There has been only one vessel named Middlesex in the Royal Canadian Navy.
HMCS Middlesex (J328)
The Middlesex was an Algerine Class minesweeper. The Algerine Class ships were designed as small vessels that could serve in several roles and not just as minesweepers. Their predecessors, the Bangor Class minesweepers, 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 12 of which were built at Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay, Ontario. Intended as convoy escorts, they were not fitted with minesweeping gear. Although larger than corvettes, the latter outperformed them as ocean escorts. The Algerines found particular favour as Senior Officers’ ships in Western Local groups. After the war, most found employment for many years on hydrographic survey duties or as training ships for reservists.
Alternatively named in honour of London, Ontario, because that name was used by another Allied warship, Middlesex was commissioned at Port Arthur on June 8, 1944, arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in mid-July, and sailed for Bermuda in August to work up. Assigned to Escort Group W-3 of Western Escort Force, she joined it in New York on August 30, direct from Bermuda. Middlesex was principally engaged as southern local escort to convoys bound for the United Kingdom out of New York. She was Senior Officer’s ship of W-3 from mid-November 1944 until the force was disbanded in June 1945, whereupon she refitted at Halifax and was placed in maintenance reserve there. In March 1946, she returned to service as an emergency ship. On December 2, 1946, en route to assist the fishing vessel Ohio, she ran ashore on Half Island Point near Halifax, and was declared a total loss.
- Builder: Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Port Arthur, Ontario
Date laid down: 29 September 1942
- Date launched: May 27, 1943
- Date commissioned: June 8, 1944
- Date paid off: December 31, 1946
- Displacement: 990 tons
- Dimensions: 68.6 m x 10.8 m x 2.6 m
- Speed: 16 knots
- Crew: 107
- Armament: one 4-inch (102-mm) gun, eight 20-mm guns (4 double mounts), one Hedgehog mortar, and depth charges.
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