HMCS Raccoon (S14)

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HMCS Raccoon
History
Canada
Name: Raccoon
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Completed: 1931
Acquired: March 1940
Commissioned: 17 May 1940
Homeport: Gaspé, QC
Identification: Pennant number S14
Honours and
awards:
Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942[1]
Fate: Sunk off Bic Island 6 September 1942
Badge: Gules, the mask of a raccoon, proper
General characteristics
Type: Armed yacht
Displacement: 377 tonnes
Length: 148 ft (45 m)
Beam: 25 feet (7.6 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Complement: 40
Armament: 1 x 12-pounder

HMCS Raccoon was an armed yacht that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. Purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1940, the ship was originally known as Halonia. She was sunk by U-165 in the St. Lawrence River on 7 September 1942. Raccoon was escorting Convoy QS-33 at the time. The entire ship crew was lost.[2]

Design[edit]

Halonia displaced 377 tons. The ship had a length of 148 feet (45 m), a beam of 25 feet (7.6 m) and a draught of 10 feet (3.0 m). The ship was capable of 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) and had a complement of 40.[2]

After her acquisition, Raccoon had one 12-pounder naval gun mounted foreward.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

The ship was originally the yacht Halonia, built in 1931 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine for Charles A. Thorne of Chicago. Halonia was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy in March 1940. She was commissioned on 17 May 1940 and sailed to Pictou, Nova Scotia for conversion to an armed yacht.[2]

Following her conversion, Raccoon was assigned to the Halifax Local Defence Force. In July 1941 the ship transferred to HMCS Fort Ramsay near Gaspé, Quebec to patrol and escort convoys in the river and Gulf of St. Lawrence, returning to Halifax when the river froze over. On 25 May 1942, the armed yacht returned to the Gulf Escort Force based out of Gaspé as a convoy escort.[2][3]

Sinking[edit]

HMCS Raccoon was escorting QS-33 on the evening of 6 September when the merchant ship Aeas was attacked and sunk by U-165 off Cap-Chat. The captain of the lead escort, HMCS Arrowhead, observed Raccoon zigzagging in search of the submarine. That turned out to be the last time anyone else in the convoy saw the armed yacht. At 1:12 AM on 7 September two explosions were heard, which the other ships believed were depth charges from Raccoon. It was only later that it was established that the explosions were the sound of Raccoon's boiler exploding after being hit by a torpedo from U-165.[4]

Commemoration[edit]

Le Naufrageur, a microbrewery based in Carleton-sur-Mer, Quebec, brews an Imperial Black IPA named after Raccoon.[5]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours 2". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Macpherson and Barrie, p. 209
  3. ^ "HMCS Raccoon". uboat.net. 1995–2014. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  4. ^ "Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence". veterans.gc.ca. Veterans Affairs Canada. 2005–2014. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Raccoon". www.lenaufrageur.com. Microbrasserie Le Naufrageur. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 

Sources[edit]

  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-2002 (3 ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1551250721. 

External links[edit]