1920s: A Fledgling Navy Struggles to Survive


When their keels were laid in 1929, these ships were the first warships, other than auxiliaries, which were built expressly for the RCN.

Patterned on the RN Acasta or "A"-class destroyers, they incorporated certain "changes and additions considered necessary for service in Canadian waters."

Weighing in at 1,320 tons, both ships had a length of 322', a beam of 32.5' and a draught of 12'. Here boilers and engines developed 34,000 hp, and the ships design speed was 35 knots. She mounted 4-4.7" guns, 2-2 pounders, 5 machine guns and 8-21" torpedo tubes in two quad mountings. He crew complement was 138 all ranks.

To make them suitable for 'Canadian waters', they were given additional strengthening against floating ice, a larger than normal margin of stability (to counter icing on the upper decks, superstructure and rigging), steam-heat, ice cupboards, shower-baths and a special ventilation system.

HMCS SKEENA at sea with pre-war markings

HMCS SKEENA at sea with pre-war markings