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HMCS Kapuskasing

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History
Canada
NameKapuskasing
NamesakeKapuskasing, Ontario
Ordered12 December 1941
BuilderPort Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Port Arthur, Ontario
Laid down19 December 1942[1]
Launched22 July 1943
Commissioned17 August 1944
Decommissioned27 March 1946
Identificationpennant number: J236
Recommissioned1949
Decommissioned1972
Identificationpennant number: 171
Honors and
awards
Atlantic, 1944–1945[4][2]
FateExpended as target 1978
NotesColours: White and dark green[2]
BadgeVert, shakefork couped, barry wavy argent and azure[2][3]
General characteristics
Class and type Algerine-class minesweeper
Displacement
  • 1,030 long tons (1,047 t) (standard)
  • 1,325 long tons (1,346 t) (deep)
Length225 ft (69 m) o/a
Beam35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)
Draught12.25 ft 6 in (3.89 m)
Installed power
Propulsion
Speed16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
Range5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement85
Armament

HMCS Kapuskasing was an Algerine-class minesweeper that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. The vessel was primarily used as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. Following the war she saw service as a hydrographic survey ship with the Department of Mines. She was named for Kapuskasing, Ontario.

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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.

Minesweeper

Minesweeper

A minesweeper is a small warship designed to remove or detonate naval mines. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, minesweepers keep waterways clear for safe shipping.

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.

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.

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada is the department of the Government of Canada responsible for natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, earth sciences, mapping, and remote sensing. It was formed in 1994 by amalgamating the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources with the Department of Forestry.

Kapuskasing

Kapuskasing

Kapuskasing is a town on the Kapuskasing River in the Cochrane District of Northern Ontario, Canada, approximately 92 kilometres (57 mi) east of Hearst. The town was known as MacPherson until 1917, when the name was changed so as not to conflict with another railway stop in Manitoba.

Ontario

Ontario

Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province by total area. Ontario is Canada's fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is Ontario's provincial capital.

Design and description

The reciprocating group displaced 1,010–1,030 long tons (1,030–1,050 t) at standard load and 1,305–1,325 long tons (1,326–1,346 t) at deep load The ships measured 225 feet (68.6 m) long overall with a beam of 35 feet 6 inches (10.8 m). They had a draught of 12 feet 3 inches (3.7 m). The ships' complement consisted of 85 officers and ratings.[5]

The reciprocating ships had two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The engines produced a total of 2,400 indicated horsepower (1,800 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph). They carried a maximum of 660 long tons (671 t) of fuel oil that gave them a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[5]

The Algerine class was armed with a QF 4 in (102 mm) Mk V anti-aircraft gun[6] and four twin-gun mounts for Oerlikon 20 mm cannon. The latter guns were in short supply when the first ships were being completed and they often got a proportion of single mounts. By 1944, single-barrel Bofors 40 mm mounts began replacing the twin 20 mm mounts on a one for one basis. All of the ships were fitted for four throwers and two rails for depth charges. Many Canadian ships omitted their sweeping gear in exchange for a 24-barrel Hedgehog spigot mortar and a stowage capacity for 90+ depth charges.[5]

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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.

Length overall

Length overall

Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.

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.

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.

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.

Fuel oil

Fuel oil

Fuel oil is any of various fractions obtained from the distillation of petroleum. Such oils include distillates and residues. Fuel oils include heavy fuel oil, marine fuel oil (MFO), bunker fuel, furnace oil (FO), gas oil (gasoil), heating oils, diesel fuel and others.

Nautical mile

Nautical mile

A nautical mile is a unit of length used in air, marine, and space navigation, and for the definition of territorial waters. Historically, it was defined as the meridian arc length corresponding to one minute of latitude. Today the international nautical mile is defined as exactly 1,852 metres. The derived unit of speed is the knot, one nautical mile per hour.

Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

The Oerlikon 20 mm cannon is a series of autocannons, based on an original German Becker Type M2 20 mm cannon design that appeared very early in World War I. It was widely produced by Oerlikon Contraves and others, with various models employed by both Allied and Axis forces during World War II. Many versions of the cannon are still used today.

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.

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.

Construction and career

Kapuskasing was ordered on 12 December 1941.[7] The ship was laid down on 19 December 1942 by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. at Port Arthur, Ontario and launched 22 July 1943.[7][8] The vessel was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 17 August 1944 at Port Arthur, with the pennant J326.[8]

After commissioning, Kapuskasing was sent to Bermuda to work up. Upon the vessel's return to Canadian waters, she was assigned to the Western Escort Force as Senior Officer's Ship of escort group W-1. As Senior Officer Ship, the commander of the escort would be aboard her during convoy missions.[9] Primarily used as a convoy escort, the ship remained with the group until the end of hostilities in the Atlantic Ocean. The group was disbanded in June 1945 and she was placed in maintenance reserve at Sydney, Nova Scotia.[8]

In November 1945, Kapuskasing underwent a refit at Halifax and upon its completion, was paid off into the reserve on 27 March 1946.[8]

In 1949, Kapuskasing was recommissioned and was assigned pennant 171. The vessel was loaned to the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys for use as a hydrographic survey platform. The ship was returned to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1972. On 3 October 1978, she was taken to sea and sunk as a naval target.[8]

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Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

Western Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company

Western Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company

The Western Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company was a shipyard that operated at Port Arthur, Ontario, now part of Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior from 1911 to 1993. The shipyard was established in 1909 and renamed in 1916 as the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company. The yard closed in 1993. It reopened as a repair yard Lakehead Marine and Industrial, however that venture failed in 2014. As of 2016, the shipyard was purchased by Heddle Marine. It is operated by Heddle Marine in partnership with Fabmar Metals Inc, of Thunder Bay. The venture focuses on ship repair services and winter layup options.

Port Arthur, Ontario

Port Arthur, Ontario

Port Arthur was a city in Northern Ontario, Canada, located on Lake Superior. In January 1970, it amalgamated with Fort William and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre to form the city of Thunder Bay.

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to placing a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries-old naval tradition.

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.

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.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Sydney is a former city and urban community on the east coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Sydney was founded in 1785 by the British, was incorporated as a city in 1904, and dissolved on 1 August 1995, when it was amalgamated into the regional municipality.

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.

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

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Notes
  1. ^ "HMCS Kapuskasing". www.readyayeready.com. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Arbuckle, p. 53
  3. ^ "The Canadian Design Resource – Ship's Badge HMCS Kapuskasing". www.canadiandesignresource.ca. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Lenton, p. 261
  6. ^ Chesneau, p. 65
  7. ^ a b "HMCS Kapuskasing (J 326)". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e Macpherson & Barrie, p. 196
  9. ^ Burn, p. 242
References

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