Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Return to Story Archive
HMCS Louisburg (K143) HMCS Louisburg was a Flower class corvette built at Québec and commissioned there on October 2 1941. First assigned to Sydney Force until mid-January 1942, the corvette was transferred to Newfoundland Command. On February 2, 1942 the Louisburg left St. John's for Londonderry as escort to convoy SC.67. During the crossing her sister ship another of the escorts, HMCS Spikenard, was lost. After a long refit at Halifax, from March 27, 1942 to June 27, 1942, the Louisburg made two more round trips to Londonderry before being assigned to duties in connection with the invasion of North Africa. As one of the seventeen Canadian corvettes withdrawn from the north Atlantic to guard the convoys building up supplies in the Mediterranean prior to the invasion of Sicily, (Operation "Torch,") HMCS Louisburg underwent a refit to prepare for operations where the primary threat was from the air rather than U-boats. Arriving at Londonderry on September 23, 1942, the Louisburg proceeded to the Humber for fitting of extra anti Aircraft armament. This was completed on October 18, 1942. On December 9,of that year while anchored at Londonderry, the Louisburg was accidentally rammed by HMS Bideford. The damage to the ship required five weeks of repairs at Belfast. HMCS Louisburg left Glasgow for Algeria with convoy KMS-8 in mid January 1943. The day after leaving Gibraltar, on the afternoon of February 6, 1943 near Cape Tenes, Louisburg was attacked by two separate formations of German planes. Hit by bombs and torpedoes Louisburg sank. From a crew of 109 there were thirty-seven fatalities, many caused when the Louisburg’s depth charges detonated as she sank. The Commander of the ship, Lt. Cdr. William Franklin Campbell, RCNVR was last seen entering the mess decks to check for survivors who had not yet followed his order to abandon ship. The Louisburg was the only Canadian naval vessel lost through enemy aircraft action during the war. Among the crew fatalities were the following from Nova Scotia: Banks, Merl Alexander A/4891 Able Seaman Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Age: 38 Hants Co., NS Garden, Rayburn Vincent V/25691 Engine Room Artificer Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Age: 22 Kings Co., NS Graves, Carleton Scott A/1369 Able Seaman Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Age: 21 Lunenburg Co., NS MacLeod, Gordon Irwin V/319 Signalman Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Age: 19 Cape Breton Co., NS MacPhail, Sidney John V/456 Stoker Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Age: 18 Pictou Co., NS Stevenson, James Charles Ronald V/5282 Leading Seaman Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Age: 30 Halifax Co., NS Sources/Additional Information https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/824.html https://athabaskang07.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/hcms-louisburg/ http://www.forposterityssake.ca/Navy/HMCS_LOUISBURG_K143.htm http://www.forposterityssake.ca
copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012-2022 Website hosting courtesy of Register.com - a web.com company
The Loss of the HMCS Louisburg February 6, 1943