HMCS Strathroy (K455)
|Builder:||Midland Shipyards Ltd., Midland, Ontario|
|Laid down:||18 November 1943|
|Launched:||15 June 1944|
|Commissioned:||20 November 1944|
|Decommissioned:||12 July 1945|
|Identification:||Pennant number: K455|
|Fate:||sold to Chilean navy|
|Acquired:||18 March 1946|
|Commissioned:||12 April 1946|
|Decommissioned:||30 September 1966|
|Class and type:||Modified Flower-class corvette|
|Displacement:||1,015 long tons (1,031 t; 1,137 short tons)|
|Length:||208 ft (63.4 m)o/a|
|Beam:||33 ft (10.1 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft (3.35 m)|
|Speed:||16 knots (29.6 km/h)|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)|
HMCS Strathroy was a modified Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was named for Strathroy-Caradoc, Ontario. After the war she was sold to the Chilean Navy.
Flower-class corvettes like Strathroy serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes. 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. 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. The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.
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.
Construction and career
Strathroy was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1943–44 Increased Endurance Flower-class building program, which followed the main layout of the 1942–43 program. The only significant difference is that the majority of the 43–44 program replaced the 2-pounder Mk.VIII single "pom-pom" anti-aircraft gun with 2 twin 20-mm and 2 single 20-mm anti-aircraft guns. Strathroy was laid down by Midland Shipyards Ltd. at Midland, Ontario 18 November 1943 and launched 15 June 1944. She was commissioned into the RCN 20 November 1944 at Midland.
After arriving at Halifax in December, Strathroy was initially assigned as a local escort. She escorted convoy HF 147 to Saint John, New Brunswick. While there, she completed fitting out due to the freeze up on the St. Lawrence river. In April 1945 she rejoined Halifax Force as a local escort after workups in Bermuda. She remained as such until the end of the war.
She arrived in Chile 12 April 1946 and was renamed Chipana. During the 1950s and 1960s, Chipana served as a survey vessel. She was decommissioned 30 September 1966. She was sold for scrap and broken up in 1969.
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