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C-class destroyer (1943)
Cavalier, flying paying off pennant, June 1946
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
 Royal Norwegian Navy
Canadian Blue Ensign.svg Royal Canadian Navy
 Pakistan Navy
Preceded by: W and Z class
Succeeded by: Weapon class
Subclasses: Ca-, Ch-, Co-, Cr-
In commission: 1944 - 1972
Planned: 34
Completed: 32
Cancelled: 2
Active: 0
Laid up: 0
Retired: 31
Preserved: 1
General characteristics Ca class
Displacement: 1,710 long ton (1,730 tonnes)
2,530 tons full (2,570 tonnes)
Length: 362.75 ft (110.57 m) o/a
Beam: 35.75 ft (10.90 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers,
Parsons single-reduction geared steam turbines,
40,000 shp (29.8 MW), 2 shafts
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) (full)
Range: 4,675 nautical miles (8,658 km; 5,380 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km; 1,600 mi) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
Complement: 186 (222 as leader)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 276 target indication
  • Radar Type 291 air warning
  • Radar Type 285 fire control on director Type K
  • Radar Type 282 fire control on 40 mm mount Mk.IV
  • 4 x QF 4.5-inch (113-mm) L/45 Mk IV guns on mounts CP Mk.V
  • 2 x Bofors 40 mm L/60 guns on twin mount "Hazemeyer" Mk.IV, or;
  • 4 x QF 2-pounder (40-mm) L/39 "pom-poms" Mk.VIII on quad mount Mk.VII (Caprice only)
  • 4 x anti-aircraft mountings;
  • 10 (2x5) tubes for 21-inch (530 mm) torpedoes Mk.IX
  • 4 throwers and 2 racks for 96 depth charges
  • General characteristics (Ch-, Co- & Cr- class)
    Displacement: 1,885 tons (1,915 tonnes)
    2,545 tons full (2,585 tonnes)
    Draught: 11.75 ft (3.58 m)
    Sensors and
    processing systems:
    Radar Type 275 fire control on director Mk.VI
    • 8 (2x4) tubes for 21 inch torpedoes Mk.IX
    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.[1]

    The "Ca" flotilla were generally repeats of the preceding W and Z class, while the "Ch", "Co" and "Cr" flotillas had quadruple instead of pentuple torpedo tubes to compensate for the added weight of remote power control (RPC) gunlaying equipment. They also introduced the all-welded hull into Royal Navy destroyer construction, beginning in Contest. 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. Comet and Contest were fitted as minelayers, and lacked 'Y' 4.5 inch gun.


    The class were all fitted with two Admiralty 3-drum boilers with a pressure of 300 lbs/ at 630 degrees F. All had Parsons single-reduction geared turbines, generating 40,000 SHP at 350 RPM, and driving the two shafts to produce a maximum of 36 knots (32 knots 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 at 20 knots (1,400 nautical miles at 32 knots).


    * = 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, to 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. 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. The superstructure was extended aft, and the bridge was modified; the post-refit bridge differed between the first four conversions (Cavendish, Carron, Cavalier and Carysfort) and the later four (Caprice, Cassandra, Caesar and Cambrian) which were given frigate-type enclosed bridges.

    Name Pennant Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
    Caprice (ex-Swallow) R01
    later D01
    Yarrow, Scotstoun 24 September 1942 16 September 1943 5 April 1944 Modernised 1959. Paid off March 1973.
    Sold for scrapping 22 June 1979 at Queenborough.
    Cassandra (ex-Tourmaline) R62
    later D10
    Yarrow, Scotstoun 30 January 1943 29 November 1943 28 July 1944 Modernised 1959. Paid off January 1966.
    Sold for scrapping 28 April 1967 at Inverkeithing.
    Caesar* (ex-Ranger) R07
    later D07
    John Brown, Clydebank 3 April 1943 14 February 1944 5 October 1944 Modernised 1957-60. Paid off June 1965.
    Sold for scrapping 6 January 1967 at Blyth.
    Cavendish* (ex-Sibyl) R15
    later D15
    John Brown, Clydebank 19 May 1943 12 April 1944 13 December 1944 Modernised 1956. Laid up 1964.
    Sold for scrapping 17 August 1967 at Blyth.
    Cambrian (ex-Spitfire) R85
    later D85
    Scotts, Greenock 14 August 1942 10 December 1943 17 July 1944
    by John Brown
    Modernised 1963? Paid off December 1968.
    Sold for scrapping 3 September 1971 at Briton Ferry.
    Carron (ex-Strenuous) R30
    later D30
    Scotts, Greenock 26 November 1942 28 March 1944 6 November 1944 Modernised August 1955 as Training Ship. Paid off March 1963.
    Sold for scrapping 4 April 1967 at Inverkeithing.
    Cavalier (ex-Pellew) R73
    later D73
    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.
    Carysfort (ex-Pique) R25
    later D25
    White, Cowes 12 May 1943 25 July 1944 20 February 1945 Modernised 1956. Paid off February 1969.
    Sold for scrapping 23 October 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.

    Name Pennant Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
    Chaplet R52 Thornycroft, Woolston 29 April 1943 18 July 1944 24 August 1945 Sold for scrapping 1965
    Charity R29 Thornycroft, Woolston 9 July 1943 30 November 1944 19 November 1945 Transferred to Pakistan Navy as Shah Jehan 1959, irreparably damaged by Indian Navy warships off Karachi 4 December 1971 and scrapped as aa result
    Chequers * R61 Scotts, Greenock 4 May 1943 30 October 1944 28 September 1945 Sold for scrapping 1966
    Chieftain R36 Scotts, Greenock 27 June 1943 26 February 1945 7 March 1946 Sold for scrapping 1961
    Chevron R51 Alex. Stephen, Linthouse 18 March 1943 23 February 1944 23 August 1945 Sold for scrapping 1969
    Cheviot R90 Alex. Stephen, Linthouse 27 April 1943 2 May 1944 11 December 1945 Sold for scrapping 1966
    Childers * R91 Denny, Dumbarton 27 November 1943 27 February 1945 19 December 1945 Sold for scrapping 1963
    Chivalrous R21 Denny, Dumbarton 27 November 1943 22 June 1945 13 May 1946 Transferred to Pakistan Navy in 1954 as Taimur, sold out of service

    "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, built by Thornycroft, launched 14 March 1945, sold for scrapping 1958
    • Concord (ex-Corso), built by Thornycroft, launched 14 May 1945, sold for scrapping 1962
    • Contest, built by White, launched 16 December 1944, sold for scrapping 1960
    • Consort, built by Stephen, launched 19 October 1944, sold for scrapping 1961
    • Cockade, built by Yarrow, launched 7 March 1944, sold for scrapping 1964
    • Comet, built by Yarrow, launched 22 June 1944, sold for scrapping 1962
    • Constance*, built by Vickers Armstrongs, Walker, launched 22 August 1944, sold for scrapping 1956
    • Cossack*, built by Vickers Armstrongs, launched 10 May 1944, 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, built by John Brown, launched 20 July 1944, to Canada 1945, sold for scrapping 1971
    • Crusader, built by John Brown, launched 5 October 1944, to Canada 1946, sold for scrapping 1964
    • Croziers, built by Yarrow, launched 19 September 1944, to Norway as Trondheim 1946, sold for scrapping 1961
    • Crystal, built by Yarrow, launched 12 February 1945, to Norway as Stavanger 1946, sold out of service
    • Crispin (ex-Craccher), built by White, launched 23 June 1945, to Pakistan as Jahangir 1958, sold out of service
    • Creole, built by White, launched 22 November 1945, to Pakistan as Alamgir 1958, sold out of service
    • Cromwell (ex-Cretan), built by Scotts, launched 6 August 1945, to Norway as Bergen 1946, sold out of service
    • Crown, built by Scotts, launched 19 December 1945 to Norway as Oslo 1946, sold out of service

    "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. The Tomahawk was subsequently renamed again, becoming the Scorpion, while the Sword was finally cancelled on 15 October 1945.

    Image gallery


    1. Destroyer Weapons of WW2, Hodges/Friedman, ISBN 0-85177-137-8
    • Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981, Maurice Cocker, Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-1075-7
    • British Destroyers & Frigates: The Second World War and After, Norman Friedman, Chatham Publishing, ISBN 1-86176-137-6
    • British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, H. T. Lenton, Greenhill Books, ISBN 1-85367-277-7
    • Building for Victory: The Warship Building Programmes of the Royal Navy 1939 - 1945, George Moore, World Ship Society, ISBN 0-9543310-1-X

    External links

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