HMCS HURON HISTORY

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HURON served Canada honourably during the latter part of the Second World War. Commissioned 19th July 1943, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, she was assigned like HAIDA to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla of the British Home Fleet.
As part of Operation Holder, she made a trip in October of 1943 to Murmansk with technical personnel and special naval stores. For the rest of the year, HURON escorted convoys to and from North Russia. In February 1944, after one more trip to Murmansk, she joined the 10th Flotilla at Plymouth for pre-invasion duties spending the next seven months in the Channel, and the Bay of Biscay. On April 25/26 1944, HURON along with HAIDA, ATHABASKAN and HMS ASHANTI was involved in a 'scrap' with German Elbing class destroyers in the English Channel. After the action, she and ASHANTI collided and the results damaged HURON's port hull and the main bulkhead between #1 and #2 boiler rooms. The port cutter and its davits were smashed, the guard rails and stanchions bent inwards and the torpedo-davit damaged. HURON managed to return safely to Plymouth and repairs were completed on 7th May, just in time for D-Day operations. HURON arrived in Nova Scotia for a refit on 13th of August 1944. It was completed and her sea trials were over by 20th November. She called at the Azores and arrived at Cardiff for new radar and target indication equipment. Sea trials of this gear were completed, on 20 January 1945, but HURON still had to finish her work-ups at Scapa Flow. During February and March she was assigned to escort duties in the Western Approaches. In April, HURON, HAIDA and IROQUOIS escorted their last convoy to Russia. After sharing in the liberation of Scandinavia, all three returned to Halifax in preparation for service in the Pacific. Their refits were suspended in August and HURON was placed in reserve. She was paid off  9th March 1946.
HURON was recommissioned at Halifax for training purposes in 1950, but sailed on 22 January 1951 on the first of two tours of duty in Korean waters, the second being carried out in 1953-54. On that January day, it was so cold in Halifax that HURON's siren and the band instruments froze up and had to be thawed before any sound would come out. Like so many other destroyers, HURON's first Korean mission was screening carriers on the west coast. On her return from Korea, she reverted to her peacetime role until she was finally paid off on 30th April 1963 at Halifax. HURON was broken up at La Spezia Italy in 1965.
 
 
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HMCS HURON being refuelled by the the cruiser HMCS QUEBEC. The photo was likely taken in the early 1950's. (Photo courtesy of Walter Emery)

HURON is a name derived from a French word which was first applied by the European settlers in 1534 to a tribe of Indians who resided in the St. Lawrence River Valley and the Simcoe Regions. The Huron were settled in agricultural villages where they raised tobacco for barter. Despite sharing a common language, the Huron were bitter enemies of the five nation Iroquois League. This rivalry finally culminated in a bloody conflict in 1648, when the Iroquois, equipped with modern European rifles, destroyed a Huron nation already decimated by disease.

GENERAL INFORMATION


Builders: Vickers-Armstrong, High Walker Yard, Newcastle-on- Tyne; England
Engined by: Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co., Wallsend; England
Ordered: April 1941
Laid Down: 15th July 1941
Launched:  25th June 1942 (by the Countess of Minto)
Commissioned: 19th July 1943
Paid off ( final): 30th April 1963 
Pennant numbers:  As G24:  June 1943 - December 1949. 
As DDE216: January 1951 - April  1963
Scrapped :  La Spezia , Italy.  1965
Radio call sign: CGXY
Voice call sign:  Jersey Bounce

 
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March 6/02