Naval Ships in the Kelsey Bay Break­wa­ter

RCN News - - News - By David J. Shirlaw

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.

HMCS Lasalle

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

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

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.

USS Charleston

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

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