The Flower Class Corvette in US Service

By Bob Pearson

Previous installments in the Flower story have focused on use by the Royal and Royal Canadian Navies use. After them the third largest user was the United States Navy. When the US entered the war they found themselves short of escort vessels, and to help fill the need, they accepted the Commonwealth offer of some Flowers. Ten UK-built Flowers were transfered direct from the RN, while eight under construction in Canada were transfered to the USN upon completion. An additional seven of these later Flowers were earmarked for the USN, but went to the RN instead.

It is interesting to reflect that at this time the US was building the Evarts and Buckley Classes for the RN, the Canadians were building corvettes for the RN and USN, while the RN built frigates and corvettes for Canada. At first this might seem strange, but it allowed each country to make use of its available shipyards in the best way possible, and the flow of ships to continue while numerical committments to each other were fulfilled.

The first batch of US Flowers replaced the forward Mk.IX 4" gun with a US 4" gun with no shield, and the 2pdr in the bandstand aft was replaced by a 3"/50 in a new location at the extreme end of the engine room casing. US SG radar eventually replaced the RN Type 271 radar. The later ships carried 3"/50 guns both fore and aft.

USS Saucy - PG63
May 1942
Source: Lynch: Canada's Flowers

The former HMS Arabis, Saucy was transfered to the USN in April 1942, and is seen here shortly after entering US service. At this time she is still in her original appearance with British weapons and radar. Saucy is wearing Ms16 camouflage which consists of white and Thayer blue.

USS Tenacity - PG71
June 1942
Source: USCG Flowers

The former HMS Candytuft, Tenacity was photographed while undergoing refit in New York in June 1942. By this time she had replaced her British pattern guns with a USN 4" in the forward position, and a 3" on the engine room casing aft. Her wooden upper bridge has been rebuilt of steel and a US style flag bag is in position at the rear of the bridge. She is in a MS12 pattern of 5-N Navy Blue, 5-O Ocean Gray and 5-H Haze Gray.

USS Tenacity - PG71
March 1944
Source: Elliott: Allied Escort Ships of WWII

By 1944 Tenacity was wearing an Ms16 pattern. Interestingly her vents alongside the funnel were drastically extended in height. The focsle was extended slightly, and there are single Oerlikon guns placed just aft of the funnel at the focsle break. SG Radar is at the masthead

USS Intensity - PG93
September 1943
Source: Lenton: American Gunboats and Minesweepers

Intensity was one of the Canadian-built 'Modified' Flowers transfered upon completion to the USN. The main differences between her and her Canadian sisters is the 3"/50 guns placed both fore and aft. British Type 271 radar is in place. She is in Ms14, overall Ocean Gray.


  • Allied Escort Ships of WWII: Elliott, Peter; Naval Institute Press, 1977

  • American Gunboats and Minesweepers: Lenton, H T; MacDonald & Co. 1974

  • Canada's Flowers: Lynch, Thomas; Nimbus, 1981

  • US Navy WWII Ship Colors: Snyder & Short Enterprises 1998

  • USCG Flowers