Banff-class sloop

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USCGC Itasca (1929)
United States Coast Guard Cutter 50 Itasca pre-war
Class overview
Operators: United States Coast Guard
 Royal Navy
In commission: 5 September 1928 - 10 August 1954
Completed: 10
Lost: 3
General characteristics (Banff-class sloop)
Type: sloop
Displacement: 1,546 long tons (1,571 t; 1,732 short tons)
Length: 250 ft (76.20 m)o/a
Beam: 42 ft (12.80 m)
Draught: 16 ft (4.88 m)
Propulsion:

two oil-fueled Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Curtis turbine generator
single shaft electric motor[1]

3,200 ihp (2,400 kW)
Speed: 16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Range: 7,542 nautical miles (13,968 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement: 97 USCG - 200 RN
Armament:

as built

as Lake class cutter[2][3][4]

as Banff class sloop[5]

The Banff-class sloops were a group of ten ships of the Royal Navy. Built as United States Coast Guard Lake-class cutters, in 1941 these ships were loaned to the Royal Navy as anti-submarine warfare escorts. The transfers took place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where HMS Malaya was under repair after being torpedoed by U-106. The sloops were manned for transport to England by personnel from the damaged battleship. The sloops were initially used to escort eastern Atlantic trade convoys between England and Sierra Leone, and one was sunk while so employed. The nine surviving sloops were assigned to Operation Torch where two were destroyed attacking Oran in Operation Reservist. The remaining seven escorted Mediterranean convoys in support of the North African invasion and saw varied employment in the Atlantic until assigned to the Kilindini Escort Force in late 1943 and early 1944. They stayed in the Indian Ocean for the remainder of the war escorting trade convoys in the Arabian Sea, and five served in the Bay of Bengal supporting Operation Dracula and Operation Zipper in the last months of conflict with Japan. Six were returned to the United States after the conclusion of hostilities; and one, disabled by mechanical failure, was scrapped overseas.

Ships[edit]

Originally cutter # 45. She was named for Lake Chelan,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Quincy, Massachusetts,[2] and launched on 19 May 1928.[5] She performed Bering Sea patrols, international ice patrols, and patrolled more regattas than other ships of the class. She became HMS Lulworth on 2 May 1941 and sailed to England with convoy SC 31.[6] After refit at Cardiff, Lulworth escorted convoys OS 4, SL 87, OS 10 and SL 93. While escorting convoy OS 10 on 31 October 1941, Lulworth attacked U-96. Lothar-Günther Buchheim, author of Das Boot, was aboard U-96 at the time.[7] Following installation of HF/DF in December 1941, Lulworth escorted convoys OS 15, SL 98, OS 20, SL 103, OS 25, SL 109, OS 31 and SL 115. Lulworth was assigned to Operation Torch following repair of damage sustained while ramming and sinking the Italian submarine Pietro Calvi on 14 July 1942 while defending convoy SL 115.[8] Lulworth then escorted convoys KMS 8G, MKS 7, HX229A, ONS 3, SC 128, ONS 9, SC 132, ON 189 and HX 244 with the 40th Escort Group. After refit at Cardiff, Lulworth went to the Indian Ocean and unsuccessfully depth charged Japanese submarine I-37 on 16 March 1944 while escorting trade convoys with the Kilindini Escort Force. After refit at Durban, Lulworth escorted invasion convoys for Operation Dracula at Rangoon and Operation Zipper. Lulworth was returned to the United States on 12 February 1946, used for spare parts and scrapped in 1947.[9]
Originally cutter # 46. She was named for Lake Ponchartrain,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Quincy, Massachusetts,[2] and launched on 16 June 1928.[5] She performed winter cruising for the Coast Guard and became HMS Hartland on 30 April 1941.[6] Following installation of Type 271 Radar, Hartland escorted convoys OS 5, SL 88, OS 11, SL 94, OS 17, SL 99, OS 21, SL 104, OS 26, SL 110, OS 38 and SL 122. Hartland sailed with Operation Torch invasion convoy KMF 1. She was abandoned and sank on 8 November 1942 following a magazine explosion after sustaining heavy damage from coastal artillery and the French destroyer Typhon during the Operation Reservist attack on Oran.[10]
Originally cutter # 47, she was named for Lake Tahoe,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Quincy, Massachusetts,[2] and launched on 12 June 1928. She did more Coast Guard boarding work and spent more time icebreaking than other ships of the class. She became HMS Fishguard, named after the Welsh town of Fishguard, on 30 April 1941 and sailed to England with convoy HX 125.[6] After refit in London, Fishguard was assigned to the 44th Escort Group. Fishguard escorted convoys OS 3, SL 86, OS 9, SL 92, OS 14 and SL 97 before HF/DF was installed in early 1942, and then escorted convoys OS 19, SL 102, OS 24, SL 108, OS 30, SL 114, OS 36 and SL 120. Refit at Falmouth included installation of Type 271 Radar and replacement of the American 5-inch/51 caliber gun by a Royal Navy 4-inch gun. Fishguard continued service with the 44th Escort Group on convoys KMF 6, MKF 6, KMF 8, MKF 8, KMF 10A, MKF 10A, KMS 12G, MKS 11, ON 182 and HX 240. Fishguard was then assigned to the invasion convoys for Operation Husky followed by a trip to Chesapeake Bay with convoys GUS 10X and UT 1 prior to refit. Fishguard went to the Indian Ocean after refit at Cardiff, spent 1944 with the Kilindini Escort Force, and finished the war assigned to Operation Zipper after refit at Durban from November 1944 through March 1945. She was returned to the United States on 27 March 1946, used for spare parts, and scrapped in 1947.[11]
Originally cutter # 48. She was named for Lake Champlain,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Quincy, Massachusetts,[2] and launched on 11 October 1928.[5] She performed international ice patrols and became HMS Sennen on 12 May 1941.[6] She sailed to England with convoy HX 128 and was assigned to the 42nd Escort Group after refit on the River Thames. She escorted convoys WS 11, SL 89, OS 12, SL 95, OS 17, SL 100, OS 22 and SL 106 prior to installation of Type 271 Radar during refit on the River Hull. Sennen escorted convoys OS 39 and SL 123 with the 45th Escort Group before assignment to Operation Torch. After the invasion of North Africa, Sennen escorted convoys OS 43 and SL 127 prior to assignment to the 1st Support Group during the battles for convoys ONS 4, ONS 5, and SC 130. Sennen was credited with sinking U-954 while defending the latter convoy on 19 May 1943.[2] Admiral Karl Dönitz's son Peter Dönitz was among those lost aboard U-954.[12] After refit at Grimsby, Sennen sailed with convoy KMS 26 to join the Indian Ocean Kilindini Escort Force from 26 October 1943 until refit at Durban in November 1944. Following completion of refit in March 1945, Sennen was assigned to Operation Zipper for the remainder of the war and returned to the United States on 27 March 1946. She was redesignated USCGC Champlain until scrapped in 1948.[13]
Originally cutter # 49. She was named for Lake Mendota,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Quincy, Massachusetts,[2] and launched on 27 November 1928.[5] She performed Coast Guard anti-smuggling patrols and winter cruising, and became HMS Culver on 30 April 1941.[6] Culver sailed to England with convoy HX 125 and was assigned to the 40th Escort Group. She escorted convoys OB 346 and SL 83 prior to installation of HF/DF and Type 271 Radar during refit at Woolwich. Culver escorted convoys OS 10, SL 93, OS 15 and SL 98 after refit. While escorting the latter convoy, she was hit by two torpedoes fired by U-105 on 31 January 1942 and sank south-west of Ireland following a magazine explosion.[14][15] Only twelve of the crew survived.[16]
Main article: USCGC Itasca (1929)
Originally cutter # 50, she was named for Lake Itasca,[3] built by General Engineering and Drydock at Oakland, California,[2] and launched on 16 November 1929.[5] She performed Bering Sea patrols, and provided navigation assistance at Howland Island for Amelia Earhart's ill-fated 1937 attempt to fly around the world - Earhart and her navigator were unable to find Itasca or Howland Island and were never seen again. On transfer to the RN she became HMS Gorleston after the East Anglian port of Gorleston on 30 May 1941.[6] She was uniquely armed with ten .50 caliber and two 20 mm machine guns in place of the 3"/50 and four 20 mm AA guns carried by the remainder of the class.[5] Her career was mostly spent on convoy escorts from West Africa and India. She was the escort leader for convoy SL 87,[17] escorted convoy SL 118,.[18] She was returned on 23 April 1946 and redesignated USCGC Itasca. She was scrapped in 1950.
Sebago in service as HMS Walney.
Main article: HMS Walney (Y04)
Originally cutter # 51. She was named for Sebago Lake,[3] built by General Engineering and Drydock at Oakland, California,[2] and launched on 10 February 1930.[5] She destroyed more derelicts than other ships of the class, and became HMS Walney on 12 May 1941,[6] named after Walney Island. She was lost on 8 November 1942 in Operation Reservist, an attack on Oran that formed part of Operation Torch.
Originally cutter # 52. She was named for the Saranac Lakes,[3] built by General Engineering and Drydock at Oakland, California,[2] and launched on 12 April 1930.[5] She became HMS Banff on 30 April 1941[6] and sailed to England with convoy HX 125. After refit on the River Thames, Banff escorted convoys OS 3, SL 86, OS 9, SL 92, OS 14 and SL 97 prior to installation of HF/DF. Banff then escorted convoys OS 19, SL102, OS 30, SL 114, OS 36 and SL 120 prior to assignment to Operation Torch. Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar was installed during refit at Immingham following escort of North African invasion convoys. Banff then escorted convoys ON 182 and HX 240 prior to return to the Mediterranean for Operation Husky. After a trip to Chesapeake Bay escorting convoys GUS 10X and UT 1, Banff completed refit at HMNB Devonport and joined the Kilindini Escort Force in November 1943. After spending the remainder of the war escorting Indian Ocean convoys, she was returned to the United States on 27 February 1946 and recommissioned as USCGC Tampa on 27 May 1947. She was decommissioned on 10 August 1954 and was scrapped in 1959.[19]
Originally cutter # 53. She was named for Shoshone Lake at the headwaters of the Lewis River (Wyoming),[3] built by General Engineering and Drydock at Oakland, California,[2] and launched on 11 September 1930.[5] She performed Bering Sea patrols and reported more navigation law infractions than other ships of the class. She became HMS Landguard on 20 May 1941,[6] and was assigned to the 40th Escort Group. Landguard escorted convoys OB 346 and SL 83 prior to refit on the River Thames, and convoys OS 10, SL 93, OS 15, SL 98, OS 20, SL 103, OS 25 and SL 109 prior to refit at Grimsby. She then escorted convoys OS 37 and SL 121 prior to assignment to Operation Torch. After escorting North African invasion convoys to the Mediterranean, Landguard escorted convoys HX 229A, ONS 3, SC 128 and ON 192 with the 40th Escort Group prior to being damaged while patrolling the Bay of Biscay on 25 August 1943 by near misses during the first successful Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb attack by Dornier Do 217 bombers.[20] When the damage was repaired, Landguard sailed with convoy KMS 26 to join the Kilindini Escort Force in September 1943. She escorted Indian Ocean convoys until disabled by a machinery failure at Colombo in March 1945. She served as a depot ship at Colombo until February 1946 and was sold there by the United States government in 1947 to be scrapped in Manila in 1949.[21]
Originally cutter # 54. She was named for Cayuga Lake,[3] built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Staten Island,[2] and launched on 7 October 1931.[5] She performed Coast Guard anti-smuggling patrols and more United States Coast Guard Academy cadet practice cruises than other ships of the class. She became HMS Totland on 12 May 1941,[6] and sailed to England with convoy HX 128. After refit on the River Thames, Totland escorted convoys OS 4, SL 89, OS 12, SL 95, OS 17, SL 100, OS 22, SL 106, OS 28, SL 112, OS 40, and SL 124 with the 42nd Escort Group before being assigned to Operation Torch. After escorting convoys KMF 3, MKF 3, KMF 5, MKF 5, KMF 7 and MKF 7 in support of the North African invasion, Totland sank U-522 on 23 February 1943 while escorting the tanker convoys UC 1 and CU 1.[22] Totland then escorted convoys between Freetown and Lagos via Sekondi-Takoradi until transferred to the Kilindidni Escort Force in July 1944. Totland began a prolonged refit in October 1944 until the decision to retire her in May 1945. She was returned to the United States in May 1946, recommissioned as USCGC Mocoma on 20 March 1947, decommissioned on 8 May 1950, and scrapped in 1955.[23]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fahey 1942 p.57
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kafka & Pepperburg 1946 p.694
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Fahey 1941 p.42
  4. ^ Fahey 1942 p.56
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lenton & Colledge 1968 p.240
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Blair 1996 p.744
  7. ^ Blair 1996 p.394
  8. ^ Blair 1996 pp.669-670
  9. ^ "HMS Lulworth, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  10. ^ "HMS Hartland, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  11. ^ "HMS Fishguard, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  12. ^ Blair 1998 pp.333-334
  13. ^ "HMS Sennen, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  14. ^ Brown 1995 p.56
  15. ^ Blair 1996 p.497
  16. ^ "HMS Culver, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  17. ^ Blair 1996 pp.381-383
  18. ^ Blair 1996 p.672
  19. ^ "HMS Banff, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  20. ^ Blair 1998 p.405
  21. ^ "HMS Landguard, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  22. ^ Blair 1998 p.197
  23. ^ "HMS Totland, cutter". Naval-History.net. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 

References[edit]

  • Blair, Clay (1996). Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunters 1939-1942. Random House. ISBN 0-394-58839-8. 
  • Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House. ISBN 0-679-45742-9. 
  • Brown, David (1995). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Fahey, James C. (1941). The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, Two-Ocean Fleet Edition. Ships and Aircraft. 
  • Fahey, James C. (1942). The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, War Edition. Ships and Aircraft. 
  • Kafka, Roger and Pepperburg, Roy L. (1946). Warships of the World. Cornell Maritime Press. 
  • Lenton, H.T. and Colledge, J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. 
  • Preston, Anthony (1989). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. Random House. ISBN 0-517-67963-9. 

External links[edit]