HMCS Hochelaga

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HMCS Hochelaga
HMCS Hochelaga, with a 12-pounder visible forward.
Name: Hochelaga
Namesake: Hochelaga
Builder: Hawthorn & Company, Leith, Scotland
Launched: 1900
Acquired: 1914
Commissioned: 13 August 1915
Decommissioned: 31 March 1920
Renamed: HaChayal Ha'Ivri, 1946
Fate: Seized by Royal Navy, 1946
General characteristics
Type: Armed yacht
Displacement: 628 tons
Length: 192 ft 6 in (58.67 m)
Beam: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Draught: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
Speed: 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Armament: 1 x 12-pounder gun

HMCS Hochelaga was a commissioned patrol vessel of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that served in the First World War and postwar until 1920. Hochelaga is a historic name associated with Canada, the voyages of Jacques Cartier, and the city of Montreal.

Design and description[edit]

Initially constructed as a yacht, the ship displaced 628 tons and had a length overall of 192 feet 6 inches (58.67 m), a beam of 27 feet 6 inches (8.38 m) and a draught of 14 feet 8 inches (4.47 m). The yacht had a maximum speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) and during Canadian naval service, the ship mounted one 12-pounder gun.[1]

Service life[edit]

Launched at Leith, Scotland by Hawthorn & Company in 1900, the ship was originally named Waturus, and was owned by Charles Stephen, the Archduke of Austria. The Archduke sold the vessel to Randal Morgan, an American, in 1902.[2][alpha 1] She was acquired by the RCN in 1914 and renamed Hochelaga. Commissioned on 13 August 1915, Hochelaga was used on the Atlantic coast as a patrol vessel searching for German U-boats during the First World War.[1]

On 21 August 1918 Hochelaga, while performing an anti-submarine patrol with a small flotilla of four ships off the coast of Nova Scotia, encountered the German submarine U-156 while the submarine was in the process of boarding and sinking Canadian fishing schooners. The commanding officer of Hochelaga, Lieutenant R.D. Legate, ordered the ship to turn and head back towards the flotilla instead of intercepting the enemy. For failing to confront the enemy, Lieutenant Legate was placed under arrest and court-martialled in Halifax in October. Legate was found guilty and dismissed from the service.[3] Hochelaga remained on the Atlantic patrol until the end of the war and remained in RCN service until 1920.[1]

Beginning in 1920 the ship performed coast guard duties until 1923. In 1923 the ship was sold and became a Pictou-Charlottetown ferry.[1] Sold again in 1942, she was eventually renamed HaChayal Ha'Ivri ("Jewish Soldier") and used in a 1946 attempt to carry Jewish immigrants to Palestine, now known as Israel, at the time controlled by the British. Departing Antwerp on 14 July 1946 and carrying some 550 passengers, she was seized off Haifa by the British destroyer HMS Saumarez.



  1. ^ Macpherson and Barrie had the former name of the ship being Walrus


  1. ^ a b c d Macpherson and Barrie, p.21
  2. ^ As reported in the New York Times of 8 June 1902
  3. ^ Gimblett, p.37


  • Gimblett, Richard H., ed. (2009). The Naval Service of Canada 1910—2010: The Centennial Story. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-4597-1322-2. 
  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910—2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1. 

External links[edit]