For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS CHIPPAWA

Former RCNVR Company Winnipeg

Naval Reserve Unit

Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

HMCS Chippawa, 1 Navy Way, Winnipeg MB

 

In Feb 1923, Lt Eustace Brock was tasked with establishing a Naval Reserve Division in Winnipeg.  In March 1923, he procured office space for Winnipeg's Navy.  By May 1923, Lt Brock, 5 officers, 2 Petty Officers and over 50 Reservists enrolled.  In the spring of 1924, Naval Headquarters in Ottawa arranged to lease the Rat-Portate Lumber Co. building in Norwood and on 22 Apr 1924, the White Ensign was hosted and flew for the first time in Manitoba. By the summer of 1924, the Winnipeg Half Company RCNVR was up to full strength of 100 personnel. 

In October 1942, an agreement was reached to sell the Winnipeg Winter Club complex to the Royal Canadian Navy for $256,000, which would in turn be invested in Victory Bonds. The deal was approved by the Federal Treasury Board in mid-October, and conversion of the building began. Bowling alleys were converted to rifle ranges, the courts were renovated into living quarters, and the ice rinks were re-purposed into training areas. The building became HMCS CHIPPAWA, replacing services and barracks previously based at a cramped site on Ellice Avenue and a recruiting office on Sherbrook Street. It contained areas for administration, training, mess facilities, housing quarters, and space for women’s naval auxiliary activities. 

In 1998 the building was demolished in 1998 to make way for a joint training facility and naval museum. In 1999, the new facility was built by the federal government at a cost of $7.35 million. It was officially opened by senior Manitoba Parliamentarian and Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy at a ceremony on 28 November 1999. The 4,200-square-meter facility included classrooms, mess and drill halls, a parade square, and a computer training centre named for Waldron N. “Wally” Fox-Decent (Rear-Admiral and former Commanding Officer of HMCS Chippawa).

Commanding Officers

 

 

 

Slt Medland in front of Winnipeg Half Company building, RCNVR

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

 

Jim Silvester included this info with the photo - This was HMCS Chippawa which was originally a storage building and where I served in Sea Cadets and enlisted in the RCNVR Nov 6 . 1939.

Slt Griffin, Cdr Fraye in front of Winnipeg Half Company building, RCNVR

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

Tommy Young - drafted from Winnipeg to Halifax, Feb 1940

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

George Burgess, Pat Griffin, Leo Simpson, Roy Sterling, Jack Ryan - drafted from Winnipeg to Halifax, Feb 1940

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

George Burgess - drafted from Winnipeg to Halifax, Feb 1940

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

Chippawa Personnel transferred from Stadacona to Esquimalt

 

           

 

(1) Simpson, Bryan and Jim Silvester  (2) Eric Sinclair  (3) Leo Simpson  (4) Tom Drombolis and Jim Silvester  (5) Bryan, Sterling and Simpson

 

           

 

(6) Murray Dudley  (7) Don  (8) Jim Silvester  (9) Don Esford and Ann  (10) Tom and Don on ferry to Victoria

 

        

 

(11) Jasper, AB, 1940   (12) A stop in the mountains  (13) Mac, ?? and Jimmy  (14) Passing under the Golden Gate Bridge

 

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

 

Chippawa sailors Jack French, Glen Shaw, R. Mackay, J. Machalek and Paul Hooper - Chippawa to Naden for Naval Training - Aug 1956

 

From the collection of Jim Silvester

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

The old HMCS Chippawa building from 1942 till 1999

Courtesy of Jim Sedgwick

HMCS Chippawa RCNVR jacket patch

From the collection of Jack Sedgwick

Courtesy of Jim Sedgwick

 

 

HMCS CHIPPAWA - New Entry Recruits - c1942

From the collection of Daniel Dunbar

Courtesy of Dan Dunbar

Click on the above photo to view a larger image

 

(9) Dunbar, Daniel

 


 

 

HMCS CHIPPAWA- New Entry recruits - photo taken between 26 Jan 1944 - 30 Apr 1944

From the collection of Alvin Epp

Courtesy of Steve Epp

Click on the above photo to view a larger image

 

(14) Epp, Alvin

 

 

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