For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS OTTAWA H31 (1943)
Former HMS GRIFFIN H31
Former HMCS GRIFFIN H31 (1943)
Commissioned on 06 Jun 1936 as HMS Griffin, she took part in the evacuation of Namsos, Norway, in May 1940 before transferring in August to Force 'H' at Gibraltar and in Nov 1940 to the 14th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean. She subsequently took part in the evacuation of Greece and Crete, embarking 720 troops on one trip from Suda Bay. She also escorted a relief convoy to Malta. Transferred to the Eastern Fleet in Feb 1942, she returned to the U.K. in Oct 1942 for major refit at Portsmouth and Southampton, toward the end of which, on 20 Mar 1943, she was commissioned at Southampton as HMCS Griffin. On 10 Apr 1943, despite the objections of her captain, she was renamed HMCS Ottawa. She joined EG C-5, based at St. John's as a mid-ocean escort, but was removed from this duty in May 1944, to take part in the invasion with EG 11. During post-invasion patrols in the Channel and the Bay of Biscay she took part with Kootenay in the destruction of three U-boats. Ottawa returned to Canada in Oct 1944, for refit at Saint John, N.B.. On 11 Mar 1945, HMCS Stratford, returning from Bermuda, was involved in a collision with HMCS Ottawa in the Halifax approaches, receiving extensive damage to her fo'c's'le. Ottawa remained in Canadian waters for the duration of the war and was paid off 01 Nov 1945, at Sydney. She was broken up in 1946.