Flower Class Corvette Pt.2: RCN Service 1944-45

By 1944 the Flower Class corvette had reached its zenith in design and equipment. No longer the quaint whalecatcher of 1940, it now looked the part of the small warship. The final variants had a redesigned bow with increased sheer and flare, as well as new machinery which allowed the deletion of the characteristic vents around the funnel. The funnel too was changed, it was now vertical instead of raked aft. This was to give as little as possible information to any U-Boats on headings. However the original Flowers soldiered on with improvements carried out as they went in for refit – some of the RCN Flowers were to still have their short focsle at war's end.

All profiles are as accurate as possible as to pattern, however colours remain conjecture, and any further information on them is desired...

HMCS Arvida K113
March 1944
Source: Lambert: Flower Class Corvettes

By 1944 most RCN corvettes had been updated with all the necessary equipment that the RN corvettes had long enjoyed. Arvida is seen with Type 271 radar, hedgehog and a lengthened focsle. She is wearing the funnel band of Escort Group C5, which they had 'borrowed' from C3 - The Barber Pole Brigade. Her earlier gunshield emblem is also shown.

HMCS Cobourg
May 1944
Source: Corvettes of the RCN

Cobourg is one of the Increased Endurance corvettes that entered service in the late war period, and has all the accoutrements one may expect of the type. Note the new bow and raised platforms for the 4" gun and hedgehog.

HMCS Shediac K110
May 1944

HMCS Shediac still has a short foc's'le and mast forward of the bridge at this late date. The gunshield artwork is shown in enlarged form, colours of which are conjectural. Shediac was one of a handful of Flowers that were modified to serve as ocean-going tugs if need be.

HMCS Drumheller K167
Source: Canada's Flowers

Drumheller is seen as modified for service in the Mediterranean, those corvettes so used were given extra 20mm guns around the engine room casing. The funnel bands are shown as red, but colour is unknown. Note the green maple leaf, not the red of postwar Canada. Drumheller had a unique gunshield emblem of a devil beating on a drum, which may have been painted over by this time as she was also fitted with rocket rails on the gunshield (these are lacking on the profile - see Arvida for location). When the rails were fitted, many corvettes painted their badge on the front of the Asdic house.

HMCS Beauharnois
September 1944
Source: Corvettes of the RCN

Beauharnois has an interesting pattern seen on a few other RCN Flowers, colours are unknown at this time.

HMCS Whitby K346
October 1944
Source: Corvettes of the RCN

Whitby is wearing a pattern seen on other RCN Corvettes and frigates.

HMCS Chicoutimi K156
circa 1945
Source: Canada's Flowers

Not all of the Flowers were upgraded, in fact some lasted until the end of the war with their short focsles intact. One such is HMCS Chicoutimi, seen here as on the east coast of Canada in 1945.

HMCS Fergus K686
January 1945
Source: Corvettes of the RCN

HMCS Fergus was the last RCN Flower to be commissioned.

HMCS Fennel K194
April 1945
Source: Lambert: Flower Class Corvette

Fennel was one of the ten RN-owned but RCN-operated corvettes. These ten were for a time the only adequately equipped RCN Flowers, and can be distinguished from their Canadian sisters by the location of the 2pdr bandstand as well as the raised galley between the funnels

HMCS West York K369
May 1945
Source: Corvettes of the RCN

Another Corvette assigned to EG C5 is West York. She has the midships hull panel commonly seen on late war vessels of the RN and RCN.


  • Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy: MacPherson and Milner; Vanwell Publishing

  • Canada's Flowers: Lynch; Nimbus Publishing

  • Warship Perspective: Flower Class Corvettes: Lambert; WR Press

  • RN Colour Chips: Snyder & Short Enterprises

  • North Atlantic Run: Milner; University of Toronto

  • Gunshield Graffiti: Lynch, Lamb and Jensen; Nimbus Publishing