Allied Warships

Corvettes

Flower class

219 ships


The corvette HMCS Weyburn of the Royal Canadian Navy. She was lost on 22 Feb 1943.

Technical information

TypeCorvette
Displacement925 BRT 
Length205 feet (oa) 
Complement85 men 
Armament

1 4" gun
1 2pdr AA
4 .303" MG AA 

Max speed16 knots
EnginesReciprocating engine, 1 shaft 
Power2750 HP 
Notes on class

Great Britain's shipbuilding program of 1939 and 1940 required a convoy escort vessel which was capable of being built quickly, of mounting the then available anti-submarine equipment, of surviving the heavy seas around the British Isles, and of matching U-boat speeds. The design adopted was based upon a whale-catcher built in Middlesbrough. 145 of these Flower-class corvettes were eventually built in the UK and they, led by a few non-fleet destroyers, formed the bulk of the escorting warships which fought the battle of the Atlantic.

Their short length and shallow draught made them uncomfortable ships to live in; even when they were modified, after the fall of France, to enable them to counter the extended range of the German 'Wolf-packs'. A fortnight of constant rolling and pitching on transatlantic convoy duty tended to exhaust all who sailed in them.

The ratings in the crews were mostly reservists with only a few key positions, such as Cox'n, Chief Bos'n's mate, Gunlayer, Chief Engineer etc., being filled by regular or recalled personnel; the officers were reservists, almost without exception, with the Captain usually ex-merchant navy.

Service aboard was monotonous and debilitating for long periods, either because of the need for constant vigilance in the face of those twin dangers, the sea and the enemy, or because of, in the North Atlantic at least, the cold. When action came, it could be prolonged and brutal with the sight and aftermath of the sinking of freighters or of other warships. The torpedoing of a corvette itself would be especially dramatic: its few compartments below the water line would cause it to sink in seconds, with few survivors. Over 20 corvettes fell victim to torpedo or mine during the War.

Normally sleeping conditions on board for officers and petty officers were relatively reasonable, but for the seamen in a crowded, stuffy and water laden forecastle they were a great hardship. The inability to store perishable food for more than 2 or 3 days led to a boring repetition of corned-beef and powdered potato for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since most of the crewmen were young, persistent sea-sickness was the principal health-hazard. Home-leave was possible only when the ship was refitting or cleaning boilers, but local leave was liberally granted on both sides of the ocean at the end of convoy duties. After the Normandy landings in 1944, the Flower-class gave way in the Atlantic to the newer and faster frigates and Castle-class corvettes.

German 'Flowers'

France was building 6 flower class corvettes when Germany invaded in 1940. Four of these were completed to a modified design and served in the Kriegsmarine.  


All ships of the Flower class


Free French Navy (more on Free French Navy)

FFL Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves (K 93) (ex. HMS Lotus)
FFL Aconit (K 58) (ex. HMS Aconite)
FFL Alysse (K 100) (ex. HMS Alyssum) Lost on 9 Feb 1942
FFL Commandant Detroyat (K 183) (ex. HMS Coriander)
FFL Commandant Drogou (K 195) (ex. HMS Chrysanthemum)
FFL Lobelia (K 05) (ex. HMS Lobelia)
FFL Mimosa (K 11) (ex. HMS Mimosa) Lost on 9 Jun 1942
FFL Renoncule (K 117) (ex. HMS Ranonculus (K 117))
FFL Roselys (K 57) (ex. HMS Sundew)


French Navy (more on French Navy)

La Bastiaise Lost on 22 Jun 1940


Royal Canadian Navy (more on Royal Canadian Navy)

HMCS Agassiz (K 129)
HMCS Alberni (K 103) Lost on 21 Aug 1944
HMCS Algoma (K 127)
HMCS Amherst (K 148)
HMCS Arrowhead (K 145) (ex. HMS Arrowhead)
HMCS Arvida (K 113)
HMCS Baddeck (K 147)
HMCS Barrie (K 138)
HMCS Battleford (K 165)
HMCS Bittersweet (K 182) (ex. HMS Bittersweet)
HMCS Brampton
HMCS Brandon (K 149)
HMCS Brantford (K 218)
HMCS Buctouche (K 179)
HMCS Calgary (K 231)
HMCS Camrose (K 154)
HMCS Chambly (K 116)
HMCS Charlottetown (i) (K 244) Lost on 11 Sep 1942
HMCS Chicoutimi (K 156)
HMCS Chilliwack (K 131)
HMCS Cobalt (K 124)
HMCS Collingwood (K 180)
HMCS Dauphin (K 157)
HMCS Dawson (K 104)
HMCS Drumheller (K 167)
HMCS Dundas (K 229)
HMCS Dunvegan (K 177)
HMCS Edmundston (K 106)
HMCS Eyebright (K 150) (ex. HMS Eyebright)
HMCS Fennel (K 194) (ex. HMS Fennel)
HMCS Fredericton (K 245)
HMCS Galt (K 163)
HMCS Halifax (K 237)
HMCS Hepatica (K 159) (ex. HMS Hepatica)
HMCS Ingersoll
HMCS Kamloops (K 176)
HMCS Kamsack (K 171)
HMCS Kenogami (K 125)
HMCS Kitchener (K 225)
HMCS La Malbaie (K 273)
HMCS Lethbridge (K 160)
HMCS Levis (i) (K 115) Lost on 19 Sep 1941
HMCS Listowel
HMCS Louisburg (i) (K 143) Lost on 6 Feb 1943
HMCS Lunenburg (K 151)
HMCS Matapedia (K 112)
HMCS Mayflower (K 191) (ex. HMS Mayflower)
HMCS Meaford
HMCS Midland (K 220)
HMCS Moncton (K 139)
HMCS Moosejaw (K 164)
HMCS Morden (K 170)
HMCS Nanaimo (K 101)
HMCS Napanee (K 118)
HMCS New Westminster (K 228)
HMCS Oakville (K 178)
HMCS Orillia (K 119)
HMCS Pictou (K 146)
HMCS Port Arthur (K 233)
HMCS Prescott (K 161)
HMCS Quesnel (K 133)
HMCS Regina (K 234) Lost on 8 Aug 1944
HMCS Renfrew
HMCS Rimouski (K 121)
HMCS Rosthern (K 169)
HMCS Sackville (K 181)
HMCS Saskatoon (K 158)
HMCS Shawinigan (K 136) Lost on 25 Nov 1944
HMCS Shediac (K 110)
HMCS Sherbrooke (K 152)
HMCS Simcoe
HMCS Snowberry (K 166) (ex. HMS Snowberry)
HMCS Sorel (K 153)
HMCS Spikenard (K 198) (ex. HMS Spikenard) Lost on 11 Feb 1942
HMCS Sudbury (K 162)
HMCS Summerside (K 141)
HMCS The Pas (K 168)
HMCS Timmins (K 223)
HMCS Trail (K 174)
HMCS Trillium (K 172) (ex. HMS Trillium)
HMCS Vancouver (K 240)
HMCS Ville de Quebec (K 242)
HMCS Wetaskiwin (K 175)
HMCS Weyburn (K 173) Lost on 22 Feb 1943
HMCS Windflower (K 155) (ex. HMS Windflower) Lost on 7 Dec 1941
HMCS Woodstock (K 238)


Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Arrowhead (K 145) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Arrowhead)
HMS Bittersweet (K 182) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Bittersweet)
HMS Eyebright (K 150) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Eyebright)
HMS Fennel (K 194) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Fennel)
HMS Hepatica (K 159) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Hepatica)
HMS Mayflower (K 191) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Mayflower)
HMS Snowberry (K 166) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Snowberry)
HMS Spikenard (K 198) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Spikenard)
HMS Trillium (K 172) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Trillium)
HMS Windflower (K 155) (To the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Windflower)
HMS Abelia (K 184)
HMS Acanthus (K 01) (to the Royal Norwegian Navy as HNoMS Andenes)
HMS Aconite (K 58) (To the Free French Navy as Aconit)
HMS Alisma (K 185)
HMS Alyssum (K 100) (To the Free French Navy as Alysse)
HMS Amaranthus (K 17)
HMS Anchusa (K 186)
HMS Anemone (K 48)
HMS Arabis (K 73) (To the United States Navy as USS Saucy)
HMS Arbutus (i) (K 86) Lost on 5 Feb 1942
HMS Armeria (K 187)
HMS Asphodel (K 56) Lost on 10 Mar 1944
HMS Aster (K 188)
HMS Aubretia (K 96)
HMS Auricula (K 12) Lost on 6 May 1942
HMS Azalea (K 25)
HMS Balsam (K 72)
HMS Begonia (K 66) (To the United States Navy as USS Impulse)
HMS Bellwort (K 114)
HMS Bergamot (K 189)
HMS Bluebell (K 80) Lost on 17 Feb 1945
HMS Borage (K 120)
HMS Bryony (K 192)
HMS Burdock (K 126)
HMS Buttercup (K 193) (To the Royal Norwegian Navy as Buttercup)
HMS Calendula (K 28) (To the United States Navy as USS Ready)
HMS Camellia (K 31)
HMS Campanula (K 18)
HMS Campion (K 108)
HMS Candytuft (i) (K 09) (To the United States Navy as USS Tenacity)
HMS Carnation (K 00) (To the Royal Netherlands Navy as HrMs Friso)
HMS Celandine (K 75)
HMS Chrysanthemum (K 195) (To the Free French Navy as Commandant Drogou)
HMS Clarkia (K 88)
HMS Clematis (K 36)
HMS Clover (K 134)
HMS Coltsfoot (K 140)
HMS Columbine (K 94)
HMS Convolvulus (K 45)
HMS Coreopsis (K 32) (To the Royal Hellenic Navy as Kriezis)
HMS Coriander (K 183) (To the Free French Navy as Commandant Detroyant)
HMS Cowslip (K 196)
HMS Crocus (K 49)
HMS Cyclamen (K 83)
HMS Dahlia (K 59)
HMS Delphinium (K 77)
HMS Dianella (K 07)
HMS Dianthus (K 95)
HMS Eglantine (K 197) (To the Royal Norwegian Navy as Eglantine)
HMS Erica (K 50) Lost on 9 Feb 1943
HMS Fleur de Lys (K 122) Lost on 14 Oct 1941
HMS Freesia (K 43)
HMS Fritillary (K 199)
HMS Gardenia (K 99) Lost on 9 Nov 1942
HMS Genista (K 200)
HMS Gentian (K 90)
HMS Geranium (K 16)
HMS Gladiolus (K 34) Lost on 17 Oct 1941
HMS Gloriosa (K 201)
HMS Gloxinia (K 22)
HMS Godetia (i) (K 72) Lost on 6 Sep 1940
HMS Godetia (ii) (K 226)
HMS Harebell (K 202)
HMS Heartsease (K 15) (To the United States Navy as USS Courage)
HMS Heather (K 69)
HMS Heliotrope (K 03) (To the United States Navy as USS Surprise)
HMS Hemlock (K 203)
HMS Hibiscus (K 24) (To the United States Navy as USS Spry)
HMS Hollyhock (K 64) Lost on 9 Apr 1942
HMS Honeysuckle (K 27)
HMS Hyacinth (K 84) (To the Royal Hellenic Navy Apostolis)
HMS Hyderabad (K 212)
HMS Hydrangea (K 39)
HMS Ivy (K 204)
HMS Jasmine (K 23)
HMS Jonquil (K 68)
HMS Kingcup (K 33)
HMS La Malouine (K 46)
HMS Larkspur (K 82) (To the United States Navy as USS Fury)
HMS Lavender (K 60)
HMS Ling (K 205)
HMS Lobelia (K 05) (To the Free French Navy as Lobelia)
HMS Loosestrife (K 105)
HMS Lotus (i) (K 93) (To the Free French Navy as Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves)
HMS Lotus (ii) (K 130)
HMS Mallow (K 81) (To the Yogoslavian Navy as Nada)
HMS Marguerite (K 54)
HMS Marigold (K 87) Lost on 9 Dec 1942
HMS Marjoram (K 206)
HMS Meadowsweet (K 144)
HMS Mignonette (K 38)
HMS Mimosa (K 11) (To the Free French Navy as Mimosa)
HMS Monkshood (K 207)
HMS Montbretia (K 208) (To the Royal Norwegian Navy as Montbretia)
HMS Myosotis (K 65)
HMS Narcissus (K 74)
HMS Nasturtium (K 107)
HMS Nigella (K 19)
HMS Orchis (K 76) Lost on 21 Aug 1944
HMS Oxlip (K 123)
HMS Pennywort (K 111)
HMS Pentstemon (K 61)
HMS Peony (K 40) (To the Royal Hellenic Navy as Sakhtouris)
HMS Periwinkle (K 55) (To the United States Navy as USS Restless.)
HMS Petunia (K 79)
HMS Picotee (K 63) Lost on 12 Aug 1941
HMS Pimpernel (K 71)
HMS Pink (K 137)
HMS Polyanthus (K 47) Lost on 21 Sep 1943
HMS Poppy (K 213)
HMS Potentilla (K 214) (To the Royal Norwegian Navy as Potentilla)
HMS Primrose (K 91)
HMS Primula (K 14)
HMS Ranonculus (K 117) (To the Free French Navy as Renoncule)
HMS Rhododendron (K 78)
HMS Rockrose (K 51)
HMS Rose (K 102) (To the Royal Norwegian Navy as Rose)
HMS Salvia (K 97) Lost on 24 Dec 1941
HMS Samphire (K 128) Lost on 30 Jan 1943
HMS Saxifrage (K 04)
HMS Snapdragon (K 10) Lost on 19 Dec 1942
HMS Snowdrop (K 67)
HMS Snowflake (K 211)
HMS Spiraea (K 08)
HMS Starwort (K 20)
HMS Stonecrop (K 142)
HMS Sundew (K 57) (To the Free French Navy as Roselys)
HMS Sunflower (K 41)
HMS Sweetbriar (K 209)
HMS Tamarisk (K 216) (To the Royal Hellenic Navy as Tompazis)
HMS Thyme (K 210)
HMS Tulip (K 29)
HMS Verbena (K 85)
HMS Veronica (K 37) (To the United States Navy as USS Temptress)
HMS Vervain (K 190) Lost on 20 Feb 1945
HMS Vetch (K 132)
HMS Violet (K 35)
HMS Wallflower (K 44)
HMS Woodruff (K 53)
HMS Zinnia (K 98) Lost on 23 Aug 1941


South African Navy (more on South African Navy)

HMSAS Protea (K 51) (ex. HMS Rockrose)


Royal Dutch Navy (more on Royal Dutch Navy)

HNMS Friso (ii) (K 00) (ex. HMS Carnation)


Royal Norwegian Navy (more on Royal Norwegian Navy)

HNoMS Acanthus (K 01) (ex. HMS Acanthus)
HNoMS Buttercup (K 193) (ex. HMS Buttercup)
HNoMS Eglantine (K 197) (ex. HMS Eglantine)
HNoMS Montbretia (K 208) (ex. HMS Montbretia) Lost on 18 Nov 1942
HNoMS Potentilla (K 214) (ex. HMS Potentilla)
HNoMS Rose (K 102) (ex. HMS Rose) Lost on 26 Oct 1944


Royal Hellenic Navy (more on Royal Hellenic Navy)

RHS Apostolis (K 84) (ex. HMS Hyacinth)
RHS Kriezis (K 32) (ex. HMS Coreopsis)
RHS Sakhtouris (K 40) (ex. HMS Peony)
RHS Tompazis (K 216) (ex. HMS Tamarisk)


US Navy (more on US Navy)

USS Courage (PG-70) (ex. HMS Heartsease)
USS Fury (PG-69) (ex. HMS Larkspur)
USS Impulse (PG-68) (ex. HMS Begonia)
USS Ready (PG 67)
USS Restless (PG-66)
USS Saucy (PG-65) (ex. HMS Arabis)
USS Spry (PG-64)
USS Surprise (PG-63) (ex. HMS Helitrope)
USS Temptress (PG-62)
USS Tenacity (PG-71) (ex. HMS Candytuft)


219 Corvettes (256 names) of the Flower class. 33 of them were lost.

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

See all Corvette classes.


Flower class ships hit by U-boats (22)

9 Jan 1944HMS AbeliaDamagedunknown
21 Aug 1944HMCS AlberniSunkU-480
9 Feb 1942FFL AlysseSunkU-654
5 Feb 1942HMS Arbutus (i)SunkU-136
10 Mar 1944HMS AsphodelSunkU-575
17 Feb 1945HMS BluebellSunkU-711
11 Sep 1942HMCS Charlottetown (i)SunkU-517
14 Oct 1941HMS Fleur de LysSunkU-206
17 Oct 1941HMS GladiolusSunkU-553
19 Sep 1941HMCS Levis (i)SunkU-74
9 Jun 1942FFL MimosaSunkU-124
18 Nov 1942HNoMS MontbretiaSunkU-262
12 Aug 1941HMS PicoteeSunkU-568
27 Jun 1944HMS PinkTotal lossU-988
21 Sep 1943HMS PolyanthusSunkU-952
8 Aug 1944HMCS ReginaSunkU-667
24 Dec 1941HMS SalviaSunkU-568
25 Nov 1944HMCS ShawiniganSunkU-1228
11 Feb 1942HMCS SpikenardSunkU-136
20 Feb 1945HMS VervainSunkU-1276
22 Feb 1943HMCS WeyburnSunkU-118
23 Aug 1941HMS ZinniaSunkU-564


Flower Class Corvette Agassiz

McKay, John and Harland, John

Books dealing with this subject include:

The Battle of the Atlantic, Bailey, Chris Howard (ed.), 1994
Flower Class Corvette Agassiz, McKay, John and Harland, John, 1993
Flower Class Corvettes, Preston, Anthony and Raven, Alan, 1982
In Peril on the Sea, Graves, Donald E., 2003
No place to linger, Holm, John, 1985
Warship Perspectives: Flower Class Corvettes in World War II, Lambert, John, 2000
With A Flower Upon The Ocean, Edward T Wilkins, 2004



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