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HMCS Crescent (R16)
HMCS Crescent R16.jpg
Career (Canada) Royal Navy White Ensign Royal Canadian Navy Jack Modern Canadian Naval Jack
Name: HMCS Crescent
Builder: John Brown & Company, Clydebank [1]
Yard number: 607
Laid down: 16 September 1943
Launched: 20 July 1944
Decommissioned: 1 April 1970
Identification: Pennant number: R16 (RN), 226 (RCN)
Fate: Scrapped 1971
General characteristics (as built)
Class & type: C-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,730 tonnes
Length: 326.7 ft (99.6 m)
Beam: 35.6 ft (10.9 m)

HMCS Crescent was a Canadian C-class destroyer, launched on 20 July 1944. She was one of 32 destroyers of that class built between 1943 and 1945 as part of the War Emergency Programme.

Operational history

1949 'mutiny'

Some years after the war for which she was built, a noteworthy event in her history - and that of the Royal Canadian Navy as a whole - occurred on 20 March 1949, when she was at Nanjing, China - at the time the last mainland holdout of Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalists, which was to be overrun by the Communist People's Liberation Army a month later.

Whether with or without connection to the above circumstances (a later commission of inquiry headed by Rear-Admiral Rollo Mainguy found no such connection), on 20 March, eighty-three of Crescent's junior ratings locked themselves in their messdecks, and refused to come out until getting the captain to hear their grievances. The captain acted with great sensitivity to defuse the crisis, entering the mess for an informal discussion with the disgruntled crew members and carefully avoided using the term "mutiny" which could have had severe legal consequences for the sailors involved.

Crescent after her 1956 conversion to an anti-submarine frigate.

This case was almost simultaneous with two other cases of mass disobedience in other Canadian naval ships at very distant other locations: the destroyer Athabaskan at Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico and the carrier Magnificent in the Caribbean. In both of these other cases, the respective captains acted similarly to their colleague of the Crescent.[2]

In 1956, Crescent underwent a major refit. She was modernised for anti-submarine warfare and to serve as a fast fleet escort, similar to the Type 15 frigate of the Royal Navy. The superstructure was extended aft, and the bridge was modified. Half of her gun armament was replaced by sonar, a Limbo Anti Submarine Mortar Mark 10 and homing torpedoes. Crescent served as "DDE 226" in the anti-submarine role until being decommissioned in 1970.

Ship's Bell

The Christening Bells Project at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum includes information from the ship's bell of Crescent, which was used for baptism of babies onboard ship from 1946 to 1957. The bell is held by the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans, Sidney, British Columbia.[3]

References

  1. "HMCS Crescent". Clydebuilt Ships Database. http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=2429. 
  2. Gimblett, Richard, Dr. (Research Fellow with Dalhousie University's Centre for Foreign Policy Studies). "Dissension in the Ranks - 'Mutinies' in the Royal Canadian Navy". CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. http://www.navalandmilitarymuseum.org/resource_pages/controversies/rcn_mutinies.html. 
  3. "The Christening Bells Project". CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. http://www.navalandmilitarymuseum.org/resource_pages/bells/bells.asp. 

See also



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