Flower Class Corvette




Source: Niagara Falls Public Library digital archives

Credit: Gary and Pat Ward


Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell


Laid down: 04 Mar 1940

Launched: 15 Sep 1940

Commissioned: 25 Nov 1940

Paid off: 02 Jul 1945

Fate: Broken up in Jan 1951 


Commissioned 25 Nov 1940, at Collingwood, she arrived at Halifax on 11 Dec 1940 for completion and was assigned to Halifax Local Defence Force until 23 May 1941. ORILLIA sailed that day for St. John's to become one of the seven charter members of the NEF, and for the balance of the year escorted convoys between St. John's and Iceland. In Sep 1941, she was escort to convoy SC.42, which lost 18 ships. She arrived at Halifax 24 Dec 1941 for a refit, upon completion of which on 22 Mar 1942, she joined EG C-1, leaving St. John's 02 Apr 1942 with SC.77 for Londonderry. On her arrival she was sent to Tobermory for three weeks' workups, then returned to the "Newfie-Derry" run until Jan 1944. ORILLIA took part in major battles around convoys SC.94, which lost 11 ships in Aug 1942 and ON.137 in Oct 1942, which lost only 2 ships despite being heavily attacked. She was a member of EG C-2 from Nov 1942 to May 1944, when she joined EG C-4 following two months' refit at Liverpool, N.S. She left Londonderry for the last time on 16 Jan 1944, to commence a long refit, again at Liverpool, which included the lengthening of her fo'c's'le. This refit was completed on 03 May 1944, but further repairs were completed at Halifax late in Jun 1944. She arrived in Bermuda on 29 Jun 1944 for three weeks' workups, on her return joining EG W-2, Western Escort Force, for the duration of the war. Paid off on 02 Jul 1945, at Sorel, she was broken up at Steel Co. of Canada, Hamilton, Ont., in Jan 1951.



Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          Battle for Convoy HX-133



Commanding Officers


A/LCdr William E. S. Briggs, RCNR - 25 Nov 1940 - 04 Sep 1942

Lt Harold Victor William Groos, RCN - 05 Sep 1942 - 13 Feb 1943

LCdr Richard Jackson, RCNR - 14 Feb 1943 - 16 Apr 1943

A/LCdr James Evelyn Mitchell, RCNVR - 17 Apr 1943 - 13 Mar 1944

A/LCdr John Winston Sharpe, RCNR - 08 May 1944 - 02 Jul 1945



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     




Died - 12 Dec 1942



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten




Former Crew Members


Arbuckle, John, Gunnery Officer - 1944


Archibald (Arch), Coder - 1944


Astley, Douglas Bruce, A/Lt, RCNVR - 14 Mar 1944


Bruce-Robertson, Alan, SLT, RCNVR - 01 May 1941 / 23 Feb 1942


Carson, Thomas Hastings, SLT, RCNVR


Eaton, Edward Young, SLT, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1943


Fenwick, Arthur SLT, RCNVR - 01 Mar 1945


Gough, Bill, Tel - 1944


Higgins, Doug, L/Coder - 1944

Laing, Bruce, L/Ck


Laurence, Robert Simpson, Lt, RCNVR - 26 Jan 1943


MacDonald, Norman, X.O. - 1944


MacKenzie, John Smith, SLT, RCNVR


Manzer, James Avens, A/Wt (E), Engineering Officer, RCNVR - 15 Mar 1944


McDonald, Norman John, Lt, RCNVR - 08 May 1944


Mitchell, Don, Sig - 1944


Newton, John Amyas, Lt, RCNR - 22 Mar 1943


O'Brien, Gerald Patrick, SLT, RCNVR - 09 Feb 1943

Paul, Bill, Tel - 1944


Perrault, Paul, Skpr/Lt, NavO, RCNVR - 08 May 1944


Sheppard, Henry Campbell, Lt, RCNVR


Soucie (Frenchie), Tel - 1944

Thompson, Bill, Coder - 1944

Tyler, Norm, Sig - 1944


Vyner, Phil, L/Sig - 1944


Whyte, William Methvin, SLT, RCNVR - 20 May 1941


Wilkings, Edmund



Photos and Documents


HMCS ORILLIA at the Collingwood shipyard after launching

Source: Flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

Officers of HMCS ORILLIA

Source: Oakville Public Library Digital Archives

HMCS ORILLIA K119 - the photo looks like the camera was moved just as the picture was taken, but her gunshield art - the ORILLIA Gorilla is still discernable

From the collection of Robert Macklem

Courtesy of Kelly Macklem


RCN Photo

Courtesy of Mike O'Keefe

HMCS ORILLIA K119 at sea 24 May 1941


Source: Ontario Public Library Digital Archives


Credit: Public Archives, Canada. DND REN 0-693A


John R. Wilson on HMCS ORILLIA K119 - location unknown

From the collection of John R. Wilson

Courtesy of Jeff Bobbie

Three corvettes tied up alongside in St. John's Newfoundland - note Signal Hill in the background

Date unknown - inboard ship is dressed

Photo taken from HMCS ORILLIA K119

From the collection of John R. Wilson

Courtesy of Jeff Bobbie


From the collection of Robert Macklem

Courtesy of Kelly Macklem


HMCS ORILLIA K119 in Bermuda for Work-ups - Jul 1944




(1) HMCS ORILLIA bridge and crow's nest from the bow  (2) HMCS ORILLIA bridge from the crow's nest (this photo was double exposed - note the blimp "on the bridge"  (3) HMCS ORILLIA - looking aft down the port side - Jul 1944  (4) HMCS ORILLIA - looking forward up the starboard side  (5) HMCS ORILLIA (foreground) entering Grassy Bay, Bermuda (up channel)  (6) US destroyer departing Grassy Bay, Bermuda (down channel)




(1 through 5) Bridge of HMCS ORILLIA during work-ups at Bermuda




(1) Fairmile as work-ups consort for HMCS ORILLIA  (2) HMCS ORILLIA launches a depth charge during work-ups  (3 & 4) HM Dockyard, Bermuda  (5) "Away Sea-Boat Crew" - HMCS ORILLIA launches her sea boat.




(1) Signal Officer (in civies) looking for "Routine Boat" from HMS Malabar  (2 & 3) Paul and "Nigger" leaving Somerset Island for Hamilton by Bermuda Electric Railroad  (4) Signalmen on HMCS ORILLIA sending/receiving message by flashing light  (5) Signal Officer by the radar on HMCS ORILLIA

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley


HMCS Border Cities, S.O., W-2 with HMCS ORILLIA in the foreground entering New York, Swept Channel, 12 Oct 1944.

Escort Group W-2 joined ON.256 as escorts on 07 Oct 1944.

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley

New York - Swept Run

Queen Mary out - ON Convoy in - 12 Oct 1944

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley


Historical note: on 12 Oct 1944, Queen Mary, as convoy AT.157, with 11891 troops on board, departed New York City at the same time as Convoy ON.256 was arriving. Convoy ON.256 Departed Liverpool, England on 18 Sep 1944 with 74 merchant ships and 19 escorts. No ships were lost in this crossing. The Queen Mary, known as the Grey Ghost, sailed independently - no other merchant ships and no escorts as her speed of 28 knots was deemed sufficient to keep her safe from U-boats


Escorting Convoy ON.261 into New York - 05 Nov 1944




(1) Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC)  (2) Convoy in two columns  (3) HMCS Border Cities  (4) Convoy in single line  (5 & 6) Bridge and fo'c's'le of HMCS ORILLIA - taken from the crow's nest  (7) "Into New York" - T.H. Cardon and P. Perrault on the bridge of HMCS ORILLIA   (8) "Into New York" - T.H. Cardon, P. Perrault and unknown officer on the bridge of HMCS ORILLIA


Webmaster's note: it is written in the album these photos came from that the convoy was ONF.128, however, according to convoy records, E.G. W-2 escorted convoy ON.261 into New York on 05 Nov 1944.  No record can be found for any convoy series labeled "ONF".



The Wardroom, HMCS ORILLIA

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley

Captain's Cabin, HMCS ORILLIA K119

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley


Surrendered German U-boat - possibly U-889




From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley


Skipper Lieutenant Paul Perrault on the bridge of HMCS ORILLIA K119

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley

Unknown Wren (from ORILLIA, Ontario) greeted by Skpr-Lt Sharpe on HMCS ORILLIA K119

Note: she is also in the wedding photos below

From the collection of John Sharpe

Courtesy Scott Miniou

Wedding onboard HMCS ORILLIA K119

According to the memoirs of LCdr John Sharpe this was the first wedding conducted onboard a ship of the RCN

From the collection of John Sharpe

Courtesy Scott Miniou


From the collection of George Rose, Sig, Royal Navy

Courtesy of David Rose

Ralph Moxley (left) and L/Ck Bruce Laing on HMCS ORILLIA K119


Ralph Moxley's was drafted to Orillia 02 Nov 1941as a RDF Operator. The Early radars were a little temperamental -- the Orillia's RDF unit operated fine when the ship was in harbour at St. John's but once the ship was on the open sea it ceased to function. ORILLIA's second cook had been taken ashore ill in St. John's so until the RDF could be repaired, Ralph was assigned duty as the assistant cook.


From the collection of Lt W. Ralph Moxley, RCNVR


Courtesy of Robert Moxley







(WL01) "ORILLIA Gang" - J. "Frame", Wilson, Ranton, Sheddon, Kennedy, Belmore, F. Stratton, C. Clarke. Taken Sunday, 11 May 1941  (WL02) "Doing Jetty Time" - Baker (foreground), L. Williams (background)  (WL03) "On the boat deck after divisions" - Backrow (L-R): L. Williams, J. Willson, J. Sheldon, E. Rivers Frontrow (L-R): J. “Frame” (France??), Mattews, D. Baker - HMCS ORILLIA 11 May 1941  (WL04) William Littlefair on HMCS ORILLIA  (WL05) 


From the collection of William Kenneth Littlefair, PO Tel, RCNVR

Courtesy of Bill Littlefair









(EB09) Whaler races in Bermuda

(EB10) Boat transfer between HMCS ORILLIA K119 and an unknown destroyer

(EB11) Iceland as seen from HMCS ORILLIA K119






(EB12) HMCS ORILLIA, STBD side looking forward

(EB13) Frankie Stark, STO PO, an iced-up HMCS ORILLIA

(EB14) Chief White, Mate and Commanding Officer Bob Briggs, HMCS ORILLIA K119

(EB15) A few crew members on HMCS ORILLIA K119

From the collection of Eric Baird, CPO, RCNVR

Courtesy of Roger Clarke