The History of the GATINEAU (1st)

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 August 31, 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 December 10 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 February, 1943, for refit, and in the process was transferred to the RCN. She was commissioned there as Gatineau on June 3, 1943, and joined EG C-3, MOEF. On March 6, 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 July, 1944, for major refit at Halifax, then sailed in March, 1945, for workups at Tobermory. No longer needed after VE-day, she returned to Canada in June and two months later went round to the west coast. She was paid off January 10, 1946, into reserve at Esquimalt, and is believed to have been scuttled at Royston, B.C. in 1948, as part of a breakwater.

GATINEAU (1st) Statistical Data

  • Pendant: H61
  • Type: Destroyer
  • Class: RIVER Class British
  • Displacement: 1370 tonnes
  • Length: 329 ft
  • Width: 33.3 ft
  • Draught: 10.8 ft
  • Speed: 31 kts
  • Compliment: 10 Officers and 171 Crew
  • Arms: 3-4.7", 4-21" Torpedo Tubes (1 xIV), 6-20mm, Hedgehog
  • Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend-on-Tyne, UK
  • Keel Laid: 23-Mar-33
  • Date Launched: 29-May-34
  • Date Commissioned: 03-Jun-43
  • Paid off: 10-Jan-46



Keywords: HMCS GATINEAU (1st), Royal Canadian Navy Ship, Destroyer, RIVER Class British Class