For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

Norton Class Tug NORTON W31

Then W.A.C. No. 1


Tug Peninsula, Thunder Bay, ON, 2015

Courtesy of Jim McBride


Launched: 29 Nov 1943

Entered Service: 20 Dec 1943

Removed from service: 07 Dec 1945

Sold: 1946

Fate: 2018 - not in service. Certification expired.


The Norton was launched on 29 Nov 1943 by Mrs. B.S. (Gwendolyn) Hastings at the Montreal Dry Dock, Montreal, QC. She was sailed by the builders to Quebec City for completion, then to Halifax for commissioning. She started service early in 1944 and was active from St. John's, NFLD to Quebec City, to Yarmouth, NS. Some excerpts from the files at the LAC: "only  tug available to salvage work in Western North Atlantic", "Arrival Halifax Tug Norton with frigate Lanark in tow from Liverpool", "HMCS Beaver (armed Yacht) in two from Halifax", "HMCS Tug Norton towing battle class trawler HMCS Festubert to Sydney". These entries along with many others showed that the Norton was busy carrying out military duties during her life as an active Canadian Naval vessel towards the latter days of WWII, and, not without risk. In 1946, Norton was declared surplus to requirements and turned over to the War Assets Corp. She was sold on 22 Mar 1946 to the Marathon Paper Mills of Canada Ltd., Port Arthur, Ont. She was later sold to the Gravel and Lakes Services Ltd Co of Thunder Bay, ON. Last heard in 2018, her certification lapsed a couple years back and is presently not in service.


Commanding Officers

Ch/Skpr Wallace Thomas Myalls, RCNR - 22 Apr 1944 - unk

Lt John Harold Gordon, RCNR - 28 Aug 1944 - May 1945


     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Former Crew Members

Brazil, William Stanislaus, Skpr, RCNR - 05 May 1944

Scott, George Smith, Mate, RCNR - 15 Feb 1944

Short, John Clarence, Cd (E), RCNVR - 01 May 44



Photos and Documents