Updated 12 September 2022
HMCS St. Laurent (1st of name) (H83)
A ship travelling on the water
HMCS St. Laurent H83.
The “C” Class destroyer HMS Cygnet was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy and commissioned at Chatham, England on 17 February 1937 as HMCS St. Laurent. She arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 April, and later sailed for Esquimalt, British Columbia. Shortly after war was declared, she returned to the east coast and, for several months, escorted convoys on the first leg of their transatlantic journey. On 24 May 1940, she was assigned to Western Approaches at Plymouth, United Kingdom, playing a brief role in the evacuation of France. On 2 July 1940, she rescued 860 survivors from the torpedoed liner Arandora Star.
In 1941, HMCS St. Laurent joined Newfoundland Command as a mid-ocean escort. During this period, “Sally”, as she was nicknamed, assisted in the destruction of two U-boats: U-356 and U-845. In May 1944, she was transferred to Escort Group 11 for invasion duties. She then returned home for major repairs, and remained in Canadian waters as a member of Halifax Force. Following Victory in Europe-Day, she was employed in transporting troops from Newfoundland to Canada. HMCS St. Laurent was paid off on 10 October 1945 at Sydney, Nova Scotia and broken up in 1947.
20 August 1941
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