Weekends, especially long ones, present a great opportunity to getaway for a little adventure. As a family, we do this a lot. During our last weekend, we ventured off to Hamilton. Why Hamilton? It is not a tourist destination for most but it is the home of HMCS Haida and the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum.
The Haida is one of 8 Canadian Tribal Class destroyers that served during WW2, the Korean War and the Cold War. Today only the Haida remains. Its primary purpose today is as a floating museum in Hamilton.
It arrived in 2003, the 60th anniversary of her commissioning, and stands century at Pier 9th. Earning the title of “the fightingest ship in RCN”, the Haida sank more enemy tonnage than any other Canadian warship during WW2. In early ‘44, she became part of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, a mix of British, Canadian and Polish destroyers. In preparation for D-Day, the flotilla helped to clear the enemy off the coast of France.
The Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum maintains a collection of forty aircraft flown by Canadians between World War II and the present day as well as other aviation artifacts and memorabilia. One of the prized artifacts is an airworthy Lancaster bomber, one of only two remaining.
Both the Haida and the Warplane Museum serve as great tributes to the thousands of men and women who served in the Canadian military during past conflicts, especially to those who did not return.