HMCS Saskatchewan

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

HMCS Saskatchewan (1st of name) (H70)

Completed in 1935 as HMS Fortune, this “F” Class destroyer was serving with the 8th Flotilla, Home Fleet, when war broke out. She subsequently took part in the Norwegian campaign and the occupation of Iceland in May 1940. She also shared in the sinking of German submarines U-27 and U-44 and the Vichy French submarine Ajax. On 10 May 1941, while escorting a Malta convoy, she was badly damaged by bombs and spent six months under repairs at Chatham, United Kingdom.

In February 1943, following two years’ service with the Eastern Fleet, Fortune returned to the United Kingdom for major refit at London, and there on 31 May 1943 was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Saskatchewan. She was assigned to Escort Group C-3, Mid Ocean Escort Force, until May 1944 and then transferred to Escort Group 12 for invasion duties. She proceeded to Canada in August 1944 to refit at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, returning to the United Kingdom in January 1945, first as a unit of Escort Group 14 and then of Escort Group 11. She returned to Canada the month after Victory in Europe-Day and, after employment as a troop transport, was paid off 28 January 1946 at Sydney, Nova Scotia and broken up.

HMCS Saskatchewan (2nd of name) (262)

Built by Victoria Machinery Depot and completed by Yarrows at Esquimalt, British Columbia, HMCS Saskatchewan was commissioned on 16 February 1963, and was based at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from June to October. She then returned west until February of 1970, at which time she sailed to Halifax to relieve HMCS Nipigon as flagship of Standing Naval Force Atlantic, but returned to the Pacific in 1973. 

HMCS Saskatchewan was given her Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX) refit at Burrard Yarrow Inc., Esquimalt, between 27 May 1985 and 17 June 1986. That fall, HMCS Saskatchewan was part of a Canadian squadron that visited Australia for the Royal Australian Navy’s 75th Anniversary celebrations.

In her final years, HMCS Saskatchewan was a member of Training Group Pacific used to instruct junior naval officers in ship handling, navigation and marine engineering. She was paid off on 28 March 1994, purchased by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, and sunk on 14 June 1997 near Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Motto: “Ready and Confident” 

Battle honours

  • Atlantic 1943-1944
  • Normandy 1944
  • Biscay 1944

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