OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – On June 19, 2010, a representative of the Canadian Navy who lives in Oakville, Ontario will present a framed pictorial history of the Oakville namesake warship, HMCS Oakville to mark the centennial of the Canadian Navy. Lieutenant (Navy) Glenn Woolfrey MMM, CD, local resident and Executive Officer of HMCS Star will present the display to His Worship Mayor Rob Burton. The display includes a photograph of HMCS Oakville, a picture of the ship’s badge and a short history of the ship’s service.
Since the Canadian Navy was established in 1910, more than 300 Canadian Navy ships have been named for communities from coast to coast. HMCS Oakville was christened at Lakeside Park in Oakville, ON, on November 5, 1941 and then commissioned into the then Royal Canadian Navy on November 18 1941 in Montreal, Quebec. The flower class corvette arrived in Halifax ten days later and joined Halifax Force on her arrival.
On its formation in March 1942, she transferred to Western Local Escort Force. In July, she returned to Halifax Force to escort Halifax-Aruba convoys and, on her second arrival at Aruba late in August, was diverted to reinforce convoy TAW.15 (Aruba-Key West section). The convoy was attacked 28 August in the Windward Passage, losing four ships, but Oakvillesank the seasoned U 94, in part by ramming her.
After temporary repairs at Guantanamo, she arrived at Halifax on 16 September and there completed repairs on 1 December. She then joined the United States Eastern Sea Frontier Command to escort New York-Guantanamo convoys until 22 March 1943 when she arrived at Halifax to join Western Local Escort Force.
She served with three of its escort groups: W‑7 from June 1943; W‑8 from December 1943 and W‑6 from April 1944. In mid-December, she began a major refit at Galveston, Texas, which included foc’sle extension that was completed on March 29 1944. After minor repairs at Halifax, she proceeded to Bermuda for workups in May, thereafter returning to her duties with Escort Group W‑6.
The community of Oakville will be involved in the ceremony with representation from TOWARF, a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary unit established in 1954, providing marine search and rescue service to the boaters of Oakville and Western Lake Ontario, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corp OAKVILLE , Scouts Canada, Burloak Legion, and members of HMCS Star ships company.
As part of the celebration the Oakville Museum will present “A Nod to the Navy; Oakville at Sea” (June 19th – July 4th) The Oakville Museum’s celebration of the Royal Canadian Navy Centennial will feature art created by T.A. Blakelock Students, images and artifacts from HMCS Oakville, an interactive recreation of a ship’s communication room and a special tribute to the Women’s Royal Canada Naval Service.
The public is welcome to join the celebrations on Saturday June 19, 2010 starting at 10 am at Lakeside Park with a traditional fly past from a heritage Harvard aircraft, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony, speech and walkthrough of the museum exhibit, with cake served at the Oakville Museum. Following this ceremony TOWARF is holding an Open House with refreshments at their building below Oakville Museum, and welcomes all visitors to come and see what this Search and Rescue Unit does for the local boating community.
The Town of Oakville is pleased to welcome two of the original? HMCS Oakville crew members, Jack Russell and Joe Smyth to the ceremonies and are pleased that they are able to join us on this special day.
Similar presentations are being made across Canada, to bring attention to the Centennial of the Canadian Navy and to highlight the connection the Navy has with communities large and small in every corner of the country.
Department of National Defence, Kanada