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HMCS Orkney

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HMCS Orkney
History
Canada
NameOrkney
NamesakeOrkney, Saskatchewan
OrderedJune 1942
BuilderYarrows Ltd., Esquimalt
Laid down19 May 1943
Launched18 September 1943
Commissioned18 April 1944
Decommissioned22 January 1946
IdentificationPennant number:K448
Honours and
awards
Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944,[1] North Sea 1945[2]
FateSold, became Israeli immigrant ship Violetta 1947
Israel
NameMivtakh
Namesake"Reliance"
Acquired1952
Commissioned1952
Decommissioned1958
IdentificationPennant number:K-28
FateSold 1959 to Ceylon
Ceylon
NameMahasena
NamesakeMahasena of Anuradhapura
Acquired1958
Commissioned1959
Decommissioned1964
FateSold 1964, broken up in Singapore
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class frigate
Displacement
  • 1,445 long tons (1,468 t; 1,618 short tons)
  • 2,110 long tons (2,140 t; 2,360 short tons) (deep load)
Length
  • 283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
  • 301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed
  • 20 knots (37.0 km/h)
  • 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h) (turbine ships)
Range646 long tons (656 t; 724 short tons) oil fuel; 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h)
Complement157
Armament

HMCS Orkney was a River-class frigate that served with the Royal Canadian Navy as a convoy escort during the Second World War. She was named for Orkney, Saskatchewan. After the war she was purchased and used by the Israeli immigrant movement, then taken over by the nascent Israeli Navy and renamed Mivtah. She was sold by Israel to Ceylon who renamed her Mahasena.

Orkney was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1942–1943 River-class program.[3][4] She was laid down on 19 May 1943 by Yarrows Ltd. at Esquimalt and launched 18 September 1943.[4] She was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 18 April 1944 at Victoria, British Columbia.[3]

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River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

Frigate

Frigate

A frigate is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat.

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.

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.

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.

Orkney, Saskatchewan

Orkney, Saskatchewan

Orkney is an unincorporated community within the Rural Municipality of Val Marie No. 17, Saskatchewan, Canada. Founded in 1924 when the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed its branch line to Val Marie, it was incorporated as a village in June 1928. Orkney is 10 miles from the Canada-United States border. Listed as a designated place by Statistics Canada, the hamlet had a population of 4 in the Canada 2011 Census.

Israel

Israel

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia. Situated between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, it is bordered by Lebanon to the north, by Syria to the northeast, by Jordan to the east, by Egypt to the southwest, and by the Palestinian territories — the West Bank along the east and the Gaza Strip along the southwest — with which it shares legal boundaries. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Israeli Navy

Israeli Navy

The Israeli Navy is the naval warfare service arm of the Israel Defense Forces, operating primarily in the Mediterranean Sea theater as well as the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea theater. The current commander in chief of the Israeli Navy is Aluf David Sa'ar Salama. The Israeli Navy is believed to be responsible for maintaining Israel's offshore nuclear second strike capability.

Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

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.

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).

Background

The River-class frigate was designed by William Reed of Smith's Dock Company of South Bank-on-Tees. Originally called a "twin-screw corvette", its purpose was to improve on the convoy escort classes in service with the Royal Navy at the time, including the Flower-class corvette. The first orders were placed by the Royal Navy in 1940 and the vessels were named for rivers in the United Kingdom, giving name to the class. In Canada they were named for towns and cities though they kept the same designation.[5] The name "frigate" was suggested by Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles of the Royal Canadian Navy and was adopted later that year.[6]

Improvements over the corvette design included improved accommodation which was markedly better. The twin engines gave only three more knots of speed but extended the range of the ship to nearly double that of a corvette at 7,200 nautical miles (13,300 km) at 12 knots.[6] Among other lessons applied to the design was an armament package better designed to combat U-boats including a twin 4-inch mount forward and 12-pounder aft.[5] 15 Canadian frigates were initially fitted with a single 4-inch gun forward but with the exception of HMCS Valleyfield, they were all eventually upgraded to the double mount.[6] For underwater targets, the River-class frigate was equipped with a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and depth charge rails aft and four side-mounted throwers.[5]

River-class frigates were the first Royal Canadian Navy warships to carry the 147B Sword horizontal fan echo sonar transmitter in addition to the irregular ASDIC. This allowed the ship to maintain contact with targets even while firing unless a target was struck. Improved radar and direction-finding equipment improved the RCN's ability to find and track enemy submarines over the previous classes.[5]

Canada originally ordered the construction of 33 frigates in October 1941.[5][6] The design was too big for the shipyards on the Great Lakes so all the frigates built in Canada were built in dockyards along the west coast or along the St. Lawrence River.[6] In all Canada ordered the construction of 60 frigates including ten for the Royal Navy that transferred two to the United States Navy.[5]

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River-class frigate

River-class frigate

The River class was a class of 151 frigates launched between 1941 and 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), with some serving in the other Allied navies: the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy and, post-war, the South African Navy.

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.

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.

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.

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield (K329)

HMCS Valleyfield was a River-class frigate that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was torpedoed and sunk in May 1944, the only River-class frigate lost by the RCN. She was named for Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec.

Hedgehog (weapon)

Hedgehog (weapon)

The Hedgehog was a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon that was used primarily during the Second World War. The device, which was developed by the Royal Navy, fired up to 24 spigot mortars ahead of a ship when attacking a U-boat. It was deployed on convoy escort warships such as destroyers and corvettes to supplement the depth charges.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes, which are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and are in general on or near the Canada–United States border. Hydrologically, lakes Michigan and Huron are a single body joined at the Straits of Mackinac. The Great Lakes Waterway enables modern travel and shipping by water among the lakes.

St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. Its headwaters begin flowing from Lake Ontario in a roughly northeasterly direction, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting the American Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Ocean, and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin. The river traverses the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as the U.S. state of New York, and demarcates part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. It also provides the foundation for the commercial St. Lawrence Seaway.

United States Navy

United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 allies or partner nations of the United States as of 2015. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the United States Navy is the third largest of the United States military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 2,623 operational aircraft as of June 2019.

War service

After working up in Bermuda, Orkney returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia and was assigned to escort group EG 16. She was later transferred to escort group EG 25 as Senior Officer's Ship based out of Derry.[3] She served with the unit until 13 February 1945 when she was involved in a collision with the merchant ship SS Blairnevis in the Irish Sea.[4] Orkney suffered severe damage, requiring her grounding to keep her afloat, while Blairnevis sank as a result of the collision. She was taken to Dunstaffnage, Scotland where repairs were affected until mid-April. She was worked up at Tobermory before returning to Canada in late May 1945 to undergo a tropicalization refit at Louisburg, Nova Scotia in preparation for service in the southern Pacific Ocean. The refit was completed 20 October and Orkney performed local duties until being paid off 22 January 1946. She was placed in reserve in Bedford Basin.[3]

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Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Bermuda archipelago consists of 181 islands with a total land area of 54 km2 (21 sq mi). The closest land outside the territory is in the US state of North Carolina, approximately 1,035 km (643 mi) to the northwest.

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.

Derry

Derry

Derry, officially Londonderry, is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the fifth-largest city on the island of Ireland. The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks.

Irish Sea

Irish Sea

The Irish Sea is an extensive body of water that separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is linked to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel and to the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey, North Wales, is the largest island in the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man. The term Manx Sea may occasionally be encountered.

Ship grounding

Ship grounding

Ship grounding or ship stranding is the impact of a ship on seabed or waterway side. It may be intentional, as in beaching to land crew or cargo, and careening, for maintenance or repair, or unintentional, as in a marine accident. In accidental cases, it is commonly referred to as "running aground".

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.

Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Oceania in the west and the Americas in the east.

Postwar service

Israeli Navy

In 1947, Orkney was sold for commercial use as an Israeli immigration ship. She was renamed Violetta and was used as such until she was taken over by the Israeli Navy in 1949.[3] She was renamed Mivtah (Hebrew: מִבְטָח, lit. safe haven) with the pennant number K-28. She served with the Israeli Navy until 1958 when she was sold to Ceylon.[7]

Sri Lanka Navy

Ceylon purchased Mivtakh in 1958 but required that the Israeli Navy send personnel with her to teach the Sri Lanka Navy how to use her.[7] She was commissioned in 1959 under her new name Mahasena. She served until 1964, performing goodwill tours around Southeast Asia, when she was sold and broken up at Singapore.[3]

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Israeli Navy

Israeli Navy

The Israeli Navy is the naval warfare service arm of the Israel Defense Forces, operating primarily in the Mediterranean Sea theater as well as the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea theater. The current commander in chief of the Israeli Navy is Aluf David Sa'ar Salama. The Israeli Navy is believed to be responsible for maintaining Israel's offshore nuclear second strike capability.

Hebrew language

Hebrew language

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language within the Afroasiatic language family. It was natively spoken by the Israelites and remained in regular use as a spoken language by their longest-surviving descendants, the Jews and Samaritans, before dying out between 200–400 CE. However, it was largely preserved as a liturgical language, featuring prominently in Judaism and Samaritanism. Having ceased to be a dead language in the 19th century, today's Hebrew serves as the only successful example of linguistic revival. It is the only non-extinct Canaanite language, and is also one of only two Northwest Semitic languages still spoken, with the other being Aramaic.

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Singapore Strait to the south, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor to the north. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the third highest population density in the world. With a multicultural population and recognising the need to respect cultural identities of the major ethnic groups within the nation, Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca and numerous public services are available only in English. Multiracialism is enshrined in the constitution and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics.

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ "The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence" (PDF). Veterans Affairs Canada. p. 29. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. ^ 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. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
  4. ^ a b c "HMCS Orkney (K 448)". uboat.net. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Fact Sheet No. 21 – Canadian River Class Frigates". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Ken (1989). Frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy 1943–1974. Lewiston, New York: Vanwell Publishing. pp. 6–7, 15. ISBN 0920277225.
  7. ^ a b "Israel Hands over Frigate to Ceylon Navy at Ceremony in Gulf of Aden". JTA Archive. 8 September 1959. Retrieved 6 April 2014.

References

  • Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John. The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Collins: Toronto, 1981. ISBN 0-00216-856-1

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