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HMCS Digby

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HMCS Digby (J267).png
HMCS Digby
History
Canada
NameDigby
NamesakeDigby, Nova Scotia
BuilderDavie Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon
Laid down20 March 1941
Launched5 June 1942
Commissioned26 July 1942
Decommissioned31 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number:J267
Recommissioned29 April 1953
Decommissioned14 November 1956
IdentificationPennant number:179
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942–44,[1] Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942, 1944.[2]
FateBroken up 1956
BadgeAzure, an ostrich argent, holding in its beak a horseshoe or, and supporting with its dexter foot a bezant.[1]
General characteristics
Class and type Bangor-class minesweeper
Displacement592 long tons (601 t)
Length162 ft (49.4 m)
Beam28 ft (8.5 m)
Draught8.25 ft (2.51 m)
Propulsion2 shafts, 9-cylinder diesel, 2,000 bhp (1,500 kW)
Speed16 knots (30 km/h)
Complement83
Armament

HMCS Digby was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of the St. Lawrence. After the war she was supposed to be transferred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but that was cancelled and instead was recommissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy, serving until 1956.

Discover more about HMCS Digby related topics

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.

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.

Battle of the St. Lawrence

Battle of the St. Lawrence

The Battle of the St. Lawrence involved marine and anti-submarine actions throughout the lower St. Lawrence River and the entire Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Strait of Belle Isle, Anticosti Island and Cabot Strait from May–October 1942, September 1943, and again in October–November 1944. During this time, German U-boats sank over 20 merchant ships and four Canadian warships. There were several near-shore actions involving the drop of German spies, or the attempted pickup of escaping prisoners of war. Despite the 23 ships lost, this battle marked a strategic victory for Canadian forces as ultimately they managed to disrupt U-boat activity, protect Canadian and Allied convoys, and intercept all attempted shore operations. This marked the first time that a foreign power had inflicted casualties in Canadian inland waters since the US incursions in the War of 1812.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, commonly known in English as the Mounties is the federal and national police service of Canada. As police services are the constitutional responsibility of provinces and territories of Canada, the RCMP's primary responsibility is the enforcement of federal criminal law, and sworn members of the RCMP have jurisdiction as a peace officer in all provinces and territories of Canada. However, the service also provides police services under contract to eight of Canada's provinces, all three of Canada's territories, more than 150 municipalities, and 600 Indigenous communities. In addition to enforcing federal legislation and delivering local police services under contract, the RCMP is responsible for border integrity; overseeing Canadian peacekeeping missions involving police; managing the Canadian Firearms Program, which licenses and registers firearms and their owners; and the Canadian Police College, which provides police training to Canadian and international police services.

Design and description

The Bangor class was initially to be a scaled down minesweeper design of the Halcyon class in Royal Navy service.[3][4] However, due to the difficulty procuring diesel engines led to the small number of the diesel version being completed.[4] The ships displaced 592 long tons (601 t) standard and 690 long tons (700 t) fully loaded. They were 162 feet (49.4 m) long with a beam of 28 feet (8.5 m) and a draught of 8 feet 3 inches (2.51 m).[4][5] However, the size of the ship led to criticisms of their being too cramped for magnetic or acoustic minesweeping gear.[4] This may have been due to all the additions made during the war with the installation of ASDIC, radar and depth charges.[3]

The Bangor class came in two versions. Digby was of the diesel-powered version, being equipped with a 9-cylinder diesel engine driving two shafts that produced 2,000 brake horsepower (1,500 kW). This gave the ship a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h). The vessels carried 65 long tons (66 t) of oil.[4] The vessels had a complement of 6 officers and 77 ratings.[5]

The Canadian diesel-powered Bangors were armed with a single quick-firing (QF) 12-pounder 12 cwt gun mounted forward.[4][5][a] Initially the design called for a 4-inch (102 mm) gun, however these were replaced with 12-pounder guns. The ships were also fitted with a QF 2-pounder Mark VIII gun aft and were eventually fitted with single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns on the bridge wings.[6] For those ships assigned to convoy duty, they were armed with two depth charge launchers and two chutes to deploy the 40 depth charges they carried.[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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun

QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun

The QF 12-pounder 12-cwt gun (Quick-Firing) was a common, versatile 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre naval gun introduced in 1894 and used until the middle of the 20th century. It was produced by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick and used on Royal Navy warships, exported to allied countries, and used for land service. In British service "12-pounder" was the rounded value of the projectile weight, and "12 cwt (hundredweight)" was the weight of the barrel and breech, to differentiate it from other "12-pounder" guns.

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.

Bridge (nautical)

Bridge (nautical)

The bridge, also known as the pilothouse or wheelhouse, is a room or platform of a ship from which the ship can be commanded. When a ship is under way, the bridge is manned by an officer of the watch aided usually by an able seaman acting as a lookout. During critical maneuvers the captain will be on the bridge, often supported by an officer of the watch, an able seaman on the wheel and sometimes a pilot, if required.

Service history

Digby was ordered as part of the 1940–41 building programme. The minesweeper's keel was laid down on 20 March 1941 by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. Ltd. at Lauzon, Quebec and the ship was launched on 5 June 1942.[5][7] She was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 26 July 1942 at Quebec City.[5]

After working up at Pictou, Digby joined the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF). In January 1943 WLEF organized escort groups. Digby was assigned to 24.18.1 alongside the corvettes Arrowhead and Chicoutimi.[8] In June 1943, when WLEF reorganized their escort groups, she was assigned to escort group W-5. She remained with the group until April 1944 when a refit was required, to be performed at Lunenburg. The refit was completed at Halifax and upon returning from workups in Bermuda, she was assigned to Sydney Force.[5]

In February 1945, Digby was assigned to Newfoundland Force until returning to Canada and being paid off on 31 July 1945. She was placed in reserve at Shelburne, Nova Scotia.[5] After the war Digby was offered for transfer to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Marine Section, to be renamed Perry. However, the takeover did not take place.[5][9] The vessel was taken to Sorel to lay in strategic reserve until 1951, when she was reacquired by the Royal Canadian Navy. She was refitted for training duties.[5]

Postwar service

Digby was recommissioned on 29 April 1953 with the new pennant number 179.[7] The ship was refit before reentering service, receiving a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and the 12-pounder gun was removed and replaced with a 40 mm Bofors gun.[6] She was used, along with HMCS Granby, in 1953 on Lake Ontario to test the Royal Canadian Navy's DATAR system.[10] In October 1954 Digby transferred to the west coast with Brockville and Jonquiere.[11] On 4 December 1955, Brockville, Digby and Cordova formed the Second Canadian Reserve Squadron for training purposes at Esquimalt.[12][13]

She was paid off on 14 November 1956 and sold for scrap.[5][9] Digby was broken up in 1956–57.[14]

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Keel

Keel

The keel is the bottom-most longitudinal structural element on a vessel. On some sailboats, it may have a hydrodynamic and counterbalancing purpose, as well. As the laying down of the keel is the initial step in the construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event.

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.

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 Chicoutimi (K156)

HMCS Chicoutimi (K156)

HMCS Chicoutimi was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as an ocean escort. She was named for Chicoutimi, Quebec.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded in 1753, the town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia.

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.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne is a town located in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, commonly known in English as the Mounties is the federal and national police service of Canada. As police services are the constitutional responsibility of provinces and territories of Canada, the RCMP's primary responsibility is the enforcement of federal criminal law, and sworn members of the RCMP have jurisdiction as a peace officer in all provinces and territories of Canada. However, the service also provides police services under contract to eight of Canada's provinces, all three of Canada's territories, more than 150 municipalities, and 600 Indigenous communities. In addition to enforcing federal legislation and delivering local police services under contract, the RCMP is responsible for border integrity; overseeing Canadian peacekeeping missions involving police; managing the Canadian Firearms Program, which licenses and registers firearms and their owners; and the Canadian Police College, which provides police training to Canadian and international police services.

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.

HMCS Granby (J264)

HMCS Granby (J264)

HMCS Granby was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of the St. Lawrence. After the war, she was transferred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however never saw service with them. She was recommissioned as a deep-diving tender in 1953 and served as such until 1966. She was named for Granby, Quebec.

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

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Further Reading

References

Notes

  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.

Citations

  1. ^ a b Arbuckle, p. 35
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships that Participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b Brown, p. 124
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Chesneau (1980), p. 61
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 185
  6. ^ a b c Macpherson (1997), p. 58
  7. ^ a b "HMCS Digby (J267)". uboat.net. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  8. ^ Rohwer, p. 222
  9. ^ a b Colledge, p. 186
  10. ^ Ball, Norman R.; Vardalas, John N. (1993). Ferranti-Packard: Pioneers in Canadian Electrical Manufacturing. McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 9780773509832.
  11. ^ "Three Ships Go to West Coast". The Crowsnest. Vol. 6, no. 12. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. October 1954. p. 2.
  12. ^ "Reserve Squadron Being Formed". The Crowsnest. Vol. 7, no. 2. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. December 1954. p. 3.
  13. ^ "Two New Squadrons for Pacific Command". The Crowsnest. Vol. 7, no. 4. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. February 1955. pp. 2–3.
  14. ^ "Digby (6112956)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 5 August 2016.

Sources

External links

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