Allied Warships

HMCS Gatineau (H 61)

Destroyer of the E class

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
PennantH 61 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Laid down24 Mar 1933 
Launched29 May 1934 
Commissioned3 Jun 1943 
End service10 Jan 1946 

Former Royal Navy destroyer HMS Express transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy on 3 June 1943.
Decommissioned 10 January 1946.

Former nameHMS Express

Commands listed for HMCS Gatineau (H 61)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. Philip Whitworth Burnett, RN1 May 194310 Nov 1943
2Lt. Ernest Meurice Chadwick, RCN10 Nov 194322 Nov 1943
3A/Lt.Cdr. Harold Victor William Groos, RCN22 Nov 194310 Sep 1944
4A/Lt.Cdr. Ralph Lucien Hennessy, DSC, RCN11 Sep 194429 Sep 1944
5Lt. James Allison Bryant, RCNVR30 Sep 19449 Nov 1944
6A/Lt.Cdr. Geoffrey Huntley Davidson, RCN10 Nov 194414 Jul 1945
7A/Lt.Cdr. Patrick David Budge, DSC, RCN15 Jul 194526 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Gatineau include:

8 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR), HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (1)

19 Oct 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN) and HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR). (2)

14 Jan 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMCS Gatineau (A/Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN). (3)

6 Mar 1944
After unsuccessful attempts at towing the boat to port German U-boat U-744 was sunk at 1830hrs on 6 March 1944 in the North Atlantic, in position 52°01'N, 22°37'W, after being torpedoed by the British destroyer HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. R. Dyer, RN). U-744 was attacked for over 30 hours by depth charges from HMS Icarus, the Canadian frigate HMCS St. Catharines (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR with Cdr. P.W. Burnett, DSC, RN escort group commander onboard), Canadian corvettes HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR), HMCS Chilliwack (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Coughlin, RCNVR), Canadian destroyers HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Gatineau (A/Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN) and the British corvette HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR).

27 Mar 1944
HMS Porpoise (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, OBE, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. R. Dyer, RN), HMCS Gatineau (Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN) and Escort Group C 2. (4)

8 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Boulton, RCNVR), HMCS Gatineau (Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN), HMS Sunflower (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.H. Stammers, RNVR), HMCS Mayflower (T/Lt. D.S. Martin, RCNR) and HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. H.R. Beck, RCNR). (5)

1 May 1945
HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMCS Assiniboine (Cdr.(Retd.) E.L. Armstrong, RCN), HMCS Kootenay (A/Lt.Cdr. W.H. Willson, DSC, RCN), HMCS Saskatchewan (A/Lt.Cdr. T.C. Pullen, RCN) and HMCS Gatineau (A/Lt.Cdr. G.H. Davidson, RCN). (6)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 173/17927
  2. ADM 173/17833
  3. ADM 173/17812
  4. ADM 173/18586
  5. ADM 173/18528
  6. ADM 173/20332

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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