HMCS Louisbourg

A ship on the water.

HMCS Louisbourg K143.

There have been two vessels named Louisbourg in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Louisbourg (1st of the name) (K143)

Built at Quebec City, Quebec, and commissioned there on 2 October 1941, the Flower Class corvette Louisburg arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 15 October. She was assigned to Sydney Force until mid-January 1942, when she was transferred to Newfoundland Command. On 1 February, she left St. John’s, Newfoundland for Londonderry, Northern Ireland as escort to convoy SC.67, another of whose escorts, HMCS Spikenard, was lost.

After a long refit at Halifax from 27 March to 27 June 1942, Louisburg made two more round trips to Londonderry before being assigned duties in connection with Operation TORCH, the invasion of North Africa. She arrived at Londonderry on 23 September, and then proceeded to the Humber, United Kingdom, for fitting of extra anti-aircraft armament, with the work completed on 18 October. On 9 December 1942, while anchored at Londonderry, she was accidentally rammed by the sloop HMS Bideford, necessitating five weeks’ repairs at Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Louisburg had scarcely commenced her Operation TORCH duties when, on 6 February 1943, she was sunk by Italian aircraft east of Oran, Algeria while escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Bône. Thirty-eight of her ship’s company were lost.

A ship travelling on the water.

HMCS Louisbourg K401.

HMCS Louisbourg (2nd of the name) (K401)

Commissioned at Quebec City on 13 December 1943, the second Flower Class corvette named Louisbourg sailed to Halifax in advance of completion in order to escape the freeze-up. Arriving in late December, she was not ready for service until February 1944. In March, she went to Bermuda for work-ups, and upon returning to Halifax was assigned as an unallocated unit to Western Approaches Command, Londonderry.

She sailed for the United Kingdom on 23 April 1944, and spent the next four months on escort duties associated with the Normandy invasion. That September, she was allocated to Escort Group 41, Plymouth, United Kingdom, and in March 1945 returned home for refit at Saint John, New Brunswick.

Upon completion of this refit, she was paid off at Sorel, Quebec on 25 June and placed in reserve there. She was sold in 1947 to the Dominican Navy and renamed Juan Alejandro Acosta. Deleted from the active list in 1978, she was driven ashore in a hurricane on 31 August 1979.

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1941-1942, 1944-1945
  • Normandy 1944
  • English Channel 1944-1945
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