NAC News – Edition 387
Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of December 11th, 2020
Edition – 387 “Most of the people in Canada lived in the heart of the continent, and were largely oblivious of the sea which they seldom ever saw. Moreover a navy in any case remains largely hidden from landsmen. Accordingly, as the warships of the Royal Navy lay in readiness at their stations, to Canadians in general they were like the air – mysterious, invisible, gratuitous, and taken for granted.” The Naval Service of Canada Its Official History Vol 1, Origins and Early Years. pg. 9. Gilbert Norman Tucker, PH.D. Director of Naval History Section 1952 (Editor – same issues today!)
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- ★ Naval Affairs Partnership Programme – Over the past year the NAC National Board has been considering how to ensure continued funding for our emergent Naval Affairs programme, which after several years of development is now achieving measurable success. We are pleased to announce a partnership with the Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) in the promotion of and the securing support for, our Naval Affairs Program. To this end they will be helping us to connect with industry to secure the needed support and to promote the work we are doing in educating Canadians on the need for a modern and well-equipped RCN. We will keep you apprised of the progress of this exciting initiative. If there is a way that you as a member can be supportive or directly assist AMP in their efforts please contact the NAC Executive Director
- A NAC Christmas Present – An Undersea Adventure – is NAC’s Naval Affairs programme second children’s book. Now for sale – why not order an early Christmas present for your family or donate a copy to your local library. $10 ($12 including shipping). NAC donates $1 for every copy sold to your local MFRC. SPECIAL OFFER – Order “An Underwater Adventure” and “Mom’s in the Navy for the low price of $18 (includes shipping!). Just send an email to the NAC Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org for this special offer. Note: we have French version of these books in inventory!
- RCN presentation “Canadian Surface Combatants – the RIGHT ship for the RCN, the RIGHT ship for Canada” by Capt (RCN) Christopher Nucci, Director Naval Strategy. This is a reschedule of the event previously scheduled for 2 December 2020, 12 January 2021 – invitation to follow.
- NAC-TO announces the Canadian Naval Tribute Project. The intention is to unveil the monument 1 May 2021
- Your Navy Today – November 2020 (Lots of great news about RCN activities in November)
- Launching the Canadian Surface Combatant Project (Editor – article by CGAI Fellow Ian Mack)
- Billions in trouble: How the crown jewel of Canada’s shipbuilding strategy became a possible financial disaster waiting in the wings (Editor – lengthy David Pugliese article)
- Canadian Surface Combatant to be Protected with Lockheed Martin’s SPY-7 Radar
- From middle to major power: Correcting course in Canadian foreign policy (Editor – let’s wait and see what the impact of this report is…and As Canadians sour on China, an ambassador changes his tone
- CANFORGEN 162/20 – THE CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF AND DEPUTY MINISTER ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OFFICIAL CREATION OF THE DEFENCE TEAM PRIDE NETWORK(DTPN) ADVISORY GROUP AND ITS FIRST CHAMPION, RADM CASSIVI
- Most of the used fighter jets bought by Canada are still not in service, MPs hear
- RCN keeps ships COVID free and ready to help Canadians, lead operations
- TRIDENT FURY enhances combat readiness
- Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project Reaches Major Milestone
- Master Sailor Cara Vassallo: New names for ranks reflect the RCN’s inclusivity and S1 Powers: Feels like he is part of the change with new ranks designations
- Royal Canadian Navy Harry DeWolf OPV Trials New Capabilities At Sea
- Davie Polar Icebreaker Program Confirms Design and Engineering Partners
- Federal cabinet, provinces engage in tug-of-war over polar icebreaker contract
- NAC Ottawa Speaker’s Evening Dec 2020 (Editor – replay of Cmdre David Patchell DGNSR presentation in this 29:59 min video)
- The All Domain Situational Awareness program | Arctic Science Month Editor – 2:48 min video)
- New rifles delivered for Canadian Forces sniper teams
- Submission to Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs’ Study on Disability Claims Backlog (Editor – link to record included)
- Canadian military was warned of reservist’s hard-right online ties by allied intelligence agency
- Port is on the road to more major expansions (Editor – Prince Rupert)
- Clear Seas Launches New Webpage Outlining Step by Step Response to Ship-Source Spills in Canadian Waters (Editor – the Tanker 101 info in the “SS Arrow” section is worthwhile)
USA & AMERICAS
- USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Dec. 7, 2020
- Lloyd Austin: Biden picks ex-general as defence secretary
- White House Shipbuilding Plan Would Shrink Ford Carrier Class Over Navy Objections
- U.S. Navy Commemorates 79th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor (Editor – Pearl Harbour items in scuttlebutt section)
- A Navy Planner Speaks—Captain David Fields on the Challenges and Future of U.S. Navy Planning
- Report to Congress on Chinese Naval Modernization
- Costly Navy Frigate Cited by Lawmakers for ‘Significant’ Risks
- Joint Chiefs Chairman Says Bigger Fleet Needed to Check China, But Budget Growth Unlikely
- USS Theodore Roosevelt Departs San Diego Ahead of Second Deployment in 2020
- Report to Congress on Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter
- Polar Star Heads North to Patrol Maritime Boundary With Russia and US Mulls Leasing Polar Icebreakers From Finland to Compete With Russia, Coast Guard Says
- Marine Corps Awards Full-Rate Production Contract for Amphibious Combat Vehicle After Declaring IOC Last Month
- Itaguai Shipyard Launches Brazilian Navy’s Second Riachuelo-Class Submarine Humaitá
- Austal USA Delivers the 13th Independence-Class LCS to US Navy
- Gigantic $2 Billion US Submarine Gets Stuck in Ice (Editor – “cool” pics in a 10:33 min video, plus some carrier op eye-candy)
- With LCS in Mind, Congress Makes Navy Test New Frigate’s Drivetrain
- Austal launches first TTCG cape class vessel (Editor – useful vessels indeed)
- Flying Periscopes? U.S. Submarines Can Now Launch Recon Drones
- U.S. federal appeals court rejects Alaska offshore drilling plan
- Robert Allan & Mike Fitzpatrick Reflect on 90 years of Designing Boats (Editor – Noteworthy look into workboat manufacturing 19:57 min video)
- Great Ships and The Ship Designer’s Curse (editor – interesting perspective)
- GG’s speech on investiture of Australia’s first naval VC
- Makin Island ARG Operating in the South China Sea While Beijing Claims U.S. ‘Muscle Flexing’
- Russian Black Sea Fleet to take part in international naval drills in Pakistan (Editor – just one of many issues, how will they communicate and what language will they use?)
- Staying Sharp on Exercise KEEN SWORD (Editor – HMCS Winnipeg)
- HMNZS Te Kaha on way home (Editor – leaving Canada for home)
- Japan’s MoD May Build Additional Aegis Destroyers As Aegis Ashore Alternative
- Coast guard takes delivery of new missile corvette, patrol boat
- China, Vietnam wrap up 29th joint patrol in Beibu Gulf (Editor – strange bedfellows)
- PLA anti-submarine warfare aircraft conducts depth charge attack drills, seen as deterrent to Taiwan secessionists
- China’s first ship-borne helicopter drone makes maiden flight
- Future shipbuilding workforce gains invaluable industry experience
- NSW SME delivers high-performance autonomous undersea glider to Defence
- ★ ONE Apus Arrives in Kobe, Revealing Cargo Loss of Epic Proportions (Editor – oops)
- China’s Exports Pinched by Global Shortage of Shipping Containers
- British jets buzz Russian warship off UK coast and Photos: Royal Navy Tracks Nine Russian Vessels Near UK Watersand Russian Baltic Fleet corvettes return home after Atlantic deployment
- Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales stranded in Portsmouth for six months after second flood (Editor – 2:05 min video included)
- ★ France’s Next-generation Aircraft Carrier Will Be Nuclear-powered and France’s New Aircraft Carrier PANG will be nuclear-powered (Editor – 2:30 min video)
- Belgian Navy Frigate to Once Again Be Part of French CSG In 2021
- The Russian Navy’s Only Flattop Is A Bad-Luck Wreck—But Moscow Is Fixing Her Up, Anyway and Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to Get Pantsir-M CIWS
- Russia’s Best Strategy For Controlling The Black Sea: Divide And Conquer
- Russian Navy to Take Delivery of Four Vessels by Year-End
- Britain’s stealthy hunter-killer submarine – The Astute class
- Italy has requested the purchase of four Type U212 NFS submarines
- Britain’s new ship-to-ship missile
- East Med Dispute: Turkey Won’t Bow to Threats, Erdogan Says as EU Considers Sanctions
- Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) visited Malta
- French Navy tests iXblue’s DriX USV and LARS onboard BHO vessel
- Ships Make Record Number of Arctic Sailings in 2020
- Faroe Islands: Inside the under-sea tunnel network
- Divers Find Nazi Enigma Device while Searching for Fishing Nets in Baltic Sea
- Mammoth revamp for HMS Portland
- Civilians killed in air strikes in Afghanistan soars by more than 300%
- Lebanon: Judge Charges PM, Ex-ministers over Beirut Port Explosion
- Combined Maritime Forces Seizes over 450kg drugs in its largest methamphetamine drug bust
- Maritime Interdiction in North Arabian Sea, 4 December 2020
- Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: ‘Machine-gun with AI’ used to kill Iran scientist
- Russia Signs Deal With Sudan for Naval Base on the Red Sea
- Morocco latest country to normalise ties with Israel in US-brokered deal
- A Tale of Two Straits – Today’s naval leaders must never underestimate the lethality of naval mines.
- Inmarsat’s Most Powerful Satellite to Date Enters Service
- Hundreds of Thousands of Seafarers Are Still Stranded at Sea and ILO Resolution Maintains Attention on Plight of Seafarers
- Libyan forces intercept Turkish cargo ship
- Gulf of Guinea: Product Tanker Survives Two Attacks as Piracy Incidents Becomes Alarming
- Gigantic Iceberg Threatens to Crash Into South Atlantic Island
- ★ Top Maritime Trends of 2020: Tackling the Scourge of Containership Fires
- Study: “Missing” Ocean Plastic Pollution May be Washing Up on Shore and Shipping Industry Joins First Effort Mapping Ocean Pollution
- I Remember Pearl Harbor Editor – recollection of Captain Joseph K Taussig, Jr., U. S. Navy (Retired), he was the Officer of the Deck in USS Nevada during the attack)
- I Led the Air Attack on Pearl Harbor (Editor – amazing recollection of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, former Imperial Japanese Navy pilot; Edited by Roger Pineau)
- The Salvage of Pearl Harbor Pt 1 – The Smoke Clears (Editor – with Dec 7th just passed these 3 videos seemed pertinent. 30:07 min video)
- The Salvage of Pearl Harbor Pt 2 – Up She Rises! (Editor – 38:06 min video)
- The Salvage of Pearl Harbor Pt 3 – The First and the Last (Editor – 30:35 min video)
- KMS Graf Spee – Guide 075 (Extended) (Editor – a 15:41 min video, with an accompanying Graf Spee In Montevideo2:56 min newsreel video)
- The “Princeton” Explosion (Editor – lengthy but interesting old US news article)
SIGNIFICANT RCN DATES – DECEMBER
(If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and more modern significant dates are also welcome. 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 website, the encyclopedic guidance of NAC member and author Fraser McKee, and anywhere else I can find credible information.)
- 1 December 1948 HMCS Shearwater, RCN Air Station, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is commissioned.
- 2 December 1946 HMCS Middlesex goes aground on Shut-in Island near Halifax and becomes a total loss.
- 2 December 1968 The Canadian submarine HMCS Rainbow is commissioned; purchased from the United States, it was originally the USS Argonaut launched in 1944.
- 3 December 1969 As the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure is decommissioned, the aviation fuel tanks are emptied and cleaned, but on of the tanks does not vent properly; two sailors are overcome by the fumes and another two lose their lives during the rescue attempt.
- 4 December 1940 HMCS Prince Henry is commissioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser.
- 4-6 Dec 1950 A United Nations task force under Captain J.V. Brock, RCN, in HMCS Cayuga, and consisting of HMC Ships Athabaskan and Sioux, His Majesty’s Australian Ships Warramunga and Bataan, the USS Forest Royal, covered the seaborne withdrawal of civilians and elements of the 8th Army (US) threatened by enemy advances in the Chinnampo area, Korea.
- 5 December 1950 HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Cayuga bombard the port of Chinnampo, Korea (04-05 Apr).
- 6 December 1917 Halifax Explosion. A huge explosion in Halifax harbour destroys the naval facilities and much of the city.
- 7 December 1941 Canada declares war on Romania, Hungary, Finland, and Japan.
- 7 December 1941 HMCS Windflower is lost and 23 of her crew perish after a collision with a Dutch freighter SS Zypenburg on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
- 8 December 1918 The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service is discontinued and the cadets being trained are demobilized.
- 10 December 1939 The first Canadian troop convoy of 7,400 soldiers sails for Britain escorted out of Halifax by HMC ships Ottawa, Restigouche, Fraser and St. Laurent.
- 12 December 1969 RCN retires aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure after 12 years of service; “Bonnie” never saw combat, but was scrambled during the October Missile Crisis; later sold for scrap. Halifax, Nova Scotia
- 13 December 1940 HMCS Royal Roads is commissioned as a training establishment for Probationary Sub-Lieutenants.
- 14 December 1915 Flight Sub-Lieutenant A.S. Ince, RNAS while flying as observer in a Viewpoint aircraft shot down in flames a German two-seater. The victory, the first confirmed success credited to a Canadian airman, won for Ince the DSC, the first decoration awarded a Canadian in the RNAS.
- 17 December 1944 HMCS MONTREAL (frigate) rescues survivors of U-Boat 1209 wrecked on Wolf Rock southwest of Land’s End.
- 19 December 1945 The Government of Canada approves in principle the formation of a naval air branch.
- 20 December 1941 HMCS Adversus, ex-RCMP patrol ship, while on patrol was lost at sea when caught in a blizzard and run aground on McNutts Island near Shelburne, NS. All 16 crew survive.
- 20 December 1943 HMCS Prince David is re-commissioned as a Landing Ship Infantry (Medium).
- 24 December 1944 HMCS Clayoquot is torpedoed by a U806 and sinks while taking station on convoy XB.139, in the approaches to Halifax harbour. Eight of her crew were lost.
- 26 December 1954 HMCS ships HURON and IROQUOIS leave Korea for their home base in Halifax.
- 27 December 1942 HMC Ships St. Laurent commanded by LCdr Guy S. Windeyer, RCN, with HMCS Chilliwack, commanded by LCdr Clifton P. Coughlin, RCNVR, with HMCS Battleford commanded by Lt F.A. Beck, RCNVR, and HMCS Napanee commanded by Lt L.S. Henderson, RCNVR and other escorts in a melee sank the German submarine U-356 in the mid-Atlantic.
- 27 December 1944 HMCS St. Thomas commanded by LCdr Leslie P. Denny, RCNR in company with HMCS Sea Cliff commanded by LCdr J.E. Harrington, RCNVR directed St. Thomas onto her ASDIC contact and sank the German submarine U-877 in the North Atlantic.
- 28 December 1940 HMCS Prince David is commissioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser.
- 29 December 1837: Canadian ‘volunteers’ under Captain Andrew Drew (ex-RN) cross upper Niagara River, seize supply schooner Caroline, supporting W.L. Mackenzie’s rebellious force on American Navy Island above the Falls. 1 US citizen killed, the ship is cut loose, strands on rocks above the Falls, breaks up and goes over. Canadians row home.
- 31 December 1990 The crew of HMCS Preserver flies to the Persian Gulf to relieve HMCS Protecteur’s crew.
- 31 December 1992 New Canadian military honours are created: The Victoria Cross, Star of Military Valour, Medal of Military Valour and Mention in Dispatches.