The Canadian submarine service, while never a large force, has been in existence since 1914 - only 13 years after the first British boat, His Majesty's Submarine No. 1, first put to sea. Commencing with the First World War, Canadian sailors have been serving with distinction on both Canadian and British submarines for decades.
In all the navies of the world, submarine service seems to attract a certain type of individual - someone drawn to a harsher, more confining environment. Someone willing to endure more personal discomfort for...what? Higher pay? Tighter cameraderie? Early responsibility? Or just a good run ashore. Perhaps all of the above. Reasons vary with the individual, but Canada has never lacked for volunteers (and, occasionally, 'voluntolds') who wish to serve in this unforgiving domain.
In a submarine, both vessel and crew become as one. It is the ultimate team environment, where every single man or woman has a critical role to play and responsibility comes early. If the submarine is to survive, if it is to be successful in executing its mission, all the individuals must work together as a cohesive, focused team. There is very, very little room for error. This simple truth is as valid today, on our Victoria-class submarines, as it was with CC1 in 1914.
The links on this page will take you to some remarkable history. The information presented here has been compiled from numerous sources, but mainly through the hard work of the late J. David Perkins. Dave joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1954, as a seventeen-year-old Ordinary Seaman, and retired from the navy in 1979 as a Chief Petty Officer. He was also the author of two books on our submarine history: Canada's Submariners: 1914 - 1923 and The Canadian Submarine Service in Review.
So click the links and read our story. Live, and learn, our history.