The Organization of New France

French Naval Troops

Navy Bombardiers

The Navy required its own artillery personnel, distinct from that of the army. There were artillery commissaries in the Navy and schools for apprentice gunners in several ports. The invention of bomb ketches in the early 1680s led to the creation of a specialized corps of "Bombardiers de la Marine" or Navy Bombardiers. These artillerymen operated the mortars on these ships. The first company was raised in Toulon in 1682, the second in Brest in 1692, and the third in Rochefort in 1694. Beginning in the early eighteenth century, a few bombardiers were detached to the colonies. One was sent to Port-Royal in Acadia in 1702, then to Île Royale, where he eventually became an artillery assistant in 1716. A detachment served in Louisiana in 1740, and another formed the second company of colonial gunner-bombardiers in Louisbourg in 1758. They wore red uniforms faced with blue. They were incorporated into the army artillery in 1761.