Naval Ships in the Kelsey Bay Breakwater
Kelsey Bay is a small coastal settlement located in the Sayward Valley on northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the community of Sayward. The wharf at Kelsey Bay was previously the southern terminus for the B.C. Ferries Inside Passage route until 1978, when Highway 19 was extended north to Port Hardy and the terminus relocated there. Kelsey Bay is part of the Village Municipality of British Columbia.
Charles William Kelsey and his family moved from Washington State in 1906. They originally were headed for Alaska, but stopped at Topaz Harbour, started handlogging, and never did get to Alaska. They moved from Hardwicke Island in a scow-house which was their unique floating home. This was beached at the beginning of the rock cut and continued to be their home for some years. In January 1925, they moved to the wharf, operated a storetelegraph office and founded the post office; it was named in their honor, and became The Kelsey Bay Post Office. The town was named after them.
The breakwater is believed to have been started by the Powell River Company to support their as part of the Canadian Government’s Economic Action Plan. Funding was provided in the 2009 and 2010 budgets for repairs to the breakwater.
HMCS Cape Breton
Commissioned at Quebec City on October 25, 1943, Cape Breton arrived at Halifax on November 28 and worked up in St. Margaret's Bay in January, 1944. Assigned to EG 6, a support group based at Londonderry, she left Halifax for the UK on February 24. She operated at various times from Londonderry, Portsmouth and Plymouth and, in April 1944, sailed to North Russia, returning with convoy RA.S9. She was also on hand on D-Day. She returned to Canada late in 1944, arriving on November 6 at Shelburne for a major refit. This was completed in April, and she was then sent to Bermuda to work up. Assigned to EG 9, she left St. John's on May 9 with convoy 1-1X.354, and later that month sailed from Londonderry direct to Vancouver. A tropicalization refit begun on June 26 was can- celled before completion, and the ship was paid off January 26, 1946 after several months in reserve at Esquimalt. She was sold in 1947 and expended as a breakwater in 1948 at Kelsey Bay B.C.
Although listed as scrapped by Capital Iron in Victoria, some sources indicate the hulk was added to the breakwater at Kelsey Bay. However, this has not been confirmed.
HMCS Longueuil (K672) was a River class frigate that served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1944-1945. Named after Longueuil, Quebec, she was built by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal. She was commissioned into the RCN at Quebec City on 18 May 1944 with the pennant K672. She arrived at her homeport of Halifax, Nova Scotia and undertook work up training at Bermuda under the command of Lt. Cdr. M.J. Woods, RCNVR, her only commanding officer. Her first convoy escort took place with Convoy HX.302, which departed New York City on 4 August 1944 and arrived at Liverpool on 17 August. Longueuil was deployed with the convoy from 8 August until 13 August. With victory in Europe seemingly imminent, the RCN deployed Longueuil to Esquimalt in June 1945 in preparation for Operation Downfall, the Allied invasion of Japan. Longueuil joined the RCN's Pacific Fleet only weeks before the Surrender of Japan following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She was paid off from the RCN on 31 December 1946, and the decision was made to dismantle
her armaments and scuttle her to form a breakwater in Kelsey Bay, British Columbia in 1947.
HMCS Runnymede (K678) was a River Class Frigate (K678) built by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, P.Q. Launched November 27, 1943, she was commissioned June 14, 1944 at Montreal. Paid off January 19, 1946 in Esquimalt. Sold 1947 as a breakwater at Kelsey Bay BC.
Cities in South Carolina and West Virginia. The third Charleston (C-22), a protected cruiser, was launched 23 January 1904 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Miss H. Rhett; and commissioned 17 October 1905, Captain H. Winslow in command. She was reclassified CA-19 on 17 July 1920.
Charleston cruised to South American ports in the summer of 1906 with Secretary of State Elihu Root on board for good-will visits and, after disembarking the official party at Panama in September, returned to the west coast for overhaul. She cleared San Francisco 6 December 1906 to begin service with the Pacific Squadron, sailing along the west coast from Magdalena Bay, Mexico, to Esquimalt, British Columbia, on exercises and fleet maneuvers until 10 June 1908, when she entered the Puget Sound Navy Yard to prepare for the long passage to the Asiatic station.
Leaving Puget Sound 28 October 1908, Charleston served in the Far East until 11 September 1910, first as flagship of 3d Squadron, Pacific Fleet, and later as flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. Based on Cavite, P.I., in the winter, the Fleet moved north each summer to Chefoo, China, to continue exercises and visits to ports of China, Japan, Manchuria, and Russia, presenting a powerful reminder of American interest in the Far East. Returning to Bremerton, Wash., Charleston was decommissioned 8 October 1910 at Puget Sound Navy Yard. Placed in commission in reserve 14 September 1912, Charleston joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet, remaining at Puget Sound Navy Yard as a receiving ship through early 1916, aside from a voyage to San Francisco in October 1913 as flagship for the Commander-inChief, Pacific Reserve Fleet. From 1912 through early 1916, she was receiving ship at the yard. With a new assignment as tender for the submarines based in the Canal Zone, Charleston arrived at Cristobal, C.Z., 7 May 1916, for a year of operations with submarines, reconnaissance of anchorages, and gunnery exercises. On the day of America's entry into World War I, 6 April 1917, Charleston was placed in full commission, and early in May reported for duty with the Patrol Force in the Caribbean. Based on St. Thomas, V.I., she patrolled for commerce raiders through the month of May, then sailed north carrying Marines from Haiti to Philadelphia.
Here she readied to join the escort of the convoy carrying the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force to France, which cleared New York 14 June 1917, made St. Nazaire, France, after a safe passage through submarine waters 28 June, and returned to New York 19 July. After training naval volunteers and reserves for 2 weeks at Newport, Charleston cleared 16 August for Havana, Cuba, where she supervised the sailing in tow of several former German ships to New Orleans. She next escorted a convoy from Cristobal to Bermuda, where she rendezvoused with a group of British transports, guarding their passage to Hampton Roads. In September and October 1918, she made two convoy escort voyages to Nova Scotia, then joined the cruiser and transport force, with which she made five voyages to France carrying occupation troops overseas and returning with combat veterans.
Charleston sailed from Philadelphia for the west coast 23 July 1919, reaching Bremerton, Wash., 24 August. Here she was placed in reduced commission until late in 1920, when she arrived in San Diego to serve as administrative flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Pacific Fleet. She served on this duty until 4 June