HMCS Tecumseh

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HMCS Tecumseh
Badge of HMCS Tecumseh
Badge of HMCS Tecumseh
BranchCanada Royal Canadian Navy
TypeStone Frigate
Part ofCanadian Forces Naval Reserve
Garrison/HQ1820 24 St SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0G6
(In peace prepare for war)
ColorsBlack and Gold
AnniversariesBattle of the Atlantic
EquipmentVarious types of inboard and outboard rigid-hull inflatable boats
Battle honoursNone

HMCS Tecumseh is a Canadian Forces Naval Reserve Division (NRD) located in Calgary, Alberta. Dubbed a stone frigate, HMCS Tecumseh is a land-based naval training establishment crewed by part-time sailors and also serves as a local recruitment centre for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It is one of 24 naval reserve divisions located in major cities across Canada.[1]


HMCS Tecumseh is named after the Shawnee warrior and chief, who became the primary leader of a large, multi-tribal confederacy in the early 19th century. Tecumseh is honored in Canada as a hero and military commander who played a major role in Canada's successful repulsion of an American invasion in the War of 1812, which, among other things, eventually led to Canada's nationhood in 1867 with the British North America Act.[2]

Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, leader of a First Nations confederacy, military leader in the War of 1812.[3]


Calgary's Naval Reserve division was established on 31 March 1923 as the Calgary Half-Company. From 1935-1940 it was known as the Calgary Division until being christened HMCS Tecumseh on 1 November 1941.[4] In 1943, the division moved to its present location on 17 Avenue SW in Calgary, Alberta.

The Calgary Half-Company of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) poses for a formal portrait in 1938.

During the Second World War, over 4,500 personnel enlisted at Tecumseh. Of those 52 were killed in action. Among them was Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR, the only person in the Royal Canadian Navy to receive the Victoria Cross.

Unlike some Naval Reserve divisions in Canada, Tecumseh survived post-war defence cuts. It has since survived other challenges including the 1968 Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces, and a major fire in 1981. Rebuilt since the fire, Tecumseh is a fully modern training facility.

HMCS Tecumseh (2006)

Subsequent to rebuilding,Tecumseh became the headquarters of the first female flag officer in the Canadian Navy, Commodore Laraine Orthlieb. In 1992,Tecumseh felt the pull of war again, this time in the Persian Gulf. At this juncture, several members of the unit volunteered for duty and which two were selected to serve on board HMCS Huron. With the arrival of the KINGSTON-Class coastal defence vessels, officers from Tecumseh were selected as the commissioning Captains of HMC Ships Edmonton, Whitehorse, Saskatoon and Brandon.

Tecumseh personnel were deployed to combat Manitoba's 1997 flood, provided security at the 1997 APEC meeting in Vancouver, and assisted in the recovery mission following the Swissair Flight 111 crash off Halifax as members of the maritime coastal defence vessel crews assigned to the operation. More recently, Tecumseh personnel have provided support for the G8 Summit in 2002 and participated in Operation Apollo in the Gulf of Oman in 2003. Members of the ship's company now regularly deploy as part of Operation CARIBBE, in support of international drug interdiction efforts .[5]

Tecumseh helped mark the centennial of the Canadian Navy in 2010, a significant year in Calgary's military history, with three army reserve units also celebrating 100-year anniversaries.[6]

In 2013, members of HMCS Tecumseh took part in the Nijmegen Marches. The Nijmegen Marches consist of four days of marching through the countryside and crowded streets of towns and villages in the Nijmegen area. Each military participant marches a total of 160 kilometres while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military backpack weighing at least 10 kilograms.[7]


HMCS Tecumseh is properly referred to as a ship, as it has been officially christened as Her Majesty's Canadian ship. However, since the ship is part of the reserves it does not operate on a full-time basis, except for the museum. Rather, most of the operations occur in the evening on weekdays. The primary operations of the ship include a recruitment office, two cadet corps, the Canadian Naval Museum, and the Tecumseh Naval Reserve Band.

Lodger Units[edit]

  • 746 Communications Squadron, (Canadian Army Reserve)
  • Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Undaunted
  • Navy League Cadet Corps Captain Jackson
  • 2509 (RC) Signal Cadet Corps.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Defence, National (2018-11-27). "HMCS Tecumseh". aem. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  2. ^ "Tecumseh | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  3. ^ "Tecumseh | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  4. ^ Defence, National (2018-02-16). "Naval Reserve divisions". aem. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  5. ^
  6. ^ The King's Own Calgary Regiment, The Calgary Highlanders, and 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion
  7. ^