The Bras d’Or was an auxiliary minesweeper completed at Sorel, MRC du Bas-Richelieu, Québec, in 1926 as a lightship. On the outbreak of war she patrolled the approaches to Halifax and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In October 1940, while shadowing a Romanian freighter, she disappeared without a trace between Anticosti Island and Sydney, Nova Scotia, in bad weather. It is almost certain that the Bras d’Or’s loss was due to ice and not enemy action. WJ Brown was the only Saskatchewanian to go down with her.

The Bras d’Or had another claim to fame. In mid1940 she captured the Italian freighter Capo Noli trying to escape on the eve of Italy’s declaration of war. Although her crew ran her aground on Île du Bic in the St. Lawrence and set her ablaze, seamen from the Bras d’Or put out the fires and the vessel was taken in to the Canadian merchant marine most appropriately as the Bic Island. Ironically, she was sunk in the north Atlantic by U224 on 19421029. HJ Secretan went down with her.


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