For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS NANAIMO K101
Flower Class Corvette
Commissioned at Esquimalt on 26 Apr 1941, Nanaimo arrived at Halifax on 27 Jun 1941 and for the next three months carried out local duties. In Oct 1941 she was assigned to Newfoundland Command, leaving Halifax on 11 Oct 1941 to join convoy SC.49 for Iceland, her first trip as an ocean escort. After three round trips to Iceland, she escorted SC.68 to Londonderry in Feb 1942. Her return trip with ON.68 was to be her last Atlantic crossing, for in Mar 1942 she was reassigned to WLEF.
16 Jun 1942 - The sinking of the SS Port Nicholson: The Port Nicholson formed part of convoy XB 25, one of the coastal convoy routes between Halifax Harbour and Boston. She was under the command of her master, Harold Charles Jeffrey, and was carrying a cargo of 1,600 tons of automobile parts and 4,000 tons of military stores. The convoy was tracked by the German submarine U-87, commanded by Joachim Berger. At 4.17 hours on the morning of 16 June 1942 he fired a torpedo at the convoy, which was then 100 miles (160 km) off Portland, Maine. He fired a second torpedo a minute later, but the gale conditions at the time prevented him from observing the results accurately, and he recorded that while one torpedo had hit a ship, the other seemed to have missed. In fact, both torpedoes struck the Port Nicholson, the first in the engine room, the second in the stern. Two men in the engine room were killed immediately, and as the Port Nicholson began to settle by the stern, the remaining crew abandoned ship and were picked up by the Royal Canadian Navy corvette HMCS Nanaimo. The Port Nicholson did not sink immediately, and by dawn was still afloat. Her master returned to the ship, accompanied by the chief engineer, and Lieutenant John Molson Walkley and three ratings from Nanaimo, to see if the ship could be salvaged. While they were aboard, worsening weather caused the ship to suddenly start to sink. The party abandoned her, but their boat was overturned in the suction as Port Nicholson went down, drowning Jeffrey, Walkley, the chief engineer and a rating. The two surviving ratings were rescued by Nanaimo, which landed the survivors from Port Nicholson at Boston.
With the formation of escort groups in Jun 1943, Nanaimo became a member of EG W-9, transferring to W-7 in Apr 1944. In Nov 1944, she was allocated to Pacific Coast Command, arriving at Esquimalt on 07 Dec 1944. There she underwent a refit that lasted until 21 Feb 1945 but left her one of the few corvettes to survive the war with a short fo'c's'le. She was paid off for disposal at Esquimalt on 28 Sep 1945, and subsequently sold for mercantile use. Converted to a whale-catcher at Kiel in 1953, she entered service as the Dutch-flag Rene W. Vinke, finally being broken up in South Africa in 1966.
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