formerly the Archives and Collections Society  

HMCS Hallowell

River Class Frigate (139 built, two series, 66 RN, 59 RCN, 12 RAN, 2 USN)
photo: r. pentland
1,445 tons
301.5' x 36.6' x 11.5'fwd and 14.3'aft- full load
Main engines, steam reciprocating, 19.0 kts
Crew: 8 Officers plus 133
Bunkers: 500 tons
Endurance: 7200 miles at 12 kts, 4500 miles at 20 kts
Armament: 2 single 4in (type XXIII?), 4 20mm (Oerlikon), 1 hedgehog mortar, (8? depth charge throwers?)
Builder (built and engined): Canadian Vickers Ltd, Montreal, PQ - Yard #178
Ordered: 1 February 43
Keel laid 5 November 1943 (Vickers), 22 November 1943 (J.A.)
Launched: 28 March 1944
21 June 44, stand by, Skpr/Lt Ernest Stanley Nelson PLEASANCE, RCNR, CO; Lt(E) Thomas Erland LANGS RCNVR.
3 July 44, stand by, S/Lt Ian Kenneth MacDONALD, RCNVR.
10 July 44, stand by, S/Lt Cecil Lindsay SMYTH, RCNVR.
22 July 44, stand by, Lt's, Duncan Northcott STUART; William Arthur COBBAN; both RCNVR.
26 July 44, stand by, Lt Alfred William BETT, RCNVR.
Completed in July 1944
Commissioned: 8 August 1944, K666, Skpr/Lt Ernest Stanley Nelson PLEASANCE RCNR, CO; Lt's, Alfred William BETT; Duncan Northcott STUART; William Arthur COBBAN; S/Lt's, Ian Kenneth MacDONALD; Cecil Lindsay SMYTH; Lt(E) Thomas Erland LANGS; all RCNVR.
[Note: was to be named HMCS PICTON, but due to possible confusion with HMCS PICTOU (Nova Scotia), the circumlocution HMCS HALLOWELL was chosen]
Naval Museum of Manitoba
3 September 44, Skr/Lt Ernest Stanley Nelson PLEASANCE, RCNR, CO, arrived Halifax, from builder, Montreal, PQ.
6 September 44, A/Lt(E) John Osgood RICHARDSON, RCNVR.
30 September 44, Paym/S/Lt Donald Stewart BUTTENHAM, RCNVR.
October 1944, work up in Bermuda
19 October 44, LCdr Richard Henry ANGUS, RCNVR, CO.
21 October 44, Lt Graham William MITCHELL, RCNVR.
23 October 44, Lt Harris Oscar HOFFMAN; A/Lt William Edwin Galpin YOUNG; both RCNVR.
Early November 1944, allocated to EG C-1 (Western Approaches Command, Londonderry), Senior Officer's ship until the end of the war in Europe
24 November 44, Paym/Lt David George NICOLSON RCNVR.
28 November 44, A/Cdr George Stanley HALL RCNR; Lt Stephen Clive ROBINSON RCNVR.
28 November 44, LCdr Richard Henry ANGUS RCNVR, CO, escort for convoy HX.322, from then onwards, continuous North Atlantic convoy escort service
HALL, George Stanley, Acting Commander [Mention in Despatches - RCNR / HMCS New Glasgow Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 6 January 1945 and London Gazette of 1 January 1945] served HMCS HALLOWELL 28.11.44 - ? made up A/Cdr(Temp) 1.1.45

ROBINSON, Stephen Clive, Temporary Lieutenant [Mention in Despatches - RCNVR / HMCS Chebogue Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 24 March 1945 and London Gazette of 13 March 1945] served HMCS HALLOWELL 28.11.44 - ?
23 January 45, Lt James Warner EAKINS RCNVR.
28 March 45, A/Cdr Alexander McAllister Mc LARNON RCNR [Mention in Despatches - RCNR / HMCS Sudbury - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 5 June 1943 and London Gazette of 2 June 1943]; Lt's, Kenneth Bertram BLAKEY; Gordon Mc Dougall SHAW; both RCNVR.
11 May 45, LCdr James "Jimmy" Sinclair "Foghorn" DAVIS; Lt(S) Jack Deinstadt FORBES; both RCNVR.
Victor Borushynski photo, courtesy of Don Bjordahl
17 May 45, Lt(E) John Gracey HALL RCNVR.
Early June 1944, left Greenock for Canada (Atlantic Coast Command) and July and August transported troops from St John's to Canada
5 August 45, Lt Donald DAVIS, RCNVR, CO.
7 November 45, Lt Donald DAVIS RCNVR, CO, Paid off in Sydney, placed in reserve at Shelburne.
Sold 1946 Urugayan interests
Sold 1949 Palestinian firm renamed SHARON (ferry)
Sold? 1952 to Israel, navy renamed MISNAK a.k.a. MISFIT
Sold 1959 Singhalese navy which was in expansion at this time. The first Canadian addition was H.M.Cy.S. MAHASENA, a Canadian built "River" class Frigate (ex-H.M.C.S. VIOLETTA, ORKNEY and ex-Israeli ship MIVTACH) followed by another "River" class Frigate, H.M.Cy.S. GAJABAHU (ex-H.M.C.S. HALLOWELL, ex-Israeli MISNAK), delivered at Trincomalee in 1960.
Commissioned 26 June 1960 HMCyS GAJABAHU (232), sailed by a Israeli crew to Ceylon in 1960 served with RCyN & SLN until 1978, when Paid-off. Broken up 1978.

"Comparatively little is known about HALLOWELL's post-WWII activities until 1952, when she was acquired by the Israeli Navy and reconverted to a sloop named MISNAK. It is probable however, that like ex-ORKNEY, she was also purchased, converted to a passenger ship, and used by the "Haganah" to run illegal Jewish immigrants from Europe to Palestine. MISNAK served in the Israeli Navy until 1959 when, together with her sister ship MITVACH, she was sold to Ceylon. Renamed GAJABAHU, she evidently enjoyed a most respectable lifespan of thirty-four years. Not bad for "wartime construction!" (Starshell, Vol. VII, No.3, Summer 1998)

Sources:

  • Canadian Vickers, Montreal
  • Jack Arrowsmith
  • Naval Service of Canada, Tucker
  • Navy Lists
  • NENE Lives, Riley (ed)
  • Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, Macpherson and Burgess
  • Starshell

Revised: 31 March 2012