Explore History

Second World War
The Navy Ashore  - The Navy and the Home Front

The Royal Canadian Navy became a strong presence on Canada's home front during the Second World War. Naval imagery appeared in fundraising and propaganda materials, while Canadians built equipment for the navy, or were encouraged to support it through volunteer work.

V-E Day, St. John's, Newfoundland
V-E Day, St. John's, Newfoundland

Allied merchant ships in the harbour at St. John's, Newfoundland, are decorated with flags to celebrate V-E (Victory in Europe) Day, 8 May 1945.

Germany's unconditional surrender sparked widespread celebrations, and these ships are following the naval tradition of "dressing" with flags in recognition of the event. Colourful signal flags are suspended from the masts and rigging of both ships seen here. St. John's, an important port for convoys and their escorts, witnessed large-scale celebrations of the end of the war in Europe.

George Metcalf Archival Collection

$90 Killed this U-Boat!
Fifth Victory Loan, 1943
Seventh Victory Loan, Halifax, 1944
Careless Words may cause Disaster!
Censored Photograph, HMCS Wentworth
What would you do if I quit?
Manufacturing Naval Guns and Mountings
Torpedo Depth and Roll Recorder
Send the boys good Books and magazines
Knit for the Navy and Merchant Navy
Ditty Bags for Sailors
Sailor's Fur Vest
"Meet the Navy" Program
"Meet the Navy" Program
Royal Canadian Navy Certificate of Acknowledgement
Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Pillow Cover
Cut-Out Allied Naval Units
The Canadian Navy Paint Book
V-E Day, St. John's, Newfoundland
Bedford Magazine Explosion, 1945