naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 406

NAC News – Edition 406

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of April 23rd, 2021

Edition – 406  “The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle.  For if he does not know where I intend to give battle he must prepare in a great many places.  And when he prepares in a great many places, those I have to fight in any one place will be few.” The Art of Wart, Sun Tzu

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

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



  • 28 Apr 28 Wednesday 11:00 AM (Vancouver time) NABC and NAC_VI present via Zoom Captain (N) Jean Stephane Ouellet, CD, Commander, Canadian Submarine Force.  Join the presentation using Meeting ID: 814 6168 9812  Passcode: 931612 or Directly to Meeting.  For non-BC/VI members and all others to register email King Wan.
  • 28 April Wednesday – 16:00 (Victoria time) – Maritime Security Challenges Virtual Session 6 – “The Importance and Applications of AI to Naval Operations”  Presented by: Captain George GALDORISI (USN, Ret’d)  Director of Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures,  Command and Control Center of Excellence, USN  Free to register
  • 2 May Sunday – 76th Anniversary Battle of the Atlantic Commemorative Services/Activities.  To date NAC has not received any formal notice of the 2021 commemorative events for the 76th Anniversary of the BOA on 2 May 2021.  It is presumed that most, if not all, of these events will be limited in scope and limited to those who can attend in person.  That said, we expect that like last year, there will be a good number of events that can be viewed on the RCN Facebook, Twitter, and other media sources, locally and nationally.  The RCN has already populated their Twitter and Facebook pages with some relevant material and more is sure to follow in the coming week so keep a good lookout.
  • 15 June 2021 Tuesday 12:00 (Ottawa time) – 2021 NAC National AGM.  The 2021 National AGM will be held using GoToMeeting.  More details will follow in the coming weeks.
  • 9-12 May 2023 – Mark your long-range calendars!  Citizen Sailors – 100 years Celebrating Canada’s Naval Reserve Centenary, the 80th anniversary of the founding of the UNTD; and the 55th anniversary of the creation of the ROUTP.  The UNTD board has recently approved plans for a reunion in Victoria, BC.



















(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”, historical website “The Second World War – A Day by Day Account”, and Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, encyclopedic guidance from Fraser McKee, 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
  • 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 commanded by A/Cdr Clarence A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR with HMS Pelican combined 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 sank the Bangor Class minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt 5 miles off Chebucto Head near the Halifax lightship; 44 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 commanded by A/Cdr Clarence A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR with HMCS Matane commanded by A/Cdr A. Frank C. Layard, DSO, RN using depth charges sink U311 south of Iceland.  Cdr Kings third submarine in 7 weeks.
  • 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 Huron commanded by LCdr Herbert S. Rayner, DSC,  RCN, with HMCS Haida commanded by Cdr Harry G. DeWolf, DSO, RCN, and HMCS Athabaskan commanded by A/LCdr John H. Stubbs, DSO, RCN fought two German destroyers off Ile de Bas, France, and drove a flaming German warship T-29 aground.
  • 28 April 1818 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 1941 Lt A.G.S. Griffin appointed C.O. of HMCS Pictou, first RCNVR of an operational escort warship.
  • 29 April 1944 German torpedo boat T-24 sinks HMCS Athabaskan commanded by A/LCdr John H. Stubbs, DSO, RCN who was killed in action; 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 The troopship S.S. Nerissa was torpedoed by U-552 which resulted in the 3rd largest loss of life (207) for a ship sunk by U-boats in the approaches to the British Isles – including 73 Cdn Army, 10 RCN, 81 Merchant Navy, 12 British forces, 11 American ATA pilots, 3 Royal Norwegian Air Force, and 17 civilians.  S. Nerissa made 12 Atlantic crossings from June 1940 until her final (13th) crossing, and was the only transport carrying Canadian Amy troops to be lost during WW2
  • 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.


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