HMCS Harry DeWolf

History of Harry DeWolf

History of Harry DeWolf

1903 - 2000

Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf


First command — HMCS St. Laurent


Hard Over Harry takes command of legendary Tribal class destroyer HMCS HAIDA

Canada’s most highly decorated naval officer of WWII...began peacetime career…served through early Cold War

Retired from the RCN as chief of the naval staff

[Spoken words]

… part of the future. We know that the nature of the Navy will continue to change, probably at a faster pace than ever. We believe that as long as oceans surround the continents of the earth, the need for navies will remain.

Now Canada honours his memory in the Harry DeWolf — the ship and class

[Spoken words]

Is the Harry DeWolf not a great‑looking ship?

Harry DeWolf

A man for his times - ship for ours

Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN)


Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN)

On September 18, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the name of the first of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) in Hamilton, Ontario.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf is named in honour of a wartime Canadian naval hero. HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first of the AOPS designed to better enable the RCN to exercise sovereignty in Canadian waters, including in the Arctic.

The AOPS will be known as the Harry DeWolf Class, with HMCS Harry DeWolf as the lead ship. Subsequent ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent Canadian naval heroes who served their country with the highest distinction. This is the first time in its 104-year history that the RCN is naming a class of ships after a prominent Canadian naval figure.

A native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN) was decorated for outstanding service throughout his naval career, which included wartime command of HMCS St. Laurent from 1939-40, and later, his 1943-44 command of HMCS Haida, known as the “Fightingest Ship in the RCN.” The announcement was made at HMCS Haida, which now serves as a museum ship on the Hamilton waterfront.

Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. The AOPS will conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canadian waters on all three coasts, including in the Arctic. The AOPS will also be used to support other units of the Canadian Armed Forces in the conduct of maritime-related operations and to support other government departments in carrying out their mandates, as required.

HMCS Harry DeWolf is now under construction by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.