Allied Warships

HMCS Fennel (K 194)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 194 
Built byMarine Industries Ltd. (Sorel, Quebec, Canada) 
Ordered22 Jan 1940 
Laid down29 Mar 1940 
Launched20 Aug 1940 
Commissioned15 May 1941 
End service12 Jun 1945 
History

Fo'c's'le extention at Baltimore (Maryland, U.S.A.) completed on 6 September 1943.

Decommissioned and returned to the Royal Navy on 12 June 1945.
Sold in 1948 to Kosmos and became the merchantile Milliam Kihl.
Rebuildt as bouy-boat in October 1948.
Refitted as whaler in 1951 in Kiel, Germany.
Laid up in 1960/1961.
Last drifting season 1964/1965.
Laid up again in Sandefjord.
Sold to Norwegian shipbreakers in Grimstad in 1966.

 
Former nameHMS Fennel

Commands listed for HMCS Fennel (K 194)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1John Norman Smith, RCNR16 Apr 194131 Oct 1941
2T/Lt. James Mitchell Gillison, RCNR1 Nov 194126 May 1942
3T/Lt. Ralph Berton Warwick, RCNVR27 May 19425 Sep 1943
4A/Lt.Cdr. William Purvis Moffat, RCNVR6 Sep 194315 May 1944
5Lt. Kenneth Lorne Johnson, RCNVR16 May 194412 Jun 1945

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Notable events involving Fennel include:


1 Mar 1941

Convoy HX 112.

This convoy departed Halifax on 1 March 1941 for the U.K.

On departure from Halifax it was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ahamo (British, 8621 GRT, built 1926), Auris (British (tanker), 8030 GRT, built 1935), Bic Island (British, 4000 GRT, built 1917), Black Condor (British, 5358 GRT, built 1921), Bonde (Norwegian, 1570 GRT, built 1936), Chaucer (British, 5792 GRT, built 1929), City of Oxford (British, 2759 GRT, built 1926), Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Everleigh (British, 5222 GRT, built 1930), Ferm (British (tanker), 6593 GRT, built 1933), Gloucester City (British, 3071 GRT, built 1919), J.B. White (British, 7375 GRT, built 1919), Korshamn (British, 6673 GRT, built 1920), Lancaster Castle (British, 5172 GRT, built 1937), Lima (Swedish, 3762 GRT, built 1918), Margarita Chandris (Greek, 5401 GRT, built 1920), Mosli (Norwegian (tanker), 8291 GRT, built 1935), Mount Kassion (Greek, 7914 GRT, built 1918), Norefjord (Norwegian, 3082 GRT, built 1920), Reynolds (British, 5113 GRT, built 1927), Silvercedar (British, 4354 GRT, built 1924), Stad Haarlem (Dutch, 4518 GRT, built 1929), Tortu Guero (British, 5285 GRT, built 1921), Trekieve (British, 5244 GRT, built 1919), Venetia (British, 5728 GRT, built 1927) and Westland (Dutch, 5888 GRT, built 1931).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Bittersweet (A/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Woods, RCNR) and HMCS Fennel (Lt. J.N. Smith, RCNR). The corvettes were however soon detached to return to Halifax.

In the morning of 4 March the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) was sighted which provided close cover for the convoy until the morning of 15 March.

In the morning of 5 March 1941, Convoy BHX 112, coming from Bermuda, merged with Convoy HX 112. so the following merchant vessels joined; Beduin (Norwegian (tanker), 8136 GRT, built 1936), British Commodore (British (tanker), 6865 GRT, built 1923), British Sincerity (British (tanker), 8538 GRT, built 1939), Cistula (Dutch (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Diloma (British (tanker), 8146 GRT, built 1939), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Erodona (British (tanker), 6207 GRT, built 1937), Franche-Comte (British (tanker), 9314 GRT, built 1936), Ixion (British, 10263 GRT, built 1912), Katendrecht (British (tanker), 5099 GRT, built 1925), Ocana (British (tanker), 6256 GRT, built 1938), Oilreliance (British (tanker), 5666 GRT, built 1929), Robert F. Hand (British (tanker), 12197 GRT, built 1933), San Cipriano (British (tanker), 7966 GRT, built 1937), Traveller (British, 3963 GRT, built 1922) and Winamac (British (tanker), 8621 GRT, built 1926). Their escort, the armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN), then parted company.

At 1620N/14, HMS Ranpura parted company with the convoy.

At 0720Z/15, HMS Norfolk parted company with the convoy.

Later on the 15th the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN), HMS Scimitar (Lt. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN), escort destroyer HMS Viceroy (Lt.Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and the corvettes HMS Bluebell (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Hydrangea (Lt. J.E. Woolfenden, RNR) joined the convoy. HMS Viceroy was however soon detached while the destroyer HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) also joined (or early on the 16th).

During the night of 15/16 March the German submarine U-110 sighted the convoy and then attacked it damaging the tanker Erodona. Following this attack she was depth charged by HMS Volunteer and HMS Vanoc but she managed to escape without damage. Later that night U-110 made another attack but her torpedoes all missed.

During the night of 16/17 March the German submarine U-99 attacked the convoy resulting in the loss of the following ships; Venetia, Ferm, J.B. White, Korshamn, Beduin. The Franche Comté was damaged during these attacks.

Following these attacks the escorts encountered U-99's sister boat U-100. HMS Scimitar depth charged her causing damage. The U-boat than surfaced and was then rammed and sunk by HMS Vanoc. 6 survivors were picked up from the enemy submarine.

Shortly afterwards U-99 was depth charged by HMS Walker. The U-boat was damaged and had to surface. HMS Walker was able to pick up 40 survivors from the U-boat including it's famous Commanding Officer Otto Kretschmer.

On the 18th, HMS Bluebell was detached.

On the 19th, HMS Walker, HMS Sardonyx and HMS Scimitar were detached.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on the 20th.

21 Apr 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMCS Fennel (T/Lt. J.M. Gillison, RCNR), HMS Dianthus (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, RNR), HMCS Brandon (T/Lt. J.C. Littler, RCNR) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RNR). (1)

30 Sep 1942
HMS P 553 (Lt. L.F.L. Hill, RNR) departed New London, Connecticut, USA for Halifax, Canada. She was escorted by HMCS Fennel (T/Lt. R.B. Warwick, RCNVR).

30 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMCS Fennel (T/Lt. R.B. Warwick, RCNVR), HMCS Baddeck (T/Lt. J. Brock, RCNVR) and HMCS Orillia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Mitchell, RCNVR). (2)

29 Nov 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. R. Dyer, RN), HMCS St. Catharines (Lt.Cdr. H.C.R. Davis, RCNR) and HMS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR). (3)

30 Nov 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Oakville (T/Lt. H. Farncomb, RCNVR) and HMS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR). (3)

14 Jan 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMCS Gatineau (A/Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN). (4)

23 Jan 1944
HHMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. P.R. Ward, RN). (5)

18 Feb 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMCS Morden (T/Lt. E.C. Smith, RCNVR), HMCS St. Catharines (Lt.Cdr. H.C.R. Davis, RCNR) and HMS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR). (6)

6 Mar 1944
After unsuccessful attempts at towing the boat to port German U-boat U-744 was sunk at 1830hrs on 6 March 1944 in the North Atlantic, in position 52°01'N, 22°37'W, after being torpedoed by the British destroyer HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. R. Dyer, RN). U-744 was attacked for over 30 hours by depth charges from HMS Icarus, the Canadian frigate HMCS St. Catharines (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR with Cdr. P.W. Burnett, DSC, RN escort group commander onboard), Canadian corvettes HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR), HMCS Chilliwack (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Coughlin, RCNVR), Canadian destroyers HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Gatineau (A/Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN) and the British corvette HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR).

26 Mar 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Chilliwack (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Coughlin, RCNVR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Halifax (T/Lt. M.F. Oliver, RCNR), HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR), HMCS St. Catharines (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR) and HMCS Morden (T/Lt. E.C. Smith, RCNVR). (7)

27 Mar 1944
HMS Trenchant (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMCS Morden (T/Lt. E.C. Smith, RCNVR) and HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR). (8)

2 May 1944
HMS H 28 (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Morden (T/Lt. E.C. Smith, RCNVR), HMS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMCS Chilliwack (T/Lt. D.R. Watson, MBE, RCNR). (9)

Media links


Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1939-1945

MacPherson, Ken and Milner, Marc

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17248
  2. ADM 173/17795
  3. ADM 173/17788
  4. ADM 173/17812
  5. ADM 173/19199
  6. File 2.12.03.6372 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  7. ADM 173/18526
  8. ADM 173/19057
  9. ADM 173/18473

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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