Able Seaman Terry Fortune served in HMCS WASKESIU through much of her wartime career. He was there when the ship sank U 257 on 24 February 1944, and present when she participated in the D Day landings.
Our museum has been very fortunate in receiving a donation of his wartime diaries. It's been a pleasure to transcribe and work on this material, and to read Able Seaman Fortune's account of some historic and very interesting events in this noteworthy vessel's adventures and travels. To read transcriptions of Terry Fortune's full diaries, please choose the following links:
* Special thanks to museum volunteer Mark Cunningham for transcription of Terry Fortune's Battle of the Atlantic Diary 1.
HMCS WASKESIU was the first frigate completed on the West Coast. WASKESIU was commissioned at Victoria on 16 June 1943 and left for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 08 July of that year. The ship did work-ups in Bermuda for the following month, returning to Halifax on 11 September, and late in October, left for londonderry to join Escort Group 5 (EG 5 - later renumbered EG 6 in November of 1943).
WASKESIU served chiefly in UK waters, but early in 1944 supported Gibraltar and Sierra Leone convoys.
On 24 February 1944, while escort to SC.153, WASKESIU sank the German submarine U 257 , and in April made a trip to north Russia to bring back convoy RA.59. She was present on D Day.
On 14 September she left Londonderry with ONE.253 for Canada, and soon after arriving, began extensive refit. On completion of the refit process in March 1945, she proceeded to Bermuda to work up, following which she sailed for Londonderry, leaving there for Canada late in May and proceeding to Esquimalt in June to be refit again, this time for tropical use. Work on WASKESIU's tropicalization was suspended in August 1945, and she was paid off into reserve on 29 January 1946.
WASKESIU was ultimately sold to the government of India in 1947 for conversion to a pilot vessel, and renamed Hooghly in 1950.