HMCS Red Deer

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

HMCS Red Deer (J255 / 196)

The HMCS Red Deer was a Bangor Class minesweeper. The Bangor Class ships were built in order to replace the old Basset Class minesweepers, as they were larger, faster, had much greater endurance, and burned oil as opposed to coal. Most of the Bangors were named after Canadian towns and cities, the rest after bays. As enemy mines were laid only once in 1943 in Canadian waters, the Bangors were used primarily as escorts to coastal shipping or as local escorts to ocean convoys. Sixteen of them, however, assisted in sweeping the approaches to Normandy before D-Day, and stayed to help clear German and Allied minefields in the Channel for some months afterward.

Commissioned at Montréal, Québec, on November 24 1941, HMCS Red Deer arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 3 December. She was assigned to Western Local Escort Force, later serving at various times with Halifax Local Defence Force, Gulf Escort Force, and Sydney Force.

On 12 January 1942, she rescued survivors from the British SS Cyclops, the first victim of the epic U-boat campaign off the eastern coast of the United States, when the latter was torpedoed 125 miles southeast of Cape Sable. In May 1944, she began a refit at Liverpool, Nova Scotia and was sent to Bermuda to work up late in July. By February 1944, HMCS Red Deer had been allocated to Newfoundland Force, and she continued as a member of this force until Victory in Europe-Day.

HMCS Red Deer was paid off at Halifax on 30 October 1945 and laid up at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, later being placed in strategic reserve at Sorel, Québec. Although reacquired by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952, she was never re-commissioned and sold in February 1959 for breaking up at Sorel.

  • Builder: Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montréal, Québec
  • Displacement: 682.8 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 54.9 m x 8.7 m x 2.5 m
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Crew: 83
  • Armament: one 4-inch (102 mm) gun, two 20-mm guns (2 x I) and depth charges.

Battle honours

  • Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942
  • Atlantic 1942-1945

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