HMCS Spikenard (K198)

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HMCS Spikenard.jpg
HMCS Spikenard
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Spikenard
Namesake: Spikenard flower
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: 22 January 1940
Builder: George T. Davie & Sons Ltd., Lauzon
Laid down: 24 February 1940
Launched: 10 August 1940
Commissioned: 6 December 1940
Out of service: 15 May 1941 - loaned to Canada
Identification: Pennant number: K198
Fate: loaned to Canada 1941; sunk 1942
Career (Canada)
Name: Spikenard
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Acquired: Loaned from United Kingdom
Commissioned: 15 May 1941
Out of service: sunk 10 February 1942
Identification: Pennant number: K198
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1941–42[1]
General characteristics
Class & type: Flower-class corvette
Displacement: 950 long tons (970 t; 1,060 short tons)
Length: 205 ft (62.48 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught: 11.5 ft (3.51 m)
Propulsion:

Single shaft; 2 water tube boilers;

1 4-cyl. triple expansion steam engine, 2750 hp.;
Speed: 16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Endurance: 3,450 miles at 12 knots, 2,629 miles at full speed
Complement: 6 officers, 79 men
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar - SW1C or 2C (later)
  • Sonar - Type 123A, later Type 127DV
Armament:
  • 1 x BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk.IX single gun
  • 2 .50 cal mg twin
  • 2 Lewis .303 cal mg twin
  • 2 Mk.II depth charge throwers
  • 2 depth charge rails with 40 depth charges.
Originally fitted with minesweeping gear, later removed.

HMCS Spikenard was a Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was named for the Spikenard flower.

Background[edit]

Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Spikenard serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[2][3][4] 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.[5] 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.[6] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[7]

Construction[edit]

She originally ordered on 22 January 1940 by the Royal Navy as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class program as HMS Spikenard (K198). Spikenard was laid down 24 February 1940 and launched later that year on 10 August. She was commissioned on 6 December 1940 in Quebec City, Quebec.[8][9] On 15 May 1941 she was one of ten corvettes loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy. She could be told apart from other Canadian Flowers by her lack of minesweeping gear and the siting of the after gun tub amidships.[10]

War service[edit]

Royal Navy[edit]

On 21 January 1941 she sailed with convoy HX 104 to get her final equipment at South Shields, Tyne in the United Kingdom. She was worked up at Tobermory and left on June 10 with convoy OB 332 as a full escort.[9]

Royal Canadian Navy[edit]

After commissioning in the RCN she was assigned as an ocean escort. From July 1941 to January 1942 Spikenard made three round-trips to Iceland. During her time in port, her commander, H.F. Shadforth, had sunk a six inch spike into the ceiling of the Seagoing Officers Club, "The Crowsnest" in St. John's, Newfoundland. He signed it "'Spikenard' his Spike". It remained there for a long time after the war.[11]

Sinking[edit]

While escorting convoy SC 47, with her commanding officer was the Senior Officer among the escorts. On the night of 10 February 1942, Spikenard was torpedoed by U-136.[9] The other escorts in the group had been caught up chasing contacts and had not known Spikenard was gone until she had not answered repeated radio calls. Some escorts fell back and only found eight survivors.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 18 Sep 2013. 
  2. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142. 
  4. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9. 
  5. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "HMCS Spikenard (K 198)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  9. ^ 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. 86, 157. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  10. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939-1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 0-92027-783-7. 
  11. ^ a b German, Tony (1990). The Sea is at our Gates : The History of the Canadian Navy. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Inc. p. 112. ISBN 0-7710-3269-2. 

References[edit]

Coordinates: 50°10′N 21°07′W / 50.167°N 21.117°W / 50.167; -21.117