Full name: Her Majesty's Canadian Ship MONTCALM
Motto: "Disponible pour servir (Ready to serve)"
HMCS MONTCALM1, from 1923 to 2009
HMCS MONTCALM has been an integral part of the makeup of the City of Québec for over 85 years, now. The idea of a permanent shore establishment in Québec became reality after the First World War, after repeated requests from the population of Québec, and to meet the needs of the Naval Service to maintain an effective naval force. The first French-speaking unit in the Canadian Navy was founded on April 21, 1923.
Named Québec Half-Company, the unit's first mission was to recruit volunteers and provide them with training in seamanship, gunnery, diving and cartography. The unit grew with time, and the Québec Half-Company became the Québec Division in 1935. However, the Division was only commissioned on November 23, 1941, with the new taskings assigned her during the war. At that time, she was named HMCS MONTCALM.
The unit played a major role in the following years, being the main unit enabling French-speaking Canadians to join the Canadian Navy and do their part during the World War II. During this time, MONTCALM was the recruiting centre for the Royal Canadian Navy in the City of Québec. By the time the recruiting centre was converted to a release centre at the end of the War, 1 474 sailors and officers had enlisted here. HMCS MONTCALM also played a significant role during the Battle of the St. Lawrence, from May to November 1942, when warships and merchant ships were sunk in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its surrounding waters. The end of the War brought a transformation of the unit, but did not spell her end.
Today, HMCS MONTCALM still plays a major role within the Naval Reserve of the Canadian Forces. The unit distinguishes herself by her outreach to and constant involvement with the community, among others with the Compagnie franche de la Marine. In 2008, MONTCALM ensured a naval presence for the duration of the festivities surrounding the 400th anniversary of the City of Québec, participating as host unit of the Rendez-vous naval and of the National Band of the Naval Reserve. The latter will be back in Québec for the summer of 2009. Some 200 crewmembers and officers are members of the unit; MONTCALM's priorities are training and the development of her personnel. All Naval Reserve trades are represented in MONTCALM: Chaplain, Logistics, Director of Music, Maritime Surface Officer, Naval Intelligence, Public Affairs Officer, Boatswain, Naval Combat Information Operator, Marine Engineering Systems Operator, Naval Communicator, Diver, Clerk, Cook, Supply Technician, and Musician. All are eager participants.
1 HÉBERT C., NCSM MONTCALM, le français dans la marine canadienne, Éditions Septentrion, 2008, 151 p.
List of Addresses for HMCS Montcalm through time
May 20, 1995 - Today
-170, rue Dalhousie
HMCS Montcalm today is part of the Pointe-à-Carcy Naval Complex, where are also located Canadian Forces Fleet School Québec, the Naval Museum of Québec and Naval Reserve Headquarters.