CRESCENT after her DDE conversion. © Sandy McClearn
(DD / DDE) destroyer / destroyer
Towards the end of the Second World War, the Royal Navy built a number of destroyers of the C class, which was further split into the Ca, Ch, Co, and Cr classes. CRESCENT and CRUSADER belonged to the Cr class, and as a result had all-welded construction while the earlier Ca class at least had a considerable amount of rivetting. HMS CAVALIER, a member of the Ca class, is preserved at the Chatham Historical Dockyard in the United Kingdom. A total of eight Cr ships were originally to have been transferred to the RCN, but the war ended before any of them were completed, and only CRESCENT and CRUSADER ended up being transferred. The transfer was made permanent in 1951.
CRESCENT and CRUSADER entered RCN service in 1945 as primarily all-gun destroyers, with secondary armament in the form of torpedoes. When they arrived, they were similar to the two 'V' class destroyers that the RCN had aquired during WWII, with the primary difference being the slightly lighter main armament (4.5" versus 4.7") and only a single torpedo launcher.
CRUSADER was almost imediately paid off into reserve upon arrival, while CRESCENT was taken in hand a few years later for conversion to what the British called a "fast ASW frigate" (pictured above) as was ALGONQUIN of the 'V' class - this was otherwise known as a Type 15 frigate in the Royal Navy. CRESCENT re-entered service in 1956 in this greatly altered form, and carried much of the equipment that was fitted to the new ST. LAURENT class, including a 3"/50 twin gun aft, a new enclosed bridge, US pattern radar, and two Limbo ASW mortars. She also had a "new" 4"/45 Mk.16 twin mounting forward.
CRUSADER, meanwhile, recommissioned and served two tours of duty during the Korean War in pretty much her original configuration, and later tested a prototype VDS (variable depth sonar) that was installed permanently in CRESCENT in 1960. CRUSADER paid off in 1960, and was sold for scrap in 1963.
When CRESCENT was sent to Taiwan in 1971 to be scrapped, she left Victoria along with ALGONQUIN.
(click on thumbnail for larger image)
Barrie, Ron and Macpherson, Ken. (2002). This Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002. Vanwell Publishing Ltd. St. Catherines, Ont.
Steed, Roger G. (1999). Canadian Warships Since 1956. Vanwell Publishing Ltd. St. Catherines, ON.
Jane's Fighting Ships, Various Editions
Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, Various Editions
With information from the files of Jerry Proc.
ASDIC, RADAR, and IFF
Systems Aboard HMCS HAIDA website by Jerry Proc.
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