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HMCS Edmundston

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HMCS Edmundston
History
Canada
NameEdmundston
NamesakeEdmundston, New Brunswick
Ordered14 February 1940
BuilderYarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, British Columbia
Laid down23 August 1940
Launched22 February 1941
Commissioned21 October 1941
Out of service16 June 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K106
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942–45, Biscay 1943-44[1]
FateSold for mercantile use. Scrapped 1961
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette (original)[2]
Displacement925 long tons (940 t; 1,036 short tons)
Length205 ft (62.48 m)o/a
Beam33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught11.5 ft (3.51 m)
Installed power2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
Propulsion
  • Single shaft
  • 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
  • 1 × 4-cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
Speed16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Range3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement85
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × SW1C or 2C radar
  • 1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament

HMCS Edmundston 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 a convoy escort. She was named for Edmundston, New Brunswick.

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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.

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.

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.

Edmundston

Edmundston

Edmundston is a city in Madawaska County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Edmundston serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[3][4][5] The "corvette" designation was created by the French for classes of small warships; the Royal Navy borrowed the term for a period but discontinued its use in 1877.[6] During the hurried preparations for war in the late 1930s, Winston Churchill reactivated the corvette class, needing a name for smaller ships used in an escort capacity, in this case based on a whaling ship design.[7] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[8]

Corvettes commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were named after communities for the most part, to better represent the people who took part in building them. This idea was put forth by Admiral Percy W. Nelles. Sponsors were commonly associated with the community for which the ship was named. Royal Navy corvettes were designed as open sea escorts, while Canadian corvettes were developed for coastal auxiliary roles which was exemplified by their minesweeping gear. Eventually the Canadian corvettes would be modified to allow them to perform better on the open seas.[9]

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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.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955. He was a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

Percy W. Nelles

Percy W. Nelles

Admiral Percy Walker Nelles, was a flag officer in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Chief of the Naval Staff from 1 January 1934 to 15 January 1944. He oversaw the massive wartime expansion of the RCN and the transformation of Canada into a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic. During his tenure U-boats raided the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canadian Northwest Atlantic command was created, and the RCN provided up to 40% of all escort forces in the North Atlantic. His handling of the RCN's war effort had its opponents however, and he was removed from his post as Chief of the Naval Staff in January 1944. He was sent to London as Overseas Naval Attaché, coordinating RCN operations for Operation Overlord. He retired in January 1945 as a full admiral.

Construction

Edmundston was ordered on 14 February 1940 as part of the 1939–1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down 23 August 1940 by Yarrows Ltd. at Esquimalt, British Columbia and launched 22 February 1941.[10] Edmundston was commissioned at Esquimalt on 21 October 1941.[11]

During her career, Edmundston underwent two significant refits. The first took place beginning in January 1943 at Halifax, Nova Scotia where her fo'c'sle was extended. The refit was finished in May 1943. The second major refit was done at Liverpool, Nova Scotia from May to July 1944.[11]

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War service

After workups, Edmundston was assigned to Esquimalt Force. The Japanese submarine I-26 sank the American cargo ship SS Coast Trader 35 nautical miles (65 km; 40 mi) southwest of Cape Flattery, Washington on 7 June 1942, and over the next two days Edmundston and the fishing schooner Virginia I rescued all but one of her survivors.[12] On 20 June 1942, Edmundston rescued 31 crew of SS Fort Camosun, which had been torpedoed off Cape Flattery by the Japanese submarine I-25. Fort Camosun herself was towed into Victoria Harbour by HMCS Quesnel.[13][11]

On 13 September 1942, Edmundston was reassigned to the Atlantic. She arrived at Halifax in October. Upon arrival she was assigned to the Western Local Escort Force. After workups following her first major refit, she joined the Royal Navy-controlled escort group EG 5, which protected convoys in the Atlantic and on routes to and from Gibraltar and Sierra Leone. She spent the next ten months as an ocean escort.[11]

On 25 August 1943 EG 5, consisting of the British frigates Nene and Tweed and the Canadian corvettes Calgary, Snowberry and Edmundston were sent to relieve the 40th Escort Group which had been deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 14:15 by 14 Dornier Do 217s and 7 Junkers Ju 88s with the new German glide bomb weapon, the Henschel Hs293 A-1. The sloops Landguard and Bideford, who were part of the 40th Escort Group, were the first of the Allied and Royal Navy ships to be attacked and damaged by them. Several sailors were injured in Bideford and one sailor was killed. Two days later the force sent to relieve Edmundston's group was also attacked and suffered losses.[10]

After her second refit and workups in Bermuda, she joined Mid-Ocean Escort Force escort group C-8 in August 1944. She served with this group until the end of the war.[11]

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Japanese submarine I-26

Japanese submarine I-26

I-26 was an Imperial Japanese Navy B1 type submarine commissioned in 1941. She saw service in the Pacific War theatre of World War II, patrolling off the West Coast of Canada and the United States, the east coast of Australia, and Fiji and in the Indian Ocean and taking part in Operation K, preparatory operations for the Aleutian Islands campaign, and the Guadalcanal campaign, the Marianas campaign, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was the first Japanese submarine to sink an American merchant ship in the war, damaged the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), sank the light cruiser USS Juneau (CLAA-52), and was the third-highest-scoring Japanese submarine of World War II in terms of shipping tonnage sunk. Her bombardment of Vancouver Island in 1942 was the first foreign attack on Canadian soil since 1870. In 1944, I-26′s crew committed war crimes in attacking the survivors of a ship she sank. She was sunk in October 1944 during her ninth war patrol.

Cargo ship

Cargo ship

A cargo ship or freighter is a merchant ship that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year, handling the bulk of international trade. Cargo ships are usually specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Today, they are almost always built of welded steel, and with some exceptions generally have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years before being scrapped.

SS Coast Trader

SS Coast Trader

SS Coast Trader was built as the cargo ship SS Holyoke Bridge in 1920 by the Submarine Boat Company in Newark, New Jersey. The Coast Trader was torpedoed and sank 35 miles (56 km) south west of Cape Flattery, off the Strait of Juan de Fuca in U.S. state of Washington by the Japanese submarine I-26. Survivors were rescued by schooner Virginia I and HMCS Edmundston. She rests on the ocean floor at.

Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States. It is in Clallam County, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca joins the Pacific Ocean. It is also part of the Makah Reservation, and is the northern boundary of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Cape Flattery can be reached from a short hike, most of which is boardwalked. The westernmost point in the contiguous United States is at Cape Alava, south of Cape Flattery in Olympic National Park. However, the westernmost tip of Cape Flattery is almost exactly as far west as Cape Alava, the difference being approximately 5 seconds of longitude, about 360 feet (110 m), at high tide and somewhat more at low tide.

Fishing vessel

Fishing vessel

A fishing vessel is a boat or ship used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Many different kinds of vessels are used in commercial, artisanal and recreational fishing.

Schooner

Schooner

A schooner is a type of sailing vessel defined by its rig: fore-and-aft rigged on all of two or more masts and, in the case of a two-masted schooner, the foremast generally being shorter than the mainmast. A common variant, the topsail schooner also has a square topsail on the foremast, to which may be added a topgallant. Differing definitions leave uncertain whether the addition of a fore course would make such a vessel a brigantine. Many schooners are gaff-rigged, but other examples include Bermuda rig and the staysail schooner.

SS Fort Camosun

SS Fort Camosun

SS Fort Camosun was a coal-burning 7000-ton freighter, built in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1942. In June of 1942, during World War II, she departed Victoria Harbour on her maiden voyage to England with zinc, lead, plywood, timber and other raw materials. On 20 June 1942 the Japanese submarine I-25, under the command of Commander Akiji Tagami, torpedoed the Fort Camosun while she was 70 miles south-southwest of Cape Flattery, just eleven hours out of port, at 11:00pm. The torpedo hit the number two hold on the port side. The crew abandoned ship into the remaining good lifeboats. The submarine then surfaced and used deck guns to fire 18 shells at the Fort Camosun causing further damage to the ship. While badly damaged, the Fort Camosun did not sink, as she was loaded with plywood, timber and other floatable cargo. The crew radioed for help and later an American Flying Fortress located the crew. Later in the day HMCS Edmundston rescued the 31 crew of the sinking Fort Camosun. The Fort Camosun was towed to safety by HMCS Quesnel to Neah Bay. The Fort Camosun was low in the water and was towed with the help of the tugboat Henry Foss from Tacoma, US Navy tug USS Tatnuck and the tugboat Salvage Queen. Fort Camosun reached Neah Bay, later she was towed to Esquimalt B.C. At Esquimalt she was put in dry dock and temporary repairs were made. Fort Camosun repaired took timber to England, via Guantanamo and New York. On the way to England an U-boat attacked her convoy in the Atlantic. As she was passing through the North Channel alone a German aircraft tried to bomb her, but the bomb landed clear of the ship. Later she survived another torpedo attack in the Gulf of Aden.

Japanese submarine I-25

Japanese submarine I-25

I-25 (イ-25) was a B1 type (I-15-class) submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy that served in World War II, took part in the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was the only Axis submarine to carry out aerial bombing on the continental United States in World War II, during the so-called Lookout Air Raids, and the shelling of Fort Stevens, both attacks occurring in the state of Oregon.

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.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and city located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

HMS Tweed (K250)

HMS Tweed (K250)

HMS Tweed (K250) was a River-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Tweed was built to the RN's specifications as a Group I River-class frigate, though Tweed was one of the few powered by a turbine engine. She served in the North Atlantic during World War II.

HMCS Calgary (K231)

HMCS Calgary (K231)

HMCS Calgary was a Royal Canadian Navy revised Flower-class corvette which took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for Calgary, Alberta.

Post-war service

Edmundston was paid off at Sorel, Quebec on 16 June 1945. She was sold for mercantile use in 1948 and converted to a cargo ship of 939 GRT.[14] Under the new name Amepala she was last on Lloyd's Register in 1961–62.[11] The ship was broken up in 1961.[14]

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Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Replaced by Gross Tonnage (GT), gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel. Internationally, GRT may be abbreviated as BRT for the German "Bruttoregistertonne".

Lloyd's Register

Lloyd's Register

Lloyd's Register Group Limited (LR) is a technical and professional services organisation and a maritime classification society, wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. The organisation dates to 1760. Its stated aims are to enhance the safety of life, property, and the environment, by helping its clients to improve the safety and performance of complex projects, supply chains and critical infrastructure.

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.

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

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References
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  2. ^ Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company. pp. 201, 212.
  3. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  4. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare. Vol. 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142.
  5. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9.
  6. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4.
  7. ^ Chesneau, Roger; Gardiner, Robert (June 1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Naval Institute Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-87021-913-8.
  8. ^ Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. pp. 117–119, 142–145, 158, 175–176, 226, 235, 285–291. ISBN 0-87021-450-0.
  9. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  10. ^ a b "HMCS Edmundston (K 106)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  11. ^ 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. pp. 75, 157, 231. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  12. ^ Hackett, Bob; Kingsepp, Sander (1 March 2016). "IJN Submarine I-26: Tabular Record of Movement". combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  13. ^ Webber, Bert (1975). Retaliation: Japanese Attacks and Allied Countermeasures on the Pacific Coast in World War II. Oregon State University Press. ISBN 0-87071-076-1.
  14. ^ a b "Edmundston (6111788)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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