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HMCS Merrittonia

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HMCS Merrittonia
History
Canada
NameHMCS Merrittonia
NamesakeMerritton, Ontario
OrderedJune 1942
BuilderMorton Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Quebec City
Laid down23 November 1943
Launched24 June 1944
Commissioned10 November 1944
Decommissioned11 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K668
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1945[1]
FateSold for mercantile use
General characteristics
Class and typeModified Flower-class corvette
Displacement1,015 long tons (1,031 t; 1,137 short tons)
Length208 ft (63.4 m)o/a
Beam33 ft (10.1 m)
Draught11 ft (3.35 m)
Propulsion
  • single shaft
  • 2 × water tube boilers
  • 1 × 4-cylinder 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)
Complement90
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × Type 271 SW2C radar
  • 1 × Type 144 sonar
Armament

HMCS Merrittonia was a modified Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was named for Merritton, Ontario. Her name was altered at the request of the town council.[2] She was originally named HMCS Pointe Claire but it was changed March 1944 before commissioning.[3][4]

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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 Merrittonia serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[5][6][7] 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.[8] 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.[9] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[10]

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.[11]

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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 and career

Merrittonia was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1943–44 Increased Endurance Flower-class building program, which followed the main layout of the 1942–43 program. The only significant difference is that the majority of the 43–44 program replaced the 2-pounder Mk.VIII single "pom-pom" anti-aircraft gun with 2 twin 20-mm and 2 single 20-mm anti-aircraft guns.[11] Merrittonia was laid down by Morton Engineering & Dry Dock Co. at Quebec City, Quebec 23 November 1943 and launched 24 June 1944. She was commissioned into the RCN 10 November 1944 at Quebec City.[2][3]

After working up in Bermuda Merrittonia was assigned to the Mid-Ocean Escort Force as a trans-Atlantic convoy escort. She was allocated to escort group C-7 and remained with the unit until the end of the war. She made her return trip to Canada in June 1945.[2]

Merrittonia was paid off 11 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec and laid up. She was transferred to the War Assets Corporation and sold for mercantile use to K.C Irving Ltd. out of Moncton on 16 November 1945. While being towed to her new owners she was wrecked on the coast of Nova Scotia 30 November 1945.[2]

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Moncton

Moncton

Moncton is the most populous city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Situated in the Petitcodiac River Valley, Moncton lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has earned the nickname "Hub City" because of its central inland location in the region and its history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes. As of the 2021 Census, the city had a population of 79,470. The metropolitan population in 2022 was 171,608, making it the fastest growing CMA in Canada for the year with a growth rate of 5.3%. Its land area is 140.67 km2 (54.31 sq mi).

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland".

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

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 101. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  3. ^ a b "HMCS Merrittonia (K 668)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  6. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare. Vol. 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142.
  7. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9.
  8. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
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