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Great Britain's "C" class, Fraser class, Kempenfelt class destroyers

Photos

  • HMS Kempenfelt destroyer
  • HMCS Ottawa destroyer
  • HMCS Restigouche destroyer
  • HMCS St Laurent destroyer
  • HMS Crescent destroyer

Design

The "C" class had more fuel than the "B" class.

Transferred to Canada

A class of destroyers with only four ships didn't work with the Royal Navy's way it organized its destroyer flotillas. The first two were transferred on February 17, 1937 and the other two on June 15, 1938.

Ships

HMS Comet, H.00, HMCS Restigouche

  • Builder: Portsmouth Dock Yard, Hawthorn Leslie
  • September 12, 1930: Laid down
  • August 30, 1931, September 30, 1931: Launched
  • June 2, 1932: Commissioned
  • June 15, 1932: Commissioned as HMCS Restigouche
  • 1936 - 1938: 3" gun removed.
  • 1937 - 1938: Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy. New name Restigouche.
  • 1940 - 1941: One torpedo mount removed. 3" gun added.
  • 1940 - 1944: Member of 10th, C1, and C4 Escort Groups operating between Halifax, Geenock, and London.
  • July - August 1944: Member of 12th Support Group. Operated off west coast of France. Sank several German minesweepers and coastal vessels.
  • November 9, 1945: Disposed
  • 1946: Broken up

HMS Crescent, H.48, HMCS Fraser

  • Builder: Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow
    • Completed at: Chatham Dock Yard
  • December 1, 1930: Laid down
  • August 29, 1931, September 29, 1931: Launched
  • April 21, 1932: Commissioned
  • 1936 - 1938: 3" gun removed.
  • February 17, 1937: Commissioned as HMCS Fraser
  • 1937 - 1938: Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy. New name Fraser.
  • 1940 - 1941: One torpedo mount removed. 3" gun added.
  • June 25, 1940: Collision with Calcutta in the Gironde estuary. 66 men lost their lives.
  • June 28, 1940: Lost

HMS Crusader, H.60, HMCS Ottawa

  • Builder: Portsmouth Dock Yard, Hawthorn Leslie
  • September 12, 1930: Laid down
  • August 30, 1931, September 30, 1931: Launched
  • May 2, 1932: Commissioned
  • 1935 - 1936: Quad 2 pdr pompoms tested.
  • 1936 - 1938: 3" gun removed.
  • 1937 - 1938: Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy. New name Ottawa.
  • April 6, 1938: Commissioned as HMCS Ottawa.
  • 1940 - 1941: One torpedo mount removed. 3" gun added.
  • 1940 - 1942: Member of 10th, C1, and C4 Escort Groups operating between Halifax, Geenock, and London.
  • September 14, 1942: Sunk by U91 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while escorting convoy ON127.

HMS Cygnet, H.83, HMCS St. Laurent

  • Builder: Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow
  • December 1, 1930: Laid down
  • August 29, 1931, September 29, 1931: Launched
  • April 5, 1932: Commissioned
  • 1936 - 1938: 3" gun removed.
  • February 17, 1937: Commissioned as HMCS St. Laurent.
  • 1937 - 1938: Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy. New name St. Laurent.
  • 1940 - 1941: One torpedo mount removed. 3" gun added.
  • 1940 - 1944: Member of 10th, C1, and C4 Escort Groups operating between Halifax, Geenock, and London. Helped sink U356 and U845.
  • November 9, 1945: Disposed
  • 1947: Broken up

HMS Kempenfelt, "C" Class Leader, D.19, HMCS Assinboine

  • Builder: White at Cowes
  • October 1, 1930: Laid down
  • October 29, 1931: Launched
  • May 30, 1932: Commissioned
  • 1936 - 1938: 3" gun removed.
  • March 1938: Helped rescue 400 men from the Spanish heavy cruiser Baleareas.
  • 1939: Renamed Assiniboine.
  • October 18, 1939: Commissioned as HMCS Assinboine
  • 1940 - 1941, July 1941: One torpedo mount removed. 3" gun added. Radar 286 was added.
  • 1940 - 1944: Member of 10th, C1, and C4 Escort Groups operating between Halifax, Geenock, and London.
  • February 1940: With the HMS Dunedin captured the blockade runner Hannover off San Domingo.
  • August 6, 1942: Rammed and sank U210 after a gun duel while escorting convoy SC94. Was seriously damaged
  • March 2, 1943: Rammed a Uboat.
  • June 30, 1943: While undergoing repairs it was decided to convert the Assinboine to an escort destroyer.
  • June 1944: Member of HMCS contingent off Normandy beaches. Engaged in some fights with German surface ships.
  • August 8, 1945: Paid off
  • November 10, 1945: Wrecked on Prince Edward Island.
  • July 17, 1952: Hull sold for scrap to Guard Salvage Co of Halifax.

Usage

The "C" class ships were used in the West Indies, Western Approaches, and North Atlantic.

Start of World War II

On August 31, 1939, all ships were transferred from the west coast of Canada to Halifax via the Panama Canal. From there they operated the Halifax to Bermuda convoy routes.

Then on May 24, 1940, they sailed to Great Britain to join the Western Approaches Command.

Specifications

  "C" Class
Crew 145
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,375 tons, 1,375 - 1,400 tons
1,397 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 1,865 tons, 1,865 - 1,942 tons
1,895 tonnes
Length 329'
100.28 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 317' 9"
96.85 m
Length - Water Line 326'
98.45 m
Beam 33'
10.06 m
Draft - Mean 8' 6", 12' 6"
3.78 m
Draft - Mean Deep Load 12' 5"
3.78 m
Performance  
Speed 35.5 knots, 36 knots
Armament 4: 4.7"/45 QF Mk IX (4 x 1), 4.7" (4 x 1)
Anti-Aircraft 1: 3" HA, 3" AA
2: 2 pdr pompoms (2 x 1), 2 pdr AA (2 x 1)
Torpedo Tubes 8: 21" Mk IV (2 x 4), 21" (2 x 4)
Engines  
Boilers 3 Admiralty 3 drum
Shafts 2
Turbines Parsons Geared, Geared
HP 36,000
Oil 461 - 473 tons
  "C" Class - Later
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 2,040 - 2,100 tons
Draft - Mean Deep Load 13' - 13' 4"
3.96 - 4.06 m
Armament 3: 4.7"
Anti-Aircraft 6: 20 mm
Torpedo Tubes 4: 21"
Hedgehog and Depth Charges 125
  HMS Kempenfelt, HMCS Assinboine
Crew 175
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,390 tons
1,412 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 1,901 tons
1,931 tonnes
Length 329'
100.28 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 317' 9"
96.85 m
Length - Water Line 326'
99.36 m
Beam 33'
10.06 m
Draft - Mean 8' 9", 12' 6"
3.78 m
Performance  
Speed 36 knots
Range at 15 knots 5,500 nautical miles
Armament 4: 4.7" (4 x 1)
Anti-Aircraft 1: 3" AA
2: 2 pdr
.5" MG
Torpedo Tubes 8: 21" (2 x 4), Mk V
Depth Charges 132
Engines  
Boilers 3: Yarrow
Shafts 2
Turbines Parsons geared
HP 36,000
Oil 473 tons
480 tonnes

Sources:

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  2. Destroyers of World War Two, M. J. Whitley, 1988
  3. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton & J. J. Colledge, 1964
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site