Building the Minesweepers at Canadian Car and Foundry
Canadian Car and Foundry (now Bombardier) developed new manufacturing facilities in Fort William during the First World War. CC&F, a Montreal-based company, had begun manufacturing buses in Fort William several years earlier.
The most memorable achievement of this time was the construction of twelve minesweepers for the French Navy, all launched between August and November 1918. There was considerable work for these minesweepers clearing mines from the English Channel even after the war ended.
Two of these ships are remembered for their mysterious fate: the Inkerman and Cerisoles disappeared on their maiden voyage, which left Fort William on November 23, 1918. The remains of these ships have never been found.
Read more about the history of the Canadian Car and Foundry. A larger set of photographs from the minesweeper manufacturing is also available through the City of Thunder Bay Archives.
Mantoue was the second minesweeper launched.
The Inkerman and Cerisoles were built in November, 1918. They were launched along with the Sebastopol, which was also hit badly by the storms but passed through to arrive safely in Sault Ste Marie.
Minesweepers docked on the river. Though individual ships are not identified, this photo probably includes the Inkerman and the Cerisoles. October 24, 1918