HMCS Rosthern (K169)

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HMCS Rosthern, circa 1942-1944.
HMCS Rosthern, circa 1942-1944.
Career (Canada)
Name: Rosthern
Namesake: Rosthern, Saskatchewan
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 1 February 1940
Builder: Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company, Port Arthur
Laid down: 18 June 1940
Launched: 30 November 1940
Commissioned: 17 June 1941
Decommissioned: 19 July 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K169
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1941-45[1]
Fate: Scrapped in June 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 Rosthern was a Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She is named for Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower-class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Rosthern 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]

Rosthern was ordered 1 February 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down on 18 June 1940 at Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. in Port Arthur, Ontario and launched on 30 November 1940.[10] She was commissioned into the RCN on 17 June 1941 at Montreal, Quebec.[11]

Rosthern had only one significant refit during her career. After developing mechanical troubles in October 1941, she spent two months repairing on the river Clyde in the United Kingdom before being sent back to Halifax in December 1941 for further repairs. Rosthern was one of the few Flowers not to have her fo'c'sle extended.[11]

War service[edit]

After arriving at Halifax for deployment, Rosthern initially joined Newfoundland Command, escorting convoys between St. John's and Iceland. She escorted her first convoy, leaving 7 October 1941, but developed mechanical defects on the way and was sent on to the Clyde for repairs. She did not return to service until February 1942. She would remain an ocean escort until June 1944.[11]

In April 1942 she was made a member of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) escort group A-3. In May 1942, it was renumbered C-5. During her service with MOEF, Rosthern fought in three significant convoy battles; SC 100 in September 1942, ON 166 in February 1943, and SC 121 in March 1943.[11] During these convoy battles, Rosthern picked up survivors from several merchants ships including on 29 October 1942 when she and HMCS Summerside together picked up survivors from the American tanker Pan New York that was damaged by U-624 in the North Atlantic about 550 nautical miles (1,020 km) west of Malin Head. The corvettes sank the wrecked tanker with gunfire and depth charges. During the battle for Convoy ON 166, she picked up survivors from the Norwegian merchant Ingria and British merchant Manchester Merchant. During the battle for Convoy SC 121, Rosthern picked up three survivors from the British merchant Egyptian, which had been sunk.[10]

In late May 1944, Rosthern returned to Canada to become a training ship for navigation and handling at Halifax. In December 1944, she was attached to the Western Local Escort Force as part of Halifax Force. She remained with this unit until the end of the war, her final significant duty was escorting HMCS Provider back to Canada.[11]

Trans-Atlantic convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
SC 48 9-21 Oct 1941[12] Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 43 5-9 Dec 1941[13] Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 70 15-22 Feb 1942[12] Newfoundland to Iceland
HX 177 1–8 March 1942[14] Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 77 18–26 March 1942[13] Iceland to Newfoundland
HX 184 12–19 April 1942[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 91 2–11 May 1942[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 190 MOEF group A3 20–27 May 1942[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 102 MOEF group A3 10–21 June 1942[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
ON 122 26-27 Aug 1942[13] battle reinforcement
SC 99 MOEF group C1 9-16 Sept 1942[12] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
SC 100 MOEF group A3 19-27 Sept 1942[12] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 135 MOEF group A3 3-15 Oct 1942[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 212 MOEF group A3 23 Oct-1 Nov 1942[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 145 MOEF group A3 10-20 Nov 1942[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 111 MOEF group A3 1-14 Dec 1942[12] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 156 MOEF group A3 24 Dec 1942-8 Jan 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 223 MOEF group A3 19 Jan-1 Feb 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 166 MOEF group A3 12-25 Feb 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 121 MOEF group A3 3–12 March 1943[12] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 175 MOEF group A3 25 March-8 April 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 233 MOEF group A3 12–16 April 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
HX 234 MOEF group B4 17–28 April 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 182 MOEF group C5 7–16 May 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 240 MOEF group C5 25 May-2 June 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 188 11–20 June 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
ON 189 WLEF 24–28 June 1943[13] Newfoundland to Halifax
HX 262 24 Oct-2 Nov 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 211 14-24 Nov 1943[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 268 1-10 Dec 1943[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 217 25 Dec 1943-5 Jan 1944[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 274 11-21 Jan 1944[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 222 31 Jan-10 Feb 1944[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 153 18 Feb-1 March 1944[12] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ONS 31 14–25 March 1944[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 285 3–11 April 1944[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 233 20 April-3 May 1944[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 290 10–19 May 1944[14] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 238 27 May-3 June 1944[13] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 300 WLEF 19–20 July 1944[14] Halifax to Newfoundland; the largest HX convoy of the war
HX 307 WLEF 8-11 Sept 1944[14] Halifax to Newfoundland
HX 318 WLEF 5-7 Nov 1944[14] Halifax to Newfoundland
ONS 40 WLEF 29-30 Jan 1945[13] Newfoundland to Halifax
SC 166 WLEF 31 Jan-4 Feb 1945[12] Halifax to Newfoundland
ONS 42 WLEF 4–5 March 1945[13] Newfoundland to Halifax
SC 173 WLEF 18–24 April 1945[12] Halifax to Newfoundland
ONS 47 WLEF 27–28 April 1945[13] Newfoundland to Halifax
ON 297 WLEF 30 April-2 May 1945[13] Newfoundland to Halifax
HX 356 WLEF 15–18 May 1945[14] Halifax to Newfoundland
ON 302 WLEF 21–27 May 1945[13] Newfoundland to dispersal following end of hostilities

Post war service[edit]

Rosthern was paid off 19 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec. She was sold for scrapping and broken up at Hamilton, Ontario in 1946.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  2. ^ 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 Rosthern (K 169)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  11. ^ 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. 84, 231–232. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "ON 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 "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 

External links[edit]