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HMCS Moose Jaw

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HMCS Moose Jaw 1941 H-2693.jpg
HMCS Moose Jaw, circa 1941
History
Canada
NameMoose Jaw
NamesakeMoose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Ordered1 February 1940
BuilderCollingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood
Laid down12 August 1940
Launched9 April 1941
Commissioned19 June 1941
Decommissioned8 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K164
Honours and
awards
  • Atlantic 1941-43
  • English Channel 1944-45
  • Normandy 1944[1]
FateScrapped in September 1949 in Canada.
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)
Propulsion
  • single shaft
  • 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
  • 1 × 4-cycle 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 Moose Jaw was a Royal Canadian Navy Flower-class corvette which took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War. Together with HMCS Chambly, she achieved the RCN's first U-boat kill of the war. She was named after Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

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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.

Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw is the fourth largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada. Lying on the Moose Jaw River in the south-central part of the province, it is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, 77 km (48 mi) west of Regina. Residents of Moose Jaw are known as Moose Javians. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Moose Jaw No. 161.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Moose Jaw 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

Moose Jaw was originally named Churchill, for Churchill, Manitoba but after a naming conflict with a Royal Navy vessel, her name was changed.[9] She was ordered on 1 February 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down at Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood on 12 August 1940 and launched on 9 April 1941. She was commissioned into the RCN two months later on 19 June at Collingwood.[10][11]

During her career, Moose Jaw underwent three significant overhauls. Her first took place after she ran aground in St. John's harbour. She underwent temporary repairs at St. John's until 5 March 1942, then left for Saint John, New Brunswick for permanent repairs, which lasted until 25 June 1942. In September 1942 she took part in Operation Torch which required an increased AA armament. This refit took place in the United Kingdom. Her final major refit took place between December 1943 and March 1944 at Liverpool, Nova Scotia. During this refit, her fo'c'sle was extended.[10][11]

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Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba, Canada, on the west shore of Hudson Bay, roughly 140 km (87 mi) from the Manitoba–Nunavut border. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has benefited its burgeoning tourism industry.

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.

Collingwood, Ontario

Collingwood, Ontario

Collingwood is a town in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is situated on Nottawasaga Bay at the southern point of Georgian Bay. Collingwood is well known as a tourist destination, for its skiing in the winter, and limestone caves along the Niagara Escarpment in the summer.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John is a seaport city of the Atlantic Ocean located on the Bay of Fundy in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The port is Canada's third-largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. The city was the most populous in New Brunswick until the 2016 census, when it was overtaken by Moncton. It is currently the second-largest city in the province, with a population of 69,895 over an area of 315.59 km2 (121.85 sq mi).

New Brunswick

New Brunswick

New Brunswick 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. It is the only province with both English and French as its official languages.

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.

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.

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.

Service history

After arriving at Halifax, she was assigned to Newfoundland Command in August 1941. On the 5 September 1941, she sailed with Chambly on exercises. En route, they were ordered to reinforce the escort group protecting convoy SC 42. On 10 September 1941, Moose Jaw along with Chambly sank U-501 by depth charges and ramming in the Denmark Strait south of Tasiilaq, Greenland.[10][11]

On the 11 September 1941 Moose Jaw and Kenogami rescued 41 survivors from the British merchant ship Berury, which had been torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-207 east of Cape Farewell, Greenland. In total, the convoy lost eighteen ships.[10] Moose Jaw needed ten days repairs at Greenock due to the damage done while ramming U-501.[11]

After repairs were completed she was sent to Tobermory for work ups in October. Upon completion of those, Moose Jaw spent the next four months escorting convoys between St. John's and Iceland.[11] On January 10, 1942 Moose Jaw sailed with Escort Group N12 for Londonderry Port, the first all Canadian Escort Group to make the crossing. The group arrived at their destination thirteen days later. After boiler cleaning the group returned to St. John's with an ON Convoy.[10]

In mid-February 1942 Moose Jaw ran aground off the south entrance of St. John's Harbour. Due to the extensive damage and need for refit, she was out of service until June 25, 1942. After workups, she was briefly assigned to the Western Local Escort Force before being sent across to the United Kingdom as part of Canada's contribution to Operation Torch in September. Moose Jaw spent the next five months escorting convoys between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. She returned to Canada in April 1943.

In May 1943 she was assigned to Quebec Force, though later transferred to Gaspe Force. She underwent a refit beginning in December, lasting until May. After workups following the refit, Moose Jaw was assigned to Western Approaches Command, as part of Operation Neptune. She served in this capacity until September 1944, when she was reassigned to Escort Group EG 41 out of Plymouth. She escorted coastal convoys from Milford Haven until the end of the war.[11] On 28 February 1945 Moose Jaw rescued six survivors from the British merchant ship Norfolk Coast, which was torpedoed and sunk by U-1302 south-west of Strumble Head.[10]

Moose Jaw was paid off from the RCN on 8 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec. The ship was sold for scrapping in September 1949 and broken up at Hamilton, Ontario.[10][11][12]

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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.

SC convoys

SC convoys

The SC convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys that ran during the battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

German submarine U-501

German submarine U-501

German submarine U-501 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 12 February 1940 at the Deutsche Werft yard in Hamburg, launched on 25 January 1941 and commissioned on 30 April 1941 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Hugo Förster. The boat served with 2nd U-boat Flotilla until she was sunk on 10 September 1941.

Denmark Strait

Denmark Strait

The Denmark Strait or Greenland Strait is an oceanic strait between Greenland to its northwest and Iceland to its southeast. The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen lies northeast of the strait.

Greenland

Greenland

Greenland is an island country in North America that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Greenland is the world's largest island. It is one of three constituent countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark and the Faroe Islands; the citizens of these countries are all citizens of Denmark and the European Union. Greenland's capital is Nuuk.

German submarine U-207

German submarine U-207

German submarine U-207 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Cape Farewell, Greenland

Cape Farewell, Greenland

Cape Farewell is a headland on the southern shore of Egger Island, Nunap Isua Archipelago, Greenland. As the southernmost point of the country, it is one of the important landmarks of Greenland.

Greenock

Greenock

Greenock is a town and administrative centre in the Inverclyde council area in Scotland, United Kingdom and a former burgh within the historic county of Renfrewshire, located in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It forms part of a contiguous urban area with Gourock to the west and Port Glasgow to the east.

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which is home to over 65% of the population. Iceland is the biggest part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

Londonderry Port

Londonderry Port

Londonderry Port, now operating as Foyle Port, is a port located on Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland. It is the United Kingdom’s most westerly port and an important northerly port on the island of Ireland. The current port is at Lisahally, County Londonderry, though historically the port was upriver in the city of Derry itself. It is operated by the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners, whose former offices, just north of the city's walls, are now a museum.

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.

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.

Quote

"Because the U-boats were operating against a slow-moving target it was to their advantage to break wireless silence in order to call in a gaggle of their friends and mount what they called a wolf-pack attack. Their system of attack was to concentrate ahead of the convoy at nightfall and allow the convoy to come to them while they saved the charge in their batteries. In one very serious battle, that connected with the convoy SC 42, it happened that two of my Newfoundland vessels had a week to spare and they were allowed to go on a training jaunt along the possible convoy routes in the vicinity of the East coast of Greenland, where U-boats were liable to be found, and by good luck, were in a position to reinforce the escort group involved. They joined the Convoy just at late dusk, coming down from ahead. In fact they came from outside the position of the U-boats waiting to attack. The U-boats had no eyes for anything but the Convoy ahead and did not expect attack from behind them. In this way the "Chambly" and "Moose Jaw" killed the RCN’s first U-boat"

— Leonard W. Murray, Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic, 1943-1945.[13]

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 20 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. ^ 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. ^ a b c d e f g "HMCS Moose Jaw (K 164)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910-1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. pp. 80, 157, 231–232. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  12. ^ "Moose Jaw (6112148)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  13. ^ Notes prepared by Murray for CBC interview in 1967, Library and Archives of Canada, Admiral Murray papers, Collection MG30 E207

Bibliography

External links

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