Military history

APPENDIX 10

The Canadian Destroyer Situation 1939–1945

1939–1945

When World War II commenced, the embryonic Royal Canadian Navy had six fairly modern (1931-1939) British-built destroyers in commission, as noted below. Soon after the declaration of war, the Admiralty transferred to the Canadian Navy another British-built destroyer (Assiniboine). A year later, as part of the famous Anglo-American “Destroyer Deal,” Canada acquired seven ex-American four-stack destroyers. At about the same time, the Admiralty transferred another destroyer, Margaree, to the Canadian Navy, in effect replacing the prewar Canadian destroyer Fraser, which was rammed and sunk accidentally by the British anti-aircraft cruiser Calcutta. Ironically, a British merchant ship, Port Fairy, rammed and sank Margaree on her first war mission under Canadian command. In subsequent war years, the Admiralty transferred eleven other destroyers to Canada, making a total of twenty-seven destroyers to be commissioned in the Canadian Navy during the war, plus the ex-American four-stack Buxton, a static training ship. Four British-designed Tribal-class destroyers built in Canada were not completed before the end of the war. The Canadian destroyers:

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