Winnipeg has had a Naval Division for the last 75 years, and has had a naval presence for even much longer. There is an unexplained reason why the people of the Canadian Prairies have generated such an interest in the navy. During WWII, a large number of prairie men and women joined the navy. They flocked to recruiting divisions in cities like Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary. During the war, recruiting in Winnipeg was the greatest of anyplace inland, and was only surpassed by recruiting on the east and west coast.

This is the story of the Navy in Winnipeg. It is filled with stories, personalities, news clippings and photos. It is set up as a chronological history, so you can start at the first page and surf all the way to the end. And, like anything else on this page, it is continuously growing. As we further develop our history we will put the story on this page.


The Beginning of a Naval Presence in Manitoba
Young prairie men flock to the coast to fight the great war.

1923 – The Winnipeg Naval Division Comes to Life
Lieutenant Eustace Brock begins the legacy of Naval Reserve tradition and service that is still living in the Winnipeg community today.

1938 – Winnipeg’s Navy is Going Strong
What was life like in a Prairie Naval Reserve Division just prior to WWII?

A Wartime Mission for Manitobans
Winnipeg’s Naval Reserve Division becomes a recruiting and training base supporting Canada’s war effort.

Winnipeg’s Navy .vs. The New York Rangers
The Navy hockey team gives a “spirited” effort against hockey’s pros.

Winnipeg’s Navy gets a new name and a new building.

WRENS – A Proud Heritage
A brief history of the Woman’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.

The 1950 Flood
HMCS CHIPPAWA acts as the Navy’s flood fighting headquarters.