Allied Warships

HMCS Skeena (D 59)

Destroyer of the A class


Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2702

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassA 
PennantD 59 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down14 Oct 1929 
Launched10 Oct 1930 
Commissioned10 Jun 1931 
Lost25 Oct 1944 
History

HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. Patrick Francis Xavier Russell, RCN) was wrecked during a storm at Videy, Iceland.
This location is right off Reykjavík, the capital.

 

Commands listed for HMCS Skeena (D 59)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Harold Taylor Wood Grant, RCN23 Apr 193830 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Ernest Patrick Tisdall, RCN1 Dec 19399 Mar 1940
3Lt. Herbert Sharples Rayner, RCN10 Mar 19401 Apr 1940
4Lt.Cdr. James Calcutt Hibbard, RCN2 Apr 194010 Dec 1941
5Cdr. Harry Kingsley, RCN11 Dec 194119 May 1942
6Lt. Kenneth Lloyd Dyer, RCN20 May 19424 Jan 1943
7T/Lt. Belanger Jean Rosaire Roland, RCNVR5 Jan 194328 Feb 1943
8A/Lt.Cdr. Eric Eversley Garratt Boak, RCN1 Mar 194320 Nov 1943
9A/Lt.Cdr. Patrick Francis Xavier Russell, RCN21 Nov 194325 Oct 1944

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Notable events involving Skeena include:


29 Dec 1939

Convoy HX 14

Convoy from Halifax to the U.K.
Departure date: 29 December 1939.
Arrival date: 12 January 1940.

The following merchant ships were part of this convoy;
British:
tanker Athelsultan (8882 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Baron Douglas (3899 GRT, built 1932), cargo ship Baron Lovat (3395 GRT, built 1926), Baron Pentland (3410 GRT, built 1927), tanker Benedick (6978 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Blairmore (4141 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Bonheur (5327 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Bridgepool (4845 GRT, built 1924), cargo ship Bristol City (2864 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Brookwood (5100 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Dallas City (4952 GRT, built 1935), tanker El Ciervo (5841 GRT, built 1923), tanker El Oso (7267 GRT, built 1921), cargo ship Greyburn (6342 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Grelhead (4274 GRT, built 1925), tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), tanker Inverilen (9456 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Kenbane Head (5225 GRT, built 1919), tanker Luculus (6546 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Montreal City (3066 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship New Westminster City (4747 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Penrose (4393 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Queen Adelaide (4933 GRT, built 1936), cargo ship Queen Anne (4937 GRT, built 1937), tanker Reginolite (9069 GRT, built 1926), cargo ship Ridley (4993 GRT, built 1937), tanker Saranac (12049 GRT, built 1918), cargo ship Swiftpool (5205 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Tacoma City (4738 GRT, built 1929), tanker Vaclite (5026 GRT, built 1928), tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928), tanker Wellfield (6054 GRT, built 1924), tanker Winamac (8621 GRT, built 1926)

French:
tanker Limousin (7619 GRT, built 1930),

Greek:
cargo ship Keramiai (5085 GRT, built 1917)

Panamanian:
tanker H. H. Rogers (8807 GRT, built 1916), tanker H.M. Flagler (8208 GRT, built 1918),

Norwegian:
cargo ship Rio Branco (3210 GRT, built 1924), tanker Solstad (5952 GRT, built 1927), tanker South America (6246 GRT, built 1931),

Escort was provided by the following warships;
Ocean escort: Licht cruiser HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) and submarine HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) from 29 December 1939 to 9 January 1940.

Local escort in Canadian waters: Destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) from 29 to 30 December 1939.

Local escort in British waters HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. W.J.C. Robertson, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN) from 9 January to 12 January 1940.

Losses:
Tanker El Oso was mined and sunk on 11 January 1940. (1)

12 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN) is undocked ant then immediately departed Liverpool escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena. They were to joind troop convoy US 3 on the 14th. (2)

13 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN) and her three escorting destroyers, HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena are joined around 1130 hours by another Canadian destroyer, HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), which came from Plymouth after effecting repairs at the Devonport Dockyard. (2)

14 Jun 1940
Convoy US 3, made up of the troopships (liners) Andes (25689 GRT, built 1939), Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914), Empress of Britain (42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Mauretania (35739 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936) with troop from New Zealand and Australia on board and escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. the Hon. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was joined around 0800 hours by HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), which came from Gibraltar, and joined around 1000 hours by the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which came from the U.K. Shortly afterwards HMS Dorsetshire left the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Later that day, around 1500 hours, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) and around 1600 hours by two more destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (3)

17 Jul 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 65 survivors from the British merchant Manipur that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-57 8 nautical miles north-west of Cape Wrath in position 58°41'N, 05°14'W.

2 Sep 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 19 survivors from the British merchant Thornlea that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-46 about 200 miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°41'N, 14°20'W.

15 Nov 1940
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN). (4)

23 Nov 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 6 men from the Norwegian merchant Bruse that was torpedoed and damaged west of Ireland in position 55°04'N, 12°15'W by German U-boat U-100.

Skeena also picks up 9 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Salonica that was torpedoed and sunk by U-100 west of Ireland in position 55°16'N, 12°14'W.

3 Mar 1941
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived at Halifax for a refit.

31 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-588 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 49°59'N, 36°36'W, by depth charges from the Canadian corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Windeyer, RCN) and the Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. D.L. Dyer, RCN).

9 Dec 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. K.L. Dyer, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Wetaskiwin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.R. Kidston, RCNVR). (5)

17 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Burnham (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) and HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN). (6)

25 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR), HMCS Saskatchewan (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Burnham (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) and HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN). (7)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Columbine T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN), HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and HMS Sweetbriar (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R. Edwards, RNVR). (8)

16 Dec 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN), HMCS Pictou (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.K. Fox, RCNVR), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. G.H.D. Williams, RN) and aircraft. (9)

9 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Saskatchewan (T/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Easton, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN) and HMCS Qa'Appelle (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN). (10)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/108475
  2. ADM 53/112448
  3. ADM 53/112036 + ADM 53/111885 + ADM 53/112448
  4. ADM 173/16349
  5. ADM 173/17244
  6. ADM 173/17927
  7. ADM 173/17786
  8. ADM 173/18231
  9. ADM 173/17777
  10. ADM 173/18528

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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