naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 399

NAC News – Edition 399

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 5th, 2021

Edition – 399  (Editor – a ship with a diverse history, the eventual Canadian Hospital Ship Letitia in the thick of things with her extraordinary travels)

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

Links to keep in touch with NAC and the RCN can be found at the bottom of this email


  • *** All – Many of you will have received this version of “The News” via MailChimp. This is the first version from the Wild Apricot National Membership Management System email service. Effective Friday 12 March “The News” will no longer be distributed via MailChimp.
  • Bonus:  Starshell Winter 2021 has been released. PDF for viewing or download.
  • (NEW) Editor – A House of Commons petition e-3217 has gone forward to raise the status of those that served in Gulf War 90-91.  It is well explained at the link and I encourage all NAC members to show support for our Gulf War Veterans by electronically sign the petition.  It is a simple two-step process.
  • Monday 8 March : 1200-1330 (Ottawa time) – The RCN will host a “virtual” International Women’s Day Leadership Panel with the theme of “Empowering women of the RCN to achieve an equitable future”. Register by emailing Lieutenant-Commander Teri Share (cc’d) at no later than 7th March @ midnight EST.
  • Monday 8 March : 1600 (PST) Session 5 of the Maritime Security Challenges Sessions continue virtually with “The Strategic Importance of Islands in the Indian Ocean”.  Registration (Free) is required.   Videos of the excellent four earlier sessions are here.
  • Monday-Wednesday 10-12 March 2021 – (NEW) CDA Institute – Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence The 89th Annual Ottawa Conference, virtual edition, brings the world to Ottawa for a conversation about values, threats, new and emerging technologies, alliances, and building resiliency together.  CDAI contend that the rules-based international order on which global peace and security rests is under strain, and needs defending now more than ever since it was founded, because it is a vehicle for making the world safer, more prosperous, and which can enhance human rights and democracy.  Not only are these good for Canada; they are good in and of themselves.  Registration is required.
  • Wednesday 17 March 2021 – 1300 (Halifax time) RUSI(NS) will host a Zoom presentation by Cora Pictou, Transport Canada, titled “Marine Security Operations Centre East.”  Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC) were established in 2004 to strengthen maritime security with MSOC’s in: Halifax, Esquimalt, and Niagara-on-the-Lake.  This presentation will focus on the Halifax operation and on Transport Canada’s role.  Free event – Registration required by emailing using subject line “RUSI(NS) Distinguished Speaker 17 March 2021 Registration”.  Include your name and organization.
  • Editor – I recommend the “Wild Apricot for Members” app – There are three main features our members can access with the app.  Under “Events”: View an event calendar and event details, register for an event through the app, view existing event registrations, pay an outstanding event registration fee.  Under “Member Directory” view your organization’s entire member directory, view member profiles, email and call fellow members.  Under “Personal Profile” view and adjust your personal profile, including seeing ones membership renewal date and actually do the renewal with a few clicks.


















(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 March 1928 HMC Ships Champlain and Vancouver are commissioned into the RCN, replacing HMC Ships Patriot and Patrician.
  • 3 March 1921 HMC Submarines CH-14 and CH-15 are commissioned into the RCN.
  • 4 March 1943 HMC Ships Shediac commanded by Lt John E. Clayton, RCNR with St. Croix commanded by LCdr A. Hedley Dobson,  DSC, RCNR sank the German submarineU-87 in the North Atlantic.
  • 6 March 1944 HMC Ships St. Catharines commanded by LCDR Herbert C.R. Davis, RCNR, HMCS Chilliwack commanded by LCDR Clifton P. Coughlin,  RCNVR, HMCS Gatineau commanded by LCdr Harold V.W. Groos, RCN, HMCS Fennel commanded by A/LCdr William P. Moffat,  RCNVR, and HMCS Chaudière commanded by A/LCdr C. Patrick Nixon, RCN, assist Royal Naval warships in the sinking of the German submarine U-744 in the North Atlantic.
  • 7 March 1945 HMC Ships La Hulloise commanded by LCdr John Brock, RCNVR, with HMCS Strathadam commanded by LCdr Howard L. Quinn, RCNVR, and HMCS Thetford Mines commanded by LCdr John A.R. Allan, DSO,  RCNVR sank the German submarine U-1302 in St. George’s Channel.
  • 9 March 1945 HMCS Uganda arrives in Sydney, Australia, to join the British Pacific Fleet.
  • 10 March 1944 HMC Ships St. Laurent commanded by LCdr George H. Stephen, OBE, DSC,  RCNR with HMCS Owen Sound commanded by A/LCdr John M. Watson, RCNR and HMCS Swansea commanded by A/CDR Clarence A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR assisted RN warships sink the German submarine U-845 in the North Atlantic.
  • 12 March 1918 Lieutenant (RCN) William McKinstry Heriot-Maitland-Dougall (RCNC 1911–1914) at age of 23 years of age was in command of HMS D3 and was killed with his submarine’s crew of 29 off Le Havre, France.  HMS D3 was sunk in error by French dirigible AT-9, which could not see D3’s insignia because of the sub’s reflection off the waves and took her to be a U-boat firing upon it.  The French hadn’t been informed that D3 was assigned to their waters in the English Channel and were not aware that British submarines were identifying themselves with rockets as opposed to flashing lights.
  • 13 March 1943 HMCS Prescott commanded by LCdr Wilfred McIsaac, RCNVR sank U163 off Cape Finisterre, the kill was originally credited to the submarine USS Herring.
  • 13 March 1944 HMCS Prince Rupert commanded by LCDR Robert W. Draney, RCNR in a combined effort of multiple allied ships and aircraft sank U575 off Cape Finisterre.
  • 14 Mar 1923 Lt Frank Meade appointed C.O. of English Half Company in Montreal, the first RCNVR unit appointment; also A/Lt Alexandre Brodeur for the French Half Company, and on 15 Mar. Lt R.H. Yeates for the Hamilton Half Company.  During 1923 & ’24, 11 Units had C.O.’s appointed, although it took a while to establish the actual units in some cases.
  • 17 March1945 HMCS Guysborough is torpedoed and sunk by U878 off Ushant.  51 of her crew were lost.
  • 19 March 1941 Lt R.J.C. Pringle, RCNVR, appointed C.O. of HMCS Suderöy V, first RCNVR officer in command of an HMC Ship, a requisitioned Norwegian trawler.
  • 20 March 1943 – World War II – UK destroyer commissioned into RCN as HMCS Griffin; 3 weeks later, renamed HMCS Ottawa; second of name. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 20 March 1945 HMCS New Glasgow commanded by LCDR Ross M. Hanbury, RCNVR was rammed by accident by U-1003 while snorkelling.  The boat severely damaged her snort and conning tower, and part of New Glasgow’s hull plating and her port propeller.  U-1003 limped seaward, but by the next morning of 21March had to abandoned and the crew took to the life rafts, where they were found the next day.
  • 23 March 1965 Fifteen RCAF aviators are killed when their Argus patrol plane goes down in a night exercise off Puerto Rico.
  • 24 March 1941 The Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1817, which restricted the number of naval vessels allowed on the Great Lakes, is modified to allow both American and Canadian naval vessels to operate on the Great Lakes in greater numbers.
  • 26 March 1941 RCN armed yacht HMCS Otter off Halifax was destroyed by an accidental explosion and fire; two Officers and 17 men lost.
  • 29 March 1945 HMCS TEME (frigate) is torpedoed by U Boat 246 in the English Channel off Falmouth and declared a total loss.
  • 31 March 1945 HMCS Conestoga, the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training establishment, is paid off.
  • 31 March 1991 The Gulf War between Iraq and the United Nations coalition ends.

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