A few pictures that were recently unearthed.
Visitors to HAIDA often ask about the brass letters, “F”, “I”, “R” and “E” on the loading doors of the QR Mk VIII torpedo tubes. I have heard guides explain, incorrectly, that it was meant to indicate the order in which the tubes should be fired. Since the tubes had to be fired from aft to forward to avoid interference, this would only have worked when the tubes were trained to starboard.
The use of F-I-R-E may have been a bit of whimsy on someone’s part but it ended there. On a ship with two launchers, the after ones were Q-X-Y-Z while quintuple launchers used F-I-R-E-M and P-Q-X-Y-Z.
In July of 2018, I posted an item about the totem pole that was pilfered by the crew of the Flower Class corvette, HMCS QUESNEL, from Alert Bay, BC, in 1942 and has never been found.
Last week, I got a packet of pictures that had belonged to Leading Signalman Roy George Nixon of Dundas, who served in QUESNEL at the time. One shows the totem being repainted, likely by the ship’s cox’n, who is identified as J.M. McKeown.
Since the ship was scrapped in Hamilton in 1946, it is possible that the missing totem is still somewhere in the Hamilton area. It would be a great finish to the story to have it return home to Alert Bay.