HMCS La Malbaie

There has been only one vessel named La Malbaie in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS La Malbaie (K273)

The Flower Class corvette was designed by William Reed of Smith’s Dock Co. near Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, and patterned after his firm’s whale-catcher, Southern Pride, of 1936. The Canadian naval staff was impressed with the design and the ship’s short length could negotiate the St. Lawrence canal system. Many of these ships would be built in Great Lakes shipyards. The corvette was originally designed as a coastal escort, but the shortage of ocean escorts forced it into the latter role throughout the worst years of the war.

Commissioned at Sorel, Quebec, on April 28, 1942, the Flower Class corvette La Malbaie arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on May 13; she was one of the first corvettes built with a long forecastle. After work-ups at Halifax and Pictou, Nova Scotia, she joined Western Local Escort Force in June. After undergoing mechanical repairs at Halifax from August 11 to December 20, she was assigned to Escort Group C-3, arriving at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, for the first time on January 12, 1943, with convoy HX.221.

La Malbaie served with C-3 until her final departure from Londonderry on October 26, 1944. During this period, she underwent a major refit at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, from September to December 1943. A year later, she joined Halifax Force for the duration of hostilities. On June 28, 1945, she was paid off at Sorel and ultimately broken up in Scotland. A pre-launching photo of La Malbaie served as the model for the 20-cent Canadian stamp of 1942.

  • Builder: Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec
  • Laid down: March 22, 1941
  • Launched: October 25, 1941
  • Date commissioned: April 28, 1942
  • Date paid off: June 28, 1945
  • Displacement: 1,015 tons
  • Dimensions: 63.5 m x 10.1 m x 2.9 m
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Crew: 85
  • Armament: one 4-inch (102-mm) gun, one 2-pound (0.9 kg) gun, two 20-mm guns (2 single mount), one Hedgehog mortar and depth charges.

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1942-1945
  • Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944
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