HMCS Haida was laid down on the 29th September, 1941 at the Vickers-Armstrong dockyard in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In August 1943, the ship was launched and entered RCN service shortly afterwards. Haida’s early service life is marked by escort duties as part of various Arctic convoys. In spring 1944, Haida was was tasked to perform sweeps along the French coastline. Haida scored her first kill, sinking the German T-29 destroyer along with other members of her task force in April.
Prior to D-Day, Haida continued to run sweeps along the French coast, periodically engaging in skirmishes with German destroyers and torpedo boats. After sinking a German U-boat, Haida paired up with the Polish destroyer, Blyskawica in actions against German surface vessels off the western coast of France. During one such raid in August, Haida was damaged by a German ship - a 105mm round hit the stern section and returned to Halifax in September.
After repairs and refits, Haida continued her service off the coast of Norway in March 1945, serving as an escort and assisting in various operations. After the German surrender in May, Haida was sent to the Pacific in preparation for the invasion of the Japanese home islands. Whilst undergoing tropicalization refits however, Japan surrendered. This marked the end of WW2 and Haida’s service as part of it.
In the postwar years, Haida switched between reserve and active status as well as undergoing several refits and upgrades. The Korean War called for Haida’s service one final time. There, the ship operated as a destroyer escort, primarily performing shoreline bombardment and patrols.
After the Korean War, Haida was ultimately decommissioned from active service, but avoided being scrapped by being turned into a Toronto attraction in 1965. In the early 2000s, Haida underwent extensive restoration before becoming a National Historic Site at the Hamilton Waterfront. Today, HMCS Haida is the ceremonial flagship of the Royal Canadian Navy and still welcomes visitors from all over the globe.