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HMCS Eyebright

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HMCS Eyebright MC-2317.jpg
HMCS Eyebright, between 1943-1945.
History
United Kingdom
NameEyebright
NamesakeEuphrasia
Ordered20 January 1940
BuilderCanadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal
Laid down20 February 1940
Launched22 July 1940
Commissioned26 November 1940
Out of service15 May 1941 - loaned to Canada
IdentificationPennant number: K150
FateLoaned to Canada 1941; returned 1945; sold 1947
Canada
NameEyebright
Acquiredloaned from Royal Navy
Commissioned15 May 1941
Out of service17 June 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K150
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1941-45[1]
FateReturned to the Royal Navy 17 June 1945.
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)
Propulsion
  • single shaft
  • 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
  • 1 × 4-cycle triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
  • 2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
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 Eyebright was a Flower-class corvette that served mainly with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named after the medicinal flowering plant genus Euphrasia.[2]

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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.

Euphrasia

Euphrasia

Euphrasia, or eyebright, is a genus of about 450 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Orobanchaceae, with a cosmopolitan distribution. They are semi-parasitic on grasses and other plants. The common name refers to the plant's use in treating eye infections.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Eyebright 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]

Construction

She was ordered for the Royal Navy (RN) as HMS Eyebright as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down by Canadian Vickers Ltd. in Montreal, Quebec on 20 February 1940 and launched on 22 July 1940.[9] Eyebright was commissioned into the RN on 26 November 1940 in Montreal. She was towed to Halifax and was finished enough to make an ocean crossing, which she did in January 1941 with HX 104. However she was not completed until 16 April 1941 after she had arrived at Sunderland in the United Kingdom.[10] On 15 May 1941 Eyebright was one of ten corvettes loaned to Canada. She could be told apart from other Canadian Flowers by her lack of minesweeping gear and the siting of the after gun tub amidships.[11]

Eyebright underwent two major refits during her career. Beginning in November 1941, Eyebright refitted in Charlottetown. The refit took two months to complete. The second refit took place in Baltimore, beginning in July 1943 and taking two months to complete.[10]

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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.

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.

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.

HX convoys

HX convoys

The HX convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys which ran during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. They were east-bound convoys and originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia from where they sailed to ports in the United Kingdom. They absorbed the BHX convoys from Bermuda en route. Later, after the United States entered the war, HX convoys began at New York.

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.

Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

War service

Royal Navy

After completing Eyebright was sent to work up at Tobermory, where the escort training facilities were located. Once those were finished she was assigned to the RN escort group EG-4 based in Iceland in May 1941.[10]

Royal Canadian Navy

HMCS Eyebright tied to dock wall.
HMCS Eyebright tied to dock wall.

Eyebright was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy in May 1941. Upon arrival, she was assigned to Newfoundland Command as an ocean escort. There she was placed in the escort group 18N and then beginning in October 1941, group N16. In December 1941 she left for a two-month refit returning in January to serve briefly with escort groups N14 and N13.[10] Eyebright participated in the battle for convoy SC 44 in September 1941. It was to be the only convoy she escorted to lose ships to submarine torpedoes.[12]

Eyebright served with Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) groups C1, C3 and C4 from April 1942 through to November 1944. After returning from her second refit, Eyebright transferred to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) in November 1944 as part of escort group W-3. She stayed with that group until the end of the war with two exceptions, one trip with MOEF group C-5 and escorting the last HX convoy of the war to the United Kingdom.[10][12]

Trans-Atlantic convoys escorted

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Tobermory, Mull

Tobermory, Mull

Tobermory is the capital of, and until 1973 the only burgh on, the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is located on the east coast of Mishnish, the most northerly part of the island, near the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull. The village was founded as a fishing port in 1788; its layout was based on the designs of Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford. It has a current population of about 1,000.

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which is home to over 65% of the population. Iceland is the biggest part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

SC convoys

SC convoys

The SC convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys that ran during the battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

Mid-Ocean Escort Force

Mid-Ocean Escort Force

Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) referred to the organisation of anti-submarine escorts for World War II trade convoys between Canada and Newfoundland, and the British Isles. The allocation of United States, British, and Canadian escorts to these convoys reflected preferences of the United States upon their declaration of war, and the organisation persisted through the winter of 1942–43 despite withdrawal of United States ships from the escort groups. By the summer of 1943, United States Atlantic escorts were focused on the faster CU convoys and the UG convoys between Chesapeake Bay and the Mediterranean Sea; and only British and Canadian escorts remained on the HX, SC and ON convoys.

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) referred to the organization of anti-submarine escorts for World War II trade convoys from North American port cities to the Western Ocean Meeting Point near Newfoundland where ships of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) assumed responsibility for safely delivering the convoys to the British Isles.

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.

HX convoys

HX convoys

The HX convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys which ran during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. They were east-bound convoys and originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia from where they sailed to ports in the United Kingdom. They absorbed the BHX convoys from Bermuda en route. Later, after the United States entered the war, HX convoys began at New York.

Newfoundland (island)

Newfoundland (island)

Newfoundland is a large island off the east coast of the North American mainland and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has 29 percent of the province's land area. The island is separated from the Labrador Peninsula by the Strait of Belle Isle and from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. It blocks the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary. Newfoundland's nearest neighbour is the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

ON convoys

ON convoys

The ON convoys were a series of North Atlantic trade convoys running Outbound from the British Isles to North America during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares an open border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2021, its population was 1,903,100, making up about 27% of Ireland's population and about 3% of the UK's population. The Northern Ireland Assembly, established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the UK Government. The government of Northern Ireland cooperates with the government of the Republic of Ireland in several areas agreed under the terms of the Belfast Agreement. The Republic of Ireland also has a consultative role on non-devolved governmental matters through the British-Irish Governmental Conference (BIIG).

Post-war service

Albert W. Vinke
Albert W. Vinke

On 17 July 1945 she was returned to the Royal Navy. Laid up, she was and sold for civilian use in 1947 and converted into the Dutch whale-catcher Albert W. Vinke of 717 GRT in 1950.[2][16] Albert W. Vinke last appeared on Lloyd's Register in 1964–65.[10] The ship was broken up by South African Metal & Machinery Pty Ltd in Cape Town in February 1965.[16]

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Netherlands

Netherlands

The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces; it borders Germany to the east, and Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coastline to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium in the North Sea. The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland. Dutch, English and Papiamento are official in the Caribbean territories.

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.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the Parliament of South Africa. It is the legislative capital of the country, the oldest city in the country, and the second largest. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is the largest city of the Western Cape province, and is managed by the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The other two capitals are Pretoria, the executive capital, located in Gauteng, where the Presidency is based, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital in the Free State, where the Supreme Court of Appeal is located.

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

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References
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ "HMCS Eyebright (K 150)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  10. ^ 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. p. 76. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  11. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939-1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  12. ^ a b "Convoy Web". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Eyebright (5008617)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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