Flower Class Corvette





Laid down: 24 Feb 1940

Launched: 06 Jul 1940

Commissioned: 12 Nov 1940

Transferred to the RCN: 15 May 1941

Commissioned: 15 May 1941

Paid off: 27 Jun 1945

Returned to the RN: 27 Jun 1945

Fate: Broken up in 1948


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)



Photos and Documents     Ship's Company Photos



Commanding Officers


Lt Charles Copelin, RCNR - 12 Nov 1940 - 31 Oct 1941

LCdr Thomas Gilmour, RCNR - 01 Nov 1941 - 11 Apr 1943

Lt Henry Ernest Lade, RCNR - 12 Apr 1943 - 05 Sep 1943

Lt John Alexander Ferguson, RCNR - 06 Sep 1943 - 04 Nov 1944

Lt Eric MacPherson Lutes, RCNVR - 05 Nov 1944 - 26 Jun 1945



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten




Former Crew Members


Douglas, David Bruce, SLt & A/Lt, RCNVR


Collier, Arthur Gordon, Lt, RCNVR - 29 Jan 1944


Dessaulles, Pierre Leman, Lt, RCNVR - 19 Apr 1943


Hansen, Svend

Leonard, William Girvin, Lt, RCNVR - 15 Apr 1943


McCombe, William, Lt, RCNVR - 29 Jan 1944


Pierce, Stanley, Lt, RCNR - 14 Apr 1943

Smith, Walter Joseph McBraine, RCNVR - 17 Feb 1945


Williams, Frank Robert, A/Lt, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1945


Wilson, Donald James, SLt, RCNVR - 30 Mar 1942



Photos and Documents





(HPT001) HMCS HEPATICA'S gunshield art  //  Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

(HPT002) Two unknown sailors posing with HMCS HEPATICA'S gunshield art  //  Courtesy of Mark Lancaster

(HPT003) Two unknown crew members in front of the gunshield art on HMCS HEPATICA K159 at Halifax  //  From the collection of Sid Dobing  //  Courtesy of Brian Dobing






(HPT004) HMCS HEPATICA K159  //  Courtesy of Gordon Lees

(HPT005) HMCS HEPATICA K159  //  Courtesy of Gordon Lees

(HPT006) HMCS HEPATICA K159.  Note that her bow has a bit of dent in it  //  From the collection of Robert Macklem  //  Courtesy of Kelly Macklem

(HPT007) HMCS HEPATICA K159  //  From the collection of J. A. Rene Brunette, RCNVR






(LK31) "On board HMCS HEPATICA 1st May 1941"  L-R: Wilf, Chat, Murphy with guitar. Lionel in back - back of photo

(LK32) L/Tel Lionel Kennedy with unknown shipmate who is a signalman onboard HMCS HEPATICA, St. John's, Nfld.  Note both Lionel and his shipmate are wearing RCNVR WINNIPEG cap tallies

(LK33) Unknown sailor on HMCS HEPATICA off Labrador.  HMCS ARROWHEAD in the background






(LK34-LK36) Unknown merchant ships in convoy

(LK37) Ailsa Craig, Scotland


From the collection of LCdr Lionel Kennedy, RCN


Courtesy of Barbara Holliday