HMCS St. Croix - I81

Commissioned first on 30 April 1919 for the US Navy where she served as USS McCook DD252 until her decommissioning on 30 June 1922. Recommissioned and transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy on 24 September 1940, HMCS St. Croix was the only destroyer of her class lost during WWII, while she served as a convoy escort in the Atlantic.

She attempted to sail to the UK from St. John’s on 30 November 1940 but ran into a hurricane and had to turn back, returning to Halifax on 18 December 1940. Her narrow hull contributed to her instability in rough water, and she had to stay in Halifax for repairs until March 1941 when she took up local escort duty.

In August 1941 she joined Newfoundland Escort Force and started on convoys to Iceland. She started on the Newfie-Derry run in May 1942 after refits, where she would remain for the rest of her career. She sank U-90 on 24 July 1942 while escorting ballast to New York, and assisted HMCS Shediac in destroying U-87 on 4 March 1943 while accompanying a convoy from Britain to Algeria.
In August 1943, the St. Croix was allocated to the Bay of Biscay to support an offensive against U-boats attempting to cross the bay, but her group was diverted back to the Atlantic to assist a series of convoys beset by U-boats.

On 20 September 1943, while engaged with convoy ON.202, she was torpedoed and sunk by German U-305. Five officers and 76 men were rescued by the British frigate HMS Itchen, only for the Itchen to be sunk by U-666 three days later. Of the three survivors of Itchen’s sinking, one was from the St. Croix. 

She was the first of two RCN ships to bear the name “St. Croix” the other being a Restigouche-class destroyer commissioned in 1958.

Reference Links:
Canadian War Museum - Battle of the Atlantic  - Lost at Sea: HMCS St. Croix
Family Heritage "The Return of the Wolf Packs: The Battle for Convoy ON 113, 23 to 31 July 1942"
For Posterity's Sake - HMCS St. Croix
U-Boat - HMCS St. Croix
U-Boat - Crewlist from HMCS St. Croix