HMCS Donnacona

The official lineage of HMCS Donnacona extant commissioned ship.




Argent three maple leaves conjoined on the one stem Gules and in base over the stem a Native Canadian's dexter hand and a white man's dexter hand clasped together proper.


When Jacques Cartier returned to France from his first voyage to America, he took back with him two Native braves. They returned to America with Cartier on his second voyage and acted as guides. They told Cartier about the settlements of Stadacona and Hochelaga on the St. Lawrence River and referred to them by the Huron-Iroquois word Kenneta, which means "a habitation." Cartier thought that they were telling him the name of the country, which he had not yet explored.

At the point where the St. Charles River flows into the St. Lawrence, Cartier found many Natives living with their Chief, Donnacona. This was the settlement of Stadacona. In discussion Donnacona spoke freely about the Kenneta (which Cartier wrote as Canada) thus corroborating the information given him by his two Native guides. This was how Canada got her name, as Cartier referred to the then-known area as Canada and marked it as such on his charts. Therefore as a tribute to Chief Donnacona it is quite proper to associate his name with the name of Canada. The ship's badge for Donnacona shows the men's hands in the clasped position and out of them arises the device of Canada, three red maple leaves conjoined on one stem and on a field argent or white.




Black and Vermilion

Battle Honours



First of Name

  • Shore establishment.
  • Naval Reserve Division, Montreal, Quebec.
  • Commissioned 26 October 1943.Footnote 1

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