In the early 1970's, a new version of the Tribal class destroyer was commissioned into Canada's navy. These were colloquially referred to as the 280 class. Although originally termed Tribal class destroyers, today's navy has included them so as to conform with class identity by 'lead ship' names in construction programmes. Examples of these are: Halifax class frigates, Oberon class submarines, Kingston class maritime coast patrol vessels. In the case of the newer 'Tribals', the second Iroquois was the first of four commissioned and are now designated as Iroquois Class destroyers type DDH (Designated Destroyer Helicopter).

The ships of the class are listed in alphabetical order which comprise the original eight Tribal class destroyers built during World War 2 and the four Iroquois class successors.

ALGONQUIN  Iroquois Class  DDH 283 
ATHABASKAN  Tribal Class  G07 
ATHABASKAN  Tribal Class  DDE 219 
ATHABASKAN  Iroquois Class  DDH 282 
CAYUGA  Tribal Class  DDE 218 
HAIDA  Tribal Class  DDE 215 
HURON  Tribal Class  DDE 216 
HURON  Iroquois Class  DDH 281 
IROQUOIS  Tribal Class  DDE 217 
IROQUOIS  Iroquois Class  DDH 280 
MICMAC  Tribal Class  DDE 214 
NOOTKA  Tribal Class  DDE 213 

DDE = Designated Destroyer Escort; DDH = Designated Destroyer Helicopter

Two ships of the RCN in the past carried Tribal names but were not Tribal Class destroyers. These were HMC Ships Algonquin and Sioux.

Completing Canada's inventory of eleven modern destroyers of the day at the end of WW2 included (seven) "Tribal" Class, (two) very similar in design "V" Class and two "Cr" Class, that were transferred to the RCN from the Royal Navy. The two "V" class vessels were HM Ships Valentine and Vixen and were re-named HMC Ships Algonquin and Sioux respectively while HMC Ships Crusader and Crescent retained their RN christened names. Since Algonquin and Sioux were obvious Tribal names and the fact that Crusader, Crescent, and the seven tribals were all very similar in appearance, it becomes misleading. Hulls were almost identical all having a foc'sle break, a low freeboard iron deck, catwalks, and similar weaponry but there remained one glaring difference. The Tribals had two funnels servicing three boilers while the other four only had a single funnel that looked after the needs of only two, but larger boilers.

The names of the WWII Tribals were assigned in the following groups:


The names for Group 2 were not decided until well after they were laid down while the names for Group 3 were not decided on nor promulgated until about 1946 or so.

Among the present day "Iroquois Class" ships, for which serving members sail in is HMCS Algonquin, attached to the west coast fleet and chosen as a fourth tribal name in the class."


The Tribal Class Update and Modernization Project (TRUMP) was a conversion programme that converted the four Iroquois class ships to the primary role of area air defence. Initially, they were armed with a 5 inch gun, a Mk X Anti-submarine (A/S) mortar and two Sea Sparrow A/S missile launchers. New and improved combat systems include SM2 Block 2 missiles fired from Mk 41 vertical launch system, OTO Melara 76 mm Rapid Fire gun, and Phalanx CIWS (Close In Weapon System). This weapon is designed as a last ditch defence against incoming anti-ship missiles (SSM) and is in naval terms, a very close range weapon. Existing helicopters and homing torpedoes have been retained, but obsolete anti-submarine mortars were removed.

When originally constructed, the Iroquois Class ships were very distinctive looking in that the twinned funnels were 'raked' outboard. This was done for fear that funnel gases might interfere with helicopter operations immediately aft on the flight deck. This phenomena never became a hazardous factor after all and so during the major conversion, they were strikingly transformed into a more conventional, single, straight-up funnel.  All 280 Class Trump refits were carried out in the Davie Shipyard in Lauzon, Quebec.



Twelve stain-glass windows in the Memorial Chapel at CFB Halifax have a story to tell.

The chapel serves and commerates people whose lives are, or were, involved in going to sea, or flying above it. Earlier in 1974, one of the windows was presented in commemoration and appreciation of all who served in the previous generation of  Tribal class destroyers. It was presented by those  now serving in the newer Tribals.Fifty members from each of the newest ships - HMCS Iroquois, Huron, Athabaskan and Algonquin attended the ceremonies.

The theme phrase of the windows is, "Mindful of Thy Providence". The names of the new Tribals appear at the base  of the window. The window was unveiled by the commander of Maritime Command, Rear-Admiral D.S. Boyle. It was dedicated by Capt. R.A. Jones , padre with the First Destroyer Squadron. (Photo # ISC 74-1133. Copied from Sentinel edition 1974/9)


* D.H. "Buster" Brown - Halifax, N.S.
* Walter Emery (Deceased) - Dartmouth, N.S.
* John Clark - Ontario
* The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1993 by Ken Macpherson and John Burgess.
    Vanwell Publishing Ltd. St Catharines, Ontario.
* 'The Tribals' - Biography of a Destroyer Class by Martin H. Brice.
* HMCS HAIDA Naval Museum
* MARLANT Home page (RCN).
* MARPAC Home page (RCN).
* Canadian Navy Yesterday and Today Home Page.
* Groliers Encyclopedia - Software Tool Works CD

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July 22/08