By Watercraft on Stamps II ATA Handbook 156 by Katherine A. Kirk is she given as AHI HAGANAH, could not finds a ship under that name, but comparing the stamp with photo’s on the net she must be the HAGANAN.
Built as a revised flower class corvette under yard No 35 by the Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Co., Quebec for the Canadian Navy.
02 January 1942 ordered.
14 January 1943 laid down.
31 July 1943 launched as HMCS NORSYD (K520). Named after North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Displacement: 970 ton, dim. 63.5 x 10.09 x 3.49m. (draught).
Powered by one 4-cyl. triple expansion steam engine, 2,750 hp, one shaft, speed 16 knots.
Range by a speed of 10 knots, 7,400 mile.
Armament: 1 – 4 inch gun. 1 – 2pdr. single pom-pom guns, 2 – 20mm Oerlikon. 1 Hedgehog ASW mortar.
4 MK II depth charge throwers, two depth charge rails and 100 depth charges.
22 December 1943 completed, under command of Captain Jeffry Riginald Briggs
Can not find her war history under Canadian flag.
25 June 1945 decommissioned.
Bought in 1946 by the F &B Shipping Company (Mossad I’Aliyah Bet, Israel) after she were put up for sale in New York.
After she was bought moved to Staten Island, New York where she was made seaworthy for a North Atlantic crossing in Brewers Dry-dock.
February 1946 she sailed from Staten Island under command of a Swedish captain and renamed BALBOA, Panama flag and registry to Marseille, France.
At Marseille accommodation and galleys were added, to make the ship suitable for the transport of refugees to Israel.
23 June 1946 she sailed from Marseille to Sete where around 1,000 passengers embarked. Under command of Captain Arych Friedman she left 2 July 1946 from the small port of La Ciotat. Most probably the name of the ship was then altered in HAGANAH.
30 June 1946 in a position about 100 miles off Palestine the passengers were transferred to Akbel an old Turkish ship, which was renamed in BERIAH after a Zionist settlement which had been taken over by the British earlier that year.
The BERIAH was intercepted by HMS VIRAGO and towed into Haifa were her passengers were interned.
After the HAGANAH her passengers were transferred she sailed to Milos, Greece for bunkers.
July 1946 she sailed from Milos to Bakar in Northern Yugoslavia making a call at Split.
At Bakar the next load of refugees was taken on board which had arrived by train, at least 2,678 passengers boarded the vessel.
31 July 1946 the HAGANAH sailed from Bakar with course to Palestine, during the voyage the engine malfunctioned and stopped, the vessel got a list and the air-condition stopped.
The HAGANAH send a SOS signal where after a British warship replied and approached her, but when they asked for the identity and purpose of the vessel and heard that she carried Jewish passengers to Israel and needed help, the warship left.
The engine crew in the meantime had repaired the engine.
When the HAGANAH entered the territorial waters of Palestine, she was intercepted by British warships who ordered her to stop, but she proceeded under full steam toward Haifa.
A British destroyer rammed her disabling the propeller and rudder, a detachment British Marines boarded her.
The HAGANAH was thereafter towed to Haifa where the passengers were transferred to a detention camp.
The HAGANAH was the next 22 months used as a collection emigrant ship anchored inside the breakwater of Haifa.
During the War of Independence on 18 July 1948 the HAGANAH was commissioned in the Israeli navy the third warship in the new formed navy, renamed HAGANAH K-20.
She was refurbished by a new formed Israeli Naval ship repair facility in Haifa again in a warship, after completing manned by merchant seamen and former Royal Navy personnel of World War II.
After commissioned used for patrol duties off the Israeli coast. Armament unknown.
24 August 1948 she together with the WEDGWOOD K-18 captured the Italian ARGIRO off Crete which had on board 8,000 rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition bought by Arabian countries. The ARGIRO was underway to Egypt.
After the rifles and ammunition was transferred to the two warships the ARGIRO was sunk.
19 October 1948 a squadron of Israeli warships under which the HAGANAH off Gaza got engaged in a fight with an Egyptian corvette and three Egyptian warplanes, the Egyptian corvette was damaged in the battle and one enemy aircraft was shot down.
22 October 1948 the squadron encountered the Egyptian flagship KING FAROUQ what was sunk with the loss of around 500 men, and a minesweeper damaged.
The same month the squadron bombarded Egyptian shore installations in the Ashkelon areas.
After the War of Independence she stayed in service until the late 1950s
After decommissioned was she scrapped.
Israel 1997 1.15s sg1378, scott1321
Source: Various internet sites.
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