naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 355

NAC News – Edition 355

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 1st 2020

Edition – 355    “The Navy is much more than a job; much more than service to country.  It is a way of life.  It gets in your blood.” Albert F. Pratt (US soldier, lawyer, and politician)



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

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★   Editor’s stars of the week

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  • 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.)
  • Loss of HMCS Fredericton sailors and aviators – Message from Bill Conconi, President NAC and reply from Vice -Admiral Art McDonald, CRCN (See SCUTTLEBUTT below)
  • BOA Weekend 2020  (30 April – 3 May 2020)
    • May 2020 marks the end of the Second World War in European Theatre. For the Royal Canadian Navy, it marked the end of the war’s longest campaign – the Battle of the Atlantic. For the past several years The Naval Association of Canada (NAC) has hosted a Battle of the Atlantic Gala Dinner in Ottawa which brings together serving and past members of the RCN, representatives of government and industry to pay tribute to all naval veterans for their service to Canada.
    • Unfortunately this year’s event, focussed on honouring those who served in the BOA campaign, an associated conference, and the RCN’s own planned commemorative events across Canada have been cancelled or deferred to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • I encourage all to spend at least one minute this weekend to remember those who have served and continue to serve our country in the RCN and RCAF.
  • “Sons of the Waves” –  a two-part film by filmmaker Sean Scally – Honouring those who served in the RCN, the ships in which they served, and those in the ships’ namesake towns who supported them from afar during the Second World War. (see SCUTTLEBUTT below for the background of this film. Sean is an Air Force veteran who lives in the Bay of Quinte area)
  • NAC National AGM – Tuesday 16 June 2020 at 1200 (Ottawa time) via electronic means (GoToMeeting). Details including background material, agenda and proxy nomination/ballot forms will be posted to the NAC National website by 15 May.
  • 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)








From: Bill Conconi []
Sent: May 1, 2020 12:17 AM
To: McDonald VAdm AG@C Navy@Ottawa-Hull <>
Subject: Tragic Helicopter accident

Hello Art

I was very saddened to hear on the news and then to read in the paper about the tragic loss of Fredericton’s helicopter. Our hearts go out to the families that have lost loved ones but also to the ship’s company of HMCS Fredericton and their RCAF and RCN families. This is indeed a sad time for all. We in NAC send our deepest sympathies. The next while will be very tough for all. We stand by to help anyway we can.

We extend our sincerest condolences to all, they are in our hearts

In sadness

Date: April 30, 2020 at 22:54:04 PDT
Subject: RE:  Tragic Helicopter accident
Thanks, Bill. Means a lot. Indeed, a tragic day for the RCN/RCAF TEAM. I’m so appreciative of the strong CAF/RCN-RCAF team and our extended naval family that we have to respond to this terrible incident & with which we can ensure adequate care for our shipmates at sea and their families back home. Strength is needed in a tough time as you know.

Well appreciated are your thoughts and prayers for the FREDDIE sailors, aviators, & families as well as all those across our Force and extended family. Will share. They join a chorus of others from across our remarkable, supportive and resilient naval extended family of which the NAC is a key part. In a difficult time, may we all be able to take strength from it!

Yours Aye,

ArtMcD, VAdm, CRCN

  • “Sons of the Waves” –  Honouring those who served in the RCN, the ships in which they served, and those in the ships namesake towns who supported them from afar during the Second World War. (see link below)
    • A couple of weeks ago, a local Trenton film producer and photographer and native of the Bay of Quinte, Sean Scally approached me about sharing a film he has produced about HMCS Trentonian with the NAC membership. He was aware that our annual BOA Gala Dinner and associated events had been cancelled this year due to CORONAVIRUS-19. He wanted to do this as a means to ensure that we were still able to recognize those who served in the RCN in the Second World War. This film was originally planned for release in Trenton as part of this year’s November 11 Remembrance Day. He completed this film  in cooperation with his friend and NAC member, Roger Litwiller, author of “White Ensign Flying”. Sean is an Air Force veteran.
    • The NAC hopes this film, the story of one of the RCN’s ships in the campaign, her crew, and the townspeople from the namesake town – Trenton Ontario – who supported the ship and its crew from afar, is an appropriate way to recognize those who served during the Battle of the Atlantic.  The film has been divided in two parts with options for you to view at your convenience since it can be viewed on Youtube. Sean hopes you will share the links with others.
    • Thanks Sean for your generosity.
    • part 1
    • part 2
  • ★   The Secret Mission to Tap Soviet Undersea Cables – Operation Ivy Bells  (Editor – fascinating saga in this 10 min video)
  • ★   Japanese ‘Invasion’ of America 1942 – (Episode 2: Canada & Oregon)  (Editor –  amazing details and pics in this 15:42 min video)
  • De Havilland Mosquito: The Plane That Saved Britain (part 1 of 2)  (Editor – not a dedicated maritime aircraft, but an amazing tale in this 24:28 min video)
  • De Havilland Mosquito: The Plane That Saved Britain (part 2of 2) (Editor – 22:25 min video)


(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 May 1961  415 Maritime Patrol Squadron is reformed at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, flying Argus maritime patrol aircraft.
  • 3 May 1937   A Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) half-company was authorized in Thunder Bay (Port Arthur at the time) and later developed into HMCS Griffon, the current local Naval Reserve unit.
  • 4 May 1910   The Canadian Navy, later re-designated as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), is authorized after Royal assent is given to the Naval Service Act of Canada.
  • 4 May 1911   Her Majesty’s Dockyard Esquimalt is transferred from British to Canadian authorities.
  • 4 May 1945  The cruiser HMCS Uganda sails with an American task force to bombard Japanese airfields as part of the Okinawa campaign.
  • 7 May 1944  HMCS Valleyfield, a frigate, is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-548 in the Atlantic Ocean with a loss of 125 sailors.
  • 7 May 1945  SS AVONDALE PARK, Park SS Ltd., was Canadian registered, the last merchantman lost in the Battle of the Atlantic, off Firth of Forth, to U-2336 while in convoy EN-91.  9 crew were lost, typically including her Chief Engineer, 1 donkeyman, 4 RN DEMS gunners & 3 Maritime Reg’t RA gunners.
  • 8 May 1942  U Boat 553 is the first enemy submarine to enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence to attack Canadian shipping.
  • 8 May 1967  The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act is given Royal assent and begins the process of unification of the previously-separate RCN, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • 9 May 1918  Lieutenant Rowland Bourke Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was commanding Motor Launch 276 when the events that would earn him a Victoria Cross occurred.  The British had attempted an operation to block the port of Ostend, Belgium so it could not be used by the Germans who were occupying it.  In the aftermath of the overnight daring but bloody naval assault, Bourke took his ship into the enemy harbour to look for any remaining survivors of the raid.
  • 11 May 1898  Canadian brothers Harry and Willard Miller born in Noel Shore, Nova Scotia. while serving as USN sailors on board the U.S.S. Nashville in Cuban waters, both earned the US Medal of Honour.  During a ship’s boat undersea cable-cutting operation and facing the heavy fire of the enemy they both displayed extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout the action.
  • 12 May 1940 HMCS Ypres while operating the harbour entrance “gate” was accidently rundown by HMS Revenge.  She was the first loss of the RCN during WW2.
  • 12 May 1942  The German submarine U-553 sinks the steamers Nicoya and Leto between Gaspe and Anticosti island.
  • 12 May 1945  HMCS Victoriaville (frigate) escorts the surrendered U-Boat 190 into Bay Bulls, Newfoundland.
  • 13 May 1943  HMCS Drumheller, HMS Lagan and an aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 423 Squadron combine to sink the German submarine U-753 in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 13 May 1945  German submarine U-899 officially surrendered to the RCN near Shelburne, N. S. becomes the only German sub to surrender in Canadian waters during Second World War.
  • 14 May 1917 Lieutenant R. Leckie, Royal Naval Air Service, flying a Curtiss H-12 flying boat shoots down the German Zeppelin L.22 over England.
  • 15 May 1941  Ten corvettes in UK shipyards are formally commissioned as RCN ships.
  • 16 May 1945   HMCS MATANE is sent to escort 14 surrendered U-Boats from Trondheim to Loch Eriboll.
  • 17 May 1963  Approval is given for the RCN to begin work on the first Canadian military hydrofoil, HMCS Bras D’Or.
  • 18 May 1914  The Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) is authorized as part of the RCN.
  • 21 May 1917  The Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) is established by Royal Charter.
  • 21 May 1939  King George VI unveils the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
  • 22 May 1931  HMCS SAGUENAY is commissioned at Portsmouth-one of the first ships built for the RCN.
  • 24 May 1941   HMS Hood is sunk by the Bismarck in the Denmark Straits: three Canadian midshipmen serving on the battle cruiser are killed.
  • 30 May 1939   King George VI presented his Color to the RCN in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, B. C.