For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS QUESNEL K133
Named for the town of Quesnel, BC, she was built by Victoria Machinery Deport Co., Ltd, Victoria, BC and commissioned on 23 May 1941 at Esquimalt. She displaced 950 tons with a draught of 8'3" forward and 13' 5" aft when fully loaded. Her overall length was 205 feet with a beam of 33 feet. Her single steam reciprocating engine gave her a maximum speed of 16 knots. After her "shake down" cruise to Prince Rupert in June 1941, the remainder of the year was spent performing various duties such as ASW training, towing gunnery targets and providing sea training to junior officers from Royal Roads. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Quesnel was part of the rounding up of Japanese fishing vessels on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She also acted as a tender to the Battleship HMS Warspite when she was working up in the strait of Juan De Fuca and Nanoose Bay. In the spring of 1942, HMCS Quesnel carried out A/S patrols in the Strait of George and in Queen Charlotte and Millbank Sounds. She also provided protection to individual ships from US ports to Alaska. During this time HMCS Quesnel provided a screen to RMS Queen Elizabeth while she waited off Esquimalt for ideal tidal conditions to be dry docked in Feb 1942. In June 1942 HMCS Quesnel provided escort to the US tanker Lombardi, arriving in Kodiak, Alaska on 16 Jun 1942. En route back to Esquimalt, on 20 Jun 1942, she intercepted a message intended for HMCS Edmundston, requiring immediate assistance for the Fort Camosun, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, position 47 22 N 125 30 W, approx 70 miles south west of cape Flattery. Several Canadian and US ships responded but Quesnel was first on the scene. On approaching the Fort Camosun HMCS Quesnel picked up a contact and delivered a depth charge attack. Visible results were negative and contact was not regained. The entire crew of Fort Camosun, 51 men, were rescued by HMCS Quesnel. With the assistance of HMCS Edmundston, HMCS Vancouver and tugs, the Fort Camosun was brought to anchor in Neah Bay for pumping out before eventually making to to Esquimalt for repairs. The balance of the summer of 1942 was spent on A/S patrol and intercepting unidentified ships in BC waters. On 13 Sep 1942, HMCS Quesnel, in company with HMCS Timmins, HMCS Dundas, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS new Westminster departed Esquimalt for Halifax via the Panama Canal. She arrived in Halifax on 13 Oct 1942 and was assigned to Western Local Escort Force until Jun 1944. On 11 and 12 May 1943, while escorting convoy ON-180, Quesnel gained a contact. A depth charge attack was made but no further contact was made. With the division of the force into escort groups in Jun 1943, she became a member of EG W-1. During this period she underwent a refit, including fo'c's'le extension, from early Sep to 23 Dec 1943, at Pictou. This refit was followed by workups in St. Margaret's Bay and Bermuda. In Jun 1944 Quesnel joined Quebec Force and spent five months escorting Labrador-Quebec convoys. In Nov 1944 she was transferred to Halifax Force, going to Sydney for refit and, on completion late in Jan 1945, to Bermuda for workups. She resumed escort duty late in Mar 1945, temporarily attached to EG W-5 and W-8 of WLEF until the end of the war. While escorting her final convoy, HX-335, HMCS Quesnel rescued 17 of the crew from the damaged Esso Pitsburg on 12 May 1945, arriving at Halifax on 25 May 1945. On 07 Jun 1945, she landed her ammunition at Shelburne, NS and two days later arrived at Sydney, NS to de-store. HMCS Quesnel then proceeded to Sorel, Quebec where she was paid off on 03 Jul 1945. She was sold on 05 Oct 1945 to the United Steel and Metal Company, Hamilton, Ont., and was broken up there in 1946. During her time escorting convoys in the Atlantic, HMCS Quesnel participated in 48 convoys and made ports of call at Goose Bay, Labrador; St. John's, Nfld; Sydney, NS; Halifax, NS; Saint John, NB; Boston, Mass; New York, NY; and several ports in Quebec.