HMCS Moncton (K139)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMCS Moncton.
HMCS Moncton, circa 1942
HMCS Moncton, circa 1942
Career (Canada)
Name: Moncton
Namesake: Moncton, New Brunswick
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 24 January 1940
Builder: St. John Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Saint John
Laid down: 17 December 1940
Launched: 11 August 1941
Commissioned: 24 April 1942
Decommissioned: paid off 12 December 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K139
Motto: Resurgam
(Latin:"I shall rise again")
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic, 1942-1943[1]
Fate: Sold in 1955 to the Netherlands as mercantile Willem Vinke. Scrapped in 1966 at Santander.
Badge: "Gules two tridents in saltire Or surmounted by a bee volant proper."[2]
General characteristics
Class & type: Flower-class corvette (original)[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)
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 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 Moncton was a Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served on both coasts of Canada. She is named after Moncton, New Brunswick.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Moncton serving with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 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]

She was ordered on 24 January 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down bym St. John Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. at Saint John on 17 December 1940 and was launched on 11 August 1941. She commissioned into the RCN on 24 April 1942 at Saint John.[11] Moncton was the last of the RCN's original 64 Flower-class orders to be completed and her construction had been significantly delayed due to heavy demands on her builder for priority repair work on war-damaged ships.[12]

Wartime service[edit]

Following her commissioning, Moncton sailed to Halifax and was assigned to Atlantic Coast Command (AT) but unallocated as she was fitting out and performing sea trials for the remainder of April. In May she began work-ups with her new crew out of Halifax and she joined the RCN's Atlantic Fleet on 12 May 1942. Another highlight for Moncton in 1942 was conducting training with (an as yet anonymous) British submarine off Halifax.

From June 1942 to June 1943, Moncton was tasked to Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) for convoy escort operations. In June 1943, WLEF was divided into separate escort groups and Moncton was tasked to EG W5 (HQ in Halifax) during June–July. Moncton collided with merchant Jamaica Producer on 28 July 1943. From August–September 1943 Moncton underwent repairs at Dartmouth Marine Slips, Dartmouth. She returned to EG W5 and operated in convoy escort operations from October–December.

Moncton was transferred to the RCN's Pacific Fleet in January 1944 and departed for Esquimalt, via Guantanamo Bay, Cristóbal, Balboa and San Pedro. Upon her arrival, she was tasked to the Esquimalt Force (unallocated) and underwent an extensive refit at Vancouver from 5 May - 7 July 1944 where her forecastle was extended and she was brought into line with the modified Flower-class design. From July 1944 to December 1945 she was tasked to Pacific Coast Command (unallocated).

Following V-J Day, she was placed in reserve status at Esquimalt and decommissioned from the RCN on 12 December 1945, the last of the first batch of Flower class corvettes to serve the Navy as an active warship.[12]

Convoy list[edit]

This is a list of the convoys that Moncton escorted:

  • Convoy SC.87 (Jun 1942: Sydney CB - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.103 (Jun 1942: Liverpool - Boston)
  • Convoy SC.90 (Jul 1942: Sydney CB - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.109 (Jul 1942: Liverpool - Halifax)
  • Convoy SC.93 (Jul 1942: Sydney CB - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.114 (Jul 1942: Liverpool - Dispersed)
  • Convoy BX.32 (Aug 1942: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy BX.32B (Aug 1942: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy BX.35 (Aug 1942: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy HX.203 (Aug 1942: Halifax - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.121 (12 Aug 1942: Liverpool - Dispersed)
  • Convoy BX.35B (Aug 1942: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy ON.127 (Sep 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.99 (Sep 1942: Halifax - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.128 (Sep 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.103 (Sep 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.135 (Oct 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy ON.137 (Oct 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy ON.142 (Oct 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.108 (Nov 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy HX.214 (Nov 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.145 (Nov 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy ON.150 (Dec 1942: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.112 (Dec 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy HX.218 (Dec 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy HX.221 (Dec 1942: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy HX.222 (Jan 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.158 (Jan 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy ON.160 (Jan 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy HX.226 (Feb 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.167 (Feb 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.120 (Feb 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.174 (Mar 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy SC.124 (Mar 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy BX.44 (Apr 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy BX.46 (Apr 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy XB.48 (Apr 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy XB.44 (Apr 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy XB.46 (Apr 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy BX.44 (Apr 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy BX.46 (Apr 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy XB.44 (Apr 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy XB.46 (Apr 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy BX.48 (May 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy XB.55 (May 1943: Halifax - Boston)
  • Convoy BX.48 (May 1943: Boston - Halifax)
  • Convoy ONS.7 (May 1943: Liverpool - Halifax)
  • Convoy SC.130 (May 1943: Halifax - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.190 (Jun 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy ONS.10 (Jun 1943: Liverpool - Halifax)
  • Convoy SC.133 (Jun 1943: Halifax - Liverpool)
  • Convoy XB.60 (Jun 1943: Halifax - Cape Cod Canal)
  • Convoy ON.193 (Jul 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy HX.248 (Jul 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.210 (Nov 1943: Liverpool - NYC)
  • Convoy HX.269 (Dec 1943: NYC - Liverpool)
  • Convoy ON.214 (Dec 1943: Liverpool - NYC)

The information for the convoys was obtained from two of the links below:
www.convoyweb.org.uk/ and www.warsailors.com

Commanding officers[edit]

Moncton had 6 commanding officers during her service in the RCN:

  • Lt. Cdr. Albert Robert Ernmest Coleman, RCNR (24 April 1942 – 11 October 1942)
  • Lt. Aubrey Winston Ford, RCNR (12 October 1942 – 3 February 1944)
  • Lt. Cdr. A.T. Morrell, RCNR (4 March 1944 – 3 April 1944)
  • Lt. Cdr. Ronald Joel Roberts, RCNR (4 April 1944 – 26 January 1945)
  • Lt. William McCombe, RCNR (27 January 1945 – 26 June 1945)
  • Lt. Cdr. Cecil Gault Trotter, RCNR (27 June 1945 – 12 December 1945)

Crew commendations[edit]

  • Lt. D. Logie, RCNVR, mentioned in dispatches for his leadership as acting executive officer while in charge of damage control party following collision with Jamaica Producer.
  • D.R. D'Aubin, RCNVR, an engine room artificer (fourth class) awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his leadership among the engine room personnel who were successful in raising steam to reach port following collision with Jamaica Producer.

Civilian service[edit]

Moncton was sold by Crown Assets in 1955 into mercantile service and was re-flagged under the Netherlands as the whaling ship Willem Vinke. She was scrapped in 1966 at Santander, Cantabria, Spain, in 1966.[12][11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Tridents represent the defensive role of the ship. The bee, symbol of the City of Moncton, represents industriousness and offensive capability
  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. ^ a b "HMCS Moncton (K 139)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. pp. 80, 231–232. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 

References[edit]