HMCS Merrittonia (K688)

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HMCS Merritonia.jpg
HMCS Merrittonia
Career (Canada)
Name: HMCS Merrittonia
Namesake: Merritton, Ontario
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: June 1942
Builder: Morton Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Quebec City
Laid down: 23 November 1943
Launched: 24 June 1944
Commissioned: 10 November 1944
Decommissioned: 11 July 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K668
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1945[1]
Fate: sold for mercantile use
General characteristics
Class & type: Modified Flower-class corvette
Displacement: 1,015 long tons (1,031 t; 1,137 short tons)
Length: 208 ft (63.4 m)o/a
Beam: 33 ft (10.1 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.35 m)
Propulsion:
  • single shaft
  • 2 × water tube boilers
  • 1 × 4-cylinder 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: 90
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × Type 271 SW2C radar
  • 1 × Type 144 sonar
Armament:

HMCS Merrittonia was a modified Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was named for Merritton, Ontario. Her name was altered at the request of the town council.[2] She was originally named HMCS Pointe Claire but it was changed March 1944 before commissioning.[3][4]

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Merrittonia serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[5][6][7] 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.[8] 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.[9] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[10]

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.[11]

Construction[edit]

Merrittonia was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1943–44 Increased Endurance Flower-class building program, which followed the main layout of the 1942–43 program. The only significant difference is that the majority of the 43–44 program replaced the 2-pounder Mk.VIII single "pom-pom" anti-aircraft gun with 2 twin 20-mm and 2 single 20-mm anti-aircraft guns.[11] Merrittonia was laid down by Morton Engineering & Dry Dock Co. at Quebec City, Quebec 23 November 1943 and launched 24 June 1944. She was commissioned into the RCN 10 November 1944 at Quebec City.[2][3]

War service[edit]

After working up in Bermuda Merrittonia was assigned to the Mid-Ocean Escort Force as a trans-Atlantic convoy escort. She was allocated to escort group C-7 and remained with the unit until the end of the war. She made her return trip to Canada in June 1945.[2]

Post-war service[edit]

Merrittonia was paid off 11 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec and laid up. She was transferred to the War Assets Corporation and sold for mercantile use to K.C Irving Ltd. out of Moncton on 16 November 1945. While being towed to her new owners she was wrecked on the coast of Nova Scotia 30 November 1945.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 101. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  3. ^ a b "HMCS Merrittonia (K 668)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  4. ^ 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. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  5. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142. 
  7. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9. 
  8. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ a b Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7. 

References[edit]