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HMCS Haida – Museum Ship in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

When I was ten years old, my English Grandfather took me to see HMCS Haida at Ontario Place, which was a provincially owned, quasi-fair ground in Toronto, Canada. He had served, however briefly, on her sister ship, HMS Eskimo, when he was first enrolled in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1939. His delight and becoming reacquainted with a ship so similar to his first was quite evident, and was only eclipsed by his delight on seeing a former shipmate from HMS Laforey, the Canadian Radio Officer, John Charles, was listed as a former Captain of HMCS Haida!

 That visit was in 1978 and since then Haida was purchased from the provincial government by the federal government. She was towed from her location in Toronto in 2002 to Port Weller, Ontario, for $5 million in repairs. Once complete, she arrived in her new port of Hamilton, Ontario, in August 2003 where she now is designated a National Historic Site.

 HMCS Haida (G63) is a Tribal-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) from 1943-1963. She was launched on 25 August 1942 from Vickers Shipbuilding in Newcastle-on-Tyne and commissioned into RCN service on 30 August 1943. Haida sank more enemy surface tonnage than any other Canadian warship. She is also the only surviving Tribal-class destroyer out of 27 vessels that were constructed between 1937-1945 for the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and the RCN.

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