The History of the CRUSADER

In January, 1945, after a year's discussion, the British Admiralty agreed to lend the RCN a flotilla of "C" Class destroyers for use against the Japanese. The Pacific war ended, however, before any of the eight ships had been completed, and only two were transferred. The previous ships to bear their names, Crescent and Crusader, had been lost during the war as HMC Ships Fraser and Ottawa; this time they retained their names although the transfer was made permanent in 1951.

Crescent and Crusader were virtually identical to Algonquin and Sioux, differing principally in having only one set of torpedo tubes and in being armed with 4.5-inch guns instead of 4.7-inch. Both ships were commissioned on the Clyde in 1945, Crescent on September 10 and Crusader on November 15.

Crescent arrived at Esquimalt in November, 1945, and Crusader in January, 1946, both having made the journey via the Azores and the West Indies. Crusader was almost immediately paid off into reserve, a state in which she was to spend several years, while Crescent carried out training duties until taken in hand for a major conversion. She emerged in 1956 as a "fast A/S frigate," following an RN pattern which entailed stripping her to deck level, extending the fo'c's'le right aft, erecting new superstructure, and fitting completely new armament. She was now a near-sister to Algonquin, which had undergone similar transformation earlier.

While her sister was being rebuilt, Crusader carried out two tours of duty in the Korean theatre, the first between June, 1952 and June, 1953, the second after the armistice, from November, 1953 to August, 1954. reverting then to her former training role, she was paid off on January 16, 1960, at Halifax. She had earlier served as a test vehicle for a prototype VDS (variable depth sonar) outfit, a more permanent installation of which was made in Crescent in 1960.

Crusader was sold for scrapping in 1963, but Crescent remained longer in service, being paid off at Esquimalt on April 1, 1970. She left Victoria with Algonquin on April 21, 1971, for Taiwan, to be broken up.

CRUSADER Statistical Data

  • Pendant: R20 / 228
  • Type: Destroyer
  • Class: C
  • Displacement: 1,730 tonnes
  • Length: 326.75 ft
  • Width: 35.66 ft
  • Draught: 11.5 ft
  • Speed: 31 kts
  • Compliment: 14 Officers and 230 Crew
  • Arms: 4 - 4.5", 4 - 40mm, 4 - 20mm, 4 - 21" TT (1 x IV). Revised: 3 - 4.5", 6 - 40mm, 4 - 21" TT (1xIV).
  • Builder: John Brown & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland
  • Keel Laid: 15-Nov-43
  • Date Launched: 05-Oct-44
  • Date Commissioned: 15-Nov-45
  • Paid off: 15-Jan-60



Keywords: HMCS CRUSADER, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, Destroyer, C Class