HMCS Matapedia (K112)

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HMCS Matapedia.jpg
HMCS Matapedia
Career (Canada)
Name: Matapedia
Namesake: Matapédia, Quebec
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 23 January 1940
Builder: Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Co. Quebec City
Laid down: 2 February 1940
Launched: 14 September 1940
Commissioned: 9 May 1941
Decommissioned: 16 June 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K112
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1941–45;[1] Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944[2]
Fate: Scrapped 1950.
General characteristics
Class & type: Flower-class corvette[3]
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)
Installed power: 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
1 × 4-cycle triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
Propulsion: Single shaft
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range: 3,500 nmi (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
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

HMCS Matapedia was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as an ocean escort. She was named for Matapédia, Quebec.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Matapedia serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[4][5][6] 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.[7] 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.[8] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[9]

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.[10]

Construction[edit]

Matapedia was ordered on 23 January 1940 as part of the 1939–1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down by Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Co. at Quebec City on 2 February 1940 and launched 14 September 1940. Matapedia was commissioned at Quebec City on 9 May 1941.[11][12]

During the war, Matapedia had three significant refits. Her first major refit took place at Pictou from May until July 1942. The second began at Dartmouth in September 1943 as general repairs after being rammed. However in October, she was towed to Liverpool, Nova Scotia for a more extensive refit which was completed in February 1944. During that time she had her fo'c'sle extended. Matapedia '​s final major refit took place from 15 February 1945 until 28 April at Halifax, Nova Scotia.[12]

War Service[edit]

After initial workups, Matapedia was assigned to Sydney Force as a local escort. This lasted until September 1941 when she transferred to the Newfoundland Escort Force. She worked as an ocean escort with convoys traveling from St. John's to Iceland until March 1942.[12]

In March 1942, Matapedia was reassigned to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF). She remained with this escort force for the majority of the war. In June 1943, with the establishment of escort groups within WLEF, Matapedia was assigned to group W-5. On 8 September 1943, she was rammed amidships by the freighter SS Scorton in foggy conditions near the Sambro Light Ship at the entrance to Halifax Harbour. The damage was significant and Matapedia would not return to service until 1944.[12]

After workups in Bermuda, she rejoined W-5 for a brief period before transferring to escort group W-4. For the remainder of the war, Matapedia was a part of this group with the exception of November–December 1944. During that brief two-month period, she was assigned to Gaspe Force.[12]

Post-war Career[edit]

Matapedia was paid off at Sorel, Quebec on 16 June 1945. She was sold for scrapping and was broken up at Hamilton, Ontario in 1950.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Warships – The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence – Second World War". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  4. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142. 
  6. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9. 
  7. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7. 
  11. ^ "HMCS Matapedia (K 112)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. pp. 79, 157, 231–232. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 

References[edit]

  • Hazegray. "Flower Class". Canadian Navy of Yesterday and Today. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  • Ready, Aye, Ready. "HMCS Matapedia". Retrieved 18 August 2013.