The Canadian Navy's fight on the West Coast is often overshadowed by the huge effort on the East Coast and the Battle of the Atlantic. Although war came later to the Pacific, it was meet with a general mobilization of men, ships and resources and the ramping up of training, production, systems and cooperation with the United States. The story of all of these activities is interesting and forms a solid chapter in the history of the RCN.
HMCS Courtenay was a Bangor-class minesweeper constructed for the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Entering service in 1942, Courtenay spent the entire war on the West Coast of Canada. The vessel was decommissioned in 1945 and sold for mercantile service in 1946. The fate of the vessel is uncertain.
The minesweeper was ordered as part of the 1940–41 construction programme. The ship's keel was laid down on 28 January 1941 by Prince Rupert Dry Dock & Shipyards Co. in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Courtenay was launched on 2 August 1941 and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 21 March 1942 at Prince Rupert.
Courtenay spent the entirety of the Second World War on the West Coast of Canada. Courtenay was among the eight minesweepers added to the force protecting the West Coast during the first five months of 1942 following the need to establish a larger force following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Assigned to the patrol units Esquimalt Force (operating out of Esquimalt, British Columbia) or Prince Rupert Force, the main duty of Bangor-class minesweepers after commissioning on the West Coast would be to perform the Western Patrol. Patrolling the west coast of Vancouver Island, inspecting inlets and sounds and past the Scott Islands to Gordon Channel at the entrance to the Queen Charlotte Strait.
Following the end of the war, Courtenay was paid off at Esquimalt on 5 November 1945. The minesweeper was sold to the Union Steamship Company for mercantile conversion on 3 April 1946. However, the conversion never took place and the fate of the vessel remains unknown with Macpherson and Barrie tracking a purchase offer by a San Francisco firm in 1951 and the Miramar Ship Index claiming that the ship was broken up in 1946.
There has been only 1 vessel named Courtenay in the Royal Canadian Navy.