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|Preceded by:||River class|
|In commission:||28 August 1953 - 15 September 1967|
|Displacement:||2,360 t (2,360.0 t) (full load)|
|Length:||301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a|
|Beam:||36.5 ft (11.13 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft (3.66 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)|
|Speed:||19 knots (35.2 km/h)|
|Aviation facilities:||HMCS Buckingham fitted with flight deck for helicopter tests.|
They were converted from mothballed River-class frigates of British design that had been placed in reserve following the end of the Second World War. The first vessel to be reactivated and undergo refit was Prestonian which was recommissioned on 28 August 1953. The class did not use sequential pennant numbers.
During the Korean War, Canada committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It was believed at the time that there was a strategic threat to the shipping lanes supplying the European continent by the Soviet Union. This belief originated due to Soviet submarines becoming increasingly difficult to detect and identify,as a result of their updated technology.
Vice-Admiral H.T.W. Grant, Chief of the Naval Staff of Canada, promised that Canada would contribute anti-submarine escort forces to combat the threat. Originally that meant updating only the existing fleet, however this policy was expanded when 21 decommissioned River-class frigates were converted to ocean escorts and recommissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.
The concept of anti-submarine warfare performed from a helicopter operating from the decks of escorts had been first proposed during the Second World War. Canada was the first nation to test a fully capable anti-submarine warfare helicopter flying from an escort. HMCS Buckingham had a helicopter flight deck attached to her stern and performed sea trials from October to December 1956. These trials preceded the design of the destroyer helicopter carriers of the Royal Canadian Navy.
In 1956, three frigates, HMCS Prestonian, HMCS Penetang and HMCS Toronto were loaned to the Royal Norwegian Navy and renamed Troll, Draug and Garm respectively. They were purchased outright in 1959 and were the only export of the class.
Three further River-class frigates, HMCS Stone Town, HMCS St. Catharines and HMCS St. Stephen, were disarmed and transferred to the Department of Transport of Canada for use as weather ships, but were given Royal Canadian Navy pennnant numbers and were subsequently considered as part of the class.
The River-class frigate was a successful Canadian-built escort design from the Second World War, However, there was a requirement to update this design to meet the needs of the post-war Canadian Navy and to match the threat of the Soviet submarine force.
The fo'c'sle deck was extended aft and was wall-sided. This extra space was primarily devoted to improved habitability. All accommodation throughout the ship was improved. Each crew member was given their own bunk. The space was also used for generating machinery required by for anti-submarine warfare. This machinery was changed from three steam and one diesel to two steam and two diesel generators. The quarterdeck was enclosed to house two Squid anti-submarine mortars.
A much larger bridge structure was installed that was almost entirely enclosed. The upper works were constructed of aluminum instead of steel to save weight. This necessitated a heightened funnel to clear the new structure, which in turn required a larger mast. This mast remained a tripod. The propelling machinery was overhauled and the hull forward was strengthened forward to protect against ice.
One ship, Buckingham, had a flight deck attached aft for helicopter landing and takeoff sea trials, but the structure was removed once the trials were completed.
|Ship||Pennant number||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Paid off||Fate|
|Antigonish||FFE 301||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||2 October 1943||10 February 1944||12 October 1957||30 November 1966||Broken up in Japan 1968|
|Beacon Hill||FFE 303||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||16 July 1943||6 November 1943||21 December 1957||15 September 1967||Became training ship in 1949 and scrapped Sakai, Japan 1968|
|Buckingham||FFE 314||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||11 November 1943||28 April 1944||25 June 1954||23 March 1965||Broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966|
|Cap de la Madeleine||FFE 317||Morton Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Quebec City||5 November 1943||13 May 1944||7 December 1954||15 May 1965||broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966|
|Fort Erie||FFE 312||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||3 November 1943||27 May 1944||17 April 1956||26 March 1965||sold for scrap and broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966|
|Inch Arran||FFE 308||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||25 October 1943||6 June 1944||23 August 1954||23 June 1965||sold and maybe broken up 1970|
|Jonquiere||FFE 318||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||26 January 1943||28 October 1943||20 September 1954||23 September 1966||Broken up Victoria, BC 1967|
|La Hulloise||FFE 305||Canadian Vickers, Montreal||10 August 1943||29 October 1943||9 October 1957||16 July 1965||Sold and broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966|
|Lanark||FFE 321||Canadian Vickers, Montreal||25 September 1943||10 December 1943||15 April 1956||19 March 1965||Broken up La Spezia, Italy 1966|
|Lauzon||FFE 322||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||2 July 1943||10 June 1944||12 December 1953||24 May 1963||Sold in Toronto 1964, likely scrapped.|
|New Glasgow||FFE 315||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||2 December 1942||23 June 1943||30 January 1954||30 January 1967||Sold and broken up Japan 1967|
|New Waterford||FFE 304||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||17 December 1943||3 July 1943||31 January 1958||22 December 1966||Broken up Savona, Italy in 1967.|
|Outremont||FFE 310||Morton Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Quebec City||18 November 1942||3 July 1943||2 September 1955||7 June 1965||Broken up La Spezia, Italy in 1966.|
|Penetang||FFE 316||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||22 September 1943||6 July 1944||1 June 1954||25 January 1956||Broken up Oslo, Norway after 1966.|
|Prestonian||FFE 307||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||20 July 1943||22 June 1944||22 August 1953||24 April 1956||Loaned to Norway 1956, sold outright 1959 and scrapped 1966|
|St. Catharines||FFE 324||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||2 May 1942||5 December 1942||31 July 1943||14 December 1945||Transferred to Department of Transport as CGS St. Catharines, serving as a weather monitoring ship in the North Pacific, 1952-1967. Sold, 1968 as fish factory ship in Vancouver, BC.|
|St. Stephen||FFE 323||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||5 October 1943||6 February 1944||28 July 1944||30 January 1946||Used as Weather ship by RCN from 1947-1950. Transferred to Dept. of Transport in 1950 as CGS St. Stephen and used as weather ship until 1968.|
|Ste. Therese||FFE 309||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||18 May 1943||16 October 1943||21 January 1955||30 January 1967||Broken up in Japan in 1967|
|Stettler||FFE 311||Canadian Vickers, Montreal||31 May 1943||9 October 1943||2 February 1954||31 August 1966||Sold broken up in Victoria, BC 1967.|
|Stone Town||FFE 302||Canadian Vickers, Montreal||17 November 1943||28 March 1944||21 July 1944||13 November 1945||Transferred to Department of Transport as CGS Stone Town, serving as a weather monitoring ship in the North Pacific, 1952-1967. Sold, 1968 as fish factory ship in Vancouver, BC.|
|Sussexvale||FFE 313||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||15 November 1943||12 July 1944||8 August 1955||30 November 1966|
|Swansea||FFE 306||Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt||15 July 1942||19 December 1942||14 November 1957||14 October 1966||Sold August 1967, broken up Savona, Italy 1967.|
|Toronto||FFE 319||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||10 May 1943||18 September 1943||26 November 1953||14 April 1956||Transferred to Norway in 1956 as Garm and then as Valkyrien; scrapped 1977.|
|Victoriaville||FFE 320||Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Lauzon||2 December 1943||23 June 1944||25 September 1959||December 1966||Decommissioned as a Prestonian-class frigate, December 1966; recommissioned as diving tender HMCS Granby. Finally decommissioned, 31 December 1973 and scrap in 1974.|
- German, Tony (1990). The Sea is at Our Gates: A History of the Canadian Navy. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Limited. p. 233. ISBN 0771032692.
- Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910-1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. ISBN 0-00216-856-1.
- Raymond V.B. Blackman, ed. (1958). Jane's Fighting Ships 1958-59. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. p. 77.
- R.v.b. Blackman, ed. (1963). Jane's Fighting Ships, 1963-1964. London: Sampson Low. p. 37. ISBN 0-070-32161-2.
- "First Converted Frigate Ready". The Crowsnest. Vol. 5 no. 11 (Queen's Printer). September 1953. p. 2.
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