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HMCS Mulgrave

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History
Canada
NameMulgrave
NamesakeMulgrave, Nova Scotia
BuilderPort Arthur Shipbuilding Co, Port Arthur
Laid down15 December 1941
Launched2 May 1942
Commissioned4 November 1942
Decommissioned7 June 1945
IdentificationPennant number: J313
Honours and
awards
Gulf of St. Lawrence,[1] Atlantic 1943-44, Normandy 1944,
Fate
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 Mulgrave (pennant J313) was a Bangor-class minesweeper that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Entering service in 1942, the minesweeper took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Normandy. While sweeping for naval mines off France in 1944, the vessel hit one. The ship was towed back to port where Mulgrave was declared a constructive total loss. Laid up until the end of the war, the minesweeper was broken up in 1947.

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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.

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.

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.

Naval mine

Naval mine

A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel or a particular vessel type, akin to anti-infantry vs. anti-vehicle mines. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour; or defensively, to protect friendly vessels and create "safe" zones. Mines allow the minelaying force commander to concentrate warships or defensive assets in mine-free areas giving the adversary three choices: undertake an expensive and time-consuming minesweeping effort, accept the casualties of challenging the minefield, or use the unmined waters where the greatest concentration of enemy firepower will be encountered.

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

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.[2][3] They came in two versions powered by different engines; those with a diesel engines and those with vertical triple-expansion steam engines.[2] Mulgrave was of the latter design and was larger than her diesel-engined cousins. The minesweeper 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).[2][4] Mulgrave had a displacement of 672 long tons (683 t). She had a complement of 6 officers and 77 enlisted.[4]

Mulgrave 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.[2]

Mulgrave was armed with a single quick-firing (QF) 12-pounder (3 in (76 mm)) 12 cwt HA gun mounted forward.[2][5][a] The ship was also fitted with a QF 2-pounder Mark VIII aft and were eventually fitted with single-mounted QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns on the bridge wings.[6] The 2-pounder gun was later replaced with a twin 20 mm Oerlikon mount.[5] Those ships assigned to convoy duty had two depth charge launchers and four chutes to deploy the 40 depth charges they carried.[2][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.

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.

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.

Operational history

The minesweeper was ordered as part of the 1941–1942 construction programme.[5] The ship's keel was laid down on 15 December 1941 by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co at their yard in Port Arthur, Ontario. Named for a community in Nova Scotia, Mulgrave was launched on 2 May 1942. The ship was commissioned on 4 November 1942 at Port Arthur.[7]

Mulgrave arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 30 November and was assigned to Halifax Force, the local patrol and escort force. In June 1943, the ship switched to the Western Local Escort Force as a convoy escort as part of the escort group W2 in the Battle of the Atlantic. The minesweeper remained with the unit until February 1944, when the ship was sent to Europe as part of Canada's contribution to the invasion of Normandy. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean via the Azores, Mulgrave went aground at Horta, Azores and had to be towed to Greenock, Scotland. The ship was repaired at Ardrossan before joining the 32nd Minesweeping Flotilla at Plymouth in April. In June, the ship transferred to the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla.[7]

During the invasion, the minesweepers swept and marked channels through the German minefields leading into the invasion beaches in the American sector, with Mulgrave acting as danlayer for the group.[8][9] The 31st Minesweeping Flotilla swept channel 3 on 6 June.[10] The minesweepers spent the following months clearing the shipping lanes between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. On 8 October 1944, the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla was sweeping for mines off Le Havre, France when Mulgrave suffered an explosion. The minesweeper had hit a mine and after damage control efforts saved the ship, sister ship Blairmore took the vessel in tow and brought her to Le Havre.[11]

Mulgrave was towed to Portsmouth where the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. The Royal Canadian Navy placed the vessel in reserve at Falmouth in January 1945. Mulgrave was paid off on 7 June 1945 at Falmouth.[7] In May 1947, the minesweeper was taken to Llanelly, Wales, beached and broken up.[12][13]

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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. The laying of the keel is often the initial step in the construction of a ship. In the British and American shipbuilding traditions, this event marks the beginning date of a ships construction.

Ontario

Ontario

Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province by total area. Ontario is Canada's fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is Ontario's provincial capital.

Mulgrave, Nova Scotia

Mulgrave, Nova Scotia

Mulgrave is a town on the Strait of Canso in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Located along the Marine Drive, Route 344 traverses the community. The town's current name was adopted in 1859 to honour the colonial Lieutenant Governor, the Earl of Mulgrave. Lying opposite to the town of Port Hawkesbury, the community is located along the western shore of the Canso Strait. It was established as McNair's Cove in the early 19th century, and the name Port Mulgrave was adopted in 1859, later shortening to its current form. The early industry of the community relied on ferry service between the Nova Scotia mainland and Cape Breton Island. Ferry service began in the 1810s and rail service reached the area in the 1880s. The ferry services lasted until the opening of the Canso Causeway in 1955, dealing a major blow to the local economy. As of 2016, Mulgrave has a population of 722 and a population density of 40.5/km2 (104.9/sq mi), within an area of 17.83 km2 (6.88 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".

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.

Convoy

Convoy

A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support and can help maintain cohesion within a unit. It may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.

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.

Azores

Azores

The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,400 km (870 mi) west of Lisbon, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 1,930 km (1,200 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Horta, Azores

Horta, Azores

Horta is a municipality and city in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores encompassing the island of Faial. The population in 2011 was 15,038 in an area of 173.06 square kilometres (66.82 sq mi) The city of Horta itself has a population of about 7,000.

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.

Ardrossan

Ardrossan

Ardrossan is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in southwestern Scotland. The town has a population of 10,670 and forms part of a conurbation with Saltcoats and Stevenston known as the 'Three Towns'. Ardrossan is located on the east shore of the Firth of Clyde.

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.

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

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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 c d e f Chesneau, p. 64
  3. ^ Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 167
  4. ^ a b Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 180
  5. ^ a b c d Macpherson (1997), p. 70
  6. ^ Macpherson (1997), p. 58
  7. ^ a b c Macpherson and Barrie (2002), p. 192
  8. ^ Schull, pp. 233–34
  9. ^ Douglas et al., A Blue Water Navy, p. 233
  10. ^ Schull, pp. 270–73
  11. ^ Douglas et al., A Blue Water Navy, p. 334
  12. ^ Colledge, p. 427
  13. ^ "Mulgrave (6113757)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 12 November 2016.

Sources

  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • 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.
  • Douglas, W.A.B.; Sarty, Roger; Whitby, Michael (2007). A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1943–1945 Volume II, Part II. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55125-069-4.
  • 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.
  • 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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