The History of the TERRA NOVA

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259) was a Restigouche-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from 1959-1997.

She was the sixth ship of her class and the first Canadian war ship to bear the name HMCS Terra Nova. The ship honours the Terra Nova River in Newfoundland as well as an earlier civilian ship the Terra Nova, which gained fame during a scientific exploration voyage to Antarctica. Both the river and the Antarctic (symbolized by a penguin) are featured on the ship's badge.

Terra Nova was laid down on 11 June 1953 at Victoria Machinery Depot Ltd., Victoria and launched on 21 June 1955. She was commissioned into the RCN on 6 June 1959 with the pennant number 259.

Terra Nova was selected by the Canadian Forces for the Improved Restigouche (IRE) project and completed this refit in 1968. She was also selected as one of ten destroyers in the Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX) project and completed this refit on 9 November 1984.

Terra Nova was decommissioned on 11 July 1997.

After being paid off Terra Nova appeared as an American destroyer in the movie "K-19: The Widowmaker".

On 20 November 2009, along with her sister ship Gatineau, Terra Nova departed Halifax Harbour by tow and was taken to Pictou, NS to be dismantled for salvage.

TERRA NOVA Statistical Data

  • Pendant: 259
  • Type: Destroyer Escort
  • Class: Restigouche
  • Displacement: 2,366 / 2,390 (post refit) tonnes
  • Length: 366 / 372 (post refit) ft
  • Width: 42 ft
  • Draught: 13.5 / 14.1 (post refit) ft
  • Speed: 28 kts
  • Compliment: 12 Officers and 237 Crew
  • Arms: 4 - 3" (2 x II), 2 Limbo, Homing Torpedoes. After IRE refit: 2-3" (1 x II), 1 Limbo, 1 ASROC, Homing Torpedoes.
  • Builder: Victoria Machinery Depot Ltd., Victoria, BC
  • Keel Laid: 14-Nov-52
  • Date Launched: 21-Jun-55
  • Date Commissioned: 06-Jun-59
  • Paid off: 11-Jul-97


Modified as Improved Restigouche Class 1967-1968. DELEX refit in 1985.

Keywords: HMCS TERRA NOVA, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, Destroyer Escort, Restigouche Class