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HMCS Coaticook

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HMCS Coaticook
History
Canada
NameCoaticook
NamesakeCoaticook, Quebec
OperatorRoyal Canadian Navy
Ordered1 February 1943
BuilderDavie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon
Yard number553
Laid down14 June 1943
Launched26 November 1943
Commissioned25 July 1944
Decommissioned29 November 1945
IdentificationPennant number:K 410
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1944–1945,[1] Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944[2]
FateSold 1948, sank as breakwater; raised 1961 and scuttled 1962 at Race Rocks off Vancouver Island.
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class frigate
Displacement
  • 1,445 long tons (1,468 t; 1,618 short tons)
  • 2,110 long tons (2,140 t; 2,360 short tons) (deep load)
Length
  • 283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
  • 301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed
  • 20 knots (37.0 km/h)
  • 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h) (turbine ships)
Range646 long tons (656 t; 724 short tons) oil fuel; 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h)
Complement157
Armament

HMCS Coaticook was a River-class frigate that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a coastal convoy escort. She was named for Coaticook, Quebec.

Coaticook was ordered on 1 February 1943 as part of the 1943–1944 River class building programme.[3][4] She was laid down on 14 June 1943 by Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd. at Lauzon, Quebec and launched 26 November 1943.[4] She was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 25 July 1944 at Quebec City.[3]

Discover more about HMCS Coaticook related topics

River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

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.

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.

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding is a historic shipbuilding company located in Lauzon, Quebec, Canada. The facility is now operating as Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and is the oldest continually operating shipbuilder in North America.

Lauzon, Quebec

Lauzon, Quebec

Lauzon is a former city in southern Quebec, Canada, located on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Lévis. Founded in 1867 as a village it became a town in 1910, Lauzon had a population of about 14,500 when it merged with Lévis in 1989. The then-amalgamated city had the name of Lévis-Lauzon for about one year in 1991, before merging again and changing its name for good to Lévis.

Quebec City

Quebec City

Quebec City, officially Québec, is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. As of July 2021, the city had a population of 549,459, and the metropolitan area had a population of 839,311. It is the eleventh-largest city and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in Canada. It is also the second-largest city in the province after Montreal. It has a humid continental climate with warm summers coupled with cold and snowy winters.

Background

The River-class frigate was designed by William Reed of Smith's Dock Company of South Bank-on-Tees. Originally called a "twin-screw corvette", its purpose was to improve on the convoy escort classes in service with the Royal Navy at the time, including the Flower-class corvette. The first orders were placed by the Royal Navy in 1940 and the vessels were named for rivers in the United Kingdom, giving name to the class. In Canada they were named for towns and cities though they kept the same designation.[5] The name "frigate" was suggested by Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles of the Royal Canadian Navy and was adopted later that year.[6]

Improvements over the corvette design included improved accommodation which was markedly better. The twin engines gave only three more knots of speed but extended the range of the ship to nearly double that of a corvette at 7,200 nautical miles (13,300 km) at 12 knots.[6] Among other lessons applied to the design was an armament package better designed to combat U-boats including a twin 4-inch mount forward and 12-pounder aft.[5] 15 Canadian frigates were initially fitted with a single 4-inch gun forward but with the exception of HMCS Valleyfield, they were all eventually upgraded to the double mount.[6] For underwater targets, the River-class frigate was equipped with a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and depth charge rails aft and four side-mounted throwers.[5]

River-class frigates were the first Royal Canadian Navy warships to carry the 147B Sword horizontal fan echo sonar transmitter in addition to the irregular ASDIC. This allowed the ship to maintain contact with targets even while firing unless a target was struck. Improved radar and direction-finding equipment improved the RCN's ability to find and track enemy submarines over the previous classes.[5]

Canada originally ordered the construction of 33 frigates in October 1941.[5][6] The design was too big for the shipyards on the Great Lakes so all the frigates built in Canada were built in dockyards along the west coast or along the St. Lawrence River.[6] In all Canada ordered the construction of 60 frigates including ten for the Royal Navy that transferred two to the United States Navy.[5]

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River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

Royal Navy

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is consequently known as the Senior Service.

Flower-class corvette

Flower-class corvette

The Flower-class corvette was a British class of 294 corvettes used during World War II by the Allied navies particularly as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the Battle of the Atlantic. Royal Navy ships of this class were named after flowers.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2020 population of more than 67 million people.

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield was a River-class frigate that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was torpedoed and sunk in May 1944, the only River-class frigate lost by the RCN. She was named for Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec.

Hedgehog (weapon)

Hedgehog (weapon)

The Hedgehog was a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon that was used primarily during the Second World War. The device, which was developed by the Royal Navy, fired up to 24 spigot mortars ahead of a ship when attacking a U-boat. It was deployed on convoy escort warships such as destroyers and corvettes to supplement the depth charges.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes, which are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and are in general on or near the Canada–United States border. Hydrologically, lakes Michigan and Huron are a single body joined at the Straits of Mackinac. The Great Lakes Waterway enables modern travel and shipping by water among the lakes.

St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. Its headwaters begin flowing from Lake Ontario in a roughly northeasterly direction, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting the American Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Ocean, and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin. The river traverses the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as the U.S. state of New York, and demarcates part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. It also provides the foundation for the commercial St. Lawrence Seaway.

United States Navy

United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 allies or partner nations of the United States as of 2015. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the United States Navy is the third largest of the United States military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 2,623 operational aircraft as of June 2019.

War service

Coaticook was sent in mid-September 1944 to Bermuda for workups after commissioning. Upon her return she was assigned to escort support group EG 27 based out of Halifax. During this period, German U-boats, the main foe of the River-class frigates, had adapted to the increased anti-submarine patrols with the introduction of the schnorkel, which allowed the U-boats to remain underwater while they recharged their batteries. This led to the German "inshore offensive" which targeted convoys along the Canadian and American coastlines that led to more forces being deployed in this area.[7] Coaticook remained in this duty until June 1945 when she sailed for Esquimalt.[3] She was paid off into the reserve there on 29 November 1945.[3][4]

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Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Bermuda archipelago consists of 181 islands with a total land area of 54 km2 (21 sq mi). The closest land outside the territory is in the US state of North Carolina, approximately 1,035 km (643 mi) to the northwest.

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.

U-boat

U-boat

U-boats were naval submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most effectively used in an economic-warfare role and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, and from the United States, to the United Kingdom and to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines also destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on both Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942.

Postwar service

In 1948, Coaticook was sold for stripping and in 1949, she was sunk as a breakwater at Powell River in British Columbia to replace the floating breakwater that had been installed.[8] In 1961, the hull was refloated in an effort to tow it to Victoria, British Columbia to be broken up.[3] However en route, a storm arose and the hull suffered damage. The damage was considered significant enough to render the hull structurally unstable. The decision was made to scuttle it instead of continuing on to Victoria. Four cases of forcite, a gelatin dynamite, were placed throughout the ship.[8] The ship was sunk near Race Rocks, off Vancouver Island in February 1962.[3][8] Photos of the resulting explosion were taken and distributed through The Canadian Press.[8]

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Powell River (British Columbia)

Powell River (British Columbia)

The Powell River is a river in the northern Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia, Canada that flows a short distance through the eponymous city of Powell River, British Columbia to enter the Salish Sea. It is one of the shortest rivers in the world, measuring 500 Meters in length.

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 Yukon and Northwest Territories to the north and the US states of Washington, Idaho and Montana to the south. 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.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of 91,867, and the Greater Victoria area has a population of 397,237. The city of Victoria is the 7th most densely populated city in Canada with 4,405.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (11,411/sq mi).

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.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press is a Canadian national news agency headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Established in 1917 as a vehicle for the time's Canadian newspapers to exchange news and information, The Canadian Press has been a private, not-for-profit cooperative owned and operated by its member newspapers for most of its history. In mid-2010, however, it announced plans to become a for-profit business owned by three media companies once certain conditions were met.

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

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References
Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships that Participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  4. ^ a b c "HMCS Coaticook (K 410)". uboat.net. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Fact Sheet No. 21 – Canadian River Class Frigates". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Ken (1989). Frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy 1943–1974. Lewiston, New York: Vanwell Publishing. pp. 6–7, 15. ISBN 0920277225.
  7. ^ McLean, Douglas M. (October 1993). "The Battle of Convoy BX-141" (PDF). The Northern Mariner. pp. 19–35.
  8. ^ a b c d MacFarlane, John M. (2011). "Capital Iron & Metals Ltd. – From Ship Breakers to Department Store". nauticapedia.ca. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
References
  • Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John. The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Collins: Toronto, 1981. ISBN 0-00216-856-1

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