HMCS ALBERNI K103
Flower Class Corvette
Built at Esquimalt, she was commissioned there on 04 Feb 1941. On 17 Mar 1941, HMCS ALBERNI, HMCS AGASSIZ and HMCS WETASKIWIN departed Esquimalt for Halifax. Enroute they stopped at San Pedro, California for fuel, where a party for the crew, hosted by actress Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks, was held for them. They arrived at Halifax on 13 Apr 1941. On 23 May 1941, ALBERNI, AGASSIZ and WETASKIWIN left Halifax for St. John's to join the recently formed NEF. ALBERNI left the following month with a convoy for Iceland, serving as mid-ocean escort until May 1942, when she was taken out of service to have a new boiler installed. In Sep 1941, she had taken part in the defence of convoy SC.42, which lost 18 ships to as many U-boats. Assigned to duties in connection with the invasion of North Africa, she sailed for the U.K. in Oct 1942 with convoy HX.212, and until Feb 1943, escorted convoys between the U.K. and the Mediterranean. She returned to Halifax in Mar 1943 and served briefly with WLEF before transferring to Quebec Force in May 1943. For the next five months she escorted Quebec-Labrador convoys, leaving Gaspé on 06 Nov1943 to undergo repairs at Liverpool, N.S. With repairs completed early in Feb 1944, she proceeded to Bermuda to work up, and on her return to Halifax to joined EG W-4.
In April 1944 ALBERNI was one of seventeen RCN corvettes sent to the UK in support of the landings at Normandy. In June and July, she escorted a collection of landing craft, ships, barges, and floating piers between Britain and the Normandy beaches. After brief maintenance at Southampton ALBERNI was ordered to relieve HMCS DRUMHELLER on patrol for U-boats to the eastward of the swept channel leading to the Normandy beaches. At 11:45 on August 21, she was steaming south in fair weather, sweeping by asdic, anti-submarine detection device. "Hands to Dinner" had just been piped. Four minutes later, with no asdic warning whatsoever, she was hit by a torpedo from U-480 on her port side just aft of the engine room. In less than a minute she sank southeast of the Isle of Wight. Fifty-nine of her ship's company lost their lives.
LCdr Gerald Ormsby Baugh, OBE, RCNR - 04 Feb 1941 - 04 Apr 1942
Lt Aubrey Winston Ford, RCNR - 05 Apr 1942 - 11 Oct 1942
A/LCdr Ian Hunter Bell, RCNVR - 12 Oct 1942 - 21 Aug 1944
In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice
Lest We Forget
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten
(s) - Survived the sinking of HMCS ALBERNI on 21 Aug 1944
Former Crew Members
Photos and Documents
(ALB001) HMCS ALBERNI - 1941 // In the background, on the port side of the merchant ship is the submarine depot ship HMS Forth. Alongside Forth is the training submarine HNLMS O15
(ABL002) Personnel preparing to launch a minesweeping float from HMCS ALBERNI off the coast of BC in Mar 1941 // Source: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-179942
(ABL003) HMCS ALBERNI K103 moored alongside 3 other corvettes // Source: IWM Ministry of Defence Foxhill Collection of Ship Photographs FL 24812
(ABL004) Personnel on HMCS ALBERNI paying out cable during a minesweeping exercise off the coast of BC in Mar 1941 // Source: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-179950
(ABL005) HMCS ALBERNI K103 // From the collection of John C. Orr // Courtesy of John P. Orr
(ABL006) Lloyd George Thomas (centre), who survived the sinking of HMCS ALBERNI, at a reunion for the crew of HMCS ALBERNI in Burlington, ON - date unknown. // On the right, in the red jacket, is Lloyd's nephew, Gary Thomas, and on the left is his great-nephew Grant Thomas (Gary's son) // Courtesy of Garry Thomas
(DF27) Officers of HMCS ALBERNI at San Pedro, California, with actress Mary Pickford and other Hollywood stars - On 17 Mar 1941, HMCS ALBERNI, HMCS AGASSIZ and HMCS WETASKIWIN departed Esquimalt for Halifax. Enroute they stopped at San Pedro where actress Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks organized a party for the crews of the Canadian ships. Lt D. Ford is in the front row, 3rd from right
(DF28) Autographed photo of Actress Mary Pickford. given to Douglas Ford during HMCS ALBERNI'S visit to San Pedro, California
(DF29) Two crew operating the paravane which on HMCS ALBERNI
(DF30) Petty Officer West holding HMCS ALBERNI'S mascot
From the collection of Douglas Ford
Courtesy of Jay Ford
Where is Albert Charlie Dugan?
Herewith is the information I received with this photo: "He is originally from Belfast...a lot of RN people transferred to the RCN during the war...a relative has decided to find out where he is (if still alive or where he lived in Canada)...she didn't even know what the HMCS stood for...the picture hangs on a living room wall in Belfast and the info on the back gives his name as Albert Charlie Dugan, June 1941, age 20 and with some help we figured the name on the front was HMCS ALBERNI...although I did check the list of personnel on the ship when she sank in the English Channel in 1944 and he was not listed. "
If anyone knows Albert Charlie Dugan, please EMAIL the webmaster
Article from the Owen Sound Sunday Times Sep 1944