Fort ship

The Fort ships were a class of 198 cargo ships built in Canada during World War II for use by the United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease scheme. They all had names prefixed with "Fort" when built. The ships were in service between 1942 and 1985, with two still listed on shipping registers until 1992. A total of 53 were lost during the war due to accidents or enemy action. One of these, Fort Stikine, was destroyed in 1944 by the detonation of 1,400 tons of explosive on board her. This event, known as the Bombay Explosion, killed over 800 people and sank thirteen ships. Forts ships were ships transferred to the British Government and the Park ships were those employed by the Canadian Government, both had the similar design.

Fort Stikine
Class overview
  • Canadian type
  • North Sands type
  • Victory type
Cost: $1,856,500
Built: 1941-44
In service: 1941-85[1]
Building: 198
Completed: 198
  • 28 (enemy action)
  • 25 (accident)
Scrapped: 145
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 7,130 GRT
Length: 424 feet 6 inches (129.39 m)
Beam: 57 feet 0 inches (17.37 m)


The Fort ships were 424 feet 6 inches (129.39 m) long with a beam of 57 feet 0 inches (17.37 m). They were assessed at 7,130 GRT. The ships were of three types, the "North Sands" type, which were of riveted construction, and the "Canadian" and "Victory" types, which were of welded construction. They were built by eighteen different Canadian shipyards. Their triple expansion steam engines were built by seven different manufacturers.[2]


The ships were built between 1941 and 1945 by ten different builders. The first to be built was Fort St. James, which was laid down on 23 April 1941 and launched on 15 October. The eight ships built by Burrard Dry Dock cost $1,856,500 each.[3] During World War II, 28 were lost to enemy action, and four were lost due to accidents. Many of the surviving 166 ships passed to the United States Maritime Commission. The last recorded scrapping was in 1985,[4][5][6] and two ships, the former Fort St. James and Fort St. Paul, were listed on Lloyd's Register until 1992.[5]


Park ships were armed. There were merchant seamen gunners. Also many British and Canadian merchantmen carried volunteer naval gunners called Defensively equipped merchant ship or DEMS gunners. The American ships carried Naval Armed Guard gunners. Merchant seamen crewed the merchant ships of the British Merchant Navy which kept the United Kingdom supplied with raw materials, arms, ammunition, fuel, food and all of the necessities of a nation at war throughout World War II literally enabling the country to defend itself. In doing this they sustained a considerably greater casualty rate than almost every branch of the armed services and suffered great hardship. Seamen were aged from fourteen through to their late seventies.[7] The lost are remembered in the The Royal Canadian Naval Ships Memorial Monument in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario.[8]


Twenty-eight ships were lost due to enemy action and a further 25 due to accidents.[9]

Enemy action

  • On 17 May 1942, Fort Qu'Appelle was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-135.[5]
  • On 17 August 1942, Fort La Reine was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-658.[5]
  • On 6 March 1943, Fort Battle River was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-410.[4]
  • On 17 March 1943, Fort Cedar Lake was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-338 and U-665.[4]
  • On 20 March 1943, Fort Mumford was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by I-27.[5]
  • On 30 March 1943, Fort A La Corne was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-596.[4]
  • On 17 April 1943, Fort Rampart was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-226 and U-628.[5]
  • On 11 May 1943, Fort Concord was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-456.[4][10]
  • On 11 June 1943, Fort Good Hope was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-159.[4]
  • On 16 July 1943, Fort Franklin was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-181.[4]
  • On 20 July 1943, Fort Pelly was bombed and sunk at Augusta, Sicily, Italy.[5]
  • On 24 July 1943, Fort Chilcotin was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-172.[4]
  • On 6 August 1943, Fort Halkett was torpedoed, shelled and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-185.[4]
  • On 13 September 1943, Fort Babine was bombed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by Luftwaffe aircraft.[4]
  • On 19 September 1953, Fort Longueuil was torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean by U-532.[5]
  • On 23 September 1943, Fort Jemseg was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-238.[4]
  • On 30 September 1943, Fort Howe was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-410.[4]
  • On 4 October 1943, Fort Fitzgerald was bombed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea off Cape Ténès, Algeria by Dornier Do 217 aircraft of Kampfgeschwader 100, Luftwaffe.[11]
  • On 2 December 1943, Fort Athabaska was sunk by the explosion of the Liberty ship John L. Motley during the air raid on Bari.[4]
  • On 20 January 1944, Fort Buckingham was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-188.[4]
  • On 25 January 1944, Fort Bellingham was torpedoed and sunk in the Arctic Ocean by U-360 and U-957.[4]
  • On 25 January 1944, Fort La Maune was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-188.[5]
  • On 15 February 1944, Fort St. Nicholas was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-410.[5]
  • On 3 March 1944, Fort McLeod was torpedoed, shelled and sunk in the Indian Ocean by I-162.[5]
  • On 19 May 1944, Fort Missanabie was torpedoed and damaged in the Mediterranean Sea by U-453. The fore section sank. The stern section was taken in tow but sank the next day.[5]
  • On 3 August 1944, Fort Lac La Ronge was damaged by a Kriegsmarine radio-controlled explosives boat off Normandy, France. She was subsequently beached at Appledore, Devon and was scrapped in 1949.[5]
  • On 23 August 1944, Fort Yale was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel by U-480.[6]
  • On 15 December 1944, Fort Maisonneuve struck a mine and sank in the North Sea.[5]


  • On 16 July 1943, Fort Confidence caught fire at Algiers, Algeria. She was beached and was consequently declared a total loss.[4]
  • On 4 August 1943, Fort La Montee caught fire and exploded at Algiers.[5]
  • On 14 April 1944, Fort Crevier was severely damaged by the explosion of Fort Stikine at Bombay, India. She was reduced to a hulk and was scrapped in 1948.[4]
  • On 14 April 1944, Fort Stikine exploded at Bombay and was obliterated. Twelve other vessels were lost.[5]
  • On 21 June 1945, Fort La Prairie or Fort La Pairie, 7138 tons, cargo ship, British, ran aground about 0.5 miles SSW of Muckle Skerry light, Muckle Skerry, Out Skerries. Location cited as N60 29 W0 52, she was towed off by Ocean Salvage Ship RFA Salfeda, assisted by local fishermen. She was renamed Elm Hill (1950) and scrapped in 1967.
  • On 1 February 1946, Fort Massac collided with Thornaby and sank in the North Sea.[5]
  • On 23 August 1946, Fort Boise was wrecked on the Grand Shoal, off Saint Pierre and Miquelon.[4]
  • On 18 February 1949, L'Emerillon (formerly Fort Machault) ran aground on the Sorelle Rocks off Malta.[5]
  • On 28 September 1956, Bedford Earl (formerly Fort Covington) ran aground in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan in a typhoon.[4]
  • On 14 June 1953, Bedford Prince (formerly Fort Gloucester) ran aground in the Gulf of Paria. She was consequently scrapped.[4]
  • On 10 February 1954, Catherine M. S. (formerly Fort Kilmar) ran aground off Mojima Saki, Japan. She was consequently scrapped.[5]
  • On 16 October 1954, Travelstar (formerly Fort La Baye) ran aground and caught fire in Buckner Bay. She was declared a total loss.[5]
  • On 24 March 1955, Yaffo (formerly Fort Kullyspell) ran aground in Baffy Bay. She was refloated in 1957 and taken in to Monrovia, Liberia. No further service recorded.[5]
  • On 27 May 1959, Aghios Spyridon (formerly Fort La Have) ran aground off Havana, Cuba and caught fire. Although refloated, she was declared a constructive total loss.[5]
  • On 1 July 1960, Rita (formerly Fort Rouille) ran aground off Goa, India and broke in two.[5]
  • On 1 February 1961, Cape Drepanon (formerly Fort La Cloche) ran aground in Long Island Sound. She was consequently scrapped.[5]
  • On 20 December 1963, Corfu Island (formerly Fort Saleesh) suffered an engine failure and was consequently wrecked in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.[5]
  • On 8 April 1964, Irene X (formerly Fort Poplar) ran aground off Haiphong, China. She was subsequently refloated and scrapped.[5]
  • On 21 November 1964, Zakia (formerly Fort Capot River) was in collision with the tanker Hyperion off Cape St. Vincent, Portugal. She sank the next day.[4]
  • On 1 June 1966, Aktor (formerly Fort Sturgeon) sprang a leak and foundered in the Pacific Ocean.[5]
  • On 3 November 1966, Progress (formerly Fort Caribou) was wrecked in a typhoon at Madras, India.[4]
  • On 26 January 1967, Bodoro (formerly Fort Dauphin) was in collision with Beaver State in Chesapeake Bay. She was beached but was consequently declared a constructive total loss.[4]
  • On 12 April 1967, Silver Peak (formerly Fort Lennox) ran aground in the South China Sea 100 nautical miles (190 km) off the coast of Taiwan. She was declared a total loss and subsequently scrapped.[5]
  • On 25 February 1968, African Marquis (formerly Fort Glenora) ran aground on Kasos, Greece and broke in two.[4]
  • In 1968, Zhan Dou 76 (formerly Fort Wallace) became stranded. She was subsequently scrapped.[6]
  • On 18 December 1969, Ibrahim K (formerly Fort McPherson) ran aground at Tocra, Libya and broke up.[5]

Ships in Class

  • Fort St James
  • Fort Churchill
  • Fort Qu'Appelle
  • Fort George
  • Fort Good Hope
  • Fort Ellice
  • Fort Fraser
  • Fort McLoughlin
  • Fort La Reine
  • Fort Pine
  • Fort Pembina
  • Fort Kootenay
  • Fort Lac La Rouge
  • Fort Pitt
  • Fort Rae
  • Fort Reliance
  • Fort Thompson
  • Fort Wedderburne
  • Fort Fork
  • Fort Poplar
  • Fort Hackett
  • Fort Yale
  • Fort Anne
  • Fort Jemseg
  • Fort Livingstone
  • Fort Lawerence
  • Fort Gaspereau
  • Fort Charnisay
  • Fort Aklavik
  • Fort Cadotte
  • Fort Nashwaak
  • Fort Bedford
  • Fort Chesterfield
  • Fort Dease Lake
  • Fort McMurray
  • Fort Vermillion
  • Fort Howe
  • Fort Lajoie
  • Fort Meductic
  • Fort Buckingham
  • Fort Connolly
  • Fort Caribou
  • Fort Cumberland
  • Fort Assiniboine
  • Fort Ash
  • Fort Athabaska
  • Fort Dauphin
  • Fort Norway
  • Fort Bell
  • Fort Brandon
  • Fort Columbia
  • Fort Yukon
  • Fort Bellingham
  • Fort Massac
  • Fort St. Nicholas
  • Fort Prudhomme
  • Fort Sakisdac
  • Fort Venango
  • Fort Machault
  • Fort Orleans
  • Fort Mackinac
  • Fort St. Croix
  • Fort Biloxi
  • Fort Toulouse
  • Fort Dearborn
  • Fort Simcoe
  • Fort Wallace
  • Fort La Have
  • Fort Island
  • Fort Brisebois
  • Fort Dunvegan
  • Fort Constantine
  • Fort Kilmar
  • Fort Providence
  • Fort Mcdonnell
  • Fort Alabama
  • Fort Edmonton
  • Fort Wrangell
  • Fort Ville Marie
  • Fort Nipigon
  • Fort Louisburg
  • Fort Abitibi
  • Fort Senneville
  • Fort Tadoussac
  • Fort La Maune
  • Fort Chambly
  • Fort La Prairie
  • Fort Cataraqui
  • Fort Concord
  • Fort St. Francois
  • Fort Mingan
  • Fort Carillon
  • Fort Albany
  • Fort Brunswick
  • Fort Frontenac
  • Fort St Paul
  • Fort St Regis
  • Fort La Tour
  • Fort Michipicoten
  • Fort Missanabie
  • Fort Frontenac
  • Fort Lennox
  • Fort Richelieu
  • Fort St Joseph
  • Fort Beausejour
  • Fort Pic
  • Fort Musquarro
  • Fort La Cloche
  • Fort Mattagami
  • Fort Nottingham
  • Fort Alexandria
  • Fort Augustus
  • Fort Babine
  • Fort Bourbon
  • Fort Battle River
  • Fort-a-la-Corne
  • Fort Rouge
  • Fort Simpson
  • Fort Gibraltar
  • Fort Paskoyac
  • Fort La Montee
  • Fort Steele
  • Fort Frederick
  • Fort Cedar Lake
  • Fort Drew
  • Fort Fairford
  • Fort Frobisher
  • Fort Grahame
  • Fort Jasper
  • Fort Buffalo
  • Fort Grouard
  • Fort Mcpherson
  • Fort Fidler
  • Fort Capot River
  • Fort Carlton
  • Fort Esperance
  • Fort Hall
  • Fort Clatsop
  • Fort Colville
  • Fort Panmure
  • Fort Marin
  • Fort Saleesh
  • Fort St.Antoine
  • Fort Sandusky
  • Fort Charlotte
  • Fort Highfield
  • Fort Green Lake
  • Fort Daer
  • Fort Harrison
  • Fort Stikine
  • Fort Rupert
  • Fort Mumford
  • Fort Acton
  • Fort Turtle
  • Fort Aspin
  • Fort Perrot
  • Fort Conti
  • Fort Aspin
  • Fort Beaver Lake
  • Fort Simcoe
  • Fort Remy
  • Fort Longueuil
  • Fort Maissonneuve
  • Fort Vercheres
  • Fort Erie
  • Fort Coulonge
  • Fort Wellington
  • Fort Norfolk
  • Fort Rouille
  • Fort Crevier
  • Fort Covington
  • Fort Moose
  • Fort Romaine
  • Fort Esperance
  • Fort Henley
  • Fort La Prairie
  • Fort Ticonderoga
  • Fort Crown Point
  • Fort Beauharnois
  • Fort Niagara
  • Fort Rosalie
  • Fort Sandusky
  • Fort Wayne
  • Fort Camosun
  • Fort Douglas
  • Fort Liard
  • Fort Hudson’s Hope
  • Fort Tremblant
  • Fort Walsh
  • Fort Wrigley
  • Fort Sturgeon
  • Fort St Ignace
  • Fort Berens
  • Fort Langley
  • Fort Chilcotin
  • Fort Confidence
  • Fort Chipewyan
  • Fort Carlton
  • Fort Maurepas
  • Fort Norman
  • Fort Slave
  • Fort Souris
  • Fort Brule
  • Fort Franklin
  • Fort La Traite
  • Fort Finlay
  • Fort Rampart
  • Fort Stager
  • Fort Fitzgerald
  • Fort Nakasley
  • Fort Enterprise
  • Fort Glenlyon
  • Fort Glenora
  • Fort Gloucester
  • Fort Grant
  • Fort Greene Lake
  • Fort Astoria
  • Fort Kullyspell
  • Fort Crevecoeur
  • Fort Kaskaskia
  • Fort Boise
  • Fort La Baye
  • Fort St. Ignace
  • Fort Miami
  • Fort Mackinac
  • Fort Miami
  • Fort Grand Rapids
  • Fort Duquesne
  • Fort McLeod
  • Fort Pelly
  • Fort Chimo (completed as tanker)

See also


  1. Last confirmed scrapping, two ships may have been in service until the 1990s
  2. "'FORT', 'OCEAN' & 'PARK' TYPE SHIPS". Mariners. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  3. "The Forts". Angela DeRoy-Jones. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  4. "FORT SHIPS A - J". Mariners. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  5. "FORT SHIPS K - S". Mariners. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  6. "FORT SHIPS T - Y". Mariners. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  7. Commonwealth War Graves Commission records
  8. Royal Canadian Naval Ships Memorial Monument
  9. Fort and Park Canada ships
  10. "Fort Concord". Uboat. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  11. Rohwer, Jürgen; Gerhard Hümmelchen. "Seekrieg 1943, Oktober". Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
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