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Sunday, 23 May 2010


Ship No 308

H.M.S. Petunia

Flower Class Corvette.
She was ordered on 25th July 1939

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 723 tons, another of the many unsung small ships that worked tirelessly during World War II. She was launched from the yard on 19th of September 1940

One of her many adventures included her part in the rescue of some of the passengers from the torpedoed liner,
“Empress of Canada”, 21,517grt, (Canadian Pacific Ltd) which, had been sailing independently from Durban to Takoradi and the U.K. on government service, carrying over 1500 passengers including military personnel and Italian PoW's. On the 14th March 1943 the ship was torpedoed in the South Atlantic about 420 miles SSW of Cape Palmas by the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci and sank in position 01' 13S 09' 57W. The ships Captain, 273 crew, 26 DEMS gunners and 1,188 passengers were rescued by the Corvette's HMS Crocus and “Petunia”, as well as the Destroyer HMS Boreas and the Ocean Boarding Vessel Corinthian and landed in Freetown. 44 crew and 348 passengers were lost. (For more visit Leith Built Ships on War Service page)
For a full and pretty comprehensive Naval History of H.M.S. Petunia

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