HMCS BRANTFORD 1941-1944
After she was retired from naval service in 1945, HMCS BRANTFORD's bell and plaque were presented to her namesake, the City of Brantford. The bell is on display at the Brant Naval Veterans Association at 54 Wadsworth Street in Brantford.
The HMCS Brantford was the last of the six Royal Canadian Navy "Flower" Class corvettes built between 1940-1941. The City of Brantford sponsored the BRANTFORD, followed her construction and launch, as well as provided the crew with supplies including radios, heavy winter clothing, magazines, and cigarettes.
February 24, 1941 - Construction began in the Midland Ontario Shipyards.
September 6, 1941 - Official Launch - City of Brantford Mayor J. P. Ryan presented the HMCS Brantford Plaque.
May 1 - 15, 1942 - Additional fittings in Collingwood, gun and depth-charge trials in Toronto, installation of wireless equipment in Montreal.May 15, 1942 - Commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy.
- Displacement: 950 tons
- Length Overall: 203'
- LBreadth extreme: 33'
- Draught: 13'
- Designed Speed: 16.5 knots
- Endurance: 3,450 miles at 12 knots
- 2,629 miles at full speed
- Armament: one 4' gun
- two 0.5' twin A/A guns
- one stripped Lewis
- Depth-charges: 60 with two chutes, four throwers
- Compliment: 5 officers, 61 men
The HMCS BRANTFORD spent two years as an escort vessel in the convoy lanes of the Western Atlantic during the Battle of Atlantic, World War II, logging thousands of miles between 1942 to 1944. Her job was to guard hundreds of cargo ships as they left and entered Canadian coastal waters and assist the Mid-Ocean Escort Force in steering the convoys to safe Canadian waters:
May 22, 1942 - sailed from Quebec to Sydney, Nova Scotia as convoy escort.
July 1942 - joined the Western Local Escort Force of Royal Canadian Navy escorting convoys to and from Halifax, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, St. John's, Newfoundland to rendezvous with the Mid-Ocean Escort Force in the convoy lanes of the Western Atlantic during the Battle of Atlantic, World War II.
February 5, 1943, 12:00 p.m. - while in the company of HCMS DUNDAS serving as local escort to ON-162, 150 miles east of Sable Island, Nova Scotia, BRANTFORD picked up a faint contact on her Asdic (equipment used transmit sound beams to hear echoes bounced off u-boats). Five depth-charges were dropped. Contact with an enemy submarine was not confirmed.
May 7, 1944, 4:24 p.m. - located a contact and dropped a total of nineteen depth-charges. Traces of oil surfaced, but the contact was never officially confirmed as submarine. Possible contact made with one of the many wrecks sunk off Cape Race.
September 26, 1944 - BRANTFORD's career as Atlantic convoy concluded. She was allocated to HCMS CORNWALLIS, Royal Canadian Navy in Nova Scotia as a training ship and as a submarine escort in the Bay of Fundy.
July 17, 1945 - BRANTFORD was decommissioned. She sailed to the War Assets Corporation in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was bought by George E. Irving of New Brunswick.
In 1950, BRANTFORD was bought by a Honduran company, who fitted her out as the steam whaler OLYMPIC ARROW.
Historical/statistical information is from the Naval Historical Section, Naval Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario, April 13, 1961.