HMCS QUESNEL’s Totem

HMCS QUESNEL was a Flower Class Corvette commissioned in May of 1941 in Esquimalt.  Prior to going to the East Coast in September of 1942, she took shelter in Alert Bay, BC from a storm.  Some members of the crew went ashore and returned to the ship, having pilfered a carved Thunderbird from a burial ground.  The totem was repaired and painted and mounted on the ship’s mast as a talisman.  QUESNEL was paid off in 1945 at Sorel Quebec, sold to United Steel & Metal Company for scrapping and finally broken up in Hamilton in 1946.

Twenty-nine other corvettes were broken up at Hamilton after the war.  Of all those ships, only one artefact has come into our possession: the mast of HMCS CHILLIWACK which is mounted on our quarterdeck.  It is likely that, when ships were paid off, items of value disappeared prior to the ship going to the scrapyard.  However, if someone, somewhere, knows something about the missing totem, it would be nice to return it home.

See http://www.forposterityssake.ca/GALLERIES/QUESNELS-THUNDERBIRD.htm for more information.

 The Thunderbird on QUESNEL’s mast.

http://www.navy.gc.ca/project_pride/photo_archive/photo_archive_description_page_e.asp?section=1&ImgNegNum=O-741-34, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7122862