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HMCS Drummondville

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HMCS Drummondville
History
Canada
NameDrummondville
NamesakeDrummondville, Quebec
BuilderCanadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec
Laid down1 October 1941
Launched21 May 1941
Commissioned30 October 1941
Decommissioned29 October 1945
IdentificationPennant number: J253
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942–45,[1] Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942[2]
FateSold for mercantile use. Sank 1963.
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 Drummondville was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. Entering service in 1941, she was sold for mercantile service after the war. In 1963, as Fort Albany, the ship was involved in a collision near Sorel, Quebec and sank. The ship was later raised and broken up.

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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.

Ship breaking

Ship breaking

Ship-breaking is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for re-use, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap. Modern ships have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years before corrosion, metal fatigue and a lack of parts render them uneconomical to operate. Ship-breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steelmaking process. Fixtures and other equipment on board the vessels can also be reused. While ship-breaking is sustainable, there are concerns about the use by poorer countries without stringent environmental legislation. It is also labour-intensive, and considered one of the world's most dangerous industries.

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.[3][4] They came in two versions powered by different engines; those with a diesel engines and those with vertical triple-expansion steam engines.[3] Drummondville was of the latter design and was larger than her diesel-engined cousins. Drummondville 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).[3][5] The minesweeper had a displacement of 672 long tons (683 t). She had a complement of 6 officers and 77 enlisted.[5]

Drummondville 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.[3]

In general, Bangor-class minesweepers were armed with either a single quick-firing (QF) 12-pounder (3 in (76 mm)) 12 cwt HA gun or a QF 3-inch (76 mm) 20 cwt gun mounted forward.[3][5][a] The ships were also fitted with a QF 2-pounder Mark VIII aft and were eventually fitted with single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns on the bridge wings.[6] Those ships assigned to convoy duty were armed with two depth charge launchers and four chutes to deploy their 40 depth charges.[3][6] Drummondville was equipped with LL and SA minesweeping gear to counter magnetic and acoustic naval mines.[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.

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.

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.

Naval mine

Naval mine

A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel or a particular vessel type, akin to anti-infantry vs. anti-vehicle mines. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour; or defensively, to protect friendly vessels and create "safe" zones. Mines allow the minelaying force commander to concentrate warships or defensive assets in mine-free areas giving the adversary three choices: undertake an expensive and time-consuming minesweeping effort, accept the casualties of challenging the minefield, or use the unmined waters where the greatest concentration of enemy firepower will be encountered.

Service history

Drummondville was ordered as part of the 1940–41 building programme. The minesweeper's keel was laid on 10 January 1941 by Canadian Vickers Ltd at Montreal, Quebec. The ship was launched on 21 May 1941 and commissioned on 30 October 1941 at Montreal with the pennant number J253.[5]

The minesweeper arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 11 November and served for the first three years of her career with the Western Local Escort Force, the Gulf Escort Force and the Halifax Local Defence Force.[5] Her duties included escort of convoys through the Gulf of St. Lawrence.[7] On 6 July 1942, while escorting the convoy QS-15 composed of twelve merchant ships with HMS Bangor from Quebec City to Sydney, Nova Scotia, the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U-132.[8][9] The submarine managed to sink three merchant ships in an hour and a half.[10] Drummondville managed to severely damage the U-boat in turn and drive the submarine off.[9] In January 1943 the Western Local Escort Force escorts were organized into groups. Drummondville was placed in 24.18.8 alongside sister ship Kenora and corvettes Quesnel and Saskatoon.[11] She joined Newfoundland Force in February 1944. She was refitted at Louisburg, Nova Scotia before being sent to Bermuda in August for her working up. She continued working with Newfoundland Force until June 1945. From then until October 1945 she was occupied with general coastal duties. She was paid off on 29 October 1945 and placed in strategic reserve at Sorel, Quebec.[5]

Post war service

After the war she remained in strategic reserve until 1952 when her status was upgraded to reserve and sent to Sydney.[5] The vessel was given the new pennant number 181.[12] However, she was never recommissioned and was sold in September 1958 to Beauchemin Nav Ltd and registered in Halifax.[5][13][14] The minesweeper was converted in 1960 to the merchant ship SS Fort Albany of 617 GRT and served as such until she was sunk in a collision near Sorel.[5][14] On 8 December 1963, while carrying a load of calcium and steel bars, Fort Albany collided with the Norwegian freighter Procyon in thick fog and sank in the St. Lawrence River near Sorel.[14][15] Four out of the ten crew died as the ship sank quickly.[15] The hull was raised and broken up at Sorel in 1964.[5][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. The laying of the keel is often the initial step in the construction of a ship. In the British and American shipbuilding traditions, this event marks the beginning date of a ships construction.

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.

Canadian Vickers

Canadian Vickers

Canadian Vickers Limited was an aircraft and shipbuilding company that operated in Canada during the early part of the 20th century until 1944. A subsidiary of Vickers Limited, it built its own aircraft designs as well as others under licence. Canadair absorbed the Canadian Vickers aircraft operations in November 1944.

Montreal

Montreal

Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada and most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill around which the early city of Ville-Marie is built. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which obtained its name from the same origin as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. The city is 196 km (122 mi) east of the national capital Ottawa, and 258 km (160 mi) southwest of the provincial capital, Quebec City.

Quebec

Quebec

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is the largest province by area and the second-largest by population. Much of the population lives in urban areas along the St. Lawrence River, between the most populous city, Montreal, and the provincial capital, Quebec City. Quebec is the home of the Québécois nation. Located in Central Canada, the province shares land borders with Ontario to the west, Newfoundland and Labrador to the northeast, New Brunswick to the southeast, and a coastal border with Nunavut; in the south it borders Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York in the United States.

Pennant number

Pennant number

In the Royal Navy and other navies of Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations, ships are identified by pennant number. Historically, naval ships flew a flag that identified a flotilla or type of vessel. For example, the Royal Navy used a red burgee for torpedo boats and a pennant with an H for torpedo boat destroyers. Adding a number to the type-identifying flag uniquely identified each ship.

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).

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).

Convoy QS-15

Convoy QS-15

Convoy QS-15 was a trade convoy of merchant ships during the Second World War. It was one of the numbered QS Convoys which travelled from Québec to Sydney. The convoy was attacked in the early weeks of the Battle of the St. Lawrence, in the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, when German U-boats were making ad hoc forays deep into Canadian waters. The convoy was found on 6 July 1942 by U-132, which then sank three ships. U-132 was attacked and damaged by the convoy escort ship HMCS Drummondville.

HMS Bangor (J00)

HMS Bangor (J00)

HMS Bangor was a Bangor-class minesweeper of the Royal Navy that served during the Second World War. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Govan, Scotland. Bangor was the lead vessel of her class and one of the diesel-engined versions. She was ordered on 12 July 1939, laid down on 19 September 1939, launched on 23 May 1940, and commissioned on 7 November 1940.

German submarine U-132 (1941)

German submarine U-132 (1941)

German submarine U-132 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 10 August 1940 by Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 11, launched on 10 April 1941 and commissioned on 29 May that year under Kapitänleutnant Ernst Vogelsang.

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.

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

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References

Notes

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

Citations

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships – The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence – Second World War". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Chesneau, p. 64
  4. ^ Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 167
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 180
  6. ^ a b c Macpherson (1997), p. 46
  7. ^ Sarty, p. 92
  8. ^ Rohwer, p. 178
  9. ^ a b Sarty, pp. 100–101
  10. ^ German, p. 117
  11. ^ Rohwer, p. 222
  12. ^ Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 317
  13. ^ Colledge, p. 117
  14. ^ a b c d "Drummondville (5117896)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Snow Delays Bid to Recover Bodies of Collision Victims". Montreal Gazette. 10 December 1963. p. 3.

Sources

External links

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