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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMCS HURON (G 24) -  Tribal-class Destroyer

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMCS Huron (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

TRIBAL-Class Fleet destroyer ordered from Vickers Armstrong, Newcastle on 5th April 1940 with three others of  the same Class for service in the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was laid down on 15th July 1941  after delays due  to  the increased load on repair facilities in British shipyards due to the disastrous operations of Norway and the evacuations from from ports in Holland, Belgium and France allowed build of new ships to recommence. The ship was launched on 25th June 1942 and was named after a Canadian Red Indian Tribe. During build, the hull structure was  stiffened and, amongst the other changes made, radar outfits for warning of surface targets and for fire-control of the main armament were installed. Build  was  completed on 28th July 1943 and the ship was commissioned for service in the Home Fleet.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ARCTIC 1943-45 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944 - NORMANDY 1944  - KOREA 1952-3


C r e s t


     As thus ship belonged to the Royal Canadian Navy her

Badge is not recorded in the Official List of Royal Navy

Heraldic Crests



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)



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Commissioned for service as HMCS HURON.


28th - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.




On completion of trials took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up.


12th - Deployed as escort to HM Destroyer ONSLOW with HM King George VI embarked during passage to Scapa Flow from Scrabster for visit to Home Fleet.


26th - Rescued pilot of SKUA aircraft which had ditched off Orkneys.




Working-up with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow in continuation.


6th - Joined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in Home Fleet on completion of work-up.




1st - Took passage to Murmansk with HM Destroyers ONSLAUGHT and IROQUOIS carrying supplies to RN warships based in North Russia. Cover was provided by HM Cruiser LONDON and HM Destroyer IMPULSIVE.


6th - After arrival in Murmansk embarked Russian diplomats and took return passage to Scapa Flow.


11th - After arrival at Scapa Flow sustained damage during collision with oiler. Repair arranged at Leith commercial shipyard.


12th - Passage to Leith for repair.




14th - Resumed Flotilla duties on completion of repair.


18th - Deployed with HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE, ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW, ORWELL, OBDURATE, HMCS HAIDA and IROQUOIS as Ocean Escort for Convoy JW54A during passage to Kola Inlet. (Note: For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R. A. Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R. Woodman and CONVOY ! by R Woodman.)


19th - HMS OBDURATE withdrawn from Close Escort due to defect and returned to Scapa Flow.


24th - Detached from JW54A with Close Escort on arrival.


26th - Joined return Convoy RA54B with same ships as Close Escort for passage to UK.




5th - Detached from RA54B and returned to Scapa Flow with Close Escort.


22nd - Deployed with HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE, ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW, ORWELL, SCOURGE, HMCS HAIDA and  IROQUOIS as Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW55 during passage to Kola Inlet


25th - Close Escort reinforced by HM Destroyers MATCHLESS, MUSKETEER, OPPORTUNE and VIRAGO in view of the threat of attack by German Battleship SCHARNHORST. See above references. (Note: German warship was engaged and sunk by ships of Home Fleet providing cover for passage of this convoy and two others in the Arctic.)


Under sustained attacks by aircraft and submarines.


29th - Detached with ships of Close Escort on arrival of JW55B at Kola inlet.


31st - Deployed as Close Escort for passage of return Convoy RA55B to UK with same Ships.



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3rd - Under submarine attacks.


7th - Detached from RA55B with Close Escort and returned to Scapa Flow.


10th - Retained with Home Fleet when HMCS HAIDA and HMCS IROQUOIS transferred to Plymouth.


26th - Joined HM Destroyers MAHRATTA, MILNE, MUSKETEER, OPPORTUNE and SCOURGE for escort for Russian Convoy JW56B during passage to Kola Inlet. (Note: Close Escort comprised HM Destroyers WHITEHALL, WESTCOTT, HM Sloop CYGNET, HM Corvette OXLIP and HM Minesweeper SEAGULL. Cruiser cover was provided by HM Cruisers BERMUDA, BERWICK and KENT.)


29th - Additional destroyers joined convoy to supplement anti-submarine defence which was under attack by Group of U-Boats.


30th - HM Destroyer HARDY, one of the additional escorts was hit by a torpedo from U278 and had to be sunk by HM Destroyer VENUS, another of the later arrivals. (Note: U314 was sunk by HM Destroyers WHITEHALL and METEOR.)




1st - Detached from JW56A on arrival at Kola Inlet.


3rd - Joined HM Destroyers OFFA, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE, VENUS, VIGILANT, INCONSTANT, MAHRATTA, METEOR, MILNE, MUSKETEER, SCOURGE, WESTCOTT, WHITEHALL, SWIFT, Norwegian destroyer STORD, HM Sloop CYGNET, four corvettes and three minesweepers for the escort of return Convoy RA56 on departure from Kola Inlet.


6th - HM Destroyers SWIFT, OBEDIENT and VERULAM joined escort as reinforcements.


9th - Detached from RA56 after an uninterrupted passage.


10th - Nominated for service at Plymouth with 10th Destroyer Flotilla in place of HMCS IROQUOIS..


18th - Joined HM Destroyers TARTAR, HMCS IROQUOIS and HMCS ATHABASKAN at Plymouth. (Note: This Flotilla was deployed as Force 26. HMCS IROQUOIS took passage to Canada for refit.)


20th - Nominated for service with Flotilla in planned allied assault landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE.)


Took part in preparatory exercises for NEPTUNE.




Deployed at Plymouth for NEPTUNE exercises and interception patrols off French coast. (Note: For details of preparations and execution of Operation NEPTUNE see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards, LANDINGS IN NORMANDY (HMSO) and Naval Staff History.


30th - Joined HM Destroyers BRISSENDEN and TANATSIDE with HMCS HAIDA to take part in preparatory exercise as screen for HM Cruisers BLACK PRINCE and GLASGOW which were providing Gunfire support during landings (Exercise BEAVER).




NEPTUNE preparatory exercises and interception duties in continuation. (Note: Interception operations in the TUNNEL series were carried out against coastal traffic off the French coast. See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith. These were by no means invariably successful.)


12th - Took part in large scale combined exercise with HMCS HAIDA and HMS TARTAR in sea area west of Needles and deployed as part of screen for major warships deployed off assault area (Exercise TROUSERS).


25th - Deployed with HMS BLACK PRINCE, HMS ASHANTI, HMCS ATHABASKAN and HMCS HAIDA as Force 26 for an operation in Tunnel Series to intercept coastal traffic in Bay of Biscay.


26th - Under fire from shore batteries during patrol off French coast. Intercepted three ELBING Class German destroyers, T24, T27 and T29 which were on passage for minelay and for cover of coastal convoy. Engaged enemy ships with surface gunfire after initial radar detection. Force 26 attacked by torpedoes from Germany destroyers that failed to hit any of ship. During this engagement Force 26 ships fired torpedoes and engaged with main armament. Although torpedo attack failed T29 was sunk by gunfire north of Ile de Bas in position 48.53N 3.35W. 135 of her ships company were killed.. The other two enemy ships withdrew. Returned to Plymouth with Battle Ensigns flying. This was the first destroyer sunk by an RCN ship. (Note: During entry into Plymouth involved in collision with HMS ASHANTI and taken in hand for repair.)




7th - Resumed Flotilla duties on completion of repair.


20th - Deployed with HMS BELLONA, HMS TARTAR and HMCS HAIDA to cover minelay by HMS APOLLO north of Ushant (Operation HOSTILE 33).


22nd - Deployed with HMS TARTAR and HMCS HAIDA to cover minelay off Ile de Vierge by HMS APOLLO (Operation HOSTILE 34).


25th - Deployed with HMS TARTAR and HMCS HAIDA to cover minelay NW of Ushant by HMS APOLLO (Operation HOSTILE 40) (Note: This was the last minelay in the MAPLE III Series.)




Deployed for support of Operation NEPTUNE based at Plymouth. (Note: Not attached to either Task Force and required for interception of any enemy warships attempting to approach transit routes for Assault Convoys.)


4th - Operation postponed 24 hours.


5th - Sailed from Plymouth with Flotilla for patrol north of Channel Islands.


6th to 7th - Interception duties in continuation.


8th - Transferred to new patrol line east-west from 49.30N 5.00W to 49.30N 6.00W on orders from CinC Plymouth who anticipated a movement of enemy destroyers in attempt to attack invasion traffic. Reconstituted as Force 26. Change of patrol line ordered and took passage to 15 miles off Brittany coast. Distance from coast altered by CinC Plymouth to 20 miles from coast because of mine dangers. Commenced sweep between Ile de Bas and Ile de Vierge.


9th - Radar contact made and Force 26 ships closed to investigate. Four ships were T24, an ELBING Class destroyer, Z32 and Z24, both NARVIK Class destroyers and ZH1, the Ex Dutch destroyer TJERK HIDDES captured after fall of Holland in May 1940. Enemy ships altered course and fired torpedoes which were avoided. Engaged enemy ships with HMS TARTAR, HMS ASHANTI and HMCS HAIDA by main and secondary armament at close range. During the action Z32 was serious damaged and eventually ran ashore on Ile de Bas. ZH1 was sunk by gunfire and two torpedoes from HMS ASHANTI. Z24 and T24 although badly damaged were able to escape. HMS TARTAR sustained some damage and had 17 casualties including four killed. Returned to Plymouth with ships of Force 26 after a successful action which did much to ensure safe passage of allied convoys to the beachhead.


12th - Sailed from Plymouth with HMCS HAIDA to carry out diversionary operation to the south of the Channel Island and east of Roches Dourves. (Note: This was to be in association with planned air attacks.)


13th - Special party which had been embarked carried out W/T transmissions to suggest possible landings on west coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula. Returned to Plymouth on release.


14th - Deployed at Plymouth for patrol in English Channel to intercept any attempts to interfere with convoys to and from beachheads.




Plymouth deployment for interception patrols in continuation,.


2nd - Deployed for tow of HM Destroyer ESKIMO to Plymouth. (Note: HMS ESKIMO had been seriously damaged in collision with HM Destroyer JAVELIN during return from interception patrol in SW Approaches.)


8th - In action with HMS TARTAR against convoy escorted by E-Boats and minesweepers two of which were reported as being sunk.




Nominated for refit in Canada.


13th - Took passage to Halifax for refit.


27th - Under refit at Halifax.


September to October


Refit in continuation




12th - Carried out Post Refit trials and prepared for return to UK for further refit


28th - Arrived at Cardiff for fit of new radar in commercial shipyard.




Fit of Type 276 Radar and Plan Position Displays for surface and aircraft warning with Target Indication in continuation.



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20th - Carried out trials on new radar equipment and on completion worked-up for operational service.




Work-up in continuation.


10th - On completion resumed operational service in SW Approaches and Channel based at Plymouth.




Nominated for transfer to Home Fleet for screening duties.


31st - Took passage to Scapa Flow.




15th - Deployed with HM Destroyers ZEPHYR, ZODIAC, ZEALOUS, ZEST, OFFA, HAIDA (RCN), IROQUOIS (RCN) and Norwegian destroyer STORD as escort for Russian convoy JW66 with HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers VINDEX and NAIRANA. In addition, HM Sloop CYGNET, HM Corvettes ALNWICK CASTLE, BAMBOROUGH CASTLE, FARNHAM CASTLE, HONEYSUCKLE, LOTUS and OXLIP of 7th Escort Group were also part of Close escort with Frigates of 19th Support Group deployed for support for anti-submarine operations.


25th - Detached from JW66 with Close Escort on arrival at Kola Inlet. (Note: Ships of escort carried out anti-submarine attacks in entrance to Kola Inlet to ensure safety of convoy.)


29th - Joined return convoy RA66 on departure from Kola Inlet. (Note: During anti-submarine operations outside Kola Inlet before departure of RA66 U 307 and U286 were sunk by ships of 19th Support Group but HM Frigate GOODALL was torpedoed and sunk by U968 although some survivors were rescued. See above references for details.)




Nominated for return to Canada on release from service with RN.


8th - Detached on arrival of RA66 at Greenock. VE Day!! Returned to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships.


16th - Deployed with HM Cruiser BERWICK and HMCS HAIDA for visit to Trondheim.


17th - Arrived at Trondheim to a tumultuous reception with subsequent outstanding hospitality.


23rd - Passage from Trondheim.


24th - Arrived at Scapa Flow.


25th - Sailed from Scapa Flow for passage to Greenock with HMCS HAIDA.


26th - At Greenock with HMCS HAIDA and HMCS IROQUOIS.




Nominated for service with British Pacific Fleet after return to Canada.


4th - Took passage from Greenock for Halifax with her two sister ships.


10th - Arrived at Halifax to a resounding welcome.




Under refit including tropicalisation to suit service in the Pacific.




14th - Refit suspended.



P o s t  W a r  N o t e s


HMCS HURON was paid off later in August 1945 and reduced to Reserve status. After refit recommissioned in February 1950 and resumed operational service. In 1951 she was deployed for six months in the Commonwealth Task Group for UN Operations in Korea. On return from UN service this ship was converted for use as an Anti -Submarine Destroyer which completed in 1953. On completion she resumed UN service in Korea after work-up until 1954 when she returned to Canada for refit at Halifax. Later that year in October she resumed UN duties until March 1955. During the next eight years she took part in several NATO Exercises in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and remained on the Active List until April 1963 with various periods under repair to collision damage and a galley fire. In 1964 she was placed on the Disposal List and sold on 28th June 1965 for breaking-up at Spezia where she arrived for demolition on 20th August that year


Special Note


More information, especially in respect of design and build of this Class is given in AFRIDI TO NIZAM  by J English.


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