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HMCS Lachine

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History
Canada
NameLachine
NamesakeLachine, Quebec
BuilderDavie Shipbuilding, Lauzon
Laid down27 December 1940
Launched14 June 1941
Commissioned20 June 1942
Decommissioned31 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number: J266
Honours and
awards
Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942,[1] Atlantic 1942-45
FateSold for conversion to a salvage tug, 1945
General characteristics
Class and type Bangor-class minesweeper
Displacement592 long tons (601 t)
Length162 ft (49.4 m)
Beam28 ft (8.5 m)
Draught8.25 ft (2.51 m)
Propulsion2 shafts, 9-cylinder diesel, 2,000 bhp (1,500 kW)
Speed16 knots (30 km/h)
Complement83
Armament

HMCS Lachine was a Bangor-class minesweeper of the Royal Canadian Navy that served during the Second World War. Following the war a proposed transfer to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as Starnes was cancelled, and the ship was instead sold for conversion to a salvage tug in 1945. The ship was broken up in the United Kingdom in 1955.

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Bangor-class minesweeper

Bangor-class minesweeper

The Bangor-class minesweepers were a class of warships operated by the Royal Navy (RN), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), and Royal Indian Navy (RIN) during the Second World War.

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.

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 Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, commonly known in English as the Mounties is the federal and national police service of Canada. As police services are the constitutional responsibility of provinces and territories of Canada, the RCMP's primary responsibility is the enforcement of federal criminal law, and sworn members of the RCMP have jurisdiction as a peace officer in all provinces and territories of Canada. However, the service also provides police services under contract to eight of Canada's provinces, all three of Canada's territories, more than 150 municipalities, and 600 Indigenous communities. In addition to enforcing federal legislation and delivering local police services under contract, the RCMP is responsible for border integrity; overseeing Canadian peacekeeping missions involving police; managing the Canadian Firearms Program, which licenses and registers firearms and their owners; and the Canadian Police College, which provides police training to Canadian and international police services.

Salvage tug

Salvage tug

A salvage tug, known also historically as a wrecking tug, is a specialized type of tugboat that is used to rescue ships that are in distress or in danger of sinking, or to salvage ships that have already sunk or run aground.

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.

Design and description

The Bangor class was initially to be a scaled down minesweeper design of the Halcyon class in Royal Navy service.[2][3] However, due to the difficulty procuring diesel engines led to the small number of the diesel version being completed.[3] The ships displaced 592 long tons (601 t) standard and 690 long tons (700 t) fully loaded. They were 162 feet (49.4 m) long with a beam of 28 feet (8.5 m) and a draught of 8 feet 3 inches (2.51 m).[3][4] However, the size of the ship led to criticisms of their being too cramped for magnetic or acoustic minesweeping gear.[3] This may have been due to all the additions made during the war with the installation of ASDIC, radar and depth charges.[2]

The Bangor class came in two versions. Lachine was of the diesel-powered version, being equipped with a 9-cylinder diesel engine driving two shafts that produced 2,000 brake horsepower (1,500 kW). This gave the ship a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h). The vessels carried 65 long tons (66 t) of oil.[3] The vessels had a complement of 6 officers and 77 ratings.[4]

The Canadian diesel-powered Bangors were armed with a single quick-firing (QF) 12-pounder 12 cwt gun mounted forward.[3][4][a] Initially the design called for a 4-inch (102 mm) gun, however these were replaced with 12-pounder guns. The ships were also fitted with a QF 2-pounder Mark VIII gun aft and were eventually fitted with single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns on the bridge wings.[5] For those ships assigned to convoy duty, they were armed with two depth charge launchers and two chutes to deploy the 40 depth charges they carried.[3][5]

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Halcyon-class minesweeper

Halcyon-class minesweeper

The Halcyon class was a class of 21 oil-fired minesweepers built for the British Royal Navy between 1933 and 1939. They were given traditional small ship names used historically by the Royal Navy and served during World War II.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Quick-firing gun

Quick-firing gun

A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery piece, typically a gun or howitzer, which has several characteristics which taken together mean the weapon can fire at a fast rate. Quick-firing was introduced worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s and had a marked impact on war both on land and at sea.

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.

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.

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.

Service history

The minesweeper was ordered as part of the 1940–41 building programme. Her keel was laid down by Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec on 27 December 1940, and launched on 20 June 1942. Lachine was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy at Quebec City on 20 June 1942 with the pennant number J266.[6]

Following workups, the ship was assigned to Sydney Force, a local escort force operating out of Sydney, Nova Scotia in September 1942. In October, the ship was transferred to the Western Local Escort Force.[6] In January 1943 the Western Local Escort Force organized its escorts into groups. Lachine joined 24.18.3 alongside the corvettes Moncton and Nanaimo.[7] In June, when the force was restructured, the minesweeper joined the escort group W-6. The ship transferred to Halifax Force, a local escort force operating out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, from June 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.[6]

On 31 July 1945, Lachine was paid off at Shelburne, Nova Scotia and laid up for disposal. Following the war the ship was intended to be transferred to the marine section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as Starnes, however, the transfer was cancelled. Sources disagree on what happened to the ship after that. According to Macpherson & Barrie and Miramar state the ship was instead sold for conversion to a salvage tug in 1945.[6] The conversion was completed in 1946, the ship retaining her name and remained in service until 1955 when Lachine was broken up for scrap in 1955.[8] However, Colledge claims the ship was converted to the tug Jacks Bay in 1952.[9] According to Macpherson & Barrie and Miramar, this was the name that HMCS Grandmère took after her conversion.[10][11]

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Keel

Keel

The keel is the bottom-most longitudinal structural element on a vessel. On some sailboats, it may have a hydrodynamic and counterbalancing purpose, as well. As the laying down of the keel is the initial step in the construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event.

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding is a historic shipbuilding company located in Lauzon, Quebec, Canada. The facility is now operating as Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and is the oldest continually operating shipbuilder in North America.

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.

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.

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.

Pennant number

Pennant number

In the Royal Navy and other navies of Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations, ships are identified by pennant number. Historically, naval ships flew a flag that identified a flotilla or type of vessel. For example, the Royal Navy used a red burgee for torpedo boats and a pennant with an H for torpedo boat destroyers. Adding a number to the type-identifying flag uniquely identified each ship.

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.

HMCS Moncton (K139)

HMCS Moncton (K139)

HMCS Moncton was a Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served on both coasts of Canada. She is named after Moncton, New Brunswick.

HMCS Nanaimo (K101)

HMCS Nanaimo (K101)

HMCS Nanaimo was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served on both coasts during the war. She was named for Nanaimo, British Columbia.

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.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

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

HMCS Grandmère

HMCS Grandmère

HMCS Grandmère was a Bangor-class minesweeper constructed for the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Entering service in 1941, the minesweeper took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of the St. Lawrence before being taken out of service in 1945. The ship was sold for mercantile service following the war, first as the yacht Elda and then the cargo ship Jacks Bay. The ship was sold for scrap in 1968.

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.

Citations

  1. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships that Participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Brown, p. 124
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chesneau (1980), p. 61
  4. ^ a b c Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 185
  5. ^ a b Macpherson (1997), p. 58
  6. ^ a b c d Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 187
  7. ^ Rohwer, p. 222
  8. ^ "Lachine (6113209)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  9. ^ Colledge, p. 351
  10. ^ Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 182
  11. ^ "Grandmere (5286099)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 27 February 2016.

Sources

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