ALGERINE Class Minesweepers - Radio Fit

GENERAL
The following excerpt from The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002 provides a brief description of the Algerine Class minesweeper.
"The Bangor class of minesweeping ships were bluff-bowed ships, very wet in a head sea, and arguably less comfortable even than corvettes in rough weather. These faults were eliminated in the Algerine class, all twelve of the RCN units of which were built at Port Arthur. They were intended by the RCN as convoy escorts, hence not fitted with minesweeping gear [1].

Although they were larger than corvettes, the latter outperformed them as ocean escorts, the Algerines finding particular favour as Senior Officers' ships in Western Local groups. Most found employment for many years after the war on hydrographic survey duties or as training ships for reservists. Forty-one Aglerines were built at Toronto and eleven at Port Arthur for the RN".

algerine_wallaceburg.jpg
Here, HMCS Wallaceburg is representing the Algerine class. (Photo courtesy Naval Museum of Alberta) 

 
VITAL STATISTICS
Length: 225 feet Beam: 35 feet
Draught: 8 ft 6in.  Displacement : 990 tons
Top Speed: 16 knots Crew: 8 officers and 19 men.
Armament: One 4" gun; four 20mm Oerlikon; Hedgehog Programs: 12 built for RCN; 96 built for Royal Navy
RADIO FIT - WWII ERA
The undated table below is a generalization of an Algerine's radio fit based on data provided by Alan Riley an ex-RCN WWII era Sparker. It shows some transmitting capability which the 1945 table below it lacks but the 1945 table shows more details.
 
TYPE
DESCRIPTION
QUANTITY
CM11 LF/HF Transmitter - Receiver
FR12 LF/HF Transmitter - Receiver 
HT-11 HF Radiotelephone 1 *
FH-3 HFDF 1
MDF-5 MFDF
PV-500 HM HF Transmitter
TBS VHF Transmitter/Receiver

* Only fitted in the group leader.

The following equipment list for Algerine class minesweepers was complied from FECA charts and M-2 cards on February 26, 1945. In the original document, there were columns labelled "Other Transmitters", "Other L.H." (meaning unknown) and "Other Transmitters/Receivers". These have not been copied into the table below because those headings have no meaning. All the Algerines listed were paid off after the end of WWII.

Descriptions for the equipment can be found in another section of this web document. A few notes about the equipment in the tables:

* DAS-1, and DAS-2 are identical pieces of Loran 'A' receiver equipment. The numerical suffix denotes different production contracts.
* RTA, 457 and 431 types remain unknown at this time.
* CCM is crypto equipment.

WIRELESS EQUIPMENT - February 1945

SHIP TBS 4T 89M B28 B29 FR12 FR12TH SCR522A 457 431 RTA CCM B19
Arnprior 1 1 1 4 1 1       1     1
Bowmanville 1 1 1 3       1   1   1 1
Copper Cliff 1 1 1 4 1 1   1         1
Huntsville 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1   1     1
Hespler 1 1 1 2 1 1   1 1 1     1
Humberstone 1 1 1 3 1 1   1   1     1
Kincardine 1 1 1 4 1 1   1     1    
Leaside 1 1 1 4 1 1   1 1 1     1
Orangeville 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1   1     1
Petrolia 1 1 1 3   1 1 1   1     1
St. Thomas   1 1 3 1     1 1 1     1
Tillsonburg 1 1 1 3 1 1   1         1

WIRELESS EQUIPMENT - February 1945 (continued)

SHIP FH-3 FH-4 HT-11B HT-11C TV-5 DAS-1 DAS-2
Arnprior 1       1 1  
Bowmanville   1     1    
Coppercliff 1     1 1 1  
Huntsville 1     1 1 1  
Hespler 1     1 1 1  
Humberstone 1         1  
Kincardine 1   1   1   1
Leaside 1   1     1  
Orangeville 1     1 1 1  
Petrolia 1       1 1  
St. Thomas 1     1 1 1 1
Tillsonburg 1           1
 
RADAR

The Algerine class were fitted with the Type 271 radar on-build. Additional details can be found here. Later in the war, the Canadian developed 268 surface search and navigational radar (3cm) was installed on Algerine class minesweepers [2].

ASDIC

At this time, it is not known what model of ASDIC was fitted on these vessels.

THE ALGERINE CLASS MINESWEEPERS AFTER WORLD WAR II

Spud Roscoe provides this summary of what happened to the Algerines after WWII. "The Navy retained nine of the twelve Algerine Class Minesweepers sometimes referred to as Escort Vessels.  MIDDLESEX was lost shortly after the war when she ran aground on Shut In Island, just to the east of the approaches to Halifax on December 2nd, 1946. The Navy removed all they could and left the rest to the fate of the elements.

FORT FRANCES and NEW LISKEARD also served other government departments such as the Department of Transport and Department of the Environment. Naturally they had to have a different call sign while serving in that capacity. FORT FRANCES was CGCK and NEW LISKEARD was CGCF.

The nine Algerines retained are listed below along with their voice call signs.

168 CZJR NEW LISKEARD    "Extort E"
169 CYVX PORTAGE         "Assort W"
170 CGKP FORT FRANCES    "Equal N"
171 CYZV KAPUSKASING     "Menu K"
172 CYVZ WALLACEBURG     "Barmaid A"
173 CGJB ROCKCLIFFE      "Cabot L"
174 CYZG OSHAWA          "Barmaid X"
176 CYVS SAULT STE MARIE "Jigger P"
177 CYVT WINNIPEG        "Inlet W"

HMCS FORT FRANCES was assigned call sign CZJQ for a short time after the war".

NOTES:

[1] Jim McAlister indicates that in a post war configuration, a photo of HMCS Wallaceburg in drydock shows the reinforced stern and the sweeping gear. This gear was fitted for training purposes and was only installed for a short period of time and was the only Algerine so equipped.

[2] From the reference material, it's not clear if the author was referring to RCN or RN Algerines. Because the 268 was Canadian developed, it's assumed that it saw service aboard RCN Algerines hence the reason for listing it.



Contributors and Credits:

1)  Ships of Canada's Naval Forces (1910-2001) by Ken Macpherson and Ron Barrie. Vanwell Publishing 2002.
2) Spud Roscoe <spudroscoe(at)eastlink.ca>
3) Alan Riley WWII Telegraphist, Toronto Ont.
4) James McAlister" <themcalisters(at)sympatico.ca>

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Nov 4/10