Allied Warships

HMCS Huntsville (K 499)

Corvette of the Castle class

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
PennantK 499 
Built byAilsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (Troon, Scotland) 
Ordered23 Jan 1943 
Laid down1 Jun 1943 
Launched24 Feb 1944 
Commissioned6 Jun 1944 
End service15 Feb 1946 

Decommissioned 15 February 1946.
Sold into mercantile service in 1947 being renamed Wellington Kent.

Former nameHMS Woolvesey Castle

Commands listed for HMCS Huntsville (K 499)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/Lt. Charles Bismarck Hermann, RCNVR10 Apr 194420 Jul 1945
2T/Lt. Christopher French Usher, RCNVR21 Jul 1945

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Notable events involving Huntsville include:

15 Oct 1944

Combined convoy OS 92 / KMS 66.

This combined convoy assembled in the North Channel on 15 October 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels thoough some of these only joined later during the passage through the Irish Sea; Adviser (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Alder Park (Canadian, 7141 GRT, built 1944), Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Belgian Trader (British, 2890 GRT, built 1942), Bosphorus (Norwegian, 2111 GRT, built 1934), Cape Sable (British, 4398 GRT, built 1936), City of Lyons (British, 7063 GRT, built 1926), Conakrian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Elizabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Empire Camp (British, 7046 GRT, built 1943), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Flag (British, 7024 GRT, built 1943), Empire Kangaroo (British, 6219 GRT, built 1919), Fernbank (Norwegian, 4333 GRT, built 1924), Fort Finlay (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Hardanger (Norwegian, 4000 GRT, built 1924), Hermelin (Norwegian, 1683 GRT, built 1940), Jonathan Holt (British, 4963 GRT, built 1943), King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Lagarto (British, 5072 GRT, built 1917), Mantola (British, 8963 GRT, built 1921), Miguel de Larrinaga (British, 5231 GRT, built 1924), Nairnbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), Ocean Vanity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ottinge (British, 2818 GRT, built 1940), Pandorian (British, 4159 GRT, built 1941), Ragnhild (Norwegian, 2833 GRT, built 1942), Robert Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Rodsley (British, 5000 GRT, built 1939), Samfoyle (British, 7255 GRT, built 1944), St. Rosario (British, 4312 GRT, built 1937), Tudor Star (British, 7199 GRT, built 1919) and Umgeni (British, 8180 GRT, built 1942).

Also taking passage in the convoy were the submarines HMS Trident (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, DSO, RN), HMS Thrasher (Lt.Cdr. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Sea Scout (Lt. J.W. Kelly, RN) as well as 9 LCT's which were towed by some of the merchant vessels; These 9 LCT's were the following; HM LCT 480 (T/S.Lt. G.R. Sample, RNVR) which was being towed by the City of Lyons, HM LCT 488 (T/S.Lt. A.P.P. Thomas, RNVR) and HM LCT 489 (?) which were being towed by the Samfoyle, HM LCT 491 (T/Lt. W.C. Gray, RNVR) and HM LCT 7015 (T/S.Lt. D.H. Condick, RNVR) which were being towed by the Fort Finlay, HM LCT 494 (T/Lt. J. DSC, Murts, RNVR) and HM LCT 7014 (T/A/S.Lt. J. Farrell, RNVR) which were being towed by the Nairnbank and the HM LCT 7022 (?) and HM LCT 7023 (?) which were being towed by the Ocean Vanity.

The convoy was escorted by and the sloop HMS Fowey (A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Newey, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Allington Castle (A/Lt.Cdr. P.A. Read, RNR) and HMS Knaresborough Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Marchant, RNR).

The convoy encountered poor weather and by the 17th it had even worsened. Some of the landing craft were now suffering from the weather conditions. Due to the extreme weather conditions the convoy hove to A.M. on the 18th and additional escorts were requisted.

Late in the afternoon of the 18th, HM 480 had to be abandoned by her crew due to the damage she had sustained and water she had shipped from the weather, loose cargo and defective welds. The crew was picked up from Carley floats around 2200A/18 by HMS Allington Castle. She sank to the south of Ireland around 2330A/18 after having been scuttled with gunfire.

HM 488 had sustained damage during the night of the 17th/18th. Around 1000A/18, she slipped her tow and got underway under her own power to try to make for Milford Haven. More and more water entered the landing craft and when a pump failed it became apparent that she most likely would go down. HMS Knaresborough Castle then closed and it was attempted to abandon the landing craft. Some of the crew was taken off but ten men remained on board during the night of 18/19 and tried to keep the ship afloat. By 0415A/19 the ship had to be abandoned as it was about to sink. Red flares were fired and HMS Knaresborough Castle closed. While doing so the landing craft sank and only one of the ten men on board could be picked up. The other nine, including the landing craft's Commanding Officer drowned.

HM LCT 491 got into trouble during the early afternoon of the 18th and as a result she slipped her tow as did HM LCT 7015. By mid afternoon of the 18th she had shipped a very heavy sea which damaged the welding around the door in the bow. More big seas followed and the ship was shipping a lot of water. Around 0100A/19, HMS Allington Castle closed. Around 0330A/19, HM LCT 491 started to sink. HMS Allington Castle went alongside and managed to take off the entire crew.

HM LCT 494 parted her tow around 0845A/18. She was last seen during the afternoon of that day while under her own power. She must have sunk in the evening with the loss of the entire crew.

HM LCT 7014 also slipped her tow in the morning of the 18th and got underway under her own power. By noon power had been lost and she sank not long afterwards. Part of her crew were picked up by the rescue ship, from convoy ON 260, Dundee (British, 1541 GRT, built 1934) but nine men, including the Commanding Officer lost their lives.

HM LCT 7015 also slipped her tow around 1500A/18. She was not seen afterwards and disappeared with her entire crew.

Meanwhile the frigates HMS Tobago (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.H.L. May, OBE, RNVR) and HMS Zanzibar (T/Lt. F.F. Parker, RNVR) were ordered to detach from convoy HX 312 and join convoy OS 92 / KMS 66.

Three more escorts were also ordered to join, these were the escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt. B.H. Brown, RN) corvettes HMCS Huntsville (T/Lt. C.B. Hermann, RCNVR) and HMS Kingcup (T/Lt. T. Cooper, DSC, RNR).

Also on the 19th the City of Lyons parted company with the convoy due to damage sustained. She arrived at Milford Haven the following day.

P.M. on the 19th, HMS Kingcup reported proceeding to Falmouth with HM LCT 7022 and HM LCT 7023. Later the two landing craft were abandoned. HMS Kingcup took on board their crews and proceeded at best possible speed to Falmouth to land an injured men. The frigate HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) was ordered to stand by the two landing craft. Later HMS Kingcup returned with their crews and the landing craft were reboarded.

A.M. on the 20th found the convoy badly scattered.

P.M. on the 20th the Lagarto reported being in distress with weather damage and also having lost a men overboard. HMS Knaresborough Castle was also not in contact with the convoy. A signal was sent to requist more additional escorts. HMS Drury was then ordered to relieve HMS Allington Castle. Lagarto put into Falmouth.

A.M. on the 21st HMS Trident reported that a wire had fouled one of her propellers. HMS Knaresborough Castle was able to rejoin the convoy.

By P.M. on the 22nd, all ships had rejoined the convoy except four.

A.M. on the 23rd a signal was received from FOCNA (Flag Officer Commanding North Atlantic) that the Lisbon / Huelva section of the convoy was to part company on passing 39°N and proceed independently. They did so A.M. on the 24th.

A.M. on the 25th, the Empire Confidence and Nairnbank arrived independently at Gibraltar. P.M. on the 25th the Rodsley also arrived at Gibraltar.

On 25 October the convoy split into convoy OS 92 which continued on towards Freetown and KMS 66 which set course for the Mediterranean.

The three original escorts and the three submarines arrived at Gibraltar P.M. on the 26th.


Convoy OS 92 was made up of the merchant vessels; Conakrian, Empire Camp, Empire Flag, Jonathan Holt and Tudor Star.

They were joined by the following merchant vessels coming from Gibraltar which they had departed on the 24th; Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Empire Austen (British, 7057 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stour (British, 4678 GRT, built 1930) and Euryades (British, 5801 GRT, built 1913). They were escorted by the frigates HMS Ballinderry (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Aikman, RNR) and HMS Inver (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RD, RNR) which now took over the escort of convoy OS 92.

Also joining at the rendezvous were the merchant vessels Charles Schiaffino (French, 3664 GRT, built 1930) and Chelma (French, 4968 GRT, built 1920) coming from Casablanca which they had left on the 24th together with thee merchant vessels Cape Hawke (British, 5081 GRT, built 1941), Sarah Orne Jewitt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) and Vancouver City (British, 7261 GRT, built 1942) which joined convoy KMS 66. They were escorted by the French patrol vessels patrol vessels L'Effronté and Le Resolu. These two French patrol vessels returned to Casablanca on the 26th with the Ragnhild.

On 1 November 1944, the Charles Schiaffino and Chelma arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy. With them was also the Empire Stour which had engine defects.

The convoy escorts and some of the merchant vessels arrived at Freetown on 4 November 1944. Some of the merchant vessels continued on independently to their destinations.


Convoy KMS 66 proceeded towards the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy was made up of the merchant vessels Adviser, Alder Park, Belgian Trader, Bosphorus, Cape Hawke, Cape Sable, Elizabethville, Empire Confidence, Empire Kangaroo, Fernbank, Fort Finlay, Hardanger, Hermelin, King Stephen, Mantola, Miguel de Larrinaga, Nairnbank, Ocean Vanity, Ottinge, Robert Maersk, Rodsley, Samfoyle, Sarah Orne Jewitt, St. Rosario, Umgeni and Vancouver City.

The convoy passed Gibraltar on the 26th. On passing the Strait the following merchant vessels were detached; Miguel de Larrinaga, Ottinge and St. Rosario. These three merchant ships had all sustained weather damage and put into Gibraltar to effect repairs. Also the three submarines and three original escorts put into Gibraltar.

The convoy was joined by a new escort made up of the frigate HMS Usk (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Medlycott, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McInnes, RNR) and Nada. Also the merchant vessel Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy.

On 27 October 1944, the merchant vessel Sarah Orne Jewitt was detached to Oran while the merchant vessel Jamaique (French, 10123 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Oran.

On 28 October 1944, the merchant vessel Rodsley was detached to Algiers while the merchant vessel Samaffric (British, 7210, built 1944) joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

On 29 October 1944, the merchant vessels Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Pitt (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942) and Lyminge (British, 2499 GRT, built 1919) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

On 30 October 1944, the merchant vessel Belgian Trader was detached to Algiers while the tanker Liss (Norwegian (tanker), 5932 GRT, built 1921) joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

On 31 October 1944, the tanker British Destiny (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Malta. The corvette Nada parted company and proceeded to Malta.

On 31 October 1944, the merchant vessels / tankers Cistula (Dutch (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Sambre (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Samsperrin (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) departed Augusta to join the convoy.

On 1 November 1944, the merchant vessels Cape Hawke, Cape Sable, Empire Kangaroo, Fort Finlay, Fort Grahame, King Stephen, Lyminge, Ocean Vanity, Samaffric and Vancouver City arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 4 November 1944, the merchant vessels Fernbank, Hardanger, Nairnbank and Sambre arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 5 November 1944.

Media links

Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1939-1945

MacPherson, Ken and Milner, Marc

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