E - Class Destroyer (RN)


River Class Destroyer  (RCN)




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Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1943-44,   Normandy  1944



Laid down: 23 Mar 1933

Launched: 29 May 1934

Commissioned: 13 Oct 1934

Transferred to the RCN: 03 Jun 1943

Commissioned: 03 Jun 1943

Paid off: 10 Jan 1946

Fate: Broken up in 1947, the remaining hull was scuttled as a breakwater at Royston, B.C.


Completed in 1934 as HMS EXPRESS, she saw strenuous war service with the RN. She was the second last ship to leave Dunkirk, having made six trips and evacuated 3,500 troops. On 31 Aug 1940, while laying a defensive minefield off the Dutch coast, she was herself extensively damaged by a German mine. Repairs carried out at Hull, U.K., took more than a year, and included fitting a complete new fore end. She went to the Far East late in 1941, and on 10 Dec 1941 was on hand to rescue nearly 1,000 survivors of HMS PRINCE OF WALES, sunk by Japanese bombs off Malaya. After long service with the Eastern Fleet she returned to Liverpool in Feb 1943, for refit, and in the process was transferred to the RCN. She was commissioned there as GATINEAU on 03 Jun 1943, and joined EG C-3, MOEF. On 06 Mar 1944, while escorting convoy HX.280, she assisted in the sinking of U 744. That May she transferred to EG 11, Londonderry, for invasion duties, and was present on D-Day. She proceeded  to Canada in Jul 1944, for major refit at Halifax, then sailed in Mar 1945, for workups at Tobermory. No longer needed after VE-day, she returned to Canada in Jun 1945 and two months later went round to the west coast. She was paid off 10 Jan 1946, into reserve at Esquimalt, and is believed to have been scuttled at Royston, B.C. in 1948, as part of a breakwater.


U-Boats Sunk:  U-744 (Oblt Heinz Blischke) a type VIIC U-boat, sunk on 06 Mar 1944 by HMCS ST CATHARINES K325, HMCS CHILLIWACK K131, HMCS GATINEAU H61, HMCS FENNEL K194, HMCS CHAUDIERE H99, HMS ICARUS and HMS KENIWORTH CASTLE in position 52-01 N, 22-37 W. Of her crew of 51, there were 40 survivors



Photos and Documents



Commanding Officers


Cdr Philip Whitworth Burnett, RN - 03 Jun 1943 - 09 Nov 1943

Lt E.M. Chadwick, RCN - 10 Nov 1943 - 22 Nov 1943

LCdr Harold Victor William Groos, RCN - 23 Nov 1943 - 10 Sep 1944

A/LCdr Ralph Lucien Hennessy, DSC, RCN - 11 Sep 1944 - 29 Sep 1944

LCdr J.A. Bryant, RCNVR - 30 Sep 1944 - 09 Nov 1944

LCdr George Huntley Davidson, RCN - 10 Nov 1944 - 14 Jul 1945

A/LCdr Patrick David Budge, DSC, RCN - 15 Jul 1945 - 26 Nov 1945



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten




Former Crew Members


Bancroft, Henry Dunkin, Midshipman, RCNVR - Jan 1945


Ellis, Robert Lambert, Lt (T), RCN - 08 Mar 1945


Evans, William, AB (of Toronto, ON) - Sep 1944


Gibson, Lorne, A/Bos'n (A/S), RCN - Jan 1944


Greenidge, Kenneth Norman Haynes, Lt, RCN - 25 Mar 1944


Harley, Frank, Lt (E), RCNR - 06 May 1943 (Stand by) / 03 Jun 1943


Henderson, Robert McRae, Lt (S), RCNVR - 30 Jun 1945

Hepburn, Bernard Rickart, Lt (E), RCNVR - 04 Mar 1945


Irving, John Richard, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945


Lentz, Herbert Stanley, A/Gnr (T), RCN - Jan 1945


Lesslie, William Van Armam, SLt, RCNVR - 03 Jun 1943


Lovett, Frank John, Paym/Lt, RCNVR - 08 Apr 1944


MacVannel, Duncan Payne, SLt (E), RCNVR - Jan 1944


Maynard, Murray Renouf, SLt (E), RCNVR - 07 May 1943


McIlroy, Hugh Murray, LCdr (SB), RCNVR - 17 Jun 1945

McMurray, Leonard Denison, RCNVR - 21 Feb 1944


McTavish, Peter James, SLt, RCNVR - 03 Jun 1943


Millen, Norman Robert, Midshipman, RCNVR - Aug 1943 for training. Resigned appointment 08 Nov 1944


Welsh, Robert G. 


Wilson, Bruce Muir, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1945


Wright, Sydney Courtney, Lt (El) (R), RCNVR - 25 Feb 1945



Photos and Documents







(GTN001)HMCS GATINEAU H61  //  From the collection of Eric Baird  //  Courtesy of Roger Clarke

(GTN002) HMCS GATINEAU H61 circa 1943-1944  //  Photo taken from HMCS KAMLOOPS K176  //  From the collection of Kenneth Medford, DSM  //  Courtesy of Gary Medford

(GTN003) Canadian Naval Craft Sink German U-boat  //  The Halifax Chronicle 01 Jun 1944  //  Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury  //  Ships mentioned in the article:  HMCS GATINEAU, HMCS CHAUDIERE, HMCS CHILLIWACK, HMCS FENNEL, HMCS ST CATHARINES, HMS ICARUS

(GTN004) Newspaper article on HMCS GATINEAU's Mascot Topsy, and Topsy's owner, AB William Evans of Toronto, ON  //  Crow's Nest newspaper - Sep 1944

(GTN005) HMCS GATINEAU H61 Christmas Card  //  From the collection of George Howse  //  Courtesy of Dennis Carson




(GTN006) Allied ships. Photo taken from the bridge of HMCS JOLIETTE K418  //  The ships in the centre are HMCS GATINEAU (left) and HMS TARBERT K431 - Tobermory Mar/Apr 1945  //  From the collection of Glendon Oliver  //  Courtesy of Keith Oliver

(GTN007) The former HMCS GATINEAU H61 being broken up at Capital Iron & Metal, Victoria, BC  //  From the collection of Dick James  //  Courtesy of Steve Hlasny