For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS ORKNEY K448

HMCS Orkney K448

 

Battle honours and awards:  Gulf of St. Lawrence:  1944,   North Sea  1945

 

 

Laid down: 19 May 1943

Launched: 18 Sep 1943

Commissioned: 18 Apr 1944

Paid off: 22 Jan 1946

Sold: 1947

Acquired by Israeli Navy: 1952

Sold: 1959 to Sri Lankan Navy

Commissioned: 04 May 1959

Paid off: 1964

Fate: Sold for scrap on 31 May 1964


Originally to be named HMCS Yorkton to commemorate Yorkton, Sask., she was named HMCS Orkney to avoid confusion with the USS Yorktown what was already in commission. Laid down in Esquimalt, she was built by Yarrows Ltd. Commissioned on 14 Apr 1944, at Victoria, Orkney arrived at Halifax 08 Jun 1944. After working up in Bermuda she returned to Halifax in Aug 1944 to join EG 16, but was transferred as Senior Officer's ship to EG 25 at Londonderry, sailing late in Oct 1944 with eastbound convoy HX.317. She remained on duty in U.K. waters until 13 Feb 1945 when she collided with SS Blairnevis which sank with no loss of life. Orkney proceeded to Dunstaffnage, Scotland, for repairs. At the time of the accident, Orkney was part of Escort Group 25, which was engaged in escorting merchant shipping into Liverpool. The weather the time of the accident was foul with heavy rain that further reduced visibility. Blairnevis was a new merchant ship, loaded with valuable bauxite. She had to be grounded to avoid her sinking and blocking the swept channel in the Mersey River estuary. Following the collision, Orkney's repairs lasted until Apr 1945. Following a week's workups at Tobermory, Orkney returned briefly to 'Derry, then sailed late in May 1945 for home and tropicalization refit at Louisbourg. This was completed on 20 Oct 1945, after which she served locally until paid off 22 Jan 1946, to reserve in Bedford Basin. Following service in WWII, Orkney was disarmed & laid up in Bedford Basin shortly after the end of the war & purchased in early 1947. She was moved to a ship breaker's yard in Brooklyn, NY where she was stripped down to the upper deck. Refitted to carry as many  passengers as possible she joined the sixty-two other vessels operated by "Haganah" to smuggle illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine. With the creation of the state of Israel on 14 May 1948, Violette was was laid up. In 1952, she was re-acquired by the Israeli Navy, and re-armed as a warship. She was then re-commissioned as the Mitvach K28, and for some time afterward, with former HMC Ships Hallowell (Misnak) and Strathadam (Misgav) were the largest ships in the Israeli Navy. In 1959, Mitvach was sold to the then- Royal Ceylon Navy and served as Mahasena until 1964 when she was paid off and sold to a Hong Kong ship breaker on 31 May 64.

 

Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos

 

Commanding Officers

Lt Gordon Leslie MacKay, RCNR - 18 Apr 1944 - 24 Jun 1944

A/Cdr Victor Browne, RCNVR - 25 Jun 1944 - 28 Mar 1945

Cdr James Majoribanks Rowland, DSO & Bar, RN - 29 Mar 1945 - 21 May 1945

Lt N.J. Castonguay, RCNVR - 22 May 1945 - 02 Sep 1945

Lt Harry Romeyn Beck, RCN - 19 Oct 1945 - 22 Jan 1946

Cdr Rajah Proctor 04 May 1959 (HMCyS Mahasena)

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Anglin, Crawford Sydney

1918-2016

Drafted to Orkney 19 Apr 1944 Surg-Lt, RCNVR

Beck, Harry Romeyn

1917-2007

 

 

 

C-D

Chasse, Marcel

1923-1990

Served in Orkney 25 Jun 1944 - 07 Aug 1945 as an OS/AB Tel

 

 

 

 

E-F

Friend, James Thorpe

1917-1945

 

 

 

 

G-H

Gibson, James Edward

1922-2004

Guay, Alphonse

1925-2003

Served in Orkney as a Steward

Hogarth, Robert

1926-2011

 

 

K-L

Kirchin, Clifford William

____-2007

 

 

 

 

O-P

Plant, Charles Graham

1922-2002

 

 

 

 

S-T

Sample, William Kenneth

1924-2017

Schuck, S.J.

1924-2011

Smith, John

1919-2007

 

 

W-X

Webb, Cecil Thomas

1921-1991

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Arthur, Reg - 1944

 

Bayliss, LS

 

Blakey, Kenneth Bertrand, Lt, RCNVR - 27 Mar 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944

 

Bradford, Peter, Lt, RCNVR - 30 Mar 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944

 

Brown, Alan Michael Stuart, A/Lt, RCNVR - 27 Jul 1944

 

Brown, Victor, A/LCdr, RCNVR - 18 Apr 1944

 

Carnduff, Stewart, AB

 

Castonguay, Nelson Jules, Lt, RCNVR - 15 Mar 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944 / 22 May 1945, XO

 

Christianson - 1944

 

Cory, William Wallace, Lt, RCNVR - 01 Jun 1945

 

Cote, Leslie, AB

 

Davies, Stew - 1944

 

Dudney, Chief E.A.

 

Durning, L., Engineroom Artificer

 

Fitchett, George William, Lt, RCNVR - 13 Feb 1945

 

Fraser, R., AB

Gray, Stwd

 

Guay, Alphonse Joseph, Stwd

 

Harding, William R., Chief, Cox'n

 

Herrington - 1944

 

Hollett,, C.E.R.A.

 

Hynes, PO, Buffer (Chief Bos'ns Mate)

 

Johnston, William Arnold, Lt, RCNVR - 04 Apr 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944

 

Koytch, Sam - 1944

 

MacAulay, Donald, Lt (E), RCNR - 18 Apr 1944

 

MacKay, George Leslie, Lt, RCNR - 18 Apr 1944

 

Meehan, James Francis, A/Wt (E), RCNVR - 23 Jun 1945

 

Marostica, Al, L/Writer - 1945

 

Mork, A., AB

 

Moxam, Scotty - 1944 

 

Page, Michael Henry Elyy, A/Lt, RCNVR - 24 Mar 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944

 

Pearson, Stwd

Plager, AB

 

Quimbee, Ernie - 1944

 

Sanborn, K., AB

 

Scott, L/Stwd

 

Slater, Anthony Herbert Murray, Lt, RCNR - 05 Jul 1944

 

Shedden, Al, PO

 

Stansfield, David, Paym/Lt, RCNVR - 04 Jul 1944

 

Stevens, PO LSO

 

Swanee, Rivers, AB

 

Taylor, Stwd

 

Timelin, Chief Stoker

 

Trotman, A., Lt

 

Walford, Robert Gordon, Slt (E), RCNVR - 08 Mar 1944 (Stand by) / 18 Apr 1944

 

Ward, Stoker

 

Watson, AB

 

Wilkes, AB - 1945

 

Photos and Documents

 

A weather worn White Ensign from HMCS Orkney K448

Marcel Chasse brought this ensign home after the war.  It is proudly displayed by his son Robert

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Notebook of Marcel Chasse

 

Though not highly detailed, this notebook mentions some of the port visits by HMCS Orkney, ship's routine, the collision with a merchant ship and the court martial of the CO. When she collided with SS Blairnevis, Marcel Chasse was on watch on HMCS Orkney as helmsman.

 

                             

 

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Roy Cardy

Courtesy of Dennis Cardy

Depthcharge from HMCS Orkney K448 exploding somewhere off the West coast of Canada

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Webmaster's note: This photo being on the west coast would put the timeframe between Apr and May 1944.  Also, judging from the spectators, this is a training exercise.

Crew members Willis, Brazier, Colley, and Baston onboard HMCS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Damage to the bow of HMCS Orkney after her collision with SS Blairnevis on 13 Feb 45.  SS Blairnevis sank after the collision.

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

LS Bayliss onboard HMCS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Crew members Harris, Jocky, Hogarth and Shuck onboard HMCS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Cdr J.M. Roland, DSO & Bar, takes aim onboard HCMS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

White Ensign at half-mast on board HMCS Orkney for the death of President Roosevelt

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Depth charge exploding astern of HMCS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

HMCS Orkney crew loading hedgehogs. Three crew members were killed from a hedgehog explosion in Strathadam

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Two crew members of HMCS Orkney

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

Crew of HMCS Orkney shooting at mines.

Source: Cheryl's blog - On The Sea - Photos from WWII - HMCS Orkney

HMCS Orkney Christmas Card from Jim Friend - Dec 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Native dugouts, Cortina, Nicaragua - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Sourvenir photo taken at Club Atlantico, Panama - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Wireless Station, HMS Malibar, Bermuda - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

HM Dockyard, Bermuda - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

St Georges, Bermuda (looking aft from bridge of HMCS Orkney) - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Bermuda, HMS Mary Rose J360 visible on right of photo - taken during HMCS Orkney's transit from Esquimalt to Halifax, May-Jun 1944

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

HMCS Arvida K113 at Halifax - taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Forward gun and bridge of HMCS Orkney - photo taken from fo'c's'le of HMCS Orkney

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

(Escort Group) E.G. 16 on patrol - taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

HMCS Charlottetown K244, HMCS Toronto K538 and HMCS Stettler K681 - taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend 

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Souvenir photo taken at the Copacabana night club, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

(L-R) Herrington, Scotty Moxam, Stew Davies, Jim Friend, Christianson, Sam Kotych, Reg Arthur, Ernie Quimbee 

From the collection of James Thorpe Friend

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

INS Mivtach K28 - formerly HMCS Orkney K448

Source: ShipSpotter.com.  Photographer Emmanuel L.

Battleship HMS King George V, Scapa Flow

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

British aircraft carrier at Scapa Flow, 1941

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

British aircraft carrier at Scapa Flow, 1941

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Unknown Canadian corvette departing Sydney, NS

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

A Canadian corvette we met on our way to Sydney, NS

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

A British freighter sinking south of Newfoundland

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Gibraltar

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMCS La Hulloise arriving at Gibraltar

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMS Redmill, an American built destroyer that was transferred to the Royal Navy on 30 Nov 1943. On 27 Apr 1945 she was torpedoed off West Coast of Northern Ireland by an acoustic torpedo fired from U-1105. 28 killed. 60 feet of her stern blown off. She was towed by to Lisahally, N.I. She was declared a constructive total loss.

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

British Submarine P53 which was exercising with us in Loch Alsh

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Officers on the bridge of HMCS Orkney K448 during evolutions

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Somewhere in the North Atlantic

Photo taken from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Quarterdeck of HMCS Orkney K448 awash in heavy seas

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

"Our Maple Leaf on the funnel"

The funnel Maple Leaf of HMCS Orkney when she was part of the 25th Escort Group

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMCS Orkney K448 with her broken nose in dry dock at Dunstaffnage, Scotland after her collision with the British freighter SS Blairnevis on 13 Feb 1945 in the Mersey River estuary.

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Results of the collision - taken from inside the Sickbay

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Graves of three of our shipmates who were killed on HMCS Strathadam, 11 Apr 1945, when a hedgehog exploded during the attack on U-1302

Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Graves of Dennis McEwan, Jimmy Friend, Clifford Purdy

 

From the collection of Marcel Chasse (HMCS Orkney K448)

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

  

 

In 2015, James Friend's daughter, Barbara Hamlin, visited her father's grave. This photo shows the Belfast City Cemetery 70 years later. Photo taken 13 Aug 2015

Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin

Chief E.A. Dudney (known as the most un-pusser chief in the Navy) on HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

The Three Chiefs

L-R: Chief Cox'n William R. Harding, Chief Stoker Timelin, C.E.R.A. Hollett on HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Lt Macaulay playing the bag pipes on V.E. day in Londonderry

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

A WREN trying to play the bag pipes on V.E. day in Londonderry

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Surrendered U-boats at Londonderry after V.E. day

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

AB Watson, E.A. L. Durning, Stoker Ward, and PO "Al" Shedden in the ship's whaler at Shelburne, NS

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

"Sea Boat Away"

Sea boat from HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

"Our Stokers" on HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Behind the 12-pdr shelter on HMCS Orkney on our way to Sydney, NS

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Looking aft on HMCS Orkney from the Search Light platform on the Port side. The bow of HMCS French Z23 is visible in the background at Sydney, NS

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Looking aft on HMCS Orkney K448 from the Crow's nest.  The bow of HMCS French Z23 is visible in the background at Sydney, NS

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

L/Writere "Al" Marostica and AB Wilkes on the bridge of HMCS Orkney K448 in Sydney, NS.  HMCS Chaudiere H99 across the jetty in the background.

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMCS Orkney K448 - De-ammunitioning ship in Sydney, NS before refit - circa Jun-Jul 1945

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Ammunitioning pendant flies above our "Lucky Dolphin"

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

De-ammunitioning on the quarterdeck HMCS Orkney in Sydney.

"By the looks of things, something much be going wrong"

 

Lt A. Trotman, PO Bill Webb, AB Leslie Cote, AB Plager and Marcel Chasse

 

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

HMCS Orkney K448 - Storing ship

Stwd Guay, AB K. Sanborn, AB A. Mork, and AB R. Fraser

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Stewards on HMCS Orkney K448

 

Front: L/Stwd Scott, Stwd Pearson

Back: Stwds Gray, Taylor and Guay

 

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

Lt Nelson Jules Castonguay, (The Jimmy), The Buffer, PO Hynes and PO LSO Stevens

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Webmaster's note: Lt Nelson Castonguay later became the Orkney's Commanding Officer from 22 May - 02 Sep 1945

My OPal Quartermaster AB Stewart Carnduff and AB Rivers Swanee on HMCS Orkney K448

From the collection of Marcel Chasse

Courtesy of Robert Chasse

 

Webmaster's note: possibly taken after return to Canada after the war as the Quartermaster is not armed.

Taylor and Al Guay (right), HMCS Orkney, Sydney, NS 10 Jun 1945

From the collection of Alphonse Guay

Courtesy of Lou Guay

 

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