Warships bedazzle in Second World War paint pattern

November 12, 2019 - Defence Stories

For the next year, it will be easy to distinguish HMCS Regina from the other West Coast frigates as it has a new paint job.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) decided to paint Regina in a Second World War Admiralty commemorative paint scheme to honour the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, which occurs in 2020.

In the Second World War, the paint scheme was a form of ship camouflage with one or more colours to obscure or confuse the enemy’s visual observation during the Atlantic battles, particularly enemy submarines.

Historically, River-class frigates were painted in the Disruptive Admiralty scheme. Tribal-class destroyers and C-class destroyers were painted in the Dazzle scheme. Flower-class corvettes were painted in both schemes during their service.

Regina is painted in white and blue shades in a geometric pattern. The new look will be showcased at Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2020.

The task of painting the ship fell to the deck department, augmented by other members of the ship’s company, as well as Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton. For Chief Petty Officer Second Class Joe Dagenais, the Chief Boatswain, this is a chance to show off the ship and the teamwork required to make it look grand.

“This is a key piece to show how FMF and DND can collaborate to achieve an important and common goal,” he said.

On the East Coast, HMCS Moncton has a similar paint job.

Commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic with these historical paint schemes provides an opportunity to honour the sailors of the past, embrace the sailors of the present, and look ahead to the future.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of the Second World War and one in which Canada played a central role. It ended with Germany’s surrender in May 1945. The cost of winning the Atlantic war was high. Most of the 2,000 members of the Royal Canadian Navy who died during the war lost their lives in the battle.

One ship being honoured by the current Regina is HMCS Regina (K234), a Royal Canadian Navy revised Flower-class corvette that took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War. The ship fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. On Aug. 8, 1944, Regina was torpedoed and sunk by U-667 eight nautical miles north of Trevose Head on the coast of Cornwall while rescuing survivors of the American merchant Liberty ship Ezra Weston. The warship sank in 28 seconds. Thirty of the ship’s crew were killed.

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