Saskatchewan's hull and superstructure was launched by the Victoria Machinery Depot Company, and she was completed by Yarrow Limited in Esquimalt. She was commissioned on 16 February 1963 at Esquimalt, the second of the Mackenzie class to enter service. That first year was a busy one for Saskatchewan, with two transits of the Panama Canal, four Atlantic crossings and participation in a major NATO exercise.
Late in 1965 she was fitted with an eight-foot square bridge made of aluminum and glass, built atop her regular bridge as part of an investigation into improved ways of conning a ship.
In February 1970 she returned to Atlantic command with the crew of Kootenay, relieving Nipigon as flagship of the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic. Mike Young, her executive officer during this period, recalls a social gaffe when the pre-wetting system was inadvertently turned on during a quarterdeck cocktail party in St. John's!
Saskatchewan came back to the west coast in 1973. She commenced her DELEX (Destroyer Life Extension) refit on 27 May 1985 and returned to service on 17 June 1986. That August she was part of a Canadian squadron visiting Australia for the Royal Australian Navy’s 75th birthday celebrations. In her final years she was a member of the Training Group Pacific which instructed 40 officer cadets at a time in the finer points of ship-handling, navigation, and marine and combat systems engineering. The ship completed a minor refit in 1990, including the installation of an environmentally safe black-water system designed to reduce ship-generated pollution.
She was decommissioned on 28 March 1994.
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