HMCS Crescent

There has been only one vessel named Crescent in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Crescent  (R16 / D16 / 226) / Cr-class Destroyer / Algonquin-class Destroyer Escort

HMCS Crescent

Badge of HMCS Crescent

In January 1945, after a year’s discussion, the British Admiralty agreed to lend the RCN a flotilla of Cr-class destroyers for use against the Japanese. The Pacific war ended, however, before any of the eight ships had been completed, and only two, Crescent and Crusader were transferred. The previous ships to bear their Royal Navy names had been lost during the war as HMCS Fraser and Ottawa; this time they retained their names even after the transfer was made permanent in 1951.

Crescent was virtually identical to Algonquin and Sioux, differing principally in having only one set of torpedo tubes and in being armed with 4.5-inch guns instead of 4.7-inch.

Crescent arrived at Esquimalt in November 1945 having made the journey via the Azores and the West Indies. Crescent carried out training duties, and on 15 March 1949 while at Nanjing, China, suffered one of the “1949 incidents,” sometimes referred to, inaccurately, as the “1949 Mutinies.” While these events weren’t precisely mutinies, they were significant enough to provoke the watershed Mainguy Report. This report had a fundamental impact on the culture and discipline of the RCN. It forced the government to stop ignoring the problems caused by cutbacks and overwork. It also forced the navy to take sailor’s grievances seriously and improve how they were reported and resolved. The report accelerated the development of a more egalitarian and uniquely Canadian naval culture.

In 1953 Crescent was taken in hand for a major conversion, emerging in 1956 as a “fast A/S frigate,” following an RN pattern which entailed stripping her to deck level, extending the fo’c’s’le right aft, erecting new superstructure, and fitting completely new armament. She was now a near sister to HMCS Algonquin, which had undergone similar transformation earlier. Like Algonquin, Crescent employed as an escort squadron command ship.

Crescent was paid off at Esquimalt on 1 April 1970. She left Victoria with Algonquin on 21 April 1971 for Taiwan to be broken up.

Motto:In Virtute Cresco” (I Grow in Strength or Valour)


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