For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS MACKENZIE 261
First of her class, Mackenzie, built by Canadian Vickers, Montreal, was commissioned there on 06 Oct 1962. As with the other destroyer-escorts of her class, she is named after a famous Canadian river - the Mackenzie River in the North West Territories. Initially based at Halifax, she sailed for the west coast on 02 Mar 1963. Arriving in Esquimalt on 06 May 1963, she spent the remainder of her service life in Pacific waters. In April 1964, HMCS Qu'appelle (call sign CYQD) transferred from the East to the West coast and became the 2nd Squadron Senior ship. To avoid confusion with similar call signs - HMCS Mackenzie's was CGQD - HMCS Mackenzie, being the junior ship, had her call sign changed to CGYZ on 01 Aug 1964. On 02-05 June 1967, Mackenzie had a port visit in Powell River, BC. From 05-07 June 1967 she visited Sechelt, BC. On 04 May 1970, HMCS Provider 508, HMCS Mackenzie 261, HMCS Yukon 263 and HMCS Terra Nova 259 departed Esquimalt for a Far East cruise. On 30 Jun 1973, crew members of HMCS Mackenzie boarded and seized M/V Marysville in a reported million dollar drug seizure. Between 26 May 1986, and 16 Jan 1987, she received her DELEX refit at SRU(P). After 30 years of service, in the course of which she visited 96 foreign ports and steamed 845,640 nautical miles either as a unit of the 4th Canadian Destroyer Squadron or of Training Group Pacific, Mackenzie was paid off on 03 Aug 1993. On 16 Sep 1995, like several of her sisters, she was sunk off Rum Island, near Sidney, B.C., as a sport-divers' venue.
Historical note: Mackenzie was commissioned in Montreal with a West coast crew and had a port visit in Halifax enroute to Esquimalt. This was her first trip through the Panama Canal and other than one exercise in the Caribbean after which she returned directly to Esquimalt she never returned to the Atlantic. She never had an East coast crew and other than her stop in Halifax after her commissioning in Montreal, she never returned to Halifax - the only one of the Cadillacs to do so.