River Class Frigate




Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1943-45,   Arctic  1944,    Normandy  1944



Laid down: 02 May 1942

Launched: 03 Apr 1942

Commissioned: 16 Jun 1943

Paid off: 29 Jan 1946

Sold: 1947 to India

Re-named: Pilot Vessel Hooghley in 1950

Fate: Unknown


The first frigate completed on the west coast, WASKESIU was commissioned at Victoria on 16 Jun 1943, and left for Halifax on 08 Jul. She worked up in Bermuda the following month, returning to Halifax on 11 Sep 1943, and late in Oct 1943 left for Londonderry to join EG 5, re-numbered EG 6 on 21 Nov 1943. WASKESIU severed chiefly in U.K. waters, but early in 1944 supported Gibraltar and Sierra Leone convoys. On 24 Feb 1944, while escort to SC.153, she sank U 257, and in Apr 1944 made a trip to North Russia to bring back convoy RA.59. On 28 Apr 1944, WASKESIU , GROU K518, OUTREMONT K322 and CAPE BRETON K350 departed Kola Inlet with Convoy RA.59; arriving at Loch Ewe on 06 May 1944. She was present on D-Day. On 14 Sep 1944 she left 'Derry with ONF.253 for Canada, and soon after arriving began an extensive refit at Shelburne. On its completion in Mar 1945, she proceeded to Bermuda to work up, following which she sailed for Londonderry via Horta. She left 'Derry for Canada late in May 1945, proceeding to Esquimalt in Jun 1945 to commence tropicalization refit, but work suspended in Aug 1945 and she was paid off into reserve on 29 Jan 1946. She was sold to the Indian government in 1947 for conversion to a pilot vessel, and re-named Hooghly in 1950.


U-Boats Sunk:  U-257 (Kptlt Heinz Rahe) sunk on 24 Feb 1944 by HMCS WASKESIU K330 in position 47-19 N, 26-00 W. Of her crew of 51, there were 19 survivors. U-257 was a VIIC type U-boat built by Vegesacker Werft, Vegesack, launched 19 Nov 41, commissioned 14 Jan 42, in service 25 months, with no record of sinking any ships, operated with the Wolfpacks in 1942 with the "Luchs" group (1-7 Oct) & attacked convoy HX 209, the "Falke" group (31 Dec-22 Jan 43). Some survivors were picked up by HMCS NENE.



RCN Memories:     Life on a WW 2 Frigate


Photos and Documents          Ship's Company Photos          The Ship's Bell


An Extract from MS of White Ensign, Black Pit - By Gary McGregor, LL.B.          George Devonshire's Diary and Comments - 1942 to 1945



Commanding Officers


LCdr John Hubert Smith MacDonald, RCNR - 16 Jun 1943 - 04 Feb 1944


LCdr James Philip Fraser, RCNR - 05 Feb 1944 - 13 Dec 1944


A/LCdr Lewis Denis Quick, RCNR - 14 Dec 1944 - 22 Oct 1945



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Adams, Clifford L.

Arsenault, Keith

Bennett, Hedley

Boyle, Thomas B.

Brown, Wilfred L.

Bullock, Donald

Devonshire, George A.

Downey, Dale G.

Esraelian, Dick

Fogg, Walter A.

Fraser, James P.

Gibb, William

Green, C. Ross

Guatto, D. Al

Harasyn, Delco A.

Joyal, Claude E. R.

Kaija, Andrew V.

Kay, John J.

Kirchin, Clifford W.

Knox, William M. V.

Lawrence, James

Lawrence, Thomas E.

Leahy, Gerry J.

Lear, Walter

Lincoln, John H.

McGee, Aubrey F.

McFarlane, Ronald H.

Melanson, Louis M.

Menzies, Bruce

Miniely, Lawrence E.

Nash, Frank T. W.

Oldland, Gordon R.

Power, Edmund L.

Quick, Lewis D.

Reid, John M.

Rickard, John A.

Ritchie, Walter L.

Robinson, Charles E.

Rushton, Harry A.

Taylor, George W.

Thompson, C. H.

Todd, Arthur N.

Tough, William F.

Tustian, Allan E.

Vachon, Marcel

Venner, Leslie R.

Ward, Thomas G.

Ship's Mascot





Former Crew Members


Agnew, Irving - 1943


Booth, William, AB from Windsor, ON. - 1944


Burns, William, Sto PO - 1944 


Dunnam, Roderick, AB - 1944 


Farmer, James, Lt, (MID for actions during battle with U-257 - "For good service in the destruction of an enemy submarine.")


Finch, Jack, Sto - 1945 (of Winnipeg, MB)


Fortune, M.G.T., PO - 1944 MID for actions during battle with U-257 - "For good service in the destruction of an enemy submarine.")


Extence, Alan Barr, Lt (E), RCNVR - 17 May 1944


Glennon, Bill -  1944 - 1946


Gordon, Arnold - 1944


Hartley, Bill - 1943


Hatch, Carr, Lt, RCNVR - 10 May 1943 (Commissioning crew)


Hodding, Aubrey Vyvyan, A/Wt (E), RCNR - 16 Jun 1943


Holms, John Edward Vandeleur, Lt, RCNVR - 16 Jun 1943

Irven, Leonard Manley, SLt, RCNVR - 03 Mar 1945


Klayh, Arnold B. 


Lanigan, Clarence Hamilton, A/Lt, RCNVR - 01 Mar 1944


MacAulay, Beverley Francis, Lt (El), RCNVR - 28 Jun 1943


MacDonald, John Hubert Smith, LCdr, RCNR - 10 May 1943 (Commissioning crew)


MacFarlane, Robert Murray, A/Lt, RCNVR - 20 Feb 1945


Manson, Lt - 1944


McLeod, Lt - 1944


McPhee, Lt - 1944


Montgomery, Lt - 1944


Nares, George Peter, SLt, RCNVR - 10 May 1943  (Commissioning crew).


O'Brien, J.G. - 1944 (MID for actions during battle with U-257 - "For good service in the destruction of an enemy submarine.")

Paterson, Lt - 1944


Ravis, Don


Rennie, Fred, Lt - 1944


Rickard, John H., LS - 1944 (DSM for actions during battle with U-257)


Russell, John Leslie, Surg/Lt, RCNVR -30 Jun 1943


Saint Louis, Joseph Albert, A/Lt, RCNVR - 01 Feb 1945


Stanley, James D. (Jim), AB, ASDIC Operator 


Stevenson (??Stephanson), Thomas, AB, Gunner during sinking of U-257 - 1944 (DSM for actions during battle with U-257)


Stoner, B.M., AB (DSM for actions during battle with U-257)


Taylor, Gord - 1944


Wall, Art, Gunner during sinking of U-257 - 1944


White, Arthur, AB, from South Lancaster, ON - 1944


Williams, William Edward, Lt, RCNR - 16 Jun 1943


Worsencroft, Ken, Sig - 1944


Photos and Documents




HMCS WASKESIU K330 Christmas Card

Courtesy of Dave Upright



DND / RCN photo Negative # F835-R


Source: flickr photo collection of Ron Bell


Source: flickr photo collection of Ron Bell


Source: flickr photo collection of Ron Bell


Source: flickr photo collection of Ron Bell

Newspaper article from a Hamilton newspaper of HMCS WASKESIU sinking German sub

Courtesy of Doug Benson

Newspaper article on HMCS WASKESIU K330


LIEUT. JAMES FARMER, RCNVR, of Windsor, (left) well known rugby star, is one of the officers aboard WASKESIU. The Number One Oerlikon gun crew is pictured at the right. A.B. THOMAS STEPHENSON, Mount Dennis, is at the gun while his loader, standing behind, is A.B. WILLIAM BOOTH, of Windsor.


Note: Written on article "Seaman Herbert Parker is a member of crew"


Source: City of Kawartha Lakes Digital Archives

Oerlikon gun crew AB William Knox (left) and AB Arthur White

Courtesy of Gavan Knox

19 Germans Rescued after Sub Polished Off

Globe & Mail, 05 Apr 1944


Ottawa, April 4 (CP) - Nineteen days after leaving a fitting-out berth as the first Canadian frigate, HMCS WASKESIU -- pronounced Was-ka-sue -- recently destroyed a German U-boat involved in the north Atlantic and brought back nineteen survivors as evidence. If there were any "stars" in the grim game which the WASKESIU played and won they were the members of her No. 1 and No. 2 gun crews. Gunner on the No. 1 gun was AB Thomas Stevenson, Mount Dennis, Ont. His loader was AB William Booth, Windsor, Ont. On No. 2 gun were AB William Knox, Calgary and AB Arthur White, South Lancaster, Ont. (Transcription of article from the Globe & Mail)


Courtesy of Gavan Knox

Newspaper article on Herbert Parker, HMCS WASKESIU K330

Source: City of Kawartha Lakes Digital Archives


(AD91) HMCS WASKESIU K330 - possibly during trials as the ensign she is flying is not a White Ensign. RCN neg # HN390-R  // edited / lightened copy of photo

From the collection of Allan Dougall, LCdr (E), RCN(R)

Courtesy of David Dougall

Newest mascot on board frigate HMCS WASKESIU - this is pert parakeet, a small tropical parrot - but the bird will get some "leave" first before fighting the Japs. So will its "boss," Stoker Jack Finch of Winnipeg, shown here as he prepared to leave ship after her recent arrival at a B.C. port for pre Pacific refit. Finch picked up the parakeet in Panama while the ship was making a 7,000 mile trip through the Canal from Halifax to the west coast. The sailor took the bird home with him but said he intends to bring it back. Finch is a pacific volunteer.


The Crow's Nest newspaper - Aug 1945

HMCS WASKESIU attacks U-257 with depth charges, forcing it to the surface


Credit: Painting by maritime artist Bo Hermanson, CSMA


Source: Canadian Virtual Military Museum (facebook page)









(JR18) John Rickard aboard HMCS WASKESIU K330 - 1944

(JR19) John Rickard down scrambling net to help bring survivors of U-257 aboard HMCS WASKESIU K330 - 24 Feb 1944

(JR20) John Rickard pushing U-257 survivors over the rails on HMCS WASKESIU K330 - 24 Feb 1944

(JR21) HMCS WASKESIU - 1943. Photographer: Capt Michael Curry

(JR22) HMCS WASKESIU K330 - DND/RCN photo HN-429-R



(JR32) Rekindling wartime friendships

An article on a crew reunion for HMCS WASKESIU K330 13-16 Jun 2003 at Waskesiu Lake, SK.

From the collection of Bud Lear

Courtesy of  John H. Rickard