For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS HEPATICA K159
Former HMS HEPATICA K159
Commissioned in the RN on 12 Nov 1940, at Quebec City, HMS Hepatica arrived at Halifax on 17 Nov 1940 and left on 18 Dec 1940 with convoy HX.97, armed with a dummy 4-inch gun. The real thing was installed, and other deficiencies remedied, at Greenock, completing on 06 Mar 1941. After working up in Apr 1941, she joined EG 4, Greenock. On 15 May 1941 she was transferred to the RCN and commissioned as HMCS Hepatica K159. In Jun 1941, after brief service as a U.K.-Iceland escort, she was assigned to NEF for the rest of the year, escorting convoys between Iceland at St. John's. Late in Jan 1942, she escorted SC.64, the inaugural "Newfie-Derry" convoy, and for the next three months served on that run. In Jun 1942 she joined the Tanker Escort Force, operating from Halifax, for one round trip to Trinidad and the, late in Jul 1942, joined Gulf Escort Force as a Quebec-Sydney convoy escort. In Oct 1942 she was reassigned to Halifax Force, escorting Quebec-Labrador convoys and, in Dec 1942, to WLEF. She was to serve with WLEF for the remainder of the war, from Jun 1943 as a member of EG W-5 and from Apr 1944, with W-4. During this period Hepatica had to extensive refits from 11 Feb to 01 Apr 1943 and 20 Mar to 08 Jun 1944 both at New York. The latter refit included the lengthening of her fo'c's'le, and was followed by three weeks' workups in Bermuda. She left St. John's 27 May 1945, as escort to HX.358, and on 23 Jun 1945 was handed over to the RN at Milford Haven. She was broken up at Llanelly, Wales, in 1948.
(Note: Although the place and date of fo'c's'le extension for HMCS Hepatica (K159) as listed on 8 Jun 44, at New York, NY, was obtained from official records, photographic evidence seems to prove this wrong. It is more likely that Hepatica's fo'c's'le extension was completed between Feb-Apr 43 at New York, NY. Source: RCN News Magazine)
Links - Film footage of HMCS Hepatica
Photos and Documents (below)