Research – Navies and naval matters

Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy Ensign

Our Guide to Sources for Research into the Royal Canadian Navy, prepared by Dr. Richard Gimblett, retired RCN Command Historian, examines a very wide range of published documents.

Our Our Catalogue holdings, referring specifically to the Royal Canadian Navy, are extensive.

Collections: journals, magazines, files etc:

Canadian Defence Quarterly :

Canadian Defence Quarterly (1923-1939) - Our catalogued holdings
Canadian Defence Quarterly (1971- ) - Our catalogued holdings
Canadian Defence Quarterly - Selected articles from the 1971 series.

The Crow's Nest :

The Crow's nest - Our catalogued holdings of the WWII newsprint format editions
The Crowsnest - Our catalogued holdings of The Crowsnest : The Royal Canadian Navy's Magazine, 1949-1965
Crowsnest - Our catalogued holdings of Crowsnest [the national news magazine of the Royal Canadian Navy], 2011-

Canadian Naval Review

The Canadian Naval Review - Our catalogued holdings; see also our holdings, near complete, of the Canadian Military Journal which contains significant naval content.

Collected files :

The Mainguy Report : The events surrounding the return of ships and men at the end of World War Two are covered by The Official Report on certain "Incidents"... by Rear-Admiral E.R. Mainguy, R.C.N., and a later article What the Mainguy report never told us: the tradition of ‘mutiny’ in the Royal Canadian Navy before 1949 by LCdr Richard Gimblett.

The Sea King: a narrative of adaptability - C. Ayers and J.Wood, Royal United Services Institute. This article reinforces the importance of oral history; note that it predates John Orr's Perseverance : the Canadian Sea King story.

"The gold-braid mind is destroying our navy". Commodore James Plomer DSC*, CD, OBE (1911-1986) retired from the RCN in 1962, and wrote this piece for McLean's the following year. While some critics have seen this as controversial, or even acrimonious, it started a major discussion leading up to Paul Hellyer's "unification", and the GTF/DHH programme.

The Donald S. Jones fonds - Cdr Jones was an engineering and aero-engineering officer in the RCN from 1942 to 1974, with a continuing civilian career with the Department of National Defence. The fonds consists of multiple files containg his notes and training materials.
The Julie Ferguson fonds - Julie Ferguson spent many years researching Canadian submarines prior to publication of her Through a Canadian periscope in 1995 (revised edition 2004) and Deeply Canadian in 2000; this extensive fonds contains all of her research materiel.
The Frank Stockwell fonds - Cdr Stockwell was responsible for HMCS Haida after her decommissioning; this fonds includes corresponence, photographs, publications and memorabilia.

Ships, officers and men:

Cdr David H. Botly, RCNVR, RCN(R), who served at the Dieppe raid, D-Day, etc...
RCN Centennial, interviews - NMA summer students interview veterans; The County Magazine, Fall 2010, with permission.
George Devonshire - served Merchant Navy then HMCS Waskesiu, Russian convoys, Word War II.
Pickle was not "HMCS" - the story of a well loved sail-training yacht.

These pages expand our existing page at the Naval Marine Archive. We appreciate any suggestions for improvements.