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The Last Corvette by George Cousins

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HMCS Sackville was the last Canadian Naval corvette to be retired and is now a permanent fixture on the waterfront of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in front of the Maritime Museum and just a short distance from the Naval Dockyard which she called home base for some years. She is Canada’s Naval Memorial and is maintained and operated by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust in her 1944 configuration.She was one of more than 120 corvettes built during the war. Built in St. John, New Brunswick, she was commissioned on December 29, 1941. The corvettes had a distinguished service escorting convoys over the North Atlantic during WWll, and many were lost in action.
For a more detailed story of the Sackville, please link to : http://www.hmcssackville-cnmt.ns.ca/history.html

July 5, 2007

Sony DSCF828 camera

Tags

cousins, nova, scotia, halifax, warship, escort, convoy, georgecousins, war, canada, navy, ship, george, canadian, atlantic, corvette, naval, dockyard

Comments

  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekover 4 years ago

    Great capture of this bit of history, George !
    I can’t imagine bobbing across the North Atlantic in one of these sardine cans, yet many crews did so, countless times.
    Watched a program on tv not long ago about these things. I didn’t know that, in 1939 we had a total of 6 ships and by the end of the conflict the Royal Canadian Navy had grown to the fourth largest in the world. Quite an accomplishment considering we had a population of what – 16 million (?) back then.

  • Hi Stan, glad you liked it. I’ve added a couple of lines and put in a link to more history. I used to haul fishing nets around some of them when I was out at night with my Grandfather during the war years. My next door neighbour had their oldest son killed when one went down. It was quite a feat to build up the Navy to such a big force in such a short time, and with very few people.

    – George Cousins

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyover 4 years ago

    Great shot and very interesting read, George. Nice to see it’s being preserved. An amazing piece of Canadian naval history.

  • Good morning Mike, glad you liked it. I’ve added a bit more writing to it, and also a link to a good historical site. It’s a very popular exhibit in Halifax, and gets thousands of visitors.

    – George Cousins

  • Ken Thomas Photography
    Ken Thomas Pho...over 4 years ago

    Brilliant capture!!

  • Thanks Ken, very much appreciated!

    – George Cousins

  • OttitiesUnlimitedLTD
    OttitiesUnlimitedLTDover 4 years ago

    George, thanks for posting this and the accompanying information. My father was on a DE, destroyer escort, the Vance in the war. I realized very quickly way back when how lucky I am to be here now after hearing some of the stories he told about those tin cans. His battle group went out with 6 DE’s and he watched 3 of them sink. One in less than a minute. I remember him telling me that if you stood on the fan tail you could watch the sheet metal ripple back and forth between the super structure, ribs of the hull. Sorry if my ship terminology is off. Anyhow the Vance’s job was convoy escort and submarine chaser. So thanks for posting the photo and information.

  • George Cousins
    George Cousinsover 4 years ago

    Hi Chuck,
    very happy that you liked the image and the info. There were DE’s in the Canadian Navy also, probably about the same size as yours and no doubt the same “sturdy” construction..:) My Dad was in the merchant marine at the time and I was only 15 when the war ended, but I saw a lot of them coming in and out of port before and after convoy runs. There’s a bit more about the Sackville at the link I posted, you may have already read that. She was lucky to survive, thought just barely. Cheers, George

  • Jeffery W. Turner
    Jeffery W. Turnerabout 4 years ago

    I like old ships being someone who likes naval history. Being a Texan we of course have the old battleship Texas built in 1914. Your shot is worthy to record an old ship and its stories.

  • Many thanks Jeffery, I grew up in one of the “East Coast Ports” that assembled the convoys, and my grandfather and I used to have to weave through them to get to our fishing nets. Many times we were challenged by searchlights and probably a gun as well. Then one morning we’d wake up and they were all gone, and we’d start watching the papers for news of how many might have survived. Grim times indeed!

    – George Cousins

  • Chris Cardwell
    Chris Cardwellover 3 years ago

    Hi George, fantastic image of a very historical ship. I built a model kit of a Flower class Corvette when I was younger. Theyre a class of ship that has always captured my imagination. I recently uploaded a few images of another ship here in Belfast called HMS Caroline that im sure you would be interested to see and read up on! Chris.

  • Good morning Chris,
    Thanks for the lovely comment , and I have looked at the HMS Caroline pictures as well. They were certainly a class of ship which served a vital purpose at the time, even though at the cost of many fine seamen. Two of my next door neighbour’s sons were lost on one of our Canadian ones..that really brought the horror home to us, especially in a little town where most people knew each other almost from birth.

    – George Cousins

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicks6 months ago

    A terrific capture George. Your nautical photos bring back so many memories for me. This particular image reminded me of part of the history of a ship I crewed on in 1959. She was the ’ Port Fairy ’ built in 1928 ( a picture is in my portfolio. ) During WW ll on 22nd October 1940 she collided with HMCS Margaree in rough seas about three hundred miles west of Ireland. The Margaree sank quickly with the loss of one hundred and thirty six crew including the Captain and four officers. My cabin was the foremost in the forecastle so would have suffered a considerable amount of damage at that time. She was the oldest ship I served on but the best !

  • Thanks very much Roy. I was raised on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and Sydney Harbour was one of the convoy assembly points. Smaller than Halifax, but still had a lot of ships. My Grandfather had his fishing nets in the harbour and we had to feel our way around the ships in total darkness and fog too many times. Probably lucky nobody shot at us..lol!

    – George Cousins

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