Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) HAIDA is a Tribal class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy from her commissioning date of 30 August 1943 until she was decommissioned on 10 October 1963. Due its outstanding record during the Second World War, the Korean War and peacetime service during the Cold War, HAIDA is known as Canada’s ‘Fightingest’ Ship.
While many warships, merchant vessels and submarines have served with Canada with distinction, HMCS HAIDA has also been described as the Royal Canadian Navy’s ‘Billy Bishop’ or ‘Vimy Ridge’.
HAIDA began its service escorting convoys from Britain, through arctic waters, to Russia on what was called the “Murmansk Run”. In anticipation for D-Day, HAIDA conducted sweeps for enemy vessels lurking off the coast of France. It was during those operations that HAIDA distinguished itself, credited with sinking more enemy tonnage than any other vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy. In 1945, her final Second World War mission was to assist in the liberation of Norway.
Still ready to answer the call, HAIDA deployed to the Asia-Pacific and served two tours during the Korean War. While operating off the Korean Peninsula, HAIDA disrupted enemy supply lines, protected high-value aircraft carriers and was credited with destroying two-and-a-half enemy trains.
At the end of the Korean War, HAIDA participated in NATO anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic and West Indies until 1963.
Its final mission was to navigate the Great Lakes in summer 1963 where, with a mobile television station embarked, it conducted public tours and weapons training. It was saved from heading to the scrap yard by a group of concerned citizens that recognized its significant contribution to the Royal Canadian Navy and Canada’s history.
HMCS HAIDA is the only remaining Tribal class destroyer of the 27 that were built during the Second World War. It currently operates as a museum ship at Hamilton Harbour in Lake Ontario. With investment from the Government of Canada, HAIDA is scheduled to undergo repairs over the next two years.
For more information about HMCS HAIDA, you can visit the Friends of HMCS HAIDA history page.