naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 353

NAC News – Edition 353

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of April 17th, 2020

Edition – 353   “The Navy has both a tradition and a future – and we look with pride and confidence in both directions.”  Admiral (USN) George Anderson, CNO, 1 August 1961.

Rod Hughes – Editor NAC News  (comments welcome to help improve this service)

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  • ★    (Editor – the Commander RCN has officially “deferred all official Battle of Atlantic ceremonies to a later date.  Meanwhile, expect some guidance soon as to how we can all individually & safely salute our amazing predecessors – veterans of BOA as well as the other wars & ops conducted since in which the RCN has distinguished itself as a proven warfighting service…”)
  • Just for the Hull of It  (Editor – precis of the words of the Chair of the CNMT “Thirty-six years ago, the Naval Association of Canada took the lead and the volunteer Canadian Naval Corvette Trust (later Canadian Naval Memorial Trust) was established to acquire and restore HMCS Sackville to her 1944 configuration…Mother nature has taken a toll on the hull of the ship…Funds raised during the campaign will be designated to the CNMT Preservation Fund for the critical and necessary work to safeguard the ship…with a goal of approximately 12 million dollars.)
  • 2020 NAC BOA Gala, conference and AGM (Editor – Postponed until further notice out of concern for the health and welfare of those we seek to honour, our loyal NAC members far and wide, those who loyally serve in the RCN, and those who support the NAC (we have some very generous corporate sponsors for these events), we have decided to postpone these activities to a later date. We are working on a plan to host a replacement dinner and conference in October along with other RCN activities which may be scheduled at that time. The AGM will be held via electronic means sometime in June.  Details to follow.)
  • Vanguard Launches First-Ever Canadian Submarine Event  (Editor – The next big RCN procurement challenge!  The Deep Blue 2020 Forum, a one-day event, will take place on 29 October 2020, details to follow)

















(If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and any more modern significant dates are also welcomed.  The list draws primarily from the Directory of History and Heritage’s comprehensive “Significant Dates in Canadian Military History”, the now defunct “Canada Channel”, “Legion Magazine”, Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, and anywhere else I can find credible information)

  • 1 April 1733  Canada’s First lighthouse lit for the first time, using coal from nearby Morien and Spanish River; the round 200 metre tower, made with cement from limestone burned in local kilns, is the first fireproof concrete structure in North America at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, and it is the only other on the entire eastern coast of North America is in Boston.
  • 1 April 1873  Wreck of luxury liner SS Atlantic, sailing from Liverpool to New York; the ship was turning into Halifax Harbour to get coal, but struck a reef in the foggy night near Mars Rock, Meagher’s Island, near Terrance Bay – 546 people drown in heavy seas, while local fishermen manage to save 300. Prospect, Nova Scotia
  • 1 April 1941  RCN armed merchant cruiser Prince Henry intercepts two German ships off Peru; ships scuttled.
  • 1 April 1959  New St. Lawrence Seaway opens for business; will be officially dedicated June 26 by the Queen and US President Dwight Eisenhower.
  • 2 April 1887  US seizes Canadian sealing ships in North Pacific; other seizures on the 9,12, and 17th. Juneau, Alaska
  • 3 April 3, 1935  Lt(N) J. P. Connolly appointed Commanding Officer, charged to raise a RCNVR unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • 3 April 1996  Members of the Canadian Forces ordered to spend the entire day searching for documents that may aid the Somalia inquiry. Ottawa, Ontario
  • 3 April 2007  Royal Assent given to the Veterans’ Bill of Rights; PM Harper says Ottawa will establish an ombudsman for veterans, so the government can respond quickly and fairly to any concerns of veterans. Ottawa, Ontario
  • 4 April 1949  Canada signs the North Atlantic Treaty with Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the U.S.; becomes founding member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization; NATO members pledge to defend each other in event of Soviet attack. NATO is Canada’s first peacetime military alliance. Washington, DC
  • 5 April 1958  Ripple Rock blown up with 1.2 tons of Nitramex, in world’s largest non-nuclear explosion to date; the reef was a shipping hazard just below the surface of Seymour Narrows near Campbell River that had sunk or damaged 119 vessels and caused the death of over 100 people. Captain George Vancouver called the narrows “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world.” Campbell River, BC
  • 6 April 1954  HMCS Magnificent, Canada’s second aircraft carrier, sails from Halifax on her last voyage; she will be replaced by HMCS Bonaventure.  Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 7 April 1948  RCN’s aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent commissioned to replace HMCS Warrior.  Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 7 April 1991  HMCS Athabaskan, Terra Nova and Protecteur arrive home from Gulf War; ships left in early August; Huron leaves for the Gulf to help enforce the embargo against Iraq. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 7 April 1995  HMCS Nipigon supports Fisheries and Oceans and Coast Guard ships during a dispute with Spain over illegal overfishing of Greenland turbot on the Grand Banks.
  • 8 April 1945 cruiser HMCS Uganda joins British Pacific Fleet. Hong Kong, China
  • 9 April 1929 – Canadian Ambassador Vincent Massey protests against sinking of Canadian schooner I’m Alone; crew released; case of rum-runner to go to arbitration. Washington, DC
  • 10 April 1836  Hudson’s Bay Company steamship Beaver arrives at Fort Vancouver and has her boilers and paddles connected; left London August 29, 1835 under the command of Captain David Home under sail alone; rounded Cape Horn and called at Juan Fernandez and Honolulu en route; SS Beaver will be used to service trading posts between the Columbia River and Russian America (Alaska); 1862 chartered by the Royal Navy to survey and chart the coast of the Colony of British Columbia. Portland, Oregon
  • 11 April 1940  Burrard shipyards begin building corvettes and minesweepers for action in the Battle of the Atlantic. Vancouver, BC
  • 11 April 1962  The Government of Canada announces plans to build eight frigates and buy three submarines.
  • 14 April 1828  The 18-gun sloop Acorn sinks off Halifax with the loss of 115 men.
  • 14 April 1944  HMCS Swansea and HMS Pelican combine to sink the German submarine U-448 in the North Atlantic.  Swansea’s second kill in less than six weeks.
  • 15 April 1814  Kingston Navy Dockyard launches two warships, the Prince Regent and the Princess Charlotte; under Commodore Sir James Yeo, they will blockade the American fleet in Sackett’s Harbour and capture Oswego, restoring Canadian control of Lake Ontario in the War of 1812 and ending the threat of US invasion. Kingston, Ontario
  • 16 April 1945  German U-Boat U-190 torpedoes and sinks RVN Bangor Class minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt 5 miles off Chebucto Head near the Halifax lightship; forty-four of her ship’s company are lost in the last major naval loss of the War; U-190 will surrender May 11; will be sunk ceremonially on October 21, 1947 where she had destroyed the Esquimalt.
  • 22 April 1944  HMCS Swansea and Matane using depth charges sink U311 south of Iceland.
  • 23 April 1947  HMCS Malahat re-commissioned as Victoria’s Naval Reserve Division; originally commissioned as naval recruiting centre January 15, 1944. Victoria, BC
  • 25 April 1945  Canada one of 50 nations attending founding United Nations Conference on International Organization, opening in San Francisco; will approve United Nations Charter on June 26.  San Francisco, California.
  • 25 April 1967  Commons passes Bill C-243, “The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act,” unifying the RCN, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force into one service, the Canadian Armed Forces, with common uniform and rank designations; act comes into effect February 1, 1968.
  • 26 April 1778  Captain James Cook sails from Nootka Sound, tracing the coast of British Columbia.
  • 26 April 1945  HMCS Ontario, a cruiser, is commissioned.
  • 26 April 1944  HMCS Athabaskan and Haida fight two German destroyers off Ile de Bas, France, and drives a flaming German warship aground.
  • 28 April 1818  U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Convention, signed April 28 and 29, 1817, making it a lawful treaty of the United States; limits naval forces on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Washington, DC
  • 29 April 1944  German torpedo boat T-24 sinks HMCS Athabaskan; 128 lose their lives and 86 are captured.
  • 30 April 1884  Victoria coal baron Robert Dunsmuir starts building the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Railway, later known as the Vancouver Island Railway, to support the coal and lumber industry, and the Royal Navy Base at Esquimalt Harbour; on August 13, 1886 John A. Macdonald will drive home the last railway spike at Cliffside near Shawnigan Lake.
  • 30 April 30, 1941  German U-boat torpedoes Canadian passenger ship Nerissa off Ireland; 73 Canadian Army personnel lost. Atlantic Ocean
  • 30 April 1943  The Flag Officer Atlantic Coast, RCN, takes over control of all shipping movements in the western North Atlantic under the title of Commander-in-Chief Canadian North West Atlantic.