HMCS WEYBURN, Flower class corvette, struck a mine laid by U-118 on 22 February 1943 off the Strait of Gibraltar. Of her crew of seventy-seven, nine were killed, including one Royal Navy rating.
WEYBURN had been assigned with seventeen RCN corvettes to assist in the invasion of North Africa, Operation TORCH. She had just left Gibraltar after refueling to rejoin her convoy when she detonated a mine on her port side, opening up the engine room, buckling her deck and splitting her funnel. The explosion killed one rating. Damage to the corvette, although severe was not critical. Damage control began, and all but two depth charges were rendered safe by throwing the detonators over the side.
HMS WIVERN came alongside and began to removed WEYBURN’s wounded and survivors when twenty minutes later an after bulkhead gave way and the corvette began to sink immediately.
Several survivors from the corvette were still in the water when the two depth charges exploded, killing eight men and wounding many others. The underwater explosion was sufficient to shift WIVERN’s engines and boilers, rendering the destroyer dead in the water. Between the two ships, eighty-four RCN and RN Sailors were wounded.
Photo courtesy the Naval Museum of Manitoba.