Convoy comes to Quesnel during Second World War

In his column, Andy Motherwell tells the story of how Quesnel was connected to Second World War

snowmobiles being repaired at Quesnel Works Yard by Canadian military in 1943.

The Second World War was a war in which many inventions were created, such as the jet engine and radar. This photo shows two snowmobiles being repaired in Quesnel at the Public Works yard by the Canadian Army.

In 1943 or so, there was a great grinding of changing truck gears as a group of army trucks came down the hill into Quesnel.

It consisted of a whole bunch of army trucks, jeeps and snowmobiles.

This convoy, which came down from Prince George, was part of an exercise called The Polar Expedition or the Polar Bear Expedition.

It was all hush, hush (as all wartime exercises were) and the story went they were practicing to be dropped into Norway to destroy the first heavy weight atom bomb (heavy water plants?)

Mike Cotton of Kelowna says he doesn’t think they ever got out of Canada.

His father was the District engineer for the Department of Public Works in Quesnel and he took the picture, which shows two snowmobiles and an army 6X6 shop truck.

Compared with current snow machines, these ones look pretty rickety and often in need of repair.

The picture shows how many ideas were tried out in that period.

Andy Motherwell is an amateur historian and regular Observer columnist.

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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