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HMCS Minas

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History
Canada
NameMinas
NamesakeMinas Basin
Ordered23 February 1940
BuilderBurrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd., Vancouver
Laid down18 October 1940
Launched22 January 1941
Commissioned2 August 1941
Decommissioned6 October 1945
IdentificationPennant number: J165
Recommissioned15 March 1955
Decommissioned7 November 1955
Identificationpennant number: 189
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1941–44, Normandy 1944[1]
FateSold for scrap 1958.
BadgeArgent, a pile barry wavy or and azure, and over all placed horizontally, a billet gules.[1]
General characteristics
Class and type Bangor-class minesweeper
Displacement672 long tons (683 t)
Length180 ft (54.9 m) oa
Beam28 ft 6 in (8.7 m)
Draught9 ft 9 in (3.0 m)
Propulsion2 Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers, 2 shafts, vertical triple-expansion reciprocating engines, 2,400 ihp (1,790 kW)
Speed16.5 knots (31 km/h)
Complement83
Armament

HMCS Minas was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Invasion of Normandy. She was named for Minas Basin.[2] After the war she was reactivated for a short period of time in 1955 before being sold for scrap.

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Design and description

A British design, the Bangor-class minesweepers were smaller than the preceding Halcyon-class minesweepers in British service, but larger than the Fundy class in Canadian service.[3][4] They came in two versions powered by different engines; those with a diesel engines and those with vertical triple-expansion steam engines.[3] Minas was of the latter design and was larger than her diesel-engined cousins. Minas was 180 feet (54.9 m) long overall, had a beam of 28 feet 6 inches (8.7 m) and a draught of 9 feet 9 inches (3.0 m).[3][4] The minesweeper had a displacement of 672 long tons (683 t). She had a complement of 6 officers and 77 enlisted.[4]

Minas 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). The minesweeper could carry a maximum of 150 long tons (152 t) of fuel oil.[3]

Minas was armed with a single quick-firing (QF) 4-inch (102 mm)/40 caliber Mk IV gun mounted forward that was later replaced with a 12-pounder (3 in (76 mm)) 12 cwt HA gun.[3][5][a] For anti-aircraft purposes, the minesweeper was equipped with one QF 2-pounder Mark VIII and two single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns.[3][4] The 2-pounder gun was later replaced with a powered twin 20 mm Oerlikon mount.[5] As a convoy escort, Minas was deployed with 40 depth charges launched from two depth charge throwers and four chutes.[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.

Fundy-class minesweeper

Fundy-class minesweeper

The Fundy-class minesweepers were a class of four minesweepers operated by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. All four ships entered service in 1938 and the class were discarded in 1945, sold for mercantile service. Three ended up sold to Chinese interests, while one remained active in Canada until 1987.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is called a compression-ignition engine. This contrasts with engines using spark plug-ignition of the air-fuel mixture, such as a petrol engine or a gas engine.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Construction and career

Minas was ordered on 23 February 1940[6] as part of the 1939–40 building programme.[4] Her keel was laid down on 18 October 1940 by Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd. at Vancouver. The ship was launched on 22 January 1941. She was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 2 August 1941 at Vancouver.[2]

Second World War

In September 1941, Minas sailed for the East coast, arriving at Halifax on 19 October. The minesweeper was assigned to Sydney Force as a local escort. In January 1942, she transferred to Newfoundland Force, remaining with them until November that year. She joined the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) as a convoy escort that month and served in an unaffiliated capacity until January 1943.[7] On 21 November 1942, Minas, along with the corvette Timmins, rescued 60 survivors of the merchant ship Empire Sailor which had been torpedoed by U-518. Several survivors later died of the phosgene gas they had inhaled when their ship was hit.[6] In January 1943, WLEF reorganized its escorts into groups. Minas joined 24.18.2 alongside corvettes Buctouche, Edmundston, Kamsack and Timmins.[7] She collided with HMS Liscomb on 3 February, near Halifax; the damage resulted in a month of repairs. She became a part of EG W-7 of WLEF in June. She joined escort group W-4 in December.[2]

On 20 February 1944, Minas left Halifax with three of her sisters, travelling to Great Britain as part of Canada's contribution to the invasion of Normandy. She arrived in March 1944 and was assigned to the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla, an all-Canadian flotilla of minesweepers taking part in the D-Day invasions.[2][8] During the invasion, Minas and her fellow minesweepers swept and marked channels through the German minefields leading into the invasion beaches.[9] The 31st Minesweeping Flotilla swept channel 3 on 6 June, completing the task unmolested by the Germans. Minas nearly collided with the French cruiser Georges Leygues as the assault fleet entered the swept channels.[10] She returned to Canada, undergoing a refit at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in September 1944, rejoining the 31st Flotilla at Plymouth in January 1945.[2] In April 1945, the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla joined the last large-scale combined operation in the European theatre in an attack on German naval bases in France that had been left untouched by Allied war effort to that point. Departing Plymouth on 12 April, the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla began operations in the mouth of the Gironde estuary on 14 April. They completed their duties on 16 April, unmolested by the Germans. While returning to Plymouth, the flotilla encountered a German trawler and captured it.[11] Later that year in September Minas returned to Canada and was paid off into reserve at Shelburne on 6 October 1945.[2]

Postwar service

After the war the decommissioned Minas was moved to Sorel. In 1952, she was reacquired by the Canadian Navy and recommissioned on 15 March 1955, to be used as a training vessel.[2] On 15 April 1955, Minas, Wallaceburg and Portage were assigned to the Eleventh Canadian Escort Squadron based out of Halifax.[12] Minas sailed for the West Coast on 30 September. After arrival, her crew transferred to Sault Ste. Marie and returned to Halifax.[13] The minesweeper was paid off on 7 November 1955 and sold in August 1958.[2] Minas was broken up at Seattle beginning on 20 August 1959.[14] The ship's wheel remains on display at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.[15]

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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.

Burrard Dry Dock

Burrard Dry Dock

Burrard Dry Dock Ltd. was a Canadian shipbuilding company headquartered in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Together with the neighbouring North Van Ship Repair yard and the Yarrows Ltd. yard in Esquimalt, which were eventually absorbed, Burrard built over 450 ships, including many warships built and refitted for the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy in the First and Second World Wars.

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.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec. The four provinces are New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. As of 2021, the landmass of the four Atlantic provinces was approximately 488,000 km2, and had a population of over 2.4 million people. The provinces combined had an approximate GDP of $121.888 billion in 2011. The term Atlantic Canada was popularized following the admission of Newfoundland as a Canadian province in 1949.

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.

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.

German submarine U-518

German submarine U-518

German submarine U-518 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She saw considerable success from her launch on 11 February 1942 until she was sunk on 22 April 1945. The U-boat was laid down at the Deutsche Werft in Hamburg as yard number 314 on 12 June 1941, and commissioned on 25 April 1942 with Fregattenkapitän Hans-Günther Brachmann in command. He was replaced on 19 August 1942 by Kapitänleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Wissmann. She sank nine ships and damaged three more in seven active patrols. U-518 had a crew of 56, and was by then commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Werner Offermann from 13 January 1944.

French cruiser Georges Leygues

French cruiser Georges Leygues

Georges Leygues was a French light cruiser of the La Galissonnière class. During World War II, she served with both Vichy France and Allies. She was named for the prominent 19th and 20th-century French politician Georges Leygues.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Dartmouth is an urban community and former city located in the Halifax Regional Municipality of Nova Scotia, Canada. Dartmouth is located on the eastern shore of Halifax Harbour. Dartmouth has been nicknamed the City of Lakes, after the large number of lakes located within its boundaries.

Plymouth

Plymouth

Plymouth is a port city and unitary authority in South West England. It is located on the south coast of Devon, approximately 36 miles (58 km) south-west of Exeter and 193 miles (311 km) south-west of London. It is bordered by Cornwall to the west and south-west.

Allies of World War II

Allies of World War II

The Allies, formally referred to as the United Nations from 1942, were an international military coalition formed during the Second World War (1939–1945) to oppose the Axis powers, led by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy. Its principal members by 1941 were the United Kingdom, United States, Soviet Union, and China.

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun. The 40 caliber denotes the length of the gun. This means that the length of the gun barrel is 40 times the bore diameter.

Citations

  1. ^ a b Arbuckle, p. 67
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Macpherson and Barrie, p. 172
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chesneau, p. 64
  4. ^ a b c d e Macpherson and Barrie, p. 167
  5. ^ a b c Macpherson, p. 19
  6. ^ a b "HMCS Minas (J165)". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b Rohwer, p. 222
  8. ^ Schull, p. 233
  9. ^ Schull, pp. 233–34
  10. ^ Schull, pp. 270–73
  11. ^ Schull, pp. 395–96
  12. ^ "Coastal Escorts Form Squadron". The Crowsnest. Vol. 7, no. 6. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. April 1955. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Minas Transfers to West Coast". The Crowsnest. Vol. 8, no. 1. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. November 1955. p. 3.
  14. ^ "Minas (6112071)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Victoria – 053". Nova Scotia Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion. Retrieved 22 March 2012.

Sources

  • Arbuckle, J. Graeme (1987). Badges of the Canadian Navy. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 0-920852-49-1.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • Macpherson, Ken (1997). Minesweepers of the Royal Canadian Navy 1938–1945. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-920277-55-1.
  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Revised & Expanded ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
  • Schull, Joseph (1961). The Far Distant Ships: An Official Account of Canadian Naval Operations in the Second World War. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. OCLC 19974782.

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