HMCS BEACON HILL in characteristic west-coast camouflage during wartime (circa 1944).<br/><br/>Photo Catalogue No. VR991.383.1

HMCS BEACON HILL, a River Class frigate, was built at Yarrows Ltd., Esquimalt, British Columbia (BC), and launched November 6, 1943. The ship was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on May 16, 1944.

BEACON HILL left Esquimalt for Halifax on June 9 of the same year, and joined the Mid-Ocean Escort Force at St. John's, Newfoundland. In September 1944, she arrived at Londonderry as senior ship of a newly organized Escort Group, EG-26, which carried out patrol and escort work to the north and west of Ireland. 

Crew on break during WWII.<br/><br/>Photo Catalogue No. VR993.78.5The Senior Officer of Escort Group 26 was Lieutenant-Commander Ted Simmons of Victoria, a naval hero whose courage and resourcefulness in combat earned him highest honours. BEACON HILL remained on convoy and patrol duties until the end of the Second World War.

In May of 1945, HMCS BEACON HILL returned to Canada and went to Esquimalt where she was paid off into the reserve fleet in January 1946. She was re-commissioned in the spring of 1949 for summer training of RCN (Reserve) personnel.

On January 4, 1954, she was paid off for modernization and conversion to Prestonian class at Burrard Drydock Co. Ltd., Vancouver. This conversion included improved quarters for the ship’s company and installation of new anti-submarine equipment.

HMCS BEACON HILL post WWII.<br/><br/>Photo Catalogue No. VR991.213.2

She was commissioned again at Burrard on December 21, 1957, and served on the west coast in a dual role as an operational anti-submarine ocean escort and training ship for new sailors and naval officer cadets.

She continued in this role until September 15, 1967 when she was eventually paid off. She was broken up in 1968 at Sakai, Japan.