HMCS WINNIPEG - 1944 and 1995
HMCS WINNIPEG, November 8th, 1944 -
Algerine Class Minesweeper
The Story of HMCS WINNIPEG, 1942-1946
- Displacement: 990 tons
- Length: 225 ft
- Beam: 35' 6"
- Full speed: 15 kts
- 1 - 4" gun
- 4 - 20mm Oerlikon guns
- 2 - Bren guns
- 4 - Sten Guns
The Algerine Coastal Escort, HMCS WINNIPEG,
served briefly in the Royal Canadian Navy, but she left a record
of fearless dedication during a time when the value of such
smaller ships was inestimable. Belonging to the naval construction
programme of 1942-47, her keel was laid on 31 January 1942 in
the yards of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company and launched
19 September 1942. The City of Winnipeg, after which the ship
was named, naturally took a great deal of interest in her, the
Mayor appointing a committee to sponsor her and a local newspaper
arranging to send a reporter and photographer to attend her
commissioning which took place at Port Arthur on 29 July 1943.
Her first Commanding Officer was Acting Lieutenant-Commander
W.D.F. Johnston, RCNR.
WlNNlPEG left Port Arthur 3 August 1943.
She reached Toronto the 6th and slipped from there the 17th.
Dry-docking was required in Montreal, for while passing through
the Lachine Canal, she struck an object and damaged one of her
propellers. After a replacement was made she continued on to
Quebec City from where she departed 2 September.
Shortly after arrival in Halifax, WlNNlPEG
steamed to Pictou, NS, to carry out work-ups from 18 September
to 9 October 1943. After her return to Halifax she joined her
first convoy, XB-79 on 17 October. Numerous others followed
with ports of call in Boston, New York and St. John's, to mention
a few, as well as to her home port of Halifax.
Beginning with the escorting of XB-81,
WlNNlPEG assumed the duties of Senior Officer of the Western
Escort Group W-7. On 31 January 1944, she became Senior Officer
of Escort Croup W-6. Operating with her were the corvettes COBALT,
TIMMINS and TRAIL. In April she assumed the duties of Senior
Officer of Escort Group W-5, other members being the corvettes
TRAIL, COBALT, LETHBRIDGE, PICTOU and GALT. These duties continued
until 18 August 1944 when WINNIPEG sailed from Halifax to Liverpool
to undergo a refit.
This refit lasted until October. WINNIPEG
then departed for Halifax, where she arrived on the 29th and
remained in harbour until 14 December 1944, when she sailed
for Bermuda for work-ups. Returning to New York on 13 January
1945, she departed with Convoy HX-333, in company again with
other members of Escort group W-5.
In 8 May 1945, the Second World War ended
in Europe. WINNIPEG carried on with her duties and on 25 May
1945 joined BRANDON, PICTOU and GALT to escort Convoy HHX-358.
Relieved by Escort Group C-6 on the 28th, W-5 detached from
what had by then grown to be the main convoy and proceeded to
St. John's. On the following day, WlNNlPEG along with the Algerine
Coastal Escorts PORTAGE and MIDDLESEX, joined Convoy ON-304
and accompanied it to New York, arriving 5 June. This marked
the end of her war-time service.
WINNIPEG's accounting base changed from
HMCS STADACONA to HMCS PROTECTOR on 22 July 1945. She was transferred
from the Halifax Force to the administration of the Naval Officer
in Charge (NOIC) Sydney. The intention had been to retain her
in maintenance reserve in the Cape Breton port but after she
was paid off there 23 July, it was decided to transfer her to
Esquimalt, B.C. Thus, on 24 October 1945, Winnipeg was recommissioned
with Lieutenant C.F. Usher, RCNVR. as her Commanding Officer.
She left Sydney the next day for Halifax where she stored ship
in preparation for the coastal transfer.
In 7 November 1945, along with OSHAWA and
SAULT STE MARIE, WINNIPEG sailed to Shelbourne to complete ammunitioning.
On the 10th the three Algerines joined by another, BORDER CITIES,
pointed their bows southward. A fifth, ROCKCLIFFE, joined them
later. The first stop was Kingston, Jamaica, which was reached
on the 17th, and the second, Cristobal, on the 22nd. From Balboa
in the Pacific on the 27th, the Algerines headed northward with
stops in Salina Cruz, Mexico and San Pedro, California. All
five ships arrived in Esquimalt 21 December.
In 11 January 1946, WlNNlPEG was paid off
into the maintenance reserve where she remained for ten years.
In 1956, she was again brought around to the east coast, and
on 7 August 1959 she was handed over to the Belgian Navy where
she remained until she was broken up in 1966.
(From Brief History of the First HMCS WINNIPEG
- WINNIPEG Commissioning Book 1995)
HMCS WINNIPEG, Commissioned 1995
The ship's badge combines the traditional naval Tudor
crown surmounting a cordage patterned for a capital ship
of the line. Within this border is found the distinctive
heraldic field described as "Azure, a Bison passant, Or"
which is derived from the former Civic Devices of the
City of Winnipeg.
"Unum cum virtute multorum"
"One with the Strength of Many"
Gold and Azure Blue
Atlantic 1943 - 1945
HMCS WINNIPEG is the ninth frigate built
under the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project, and the second of
her name. A multi-purpose platform, WINNIPEG carries extensive
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
weapons and sensors to compliment its substantial Anti-Air Warfare
(AAW) defenses. The combination of its varied and proven weapon
and sensor systems coupled with a state-of-the art damage control
and machinery control system, makes WINNIPEG one of the most
advanced warship designs in the world.
HMCS WINNIPEG Statistics
- Machinery: 2 General Electric gas
turbine main engines, 1 diesel cruise engine, 2 shafts, 46,000
- Speed: 30+ knots
- Complement: 225 officers and non-commissioned
- Torpedoes: MK46 MOD5 launched
via Twin MK32 torpedo tubes or SEA KING helicopter
- 16 vertically launched
Sea Sparrow surface to air
- 8 Harpoon surface to surface
- MK2 Bofors dual purpose
- PHALANX 20mm Close in weapons
- 6x.50 calibre machine guns
- 4x6 barrelled Chaff/Infra Red
- Nixie towed acoustic decoy
- Aircraft: One CH-124 SEA KING helicopter
- Ship's boats:
- One Rigid Hull inflatable;
speed 30 knots
- One zodiac
Visit the HMCS
WINNIPEG WEB Site in Esquimalt, British Columbia.
- The Naval Museum of Manitoba - 1 Navy Way - Winnipeg Manitoba
- R3C 4J7