In 2256, during the Federation-Klingon War, the Hiawatha was believed to have been destroyed by the Klingons en route to Starbase 36. In fact, it had crash landed on the surface of an interstellar asteroid as a result of encountering wildly fluctuating gravity waves. Most of the crew and patients were able to evacuate in escape pods, though a few were too injured to be moved. Engineer Jett Reno volunteered to stay behind to care for them. (DIS: "Brother")
Ten months and eleven days after the crash, the wreckage of the ship was by accident located by the crew of the USS Discovery, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, while investigating the origin of a mysterious red burst. A Discovery away team rescued Reno and her remaining patients before the asteroid and what was left of the Hiawatha collided with a pulsar. (DIS: "Brother")
- See: USS Hiawatha personnel
Similar to Discovery material being labeled "Disco", some material aboard the Hiawatha was labeled "Hia".