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Joe Fossey notes, this is our current best guess as to how a Russel design became the "Ville" class... Canada was at War and desperately needed all the strategic Wartime goods as soon as possible. Aircraft factories, Truck factories, Shipyards, Munitions factories and essential companion products were mandated by the government to be produced as quickly as possible. As far as the "Villes" go, it is my submission that Harry H. Warkentin's trim little 40 foot workboat (see Bluefin) built c. 1937-38 was a ready to go product with no research and development required...It was just what the Navy was looking for in a small harbour tug and Russel Brothers had the plant facility to go into immediate production. It was the Navy Brass and procurement department who assigned the name "Ville" to this class. I do recall hearing about an ex Navy inspector who volunteered that they were always happy to see Russel built boats coming down for their pre-acceptance tests because they were all well built and well tested.

Donal M. Baird, in his book "Under Tow: A History of Tugs and Towing" writes (page 95): " The first new tugs to come to the aid of the Navy, whose ship handling problems were becoming exacerbated by the presence of dozens of new warships, were the fifteen little, 40-foot, 150bhp, steel yard tugs of the Ville class (e.g. Otterville, Marysville, Merrickville and Beamsville). These were built in the tug specialist Russel Brothers shipyard, now in Owen Sound, Ontario, to work mainly at Halifax and Esquimalt. They arrived on the scene in 1943 and 1944 and were fine for handling corvettes, but too small to handle berthing of larger ships."

From the Company Brochure "Steelcraft Powerful Diesel Tugs"
VILLE CLASS
WWII
NAVY TUGS

 

VILLE
CLASS

Info used with permission of LCdr (Ret'd) David J Freeman, Victoria, BC, and
taken from his book published in 2000, Canadian Warship Names.
NAME
CN NUMBER
LAID DOWN
COMMISSIONED
Other Info
Adamsville
800
23-11-43
12-1-44
YTS 582. Re-named "BURRARD" (HMCS Discovery tender).
Auburnville
803
8-12-43
24-1-44
(W50). Re-named "W.A.C. No. 5" (War Assets Corp.),
Sank in Lake Ontario 31/05/62. ON 177428
Barkerville
894?
13-10-44
14-12-44
(Z19). Re-named "SYLVIA KING", Vancouver. ON 179092
Beamsville
801
29-11-43
16-1-44
YTS 583 (Z61)
Blissville
838
5-1-44
18-3-44
(W56) Hull #479 to Dept. of Public Works 1947, ON 170298
Bonnyville
878
11-8-44
3-11-44
Hull #494. Sold to Upper Ottawa Imp. Co. 1946. ON 179027
Colville
843
25-1-44
27-5-44
YTS 576. Hull #484. Sold to Gulf Services 31/03/64 Re-named "GULF WAVE". ON 320827
Eckville
839
8-1-44
22-3-44
YTS 580 (W58)
Granville
???
???
7-9-42
(W18)
Hartville
882
8-9-44
23-11-44
12-1-44
Haysville
???
???
8-7-42
YTS 575 (W119)
Hodgeville
807
28-12-43
8-3-44
(W53)
Innisville
883
13-9-44
24-11-44
???
Jamesville
884
16-9-44
24-11-44
???
Johnsville*
880
22-8-44
8-11-44
???
Kayville
886
26-9-44
24-11-44
???
Kingsville
???
???
20-8-42
(W20)
Lakeville
???
???
7-9-42
(W21)
Lawrenceville
799
16-11-43
8-1-44
YTS 584   YTS 590
Listerville
875
10-7-44
12-10-44
YTS 578   YTS 592
Loganville
893
10-10-44
13-12-44
YTS 589 (W66)
Luceville
844
28-1-44
27-5-44
???
Mannville
840
14-1-44
6-4-44
YTS 577 (W57)
Martinville
876
15-7-44
11-10-44
(W61)
Marysville
802
15-12-43
20-1-44
YTS 585   YTS 594 (Z62)
Merrickville
879
14-8-44
8-11-44
YTS 581   YTS 593
Neville
877
1-8-44
3-11-44
???
Otterville
805
18-12-43
29-1-44
YTS 590 (W51) (W32)
Parksville
804
15-12-43
27-1-44
YTS 579   YTS 591 (W49)
Pierreville
???
5-10-44
13-12-44
???
Plainsville
844
28-1-44
27-5-44
YTS 587 (W01)
Queensville
885
21-9-44
5-12-44
YTS 586
Radville
806
22-12-43
3-2-44
(W52)
Roseville
842
20-1-44
6-5-44
???
Shawville
841
18-1-44
27-5-44
(WPT 43)
Streetsville
837
31-12-43
10-3-44
W55
Walkerville*
???
???
???
W36
Youville
887
2-10-44
5-12-44
YTS 558
* NOT A CONFIRMED RUSSEL BUILD.

 

From Russel company brochure: SALVAGE EQUIPMENT.
Gerry Ouderkirk archive.

 

Circa 1943 wartime production of 40 foot Naval "Ville" class tugs. Note
uniformed Navy Inspectors in foreground. Photo courtesy Ted Eldred.

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Villes racing, Queensville in middle. Joe Fossey Collection.

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800 ADAMSVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown RCN YTS 582 HMCS DISCOVERY TENDER " BURRARD " 803 AUBURNVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown W 50 SOLD GERMAN AND MILNE COMMERCIAL "W.A.C.5 ", ON 177428 994 BARKERVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1945 unknown SOLD COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL " SYLVA KING " ON 179092 801 BEAMSVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown RCN YTS 583 FATE UNKNOWN 838 BLISSVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 479 W 56 TO DEPT OF PUBLIC WORKS 1947 COMMERCIAL " BLISSVILLE" ON 170298 878 BONNYVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 494 SOLD TO UPPER OTTAWA IMP CO 1946 COMMERCIAL " BONNYVILLE " ON 179027 843 COLVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 484 RCN YTS 576, SOLD TO GULF SERVICES 31/03/64 COMMERCIAL " GULF WAVE " ON 320827 839 ECKVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 480 W 58 RCN YTS 580, SOLD 31/03/64 COMMERCIAL " GULF MIST " ON 320826 448 GRENVILLE 6/30/1942 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1942 unknown W 20 SOLD TO CIP CO 1946 ? COMMERCIAL " EILEEN G. " ON 190222 882 HARTVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 498 SOLD TO STRAITS TOWING AND SALVAGE 1946 COMMERCIAL " DAVID STRAITS' LATER " NAVVY JACK" ON 176875 446 HAYSVILLE 6/30/1942 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1942 unknown W 18 SOLD POSTWAR FATE UNKNOWN 807 HODGEVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown W 53 SOLD TO UPPER OTTAWA IMP. CO 1946 COMMERCIAL " HODGEVILLE " ON 179024 883 INNISVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 499 SOLD TO CIP 1946 COMMERCIAL " INNISVILLE" ON 176576 884 JAMESVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 500 SOLD TO PULPWOOD SUPPLY LTD. 1946 ? COMMERCIAL " TERRALONG " ON 177630 880 JOHNVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 496 TO DEPT OF PUBLIC WORKS 1946 COMMERCIAL " K.M. CAMERON " ON 177458 886 KAYVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 502 SOLD TO MIL 1948 ? COMMERCIAL " W.A.C 2 " ON 177433 447 KINGSVILLE 6/30/1942 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1942 unknown W.19 SOLD TO CIP CO 1946 COMMERCIAL " CONSOL I " ON 176584 449 LAKEVILLE 6/30/1942 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1942 unknown W 21 SOLD TO STRAITS TOWING & SALVAGE LTD. COMMERCIAL " GILLBOY " ON 176758 799 LAWRENCEVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown RCN YTS 584 HMCS CHIPPEWA TENDER " CREE" 875 LISTERVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 491 RCN YTS 578 FATE UNKNOWN 993 LOGANVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1945 unknown RCN YTS 589 FATE UNKNOWN 844 LUCEVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 485 SOLD TO GERMAN AND MILNE COMMERCIAL " W.A.C. 6" ON 177429 840 MANNVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 481 W 57 RCN YTS 577 FATE UNKNOWN 876 MARTINVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 492 W 61 SOLD TO FOUNDATION MARITIME LTD 1948 COMMERCIAL " FOUNDATION JOAN" ON 178934 802 MARYSVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown RCN YTS 585 FATE UNKNOWN 879 MERRICKVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 495 RCN YTS 581 FATE UNKNOWN 877 NEVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 493 SOLD TO THE PULPWOOD SUPPLY LTD. 1946 ? COMMERCIAL " BOOMALONG " ON 177629 805 OTTERVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown W 32 RCN YTS 590 J. PORTER CO 1964 804 PARKSVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown W 49 RCN YTS 579 FATE UNKNOWN 992 PIERREVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1945 unknown TO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT 1946 COMMERCIAL " J.D. WEIR " ON 179023 881 PLAINSVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 497 W 01 RCN YTS 587 FATE UNKNOWN 885 QUEENSVILLE 1944 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 501 RCN YTS 586 FATE UNKNOWN 806 RADVILLE 5/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 unknown W 52 SOLD TO ABITIBI POWER AND PAPER CO 1946 COMMERCIAL " RADVILLE" ON 177649 842 ROSEVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 483 SOLD TO ABITIBI PULP & PAPER COMMERCIAL " BOOMALONG" ON 177629 841 SHAWVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 482 TO NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD 1948 COMMERCIAL " NHBV PATROL # 1 " LATER " BROCKTON II " ON 179060 837 STREETSVILLE 8/10/1943 VILLE CLASS STEEL TUG Russell Bros. Ind. Ltd. Owen Sound 1944 478 W 55 SOLD TO MARINE INDUSTRIES LTD 1946/47 COMMERCIAL " STREETSVILLE " ON 178702

 

For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
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