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HMCS Waskesiu

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HMCS Waskesiu
History
Canada
NameWaskesiu
NamesakePrince Albert, Saskatchewan[2][3]
OrderedOctober 1941
BuilderYarrows Ltd., Esquimalt
Laid down2 May 1942
Launched3 April 1943
Commissioned16 June 1943
Decommissioned29 January 1946
IdentificationPennant number: K 330
Honours and
awards
Atlantic 1943-45, Arctic 1944, Normandy 1944[1]
FateSold to India, 1947
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 × 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 Waskesiu was a River-class frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy. The frigate served as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. It was the first frigate constructed and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy. Following the war, the vessel was sold to India where it was renamed Hooghly. Named for the town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, there was already a warship named "Prince Albert". The Royal Canadian Navy then named the ship after the town closest to Prince Albert National Park.[3]

Waskesiu was ordered in October 1941 as part of the initial 1942-1943 River-class building programme.[3][4] The ship was laid down on 2 May 1942 by Yarrows Ltd. at Esquimalt, British Columbia and launched 3 April 1943. The frigate was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 16 June 1943 at Victoria, British Columbia with the pennant number K 330.[4]

Discover more about HMCS Waskesiu related topics

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.

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.

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Prince Albert is the third-largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada, after Saskatoon and Regina. It is situated near the centre of the province on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The city is known as the "Gateway to the North" because it is the last major centre along the route to the resources of northern Saskatchewan. Prince Albert National Park is located 51 km (32 mi) north of the city and contains a wealth of lakes, forest, and wildlife. The city itself is located in a transition zone between the aspen parkland and boreal forest biomes. Prince Albert is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert No. 461, of which it is the seat, but is politically separate.

Prince Albert National Park

Prince Albert National Park

Prince Albert National Park encompasses 3,874 square kilometres (1,496 sq mi) in central Saskatchewan, Canada and is located 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Saskatoon. Though declared a national park March 24, 1927, official opening ceremonies weren't performed by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King until August 10, 1928. This park is open all year but the most visited period is from May to September. Although named for the city of Prince Albert, the park's main entrance is actually 80 km (50 mi) north of that city via Highways 2 and 263, which enters the park at its southeast corner. Two additional secondary highways enter the park, Highway 264, which branches off Highway 2 just east of the Waskesiu townsite, and Highway 240, which enters the park from the south and links with 263 just outside the entry fee-collection gates. Prince Albert National Park is not located within any rural municipality, and is politically separate from the adjacent Northern Saskatchewan Administration District (NSAD). Until the establishment of Grasslands National Park in 1981, it was the province's only national park.

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 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) more 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 (22 km/h; 14 mph).[6] Among other lessons applied to the design was an armament package better designed to combat U-boats including a twin 4-inch (102 mm) mount forward and one 2-pounder gun 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]

Discover more about Background related topics

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.

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.

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.

QF 2-pounder naval gun

QF 2-pounder naval gun

The 2-pounder gun, officially the QF 2-pounder and universally known as the pom-pom, was a 40 mm (1.6 in) British autocannon, used as an anti-aircraft gun by the Royal Navy. The name came from the sound that the original models make when firing. This QF 2-pounder was not the same gun as the Ordnance QF 2-pounder, used by the British Army as an anti-tank gun and a tank gun, although they both fired 2 lb (0.91 kg), 40 mm (1.6 in) projectiles.

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.

Sonar

Sonar

Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, measure distances (ranging), communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.

Radar

Radar

Radar is a radiolocation system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (ranging), angle (azimuth), and radial velocity of objects relative to the site. It is used to detect and track aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, and motor vehicles, and map weather formations, and terrain. A radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwaves domain, a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna and a receiver and processor to determine properties of the objects. Radio waves from the transmitter reflect off the objects and return to the receiver, giving information about the objects' locations and speeds.

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 North 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.

Service history

After commissioning, Waskesiu transferred to the east coast of Canada. From there, the frigate worked up in Bermuda, returning to Halifax, Nova Scotia on 11 September 1943. The vessel was assigned to convoy escort group EG 5 based out of Londonderry Port and sailed in October to join the group. The group was later renumbered EG 6 in November 1943.[4]

This convoy escort group operated in the Atlantic Ocean, guarding the convoy routes between Gibraltar, Sierra Leone and Great Britain.[4][7] On 7 January 1944, HMS Tweed was sunk by torpedo. Waskesiu screened HMS Nene while the frigate picked up survivors.[8] On 24 February while escorting convoy SC 153, the group encountered the German submarine U-257.[9] Waskesiu picked up a sonar contact and moved to engage. In concert with Nene, the contact was gained and lost four times. Ordered to give up the chase, Waskesiu was permitted one more attack, an attack which drove the damaged U-boat to the surface. Waskesiu opened fire with its main armament, scoring four hits on the submarine's conning tower. Eventually the sustained gunfire crippled the vessel, and the crew abandoned the sinking submarine. Waskesiu was the first Royal Canadian Navy frigate to score a U-boat kill. Supported by Nene, the two ships rescued survivors of U-257.[10]

In April 1943, Waskesiu traveled to North Russia, escorting convoy RA 59 to Great Britain.[4] In May the warship reported for invasion duty as EG 6 was assigned to cover the Invasion of Normandy. The task set for EG 6 was to perform an anti-submarine patrol guarding the western edge of the English Channel from Land's End to Brest, France.[11]

On 14 September, Waskesiu departed for Canada as part of escort group C-3. Upon arrival, the frigate was ordered to Shelburne, Nova Scotia to begin an extensive refit. The refit was completed in March 1945 and workups were performed in Bermuda.[4] Following the refit, Waskesiu returned to English waters, remaining until May 1945 when the frigate returned once again to Canada. Switching coasts, Waskesiu began a tropicalization refit for future service in the Pacific Ocean in June 1945 at Esquimalt. However, due to the end of the war in the Pacific, work was halted in August.[4]

Waskesiu was paid off into reserve on 29 January 1946 at Esquimalt. Declared surplus, the frigate was sold to the Indian government in 1947 for conversion to a pilot vessel. In 1950, the ship was renamed Hooghly.[4][12]

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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.

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.

HMS Tweed (K250)

HMS Tweed (K250)

HMS Tweed (K250) was a River-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Tweed was built to the RN's specifications as a Group I River-class frigate, though Tweed was one of the few powered by a turbine engine. She served in the North Atlantic during World War II.

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-257

German submarine U-257

German submarine U-257 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack on 22 February 1941 as yard number 22. She was launched on 19 November and commissioned on 14 January 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinz Rahe.

U-boat

U-boat

U-boats were naval submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most effectively used in an economic-warfare role and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, and from the United States, to the United Kingdom and to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines also targeted Brazilian merchant ships during both World Wars and, twice over, precipitated Brazil's decision to give up its neutral stance and declare war on Germany.

Conning tower

Conning tower

A conning tower is a raised platform on a ship or submarine, often armoured, from which an officer in charge can conn the vessel, controlling movements of the ship by giving orders to those responsible for the ship's engine, rudder, lines, and ground tackle. It is usually located as high on the ship as practical, to give the conning team good visibility of the entirety of the ship, ocean conditions, and other vessels.

Land's End

Land's End

Land's End is a headland and tourist and holiday complex in western Cornwall, England, on the Penwith peninsula about eight miles (13 km) west-south-west of Penzance at the western end of the A30 road. To the east of it is the English Channel, and to the west the Celtic Sea.

Brest, France

Brest, France

Brest is a port city in the Finistère department, Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental France. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest forms Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne is a town located in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada.

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

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References

Notes

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  2. ^ "The Canadian Navy Namesake Communities". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMCS Waskesiu (K 330)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Macpherson and Barrie, p.83
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Fact Sheet No. 21 – Canadian River Class Frigates". Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, pp. 6–7, 15
  7. ^ McGregor, p.1
  8. ^ McGregor, p.2
  9. ^ Rohwer and Hümmelchen, p.308
  10. ^ McGregor, p.3-5
  11. ^ McGregor, p.8
  12. ^ Colledge, p.677

References

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