C-class destroyer (1943)
Cavalier, flying paying off pennant, June 1946
|Preceded by:||W and Z class|
|Succeeded by:||Weapon class|
|Subclasses:||Ca-, Ch-, Co-, Cr-|
|In commission:||1944 - 1972|
|General characteristics Ca class|
|Beam:||35 ft 9 in (10.90 m)|
|Draught:||10 ft (3.05 m)|
|Complement:||186 (222 as leader)|
|General characteristics (Ch-, Co- & Cr- class)|
|Draught:||10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)|
|Notes:||Other characteristics as per Ca- class|
The C class was a class of 32 destroyers of the Royal Navy that were launched from 1943 to 1945. The class was built in four flotillas of 8 vessels, the "Ca", "Ch", "Co" and "Cr" groups or sub-classes, ordered as the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Emergency Flotillas respectively. The sub-class names are derived from the initial 2 letters of the member ships' names, although the "Ca" class were originally ordered with a heterogeneous mix of traditional destroyer names. A fifth flotilla, the "Ce" or 15th Emergency Flotilla, was planned but were cancelled in favour of the Weapon-class destroyers after only the first two ships had been ordered. The pennant numbers were all altered from "R" superior to "D" superior at the close of World War II; this involved some renumbering to avoid duplications.
They were built as part of the War Emergency Programme, based on the hull and machinery of the pre-war J class, incorporating whatever advances in armament and naval radar were available at the time. Some of the class were completed in time for wartime service. All ships used the Fuze Keeping Clock High Angle Fire Control Computer.
The "Ca" flotilla were generally repeats of the preceding Z class, and as such had a main gun armament of four QF 4.5 in (114 mm) Mk IV guns on Mk V mounts, which could elevate to 55 degrees to give an anti-aircraft capability. Close-in anti-aircraft armament generally consisted of two 40mm Bofors guns in a twin stabilized Hazemayer mount, supplemented by four single 2-pounder "pom-pom" anti aircraft guns on power operated mounts. Caprice differed in having a quadruple 2-pounder "pom-pom" instead of the Hazemayer Bofors mount, while Cassandra had eight Oerlikon 20 mm cannon instead of the single pom-poms. Torpedo armament consisted of eight 21 in (533 mm) torpedoes in two quadruple mounts, while 70 depth charges could be carried.
The succeeding "Ch", "Co" and "Cr" flotillas were fitted with the new Mk VI HA/LA Director instead of the Mk I Type K director of the Z and Ca classes, while remote power control (RPC) gunlaying equipment was fitted. The additional weight of the new fire control equipment and the powered mountings for the 4.5 inch guns meant that only one quadruple torpedo mount was fitted, and the depth charge armament was reduced to 35 depth charges. Most of the ships were fitted with a single Hazemayer Bofors mount, although some of the later ships instead had the lighter and simpler Mk V twin Bofors mount. This was normally supplemented by two power operated single pom-pom mounts and two 20 mm Oerlikon cannon. They also introduced the all-welded hull into Royal Navy destroyer construction, beginning in Contest, with the "Cr" flotilla all being of all-welded construction. Late delivery of the Mk VI directors delayed completion such that all but one of the "Ch"s, "Co"s or "Cr"s entered service after the end of the Second World War. Only Comet was commissioned before VJ Day, in June 1945, albeit too late to see action.
Caprice was the last destroyer built for the Royal Navy to be fitted with the ubiquitous quadruple QF 2 pounder "pom-pom" mounting Mark VII.
The "Ca" flotilla were reconstructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to be modernised for anti-submarine warfare and to serve as fast fleet escorts. One bank of torpedo tubes and one 4.5 in gun was removed, allowing two Squid triple-barreled anti-submarine mortars to be fitted, while the ships' obsolete gun Mk I Type K director was replaced by a modern Mk 6M director as fitted to Royal Navy frigates, and the remaining 4.5 in guns fitted with RPC. Close in anti-aircraft armament was standardised as a single Mk V twin and two single 40 mm Bofors mounts. The ships were also fitted with new bridges; the post-refit bridge differed between the first four conversions (Cavendish, Carron, Cavalier and Carysfort), with open bridges and the later four (Caprice, Cassandra, Caesar and Cambrian) which were given frigate-type enclosed bridges.
The remaining "Ch", "Co" and Cr" ships in the Royal Navy were given a less extensive modernisation, with one 4.5 in gun being replaced by twin Squids, modified fire control and a close in anti aircraft armament of 1 twin and four single Bofors guns. Chieftain, Chaplet and Comet were fitted as minelayers.
The class were all fitted with two Admiralty 3-drum boilers with a pressure of 300 pounds per square inch (2,100 kPa) at 630 °F (332 °C). All had Parsons single-reduction geared turbines, generating 40,000 shaft horsepower (30,000 kW) at 350 RPM, and driving the two shafts to produce a maximum of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) (32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) under full load condition). All were engined by their builders except Cossack and Constance, which were engined by Parsons. Their bunkers could hold 615 tons of oil fuel, giving them a radius of 4,675 nautical miles (8,658 km; 5,380 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) and 1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km; 1,600 mi) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph).
* = flotilla leaders
"Ca" (or 11th Emergency) Flotilla
This flotilla was authorised under the 1941 Programme. The first pair was ordered from Yarrow on 16 February 1942; the other six were ordered on 24 March, a pair each from John Brown, Scotts and Cammell Laird. However, on 12 August 1942 the contract for the last pair was moved from Cammell Laird to White. Their originally-allocated names were altered to new names beginning with "Ca-" in November 1942. The John Brown pair - Caesar and Cavendish - were fitted as Leaders.
On completion they formed the 6th Destroyer Flotilla for service in the Home Fleet. At the end of the war in Europe the flotilla was transferred to the East Indies Fleet and the ships arrived on station between August and November 1945, too late to see service against Japan. They remained in the Indian Ocean until May 1946 when they returned home and paid off into operational reserve.
|Yarrow, Scotstoun||28 September 1942||16 September 1943||5 April 1944||Modernised by Yarrow 1959. Paid off March 1973.|
Scrapped 1979 at Queenborough.
|Yarrow, Scotstoun||3 January 1943||29 November 1943||28 July 1944||Modernised by Yarrow 1960. Paid off January 1966.|
Scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1967.
|John Brown, Clydebank||3 April 1943||14 February 1944||5 October 1944||Modernised 1957-60 at Rosyth. Paid off June 1965.|
Scrapped 1967 at Blyth.
|John Brown, Clydebank||19 May 1943||12 April 1944||13 December 1944||Modernised 1956. Laid up 1964.|
Scrapped 1967 at Blyth.
|Scotts, Greenock||14 August 1942||10 December 1943||14 July 1944
by John Brown
|Modernised 1963. Paid off December 1968.|
Scrapped 1971 at Briton Ferry.
|Scotts, Greenock||26 November 1942||28 March 1944||6 November 1944||Modernised August 1955 as Training Ship. Paid off March 1963.|
Scrapped 1967 at Inverkeithing.
|White, Cowes||28 February 1943||7 April 1944||22 November 1944||Modernised 1957. Paid off July 1972.|
Sold October 1977 to be preserved as a museum ship,
since 1999 preserved at Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent.
|White, Cowes||12 May 1943||25 July 1944||20 February 1945||Modernised 1956. Paid off February 1969.|
Scrapped 1970 at Newport.
"Ch" (or 12th Emergency) Flotilla
Six destroyers, the first of 26 'Intermediate' destroyers to be authorised under the 1942 Programme, were ordered on 24 July 1942, a pair each from Thornycroft, Scotts and Alexander Stephen. The fourth pair was originally intended to be ordered from Vickers Armstrongs, Walker-on-Tyne, but instead were ordered from Denny on 30 July. The Chequers and Childers were fitted as Leaders.
|Chaplet||R52||Thornycroft, Woolston||29 April 1943||18 July 1944||24 August 1945||Laid up 1961. Sold for scrapping 1965.|
|Charity||R29||Thornycroft, Woolston||9 July 1943||30 November 1944||19 November 1945||Transferred to Pakistan Navy as Shah Jehan 16 December 1958, irreparably damaged by Indian Navy warships off Karachi 4 December 1971 and scrapped as a result|
|Chequers *||R61||Scotts, Greenock||4 May 1943||30 October 1944||28 September 1945||Laid up 1964, scrapped 1966.|
|Chieftain||R36||Scotts, Greenock||27 June 1943||26 February 1945||7 March 1946||Scrapped 1961.|
|Chevron||R51||Alex. Stephen, Linthouse||18 March 1943||23 February 1944||23 August 1945||Accommodation ship at Rosyth, scrapped 1969.|
|Cheviot||R90||Alex. Stephen, Linthouse||27 April 1943||2 May 1944||11 December 1945||Harbour training ship at Rosyth 1960. Sold for scrapping 1962.|
|Childers *||R91||Denny, Dumbarton||27 November 1943||27 February 1945||19 December 1945||Laid up 1958. Sold for scrapping 1963.|
|Chivalrous||R21||Denny, Dumbarton||27 November 1943||22 June 1945||13 May 1946||Transferred to Pakistan Navy on 29 June 1954 as Taimur, scrapped 1961.|
"Co" (or 13th Emergency) Flotilla
The first four of these destroyers were ordered in August 1942 - Comus and Concord on 7th, Contest on 12th and Consort on 14th. The remaining four destroyers were ordered on 12 September; Constance and Cossack were fitted as Leaders.
|Comus||R43||Thornycroft||21 August 1943||14 March 1945||8 July 1946||Sold for scrapping 1958.|
|Concord (ex-Corso)||R63||Thornycroft||18 November 1943||14 May 1945||20 December 1946||Harbour Training Ship Rosyth. Sold for scrapping 1962.|
|Contest||R12||White||1 November 1943||16 December 1944||9 November 1945||Sold for scrapping 1960|
|Consort||R76||Stephen||26 May 1943||19 October 1944||19 March 1946||Sold for scrapping 1961|
|Cockade||R34||Yarrow||11 March 1943||7 March 1944||29 September 1945||Paid off 1958. Sold for scrapping 1964.|
|Comet||R26||Yarrow||14 June 1943||22 June 1944||6 June 1945||Paid off 1958. Sold for scrapping 1962.|
|Constance*||R71||Vickers Armstrongs, Walker||18 March 1943||22 August 1944||31 December 1945||Sold for scrapping 1956.|
|Cossack*||R57||Vickers Armstrongs, Walker||18 March 1943||10 May 1944||4 September 1945||Sold for scrapping 1961.|
"Cr" (or 14th Emergency) Flotilla
All eight destroyers were ordered on 12 September 1942, two each from John Brown, Yarrow, White and Scotts; the John Brown pair - Crescent and Crusader - were fitted as Leaders.
|Crescent*||R16||John Brown||16 August 1943||20 July 1944||21 August 1945||To Canada 1945, extensive modernisation to anti-submarine Destroyer Escort 1952–56. Scrapped 1971.|
|Crusader*||R20||John Brown||15 November 1943||5 October 1944||26 November 1945||To Canada 1945, Scrapped 1964.|
|Croziers||R20||Yarrow||26 October 1943||19 August 1944||30 November 1945||To Norway as Trondheim 1945, sold for scrapping 1961.|
|Crystal||R38||Yarrow||13 January 1944||12 February 1945||6 February 1946||To Norway as Stavanger 1945, scrapped 1967.|
|Crispin (ex-Craccher)||R68||White||1 February 1944||23 June 1945||10 July 1946||To Pakistan as Jahangir 18 March 1958, scrapped 1982.|
|Creole||R82||White||3 August 1944||22 November 1945||14 October 1946||To Pakistan as Alamgir 20 June 1958, scrapped 1982.|
|Cromwell (ex-Cretan)||R35||Scott's||24 November 1943||6 August 1945||16 September 1946||To Norway as Bergen 1946, scrapped 1967.|
|Crown||R46||Scott's||16 January 1944||19 December 1945||17 April 1947||To Norway as Oslo 1945, scrapped 1968.|
"Ce" (or 15th Emergency) Flotilla
Two ships of this putative flotilla, the last of the 26 "Intermediate"-type destroyers authorised under the 1942 Programme, were ordered on 3 February 1942 from White. These two ships were to be named Centaur and Celt. However, with the decision to introduce a fresh design of Intermediate destroyer (which became the Weapon-class destroyer design), the White orders were amended to the new design and the names of the two ships were altered to Tomahawk and Sword respectively. Tomahawk was subsequently renamed again, becoming Scorpion, while Sword was finally cancelled on 15 October 1945.
- HMS Cavalier, Britain's oldest and only remaining World War II destroyer, preserved as a museum ship at Chatham Historic Dockyard.
- HMS Charity, Korea, 1952.
- Lenton 1970, p. 39.
- Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 43.
- Lenton 2000, p. 45.
- Gardiner and Chesneau 1995, pp. 43–44.
- Destroyer Weapons of WW2, Hodges/Friedman, ISBN 0-85177-137-8
- Whitley 2000, p. 136.
- Hodges and Friedman 1979, pp. 86, 88.
- Whitley 2000, pp. 136, 138.
- Whitley p138.
- Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 44.
- Lenton 1970, p. 43.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 506.
- Hodges and Friedman 1979, p. 85.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 490.
- Hodges and Friedman 1979, p. 92.
- Lenton 1970, pp. 39, 45, 49.
- Whitley 2000, pp. 136–137.
- Critchley 1982, p. 86.
- Critchley 1982, p. 87.
- Critchley 1982, p. 90.
- Critchley 1982, p. 92.
- Critchley 1982, p. 88.
- Critchley 1982, p. 94.
- Critchley 1982, p. 98.
- Critchley 1982, p. 102.
- Lenton 1970, p. 44.
- Critchley 1982, p. 101.
- Critchley 1982, p. 100.
- Lenton 1970, p. 48.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 44.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 41.
- Critchley 1982, p. 105.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 299.
- Maurice Cocker, Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981, Ian Allan: London, 1981. ISBN 0-7110-1075-7
- Mike Critchley, British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers, Maritime Books: Liskeard, UK, 1982. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2.
- Norman Friedman, British Destroyers & Frigates: The Second World War and After, Chatham Publishing, ISBN 1-86176-137-6
- Robert Gardiner and Roger Chesneau, Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946, Conway Maritime Press: London, 1980. ISBN 0-85177-146-7
- Robert Gardiner and Stephen Chumbley, Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995, Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, Maryland, USA, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
- David Hobbs, C Class Destroyers, Maritime Books: Liskeard, UK, 2012. ISBN 1904459498
- Peter Hodges and Norman Friedman, Destroyer Weapons of World War 2, Naval Institute Press: Annapolis Maryland, USA, 1979. ISBN 0-87021-929-4.
- H. T. Lenton, British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, Greenhill Books, ISBN 1-85367-277-7
- H. T. Lenton, Navies of the Second World War: British Fleet & Escort Destroyers Volume Two, Macdonald: London, 1970. ISBN 0-356-03122-5
- George Moore, Building for Victory: The Warship Building Programmes of the Royal Navy 1939 - 1945, World Ship Society, ISBN 0-9543310-1-X
- M.J. Whitley, Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia, Cassell and Co.: London, 2000. ISBN 1-85409-521-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to C class destroyer (1943).|