HMCS Medicine Hat

A ship travelling on the water.

HMCS Medicine Hat J256 / 197.

There has been only one vessel named Medicine Hat in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Medicine Hat (J256 / 197)

HMCS Medicine Hat 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 Montreal, Quebec, on 4 December 1941, Medicine Hat arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 13 December. She worked escort duties with Western Local Escort Force, Sydney Force and Halifax Force between January 1942 and May 1944.

In May 1944, she returned to Sydney Force until January 1945 when she was transferred to Newfoundland Force until Victory in Europe Day. Medicine Hat was thereafter employed at miscellaneous duties on the Atlantic coast until 6 November 1945, when she was paid off at Halifax and laid up at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. In 1946, she was placed in strategic reserve at Sorel, Quebec, until reacquired in 1951 and taken to Sydney, Nova Scotia. She was transferred to the Turkish Navy on 29 November 1957, renamed Biga, and remained in service until 1963.

  • Laid down: 10 January 1941
  • Date launched: 25 June 1941
  • Date commissioned: 4 December 1941
  • Date paid off: 6 November 1945
  • Displacement: 672 tons
  • Dimensions: 54.9 m x 8.7 m x 2.5 m
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Crew: 83
  • Armament: one 4-inch (102-mm) gun, one 2-pound (0.9 kg) gun, two 20-mm guns (2 x I) and depth charges.

Battle honours

  • Gulf of St. Lawrence 1942
  • Atlantic 1943
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