HMCS Sackville National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
HMCS Sackville National Historic Site of Canada is a Canadian built, Flower Class Corvette currently berthed at a wharf in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is an armed, steam-powered ship with a single propeller. These small, warships were used as convoy escort vessels by the allies during the Second World War. The official recognition refers to the vessel herself.
HMCS Sackville was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1988 because:
- it is a representative example of a Flower Class Corvette;
- of the part that she played in the Battle of the Atlantic.
HMCS Sackville is one of the last Flower Class Corvettes known to exist. Designed for mass production in small shipyards, they were based on a British Admiralty design patterned after a whale-catcher. This class of ship played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic. In December 1941, HMCS Sackville entered service escorting convoys between Newfoundland and Northern Ireland. On the night of August 3-4, 1942, while escorting an eastbound convoy in thick fog, HMCS Sackville engaged three German U-boats. Lieutenant Alan Easton and his crew seriously damaged one submarine, hit another with gunfire, and depth charged a third. This action won the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for Lieutenant Easton and commendations for the crew. After seeing action again in September 1943, HMCS Sackville was redeployed as an officer training ship in 1944, and laid up in reserve in 1945. Recommissioned in 1952 HMCS Sackville then spent the following 30 years supporting oceanographic, hydrographic, and fisheries research. The ship retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 1982 and was transferred to the Canadian Naval Corvette Trust in 1983. Now restored to her 1944 configuration, HMCS Sackville is open to the public.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1988.
The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- its dockside location in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia;
- its original massing, scale and proportions, surface material, colour, hull configuration, and interior and exterior elements, including:
- the steel construction;
- the single hull, with its length of 62.4 metres, beam of 10.05 metres, and draught of 4.29 metres, and the displacement of 1,170 tons;
- the surviving operational components of the vessel’s fabric, including the hull, superstructure, propulsion and auxiliary systems, external elements including the smoke stack, the mast, wheelhouse, compass platform, and the Type 271 Radar system;
- the armament including the Mk. IV breech-loading 4inch gun, the Mk. VIII 2-pounder anti-aircraft gun, the four depth-charge system, and the Mk. III Hedgehog Spigot Mortar;
- the original interior layout, features and finish typical of Flower Class Corvettes including the engine room, boiler room, commanding officer’s cabin and the forward seaman’s mess;
- the single propeller, and the rudder positioned under the stern;
- the propulsion machinery consisting of a main triple expansion steam reciprocating engine of 2,750 shaft horsepower, and auxiliary engines.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1941/01/01 to 1982/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Saint John Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection