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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

Visiting Naval Ships

Dating back to the visit of HMS HERON, a Britomart Class gunboat, which visited Hamilton  August 17-19 1866, to the recent visit of HMCS ORIOLE and the current visit of HMCS MONCTON,  a steady stream of naval vessels have visited Hamilton.   Perhaps it is a sign of the times that on HERON’s arrival, the Mayor was there to greet her, there was a civic reception at the Royal Hotel followed by a trip to the Mountainview Hotel at the top of the escarpment, and the next day the City Council went for a sail, while  ORIOLE and MONCTON’s visits have gone almost entirely unnoticed in the city.

BRITOMART, the name ship of the class & HERON’s sistership.

I have been able to identify thirty-six vessels from the Royal Canadian Navy plus another thirteen from the United States Navy, Royal Navy, Netherlands Navy and Indian Navy.  I’m sure that there are others that I have missed.  If you know details of any ship visits, please let me know.

  • ANTICOSTI MSA-110
  • BUCKINGHAM FFE-314
  • CAP DE LA MADELAINE FFE-317
  • CORMORANT ASL-20
  • FRASER DDH-233
  • FREDERICTON FFH-337
  • GATINEAU DDE-236
  • GLACE BAY MM-701
  • HAIDA DDE-215
  • INCH ARRAN 308
  • KINGSTON MM-700
  • KOOTENAY DDE-258
  • LANARK FFE-321
  • LAUZON FFE-322
  • MARGAREE DDH-230
  • MONCTON MM-708
  • MONTREAL FFH-336
  • MORESBY MSA-112
  • NIPIGON DDH-266
  • NOOTKA DDE-213
  • OKANAGAN S-74
  • ORIOLE YAC-3
  • OTTAWA DDH-229
  • PORTAGE FSE-169
  • PORTE DAUPHINE YMG-186
  • PORTE ST JEAN YMG-180
  • PORTE ST LOUIS YMG-183
  • RESTIGOUCHE DDE-257
  • SAGUENAY DDH-206
  • SIOUX DDE-225
  • CROIX DDE-256
  • TERRA NOVA DDE-259
  • TORONTO FFH-333
  • VICTORIAVILLE FFE-320
  • VILLE DE QUEBEC FFH-332
  • WALLACEBURG FSE-172
  • HMS BRAVE F-94
  • HMRY Britannia
  • HMS HERON
  • HNLMS ROTTERDAM D-818
  • INS TARANGINI
  • USS DANIEL A. JOY DE-585
  • USS EGRET AMS-46
  • USS HURRICANE PC-3
  • USS LCU 1680
  • USS PROWESS MSF-280
  • USS SAMUEL ELLIOT MORRISON FFG-13
  • USS SEAGULL AMS-55
  • USS ZELLARS DD-777