For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

 


 

HMCS FENNEL K194

 

Flower Class Corvette

 


 

HMCS FENNEL K194

Click on the above photo to view a larger image

From the collection of Joseph Rolland

Courtesy of Jordan McCallum

 

Laid down: 29 Mar 1940

Launched: 20 Aug 1940

Commissioned: 15 Jan 1941

Transferred to RCN: 15 May 1941

Commissioned: 15 May 1941

Paid off: 12 Jun 1945

Returned to RN: 12 Jun 1945

Fate: Sold in 1946 for conversion to a whale catcher. Broken up at Grimstad, Norway, in 1966

 

Built at Sorel, she was launched on 20 Aug 1940. In Dec 1940 she was towed to Liverpool, N.S. for completion and commissioned there on 15 Jan 1941 as HMS Fennel. She left Halifax on 05 Mar 1941 with convoy HX.113 for the U.K., and while there received finishing touches at Greenock. On 15 May 1941 she was transferred to the RCN and commissioned as HMCS Fennel K194. Following workups at Tobermory in Jun 1941 Fennel was assigned to NEF, first serving as an ocean escort between St. John's and Londonderry. In Jun 1942, she commenced a year's service with the newly formed WLEF. She underwent a refit at New York from mid-Jul to late Sep 1942. In Jun 1943, she was detached to EG C-2 for one round trip to 'Derry, and on returning she went to Baltimore, Md., for a refit which included the extension of her fo'c's'le, completing on 06 Sep 1943. After working up at Pictou she resumed her ocean escort duties with C-2, and on 06 Mar 1944, was one of seven escorts of HX.280 that hounded U 744 to its death. In Aug 1944 she had two months' refit at Pictou, followed by three weeks' workups in Bermuda and at year's end transferred to EG C-1 for the duration of the war. Fennel arrived at Greenock 29 May 1945, from one of the last convoys, and was returned to the RN at Londonderry on 12 Jun 1945. She was sold in 1946 to Kosmos and became the whaling vessel Milliam Kihl. She was re-built as a buoy-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 ship breakers in Grimstad in 1966.

 

U-Boats Sunk:  U-744 (Oblt Heinz Blischke) a type VIIC U-boat, sunk on 06 Mar 1944 by HMCS St. Catharine K325, HMCS Chilliwack K131, HMCS Gatineau H61, HMCS Fennel K194, HMCS Chaudiere H99, HMS Icarus and HMS Keniworth Castle in position 52-01 N, 22-37 W. Of her crew of 51, there were 40 survivors.

 


 

Photos and Documents          Ship's Company photos

 


 

Commanding Officers

 

LCdr John Norman Smith, RCNR - 16 Jan 1941 - 31 Oct 1941

Lt J.M. Gillison, RCNR - 01 Nov 1941 - 26 May 1942

LCdr Ralph Berton Warwick, RCNVR - 27 May 1942 - 05 Sep 1943

A/LCdr William Purves Moffat, RCNVR - 06 Sep 1943 - 15 May 1944

LCdr Kenneth Lorne Johnson, RCNVR - 16 May 1944 - 12 Jun 1945

 


 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

COLES, Kenneth J.

Telegraphist, RCNVR

died - 25 Jun 1941

 


 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

 


 

Former Crew Members

 

Anderson, Ted, Signalman

 

Campbell, Hugh Chisholm, SLt, RCNVR - 24 May 1943

 

Exworth, Samuel Gordon, Mate, RCNR - 1941

 

Gray, Charles Anglin, Lt, RCNVR - 20 Jul 1941

 

Haddrell, Allan Rupert  - As of Nov 2020, Allan is alive and well

 

Higginson, Greig Darwin - 1945

McNichol, Harry, Lt, RCNVR - 1941

 

Melville, John Carrick, Lt, RCNVR  - 06 May 1945

 

O'Reilly-Hewitt, Frederick Thomas, Lt, RCNVR - 14 Apr 1944

 

Overden, Hedley Allan, Mate, RCNR - 20 May 1941

Robinson, James

 

Shea, Robin Vincent, SLt, RCNVR - 1945

 

Todd, Terrance Charles, Lt, RCNVR - 19 Apr 1943

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

HMCS FENNEL K194

 

Note that she has not yet had her forward gun installed

 

Courtesy of Erling Baldorf

HMCS FENNEL'S gunshield art

 

Credit: Library and Archives of Canada

Canadian Naval Craft Sink German U-boat

 

The Halifax Chronicle 01 Jun 1944

 

Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury

 

Ships mentioned in the article:  HMCS GATINEAU, HMCS CHAUDIERE, HMCS CHILLIWACK, HMCS FENNEL, HMCS ST CATHARINES, HMS ICARUS

Canadian Warships Rescue U-Boat Crew

 

Article on the rescue of survivors from U-744

 

The Halifax Chronicle 01 Jun 1944

 

Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury

 

Ships mentioned in the article:  HMCS CHAUDIERE, HMCS CHILLIWACK, HMCS FENNEL, HMCS ST CATHARINES

 

Sailors mentioned in the article:  Lt Douglas S. Boyle, RCN of Revelstoke, BC (HMCS CHAUDIERE);  Lt Charles Rathget, RCNVR of Toronto (HMCS CHAUDIERE);  PO Stevenson;  Lt W.W. Spicer, RCNVR of Regina, Sask

 

HMCS FENNEL Helps Sink U-Boat

 

From the collection of J. Vincent Wesley, CPO, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Marilynn Taylor

 

HMCS FENNEL K194

HMCS FENNEL K194

 

Note that her gun shield art has been removed and she has rocket launchers on the side of her gun

Norwegian whaling vessel Milliam Kihl (former HMCS FENNEL)

 

Source: The flower class corvette forums

HMCS FENNEL'S mascot - Horta.  According to Patrick Casey, they traded beer for Horta in Londonderry, Ireland.

 

From the collection of Patrick Casey

 

Courtesy of Patricia Pollock

Patrick Casey (left) and shipmate on HMCS FENNEL K194

 

From the collection of Patrick Casey

 

Courtesy of Patricia Pollock

HMCS FENNEL K194 conducting a stern fueling

 

From the collection of Patrick Casey

 

Courtesy of Patricia Pollock

Patrick Casey (back left) with shipmates on unknown ship.  Patrick Casey served in HMCS FENNEL and HMCS JOLIETTE.  It is not known which of the two ships the photo was taken on. It has been entered on the pages for both ships.

 

From the collection of Patrick Casey

 

Courtesy of Patricia Pollock

HMCS FENNEL K194, part of EG.C1

 

Photo taken from HMCS CHILLIWACK K131

 

From the collection of Wilson Reginald McMurdo

 

Courtesy of Scott Wilson McMurdo

HMCS FENNEL K194

 


 

WB07

WB08

 

(WB07) Gord Woods and William Brossoit loading the forward gun on HMCS FENNEL K194 (WB08) Art Wideman, Mac Maclean and Bill Brossoit believed to be standing in the drydock while FENNEL was in refit

 

From the collection of Arthur William Brossoit, AB, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Stephanie McBride

 


 

 

JR55

JR56

JR57

JR58

JR59

(JR55) Joe Rolland onboard HMCS FENNEL  (JR56) Joe Rolland (kneeling) and McShane chipping ice off anchor chains on HMCS FENNEL - 1945  (JR57) HMCS FENNEL K194 in drydock  (JR58) HMCS FENNEL K194  (JR59) "Leading Seamen on watch" as Lookouts on HMCS FENNEL - Cartier (on left)

 

JR60

JR61

JR62

JR63

JR64

(JR60) Lt Johnston, CO of HMCS FENNEL  (JR61-JR62)  60 survivors of HMCS CLAYOQUOT being landed from HMCS FENNEL  (JR63) Article on the sinking of HMCS CLAYOQUOT off Halifax and the rescue of her crew by HMCS FENNEL.  Joe Rolland was serving in HMCS FENNEL at the time.  (JR64) "Leaving Londonderry" - Red Watch ready to close up aboard HMCS Fennel leaving Ireland. Note the artwork on the bridge face.

 

From the collection of Joseph W. Rolland, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Jordan McCallum

 


 

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