The History of the QUESNEL

HMCS Quesnel (K 133) was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy that took part in convoy escort duties during World War II. Named after Quesnel, British Columbia, she was built by the Victoria Machinery Depot Company Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia and commissioned on May 23, 1941 at Esquimalt.

Upon commissioning, the Quesnel patrolled the Pacific Coast as a member of Esquimalt Force. During the spring of 1942 she was doing anti-submarine patrols in the Straits of Georgia, the Queen Charlotte Sounds and Millbank Sounds. It was during this time that she was detailed to screen the Queen Elizabeth while she was waiting to go into drydock.

On June 20, 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy submarines I-26 shelled the lighthouse at Estevan Point on Vancouver Island, and I-25, under the command of Commander Meiji Tagami, torpedoed and shelled the freighter S.S. Fort Camosun off Cape Flattery. The freighter did not sink and she was towed to safety by the Quesnel into Victoria Harbour.

The Quesnel left Esquimalt on September 13, 1942 with four other corvettes headed for Panama and the Atlantic. Transferred to the east coast to replace an Operation Torch nominee, she arrived at Halifax on October 13, 1942 and was assigned to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF). With the division of the force into escort groups in June 1943, she became a member of EG W-1. During this period she underwent a refit, including fo?c?s?le extension, from early September to December 23, 1943 at Pictou, Nova Scotia. This refit was followed by workups in St. Margaret?s Bay, Nova Scotia and Bermuda.

On May 12, 1944, she picked up 17 crew members from the damaged SS Esso Pittsburgh. The Quesnel later joined the Quebec Force in the St Lawrence on June 10, 1944 and was tasked with escorting Labrador-Quebec convoys through the ice fields in the Straits of Belle Isle.

In November, 1944 she was transferred to Halifax Force, going to Sydney, Nova Scotia for refit and, on completion late in January 1945, to Bermuda for workups. She resumed escort duty late in March 1945, temporarily attached to EG W-5 and W-8 of the WLEF until the end of the war.

She brought her last convoy to Halifax in July 1945 and was decommissioned on July 3, 1945 and sold on October 5, 1945 to the United Steel and Metal Company in Hamilton, Ontario for scrapping. She was finally broken up at Hamilton in 1946.

QUESNEL Statistical Data

  • Pendant: K133
  • Type: Corvette
  • Class: FLOWER Class 1939-1940
  • Displacement: 950 tonnes
  • Length: 205.1 ft
  • Width: 33.1 ft
  • Draught: 11.5 ft
  • Speed: 16 kts
  • Compliment: 6 Officers and 79 Crew
  • Arms: 1-4" Gun, 1-2 pdr, 2-20mm, Hedgehog
  • Builder: Victoria Machinery Depot Co. Ltd., Victoria. B.C.
  • Keel Laid: 09-May-40
  • Date Launched: 12-Nov-40
  • Date Commissioned: 23-May-41
  • Paid off: 03-Jul-45


Focsle Extended, Pictou, NS, 23 Dec 43

Keywords: HMCS QUESNEL, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, Corvette, FLOWER Class 1939-1940 Class