HMCS CHAMBLY K116
Flower Class Corvette
Commissioned at Quebec City on 18 Dec 1940, CHAMBLY arrived at Halifax on 24 Dec 1940. After working up she joined Halifax Force, and on 23 May 1941, left Halifax as on of the original seven corvettes forming NEF. She served continuously as on ocean escort between St. John's and Iceland until 08 Dec 1941 when she returned to Halifax for refit. During this period she took part in two major convoy battles: HX.133 (Jun 1941), which lost 18. In the latter case she had left St. John's on 05 Sep 1941 with MOOSE JAW for exercises, and when SC.42 came under attack, they received permission to join the convoy off Greenland in support. Just before joining on 10 Sep 1941 they came upon U 501 trailing the convoy, and sank her. CHAMBLY served as a mid-ocean escort to Iceland for the balance of 1941, then underwent repairs at Halifax from 08 Dec 1941 to 22 Feb 1942. She then made a round trip to Londonderry as an escort in Mar 1942 and, on her return to St. John's on 28 Mar 1942, was based there to reinforce ocean escorts in the western Atlantic, doubling as a training ship.
On 11 Jun 1942 S.S. PONTYPRIDD was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-94 while en route from Immingham to Sydney in ballast, and a straggler in Convoy ONS-100. Two crew were lost. The master was taken prisoner by U-569 and was taken to POW camp Milag Nord. 42 crew members and three gunners were picked up by HMCS CHAMBLY and landed at St. John's.
In Sep 1942 she resumed regular mid-ocean escort duties, with time out for refit at Liverpool, N.S., from 26 Nov 1942 to 13 Feb 1943. From Mar to Aug 1943, she was a member of EG C-2, then briefly joined the newly formed EG 9 at St. John's and, in Sep 1943, EG 5. In Dec 1942 she returned to Liverpool, N.S. for three months' refit, including fo'c's'le extension. After workups in St. Margaret's Bay she resumed mid-ocean duties, the time with C-1, until her final departure from Londonderry on 11 Mar 1945. She was refitting at Louisbourg when the war ended, and was paid off and laid up at Sorel on 20 Jun 1945. Sold in 1946 for conversion to a whale-catcher, she entered service in 1952 under the Dutch flag as Sonja Vinke, and was broken up at Santander, Spain, in 1966.
U-Boats Sunk: U-501 sunk on 10 Sep 1941 by HMCS CHAMBLY K116 and HMCS MOOSE JAW K164 in position 62-50 N, 37-50 W
In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice
Lest We Forget
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten
Former Crew Members
Photos and Documents
(HB02) Harold Branch by the gun mount on HMCS CHAMBLY K116
(HB03-HB04) HMCS CHAMBLY K116
From the collection of Sto 1c Harold Branch, RCNVR
Courtesy of Trevor Cameron