ALGONQUIN'S HISTORY

HISTORY

ALGONQUIN was laid down as HMS Valentine  and launched on the Clyde River, England in September 1943.  Given to Canada as an outright gift by the British government, she was  commissioned on February 17, 1944, at Glasgow, Scotland as HMCS Algonquin in honour of a powerful Indian tribe whose numbers spread across Canada from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains.

Because of her Tribal sounding name, she is often confused with that class. The ship was originally designed as a British 'V' class destroyer.

Assigned to the 26th Destroyer Flotilla of the British Home Fleet and under the command of Lt. Cdr Desmond Piers, she left Scapa Flow on March 31 to help escort a carrier attack on the Tirpitz. In April she escorted a similar attack on German shipping off the Lofoten Islands, Norway, and on May 28 left Scapa for D-Day operations. On June 6, Algonquin started to bombard shore targets on the Normandy coast until D-Day +5. She then took General H.D.G. Crerar and his staff from the UK to France.

At the end of June she returned to Scapa Flow, from whence she carried out attacks on German convoys off Norway and, at year's end, escorted convoys JW.63 and RA.63 to and from Murmansk. On August 22, 1944, she took off 203 of Nabob's ship's company when the latter was torpedoed in the Barents Sea. She returned to Halifax in February, 1945, for refit, leaving on August 12 via Malta to join the British Pacific Fleet, but was recalled on VJ-Day and left Alexandria for Esquimalt on November 3. There she was paid off into reserve on February 6, 1946, but was recommissioned on February 25, 1953, after very extensive modernization by Yarrows Ltd of Esquimalt , British Columbia.

The reconstructed ship bore little resemblance to the original design having been completely rebuilt above the main deck. She had been fitted with the most up-to-date anti-submarine equipment and many of her key compartments were fitted with air conditioning. Hammocks gave way to bunks with foam rubber mattresses and meals were served cafeteria style from a galley shining with stainless steel fittings. Her superstructure was to serve as the prototype for the St. Laurent Class destroyers which were just being designed at the time. The cost for the refit was $5,000,000.

Algonquin completed extensive workups off California and Florida, arrived at Halifax in August and then sailed for Londonderry, N.I. in September. She participated in NATO "Exercise Mariner", operated with other RCN units off 'Derry and returned to Canada in October, 1953. Later she became the senior ship of the First Escort Squadron, and, along with Lauzon, Prestonian and Toronto, cruised to Caribbean ports, participated in several NATO exercises, among them New Broom II in the Northwestern Atlantic and Morning Mist in the Northeastern Atlantic and  exercised with RN units off Londonderry.

After fourteen years' service with Atlantic Command, she returned to the west coast in March, 1967, and was paid off for the last time on April 1, 1970, to be broken up in Taiwan in 1971.

Note: A brief but complete history of the ship can be located in the Stories section of this web page.

COMMANDING OFFICERS
LCDR  D. W. Piers, DSC, RCN     17/02/44 - 19/04/45
LCDR  P. E. Haddon, RCN         20/04/45 - 06/02/46
CDR   P. F. X. Russell, RCN     25/02/53 - 27/08/54
CAPT  R. L. Hennessy, DSC, RCN  28/08/54 - 10/05/56
CAPT  D. W. Piers, DSC, RCN     11/05/56 - 06/07/56
LCDR  R. B. Hayward, RCN        07/07/56 - 28/07/57
LCDR  E. M. Jones, RCN          29/07/57 - 28/11/57
CAPT  D. G. King, DSC, RCN      29/11/57 - 23/09/58
CAPT  P. F. X. Russell, RCN     24/09/58 - 26/11/59
CAPT  A. F. Pickard, OBE, RCN   27/11/59 - 05/07/61
CAPT  A. D. McPhee, RCN         06/07/61 - 02/07/62
LCDR  D. C. Edwards, RCN        03/07/62 - 29/10/62
CDR   P. C. Berry, RCN          30/10/62 - 14/7/64
CDR   J. W. Mason, RCN          15/17/64 -   ?
SHIP'S PARTICULARS
Type: 'V' Class Destroyer
Pennant : R17, after 1949+ 224
Laid down : 8/10/42
Launched : 2/9/43
Commissioned : 7/2/44
Paid off : 6/2/46; recommissioned, then finally paid off 1/4/70

Dimensions as S class

Length : 362 feet, 9 inches
Beam : 35 feet, 8 inches
Draft : A 13 ft 1 ½ in. ,  B 14 ft.  3 ¾ in. ,   C 11 ft .  6 in.

Displacement (standard) 1808 tons; 2222 tons with ½ oil.  2534 tons deep.
Builder: John Brown & Co. Ltd.. Glasgow, Scotland
Crew : 14 officers/230 crew

Armament as U class :

- Four 4.7 guns;  4 x  4.7 in MK IX 55 degree mounting MK XXIII
  Projectiles: 600  (S.A.P. 40 H.E. 80 start shell)
- Eight  21 inch torpedoes total in 2 sets quadruple P.W.R. II . Two mounts of 4 each.
- One 40mm Bofors twin A/A gun with Hazemayer control.
- Four 20 mm twin Oerlikons.
- Depth Charge: 70 depth charges. 4 depth charge throwers. 2 rails

Engines and Boilers as J Class

Turbines: 40,000 shp RPM 350

Speed 32 kts (Deep)

Boilers:  2  Admiralty 3 drum 300 lb/S.Q.I.N. 630 degree F
                Back to back super heated steam 220 degree F
 

References:

1) The Ship's of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1993 by Ken Macpherson, John Burgess
2) British Destroyers , page 411 by Edgar J. March
3)Warships of WWII, 2nd Edition , page 116 by  H.T. Lenton, J.J. Colledge
 

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