HMCS Battleford (K165)

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HMCS Battleford off the East Coast of the United States, 5 October 1943.
HMCS Battleford off the East Coast of the United States, 5 October 1943.
Career (Canada)
Name: Battleford
Namesake: Battleford, Saskatchewan
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 1 February 1940
Builder: Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, Ontario
Laid down: 30 Sept 1940
Launched: 15 April 1941
Commissioned: 31 July 1941
Decommissioned: 18 July 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K165
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1941-1945[1]
Fate: sold to Venezuelan Navy
Career (Venezuela)
Name: Libertad
Operator: Venezuelan Navy
Acquired: purchased from Royal Canadian Navy
Commissioned: 1946
Out of service: 12 April 1949
Fate: wrecked 12 April 1949
General characteristics
Class & type: Flower-class corvette (original)[2]
Displacement: 925 long tons (940 t; 1,036 short tons)
Length: 205 ft (62.48 m)o/a
Beam: 33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught: 11.5 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)
Speed: 16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement: 85
Sensors and
processing systems:

1 × SW1C or 2C radar

1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament:

1 × BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk.IX single gun
2 × .50 cal machine gun (twin)
2 × Lewis .303 cal machine gun (twin)
2 × Mk.II depth charge throwers
2 × depth charge rails with 40 depth charges

originally fitted with minesweeping gear, later removed

HMCS Battleford was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. After the war she was sold to the Venezuelan Navy and renamed Libertad.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Battleford 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]

Construction[edit]

Battleford was ordered 1 February 1940 from Collingwood Shipyards at Collingwood, Ontario as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down on 30 September 1940, launched on 15 April 1941, and commissioned on 31 July 1941 at Montreal, Quebec.[10] She is named after the town of Battleford, Saskatchewan.

In January 1942, Battleford went for her first refit at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, which took until the end of March to complete. She was sent to Cardiff in early May for further repairs however. In late April 1943 she had a two-month refit and in April 1944, she was sent to Sydney, Nova Scotia for a long refit which involved extending her fo'c'sle.[11]

War service[edit]

Battleford escorted trade convoys between Halifax Harbour and the Western Approaches through the Battle of the Atlantic. After commissioning she was briefly part of Sydney Force before transferring to the Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF). Battleford participated in the battle for convoy SC 57 and escorted two other convoys before going in for a refit. After the refit she worked up at Tobermory before her assignment to Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) group C1 in July 1942, which had assumed the duties of the NEF. With group C1, she shared credit for sinking U-356 during the battle for convoy ON 154, and participated in the battles for convoy SC 94, convoy HX 222 and convoy KMS 10G. After leaving group C1 which she had been a part of up to May 1943, Battleford escorted North American coastal convoys with the Western Local Escort Force for the last two years of the war as part of escort group W-3.[11][12]

Trans-Atlantic convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
SC 57 28 November-9 December 1941[13] Newfoundland to Iceland; 3 ships torpedoed & sunk
ON 48 24-31 December 1941[14] 49 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 80 22 April-3 May 1942[15] 29 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 112 MOEF group C1 14-25 July 1942[14] 36 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 94 MOEF group C1 2-12 August 1942[15] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland; 10 ships torpedoed & sunk
ON 123 MOEF group C1 22-31 August 1942[14] 39 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 99 MOEF group C1 9-19 September 1942[13] 59 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 133 MOEF group C1 26 September-5 Oct 1942[14] 35 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 211 MOEF group C1 13-20 October 1942[15] 29 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 143 MOEF group C1 2-11 November 1942[14] 26 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 110 MOEF group C1 24 November-5 December 1942[13] 33 ships escorted without loss from Halifax to Newfoundland
ON 154 MOEF group C1 19-30 December 1942[14] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland; 14 ships torpedoed (13 sank)
HX 222 MOEF group C1 11-22 January 1943[15] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland; 1 ship torpedoed & sunk
KMS 10G MOEF group C1 28 February-8 March 1943[16] Liverpool to Mediterranean Sea; 4 ships torpedoed (1 sank)
MKS 9 MOEF group C1 8-18 March 1943[17] 55 ships escorted without loss from Mediterranean to Liverpool
ONS 2 MOEF group C1 29 March-14 April 1943[14] 31 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland

Post war service in the Venezuelan Navy[edit]

Battleford was paid off at Sorel, Quebec on 18 July 1945.[11] After the war she was one of seven corvettes of the RCN that were sold to the Venezuelan Navy.

The first delivered was HMCS Algoma which became Constitucion in June 1945, followed by HMCS Kamsack renamed as Carabobo, which was lost on delivery in December 1945. In 1946 they were followed by the Battleford renamed Libertad and her sisters HMCS Amherst renamed Federacion, HMCS Dunvegan as Independencia, HMCS Oakville as Patria and HMCS Wetaskiwin as Victoria.

The Libertad was lost on 12 April 1949.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b 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 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. p. 117. ISBN 1-55125-052-7. 
  10. ^ "HMCS Battleford (K 165)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 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. 71. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  12. ^ "Convoy Web". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  13. ^ a b c "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  15. ^ a b c d "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  16. ^ "KMS convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  17. ^ "MKS convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 

External links[edit]