The Louisburg was a Flower class corvette built at Québec, Québec, and commissioned in late 1941. She was one of the 17 Canadian corvettes withdrawn from the fray in the north Atlantic to guard the convoys building up supplies in the Mediterranean prior to the invasion of Sicily. After a refit to equip her to operate in a theatre where the primary threat was from the air rather than U-boats, and still under her original commanding officer LCdr Frank Campbell of Saskatoon, HMCS Louisburg left Glasgow with convoy KMS-8 in mid January 1943. Only a day after leaving Gibraltar she was hit by an Italian torpedo bomber off Oran, Algeria, and sank in three minutes 19430206.

Among the 37 fatalities – most caused when the Louisburg’s depth charges detonated as she sank – were JF McClellan, RJ McDonald and the aforementioned WF Campbell who was last seen entering the mess decks to check for survivors who had not yet followed his order to abandon ship. The Louisburg was the only Canadian naval vessel lost through enemy aircraft action during the war.


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