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HMCS Clayoquot

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History
Canada
NameClayoquot
NamesakeClayoquot Sound, British Columbia
Ordered23 February 1940
BuilderPrince Rupert Dry Dock and Shipyards Co. Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Laid down20 June 1940
Launched3 October 1940
Commissioned22 August 1941
IdentificationPennant number: J174
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942–44,[1] Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942[2]
FateSunk 24 December 1944
General characteristics
Class and type Bangor-class minesweeper
Displacement672 long tons (683 t)
Length180 ft (54.9 m) oa
Beam28 ft 6 in (8.7 m)
Draught9 ft 9 in (3.0 m)
Propulsion2 Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers, 2 shafts, vertical triple-expansion reciprocating engines, 2,400 ihp (1,790 kW)
Speed16.5 knots (31 km/h)
Complement83
Armament

HMCS Clayoquot was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action mainly in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was sunk in 1944. The minesweeper was named after Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.[3]

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Bangor-class minesweeper

Bangor-class minesweeper

The Bangor-class minesweepers were a class of warships operated by the Royal Navy (RN), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), and Royal Indian Navy (RIN) during the Second World War.

Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2021, the RCN operates 12 frigates, four attack submarines, 12 coastal defence vessels, eight patrol class training vessels, two offshore patrol vessels, and several auxiliary vessels. The RCN consists of 8,570 Regular Force and 4,111 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 3,800 civilians. Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee is the current commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and chief of the Naval Staff.

World War II

World War II

World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries, including all of the great powers, fought as part of two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Many participants threw their economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind this total war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role, enabling the strategic bombing of population centres and the only two nuclear weapons ever used in war.

Battle of the Atlantic

Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, ran from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, covering a major part of the naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. The campaign peaked from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is an island in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and part of the Canadian province of British Columbia. The island is 456 km (283 mi) in length, 100 km (62 mi) in width at its widest point, and 32,100 km2 (12,400 sq mi) in total area, while 31,285 km2 (12,079 sq mi) are of land. The island is the largest by area and the most populous along the west coasts of the Americas.

British Columbia

British Columbia

British Columbia, commonly abbreviated as BC, is the westernmost province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. It has a diverse geography, with rugged landscapes that include rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, forests, lakes, mountains, inland deserts and grassy plains, and borders the province of Alberta to the east, the territories of Yukon and Northwest Territories to the north, and the US states of Washington, Idaho and Montana to the south and Alaska to the northwest. With an estimated population of 5.3 million as of 2022, it is Canada's third-most populous province. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria and its largest city is Vancouver. Vancouver is the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada; the 2021 census recorded 2.6 million people in Metro Vancouver.

Design and description

A British design, the Bangor-class minesweepers were smaller than the preceding Halcyon-class minesweepers in British service, but larger than the Fundy class in Canadian service.[4][5] They came in two versions powered by different engines; those with a diesel engines and those with vertical triple-expansion steam engines.[4] Clayoquot was of the latter design and was larger than her diesel-engined cousins. Clayoquot was 180 feet (54.9 m) long overall, had a beam of 28 feet 6 inches (8.7 m) and a draught of 9 feet 9 inches (3.0 m).[4][5] The minesweeper had a displacement of 672 long tons (683 t). She had a complement of 6 officers and 77 enlisted.[5]

Clayoquot had two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The engines produced a total of 2,400 indicated horsepower (1,800 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph). The minesweeper could carry a maximum of 150 long tons (152 t) of fuel oil.[4]

Clayoquot was armed with a single quick-firing (QF) 4-inch (102 mm)/40 caliber Mk IV gun mounted forward.[4][a] For anti-aircraft purposes, the minesweeper was equipped with one QF 2-pounder Mark VIII and two single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns.[4][5] As a convoy escort, Clayoquot was deployed with 40 depth charges launched from two depth charge throwers and four chutes.[4][6]

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Halcyon-class minesweeper

Halcyon-class minesweeper

The Halcyon class was a class of 21 oil-fired minesweepers built for the British Royal Navy between 1933 and 1939. They were given traditional small ship names used historically by the Royal Navy and served during World War II.

Fundy-class minesweeper

Fundy-class minesweeper

The Fundy-class minesweepers were a class of four minesweepers operated by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. All four ships entered service in 1938 and the class were discarded in 1945, sold for mercantile service. Three ended up sold to Chinese interests, while one remained active in Canada until 1987.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is called a compression-ignition engine. This contrasts with engines using spark plug-ignition of the air-fuel mixture, such as a petrol engine or a gas engine.

Length overall

Length overall

Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.

Beam (nautical)

Beam (nautical)

The beam of a ship is its width at its widest point. The maximum beam (BMAX) is the distance between planes passing through the outer extremities of the ship, beam of the hull (BH) only includes permanently fixed parts of the hull, and beam at waterline (BWL) is the maximum width where the hull intersects the surface of the water.

Draft (hull)

Draft (hull)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel). The draught of the vessel is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The related term air draft is the maximum height of any part of the vessel above the water.

Displacement (ship)

Displacement (ship)

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight. As the term indicates, it is measured indirectly, using Archimedes' principle, by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship, then converting that value into weight. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, tonnes are more commonly used.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Fuel oil

Fuel oil

Fuel oil is any of various fractions obtained from the distillation of petroleum. Such oils include distillates and residues. Fuel oils include heavy fuel oil, marine fuel oil (MFO), bunker fuel, furnace oil (FO), gas oil (gasoil), heating oils, diesel fuel and others.

Quick-firing gun

Quick-firing gun

A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery piece, typically a gun or howitzer, which has several characteristics which taken together mean the weapon can fire at a fast rate. Quick-firing was introduced worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s and had a marked impact on war both on land and at sea.

Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

The Oerlikon 20 mm cannon is a series of autocannons, based on an original German Becker Type M2 20 mm cannon design that appeared very early in World War I. It was widely produced by Oerlikon Contraves and others, with various models employed by both Allied and Axis forces during World War II. Many versions of the cannon are still used today.

Depth charge

Depth charge

A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon. It is intended to destroy a submarine by being dropped into the water nearby and detonating, subjecting the target to a powerful and destructive hydraulic shock. Most depth charges use high explosive charges and a fuze set to detonate the charge, typically at a specific depth. Depth charges can be dropped by ships, patrol aircraft, and helicopters.

Construction and career

Ordered on 23 February 1940[7] as Esperanza, the ship was renamed Clayoquot in 1940.[8] Clayoquot was laid down on 20 June 1940 by Prince Rupert Dry Dock and Shipyards Co. at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The minesweeper was launched on 3 October 1940 and commissioned on 22 August 1941 at Prince Rupert.[3]

She left Esquimalt, British Columbia after working up and made her way to Halifax, Nova Scotia where she arrived on 14 November 1941. Clayoquot was made part of Halifax Local Defence Force initially, though she was transferred to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) in March 1942. In May 1942 Clayoquot was assigned to the Gulf Escort Force.[3] On 7 July, while responding to a U-boat attack on a convoy in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Clayoquot came upon the abandoned hulk of the merchant vessel Dinaric, which had been torpedoed during the attack. Clayoquot sank the ship with gunfire and depth charges.[9] On 10 September she was returning to Gaspé, Quebec after escorting a convoy to Rimouski with the corvette HMCS Charlottetown nearby when Charlottetown was hit by two torpedoes. Clayoquot searched for, but was unable to find the submarine. During depth charge attacks on possible targets, Clayoquot's radio was knocked out and prevented the ship from informing command of the corvette's loss.[10][11] She returned to the site of the sinking and was able to rescue 55 survivors, taking at least three and a half hours to complete.[3][12][b] In October 1942 she joined Sydney Force.[3]

On 29 December 1942 Clayoquot was sent for a major refit that took her from Halifax to Liverpool, Nova Scotia, to Pictou. The refit was completed in May 1943. After working up, she rejoined Sydney Force. In January 1944 she was assigned to HMCS Cornwallis as an officer training vessel for anti-submarine warfare. After ten months of training service, she was reassigned to Halifax Force.[3]

Sinking

HMCS Clayoquot window at CFB Halifax
HMCS Clayoquot window at CFB Halifax

While sweeping for submarines near Sambro Island Light on 24 December 1944 in preparation to escort a convoy, Clayoquot was hit aft by a torpedo fired by U-806.[13] She sank quickly and eight people died. There had not been enough time to disarm the depth charges kept ready, which detonated as the ship sank causing injuries among the surviving crew, which were picked up by the corvette Fennel.[3][14] The frigate Kirkland Lake and sister ship Transcona which had been accompanying Clayoquot, were also targeted by the U-boat, but the torpedoes detonated before doing damage to the ships.[15] A large search force was sent out to deal with the U-boat however they were not successful in finding the submarine.[13]

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Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Prince Rupert is a port city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Its location is on Kaien Island near the Alaskan panhandle. It is the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, and has a population of 12,220 people as of 2016.

CFB Esquimalt

CFB Esquimalt

Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is Canada's Pacific Coast naval base and home port to Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters. As of 2018, 4,411 military personnel and 2,762 civilians work at CFB Esquimalt.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is the capital and largest municipality of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, and the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada. Halifax is one of Canada's fastest growing municipalities, and as of 2022, it is estimated that the CMA population of Halifax was 480,582,with 348,634 people in its urban area. The regional municipality consists of four former municipalities that were amalgamated in 1996: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax County.

Gulf of St. Lawrence

Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is the outlet of the North American Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The gulf is a semi-enclosed sea, covering an area of about 226,000 square kilometres (87,000 sq mi) and containing about 34,500 cubic kilometres (8,300 cu mi) of water, at an average depth of 152 metres (500 ft).

Gaspé, Quebec

Gaspé, Quebec

Gaspé is a city at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region of eastern Quebec in Canada. Gaspé is located about 650 km (400 mi) northeast of Quebec City, and 350 km (220 mi) east of Rimouski. As of the 2021 Canadian Census, the city had a total population of 15,063.

Corvette

Corvette

A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sloop-of-war.

HMCS Charlottetown (1941)

HMCS Charlottetown (1941)

HMCS Charlottetown was a Flower-class corvette that served the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Charlottetown's pennant number K244 is unique in that it was also used for HMCS Charlottetown, a River-class frigate.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Liverpool is a Canadian community and former town located along the Atlantic Ocean of the Province of Nova Scotia's South Shore. It is situated within the Region of Queens Municipality which is the local governmental unit that comprises all of Queens County, Nova Scotia.

CFB Halifax

CFB Halifax

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax is Canada's east coast naval base and home port to the Royal Canadian Navy Atlantic fleet, known as Canadian Fleet Atlantic (CANFLTLANT), that forms part of the formation Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT).

German submarine U-806

German submarine U-806

German submarine U-806 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Frigate

Frigate

A frigate is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat.

Source: "HMCS Clayoquot", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Clayoquot.

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References

Notes

  1. ^ The 40 caliber denotes the length of the gun. This means that the length of the gun barrel is 40 times the bore diameter.
  2. ^ Darlington and McKee state there is discrepancies in the number of survivors, claiming 57–58, with some dying of wounds after reaching shore-based medical treatment at Gaspé.

Citations

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships – The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence – Second World War". Veterans Affairs Canada. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Macpherson and Barrie, p. 170
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Chesneau, p. 64
  5. ^ a b c d Macpherson and Barrie, p. 167
  6. ^ Macpherson, p. 19
  7. ^ "HMCS Clayoquot (J 174)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  8. ^ Colledge, p. 81
  9. ^ Sarty, p. 106
  10. ^ Schull, p. 119
  11. ^ Sarty, pp. 166–170
  12. ^ Darlington and McKee, p. 69
  13. ^ a b German, p. 179
  14. ^ Darlington and McKee, pp. 196–199
  15. ^ Schull, p. 384

Sources

External links

Coordinates: 44°25′N 63°20′W / 44.417°N 63.333°W / 44.417; -63.333

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