HMCS DRUMHELLER K167
Flower Class Corvette
Built at Collingwood, Ont, she was commissioned at Montreal on 13 Sep 1941. DRUMHELLER arrived at Halifax on 25 Sep 1941. She joined Sydney Force in Nov 1941 after completing workups, but soon afterward transferred to Newfoundland Command, and left St. John's on 11 Dec 1941 to join her first convoy, SC.59, for Iceland. DRUMHELLER was employed for two months on that convoy run, but on 06 Feb 1942, arrived at Londonderry - one of the first Canadian ships to do so. She left for St. John's the following week, but developed mechanical defects en route and returned to the U.K. to refit at Southampton. On completion of the repairs she arrived at Tobermory on 22 Mar 1942 to work up, resuming ocean escort service at the end of Apr 1942 as a member of EG C-2. She served with the group until Apr 1944, with respite only from mid-Nov 1943 to 15 Jan 1944, while undergoing a refit, including fo'c's'le extension, at New York City. Her most hectic convoy was the combined ON.202/ONS.18 of Sep 1943, which lost six merchant vessels and three escorts. On 13 May 1943, while escorting HX.237 she, HMS Lagan, and a Sunderland aircraft collaborated in sinking U 456. In Apr 1944 DRUMHELLER was allocated to Western Approaches Command, Greenock, for invasion duties, transferring in September to Portsmouth Command. She served with the latter until the end of the war, escorting convoys in U.K. coastal waters, and returned to Canada in mid-May, 1945. Paid off on 11 Jul 1945, at Sydney, she was broken up in 1949 at Hamilton, Ont.
U-Boats Sunk: U-753 (Korvkpt Alfred Manhardt von Mannstein) sunk on 13 May 1943 by a RCAF Sunderland G (423 SQN), HMCS DRUMHELLER K167 and HMS LAGAN in position 47-00 N, 22-00 W. Sunk with all hands - 47 officers and men.
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
Former Crew Members
Photos and Documents
The photos below are from the collection of LS Bernard (Bunny) Brewster who served in HMCS DRUMHELLER Nov 1941 to Feb 1943. Photos are not necessarily in date sequence but were scanned in the order they were in the photo album. Most of the sailors in the photos are not identified. If you are able to identify any on the photos, please send me an EMAIL.
(BB39) Cook in DRUMHELLER's galley holding turkey and 3 beer. (webmaster's comment: I wonder if its Christmas?) (BB40) Bunny in seaman's mess on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB41) Bunny on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB42) DRUMHELLER's tally plate (BB43) Bunny with shipmates on HMCS DRUMHELLER's gun deck. Bunny first on left. Photo developed May 1942 (BB44) Unidentified sailor in the bandstand (after gun tub) on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB45) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER by Engineroom sky lights.
(BB46) Looking aft on HMCS DRUMHELLER - another corvette off in distance (BB47) Unknown corvette - seen from HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB48) Unidentified sailor in HMCS DRUMHELLER's bandstand. (BB49) HMCS DRUMHELLER's White Ensign (BB50) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB51) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER's gun deck (BB52) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER
(BB53) Torpedo damaged merchant ship (BB54) Sea boat approaching HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB55) Unidentified sailors cleaning the gun on HMCS DRUMHELLER. Photo developed May 1942 (BB56) Sea boat being raised (or lowered) on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB57) Torpedo damaged merchant ship at St. John's, NFLD (BB58) Merchant ship in harbour at St. John's, NFLD (BB59) HMCS BITTERSWEET K182 (outboard ship) at St. John's, NFLD
(BB60-BB66) HMCS DRUMHELLER exercising with Dutch submarine HNLMS N15
(BB67) HMCS PRINCE HENRY at St. John's, NFLD (BB68) HMS/m N27 outboard of HMCS ST LAURENT H83 at St. John's, NFLD (BB69) HMCS AVALON II - accommodation ship for HMCS AVALON (BB70-BB71) Unknown destroyer alongside two merchant ships in St. John's. (BB72) Corvette at St. John's, NFLD - possibly HMCS CHAMBLY K116 (BB73) Merchant ship at anchor in St. John's Harbour. Cabot Tower in the background.
(BB74) Unknown merchant ship with tug alongside (BB75) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER - Stbd side looking aft (BB76) Unidentified sailor by the funnel of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB77) Unidentified officer and 2 petty officers on deck by HMCS DRUMHELLER's sea boat (BB78) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER just forward of the bandstand (BB79) Unidentified sailors taking a break just aft of the funnel on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB80) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER
(BB81) "Some of the boys" "Don't lose this one."
"Doug Sherren - Charlottetown, PEI; Curly Wilks - London, Ont; Jim Brown -London, Ont; "Perky" Perkins - Victoria, BC; "Jim" Watson- Montreal ,QC; and me (Bunny Brewster)" (Photo developed Aug 1942)
(BB82) Looking aft from HMCS DRUMHELLER. Unknown corvette following astern (BB83) Unidentified officers and ratings on HMCS DRUMHELLER (Webmaster's comment - I don't know what's going on but there are a lot of smiling faces looking at the sailor in the right foreground of the photo) (BB84) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER's bandstand (BB85) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER taking a break (BB86-BB87) Pistol target practice on HMCS DRUMHELLER at sea (BB88) Unidentified sailor in HMCS DRUMHELLER's bandstand.
(BB89) Unidentified officer on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB90) Unidentified sailors just after the mast on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB91) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB92) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER's gun deck. Note one of the versions of her gunshield art (BB93) Unidentified sailor standing in hatch on quarterdeck of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB94) Unidentified sailors by funnel and on boat deck of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB95) unknown shoreline. On back of photos "From HMC Ship. Passed by censor"
(BB95-BB96) HMCS DRUMHELLER iced up (BB97) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB98) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB99) Unidentified sailor on the quarterdeck of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB100) Unidentified sailor on the quarterdeck of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB101) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER's gun
(BB102) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB103) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB104) Unknown vessels (Webmaster's note: - The closest vessel appears to be an armed yacht; the further, possibly a Battle class trawler (BB105) Unknown Wickes-class destroyer - possibly one of the lend-lease that was transferred to the RCN and became a Town Class (BB106) Royal Navy County Class heavy cruiser (BB107) Battlecruiser HMS RENOWN (BB107) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER
Webmaster's note: BB105-BB107 believed to be taken at Hvalfjörður, Iceland
(BB109) HMCS DRUMHELLER iced up
(BB110) HMCS DRUMHELLER's carley floats and boat falls ice cover (BB111) Four sailors with this ice chipping equipment crossed on HMCS DRUMHELLER (Webmaster's comment: The four musketeers?) (BB112) Unidentified sailor underneath the ice-up bridge wing of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB113) Bunny on an iced covered HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB114) Unidentified sailor by the ice covered depth charges on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB115) HMCS DRUMHELLER port side looking aft - rough seas and ice covered (BB116) Unidentified sailor sitting on HMCS DRUMHELLER's ice covered gun
(BB117) Bunny Brewster breaking ice off the DRUMHELLER with a fire axe (BB118) Bunny Brewster on HMCS DRUMHELLER's iced covered gun deck (BB119) Unidentified sailor by the ice covered depth charges on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB120) Unidentified sailor shoveling ice and snow off of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB121) Castle along the River Foyle, Northern Ireland (BB122) Unknown WW1 four-stacker. Possibly one of the RCN's lend-lease Town Class (BB123) Unknown vessel
(BB124) Bunny Brewster sitting in HMCS DRUMHELLER's sea boat (BB125) Unidentified sailor sitting in HMCS DRUMHELLER's sea boat (BB126) Fairmile Motor launch. Note that her pendant number has been obscured. (BB127) HMCS DRUMHELLER steaming towards unknown coast (and likely a port) (BB128) HMCS DRUMHELLER K167 (BB129) Two unknown corvettes at anchor (BB130) Bunny Brewster on HMCS DRUMHELLER
Escort Group puts to sea
(BB131) HMCS DRUMHELLER following EG SO (BB132-BB134) HMCS DRUMHELLER shipping seas. Note her gunshield art (BB135-BB137) Other corvettes of EG following astern of HMCS DRUMHELLER
(BB138) Unidentified sailors by the .5s on the bridge wing of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB139) Sailors manning HMCS DRUMHELLER's pompom (BB140) Unknown merchant ship (BB141) HMCS DRUMHELLER's sea boat turned out and ready for use (BB142-BB143) HMCS DRUMHELLER alongside unknown ship (pendant number ?132) (BB144) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER's bandstand
(BB145-BB146) Unknown ships in distance - possibly corvettes (BB147) HMCS DRUMHELLER catching a wave broadside (BB148-BB151) Merchant ships in Convoy
(BB152) HMCS DRUMHELLER's twin .5s and pompom as seen from the sea boat (BB153) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER's gun deck (BB154) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER's pompom (BB155) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER's twin .5s (BB156) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER's twin .5s (BB157) Unidentified aircraft flies past HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB158) Unknown corvette
(BB159) Unknown destroyer - possibly an Admiralty V or W class (BB160) Unknown merchant vessel (BB161) Merchant vessels in convoy (BB162) Unknown merchant vessel (BB163) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB164) Sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER relaxing on the upper decks (BB165 - HMCS DRUMHELLER'S gunsheild art.
(BB164) Sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER sitting between the depth charge rails (BB164-BB168) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB169) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER. (Webmaster's comment - he is looking a little rough around the edges)
(BB170) Unidentified officer going ashore from HMCS DRUMHELLER - possibly the CO (BB171-BB172) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB173-BB175) Ratings mustered on Quarterdeck of HMCS DRUMHELLER at sea (BB176) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER hamming it up for the camera
(BB177) Bunny Brewster (left) and 2 unidentified shipmates on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB178-BB180) Gas mask training / drill on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB181) Unidentified sailor with ammo box on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB182) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER holding young boy who is dress in a seaman's uniform. Young boy is saluting the photographer by the looks of it (BB183) Sailors enjoying the weather and relaxing on the boat deck of HMCS DRUMHELLER
(BB184) Sailors enjoying the weather and relaxing on the boat deck of HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB185) Dhobey (Laundry) day for a few sailors (BB186) Unidentified sailor playing pirate on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB187) Bunny Brewster (left), Ralph Moxley (right) and 2 unidentified friends (middle) standing on the gun deck of HMCS BRANDON - The Brandon Bull is seen on the gunshield (BB188) Unidentified sailor by HMCS DRUMHELLER's gunshield art (BB189) Ralph Moxley (front, centre) on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB190) Unidentified sailor with ammo belts on HMCS DRUMHELLER's bandstand
(BB191) Unidentified sailor at the wheel on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB192) Unidentified sailor on HMCS DRUMHELLER playing quick draw with service revolver (BB193) Bunny Brewster on HMCS DRUMHELLER in his "work" clothes (BB194) HMCS DRUMHELLER work party painting ship - Bunny Brewster 2nd from on left (BB195) HMCS DRUMHELLER work party taking a break from painting ship (BB196) Bunny Brewster (left) and unidentified shipmate on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB197) Unidentified sailors on the gun deck of HMCS DRUMHELLER
BB198 - BB204 - Transiting the River Foyle to Londonderry
(BB198) webmaster's comment - possibly bringing the pilot aboard to the transit of the River Foyle (BB202) Unidentified sailor on the Quarterdeck of HMCS DRUMHELLER with River Foyle's shoreline in background (BB204) HMS/m N34 (formerly H34) alongside pier 77 (webmaster's note: believed to be in Londonderry or Lisahalley)
Transiting the River Foyle to Londonderry
(BB205) Sunken merchant vessel in the River Foyle (BB206) Unknown allied warship (BB207) HMS Wellington U65 (BB208) Unknown allied warship (BB210-BB211) HMCS PICTOU K146, Londonderry
(BB212) Three corvettes nested - location unknown (possibly Londonderry). HMCS DRUMHELLER centre corvette (BB213) Unidentified sailors on small harbour craft. Sailor sitting is wearing a diver's suit (BB214) L-R: Unidentified sailor, Bunny Brewster and Ralph Moxley on the gun deck of HMCS BRANDON
Photos taken ashore - location unknown
(BB216) Bunny Brewster (left) (BB220) Bunny Brewster (right)
Photos taken ashore - location unknown
(BB225-BB226) Bunny Brewster (left) (BB227) Bunny Brewster (right)
(BB228) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB229) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB230) Unidentified officers on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB231-BB232) Unknown ship's company at divisions on the jetty (pier 82 - location unknown) (BB233) Unidentified officer being greeted on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB234) Unidentified sailors on HMCS DRUMHELLER - Stbd side looking aft
(BB235) HMCS DRUMHELLER's crew
(BB236) Convoy escorts making smoke (BB237-BB240) HMCS DRUMHELLER making smote
(BB241-BB254) HMC NAVAL CAMP near St. John's, NFLD
This was a rest camp to give sailors a break from shipboard routine
(BB246) Bunny Brewster (right) (BB250) Bunny Brewster on right with hand behind his back (BB251) Time for a beer. Bunny Brewster 2nd from right (BB252) Bunny Brewster (standing) 2nd from left (BB254) Bunny Brewster front, centre, with black jacket
(BB255-BB261) Rescue of the crew of the SS DONAX by HMCS DRUMHELLER. DONAX , which was part of convoy ON.139, was torpedoed by U-443 on 22 Oct 1942. Her entire crew of 63 were rescued by HMCS DRUMHELLER.
The following was submitted by John van Mourik, gr-grandson of the ship's master of the DONAX.
"Following the torpedoing which occurred on the night of 22nd October the crew of the DONAX were picked up by the DRUMHELLER, along with passengers and crew from the WINNIPEG II which had been torpedoed minutes before the DONAX by the same U-boat, U-443. Two days after the torpedoing, my great-grandfather (ship's master John Murray Cuthill) and three other crew members (including Chief Officer Charles Aloysous Milligan and Chief Engineer William Harold Owner Ryland) reboarded the DONAX, which was damaged and settling by the stern, but still afloat and attempted lift the vessel aft by redistributing her ballast before returning to the DRUMHELLER with fresh supplies. The next day my great-grandfather and nine other crew members who volunteered to help bring back the DONAX to the UK once navy tugs arrived transferred to HMS MYOSOTIS when she relieved the DRUMHELLER. During the next two days they reboarded the DONAX another two times, successfully attaching a tow wire from the navy tug HMRT MARAUDER. On the 29th October, seven days after the torpedoing, the weather worsened and the tow wire parted. Attempts were made to reattach the tow wire, but with the weather deteriorating more and the ship settling further by the stern my great-grandfather decided to abandon ship. The only remaining boat had been swept away by the heavy seas, so a raft was let go which with much difficulty my great-grandfather and the nine volunteers managed to clamber aboard. After spending 45 minutes in the water they were picked up and returned to the UK by HMRT NIMBLE. The DONAX capsized shortly after, and was sunk by gunfire, most likely from HMS VIZALMA. When interviewed on the torpedoing and the efforts to salvage his ship my great-grandfather put on record the kind treatment he and his crew received on the DRUMHELLER. (Sources: The National Archives of the UK: ADM 237/92; The London Gazette, issue 35905, 12th February 1943, p.823)"
Webamster's note: The original caption on the photos said this was the rescue of the crew of the CAPIRA, however, photos submitted by John Van Mourik of the DONAX and WEST CAMPGAW (later re-named CAPIRA) show that the ship in the above photos is most likely the DONAX
(above) Comparison photos submitted by John van Mourik
(BB260-BB261) Survivors from SS CAPIRA onboard HMCS DRUMHELLER
(BB262) HMCS DRUMHELLER's sea boat going to / returning from a torpedoed merchant vessel. (BB263) Dhoby day at sea. Bunny Brewster hanging up his laundry on the upper decks of HMCS DRUMHELLER to dry (BB264) Bunny Brewster on HMCS DRUMHELLER (BB265) Bunny Brewster in Halifax "Taken this winter in Halifax" (BB266) Bunny Brewster (rear) and Hauk (?sp) in Halifax. "Taken in Halifax"
From the collection of LS Bernard (Bunny) Brewster
Courtesy of Gord Brewster