naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 359 HMCS St. Joseph

NAC News – Edition 359 HMCS St. Joseph

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 29th 2020

Edition –  J359 HMCS St. Joseph (WW2 Llewellyn Class minesweeper)

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

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  • NAC National AGM:  Tuesday 16 June 2020 at 1200 Ottawa time (via GoToMeeting). Details including background material, agenda, and proxy nomination/ballot forms will be forwarded to members 1 Jun 2020 and posted to the NAC National website.
  • Navy Bike Ride 2020 – Battle of the Atlantic Challenge: This is a virtual event and you can register thru the summer. The event runs 13 June to 30 August 2020.  Check it out! While the original one-day ride event was cancelled, this virtual bike ride event is a great opportunity to support your Navy, support their charities of choice and keep fit. Check it out! Your NAC will be a sponsor! And it is free! (but do feel free to step up and buy the tee!)
  • ★   Conference calamity: Thousands of jobs wiped out as business events grind to a halt because of COVID-19  (Editor – The NAC is not alone in this dilemma)
  • 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 May 1961  415 Maritime Patrol Squadron is reformed at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, flying Argus maritime patrol aircraft.
  • 1 May 2002  HMCS St. John’s joins the Canadian Naval Task Group, part of the multinational anti-terrorism campaign in the Persian Gulf.
  • 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 1963   Sea King helicopters enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • 24 May 1941   HMS Hood is sunk by the Bismarck in the Denmark Straits: three Canadian midshipmen serving on the battle cruiser are killed.
  • 25 May 1941  The first seven corvettes for the Newfoundland Escort Force arrive in St. John’s.
  • 29 May 1982   The National War Memorial in Ottawa is rededicated to include dates of the Second World War and Korean War.
  • 30 May 1939   King George VI presented his Color to the RCN in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, B. C.