HMCS Huron (DDG 281)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMCS Huron.
HMCS Huron (DDG 281) underway 1999.jpeg
HMCS Huron (DDG 281) in 1999
Career (Canada)
Name: Huron
Namesake: Huron
Builder: Marine Industries, Sorel
Laid down: 1 June 1969
Launched: 9 April 1971
Commissioned: 16 December 1972
Refit: 25 November 1994 (TRUMP)
Identification: pennant number: 281
Motto: Ready The Brave
Honours and

Atlantic 1943, Arctic 1943–1945, Biscay 1943–1944, Norway 1945,

Korea 1952–1953[1]
Fate: Sunk 14 May 2007 during Operation TRIDENT FURY, a live-fire exercise conducted by MARPAC 100 km (54.0 nmi) west of Vancouver Island.
Notes: Colours: Gold and crimson
Badge: Blazon Or, nicotine bloom gules, seedpod vert, and stamens or.
General characteristics
Class and type: Iroquois-class destroyer
Displacement: 5100 t
Length: 129.8 m (425.9 ft)
Beam: 15.2 m (49.9 ft)
Draught: 4.7 m (15.4 ft)
Propulsion: COGOG - 2 shaft
2 × Allison 570-KF cruise gas turbines (5.6 MW)
2 × Pratt & Whitney FT4A-2 boost gas turbines (37 MW)
Speed: 29 kn (53.7 km/h)
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,334.0 km)
Complement: 280
Sensors and
processing systems:
Signaal AN/SPQ 501 DA-08 radar
Signaal LW-08 AN/SPQ 502 radar
SQS-510 hull sonar
SQS-510 VDS sonar
Armament: 32 × VLS, Standard SM-2MR Block IIIA SAMs
1 × 76 mm/62 OTO Melara
6 × 12.75 in tubes firing Mark-46 Mod 5 torpedoes
1 × Phalanx CIWS (Block 1)
2 × M2 Browning machine guns
Aircraft carried: 2 × CH-124 Sea King helicopters
Aviation facilities: hangar and flight deck

HMCS Huron was an Iroquois-class destroyer that served with the Canadian Forces from 16 December 1972 to 23 October 2000. She served mainly on the western coast of Canada. After decommissioning her hull was stripped and used in a live-fire exercise. Her hulk was eventually sunk by gunfire from her sister ship, HMCS Algonquin. Huron was the second ship of her class which is sometimes referred to as the Tribal-class or simply as the 280-class. She was the second vessel to use the designation HMCS Huron.


Huron was laid down on 1 June 1969 by builder Marine Industries of Sorel, Quebec and was launched on 9 April 1971.[2] She was officially commissioned into the Canadian Forces on 16 December 1972 and carried the pennant number 281.[2]

Huron began a refit known as the Tribal Class Update and Modernization Project (TRUMP) in July 1993, performed by MIL-Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec. It was completed on 25 November 1994.[2] At this time her classification changed from Destroyer Helicopter (DDH) to Destroyer Guided Missile (DDG).

She was assigned to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and was homeported at CFB Esquimalt.


Huron served on MARPAC missions protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Pacific Ocean and enforced Canadian laws in its territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone. Huron was also deployed on missions throughout the Pacific and to the Indian Ocean; specifically the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea on anti-terrorism operations.

As part of Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Huron represented Canada in the naval review at Spithead on 28 June 1977. On 12 March 1980, she assisted the crew of the damaged freighter Maurice Desgagnes, eventually taking them off when the ship sank.[2]

From 19 February to the 24 February 1981, Huron was used to carry out trials of the Sea Sparrow system to be added in the TRUMP refit. Later that year she carried the Governor-General Edward Schreyer on a tour of Scandinavian ports. In the summer of 1990, Huron accompanied by HMCS Kootenay and HMCS Annapolis, visited Vladivostok, the first visit by Canadian warships to Russia since the Second World War.[2]

Huron was sent to the Persian Gulf in winter 1991 as part of Operation FRICTION, the Canadian Forces's contribution to Operation DESERT STORM (the Gulf War) to replace her sister ship HMCS Athabaskan as flagship of the Canadian Naval Task Group. Huron arrived after hostilities had ceased and patrolled for several months before returning to Esquimalt.

The Huron was also used in the television show Seven Days in the episode the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea playing the part of new type of US warship under the command of a female captain.

In 1993 Huron was deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of the United Nations naval embargo of the former Yugoslavia. She then departed for her refit that began in July of that year. After completing her TRUMP refit, Huron returned to the west coast in 1995. She took part in most major naval exercises that were performed in the Pacific Ocean. On 7 September 1999, with Royal Canadian Mounted Police and personnel from Immigration Canada aboard, the warship intercepted a vessel carrying 146 Chinese migrants. The ship migrant ship was found to be unfit and Huron transported them to Esquimalt.[2][3]

Paying off and sinking[edit]

Despite being the most recently refitted Iroquois-class destroyer, defence cutbacks during the late 1990s saw Huron placed in mothball status due to a personnel shortage in 2000. In 2005 she was paid off from the Canadian Forces and awaited disposal at Esquimalt.

In 2006 MARPAC decided to use Huron in what would become the first sink-exercise that Maritime Command (MARCOM) conducted. The sink-ex was named Operation TRIDENT FURY and was planned to use a variety of MARPAC ships, US Navy and AIRCOM aircraft to bombard Huron with artillery, missiles, strafing fire, and finally be sunk by a torpedo launched from a submarine.

HMCS Huron being towed to her target point, 14 May 2007.

Huron was stripped of armaments and all environmentally harmful contaminants and fuel in winter 2006-2007. On 14 May 2007 Huron was towed to the MARPAC offshore weapons range west of Vancouver Island. Despite being damaged by a Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile and several other weapons, it was naval gunfire from sister Algonquin that was responsible for sinking the hulk of Huron.[4] Ironically, the main gun used by Algonquin was originally installed on Huron, meaning that Huron was sunk by one of her own weapons.[5] This sinking marked the first Canadian warship to be operationally sunk in Canadian waters.[6]

The sinking was the subject of a 2007 History Television documentary "Sinking a Destroyer".[7]

Ships' Bell[edit]

The Christening Bells Project at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum includes information from the ship's bell of HMCS Huron (2nd) 1972, which was used for baptism of babies onboard ship from 1973 to 1997. The bell is currently held by the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, Esquimalt, BC.[8]


  1. ^ "Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships". Department of National Defence - Directorate of History and Heritage. 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-2002 (3 ed.). St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing Limited. p. 264. ISBN 1551250721. 
  3. ^ "HMCS Huron DDH 281". Canadian Tribal Association. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  4. ^ - Navy Ship is sunk during target practice[dead link]
  5. ^ Rhodes, Veronica (18 May 2007). "They came to sink the Huron". Leader-Post. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Lookout Newspaper[dead link]
  7. ^ History Television: Sinking a Destroyer Retrieved on 28 December 2009
  8. ^ "Christening bells". CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-2002 (3 ed.). St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1551250721. 

External Links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°58′.472″N 127°58′.638″W / 48.96679778°N 127.96684389°W / 48.96679778; -127.96684389