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HMCS Forest Hill

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HMCS Forest Hill
History
Canada
NameHMCS Forest Hill
NamesakeForest Hill, Ontario
Ordered22 July 1942
BuilderFerguson Bros. Ltd., Port Glasgow
Laid down5 February 1943
Launched30 August 1943
Commissioned1 December 1943
Decommissioned9 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K486
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1944[1]
FateScrapped 1948
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette (modified)
Displacement1,015 long tons (1,031 t; 1,137 short tons)
Length208 ft (63.40 m)o/a
Beam33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught11 ft (3.35 m)
Propulsionsingle shaft, 2 × oil fired water tube boilers, 1 × 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)
Complement90
Sensors and
processing systems
One Type 271 SW2C radar, one Type 144 sonar
Armament

HMCS Forest Hill (a.k.a. HMCS Forrest Hill) was a modified Flower-class corvette 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 originally laid down by the Royal Navy as HMS Ceanothos but was never commissioned into the RN, being transferred to the RCN before completion. She is named for Forest Hill, Ontario, a town that was eventually amalgamated into the larger city Toronto, Ontario.[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 delivery of 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.

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.

Forest Hill, Toronto

Forest Hill, Toronto

Forest Hill is a neighbourhood and former village in Midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located north of Downtown Toronto. The village was amalgamated into Toronto in 1967 and the area has retained its name as a neighbourhood. Along with other neighbourhoods such as Rosedale, and The Bridle Path, it is one of Toronto's wealthiest and most affluent neighbourhoods. It is home to many prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities, engineers, doctors, and lawyers. Census data from Statistics Canada states an average income for all private households in Forest Hill to be $101,631, compared to the $40,704 average income in Toronto's Census Metropolitan Area.

Toronto

Toronto

Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,794,356 in 2021, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,765,188 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario, while the Greater Toronto Area proper had a 2021 population of 6,712,341. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, sports and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Forrest Hill 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 as a class 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

Ceanothos was ordered 22 July 1942 as part of the Royal Navy 1942–43 Increased Endurance Flower-class building program. She was laid down 5 February 1943 by Ferguson Bros. Ltd. at Port Glasgow, Scotland and launched 30 August 1943.[10] As part of an exchange for Algerine-class minesweepers that the RCN intended to use as convoy escorts, the Royal Navy transferred four Flower-class corvettes and twelve Castle-class corvettes to Canada in order to acquire them. Ceanothos was transferred on 1 December 1943 and commissioned as HMCS Forrest Hill into the RCN on the River Clyde. The only significant differences between the RCN and RN 1942–43 Flower classes was a shortened mainmast and varying anti-aircraft armament.[9]

During her career, Forrest Hill had one significant refit. It took place at Liverpool, Nova Scotia from December 1944 until February 1945.[2]

Forest Hill's ship's mascots, "Sad-Sad" the kitten and "Screech" the dog
Forest Hill's ship's mascots, "Sad-Sad" the kitten and "Screech" the dog

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Port Glasgow

Port Glasgow

Port Glasgow is the second-largest town in the Inverclyde council area of Scotland. The population according to the 1991 census for Port Glasgow was 19,426 persons and in the 2001 census was 16,617 persons. The most recent census in 2011 states that the population has declined to 15,414. It is located immediately to the east of Greenock and was previously a burgh in the county of Renfrewshire.

Algerine-class minesweeper

Algerine-class minesweeper

The Algerine-class minesweeper was a large group of minesweepers built for the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) during the Second World War. 110 ships of the class were launched between 1942 and 1944.

Castle-class corvette

Castle-class corvette

The Castle-class corvette was an ocean going convoy escort developed by the United Kingdom during the Second World War. It was the follow-on to the Flower-class corvette, and designed to be built in shipyards that were producing the Flowers. The Castle-class was a general improvement over the smaller Flowers which were designed for coastal rather than open ocean use.

River Clyde

River Clyde

The River Clyde is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is the ninth-longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third-longest in Scotland. It runs through the major city of Glasgow. Historically, it was important to the British Empire because of its role in shipbuilding and trade. To the Romans, it was Clota, and in the early medieval Cumbric language, it was known as Clud or Clut. It was central to the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Liverpool is a Canadian community and former town located along the Atlantic Ocean of the Province of Nova Scotia's South Shore. It is situated within the Region of Queens Municipality which is the local governmental unit that comprises all of Queens County, Nova Scotia.

Service history

After commissioning, Forrest Hill was sent to work up at Tobermory, the location of the Royal Navy's convoy escort training centre. After working up, she was assigned to the Mid-Ocean Escort Force as a trans-Atlantic convoy escort. She was allocated to escort group C-4 and served with the group until departing for refit in December 1944.[2]

After the refit she worked up in Bermuda. Upon her return she was assigned to Halifax Force in April 1945 as a local escort and patrol duty. She remained with the unit until the end of the war.[2]

Forrest Hill was paid off 9 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec. She was transferred to the War Assets Corporation and sold for scrapping. She was broken up in 1948 at Hamilton, Ontario.[2][11]

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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.

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.

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.

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Hamilton has a population of 569,353, and its census metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 785,184. The city is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) southwest of Toronto in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

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

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 104. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  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. ^ a b Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  10. ^ "HMCS Forrest Hill (K 486)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  11. ^ Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
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