HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

Flower Class Corvette

 


 

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 sporting her gunshield art early in the war.

Note that her main mast is still forward of the bridge

Click on the above photo to view a larger image

From the collection of James Hill

Courtesy of Marlene Hill

 

Laid down: 11 Apr 1940

Launched: 18 Jul 1940

Commissioned: 17 Dec 1940

Paid off: 19 Jun 1945

Fate: Sold in 1946 to Venezuelan Navy. Paid off in 1961. Broken up in 1962

 

Laid down as HMCS Banff, she was renamed HMCS WETASKIWIN during construction. Commissioned at Esquimalt on 17 Dec 1940 as HMCS WETASKIWIN K175,  she was the first west coast-built corvette to enter service. She patrolled out of Esquimalt until 17 Mar 1941 when HMCS ALBERNI, HMCS AGASSIZ and HMCS WETASKIWIN departed Esquimalt for Halifax. Enroute they stopped at San Pedro, California for fuel, where a party for the crew, hosted by actress Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks, was held for them. They arrived at Halifax on 13 Apr 1941. On 23 May 1941, ALBERNI, AGASSIZ and WETASKIWIN left Halifax for St. John's to join the recently formed NEF. In Jun 1941 she escorted her first convoy, HX.130, to Iceland, and during the next eight months made six round trips there with eastbound convoys. She returned to Halifax on 24 Jan 1942, and in Feb 1942 commenced a major refit at Liverpool, N.S. After working up in May 1942 she joined EG C-3, arriving in Londonderry on 05 Jun 1942 for the first time from convoy HX.191. During this period WETASKIWIN participated in two major convoy actions: SC.42 (Sep 1941); and SC.48 (Oct 1941). On 31 July 1942, while escorting ON.115, she shared with SKEENA the sinking of  U-588. In mid-Jan 1943 she arrived at Liverpool, N.S., for refit, which was completed on 09 Mar 1943 and followed by further repairs at Halifax. In May 1943, she joined EG C-5, and that Dec 1943 went to Galveston, Texas, for a long refit, including extension of her fo'c's'le. Following its completion  on 06 Mar 1944, she returned briefly to Halifax before proceeding to Bermuda for work-ups late in Apr 1944. Returning northward, she re-joined C-5, leaving Londonderry on 23 Sep 1944 for the last time to join EG W-7, WLEF, for the remainder of the war. She was paid off at Sorel on 19 Jun 1945, and sold in 1946 to the Venezuelan Navy, which re-named her Victoria. She was discarded in 1962.

 

U-boats Sunk:  U-588 (Kptlt Viktor Vogel) sunk on 31 Jul 1942 by HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 and HMCS SKEENA I59 in position 49-59 N, 36-36 W. No survivors of crew of 46.

 


 

Photos and Documents            Ship's company photos

 

Memories of Life Aboard HMCS WETASKIWIN by John (Jack) Armstrong, Tel, RCNVR

 


 

Commanding Officers

 

LCdr Guy Stanley Windeyer, RCN - 17 Dec 1940 - 04 Nov 1942

A/LCdr John Richard Kidston, RCNVR - 05 Nov 1942 - 21 Mar 1944

Lt Arthur Walton, RCNR - 22 Mar 1944 - 06 Aug 1944

A/LCdr M.S. Duffus, RCNVR - 07 Aug 1944 - 15 Sep 1944

Lt Arthur Walton, RCNR - 16 Sep 1944 - 19 Jun 1945

 


 

    In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

KENNEDY, Ronald E.

OS, RCNVR

died - 07 Jun 1942

 


 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

 

 


 

Former Crew Members

 

Adamson, William Hugh, Lt, RCNVR - 06 Mar 1944

 

Armstrong, Jack, Tel (alive and well in 2022)

 

Butters, Ian, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1943

 

Chandler, Alan Malcolm A/War (E), RCN - Jan 1945

 

Francois, John Eugene, Mate, RCNR - 07 Feb 1941

 

Helfrick, Roxy L., Stoker

 

Louis, Reginal Cecil, Lt, RCNVR - 27 Jan 1942

 

MacDonald, Ian Allan Banes, Slt, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1944

McCarten, Samuel Clifford, Slt, RCNVR - 02 Mar 1945

 

Stone, Ralph Eugene, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1945

 

Trainor, John James, Lt, RCNVR - 19 Jul 1944

 

Watson, Robert Forster - Mar 1944 - Jun/Jul 1945 (alive and well - Oct 2020)

 

Whitehouse, Wilfred George, A/War (E), RCN - 15 Feb 1944

 

Williams, John Nelson Elmhurst, Lt, RCNVR - 19 Jul 1944

 

Woods, William Allan, Lt, RCNVR - 11 May 1943

 


 

Photos and Documents

 

LR14

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

From the collection of Larry Restall, Radar Operator, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Clay Restall

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 as seen from HMCS QUESNEL K133

 

From the collection of Jim Silvester

 

Courtesy of Jim Silvester

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

Credit: Ken Macpherson / Naval Museum of Alberta

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

Credit: Ken Macpherson / Naval Museum of Alberta

HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 - December 1942

 

Credit: J.D. Mahoney / Library and Archives of Canada / PA116836

R. Burnett (Burnie) Forbes painting the gunshield "Wet Assed Queen" on HMCS WETASKIWIN

 

Courtesy of Barb Ishler

Christmas - Dec 1944 - onboard HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

From the collection of David Boehm

 

Courtesy of Philip Gauthier

HMCS WETASKIWIN jacket patch

 

From the collection of David Boehm

 

Courtesy of Philip Gauthier

 


 

IB49

IB50

(IB49-IB50) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

From the collection of Ivan Bennett, RCNVR

 Courtesy of Ivan Bennett

 


 

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(1) Joe Rouble sitting by the gunshield art on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(2) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 escorting a convoy. Photo taken from an aircraft - 11 Dec 1944, 1800 GMT, 300'

(3) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 looking well weather beaten. Photo taken after the refit where her main mast was move aft of the bridge and missile racks added to her gun shield

(4) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(5) Twin Oerlikon on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(6) Walter Faraday Wright climbing out the quarterdeck hatch on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(7) John Adlard (of Winnipeg) on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(8) Unknown sailor on the bridge of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(9) John Douglas (holding the spoon), Jimmy Hill (middle) and John Ogradnick on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(10) Unknown Petty Officers by the jack staff on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(11) Unknown sailor with the ship's mascot on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(12) The Catch of the Day being shown off on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(13) A WETASKIWIN sailor with the catch of the day

(14) Unknown sailors on the bridge wing of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(15) McTavish (1st on right) other 2 sailors unknown on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(16) Unknown sailor from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 ashore - place unknown

 

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(17) Unknown sailor from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 ashore - place unknown

(18) Unknown sailor on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(19) L-R:  McTavish, Charlie Hardiman, Graham on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(20) Unknown warship, photo taken from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(21) Boat crew coming alongside HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(22) HMCS WETASKIWIN's boat crew. Robert Watson, front, centre, side on; Walter Faraday Wright, front, right side of photo

(23) HMCS WETASKIWIN's sailors going ashore

(24) Unknown sailor on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(25) HMCS DUNVER K03 - photo taken from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(26) Unknown ships on the horizon - photo taken from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(27) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 biting in to a wave

(28) Unknown ship - photo taken from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(29) Unknown sailors by the depth charge throwers on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(30) Unknown sailors on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(31) A weather-beaten HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 about to get a bit of TLC from the crew

(32) Unknown sailors relaxing on the fo'c's'le of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(33) Sailors painting the funnel on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(34) Unknown port - photo taken from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(35) Unknown sailors on HMCS WETASKIWIN K17

(36) Unknown sailor on the machine gun on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(37) Unknown sailor on the fo'c's'le of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(38) Unknown sailor with ship's mascot on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(39) John Adlard on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(40) Unknown sailors on the bridge of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(41) Front: L-R: Cutler and Simpson.  Rear: L-R: Cook, joe Peters, Reid and Vance on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(42) Steward Jimmy Hill Parts Company With "Queen of Hearts" After Long Service Through Battle of Atlantic - Newspaper article from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

(43) Queen of Hearts Ends Her Sea Duties

 


 

        

Slightly different versions of the "Wet Assed Queen" on HMCS WETASKIWIN

 

           

WETASKIWIN Iced-up

 

              

Christmas - Dec 1944 - HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 in St. John's, Newfoundland

 

From the collection of James Hill

 

Courtesy of Marlene Hill

 


 

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(JA01) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JA02) Wrens visiting HMCS WETASKIWIN

(JA03) Radar Antenna and Signal Yardarm on HMCS WETASKIWIN

Jack's story about the mast: During one quiet time, I was curious what it would be like to climb to the top of the ship's antenna. One day, as a lark, I decided to find out and I started up the mast. The rope ladder was moving with each step and the mast itself was swaying. When I secured myself to the masthead, I looked down and was startled to not see the ship but just tossing waves below me, the ship was swaying in the waves so much that the mast was way over the water. Then it would sway to the opposite side. It was an experience I will never forget, a strange and unsettling feeling ! I was extremely lucky to have not gotten into big trouble for my wee adventure.

 

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(JA04) Jack Armstrong on HMCS WETASKIWIN

(JA05) Sig Al Wade on HMCS WETASKIWIN

(JA06) Tel Sinbad on HMCS WETASKIWIN

(JA07) Ashore in New York City - L-R: Tel Sinbad, Sig Bob Touvelle; and Jack Armstrong.  This photo is a staged, we were not in a bar at all!  We visited New York City and on the street a photographer offered to take our photo in front of a staged background and foreground. That is why you see me with a bottle or two of liquor....

 

From the collection of John (Jack) Armstrong, Tel, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Bob Gregory

 


 

 

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(JC01-JC02) HMCS SAULT STE MARIE J334

(JC03) Four unknown sailors onboard HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC04) Depth charge rails on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC05) Sailors dumping a smoke canister over the stern of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC06) HMCS PRESERVER F94 with Fairmile Motor Launches alongside, St. John's, Newfoundland

(JC07) Royal Navy Assurance Class Rescue Tug DILIGENT W18, St. John's, Newfoundland

(JC08) Three corvettes nested

(JC09) HMCS ALGONQUIN R17 outboard ship at Jetty 3, Halifax, NS

(JC10) Damaged merchant vessel with stern cut off and sealed, Halifax, NS

 

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(JC11) Unknown sailor on the signal lamp on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC12) Unknown sailor on the bridge of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC13) Four unknown sailors in front of the forward gun mount on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC14-JC15) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 fueling from an Oiler

 

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(JC16) Walter Faraday Wright climbing out the quarterdeck hatch on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC17) Unknown Petty Officer on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC18) Unknown sailor holding the ship's mascot on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC19) Wren collecting donations for the red cross on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC20) Unknown officer on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC21) A couple WETASKIWIN sailors with the catch of the day

(JC22) Front: L-R: Cutler and Simpson. Rear: L-R: Cook, Joe Peters, Reid and Vance on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC23) Unknown sailors on what appears to be a small craft alongside HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC24) Three unknown sailors relaxing on the boat deck of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC25) The ship's mascot sitting by the port side ladder going up to the bridge.  The ladder in the background goes up to the gun deck on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC26) Looking after at the ice covered carley floats on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC27) HMCS LONG BRANCH K487 approaching HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC28) Sailor looking out at the horizon on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC29) HMCS DUNVER K03 passing by HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC30) Unknown warship in the distance seen from HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC31) Unknown sailors sitting by smoke canisters on the quarterdeck of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC32) A North Atlantic convoy

(JC33) A looking staring out at rough seas on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC34) Two unknown sailors just forward of the engine room skylights.  The engine room air hatch cover behind them is open

(JC35) A ship's craft coming alongside HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC36) Harbour Craft HC271 moving down a group of nested corvettes. HMCS DAWSON K104 right hand side of photo.

(JC37) Troopship RMS AQUITANIA

(JC38) Unknown troopship

(JC39-JC40) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 transiting Lough Foyle and the River Foyle

 

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(JC41) Unknown River Class Destroyer

(JC42) Launching of a depth charge

(JC43) Unknown sailor by engine room air intake on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC44) Unknown aircraft carrier

(JC45) Single pom-pom in after gun tub on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC46) Unknown sailor on the bridge of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC47) Two unknown River Class destroyers at anchor

(JC48) L-R: McTavish, Charlie Hardiman, Graham on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC49) A day at a park with friends and girlfriends.  Unknown (believed to be) sailor posing for the camera

(JC50) Random photo of a swan

 

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(JC51) Four unknown sailors by the depth charge rails on the quarterdeck of HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC52-JC54) December 1944 - Christmas onboard HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

(JC55) Unknown sailor on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175

 

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(JC56) Unknown sailors on HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 - harbour unknown

(JC57) HMCS WETASKIWIN K175 Christmas Card

 

From the collection of PO John Cornwell, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Stephen Peters

 


 

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