, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944

McClure, William Gerald, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 30 May 1945


McDermid, Edgar Sydney, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1942


McGee, Thomas D'Arcy, Lt, RCNVR - 13 Apr 1942


Patterson, William Carroll, SLt (E), RCNVR - 12 Jun 1941


Rhodes, Harry, Ch/Skpr, RCNR - 29 Jun 1942


Sillett, Alfred Samuel Edgar, A/Paym/LCdr, RCNR - 01 Mar 1942


Smith, Angus


Southam, Robert Wilson, Lt, RCNVR - 08 Jun 1943


Sullivan, Richard, Lt (E), RCNR - 27 Jul 1940


Turner, Thomas, Cd/Shpt, RCNVR - 21 May 1945


Turner, William John McCrae, Lt, RCNVR - 01 May 1942


Photos and Documents


Remnants of HMCS Prince David's commissioning pennant

Source: Wikipedia

Prince David's A-gun. 6 February 1942

Citation: From my father's scrapbook, RCN

Source: Wikipedia - British Columbia Public Domain photographs

Luxury Liner Now Invasion Ship

Newspaper article on HMCS Prince David converted to Landing Ship

The Halifax Chronicle 28 Feb 1944

Research by / Courtesy of George Newbury

Gun crew sunbathing on "Y" gun of the infantry landing ship HMCS Prince David, Italy, Jul 1944

Source: LS Donovan J. Thorndick / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-143809

A second section of infantrymen preparing to go ashore from HMCS Prince David off BerniŤres-sur-Mer, France, 06 Jun 1944

Source: Wikipedia

HMCS Prince David, LSI (M) configuration and 4 LCAs

Source: Wikipedia

CNSS Prince David circa 1930

Source: Wikipedia  Credit: Canadian National Steamship Company, Limited Image No.: CN001685 CSTMC/CN Collection

HMCS Prince David in the Panama Canal zone

Source: Wikipedia

HMCS Prince David

Original source unknown

Courtesy of Dale Davies

HMCS Prince David

RCN Press Release photo

From the collection of Laurence (Larry) Fricke

Courtesy of Linda Carleton

Y gun of HMCS Prince David

Photographer unknown

From the collection of Roy T. Cardy

Courtesy of Dennis Cardy

Y gun deck of HMCS Prince David

Photographer unknown

From the collection of Roy T. Cardy

Courtesy of Dennis Cardy

HMCS Prince David

From the collection of George Huntbatch

Courtesy of Ross Huntbatch