The History of the RACCOON
HMCS Raccoon was an armed yacht that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. She was sunk by U-165 in the St. Lawrence River on 7 September 1942. Raccoon was escorting Convoy QS-33 at the time. The entire ship crew was lost.
The ship was originally the yacht Halonia, built in 1931 for Charles A. Thorne of Chicago. It was purchased by the RCN in March 1940 , converted to an armed yacht and commissioned that June as HMCS Raccoon. She was assigned to HMCS Fort Ramsay near Gaspé, Quebec in Spring, 1942 to patrol and escort convoys in the river and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
HMCS Raccoon was escorting QS-33 on the evening of 6 September when the merchant ship Aeas was attacked and sunk by U-165 off Cap-Chat. The captain of the lead escort, HMCS Arrowhead, observed the Raccoon zigzagging in search of the submarine. That turned out to be the last time anyone else in the convoy saw the armed yacht. At 1:12 AM on 7 September two explosions were heard, which the other ships believed were depth charges from the Raccoon. It was only later that it was established that the explosions were the sound of Raccoon's boiler exploding after being hit by a torpedo from U-165.
RACCOON Statistical Data
- Type: Armed Yacht
- Class: N/A
- Displacement: 377 tonnes
- Length: 148 ft
- Width: 25 ft
- Draught: 10 ft
- Speed: 11 kts
- Compliment: 5 Officers and 35 Crew
- Arms: 1-12 pdr
- Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Me.
- Keel Laid: Unknown
- Date Launched: 1931
- Date Commissioned: 31/12/1940
- Paid off: 07/09/1942
Formerly the Halonia. Torpedoed and sunk by U 165, while escorting convoy QS.33 in the St. Lawrence River. There were no survivors.