Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1944-1958, Cruisers: HMCS Uganda - renamed HMCS Quebec (C66) and HMCS Ontario (C53)

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 1944-1958,

Cruisers (Crown Colony Class), and (Minotaur Class)

Data current to 23 June 2020.


HMCS Uganda (C66) (Crown Colony-class), later renamed HMCS Quebec (C66); HMCS Ontario (C53) (Minotaur-class)

HMS Uganda (C66)

 (RCN Photo)

HMCS Uganda (C66), overhead view showing her 3 triple BL 6-inch Mk XXIII guns.

HMS Uganda (C66), was a Second World War-era Crown Colony-class light cruiser launched in 1941.  She served in the Royal Navy during 1943 and 1944, including operations in the Mediterranean, and was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Uganda (C66) in October 1944.  She served in the Pacific theatre in 1945 and was put into reserve in 1947.  When she was reactivated for the Korean War in 1952 she was renamed HMCS Quebec.  She was decommissioned for the last time in 1956 and scrapped in Japan in 1961.

 (Legion Magazine Archives Photo)

HMCS Uganda (C66).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3624562)

Sailors setting shell fuses on board HMCS Uganda (C66), 23 Jun 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191651)

HMCS Uganda (C66) bombarding Sukuma Airfield on Miyako Jima, 4 May 1945.

 (RCN and IWM Photo, ABS 698)

HMCS Uganda (C66), while serving with the British Pacific Fleet, 1945. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821077)

HMCS Uganda (C66), ca 1947.

HMCS Quebec (C31)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951392)

HMCS Quebec (C31)ca 1956.  As HMS Uganda, the name-ship of her class, she was completed 3 Jan 1943, at Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne.  After working up with the Home Fleet she joined Plymouth Command in Apr 1943 for operations in the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, and in Jul 1943 joined the 15th Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, as part of Force "K."  She was badly damaged by a German glider bomb on 13 Sep 1943, while supporting the Allied landing at Salerno, Italy, and arrived at Charleston, SC, in November for a year of repair work.  Presented to the RCN, the ship was commissioned HMCS Uganda on 21 Oct 1944, at Charleston, and in Nov 1944 returned to the UK for further modifications.  She left in Jan 1945, for the Pacific via the Suez Canal, to join the 4th Cruiser Squadron, British Pacific Fleet.  In Apr 1945 she joined Task Force 57 in the Okinawa area, and was thereafter principally employed in screening the Fleet's aircraft carriers operating against Japanese airfields in the Ryukyu Islands.  On 14 Jun 1945 she participated in the bombardment of Truk, and in Jul 1945 supported carriers operating against Tokyo.  She left the Fleet late in Jul 1945 and arrived at Esquimalt on 10 Aug 1945 for refit.  HMCS Uganda spent the rest of her career as a training ship; she was renamed HMCS Quebec on 14 Jan 1952.

After transiting from Esquimalt to Halifax in 1952, HMCS Quebec sailed for Newfoundland where she took Lieutenant Governor Sir Leonard Outerbridge CBE - DSO, on an official tour of isolated Newfoundland out ports.  This was a RCN service guaranteed under the terms of union with Canada.  Upon returning to Halifax, HMCS Quebec was selected as the flagship of Rear Admiral Bidwell, and tasked to lead Canada's Coronation Squadron to the Queen's Review of all Royal Naval and USN Vessels at Spit head.  In 1955 HMCS Quebec was tied up at the RCSCC Training Camp [Protector] at Point Edward Naval Station, Cape Breton NS.  She was finally paid off on 13 Jun 1956.  On 6 Feb 1961 she arrived at Osaka, Japan to be broken up.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821173)

HMCS Quebec (C31), Copenhagen, Denmark, 1954.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951382)

HMCS Quebec (C31), receiving supplies from HMCS Magnificent, 1952.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951384)

HMCS Quebec (C31), jackstay transfer of pers to HMCS Magnificent, 1952.

 (DND Photo)

HMCS Quebec (C31).

HMCS Ontario (C32)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950944)

HMCS Ontario (C32) in 1945.  She was a Minotaur-class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy as HMS Minotaur (53), but transferred to the RCN on completion and renamed HMCS Ontario.  HMS Minotaur was laid down on 20 November 1941 by Harland & Wolff of Belfast and was launched on 29 July 1943 and transferred to the RCN in July 1944.  She was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in July 1944, and completed and commissioned as HMCS Ontario on 25 May 1945 at Belfast.  She sailed to join the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the Pacific Theatre, but was too late to see active service, although she was employed in the operations at Hong Kong, Manila and in Japan.  She returned home for refit, arriving at Esquimalt, BC, on 27 Nov 1945.  In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  She was used for training duties postwar until paid off on 15 October 1958.  She arrived at Osaka for breaking up on 19 November 1960.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821379)

HMCS Ontario (C32), passing Duntz head, Esquimalt.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951249)

HMCS Ontario (C32), passing Duntz head, Esquimalt.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821380)

HMCS Ontario (C32), 7 Feb 1958.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821179)

HMCS Ontario (C32), docked at Esquimalt.

 (State Library of Victoria, Australia Photo)

HMCS Ontario (C32), ca Feb 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951128)

HMCS Ontario (C32), Midshipman B.A. Rogers in front of the warship's main guns, 1957.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233795)

Normandy invasion fleet, Royal Navy town-class light cruiser with four turrets, June 1944.