HMCS Saguenay (D79)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMCS Saguenay.
HMCS Saguenay
History
Canada
Name: Saguenay
Namesake: Saguenay River
Builder: John I. Thornycroft & Company at Woolston, Hampshire
Launched: 11 July 1930
Commissioned: 21 May 1931
Decommissioned: July 1945
Identification: pennant number D79
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic, 1939-1942[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: A-class/River-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,337 long tons (1,358 t)
Length:
  • 321 ft 3 in (97.92 m) o/a
  • 309 ft (94 m) p/p
Beam: 32 ft 9 in (9.98 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Installed power: 32,000 shp (23,862 kW)
Speed: 31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph)
Complement: 181
Armament:

HMCS Saguenay was a River-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) from 1931-1945.

She was similar to the Royal Navy's A class and initially wore the pennant D79, changed in 1940 to I79.

History[edit]

She was built by John I. Thornycroft & Company at Woolston, Hampshire and commissioned into the RCN on 21 May 1931 at Portsmouth, England. Saguenay and her sister Skeena were the first ships specifically built for the RCN. Her first two commanding officers went on to become two of the most important Admirals of the Battle of the Atlantic. She arrived in Halifax, on 3 July 1931.

Second World War[edit]

For the first month of Second World War, Saguenay was assigned to convoy duties in the Halifax area. In late September 1939, she was assigned to the American and West Indies Squadron based at Kingston, Jamaica.

On 23 October 1939, the German-flagged tanker Emmy Friederich scuttled herself on encountering Saguenay in the Yucatan Channel, and thus became the Canadian destroyer's first war conquest. In December 1939, Saguenay returned to Halifax to join the local convoy escort force, with which she remained until 16 October 1940, when she was transferred to Greenock, Scotland to serve as a convoy escort on the North Atlantic run. On 1 December 1940, Saguenay was torpedoed 300 miles (480 km) west of Ireland by the Italian submarine Argo while escorting Convoy HG-47, and managed to return to Barrow-in-Furness largely under her own power,[2] but with 21 dead and without most of her bow.

Damaged stern of the destroyer Saguenay. Saguenay was rammed by SS Azra south of Cape Race, and lost her stern when her depth charges exploded. St. John's, Newfoundland

After repairs at Greenock, she returned to sea on 22 May 1941. Saguenay was assigned to Escort Group C-3 escorting convoys ON-93, HX-191, ONS-104, SC-90, ON-115, HX-202, ON-121, SC-98, ON-131, HX-210 and ON-141 prior to a collision while escorting SC-109.[3] On 15 November 1942, Saguenay was rammed by the Panamanian freighter Azra off Cape Race, Newfoundland. The impact of the collision set off Saguenay's depth charges, which blew off her stern.

She made port at Saint John, New Brunswick, where her stern was plated over. On 23 May 1943, Saguenay was transferred to Halifax, to serve with the Western Ocean Escort Force working from Halifax and St. John's, Newfoundland. In October 1943 Saguenay was towed to Digby, Nova Scotia, as a tender assigned to HMCS Cornwallis, the Royal Canadian Navy's training depot for new entries (recruits). She was used for teaching seamanship and gunnery until 30 July 1945, paid off in late 1945, and broken up in 1946.

Commanding officers[edit]

  • Cdr. P.W. Nelles, RCN (22 May 1931—6 June 1932)
  • Cdr. L.W. Murray, RCN (7 June 1932—22 May 1934)
  • Cdr. R.I. Agnew, RCN (22 May 1934—5 May 1936)
  • Cdr. W.J.R. Beech, RCN (6 May 1936—29 June 1938)
  • LCdr. F.L. Houghton, RCN (30 June 1938—7 July 1939)
  • LCdr. G.L. Miles, RCN (8 July 1939—21 April 1941)
  • Lt. P.E. Haddon, RCN (22 April 1941—7 April 1942)
  • A/(Acting) Cdr. D.C. Wallace, RCNR (8 April 1942—14 January 1943)
  • Lt. J.W. McDowall, RCN (15 January 1943—11 March 1943)
  • Lt. J.H. Ewart, RCNVR (24 August 1943—17 May 1944)
  • Lt. W.C. Hawkins, RCNVR (18 May 1944—6 October 1944)
  • A/Lt. W.E. Hughson, RCNVR (7 October 1944—15 April 1945)
  • Lt. K.P. Blanche, RCNVR (16 April 1945—30 July 1945)

Convoys escorted[edit]

Trans-Atlantic convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
HX 132 14–23 June 1941[4] Newfoundland to Iceland
HX 137 9–17 July 1941[4] Newfoundland to Iceland
SC 60 18-27 Dec 1941[5] Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 52 5-11 Jan 1942[6] Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 79 MOEF group C3 19–27 April 1942[5] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 93 MOEF group C3 9–15 May 1942[6] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 191 MOEF group C3 28 May-5 June 1942[4] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 104 MOEF group C3 18–27 June 1942[6] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 90 MOEF group C3 6–16 July 1942[5] Newfoundland to Norther Ireland
ON 115 MOEF group C3 25–31 July 1942[6] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 202 MOEF group C3 12-17 Aug 1942[4] Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 121 MOEF group C3 17-20 Aug 1942[6] Iceland to Newfoundland
SC 98 MOEF group C3 2-12 Sept 1942[5] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 131 MOEF group C3 19-28 Sept 1942[6] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 210 MOEF group C3 7-15 Oct 1942[4] Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 141 MOEF group C3 26 Oct-2 Nov 1942[6] Northern Ireland to Newfoundland

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 18 Sep 2013. 
  2. ^ "Regia Marina Italiana". Cristiano D'Adamo. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  3. ^ North Atlantic Run, Marc Milner, 1985, Naval Institute Press ISBN 0-87021-450-0
  4. ^ a b c d e "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 

References[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 & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7. 
  • Macpherson, Keneth R. and Burgess, John. (1982)(Second Printing) The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981. Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-216856-1
  • 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 Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 

External links[edit]