HMCS Orkney

There has been only one vessel named HMCS Orkney in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Orkney (K448)

Alternatively named for Yorkton, Saskatchewan, because that name was too similar to an American warship, the River Class frigate HMCS Orkney was commissioned on 18 April 1944 at Victoria, British Columbia, and arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 June. After working up in Bermuda she returned to Halifax in August to join Escort Group 16, but was transferred as Senior Officer’s ship to Escort Group 25 at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, sailing in late October with eastbound convoy HX.317. She remained on duty in British waters until 13 February 1945, when she was involved in a collision with the SS Blairnevis. HMCS Orkney required her own repairs at Dunstaffnage, Scotland, until mid-April. Following a week’s work-up at Tobermory, Scotland, HMCS Orkney briefly returned to Londonderry, and then sailed late in May for home and refitted at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. This was completed on 20 October, after which she served locally until put into reserve 22 January 1946. 

Sold in 1947, she was renamed Violetta and served for a time as an Israeli immigrant ship before joining the Israeli Navy as Mivtakh. Sold in turn to the Singhalese (Sri Lankan) Navy in 1959 as Mahasena, she was broken up at Singapore, Republic of Singapore in 1964.

  • Builder: Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, British Columbia
  • Date laid down: 19 May 1943
  • Date launched: 18 September 1943
  • Date commissioned: 18 April 1944
  • Date paid off: 22 January 1946
  • Displacement: 1468.2 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 91.9 m x 11.1 m x 2.7 m
  • Speed: 19 knots
  • Crew: 141
  • Armament: two 4-inch (102- mm) (1 x II) guns, one 12-pound (5.45 kg) gun, eight 20- mm guns (4 x II), one Hedgehog mortar and depth charges.

Battle honours

  • Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944
  • North Sea 1945

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