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France: La Fayette-type frigates' pennants

Last modified: 2009-10-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: frigate | aconit (frigate) |
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Frigate Aconit

The stealth frigate Aconit, based at Toulon, was launched on 8 June 1997.
The frigate is the fourth vessel named Aconit, the most famous of them being the corvette Aconit of the Free French Naval Forces (FNFL). Transfered by Britain to the FNFL in July 1941, the Aconit (ex Aconite) was mostly used as an escort vessel in the Atlantic Ocean; on 11 March 1943, she needed less than five hours to destroy two German submarines (U444 and U 432). After having escorted 116 convoys, the Aconit was eventually retroceded to the Royal Navy on 30 April 1947.

The obverse of the pennant of the Aconit is green and black, the colours being displayed like on the ribbon of the Order of Liberation, awarded to the ship and her commander, Lieutenant Levasseur, by General de Gaulle on 19 April 1943. The name of the vessel is written in the middle of the flag in golden letters. Four golden anchors, fouled argent and pointing inwards, are placed in each corner of the flag.
The reverse of the pennant is vertically divided blue- red with a white lozenge in the middle. Four golden anchors, fouled argent and pointing inwards, are placed in each corner of the flag. The emblem of the vessel is placed in the middle of the white lozenge.
The emblem of the Aconit is a white oblong disk surrounded by a golden rope, with in the middle a white anchor outlined in gold and two aconite branches with green leaves and blue flowers. The anchor and flower are flanked on left by the Medal of the Order of Liberation and on right by the War Cross 1939-1945, awarded on 21 April 1943.

Source: Net-Marine website

Ivan Sache, 23 March 2009

It should be noted that the Aconit sank the two submarines by ramming them, a truly unusual occurance. Also as a matter of interest the ensign of the Aconit during this action survives. On October 5, 1943 it was presented by Vice-Admiral R. Fenard, Chief of the French Naval Mission in the U.S. to the collection of Wall Street financier, business man and promoter of Franco-American goodwill, Calvin Bullock. His 1 Wall Street offices in New York City contained one of the world's leading collections of memorabilia pertaining to Napoléon, and numerous French flags.

Jim Ferrigan, 24 March 2009