HMCS Iroquois (G89)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMCS Iroquois.
HMCS Iroquois
Career (Canada)
Name: Iroquois
Namesake: Iroquois people
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Ordered: 5 April 1940
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Newcastle-on-Tyne
Laid down: 19 September 1940
Launched: 23 September 1941
Commissioned: 30 November 1942
Decommissioned: 22 February 1946
Identification: G89
Recommissioned: October 1951
Decommissioned: 24 October 1962
Identification: DDE 217
Honours and
  • Atlantic 1943
  • Arctic 1943–45
  • Biscay 1943–44
  • Norway 1945
  • Korea 1952–53[1]
Fate: Scrapped 1966
General characteristics
Class and type: Tribal-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,927 tonnes
Length: 377 ft (115 m)
Beam: 37.5 ft (11.4 m)
Draught: 11.2 ft (3.4 m)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 3-Admiralty 3 drum type boilers, 2-Parsons geared steam turbines, 44,000 shp
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h)

HMCS Iroquois was a Tribal-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War and Korean War. She was named for the Iroquois First Nations. She was the first ship to bear this name and the first ship of the class to serve with the Royal Canadian Navy.[2]

Iroquois was ordered 5 April 1940 as part of the 1940 shipbuilding programme.[3] She was laid down 19 September 1940 by Vickers-Armstrong at Newcastle on Tyne in the United Kingdom and launched 23 September the following year.[3][2] She was originally laid down as Athabaskan, however due to bomb damage, she and her sister were forced to switch names.[4] She was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy at Newcastle on Tyne on 30 November 1942. However she was not completed until 30 January 1943.[2]

Service history[edit]

Second World War[edit]

Following her completion, Iroquois made a trip to Canada and back, suffering storm damage and requiring repairs, this taking until June 1943 at Plymouth. After returning to active duty, she was used as a convoy escort on Gibraltar convoys. On one such convoy, while escorting three troopships, they were attacked by three German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 aircraft on 11 July 1943, resulting in two of the troopships being sunk.[5] Iroquois rescued 628 survivors from SS Duchess of York.[2] That same month came an event termed "incident" in official reports where according to the inquiry afterwards, a large section of the ship's company refused to perform their duties.[4]

Following her return to the UK, Iroquois was assigned to escort convoys heading to the Soviet Union over the following months. In February 1944, she sailed to Halifax to undergo a refit that would keep her out of action until June. She returned to the UK and was assigned to the 10th Destroyer Flotilla in preparation for the Invasion of Normandy. After D-day, she carried out patrols of the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.[2] During this period, Iroquois took part in many operations including Kinetic the objective of which was to eliminate the German navy all along the French Atlantic ports taking part in three actions including the Battle of Audierne Bay in August 1944.

Iroquois was often assigned to escort capital ships and troopships until rejoining the Home Fleet in March 1945 at Scapa Flow. She then escorted one more convoy to the Soviet Union.[2] She remained a part of the Home Fleet until the surrender of Nazi Germany.

Following the surrender, Iroquois was part of Crown Prince Olav's return to Norway after its liberation and then she sailed on to Copenhagen where she was an escort to German cruisers Prinz Eugen and Nürnberg until their formal surrender.[2]

She returned to Canada and began a tropicalization refit that was halted upon the surrender of Japan. Iroquois was then paid off on 22 February 1946.[2]

Postwar service[edit]

Beginning in 1947, Iroquois underwent conversion to a destroyer escort, the first of her class to undergo the alterations. The changes involved her 4.7-inch main armament were replaced with 4-inch guns in the "A" and "B" turret positions, and in the "X" a twin 3-inch mount was installed and in the "Y" site, two Squid anti-submarine mortars were situated. Other alterations included an aluminum lattice with new radar.[4] She emerged from her refit on 24 June 1949 and was recommissioned as a training ship.[2]

Iroquois served off Korea during the Korean War, commanded by William Landymore. [6]:1173 She served three tours, the first from 12 June until 26 November 1952. It was on this tour that on 2 October 1952, the ship was hit by enemy shore batteries, killing 3 and wounding 10. These were the only Royal Canadian Navy casualties in the war.[7] Her second tour lasted from 18 June 1953 until 1 January 1954 and the third took place later that year, from 22 August to 26 December 1954.

She returned to her training role and remained as such until 1962. Iroquois was paid off at Halifax on 24 October 1962 and laid up at Sydney. In 1966 the vessel was taken to Bilbao, Spain and broken up in September.[2][8]

Ship badge[edit]

The ship's badge is described as a Blazon Or, the head of an Iroquois brave, couped at the base of the neck, properly coloured and wearing two eagle feathers in his hair and a gold ring pendant from the ear.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships". Department of National Defence. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). Warships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002 (3 ed.). St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing Ltd. p. 62. ISBN 1-55125-072-1. 
  3. ^ a b "HMCS Iroquois (G89)". Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c James A. Boutiller, ed. (1 January 1982). RCN in Retrospect, 1910-1968. UBC Press. pp. 107, 238, 322. ISBN 0774801522. 
  5. ^ "Maritime Disasters of WWII 1942, 1943". George Duncan's Historical Facts of World War II. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Milner, Marc. "Landymore, William Moss", in The Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1988), Volume 2
  7. ^ "Land of the Morning Calm: Canadians in Korea 1950–1953". Historical Calendar – 1952. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 


  • Brice, Martin H. (1971). The Tribals. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0245-2. 
  • English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-95-0. 

External links[edit]