With the end of the war in Europe, the Canadian government took steps to create army, air force, and navy units to fight against the Japanese in the Pacific. The United States had made the largest military contribution to the Pacific war, but Britain, Australia, and New Zealand had also committed substantial air, ground, and naval forces.

The Canadian contingent would consist of army, air force, and naval units. The 6th Canadian Division would be raised from veterans returning from Europe. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) would form a special contingent called the "Tiger Force." It would consist of 8 RCAF Lancaster bomber squadrons and 2 RCAF fighter escort squadrons. Tiger Force would co-operate with the United States Army Air Force in bombing raids on the Japanese home islands. The Royal Canadian Navy would send ships from the Atlantic to engage in combined operations with the Royal Navy (RN). The RCN contingent would consist of two light aircraft carriers and two cruisers supported by destroyers, frigates, and corvettes.

One Canadian ship, the cruiser HMCS Uganda, was already in the Pacific off the coast of Okinawa with a British naval task force. On 28 April, Captain E.R. Mainguy received a communiqué from Ottawa stating that service in the Pacific would be voluntary. Captain Mainguy informed the officers and crew of the Uganda that they could choose to return home or volunteer for continued service in the Pacific. After considerable debate, the men on the Uganda cast their votes. Although 300 elected to volunteer for continued service, 605 voted to return to Canada.

However, by July, the Uganda was still in the western Pacific. When the American and British Pacific fleets finally received additional ships, the Uganda headed for the RCN base in Esquimalt, B.C., on 28 July 1945. The Uganda arrived in Esquimalt on 10 August 1945. On 14 August, before the proposed 6th Division, RCAF Tiger Force, and RCN contingent could be organized and sent to the Pacific theatre, the Japanese surrendered.

 

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