Sackville was laid down as Patrol Vessel 2 at the Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Saint John, New Brunswick in early 1940, the second of the Flower-class corvettes ordered by the Royal Canadian Navy. She was launched on 15 May 1941 by Mrs. J. E. W. Oland, wife of the captain of the port, with the Mayor and entire town council of her namesake town in attendance. Sackville was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 30 December 1941 by Captain J. E. W. Oland, husband of the ship's sponsor. Her first commanding officer, Lieutenant W. R. Kirkland, RCNR was appointed on 30 December but didn't join Sackville until 2 January. Kirkland was discharged in March 1942 as "unsuitable" after a poor-working up trip to Newfoundland in late February. The First Lieutenant reported that Kirkland had been unable to discharge his duties and had been abusive to his officers. After rescuing the survivors from the sunken Greek ship Lily, Sackville was unable to re-locate her convoy, ONS 68. The First Lieutenant then took the step of relieving Kirkland and assuming command. The original crew was reposted to other RCN ships and the already trained crew of HMCS Baddeck under Lieutenant-Commander Alan H. Easton, RCNR was drafted onto the ship on 6 April 1942. Also in April Sackville received Canadian-built SW1C radar and worked up at Halifax and St Margaret's Bay.
The ship was finally assigned to Escort Group C-3 of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force along with two others, ( Galt and Wetaskiwin ), on 15 May 1942 to replace corvettes going for refit. In August 1942 Sackville fought a series of fierce actions escorting Convoy ON-115. Deprived of air cover by heavy fog, the convoy was attacked by two successive U-boat "wolfpacks" off the coast of Newfoundland. On August 3, Sackville caught the German submarine U-43 on the surface and, as the submarine dove, made a series of depth charge attacks that blew U-43 out of the water. The submarine managed to survive but had to flee to Europe for repairs. The next day Sackville attacked U-704 as it dove causing the submarine to break off its attack leaving Sackville to rescue two survivors from an abandoned but still floating merchant ship. Only a few hours later, Sackville detected U-552 on the surface with radar and landed a four inch shell on the submarine's conning tower followed by a depth charge. U-552 nearly sank but managed to regain control and creep back to Germany heavily damaged. Sackville's attacks had played a key role in allowing the 41 ship convoy to escape with the loss of only two ships.
Sackville continued in her escort role until starting an extensive refit in Liverpool, Nova Scotia in January 1943. She returned to service in April and was assigned to Escort Group C-1 where she remained until reassigned to a new group Escort Group 9 in July. The group was disbanded following the loss of three of its ships on 20-22 September and the ship assigned to group C-2, where the ship remained on Atlantic escort work until going for refit in Galveston, Texas in February 1944.
Returning to Halifax in May 1944 the vessel worked up in Bermuda and was then assigned to Escort Group C-2 which left for Derry escorting convoy HX-297 on 29 June 1944.
At Derry the boilers were cleaned, which revealed a serious leak in one of them. Repairs were unsuccessful and the ship was no longer considered suitable for convoy escort work. Since the ship had only been recently been modernized she was reassigned for training at HMCS King on 29 August 1944.
However almost immediately afterwards the decision was made to convert her to a Loop Layer, laying anti-submarine indicator loops across harbour entrances, her damaged boiler removed to provide storage for the cable and the 4 inch gun replaced with a pair of cranes. She remained in this role until paid off in April 1946 and laid up in reserve.
Class and type: Flower-Class Corvette
Displacement: 950 tons
Length: 62.5m (205ft) Beam: 10m (33ft) Draft: 3.5m (11.5ft)
Propulsion: Single shaft, 2 fire tube Scotch boilers, 1 4-cyl. triple expansion steam engine, 2750 hp. Speed: 16 knots Complement: 85
Armament: 1 BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk.IX single
1 QF Mk.VIII 2-pounder on antiaircraft mount
2 20 mm Oerlikon
2 Lewis .303 cal mg twin
4 Mk.II depth charge throwers
2 depth charge rails with 40 depth charges
1 Mk 3 hedgehog.
Notes: Now a museum ship owned by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, moored in season at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
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