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HMCS Husky

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History
Name
  • Wild Duck
  • Xania II
  • Good Neighbor
  • Aquarius No. 2
Port of registry
  • United States United States
  • Honduras Honduras
Ordered1930
BuilderDefoe Boat & Engine Works, Bay City, Michigan
Launched1930
In service1930
Out of service1979
FateConverted to floating restaurant
Canada
NameHusky
Acquired1940
Commissioned23 July 1940
Decommissioned4 August 1945
FateSold for commercial service
General characteristics as armed yacht
TypeArmed yacht
Displacement360 long tons (370 t)
Length153 ft (46.6 m)
Beam25 ft (7.6 m)
Draught10 ft (3.0 m)
Speed10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement40
Sensors and
processing systems
Asdic
Armament
  • 1 × QF 4-inch (102 mm) gun
  • 20 depth charges and two depth charge throwers

HMCS Husky was an armed yacht used for patrol and training purposes during World War II by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was constructed as the yacht Wild Duck in 1930 in Bay City, Michigan. Having several owners through the 1930s, the vessel was renamed Xania II. Acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1940 for patrol, escort and training duties in Atlantic Canada, the ship was taken out of service at the end of the war and sold into commercial service. The vessel was purchased by the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana for use as an inspection ship. In 1967 the ship was sold again, renamed Aquarius No. 2 and used as a diving tender based in Honduras. In 1979 the vessel was acquired by American interests who brought the ship back to New Orleans and converted it to a floating restaurant.

Discover more about HMCS Husky related topics

Armed yacht

Armed yacht

An armed yacht was a yacht that was armed with weapons and was typically in the service of a navy. The word "yacht" was originally applied to small, fast and agile naval vessels suited to piracy and to employment by navies and coast guards against smugglers and pirates. Vessels of this type were adapted to racing by wealthy owners. The origin of civilian yachts as naval vessels, with their speed and maneuverability, made them useful for adaptation to their original function as patrol vessels. In the United States Navy armed yachts were typically private yachts expropriated for government use in times of war. Armed yachts served as patrol vessels during the Spanish–American War and the World Wars. In the latter conflicts, armed yachts were used as patrol vessels, convoy escorts, and in anti-submarine duties. In the United States, yachts were purchased from their owners with the owners given an option to repurchase their yacht at the close of hostilities.

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.

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.

Yacht

Yacht

A yacht is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities.

Bay City, Michigan

Bay City, Michigan

Bay City is a city and county seat of Bay County in the U.S. state of Michigan, located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 34,932, and it is the principal city of the Bay City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. The city, along with nearby Midland and Saginaw, form the Greater Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec. The four provinces are New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. As of 2021, the landmass of the four Atlantic provinces was approximately 488,000 km2, and had a population of over 2.4 million people. The provinces combined had an approximate GDP of $121.888 billion in 2011. The term Atlantic Canada was popularized following the admission of Newfoundland as a Canadian province in 1949.

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With a population of 383,997 according to the 2020 U.S. census, it is the most populous city in Louisiana and the twelfth-most populous city in the southeastern United States. Serving as a major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Description and private service

Ordered by Charles Fisher in 1930 from Defore Boat Company of Bay City, Michigan, the yacht was named Wild Duck. Construction of the vessel cost $210,934.31. The yacht had a gross register tonnage of 245.36 tons.[1] The ship measured 153 ft (46.6 m) long with a beam of 25 ft (7.6 m) and a draught of 10 ft (3.0 m). The vessel had a maximum speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[2] The yacht had several owners during the 1930s, with its name being changed to Xania II.[1]

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Bay City, Michigan

Bay City, Michigan

Bay City is a city and county seat of Bay County in the U.S. state of Michigan, located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 34,932, and it is the principal city of the Bay City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. The city, along with nearby Midland and Saginaw, form the Greater Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan.

Yacht

Yacht

A yacht is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities.

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".

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.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Canadian service

To augment the local sea defences of East Coast ports, the Royal Canadian Navy sought large, steel-hulled yachts to requisition. However, a significant lack of capable vessels were owned by Canadians. Canada turned to its southern neighbour for suitable ships, finding several in the United States that met the navy's requirements. However, US neutrality laws prevented their sale to belligerents in the war. In order to circumvent these laws, the Royal Canadian Navy requisitioned the yachts of prominent Canadian yachtsmen and then sent them to the US to purchase the yachts that had been identified by the navy without the US government knowing they were working for the navy. The money to acquire the vessels was provided by the Canadian government through bank loans.[3]

In 1940, Xania II was requisitioned from her owner, George Herrick Duggan, by the Royal Canadian Navy for $1.[1] Following her acquisition, Xania II was converted into an armed yacht, departing Halifax, Nova Scotia on 30 May 1940 for Quebec City, Quebec.[4][2] Conversion to an armed yacht involved removing most of the luxurious finery and installing naval hardware.[4] This involved the installation of a QF 4-inch (102 mm) gun, one machine gun, sonar and twenty depth charges and two depth charge throwers.[1][5] The ship had a displacement of 360 long tons (370 t) and a complement of five officers and 35 ratings.[2] Renamed Husky and commissioned at Halifax on 23 July, the yacht began local patrols off Halifax the same day.[2][5]

The yacht was assigned to the anti-submarine defence of Sydney, Nova Scotia in August 1940. There in September Husky escorted SC convoys from Sydney until they merged with other groups at sea for the Atlantic crossing.[5] Alongside HMCS Elk, the two armed yachts were the only escorts for the convoys leaving the port due to a severe lack of capable ships.[6]

In January 1941, Husky was deployed to the Caribbean Sea for several months. There the yacht intercepted two neutral-flagged tankers whose countries had been overrun by Nazi Germany during the war. The tankers were released after reflagging themselves with the British flag.[1] The ship returned to Canada on 24 September 1941 and joined the Saint John Force, based at Saint John, New Brunswick.[2] In November 1941, Husky became an examination vessel at Halifax.[1] While alongside in Halifax, outboard of a Dutch training submarine, the destroyer HMCS Hamilton surged backwards erroneously and rammed between the two ships. Husky received minor damage, but the destroyer punched a hole in the submarine's hull, causing it to sink.[7] The vessel was reassigned to Saint John and from March 1942 until October 1942, the armed yacht and HMCS Caribou were the only seaward defence for the port.[8] During the summer months of 1942, Husky escorted local convoys from Saint John, New Brunswick before becoming an examination vessel at Saint John.[7] In March 1943, Husky became a training ship in the Bay of Fundy, attached to HMCS Cornwallis, a role she remained in until the end of the war.[1] Additionally, the armed yachts stationed at Cornwallis would escort the ferry Princess Helen on run between Saint John and Digby, Nova Scotia after the sinking of SS Caribou.[9]

Discover more about Canadian service related topics

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.

Armed yacht

Armed yacht

An armed yacht was a yacht that was armed with weapons and was typically in the service of a navy. The word "yacht" was originally applied to small, fast and agile naval vessels suited to piracy and to employment by navies and coast guards against smugglers and pirates. Vessels of this type were adapted to racing by wealthy owners. The origin of civilian yachts as naval vessels, with their speed and maneuverability, made them useful for adaptation to their original function as patrol vessels. In the United States Navy armed yachts were typically private yachts expropriated for government use in times of war. Armed yachts served as patrol vessels during the Spanish–American War and the World Wars. In the latter conflicts, armed yachts were used as patrol vessels, convoy escorts, and in anti-submarine duties. In the United States, yachts were purchased from their owners with the owners given an option to repurchase their yacht at the close of hostilities.

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.

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.

Depth charge

Depth charge

A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon. It is intended to destroy a submarine by being dropped into the water nearby and detonating, subjecting the target to a powerful and destructive hydraulic shock. Most depth charges use high explosive charges and a fuze set to detonate the charge, typically at a specific depth. Depth charges can be dropped by ships, patrol aircraft, and helicopters.

Naval rating

Naval rating

In a navy, a rate, rating or bluejacket is a junior enlisted sailor who is not a warrant officer or commissioned officer. Depending on the country and navy that uses it, the exact term and the range of ranks that it refers to may vary.

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.

HMCS Elk

HMCS Elk

HMCS Elk was an armed yacht serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Prior to Canadian service, the ship was named Arcadia. She was used initially as a patrol vessel, but later saw use as a training and guard ship for submarines on the East Coast of Canada. Following the war, Elk was sold for commercial use and returned to her original name. She was renamed Grand Manan III in 1946 and used as a short-haul passenger ferry before being broken up in 1968.

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the northern coast of South America. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the northwest.

Neutral country

Neutral country

A neutral country is a state that is neutral towards belligerents in a specific war or holds itself as permanently neutral in all future conflicts. As a type of non-combatant status, nationals of neutral countries enjoy protection under the law of war from belligerent actions to a greater extent than other non-combatants such as enemy civilians and prisoners of war. Different countries interpret their neutrality differently: some, such as Costa Rica, have demilitarized, while Switzerland holds to "armed neutrality", to deter aggression with a sizeable military, while barring itself from foreign deployment.

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany was the German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party controlled the country, transforming it into a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany quickly became a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", alluded to the Nazi claim that Nazi Germany was the successor to the earlier Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and German Empire (1871–1918). The Third Reich, which Hitler and the Nazis referred to as the Thousand-Year Reich, ended in May 1945 after just 12 years when the Allies defeated Germany, ending World War II in Europe.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John is a seaport city of the Atlantic Ocean located on the Bay of Fundy in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The port is Canada's third-largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. The city was the most populous in New Brunswick until the 2016 census, when it was overtaken by Moncton. It is currently the second-largest city in the province, with a population of 69,895 over an area of 315.59 km2 (121.85 sq mi).

Post war service

The armed yacht was declared surplus on 7 June 1945 and taken to Sydney, Nova Scotia for disposal. The ship was officially paid off on 4 August.[10][a] Husky was sold along with fellow armed yachts HMCS Reindeer and HMCS Caribou to the Margaree Steamships Company on 28 August 1945.[1][11] Margaree Steamships flipped the ship to the Port of New Orleans in 1946 to be used as an inspection ship.[1][2] The ship was initially renamed Wild Duck before taking on the name Good Neighbor.[12] Good Neighbor was given two new 450 hp (340 kW) diesel engines and the paneling was re-installed and the ship was painted blue, white and buff. While in service as the city's inspection vessel, a number of celebrities visited the ship including Charles de Gaulle, and the King and Queen of Greece.[12]

In February 1967, the ship was acquired by the W.S. Young Construction Company, but the company failed and the ship was taken over by the U.S. Marshals and sold to Twinkling Star Inc. Keeping the name Good Neighbor, the vessel was used as a cruise yacht before being sold to Vernon Allen for use as a diving tender based in Honduras. Renamed Aquarius No. 2, the vessel was used off the Louisiana and Texan coasts. In 1979, the ship was sold again due to increasing maintenance problems and returned to New Orleans where the vessel was gutted to become a floating restaurant.[2][12]

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

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Notes
  1. ^ Macpherson & Barrie have the date as 3 August.[2]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Crowsnest.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 207.
  3. ^ McKee 1983, pp. 53, 63–64.
  4. ^ a b McKee 1983, p. 90.
  5. ^ a b c McKee 1983, p. 122.
  6. ^ Tucker 1952, p. 165.
  7. ^ a b McKee 1983, p. 126.
  8. ^ Tucker 1952, p. 156.
  9. ^ McKee 1983, p. 145.
  10. ^ McKee 1983, p. 154.
  11. ^ Tucker 1952, p. 526.
  12. ^ a b c McKee 1983, p. 162.
References
  • 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.
  • "Southern Belle". The Crowsnest. Vol. 13, no. 3. Ottawa, Ontario: Queen's Printer. January 1961. p. 9. ISSN 0704-7185.
  • Tucker, Gilbert Norman (1952). The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History – Volume 2: Activities on Shore During the Second World War. Ottawa: King's Printer. OCLC 4346983.

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