Allied Warships


River class

141 ships

Technical information

Displacement1370 BRT 
Length301 feet 
Complement140 men 
ArmamentOriginal design;
2 x 4inch guns (2x1)
10 x 20m guns (2x2,6x1) 
Max speed20 knots
Engines2 shaft Reciprocating (4 cyl. V.T.E.)

HMS Cam, HMS Chelmer, HMS Ettrick, HMS Helmsdale and HMS Tweed 2 shaft Geared Turbines 

PowerI.H.P. 5.500

HMS Cam, HMS Chelmer, HMS Ettrick, HMS Helmsdale and HMS Tweed S.H.P. 6.500 

Notes on class

Commonwealth frigates were specifically designed as anti-submarine escorts for trans-Atlantic convoys. River class frigates offered the size, speed, and endurance of escort sloops using inexpensive reciprocating machinery of corvettes. River class were designed for North Atlantic weather conditions and included the most effective anti-submarine sensors and weapons.

HMS Rother and HMS Spey were launched in late 1941, and Canadian and Australian construction continued through 1944. Early River class units were available for the turning point convoy battles of the winter of 1942-43. River class frigates generally replaced the old Town and V&W class destroyers which had been assigned to ocean escort groups.

Ten River class frigates were built for the United States in Canada. Two were commissioned in 1942 as USS Asheville (PF-1) and USS Natchez (PF-2), they were armed with U.S.N. pattern 3"/50 AA guns. The other eight were released under lend-lease for use by Commonwealth forces.


All ships of the River class

Free French Navy Free French Navy (more on Free French Navy)

FFL Croix de Lorraine (K 258)
FFL L'Aventure (K 263)
FFL L'Escarmouche (K 267)
FFL La Découverte (K 370)
FFL La Surprise (K 292)
FFL Tonkinois (K 260)

Royal Australian Navy Royal Australian Navy (more on Royal Australian Navy)

HMAS Balmain (K 467)
HMAS Barcoo (K 375)
HMAS Barwon (K 406)
HMAS Bogan (K 09)
HMAS Burdekin (K 376)
HMAS Compaspe (K 424)
HMAS Condamine (K 698)
HMAS Culgoa (K 408)
HMAS Diamantina (K 377)
HMAS Gascoyne (K 354)
HMAS Hawkesbury (K 363)
HMAS Lachlan (K 364)
HMAS Macquarie (K 532)
HMAS Murchison (K 442)
HMAS Murrumbidgee (K 534)
HMAS Naomi (K 55)
HMAS Nepean (K 468)
HMAS Shoalhaven (K 535)
HMAS Warburton (K 533)
HMAS Williamstown (K 66)
HMAS Wimmera (K 86)
HMAS Wollondilly (K 98)

Royal Canadian Navy Royal Canadian Navy (more on Royal Canadian Navy)

HMCS Capilano (K 409)
HMCS Coaticook (K 410)
HMCS Hallowell (K 666)
HMCS Lasalle (K 519)
HMCS Poundmaker (K 675)
HMCS Royal Mount (K 677)
HMCS Sea Cliff (K 344)
HMCS St. Pierre (K 680)
HMCS St. Stephen (K 454)
HMCS Strathadam (K 682)
HMCS Alexandria
HMCS Alvington
HMCS Annan (i) (K 297) (To the United States Navy as USS Natchez)
HMCS Annan (ii) (K 404) (ex. HMS Annan (ii))
HMCS Antigonish (K 661)
HMCS Beacon Hill (K 407)
HMCS Buckingham (K 685)
HMCS Cap de la Madeleine (K 663)
HMCS Cape Breton (K 350)
HMCS Carlplace (K 664)
HMCS Charlottetown (ii) (K 244)
HMCS Chebogue (K 317)
HMCS Dunver (K 03)
HMCS Eastview (K 665)
HMCS Ettrick (K 254) (ex. HMS Ettrick)
HMCS Fort Erie (K 670)
HMCS Fort Erie
HMCS Foster
HMCS Glace Bay (K 414)
HMCS Grou (K 518)
HMCS Hardrock
HMCS Henryville
HMCS Inch Arran (K 667)
HMCS Joliette (K 418)
HMCS Jonquiere (K 318)
HMCS Kirkland Lake (K 337)
HMCS Kokanee (K 419)
HMCS La Hulloise (K 668)
HMCS Lanark (K 669)
HMCS Lauzon (K 671)
HMCS Le Havre
HMCS Levis (ii) (K 400)
HMCS Lingabar
HMCS Longueuil (K 672)
HMCS Magog (K 673)
HMCS Matane (K 444)
HMCS Megantic
HMCS Meon (K 269) (ex. HMS Meon)
HMCS Merrittonia
HMCS Monnow (K 441) (ex. HMS Monnow)
HMCS Montreal (K 319)
HMCS Nene (K 270) (ex. HMS Nene)
HMCS New Glasgow (K 320)
HMCS New Waterford (K 321)
HMCS Northumberland
HMCS Orkney (K 448)
HMCS Outremont (K 322)
HMCS Penetang (K 676)
HMCS Pesaquid
HMCS Plessiville
HMCS Port Colborne (K 326)
HMCS Prestonian (K 662)
HMCS Prince Rupert (K 324)
HMCS Ranney Falls
HMCS Ribble (K 525) (ex. HMS Ribble (ii))
HMCS Rouyn
HMCS Runnymede (K 678)
HMCS Saint John (K 456)
HMCS Shipton
HMCS Springhill (K 323)
HMCS St. Agathe
HMCS St. Catharines (K 325)
HMCS St. Edouard
HMCS St. Romauld
HMCS St. Therese (K 366)
HMCS Stettler (K 681)
HMCS Stone Town (K 531)
HMCS Stormont (K 327)
HMCS Sussexvale (K 683)
HMCS Sussexvale
HMCS Swansea (K 328)
HMCS Teme (K 458) (ex. HMS Teme)
HMCS Thetford Mines (K 459)
HMCS Tisdale
HMCS Toronto (K 538)
HMCS Valleyfield (K 329) Lost on 7 May 1944
HMCS Victoriaville (K 684)
HMCS Waskesiu (K 330)
HMCS Wentworth (K 331)
HMCS Westbury
HMCS Westville
HMCS Wulastock

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Adur (K 269) (To the United States as USS Asheville)
HMS Aire (K 262)
HMS Annan (i) (K 297) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Annan (i), later to the United States Navy as USS Natchez)
HMS Annan (ii) (K 404) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Annan)
HMS Avon (K 97)
HMS Awe (K 526)
HMS Ballinderry (K 255)
HMS Bann (K 256)
HMS Barle (K 298)
HMS Braid (K 263) (To the Free French as L'Aventure)
HMS Cam (K 264)
HMS Chelmer (K 221)
HMS Cuckmere (K 299)
HMS Dart (K 21)
HMS Derg (K 257)
HMS Deveron (K 265)
HMS Dovey (K 523)
HMS Ettrick (K 254) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as Ettrick)
HMS Evenlode (K 300)
HMS Exe (K 92)
HMS Fal (K 266)
HMS Findhorn (K 301)
HMS Frome (K 267) (To the Free French as L'Escarmouche)
HMS Glenarm (K 258) (To the Free French as Croix de Lorraine)
HMS Halladale (K 417)
HMS Helford (K 252)
HMS Helmsdale (K 253)
HMS Inver (K 302)
HMS Itchen (K 227) Lost on 23 Sep 1943
HMS Jed (K 235)
HMS Kale (K 241)
HMS Lagan (K 259)
HMS Lochy (K 365)
HMS Lossie (K 303)
HMS Meon (K 269) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Meon)
HMS Monnow (K 441) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as Monnow)
HMS Mourne (K 261) Lost on 15 Jun 1944
HMS Moyola (K 260) (To the Free French as Tonkinois)
HMS Nadder (K 392)
HMS Naver
HMS Nene (K 270) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Nene)
HMS Ness (K 219)
HMS Nith (K 215)
HMS Odzani (K 356)
HMS Parrett (K 304)
HMS Plym (K 271)
HMS Ribble (i) (K 251) (To the Royal Netherlands Navy as HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau)
HMS Ribble (ii) (K 525) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Ribble)
HMS Rother (K 224)
HMS Shiel (K 305)
HMS Spey (K 246)
HMS Swale (K 217) (To South Africa as Swale)
HMS Taff (K 637)
HMS Tavy (K 272)
HMS Tay (K 232)
HMS Tees (K 293)
HMS Teme (K 458) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as Teme)
HMS Test (K 239)
HMS Teviot (K 222) (To South Africa as Teviot)
HMS Torridge (K 292) (To the Free French as La Surprise)
HMS Towy (K 294)
HMS Trent (K 243)
HMS Tweed (K 250) Lost on 7 Jan 1944
HMS Usk (ii) (K 295)
HMS Waveney (K 248)
HMS Wear (K 230)
HMS Windrush (K 370) (To the Free French as La Découverte)
HMS Wye (K 371)

South African Navy South African Navy (more on South African Navy)

HMSAS Swale (K 217)
HMSAS Teviot (K 222)

Royal Dutch Navy Royal Dutch Navy (more on Royal Dutch Navy)

HNMS Johan Maurits van Nassau (ii) (K 251)

US Navy US Navy (more on US Navy)

USS Asheville (PF-1)
USS Natchez (PF-2)

141 Frigates (158 names) of the River class. 4 of them were lost.

Strikeout means that ship was cancelled (not finished) - not counted in class figures.

See all Frigate classes.

River class ships hit by U-boats (9)

4 Oct 1944HMCS ChebogueTotal lossU-1227
11 Dec 1943HMS CuckmereTotal lossU-223
23 Sep 1943HMS ItchenSunkU-666
20 Sep 1943HMS LaganTotal lossU-270
14 Oct 1944HMCS MagogTotal lossU-1223
15 Jun 1944HMS MourneSunkU-767
29 Mar 1945HMCS TemeTotal lossU-315
7 Jan 1944HMS TweedSunkU-305
7 May 1944HMCS ValleyfieldSunkU-548

HMCS Swansea

McKee, Fraser M.

Books dealing with this subject include:

HMCS Swansea, McKee, Fraser M., 1994

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