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HMCS Grilse

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HMCS Grilse in 1916 CN-3261.jpg
HMCS Grilse (foreground) in 1916.
History
Name
  • Winchester (1912–1915)
  • Trillora (1922–1938)
Port of registryUnited States United States
BuilderYarrow & Co., Glasgow
Launched1912
CompletedJune 1912
In service
  • 1912–1915
  • 1922–1938
Fate
Canada
NameGrilse
NamesakeAtlantic salmon
AcquiredJune 1915
Commissioned15 July 1915
Decommissioned10 December 1918
FateSold 1922
General characteristics in Canadian service
TypeTorpedo boat
Displacement287 long tons (292 t)
Length202 ft 3 in (61.6 m)
Beam18 ft 3 in (5.6 m)
Draught9 ft 2 in (2.8 m)
Speed30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement56
Armament

HMCS Grilse was a commissioned patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy during the First World War. Launched in 1912 as the private yacht Winchester of the American industrialist Peter Rouss, the vessel was constructed along the lines of a contemporary Royal Navy torpedo boat destroyer. After the outbreak of war, vessels that could be used by belligerents was prohibited by the government of the then-neutral United States. Canadian millionaire J. K. L. Ross purchased Winchester and returned to Canada with the yacht, where he transferred ownership of the vessel to the Royal Canadian Navy. Renamed Grilse, a pseudonym for Atlantic salmon and converted to a patrol boat, the vessel was deployed as part of Canada's east coast patrol combating the German submarine threat. After the war, she was sold back to private interests, re-converted to a yacht and renamed Trillora. Trillora foundered in 1938 at Long Island, New York during a hurricane.

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Patrol boat

Patrol boat

A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defence, border security, or law enforcement. There are many designs for patrol boats, and they generally range in size. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, police, or customs, and may be intended for marine, estuarine, or river environments.

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.

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching involves the performance of ceremonies associated with the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a nautical tradition in many cultures, dating back thousands of years, to accompany the physical process with ceremonies which have been observed as public celebration and a solemn blessing, usually but not always, in association with the launch itself.

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.

J. K. L. Ross

J. K. L. Ross

Commander John Kenneth Leveson "Jack" Ross, CBE was a Canadian businessman, sportsman, thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder, and philanthropist. He is best remembered for winning the first United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 1919 with his Hall of Fame colt, Sir Barton. In 1911, he set the world record for catching the largest tuna by rod and line at St. Anns, Nova Scotia. After his father, he was the second Canadian to be made a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Atlantic salmon

Atlantic salmon

The Atlantic salmon is a species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. It is the third largest of the Salmonidae, behind Siberian taimen and Pacific Chinook salmon, growing up to a meter in length. Atlantic salmon are found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in rivers that flow into it. Most populations are anadromous, hatching in streams and rivers but moving out to sea as they grow where they mature, after which the adults seasonally move upstream again to spawn.

Long Island

Long Island

Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. With over 8 million people, Long Island is the most populous island in the United States and the 18th-most populous in the world. The island begins at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) east of Manhattan Island and extends eastward about 118 miles (190 km) into the Atlantic Ocean, being 23 miles (37 km) wide at its most distant points. The island comprises four counties: Kings and Queens counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island. More than half of New York City's residents (58.4%) lived on Long Island as of 2020, in Brooklyn and in Queens. Culturally, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term "Long Island" to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk counties, and conversely, employ the term "the City" to mean Manhattan alone. The Nassau-and-Suffolk-only definition of Long Island is recognized as a "region" by the state of New York. Although geographically an island, the Supreme Court of the United States has held that given the island's extensive ties to the mainland, it should be treated like a peninsula, allowing the state to have jurisdiction within its maritime boundaries.

Description and design

The vessel was built as the high-speed civilian yacht Winchester by Peter W. Rouss, who was born in Winchester, Virginia. She was built along the lines of a torpedo-boat destroyer with twin funnels, a low hull with little flare in her bow. The vessel had a raised forecastle which extended back to form a compass platform over the saloon. The bridge was and extension of the forecastle deck and was surrounded by a canvas dodger. The tall mast was placed amidships. She was comparable in size to an E-class destroyer from 1901–1904, however Winchester was considered faster due to her turbine engines.[1][2] The vessel measured 202 feet 3 inches (61.6 m) long between perpendiculars with a beam of 18 feet 3 inches (5.6 m) and a draught of 9 feet 2 inches (2.8 m). As a yacht, Winchester had a gross register tonnage of 275 tons and in naval service, Grilse had a displacement of 287 long tons (292 t).[3][4] The ship had a maximum speed of 30 knots (56 km/h) and a ship's company of 56 in Canadian service.[3]

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Winchester, Virginia

Winchester, Virginia

Winchester is the northwesternmost independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Frederick County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Winchester with surrounding Frederick County for statistical purposes. As of the 2020 census, the city's population was 28,120.

Funnel (ship)

Funnel (ship)

A funnel is the smokestack or chimney on a ship used to expel boiler steam and smoke or engine exhaust. They are also commonly referred to as stacks.

Hull (watercraft)

Hull (watercraft)

A hull is the watertight body of a ship, boat, or flying boat. The hull may open at the top, or it may be fully or partially covered with a deck. Atop the deck may be a deckhouse and other superstructures, such as a funnel, derrick, or mast. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.

Forecastle

Forecastle

The forecastle is the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or, historically, the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters. Related to the latter meaning is the phrase "before the mast" which denotes anything related to ordinary sailors, as opposed to a ship's officers.

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.

Mast (sailing)

Mast (sailing)

The mast of a sailing vessel is a tall spar, or arrangement of spars, erected more or less vertically on the centre-line of a ship or boat. Its purposes include carrying sails, spars, and derricks, giving necessary height to a navigation light, look-out position, signal yard, control position, radio aerial or signal lamp. Large ships have several masts, with the size and configuration depending on the style of ship. Nearly all sailing masts are guyed.

River-class destroyer

River-class destroyer

The River-class destroyer was a class of torpedo boat destroyer built for the Royal Navy at the turn of the 20th century, and which saw extensive service in World War I. The class introduced new features to destroyer design, placing a greater emphasis on seakeeping and endurance and less on a high maximum speed in good weather. All the ships were named after British and Irish rivers, and as such were the first Royal Navy destroyer class to be named systematically.

Length between perpendiculars

Length between perpendiculars

Length between perpendiculars is the length of a ship along the summer load line from the forward surface of the stem, or main bow perpendicular member, to the after surface of the sternpost, or main stern perpendicular member. When there is no sternpost, the centerline axis of the rudder stock is used as the aft end of the length between perpendiculars.

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.

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".

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.

Service history

Constructed for Peter Rouss the son of an industrialist, the yacht was built by Yarrows Shipbuilding at their Scotstoun yard in Glasgow, Scotland. The third of Rouss' vessels named Winchester, the yacht was launched in 1912 and completed in June of that year.[2][3][4] In 1915, Canadian industrialist and millionaire Jack Ross was sent to the United States to acquire ships for the Royal Canadian Navy. Ross purchased Winchester for $100,000. At the time, an embargo was in place preventing the sale of any ship to belligerents in the war. The American government discovered the sale and attempted to block the transaction, but Ross managed to get out of the country with the ship.[1] Ross was later reimbursed by the federal government.[5]

After arrival in Halifax, Nova Scotia it was arranged for the conversion of Winchester for military use. The ship was sent to Canadian Vickers in Montreal and armed with two 12-pounder guns, one fore, placed on the forecastle and one aft, placed on the quarterdeck. A 14-inch (356 mm) torpedo tube was sited amidships. The aft deckhouse was removed to make room for the torpedo tube and the three torpedoes that were to be carried on deck. The mast was moved forward to directly behind the bridge and a second mast was installed to give the vessel a horizontal antenna to improve radio communications. There were also some alterations to the crew quarters to make room for the larger number required in a warship.[1]

Grilse was commissioned as a torpedo boat on 15 July 1915 with Ross in command and operated off Canada's east coast for much of the war. Her intended use as the most powerful Canadian warship on the east coast following the laying up of the cruiser HMCS Niobe, was as the primary offensive unit to any sighting of enemy ships. Spending the better part of her service with the Halifax patrol, she was loaned to the Gulf patrol in September 1915 and operated as a ship escort in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The vessel was eventually withdrawn from inspection duties along the coast due to the high cost of use and was relegated to patrol duties only.[6]

Unsuitable for winter operations in Canadian waters, Grilse was sent to the Caribbean Sea during the winter months. In 1915, she was sent to Jamaica, running out of fuel on the way and requiring a tow from the cruiser HMS Cumberland. In December 1916 the ship was sent to the Royal Naval Dockyard in the Imperial fortress colony of Bermuda to join the North America and West Indies Station, but encountered a heavy storm on the way and nearly sank. Headquarters actually believed the ship destroyed after they lost communications with Grilse (her antenna had been lost in the storm) and sent out vessels to search for wreckage. However, Grilse had managed to make it back to Shelburne. She was then towed to Halifax for a refit. The ship re-entered service on 10 May 1917 and was used as a patrol ship until August later that year when she returned to the dockyard to undergo repairs.[7][8] She returned to escort and patrol duty until the end of the war. Grilse was paid off on 10 December 1918.[3]

Attempts to sell Grilse as surplus in 1920 were unsuccessful, and she was used for training purposes in 1921–22 before being sold to Solomon Guggenheim in 1922. The vessel was towed to the United States, refitted as a yacht and renamed Trillora. The ship was still in Guggenheim's ownership when she foundered in Long Island Sound in the New England Hurricane of 1938 on 21 September 1938.[9][10] The United States Coast Guard ordered the wreck removed and Guggenheim transferred ownership to a salvage company. The yacht's registry was closed in October 1941.[10]

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Glasgow

Glasgow

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated population of 635,640. The city was made a county of itself in 1893, prior to which it had been in the historic county of Lanarkshire. The city now forms the Glasgow City Council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and is governed by Glasgow City Council. It is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands.

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching involves the performance of ceremonies associated with the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a nautical tradition in many cultures, dating back thousands of years, to accompany the physical process with ceremonies which have been observed as public celebration and a solemn blessing, usually but not always, in association with the launch itself.

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.

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.

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.

QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun

QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun

The QF 12-pounder 12-cwt gun (Quick-Firing) was a common, versatile 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre naval gun introduced in 1894 and used until the middle of the 20th century. It was produced by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick and used on Royal Navy warships, exported to allied countries, and used for land service. In British service "12-pounder" was the rounded value of the projectile weight, and "12 cwt (hundredweight)" was the weight of the barrel and breech, to differentiate it from other "12-pounder" guns.

Quarterdeck

Quarterdeck

The quarterdeck is a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship. Traditionally it was where the captain commanded his vessel and where the ship's colours were kept. This led to its use as the main ceremonial and reception area on board, and the word is still used to refer to such an area on a ship or even in naval establishments on land. Many such facilities have areas decorated like shipboard quarterdecks.

Cruiser

Cruiser

A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and can usually perform several roles.

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).

HMS Cumberland (1902)

HMS Cumberland (1902)

HMS Cumberland was one of 10 Monmouth-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion in 1903. After a refit in 1907–1908 she became a training ship in the Home Fleet. She was sent to West Africa after the beginning of World War I in August 1914 and captured 10 German merchant ships in September. Cumberland spent the rest of the war on convoy escort duties and patrolling for German commerce raiders. She was sold for scrap in 1921 and broken up two years later.

Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda

Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda

HMD Bermuda was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. The Imperial fortress colony of Bermuda had occupied a useful position astride the homeward leg taken by many European vessels from the New World since before its settlement by England in 1609. French privateers may have used the islands as a staging place for operations against Spanish galleons in the 16th century. Bermudian privateers certainly played a role in many English and British wars following settlement, with its utility as a base for his privateers leading to the Earl of Warwick, the namesake of Warwick Parish, becoming the most important investor of the Somers Isles Company. Despite this, it was not until the loss of bases on most of the North American Atlantic seaboard threatened Britain's supremacy in the Western Atlantic that the island assumed great importance as a naval base. In 1818 the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda officially replaced the Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax, as the British headquarters for the North America Station (which would become the North America and West Indies Station after absorbing the Jamaica Station in 1830.

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

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Notes
  1. ^ a b c Johnston et al. 2010, p. 377.
  2. ^ a b McKee 1983, p. 26.
  3. ^ a b c d Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b Miramar Ship Index.
  5. ^ Milner 2010, p. 47.
  6. ^ Johnston et al. 2010, pp. 377, 383, 434.
  7. ^ Johnston et al. 2010, pp. 436–437.
  8. ^ McKee 1983, pp. 35–37.
  9. ^ Tucker 1962, p. 257.
  10. ^ a b McKee 1983, p. 39.
Sources
  • Johnston, William; Rawling, William G.P.; Gimblett, Richard H. & MacFarlane, John (2010). The Seabound Coast: The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1867–1939. Vol. 1. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55488-908-2.
  • Macpherson, Ken & Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  • McKee, Fraser (1983). The Armed Yachts of Canada. Erin, Ontario: The Boston Mills Press. ISBN 0-919822-55-X.
  • Milner, Marc (2010). Canada's Navy: The First Century (Second ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9604-3.
  • "Winchester (5168891)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  • Tucker, Gilbert Norman (1962). The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History – Volume 1: Origins and Early Years. Ottawa: King's Printer. OCLC 840569671.

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