HMS Fortune (H70)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Fortune.
"HMCS Saskatchewan (H70)" redirects here. For other ships of the same name, see HMCS Saskatchewan.
HMS Fortune 1943 IWM FL 13249.jpg
Fortune in June 1943
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Fortune
Builder: John Brown & Company, Clydebank
Laid down: 25 July 1933
Launched: 29 August 1934
Commissioned: 27 April 1935
Fate: Transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Saskatchewan on 31 May 1943
Career (Canada)
Name: Saskatchewan
Namesake: Saskatchewan River
Commissioned: 31 May 1943
Decommissioned: 27 January 1946
Identification: Pennant number: H70
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1944
Normandy 1944
Biscay 1944
General characteristics
Class & type: F-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,405 long tons (1,428 t) standard
1,940 long tons (1,970 t) deep
Length: 329 ft (100.3 m) o/a
Beam: 33.3 ft (10.1 m)
Draught: 10.8 ft (3.3 m)
Propulsion: 3 x Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers, Parsons geared steam turbines, 38,000 shp on 2 shafts
Speed: 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h), 31.5 kn (58.3 km/h) deep
Range: 6,350 nmi (11,760 km) at 15 kn (27.8 km/h)
1,275 nmi (2,361 km) at 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h)
Complement: 145
Armament:

HMS Fortune was an F-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was transferred to Canada in 1943, becoming HMCS Saskatchewan.

Career as HMS Fortune[edit]

HMS Fortune was laid down on 25 July 1933 at John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd Clydebank and launched on 29 August 1934. Following her commissioning on 27 April 1935, Fortune joined the Home Fleet; in 1938 she was commanded by Charles Pizey, who would go on to be the Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy.

Fortune was commanded by Commander Edward Albert Gibbs from July 1939 to November 1940. In September 1939, while on anti-submarine patrol in the North Western Approaches, Fortune shared the credit for sinking the German submarine U27 with HMS Forester.[1] In the following spring, while escorting units of the Home Fleet north-west of the Shetlands, she was credited with sinking the U44, although later research suggests that the submarine was destroyed in a minefield which had been laid by other British destroyers on 13 March 1940.[2] In April, Fortune escorted the aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Glorious while they provided air cover for the evacuation of British forces from Åndalsnes and Namsos during the Norwegian campaign.[3]

In September 1940, Fortune was part of Operation Menace escorting Force M for the intended Free French landings at Dakar, an important Vichy held base in West Africa. On 24 September during the naval bombardment of Dakar she sank the Vichy French submarine Ajax but rescued 76 of the crew.

In May 1941, Fortune was damaged by air attack off Algeria. After temporary repairs in Gibraltar she was repaired at Chatham but did not become fully operational again until February 1942 when she participated in the Malta Convoys. She later joined the Eastern Fleet.

In January 1943 it was agreed to refit Fortune in a commercial yard in the UK. This occurred after the decision to transfer to the RCN had been made. Formal transfer was completed in mid-June, by which time Fortune had already been commissioned as HMCS Saskatchewan.

As HMCS Saskatchewan[edit]

Saskatchewan was grouped in the River class of destroyers, a heterogenous group of destroyers which had mostly come from the Royal Navy. Formal completion of the transfer was finished in June 1943 and in July she joined the 3rd Canadian Escort Group as the "Senior Officer's" ship.[4]

Saskatchewan joined Escort Group C3 in August 1943 and continued this duty through the end of the year. From 6 to 30 June, 1944, she was deployed with the 11th Escort Group providing anti-submarine support to Operation Overlord.

She was decommissioned from the RCN on 28 January 1946.

Ship's bell[edit]

The ship's bell of Saskatchewan is currently at the Vancouver Island Military Museum in Nanaimo British Columbia. The Christening Bells Project at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum includes information from the ship's bell of Saskatchewan, which was used for baptism of babies onboard ship.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Masona - September 1939
  2. ^ uboat.net - List of all U-boats - U-44
  3. ^ Masonb - April 1940
  4. ^ Masonc - April 1940
  5. ^ Christening bells

Bibliography[edit]

  • English, John (1993). Amazon to Ivanhoe: British Standard Destroyers of the 1930s. Kendal, England: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8. 
  • Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Commonwealth Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 
  • ^a ^b ^c Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN; (edited Gordon Smith), "HMS Fortune (H 70), later HMCS Saskatchewan - F-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements", Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2 (Naval-History.Net) 

External links[edit]