Colony-class frigate

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HMS Dominica (K507) IWM A 25639.jpg
HMS Dominica in February 1944
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
 Argentine Navy
Built: 1943–1945
In commission: 1943–1946 (Royal Navy)
1947-1969 (Argentine Navy)
Completed: 21
Retired: 21
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 1,264 long tons (1,284 t)
Length: 303 ft 11 in (92.63 m)
Beam: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)
Propulsion: 3 × boilers
2 × turbines, 5,500 SHP each
2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 190
Armament: 3 × 3 inch/50 AA guns(3 × 1)
4 × 40 mm guns (2 × 2)
9 × 20 mm (9 × 1)
1 × Hedgehog projector
8 × Y gun depth charge projectors
2 × Depth charge racks

The Colony class frigates were a class of 21 ships constructed in the United States by Walsh-Kaiser of Providence, Rhode Island for transfer under Lend-Lease to the Royal Navy in 1944. They were given the names of relatively minor colonies as names of large colonies had been used for the Crown Colony class cruisers.

The ships were built as United States Navy Tacoma-class patrol frigates, a design that was an adaptation of the Royal Navy River-class frigate, with modifications made mainly to use materials and parts more readily available in the United States. For example, American 3-inch (76 mm) guns were used as the main surface armament in the Tacoma- and Colony-class frigates instead of the British 4-inch (100 mm) guns of the River class. They were mass-produced to mercantile standards to enable their speedy construction in shipyards that did not normally build warships. They were built more quickly than British shipyards could build the Rivers, but the quicker build required more man-hours and sterling cost was about twice that of a River.[1] Upon transfer to the Royal Navy, each ship underwent modifications to bring her in line with Royal Navy requirements.

Uniquely among the Colony-class frigates, and indeed among all World War II frigates, HMS Caicos was fitted and used as an aircraft detection frigate, stationed in the North Sea to detect V-1 flying bombs targeted against Great Britain. The other 20 ships served on patrol and convoy escort duties during the latter part of World War II. The ships are mentioned in HM Frigate by Nicholas Monsarrat, a very slim volume published under wartime censorship rules.

Post-war, the Royal Navy returned one of the ships to the U.S. Navy in 1945 and the rest during 1946. None saw U.S. Navy service. Two of the ships were sold into mercantile service in Egypt, surviving until 1956, and Caicos was sold to Argentina in 1947 and served in the Argentine Navy until 1969. The United States scrapped the rest between 1947 and 1949, as they were considered inferior to destroyer escorts, which the U.S. Navy had in ample numbers, in every aspect except range.

List of ships[edit]

With date returned to the United States (unless otherwise stated). Almost all were scrapped by 1946 or 1947, unless stated.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, DK Nelson to Vanguard
  2. ^ Page 7, Janes Fighting Ships 1963-64
    Page 9, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995

References[edit]

External links[edit]