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HMCS Louisburg (K143)

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HMCS Louisburg
History
Canada
NameLouisburg
NamesakeLouisburg, Nova Scotia
Ordered23 January 1940
BuilderMorton Engineering and Dry Dock Co. Quebec City
Laid down4 October 1940
Launched27 May 1940
Commissioned2 October 1941
Out of service6 February 1943
IdentificationPennant number: K143
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1941–42[1]
FateSunk 6 February 1943
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette[2]
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)
Installed power
  • 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
  • 1 × 4-cycle triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
  • 2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
PropulsionSingle shaft
Speed16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range3,500 nmi (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement85
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × SW1C or 2C radar
  • 1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament

HMCS Louisburg was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought mainly as an ocean escort during the Battle of the Atlantic. She was sunk in 1943. She was named for Louisburg, Nova Scotia.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Louisburg 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

Louisburg was ordered 23 January 1940 as part of the 1939–1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down by Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Co. at Quebec City and launched 27 May 1941. She was commissioned 2 October 1941 at Quebec City.[10][11]

During her brief career, Louisburg underwent two significant refits. The first took place at Halifax from the end of March 1942 until June of that year. The second took place on the Humber in the United Kingdom where she had extra AA fittings added in preparation for her escort duties related to Operation Torch.[11]

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Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Company

Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Company

Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Company was a shipbuilding company from Quebec City, Quebec. It was located in the Lower Town area of the city, along the Saint-Charles River. Founded in 1858, the shipyard stayed in operation until 1949, when it constructed its last ship. It built ships for the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy during both world wars. In 1947, the company was renamed St. Lawrence Metal and Marine Works.

Humber

Humber

The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal rivers Ouse and Trent. From there to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank and North Lincolnshire on the south bank. Although the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, many maps show it as the River Humber.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2020 population of more than 67 million people.

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.

War service

After arriving at Halifax for deployment on 15 October 1941, Louisburg was initially assigned to Sydney Force. She remained with them until mid-January 1942. At that time, she was transferred to the Newfoundland Escort Force. In February 1942 she took part in the battle for SC 67. During that battle, her sister ship, HMCS Spikenard was lost. After her refit, she returned to service, now as a mid-ocean escort on convoys between St. John's and Derry.[11]

In September 1942 Louisburg was sent to the United Kingdom as part of the Canadian contribution to Operation Torch. On 9 December 1942 she was rammed by HMS Bideford while anchored at Derry. She spent five weeks in repair yards at Belfast recovering from the damage. Upon her return to service, she was assigned to escort Torch-related convoys.[11]

Sinking

While escorting a convoy, KMF 8, from Gibraltar to Bone, Algeria, the Louisburg was among those hit by bombs and torpedoes from two formations of enemy aircraft. The first formation was made up of seven Ju 88 bombers and the second seven He 111 armed with torpedoes operating out of Italy. 38 crew were lost when she sank near Oran.[10][11]

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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.

Newfoundland Escort Force

Newfoundland Escort Force

The Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF) was a Second World War naval command created on 20 May 1941 as part of the Allied convoy system in the Battle of the Atlantic. Created in response to the movement of German U-boats into the western Atlantic Ocean, the Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF) was instituted to cover the convoy escort gap that existed between the local convoy escort in Canada and the United Kingdom. The Royal Canadian Navy provided the majority of naval vessels to the NEF along with its commander Commodore Leonard W. Murray, with units from the British, Norwegian, Polish, French and Dutch navies also assigned. The NEF was reconstituted as part of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force in 1942.

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.

Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

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.

HMS Bideford (L43)

HMS Bideford (L43)

HMS Bideford was a Royal Navy Shoreham-class sloop. She was named after the town of Bideford in Devon and was launched on 1 April 1931.

Belfast

Belfast

Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest in Ireland. It had a population of 345,418 in 2021.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and city located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

Junkers Ju 88

Junkers Ju 88

The Junkers Ju 88 is a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engined multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from technical problems during its development and early operational periods but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and at the end of the war, as a flying bomb.

Heinkel He 111

Heinkel He 111

The Heinkel He 111 is a German airliner and bomber designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter at Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in 1934. Through development, it was described as a "wolf in sheep's clothing". Due to restrictions placed on Germany after the First World War prohibiting bombers, it was presented solely as a civil airliner, although from conception the design was intended to provide the nascent Luftwaffe with a heavy bomber.

Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. Italy covers an area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi), with a population of about 60 million. It is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the tenth-largest country in the continent by land area. Italy's capital and largest city is Rome.

Oran

Oran

Oran is a major coastal city located in the north-west of Algeria. It is considered the second most important city of Algeria after the capital Algiers, due to its population and commercial, industrial, and cultural importance. It is 432 km (268 mi) west-south-west from Algiers. The total population of the city was 803,329 in 2008, while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000 making it the second-largest city in Algeria.

Source: "HMCS Louisburg (K143)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Louisburg_(K143).

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 18 August 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. p. 184. 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. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  10. ^ a b "HMCS Louisburg (i) (K 143)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 18 August 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. 79. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
External links

Coordinates: 36°15′N 00°15′E / 36.250°N 0.250°E / 36.250; 0.250

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