HMCS Restigouche

There have been two vessels named Restigouche in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Restigouche (1st of name) (H00)

Completed in 1932 as HMSComet, this “C” Class destroyer was purchased from the United Kingdom and commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy on 15 June 1938. Renamed Restigouche, she performed local escort duties from Halifax, Nova Scotia until 24 May 1940 when she left for Plymouth, England, and was assigned to Western Approaches Command.  While assisting in the evacuation of French ports, she rescued survivors of HMCS Fraser. In June 1941, “Rustyguts”, as she was nicknamed, was allocated to Newfoundland. She suffered storm damage on 31 December 1941, and underwent extensive repairs. She was allocated to Escort Group 12 in May 1944 for invasion duties, including D-Day, and later carried out Channel and Biscay patrols from her base at Plymouth.

She retuned to Canada in September 1944 for a major refit, and then proceeded to Bermuda for work-ups. Returning to Halifax on 14 February 1945, she performed various local duties. After Victory in Europe-Day, she was employed for three months bringing home military personnel from Newfoundland. Paid off on 5 October 1945, she was broken up the following year.

HMCS Restigouche (2nd of name) (257)

The destroyer Restigouche was a lead ship of her class. She suffered portside damage in a collision with the freighter Manchester Port in November 1957 while still in the hands of her builder, Canadian Vickers Ltd., and was finally commissioned at Montreal, Quebec on 7 June 1958. She was present at the formal opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, and at a mini-United Nations naval review in Toronto, Ontario the following month. Restigouche carried the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland on a tour of that province's northeast ports. She went through two major overhauls in her lifetime:  first, the Improved Restigouche Escort (IRE) modernization in 1970-1972; and second, the Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX) refit at Ship Repair Unit (Pacific) in 1984-1985. On 11 March 1991, she joined Standing Naval Forces Atlantic, the first west coast-based unit to do so. On 24 February 1992, she was dispatched to assist a multinational force convened to ensure that Iraq did not resume hostilities. Restigouche returned to Esquimalt, British Columbia, on 18 August 1992, and was paid off on 31 August 1994. On 6 November 2000, she and her sister, HMCS Kootenay, departed Esquimalt in tow for Mexico, where Restigouche was sunk off Acapulco on 11 June 2001 as an artificial reef.

Motto: Rester droit (Steer A Straight Course)

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1939-1945
  • North Sea 1940
  • Mediterranean 1943
  • Normandy 1944
  • Biscay 1944
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