HMCS Cataraqui to mark Battle of the Atlantic with parade, service

Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commandant of Royal Military College, pays their respects to the lives lost during the Battle of the Atlantic at Navy Memorial Park in Kingston, Ontario on May 7, 2023. Photo by Sailor Third Class Telessa Salmikivi.

This weekend, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will mark the Battle of the Atlantic at Naval Reserve Divisions across the country. Here in Kingston, the event will take place at the Naval Memorial Park hosted by His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Cataraqui.

According to a release from HMCS Cataraqui, the local event will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2024. Naval Memorial Park is located on Ontario Street, next to the Great Lakes Museum.

“The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of the Second World War and was fought at sea from 1939 to 1945. Much of the burden of fighting the battle fell to the RCN which, at the outbreak of the war, was comprised of only six destroyers and a handful of smaller vessels,” the Royal Canadian Navy detailed on its website.

“We honour our past by remembering the tremendous efforts Canadian sailors made in fulfilling their commitment to secure Allied victory, and we salute the RCN’s resolute path forward in remaining committed to the safety, security and defence of Canada at home and abroad.”

According to the release, members of HMCS Cataraqui will commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic with a parade and remembrance service.

Kingston’s connections to the Battle of the Atlantic go beyond the many soldiers locally who fought in WWII. A ship-building hotbed at the time, the Limestone City is where the HMCS Trentonian was built (as were a number of different vessels), and Kingston also built a wide variety of metal fixtures and fittings, such as the mounting for “pom pom” anti-aircraft guns. And of course, the HMCS Frontenac, built here in Kingston, was also named for Kingston, as the city was a seat within Frontenac County, and home to Fort Frontenac. The HMCS Frontenac fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort.

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