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HMCS Kitchener (K225)

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HMCS Kitchener K-225 A-207.jpg
HMCS Kitchener in heavy seas
History
Canada
NameKitchener
NamesakeKitchener, Ontario
BuilderGeorge T. Davie & Sons Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, Canada
Laid down28 February 1941
Launched18 November 1941
Commissioned28 June 1942
Decommissioned11 July 1945
Renamedfrom HMCS Vancouver before launch.
RefitCompleted 28 January 1944, Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
IdentificationPennant number: K225
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942-43, Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942, English Channel 1944-45, Normandy 1944[1]
FateScrapped in 1949, Hamilton, Ontario
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette (Revised)
Displacement925 long tons (940 t; 1,036 short tons)
Length205 ft (62.48 m)o/a
Beam33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught11.5 ft (3.51 m)
Propulsion
  • 1940-1941 program
  • single shaft
  • 2 × water tube boilers
  • 1 × double acting 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)
Complement85
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × SW1C or 2C radar
  • 1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament

HMCS Kitchener was a Royal Canadian Navy revised Flower-class corvette which took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for Kitchener, Ontario. The vessel was originally named HMCS Vancouver but was renamed in November 1941 before the ship was launched.[2]

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario, about 100 km (62 mi) west of Toronto. It is one of three cities that make up the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and is the regional seat. Kitchener was known as Berlin until a 1916 referendum changed its name. The city covers an area of 136.86 km2, and had a population of 256,885 at the time of the 2021 Canadian census.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Kitchener 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

Kitchener was ordered as part of the Revised 1940-41 Flower class building program. This revised program radically changed the look of the Flower-class corvette. The ships of this program kept the water-tube boilers of the initial 1940-41 program, but now they were housed in separate compartments for safety. The fo'c'sle was extended, which allowed more space for berths for the crew, leading to an expansion of the crew. The bow had increased flare for better control in heavy seas. The revised Flowers of the RCN received an additional two depth charge throwers fitted amidships and more depth charges. They also came with heavier secondary armament with 20-millimetre anti-aircraft guns carried on the extended bridge wings. All this led to an increase in displacement, draught and length.[9]

Kitchener was laid down by George T. Davie & Sons Ltd. at Lauzon on 28 February 1941 and launched on 18 November of that year. She was commissioned into the RCN on 28 June 1942 at Quebec City.[10] During her career, she had one significant refit, taking place at Liverpool, Nova Scotia from October 1943 until 28 January 1944.[11]

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War service

After arriving on 16 July 1942 at Halifax Kitchener spent the next six weeks at Pictou, Nova Scotia working up.

In September she was briefly assigned to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) before being reassigned as an escort for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. She sailed to Derry, arriving on 3 November and spent the next few months escorting convoys between the UK and the Mediterranean before returning to Canada in April 1943 as an escort for convoy ONS 2.[11]

She was briefly assigned to the Western Support Force but in June was reassigned to Escort Group C-5 of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force where she made three round trips to Derry. An extensive refit in Liverpool, Nova Scotia was completed on 28 January 1944 and after two weeks working up in Bermuda the ship transferred to Milford Haven, Wales for escort duties associated with Operation Neptune.[11]

Kitchener was the only Canadian corvette to participate in the 6 June D-Day invasion of Normandy, escorting the second wave of American infantry which landed at around 11 am on Omaha Beach, then assigned as picket ship for the heavy cruiser USS Augusta, which was acting as General Omar Bradley's command ship. From August 1944 until May 1945 she was a member of Escort Group 41 based at Plymouth, England.[11]

HMCS Kitchener appeared in the film Corvette K225 (1943) as the fictional HMCS Donnacona. Certain scenes for the film were shot at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where HMCS Kitchener was based at the time.

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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.

Operation Torch

Operation Torch

Operation Torch was an Allied invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. Torch was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale. It was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States.

Derry

Derry

Derry, officially Londonderry, is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the fifth-largest city on the island of Ireland. The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks.

ON convoys

ON convoys

The ON convoys were a series of North Atlantic trade convoys running Outbound from the British Isles to North America during the Battle of the Atlantic.

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.

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.

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.

Milford Haven

Milford Haven

Milford Haven is both a town and a community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, an estuary forming a natural harbour that has been used as a port since the Middle Ages. The town was founded in 1790 by Sir William Hamilton, who designed a grid pattern. It was originally intended to be a whaling centre, though by 1800 it was developing as a Royal Navy dockyard which it remained until the dockyard was transferred to Pembroke in 1814. It then became a commercial dock, with the focus moving in the 1960s, after the construction of an oil refinery built by Esso, to logistics for fuel oil and liquid gas. By 2010, the town's port had become the fourth largest in the United Kingdom in terms of tonnage, and continues its important role in the United Kingdom's energy sector with several oil refineries and one of the biggest LNG terminals in the world.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach was one of five beach landing sectors designated for the amphibious assault component of operation Overlord during the Second World War. On June 6, 1944, the Allies invaded German-occupied France with the Normandy landings. "Omaha" refers to an 8-kilometer (5 mi) section of the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard, with contributions from the British, Canadian and Free French navies.

Picket (military)

Picket (military)

A picket is a soldier, or small unit of soldiers, placed on a defensive line forward of a friendly position to provide timely warning and screening against an enemy advance. It can also refer to any unit performing a similar function. A picket guarding a fixed position may be known as a sentry or guard.

Omar Bradley

Omar Bradley

Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II, rising to the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and oversaw the U.S. military's policy-making in the Korean War.

Command ship

Command ship

Command ships serve as the flagships of the commander of a fleet. They provide communications, office space, and accommodations for a fleet commander and their staff, and serve to coordinate fleet activities.

Post-war service

After the cessation of hostilities Kitchener returned to Canada in May 1945. She was paid off at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec 11 July 1945 and transferred to the War Assets Corporation for disposal. She was sold in April 1949 for scrapping and broken up at Hamilton, Ontario.[11][12]

Source: "HMCS Kitchener (K225)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Kitchener_(K225).

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  2. ^ 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.
  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 Kitchener (K 225)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  11. ^ 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. 93. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  12. ^ "Kitchener (6113198)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
References
External links

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