She was similar to the Royal Navy's A-class and wore initially the pennant D59, changed in 1940 to D181.
She was built by John I. Thornycroft & Company at Woolston, Hampshire and commissioned into the RCN on June 10th 1931 at Portsmouth, England. Skeena and her sister Saguenay were the first ships specifically built for the Royal Canadian Navy with the remaining six A-class destroyers ordered by the RCN being built in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She would arrive in Halifax on July 3rd 1931.
Second World War
Skeena rescued sixty-five survivors of the British merchant ship Manipur, sunk by U-57 off Cape Wrath on July 17th 1940. On September 2nd 1940 she rescued nineteen survivors of the British merchant ship Thornlea, sunk by U-46 in the North Atlantic. On November 23rd 1940 she rescued six survivors of the Norwegian merchant ship Bruce, damaged by U-100 and nine survivors of the Norwegian merchant ship Salonica, sunk by U-100 nearby.
Skeena was assigned to North Atlantic convoy Escort Group C-3 escorting convoys ON 93, HX 191, ONS 104, SC 90, ON 115, HX 202, ON 121, SC 98, ON 131, HX 210, ON 141, SC 109, ONS 152 prior to refit in January 1943. On July 31st 1942, Skeena recorded her first victory with HMCS Wetaskiwin when they depth charged and sank U-588 while escorting ON 115 at 49°59′N 36°36′W.
Skeena was lost in a storm on the night of October 24th 1944. She was anchored off Reykjavík, Iceland and dragged her anchor and grounded in 50-foot (15 m) waves off Viðey Island with the loss of 15 crewmembers.
Her hulk was written off and sold to Iceland interests in June 1945; she was then raised and broken up. Her propeller was salvaged and used in a memorial near the Viðey Island ferry terminal.