HMCS Napanee (K118)

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HMCS Napanee circa 1944-1945.
HMCS Napanee, circa 1944-1945.
Career (Canada)
Name: Napanee
Namesake: Napanee, Ontario
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 7 February 1940
Builder: Kingston Shipbuilding Co., Kingston, Ontario
Laid down: 21 March 1940
Launched: 30 August 1940
Commissioned: 12 May 1941
Decommissioned: 12 July 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K118
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1941-45[1]
Fate: scrapped 1946.
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 Napanee was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She saw service primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She is named after Napanee, Ontario.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Napanee 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 for classes 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]

Napanee was ordered 7 February 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down by Kingston Shipbuilding Co. in Kingston, Ontario on 20 March 1940 and launched on 31 August 1940.[10] She was commissioned on 12 May 1941 at Montreal, Quebec.[11]

During her career, Napanee underwent two significant refits. Her first major overhaul began 22 May 1943 at Montreal and took five months to complete. During this refit, Napanee had her fo'c'sle extended. Her second significant refit took place at Pictou, Nova Scotia and began in August 1944.[11]

War duty[edit]

After arriving at Halifax for deployment, Napanee was initially assigned to Sydney Force. In September 1941, she was transferred to the Newfoundland Escort Force escorting convoys between St. John's and Iceland. She remained on this route until the European destination changed to Derry in January 1942.[11]

Napanee escorted 12 trans-Atlantic convoys without loss before assignment to Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) group C1 in September 1942. With group C1, she shared credit for sinking U-356 during the battle for convoy ON 154 in December 1942, and participated in the battle for convoy KMS 10G.[10] Napanee escorted 11 trans-Atlantic convoys without loss in 1944, and spent 1945 escorting North American coastal convoys with the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF).[12] During her time with WLEF, Napanee was part of two escort group, W-3 initially and W-2 after her second refit until the end of the war.[11]

Trans-Atlantic convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
SC 47 29 September-12 October 1941[13] 63 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 25 16-24 October 1941[14] 29 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 53 6-20 November 1941[15] 52 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 38 26-30 November 1941[14] 33 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 59 12-21 December 1941[15] 39 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 50 28 December 1941-3 January 1942[14] 35 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 65 20-29 January 1942[15] 36 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 62 6-15 February 1942[14] 34 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 71 27 February-9 March 1942[15] 23 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 76 16-26 March 1942[14] 27 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 78 9-21 April 1942[15] 12 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 90 29 April-11 May 1942[14] 47 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 Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 154 MOEF group C1 19-30 December 1942[14] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland; 14 ships torpedoed (13 sank)
HX 223 19-27 January 1943[15] 48 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
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
SC 127 MOEF group C1 20 April-1 May 1943[13] 55 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 181 MOEF group C1 2-12 May 1943[14] 44 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 150 3-14 January 1944[13] 19 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ONS 28 29 January-11 February 1944[14] 29 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 279 17-28 February 1944[15] 59 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 227 9-17 March 1944[14] 61 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
ON 232 14-23 April 1944[14] 45 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 290 10-16 May 1944[15] 93 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 237 20-29 May 1944[14] 64 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 294 9-19 June 1944[15] 113 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 242 25 June-5 July 1944[14] 99 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 299 16-23 July 1944[15] 85 ships escorted without loss from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 247 2-10 August 1944[14] 89 ships escorted without loss from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland

Post war service[edit]

Napanee was paid off on 12 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec after the war had ended. She was sold for scrapping and broken up at Hamilton, Ontario.[2][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 21 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. ISBN 1-55125-052-7. 
  10. ^ a b "HMCS Napanee (K 118)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. pp. 81, 231. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  12. ^ "Convoy Web". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "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]