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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMCS NIAGARA (I 57) - ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMCS Niagara showing original appearance (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Ex USS THATCHER (Type C NEWPORT-Class) built by Bethlehem Steel at Fore River. The ship was laid down on 8th June 1918 and launched on 31st August that year. Commissioned on 14th January 1919 for US Naval Service this ship was deployed in the Pacific until 1922 when she was laid up in Philadelphia.  In 1940 she re-commissioned for US Navy use after refit but later transferred to the Royal Navy under the UK/US Lend/Lease Agreement on 3rd September 1940. Commissioned on 24th September that year this destroyer was selected  for use by the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS NIAGARA at Halifax. The name like those of the other destroyers provided under this Agreement was common to places in Britain or Canada and in the USA.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

None are recorded in the Admiralty records but RCN Honours will be available in RCN records

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Similarly this will be held in RCN records

 

 

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

  

1 9 4 0

 

September

 

24th - Transferred at Halifax, manned by Canadian crew for RCN service as HMCS NIAGARA. (Note: Some sources suggest ship was commissioned as HMCS THATCHER and that name was late changed to HMCS NIAGARA after formal announcement made of selected names.)

 

October

 

Deployed for Local convoy escort duties at Halifax. Nominated for refit in UK.

 

November

 

Passage to Plymouth. (Note: Ship may have been deployed as part of escort for Atlantic convoy)

 

30th - Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

December

 

Under refit

 

 

1 9 4 1

 

January to February

 

Under refit.

 

 Nominated for service with 4th Escort Group for convoy defence in Western Approaches Command pending formation of Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF).

 

March to April

 

Deployed with EG4 in Western Approaches.  (Note: Work-up at Tobermory before operational service to be confirmed.)

 

May

 

Passage to St Johns, Newfoundland for service with NEF on formation. (Note: Ship may have been part of escort for westbound convoy.)

 

June to July

 

Deployed for convoy defence with NEF.

 

August

 

28th - Deployed with HMS BURWELL and four trawlers in support of passage of U570 to Iceland after its surrender following air attacks. (See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair for details.)

 

September

 

15th - Taken in hand for refit at Halifax.

 

October

 

Under refit

 

November

 

15th - On completion of post refit trials resumed service with Western Escort Force.

 

December

 

North Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

 

 

1 9 4 2

 

January

 

Deployed as escort in Atlantic.

 

12th - Sustained structural damage in heavy weather. (Note: One source records escort for vessel identified as TRITON, but the full description was not given. Both ships were damaged.)

 

14th - Taken in hand for repair at Clyde commercial shipyard.

 

February

 

10th - On completion of repair took passage to St Johns to rejoin NEF.

 

March

 

Transferred to Western Local Escort Force for escort duties.

 

9th - Rescued survivors from American mercantile INDEPENDENCE HALL. (Note: This ship was wrecked during passage as part of Convoy SC73 on 7th)

 

April

 

WLEF deployment in continuation. Rescued survivors from mercantile RIO BLANCO adrift in two boats.

 

May to July

 

Under repair to boilers at Halifax.

 

August to December

 

Resumed WLEF convoy escort deployment.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January to April

 

WLEF deployment in continuation. (Note: High incidence of defects needed dockyard repair restricted ship availability.)

 

May

 

Transferred to Canadian Escort Group Unit W2

 

June to December

 

Convoy escort with Unit W2 in continuation. (Note: Low operational availability restricting deployments.)

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January to February

 

Ship under repair and future operational deployment under consideration. (Note: This Class all experienced similar defects including boilers problems due to inexperienced users and oil contamination due to structural weakness of shell plating. Crews were also required for manning ships being completed in Canada.)

 

March

 

Withdrawn from operational use and nominated for use as Torpedo Branch training ship at Halifax.

 

April to December

 

Torpedo Branch training use in continuation.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January to August

 

Torpedo Branch training duties in continuation.

 

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMCS NIAGARA was Paid-off and placed on the Disposal List on 15th September 1945. She was sold to International Iron and Steel for demolition on 27th May 1946 and taken in tow to Hamilton where she arrived at the Breakerís Yard on 12th December 1947.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMCS NIAGARA

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date Convoy Sailed

Joined Convoy as Escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date Convoy Arrived

         

12/10/40

12/10/40

HX 080

13/10/40

27/10/40

03/04/41

05/04/41

OB 306

08/04/41

09/04/41

27/03/41

09/04/41

HX 117

unknown

15/04/41

30/04/41

02/05/41

OB 317

06/05/41

06/05/41

24/04/41

09/05/41

HG 060

12/05/41

12/05/41

29/05/41

30/05/41

OB 328

02/06/41

02/06/41

10/06/41

14/06/41

HX 132

23/06/41

28/06/41

10/06/41

16/06/41

SC 034

22/06/41

29/06/41

21/06/41

26/06/41

OB 338

02/07/41

03/07/41

05/08/41

05/08/41

HX 143

05/08/41

20/08/41

10/08/41

13/08/41

SC 040

22/08/41

29/08/41

21/08/41

02/09/41

HX 146

02/09/41

06/09/41

27/08/41

02/09/41

ON 010

09/09/41

11/09/41

21/12/41

29/12/41

SC 061

30/12/41

07/01/42

13/02/42

14/02/42

ON 066

19/02/42

26/02/42

25/02/42

25/02/42

HX 177

01/03/42

09/03/42

12/03/42

12/03/42

SC 074

18/03/42

28/03/42

09/03/42

20/03/42

ON 074

25/03/42

25/03/42

23/04/42

23/04/42

SC 081

27/04/42

09/05/42

23/04/42

02/05/42

ON 089

05/05/42

05/05/42

23/08/42

23/08/42

HX 204

26/08/42

04/09/42

16/08/42

28/08/42

ON 122

01/09/42

03/09/42

04/09/42

04/09/42

BX 036B

06/09/42

06/09/42

12/09/42

12/09/42

SC 100

16/09/42

28/09/42

11/09/42

20/09/42

ON 129

24/09/42

25/09/42

01/11/42

04/11/42

SC 108

08/11/42

19/11/42

01/11/42

11/11/42

ON 143

14/11/42

16/11/42

31/10/42

17/11/42

ON 142

21/11/42

21/11/42

27/11/42

27/11/42

HX 217

30/11/42

14/12/42

04/12/42

06/12/42

SC 112

11/12/42

25/12/42

01/12/42

16/12/42

ON 150

22/12/42

25/12/42

14/01/43

16/01/43

HX 223

19/01/43

02/02/43

11/01/43

27/01/43

ON 160

unknown

04/02/43

30/01/43

02/02/43

HX 225

05/02/43

13/02/43

01/02/43

13/02/43

ON 164

16/02/43

19/02/43

18/02/43

20/02/43

HX 227

24/02/43

06/03/43

21/02/43

07/03/43

ON 168

09/03/43

12/03/43

03/03/43

15/03/43

ON 170

20/03/43

20/03/43

18/03/43

20/03/43

HX 230

24/03/43

02/04/43

20/03/43

02/04/43

ON 174

05/04/43

08/04/43

28/04/43

28/04/43

XB 048

30/04/43

30/04/43

02/05/43

02/05/43

BX 048

04/05/43

04/05/43

11/05/43

11/05/43

SC 130

15/05/43

26/05/43

07/05/43

21/05/43

ONS 007

25/05/43

25/05/43

25/05/43

28/05/43

HX 241

31/05/43

10/06/43

15/12/43

15/12/43

SC 149

19/12/43

30/12/43

29/01/44

30/01/44

SC 152

02/02/44

15/02/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 5/7/11
further editing is required