HMCS Sioux (R64)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Vixen.
HMCS Sioux AWM P05890.046.jpeg
HMCS Sioux circa. August 1951 - February 1952, probably in Korean waters
United Kingdom
Name: Vixen
Ordered: 1 September 1941
Builder: J. Samuel White, Cowes
Laid down: 31 October 1942
Launched: 14 September 1943
Fate: Transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy 1944
Name: Sioux
Namesake: Sioux people
Commissioned: 21 February 1944
Decommissioned: 27 February 1946
Identification: pennant number: R64
Recommissioned: 1950
Decommissioned: 30 October 1963
Identification: pennant number: 225
Motto: Then I will fight
Honours and
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Arctic, 1944-1945
  • Atlantic, 1945
  • Korea, 1950-1952[1]
Fate: Scrapped at La Spezia, Italy, August 1965
Notes: Colours: White and vermilion
Badge: Blazon Argent, a Sioux Indian head proper facing the dexter and wearing an appropriate feather head-dress of a Sioux Chief
General characteristics
Class & type: V class destroyer
Displacement: 1,710 tonnes (1,683 long tons)
Length: 362 ft 10 in (110.59 m)
Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
Draught: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • 2 × Admiralty 3-drum water-tube boilers
  • Geared steam turbines, 40,000 shp (29,828 kW)
  • 2 shafts
Speed: 36 knots (41 mph; 67 km/h)
Range: 4,860 nmi (9,000 km) at 29 kn (54 km/h)
Complement: 230 (14 officers)
Service record
Part of: 26th Destroyer Flotilla (WWII)

HMCS Sioux was a V class destroyer of the Royal Canadian Navy which fought in the Second World War and the Korean War. She was launched as HMS Vixen for the British Royal Navy before being transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy. She was then named for the Sioux people of Canada's western provinces.

Vixen was ordered on 1 September 1941 as part of the 1941 shipbuilding programme.[2] She was laid down 31 October 1942 by J. Samuel White at Cowes and launched on 14 September 1943.[2][3] As part of the Warship Week in January 1942 she was adopted by the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife.[3] She was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, into which she was then commissioned and renamed on 21 February 1944 while fitting out at Cowes, and was completed on 5 March 1944.[4]

Second World War service[edit]

After commissioning Sioux joined the 26th Destroyer Flotilla of the British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow. As part of that unit, she escorted the aircraft carriers that attacked the German battleship Tirpitz, which was anchored at Altenfjord, Norway, and German shipping along the Norwegian coast.[4]

On 28 May Sioux was reassigned to Portsmouth as part of Canada's contribution to the Invasion of Normandy. During the assault on Juno Beach, Sioux bombarded shore batteries for forty minutes during the initial landing and provided fire support afterwards.[5] She remained with the invasion force until July when she returned to Scapa Flow.[4]

After returning to Scapa Flow, Sioux escorted four convoys to the Soviet Union and back.[6] In February 1945, after escorting convoy JW-64 to Polyarnoe; she was sent from there as part of a relief expedition to convey 500 inhabitants of a Norwegian island, left without food or fishing boats by the Germans, to safety. On 17 February 1945, she returned with convoy RA-64, fighting both determined Junkers Ju 88 attacks and Arctic gales. She sailed to Halifax immediately thereafter, to prepare for transfer to the British Pacific Fleet and operations against Japan.[7] The vessel underwent a major refit at Halifax and in November 1945 transferred to the west coast, being paid off on 27 February 1946 at Esquimalt.[4]

Postwar service[edit]

Sioux emerged, fully modernized, in 1950, to participate in the Korean War. As part of the modernization, she lost turrets X and Y, which were replaced by two Squid anti-submarine launchers. She was also the first Canadian warship to be fitted with bunks instead of hammocks.[8]

Korean War first tour[edit]

After the declaration of war, Canada ordered three destroyers of the Pacific Division based at CFB Esquimalt to begin preparations for deployment to the Korean theatre. Sioux was in dry dock and not expected to leave it until 30 June 1950. However, after a massive effort by the dockside crews, Sioux departed with Cayuga and Athabaskan on 5 July 1950. The three vessels arrived at Sasebo on 30 July 1950.[9] After arriving, the destroyer was assigned to Task Force 96.5 with Athabaskan escorting convoys of ships from Japan to Pusan. Initially retained at Sasebo for rescue missions, on 12 August 1950, the ship transferred to Task Unit 96.53.3 assigned to the west coast of Korea.[10]

After transiting, Sioux was ordered to bombard Popusompu (now a part of Beopseong-Myeon) on 20 August. At the end of the month the destroyer bombarded the island of Te bu Somu with HMS Kenya and Cayuga.[11] She helped provide naval support for the troops that landed at Inchon in September 1950 as part of Task Force 91.2, charged with escorting the logistic support group and enforcing the naval blockade.[4][11]

On 20 October 1950, Sioux joined Task Group 95.1 under the new command setup. She remained as part of the unit until her departure later in the year.[12] The destroyer worked as part of the blockade force on the west coast until the end of the month before returning to Sasebo. She left Sasebo on 5 November 1950 for a visit to Hong Kong. However, en route the vessel encountered Typhoon Clara and suffered slight damage that required repairs upon her arrival.[13] Upon the destroyer's return from Hong Kong she began blockade duties in coastal waters around Inchon and the mouth of the Yalu River, as part of Task Element 95.12 alongside the other Canadian vessels.[14]

With the absence of the British cruisers, the destroyers of Task Element 95.12 were ordered on 3 December 1950 to cover the withdrawal of units from Chinnampo by escorting the transports into the harbour and providing gunfire support during their withdrawal. Reports claiming an emergency arrived from the harbour and the destroyers were forced to sail down the swept channel at night. While making her way up the channel, Sioux ran aground. Able to get herself clear, the destroyer then fouled her starboard screw, forcing her to retire. She and HMAS Warramunga provided a covering force for the withdrawal the next day.[15]

Sioux then spent the rest of her time in theatre screening the aircraft carrier, HMS Theseus, escorting shipping, blockade patrol and providing general support for the forces evacuating Inchon. The destroyer returned to Sasebo on 2 January 1951 and spent two weeks preparing before returning home,[16][17] departing 15 January 1951. She was replaced on station by HMCS Nootka.[15]

Sioux performed two more tours of duty in the Korean War and was the last Canadian ship to depart Korean waters.[4]

Training and conversion[edit]

In 1953 Sioux was one of a number of Royal Canadian Navy ships which took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[18] She was primarily used for training purposes thereafter, until being paid off 30 October 1963. She wore pennant 225 from 1949 until 1963.[4] In November 1959, Sioux was converted to a frigate with 2 4.7-inch guns, 4 torpedo tubes and 2 Squid launchers.[19] She was towed to La Spezia, Italy and broken up there in 1965.[4]

Ship's bell[edit]

The Chatham and Area Royal Canadian Naval Association branch acquired HMCS Sioux‍ '​s ship's bell, which was used for baptism of babies onboard ship. The names of 48 children christened aboard the 'V' Class destroyer are inscribed on the bell.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "HMCS Sioux (R64)". Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). "HMCS Sioux, destroyer". Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-2002 (3 ed.). St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing Limited. p. 64. ISBN 1551250721. 
  5. ^ Gimblett, Richard H. (2009). The Naval Service of Canada 1910-2010, The Centennial Story. Dundurn. p. 72. ISBN 1554884705. 
  6. ^ "Convoy web". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Lawrence, Hal (1980). A Bloody War; One Man's Memories of the Canadian Navy, 1939-1945. Signet Books. ISBN 0771047347. 
  8. ^ James A. Boutiller, ed. (1982). RCN in Retrospect, 1910-1968. UBC Press. p. 322. ISBN 0774801522. 
  9. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.3-4
  10. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.12
  11. ^ a b Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.17
  12. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.20
  13. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.24-26
  14. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.29
  15. ^ a b Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.31-33
  16. ^ Thorgrimsson and Russell, p.36
  17. ^ "HMCS Sioux". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Proc, Jerry (4 August 2010). "Sioux's bell". HMCS Sioux. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 


External links[edit]