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HMCS Fort Erie

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History
Canada
NameFort Erie
NamesakeFort Erie, Ontario
OrderedJune 1942
BuilderG T Davie, Lauzon
Laid down3 November 1943
Launched27 May 1944
Commissioned27 October 1944
Decommissioned22 November 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K670
Recommissioned17 April 1956
Decommissioned26 March 1965
Reclassified Prestonian-class frigate
Identificationpennant number: FFE 312
FateSold for scrap, broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966
NotesColours:Red and Black[1]
BadgeArgent, out of a mural crown sable, a demi cat rampant guardant gules armed azure, collared and chained or, holding erect a trident azure, the base end resting on the mural crown.[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class frigate
Displacement
  • 1,445 long tons (1,468 t; 1,618 short tons)
  • 2,110 long tons (2,140 t; 2,360 short tons) (deep load)
Length
  • 283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
  • 301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed
  • 20 knots (37.0 km/h)
  • 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h) (turbine ships)
Range646 long tons (656 t; 724 short tons) oil fuel; 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h)
Complement157
Armament

HMCS Fort Erie was a River-class frigate that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War and as a Prestonian-class frigate from 1956-1965. She was named for Fort Erie, Ontario.

Fort Erie was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1943-1944 building program.[2][3] She was laid down as La Tuque on 3 November 1943 by G T Davie Shipbuilding Ltd. at Lauzon and launched 27 May 1944.[3][4] Her name was changed and she was commissioned as Fort Erie at Quebec City on 27 October 1944 with the pennant K670.[2]

Discover more about HMCS Fort Erie related topics

River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

Frigate

Frigate

A frigate is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat.

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.

Prestonian-class frigate

Prestonian-class frigate

The Prestonian-class ocean anti-submarine escort frigate was a class of 21 frigates that served with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1953–1967 and with the Royal Norwegian Navy from 1956–1977.

Fort Erie, Ontario

Fort Erie, Ontario

Fort Erie is a town on the Niagara River in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. It is directly across the river from Buffalo, New York, and is the site of Old Fort Erie which played a prominent role in the War of 1812.

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.

Background

The River-class frigate was designed by William Reed of Smith's Dock Company of South Bank-on-Tees. Originally called a "twin-screw corvette", its purpose was to improve on the convoy escort classes in service with the Royal Navy at the time, including the Flower-class corvette. The first orders were placed by the Royal Navy in 1940 and the vessels were named for rivers in the United Kingdom, giving name to the class. In Canada they were named after towns and cities though they kept the same designation.[5] The name "frigate" was suggested by Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles of the Royal Canadian Navy and was adopted later that year.[6]

Improvements over the corvette design included improved accommodation which was markedly better. The twin engines gave only three more knots of speed but extended the range of the ship to nearly double that of a corvette at 7,200 nautical miles (13,300 km) at 12 knots.[6] Among other lessons applied to the design was an armament package better designed to combat U-boats including a twin 4-inch mount forward and 12-pounder aft.[5] 15 Canadian frigates were initially fitted with a single 4-inch gun forward but with the exception of HMCS Valleyfield, they were all eventually upgraded to the double mount.[6] For underwater targets, the River-class frigate was equipped with a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and depth charge rails aft and four side-mounted throwers.[5]

River-class frigates were the first Royal Canadian Navy warships to carry the 147B Sword horizontal fan echo sonar transmitter in addition to the irregular ASDIC. This allowed the ship to maintain contact with targets even while firing unless a target was struck. Improved radar and direction-finding equipment improved the RCN's ability to find and track enemy submarines over the previous classes.[5]

Canada originally ordered the construction of 33 frigates in October 1941.[5][6] The design was too big for the shipyards on the Great Lakes so all the frigates built in Canada were built in dockyards along the west coast or along the St. Lawrence River.[6] In all Canada ordered the construction of 60 frigates including ten for the Royal Navy that transferred two to the United States Navy.[5]

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River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

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.

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.

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.

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield was a River-class frigate 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 torpedoed and sunk in May 1944, the only River-class frigate lost by the RCN. She was named for Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec.

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.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes, which are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and are in general on or near the Canada–United States border. Hydrologically, lakes Michigan and Huron are a single body joined at the Straits of Mackinac. The Great Lakes Waterway enables modern travel and shipping by water among the lakes.

St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. Its headwaters begin flowing from Lake Ontario in a roughly northeasterly direction, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting the American Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Ocean, and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin. The river traverses the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as the U.S. state of New York, and demarcates part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. It also provides the foundation for the commercial St. Lawrence Seaway.

United States Navy

United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 allies or partner nations of the United States as of 2015. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the United States Navy is the third largest of the United States military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 2,623 operational aircraft as of June 2019.

Service history

After working up in Bermuda, Fort Erie was assigned to escort group EG 28 which operated out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a support group that would aid any convoy under attack. She remained with that unit for the entire war. On 2 June 1945, Fort Erie began a tropicalization refit in preparation for service in the Pacific Ocean. However, in August 1945, that was cancelled and she was paid off into the reserve 22 November, and laid up at Shelburne, Nova Scotia.[2]

In 1946, she was sold to Marine Industries Ltd.[2] Fort Erie was among the River-class frigates reacquired by the RCN when the need for more anti-submarine forces were required for combating the increased Soviet submarine threat.[7] She underwent conversion to a Prestonian-class frigate from 1953-1955 and was recommissioned with pennant 312 on 17 April 1956. As a member of the Seventh Canadian Escort Squadron, she served primarily as a training ship.[8] In March 1961, Fort Erie was among the ships that took part in a combined naval exercise with the United States Navy off Nova Scotia.[9] The ship was paid off on 26 March 1965 and was sold for scrap and broken up at La Spezia, Italy, in 1966.[2][4]

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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.

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.

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Oceania in the west and the Americas in the east.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

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

Training ship

Training ship

A training ship is a ship used to train students as sailors. The term is mostly used to describe ships employed by navies to train future officers. Essentially there are two types: those used for training at sea and old hulks used to house classrooms.

United States Navy

United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 allies or partner nations of the United States as of 2015. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the United States Navy is the third largest of the United States military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 2,623 operational aircraft as of June 2019.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland".

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.

La Spezia

La Spezia

La Spezia is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy.

Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. Italy covers an area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi), with a population of about 60 million. It is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the tenth-largest country in the continent by land area. Italy's capital and largest city is Rome.

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ a b Arbuckle, p.37
  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. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  3. ^ a b "HMCS Fort Erie (K 670)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. New York: Doubleday and Company Inc. p. 230.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Fact Sheet No. 21 - Canadian River Class Frigates". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Ken (1989). Frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy 1943-1974. Lewiston, New York: Vanwell Publishing. pp. 6–7, 15. ISBN 0920277225.
  7. ^ German, Tony (1990). The Sea is at Our Gates: A History of the Canadian Navy. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Limited. p. 233. ISBN 0771032692.
  8. ^ "Seventh Escort Squadron". The Crowsnest. Vol. 13, no. 1. Queen's Printer. November 1960. p. 25.
  9. ^ "A/S Exercise Off Nova Scotia". The Crowsnest. Vol. 13, no. 6. Queen's Printer. April 1961. p. 2.

Sources

  • Arbuckle, J. Graeme (1987). Badges of the Canadian Navy. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 0-920852-49-1.
  • Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910-1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.

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