Type: Flower Class Corvette
Displacement: 950 tonnes
Length: 205.1 feet
Beam: 33.1 feet
Draught: 11.5 feet
Top Speed: 16 knots
Ship’s Company: Officers: 6, crew: 79; increasing to a total of more than 100 as additional weapons and sensors were installed during the war.
Weapons: One Mark IX four-inch breech-loading gun, with a range against surface targets of 12,000 yards; one Mark VIII two-pounder pom-pom and two 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns; anti-submarine weapons included 100 depth charges: steel drums filled with 300 pounds of high explosive, set to explode at various depths and launched from two depth-charge throwers on each side or rolled off the stern from two depth-charge rails. Later in the war, one MK 3 Hedgehog was fitted forward. The hedge hog was a spigot mortar which fired 24 projectiles or bombs in a pattern 200 yards ahead of the ship, allowing the attacking ship to remain in contact as it pursued its U-Boat target. The contact-fused bombs were filled with 32 pounds of Torpex – if one bomb hit the target it exploded and the rest of the pattern detonated too, greatly increasing the likelihood of a successful attack compared with depth charges.
Propulsion: A single four-cylinder vertical triple expansion engine capable of generating 2,750 hp to its single shaft and propeller, achieving a top speed of 16 knots. This engine was designed before the turn of the 20th century and was used because it was simple to operate and to repair. Sackville was also equipped with two cylindrical Scottish fire-tube oil-fired boilers, which provided steam at 200 psi pressure to power the ship’s engine and also a basic level of heat and hot water for the ship’s company’s use.
Radar: Initially the Canadian-built SW1C for surface warning and navigation later replaced by the much better British Type 271; and the SW2C/P air warning radar.
Asdic: Initially the Type123A, later replaced by the 127DV which was required for the new hedgehog. (This acoustic sensor [referred to as sonar in the US Navy] was devised by the UK’s Anti-submarine Detection Investigation Committee after World War I.) Using echo sounding it provided the range and bearing of an enemy submarine.
Pendant (Hull) number: K181. Named after the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick
Builder: Saint John Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Saint John, New Brunswick. Laid Down: May 28, 1940; launched: May 15, 1941; commissioned: Dec 30, 1941; paid off: Apr 8, 1946
Modernization: In May 1944, Sackville underwent an eight-week refit in Galveston, Texas which greatly improved her capabilities as an anti-submarine escort. Her forecastle (foc’sle) was extended aft to make her more seaworthy and create additional living and working space for her crew. She was also fitted with a gyro compass (replacing her obsolete magnetic compass) which provided accurate bearings and drove compass-repeats throughout the ship, and the Hedgehog ATW (Ahead-Throwing Weapon).