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HMCS Orillia

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HMCS Orillia
History
Canada
NameOrillia
NamesakeOrillia, Ontario
Ordered1 February 1940
BuilderCollingwood Shipyards Ltd. Collingwood, Ontario
Laid down4 March 1940
Launched15 September 1940
Commissioned25 November 1940
Out of servicepaid off 2 July 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K119
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1941–45[1]
FateScrapped 1951
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette (original)[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 Orillia was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for Orillia, Ontario.

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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 Orillia 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 and career

Ordered 1 February 1940 as part of the 1939–1940 Flower-class building program, Orillia was laid down by Collingwood Shipyards on 4 March 1940. Launched 1 September she was commissioned later that year on 25 November at Collingwood, Ontario.[10] She was sent to Halifax to join the convoys.

HMCS Orillia, in right background, with C4 Escort Group off the coast of Northern Ireland
HMCS Orillia, in right background, with C4 Escort Group off the coast of Northern Ireland

Orillia was first assigned to Halifax Local Defence Force upon arrival. She served with them until 23 May 1941 when she was assigned as an original member of Newfoundland Escort Force operating out of St. John's, Newfoundland.[11] During this time she was assigned to convoy SC 42, a slow convoy. Orillia was part of an escort group that included the destroyer HMCS Skeena, and corvettes HMCS Alberni and Kenogami. The convoy sailed directly into the path of a U-boat wolfpack of 14 u-boats. During the running battle the Orillia dropped back to pick up survivors and eventually stood by the damaged tanker Tahchee and towed her to Iceland. However the commander, Lieutenant Commander Ted Briggs, RNCR, failed to notify his senior officer that he was doing so for some time, depriving the convoy of one of her few escorts. Though a great humanitarian gesture this added to the mayhem within the convoy. Sixteen ships were sunk during the battle.[12]

On 24 December 1941 she was sent for a refit at Halifax. Upon completion of the refit she joined Escort Group (EG) C-1 and was sent to work up at Tobermory for three weeks. Orillia spent until January 1944 escorting convoys on the Newfy-Derry run. She joined Escort Group C-2 in November 1942 and worked with them until her next refit in March 1944.[11]

Orillia was sent to Liverpool for a lengthy refit, where they lengthened her fo'c'sle. After completing the refit she spent the rest of the war as part of EG W-2.

She was paid off on 2 July 1945 at Sorel. The ship was sold for scrapping in January 1951 and broken up in Hamilton, Ontario.[11][13]

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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.

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.

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.

HMCS Skeena (D59)

HMCS Skeena (D59)

HMCS Skeena was a River-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) from 1931 to 1944. She was similar to the Royal Navy's A class and wore initially the pennant D59, changed in 1940 to I59.

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.

Tobermory, Mull

Tobermory, Mull

Tobermory is the capital of, and until 1973 the only burgh on, the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is located on the east coast of Mishnish, the most northerly part of the island, near the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull. The village was founded as a fishing port in 1788; its layout was based on the designs of Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford. It has a current population of about 1,000.

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.

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.

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Hamilton has a population of 569,353, and its census metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 785,184. The city is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) southwest of Toronto in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

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

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Notes
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  2. ^ Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company. pp. 201, 212.
  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. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  10. ^ "HMCS Orillia (K 119)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 82. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  12. ^ German, Tony (1990). The Sea is at our Gates : The History of the Canadian Navy. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Inc. pp. 106. ISBN 0-7710-3269-2.
  13. ^ "Orillia (6112189)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
External links
  • Hazegray. "Flower Class". Canadian Navy of Yesterday and Today. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  • Ready, Aye, Ready. "HMCS Orillia". Retrieved 30 July 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

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