HMCS Thorlock (K394)

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HMCS Thorlock.jpg
HMCS Thorlock
Name: HMCS Thorlock
Namesake: Thorold, Ontario
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: June 1942
Builder: Midland Shipyards Ltd., Midland, Ontario
Laid down: 25 September 1943
Launched: 15 May 1944
Commissioned: 13 November 1944
Decommissioned: 15 July 1945
Identification: Pennant number: K394
Honours and
Atlantic 1945[1]
Fate: sold to Chilean navy
Name: Papudo
Operator: Chilean Navy
Acquired: 18 March 1946
Commissioned: 12 April 1946
Decommissioned: 6 April 1965
Fate: scrapped 1967
General characteristics
Class & type: Modified Flower-class corvette
Displacement: 1,015 long tons (1,031 t; 1,137 short tons)
Length: 208 ft (63.4 m)o/a
Beam: 33 ft (10.1 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.35 m)
  • single shaft
  • 2 × water tube boilers
  • 1 × 4-cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
  • 2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
Speed: 16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement: 90
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × Type 271 SW2C radar
  • 1 × Type 144 sonar

HMCS Thorlock was a modified Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was named for Thorold, Ontario. Her name was changed due to local preference.[2] After the war she was sold to the Chilean Navy.


Main article: Flower class corvette

Flower-class corvettes like Thorlock serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[3][4][5] The "corvette" designation was created by the French as a class of small warships; the Royal Navy borrowed the term for a period but discontinued its use in 1877.[6] During the hurried preparations for war in the late 1930s, Winston Churchill reactivated the corvette class, needing a name for smaller ships used in an escort capacity, in this case based on a whaling ship design.[7] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[8]

Corvettes commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were named after communities for the most part, to better represent the people who took part in building them. This idea was put forth by Admiral Percy W. Nelles. Sponsors were commonly associated with the community for which the ship was named. Royal Navy corvettes were designed as open sea escorts, while Canadian corvettes were developed for coastal auxiliary roles which was exemplified by their minesweeping gear. Eventually the Canadian corvettes would be modified to allow them to perform better on the open seas.[9]


Thorlock was ordered in June 1942 as part of the 1943–44 Increased Endurance Flower-class building program, which followed the main layout of the 1942–43 program. The only significant difference is that the majority of the 43–44 program replaced the 2-pounder Mk.VIII single "pom-pom" anti-aircraft gun with 2 twin 20-mm and 2 single 20-mm anti-aircraft guns.[9] Thorlock was laid down by Midland Shipyards Ltd. at Midland, Ontario 25 September 1943 and launched 15 May 1944.[10][11] She was commissioned into the RCN 13 November 1944 at Midland.[2]

War service[edit]

After working up in Bermuda, Thorlock was assigned to the Mid-Ocean Escort Force. She was allocated to escort group C-9 as a trans-Atlantic convoy escort. She escorted her first convoy at the end of February 1945. She spent the remainder of the war as a convoy escort. On 12 May 1945 while escorting ON 300 she was diverted along with HMCS Victoriaville to accept the surrender of U-190 and escort her to Bay Bulls, Newfoundland and Labrador.[2]

Post-war service[edit]

Thorlock was paid off 15 July 1945 at Sorel, Quebec and placed in reserve. She was transferred to the War Assets Corporation and sold to the Chilean Navy in 1946.[2]

Chilean Navy[edit]

She arrived in Chile 12 April 1946 and was renamed Papudo. She served in the Chilean Navy until 6 April 1945 when she was struck.[12] She was sold for scrapping and broken up in 1967.[11][10]


  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. pp. 103, 202. ISBN 0-00216-856-1. 
  3. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142. 
  5. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9. 
  6. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4. 
  7. ^ Chesneau, Roger; Gardiner, Robert (June 1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships (1922–1946). Naval Institute Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-87021-913-8. 
  8. ^ Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. pp. 117–119, 142–145, 158, 175–176, 226, 235, 285–291. ISBN 0-87021-450-0. 
  9. ^ a b Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7. 
  10. ^ a b "HMCS Thorlock (K 394)". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  12. ^ "Papudo, corbeta". Armada de Chile. Retrieved 29 September 2013.  (Spanish)