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HMCS New Westminster

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HMCS New Westminster
History
Canada
NameNew Westminster
NamesakeNew Westminster, British Columbia
BuilderVictoria Machinery Depot Co. Ltd. Victoria
Laid down4 February 1941
Launched14 May 1941
Commissioned31 January 1942
Decommissioned21 June 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K228
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1942–45[1]
FateSold for mercantile conversion, scrapped 1966
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette
Displacement950 long tons (970 t; 1,060 short tons)
Length203 ft (61.87 m)
Beam33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught13 ft (3.96 m)
Propulsion
  • single shaft
  • 2 × water tube boilers
  • 1 × double acting triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
  • 2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
Speed16.5 knots (30.6 km/h)
Range3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement5 officers, 61 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × SW1C or 2C radar
  • 1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament

HMCS New Westminster was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw action primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for New Westminster, British Columbia.

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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.

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.

New Westminster

New Westminster

New Westminster is a city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada, and a member municipality of the Metro Vancouver Regional District. It was founded by Major-General Richard Moody as the capital of the Colony of British Columbia in 1858 and continued in that role until the Mainland and Island colonies were merged in 1866. It was the British Columbia Mainland's largest city from that year until it was passed in population by Vancouver during the first decade of the 20th century.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like New Westminster serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[2][3][4] 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.[5] 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.[6] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[7]

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.[8]

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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

New Westminster was ordered as part of the 1940–1941 Flower-class building program. She was identical to the 1939–1940 program except for a few changes. The 1940–41 program had water-tube boilers, which were less responsive but had more reliability in providing a consistent supply of steam. The second significant change was that no minesweeping gear was ever installed, as the role of the corvette had changed from coastal auxiliary to convoy escort.[8]

New Westminster was laid down 4 February 1941 by Victoria Machinery Depot Co. Ltd. at Victoria, British Columbia and launched 14 May 1941. She was commissioned 31 January 1942 at Victoria.[9] During her career, New Westminster had two major refits. The first significant overhaul took place at Sydney, Nova Scotia from May 1943 until 10 December 1943. During this refit she had her fo'c'sle extended. Her second major refit took place at Saint John from January to March 1945.[10]

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Victoria Machinery Depot

Victoria Machinery Depot

Victoria Machinery Depot Ltd. was a historic metalworks and shipyard in Victoria, Canada.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of 91,867, and the Greater Victoria area has a population of 397,237. The city of Victoria is the 7th most densely populated city in Canada with 4,405.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (11,411/sq mi).

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Sydney is a former city and urban community on the east coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Sydney was founded in 1785 by the British, was incorporated as a city in 1904, and dissolved on 1 August 1995, when it was amalgamated into the regional municipality.

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).

Service history

New Westminster was assigned to Esquimalt Force on the west coast after workups. However, later that year she was reassigned to the east coast to replace corvettes departing for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. She arrived at Halifax 13 October 1942 and was assigned to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF).[10]

With the WLEF, New Westminster escorted convoys on what became known as the "Triangle Run", the route between New York City, Boston and St. John's. She remained with that force until departing for her first major refit in May 1943.[10]

After returning from workups, New Westminster was assigned to the Mid-Ocean Escort Force, the escort force that protected the Trans-Atlantic convoys. She joined escort group C-5 and in July 1944, alongside them, escorted the largest convoy of the war, HX 300. She departed for another refit at the end of the year. When she returned to service in April 1945, she was assigned to Sydney Force until the end of the war.[10]

Upon cessation of hostilities, New Westminster was paid off at Sorel, Quebec 21 June 1945. She was transferred to the War Assets Corporation who sold her for mercantile conversion in 1947.[10] In 1950 she reappeared as the merchant ship Elisa of 939 GRT.[11] In 1952 she was renamed the Portoviejo and Azura in 1954. She remained under that name until she was sold in 1966 to be stripped at Tampa, Florida before being broken up at Tampico, Florida.[9][10][11]

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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.

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.

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) referred to the organization of anti-submarine escorts for World War II trade convoys from North American port cities to the Western Ocean Meeting Point near Newfoundland where ships of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) assumed responsibility for safely delivering the convoys to the British Isles.

Boston

Boston

Boston, officially the City of Boston, is the state capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the cultural and financial center of the New England region of the United States. It is the 24th-most populous city in the country. The city boundaries encompass an area of about 48.4 sq mi (125 km2) and a population of 675,647 as of 2020. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest MSA in the country. A broader combined statistical area (CSA), generally corresponding to the commuting area and including Providence, Rhode Island, is home to approximately 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

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.

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.

HX convoys

HX convoys

The HX convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys which ran during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. They were east-bound convoys and originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia from where they sailed to ports in the United Kingdom. They absorbed the BHX convoys from Bermuda en route. Later, after the United States entered the war, HX convoys began at New York.

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Replaced by Gross Tonnage (GT), gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel. Internationally, GRT may be abbreviated as BRT for the German "Bruttoregistertonne".

Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Tampa is a city on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The city's borders include the north shore of Tampa Bay and the east shore of Old Tampa Bay. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area and the seat of Hillsborough County. With a population of 384,959 according to the 2020 census, Tampa is the third-most populated city in Florida after Jacksonville and Miami and is the 52nd most populated city in the United States.

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.

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

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  2. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  3. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare. Vol. 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142.
  4. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9.
  5. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  9. ^ a b "HMCS New Westminster (K 228)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 90. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  11. ^ a b "New Westminster (5032321)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
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