naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 411

NAC News – Edition 411

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 28th, 2021

Edition – 411 “The history of their service [RCN] was a brief one; politics-bedevilled in places, always overshadowed by financial stringencies, but not entirely lacking in colour.  Mainly, perhaps, it reflected the attitude of a country growing to nationhood, claiming nationhood, but curiously reluctant to face the responsibilities which history and geography were thrusting upon it.”  Far Distant Ships – An Official Account of Canadian Naval Operations in World War II, pg. 3, Joseph Schull, 1950

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.


  • 15 June 2021 a Tuesday at 1200 (Ottawa time).  The NAC National 2021 AGM will be held electronically using GoToMeeting.  Details on how to “join” the meeting will be passed Sunday 30 May.  Given that the COVID Pandemic prevents a face-to-face meeting the meeting will be limited to addressing the essential AGM requirements of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.  Over the coming week additional reports and information will be posted to this site.  Members will be made aware of any information updates through Wild Apricot.



















(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 June 1758  Vice Admiral Edward Boscawen of the Royal Navy arrives at Gabarus Bay, 10 km west of Louisbourg, just after midnight in dense fog from Halifax, Nova Scotia; with thirty nine warships, supply ships and ten transports, crowded with 13,000 regular troops, Highlanders, light infantry, rangers, and colonial militia. The expedition is commanded by Maj Gan General Jeffery Amherst, with his field commander, Brig Gen James Wolfe; the British do not attempt to land troops until June 8 because of heavy surf.
  • 1 June 1759 – A British fleet, under Admiral Saunders, leaves Louisbourg for Quebec carrying James Wolfe and his army.
  • 1 June 1813  HMS Shannon, Captain Philip Broke, captures USS Chesapeake, Captain James Lawrence, in a 15 minute fire fight off Boston harbour; tows her to Halifax; naval battle sees 48 American sailors killed, 23 British. Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1 June 1831  Sir James Ross first discovers the position of the North Magnetic Pole on the west coast of Boothia Peninsula; takes possession of the North Magnetic Pole and adjoining territory in the name of King William IV, and erects a cairn; spends his third Arctic winter in Victoria Harbour. Boothia, Nunavut
  • 1 June 1840  Samuel Cunard navigates his 700 ton wooden paddlewheel steamer Unicorn to Halifax; after two week trip from Liverpool with 27 passengers. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 1 June 1876 The Royal Military College of Canada opens in Kingston, Ontario, with a class of eighteen cadets.
  • 1 June 1941 HMCS Bytown is commissioned as a depot ‘ship’ created to allow RCN personnel in Ottawa, to be paid. All uniformed personnel needed to be borne on the books of a ‘ship’ for accounting purposes, even if they were serving at a shore establishment.  This is a tradition held over from the Royal Navy, and these ships are often referred to as “Stone Frigates”.  Bytown served in this role for the Naval Service Headquarters (NSHQ), and the Ottawa Half-Company, the Naval Reserve Division that became HMCS Carleton on 1 November 1941.  Two years after Bytown was established, the HMCS Bytown Naval Officer’s Mess would open.  HMCS Bytown was paid off 7 December 1964.
  • 1 June 1943 HMCS Conestoga is commissioned in Galt, Ontario, as the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training establishment.
  • 1 June 1943 The first German mines are swept in the approaches to Halifax harbour.
  • 1 June 1968  Canada signs Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty along with the US, Britain, USSR and 57 other countries. United Nations, New York
  • 1 June 2004  United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti assumes responsibility for supporting transitional government and reforming national police force; Canadian police and military personnel to play a major role. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 2 June 1891  Shipping – RMS Empress of Japan is the second of the Canadian Pacific Steamships “Empress” ships to arrive at Vancouver harbour, via the Suez Canal and Hong Kong; Canadian Pacific Steamships had signed a contract for subsidized mail service between Britain and Hong Kong via Canada. Vancouver, BC
  • 3 June 1910 The Honourable Louis P. Brodeur is appointed the first Minister of the Naval Service.
  • 3 June 1944 Flight Lieutenant R.E. McBride, flying an RCAF Canso aircraft, sinks U-477 with four depth charges.
  • 3 June 1963  Canada declares 12 Mile Limit; (19.3 km) exclusive fisheries zone off the Canadian coast; effective May, 1964. Ottawa, Ontario
  • 3 June 1991 Letters Patents are published for an insignia denoting Mentions in Despatches.
  • 4 June 1742 The first warship built in New France called the CANADA is launched.
  • 4 June 1812  US Congress votes for war against Britain; the conflict will begin June 18, 1812, when President James Madison officially proclaims the United States to be at war.
  • 4 June 1976  Canada declares it is extending its 12-nautical-mile coastal fishing zone to 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore fisheries jurisdiction zone, effective January 1, 1977; mature northern cod were estimated at 75 million, down from 900 million in 1962; Canada to set numbers of fish harvested and quotas for foreign fleets, because fish stocks are being depleted by new technologies such as sonar and freezing facilities which let the ships stay at sea longer.
  • 5 June 1741 -Vitus Bering sails from Kamchatka Peninsula to explore North America.
  • 5 June 1792  Spanish navigators Dionisio Galiano and Cayetano Valdés leave Nootka Sound and sail into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, reaching Puerto de Núñez Gaona (Neah Bay, Washington), where a Spanish post is being built by Salvador Fidalgo.
  • 5 June 1944 Sixteen RCN minesweepers help clear the English Channel in preparation for the D-Day landings.
  • 6 June 1943 HMCS Prince Robert is recommissioned as an anti-aircraft cruiser.
  • 6 June 1944 Approximately one hundred and ten Canadian warships participate in the Allied landings in Normandy.
  • 7 June 1942  The US merchant ship Coast Trader torpedoed by Japanese Navy submarine I-26 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca inside Canadian waters; the vessel had set off from Port Angeles, Washington, bound for San Francisco with a cargo of 1,250 tons of newsprint in its hold; wreck discovered in 2013 survey by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, organized by Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard, using a remote-controlled robotic submarine; the same Japanese submarine will shell the Estevan Point lighthouse a few days later.
  • 7 June 1958 HMCS Restigouche is commissioned as the first of a class of destroyer escorts meant to replace the St. Laurent class.
  • 7 June 1965  Department of National Defence replaces navy, army, and air force commands with six functional commands. Ottawa, Ontario
  • 8 June 1893  Steamship Mower arrives in Victoria B.C. from Sydney, Australia; first steamer of the Canadian Australian Line.
  • 9 June 1789  Spanish captain Estebán José Martínez captures trader John Meares’ schooner Northwest America in Nootka Sound near Vancouver Island.
  • 9 June 1941 World War II – HMCS Saskatoon is commissioned in Esquimalt.
  • 9 June 1944 HMCS Haida commanded by Cdr Harry G. DeWolf, DSO, RCN, HMCS Huron commanded by LCdr Herbert S. Rayner, DSC, RCN, and other destroyers from the 10th Destroyer Flotilla sank the German destroyers ZH1 and Z32 in the English Channel.
  • 10 June 1803  Warship HMS Dart carries the so-called Garrison clock (“old town clock”) to Halifax, N.S.; ordered by Prince Edward, it will be installed October 20 in a building built for it on the eastern slope of Citadel Hill.
  • 10 June 1878  Fort Rodd Hill built to protect Esquimalt in the event of a war with Russia.
  • 10 June 1910 Rear-Admiral Charles E. Kingsmill, RN (Retired), is appointed the Director of the Naval Service.
  • 10 June 1931 HMCS Skeena commissioned at Portsmouth-one of the first ships built for the RCN.
  • 10 June 1940 The Canadian government declares war on Italy.  The Italian owned S.S. Capo Noli, with Canada now at war with Italy, was trying to escape down the St. Lawrence river below Rimouski, pursued by the slower HMCS Bras d’Or (Lt. C S Hornsby, RCNR).  She was sighted by Fl.Lt. Leonard J. Birchall (later Air Commodore) in his Stranraer, who threatened to bomb her.  Her Master then ran her ashore and set fire to his ship. Shortly Bras d’Or caught up, told the crew to re-board & put out the fire and took command.  Re-named Bic Island, the ship was later sunk in the Atlantic by U-224 on 28 Oct. 1942.
  • 11 June 1813  Nova Scotia privateering vessel, Liverpool Packet, owned by Enos Collins and associates, is captured by American privateer schooner Thomas; the schooner is re-named the Portsmouth Packet, until it is regained by HMS Fantome and HMS Epervier after a 13-hour chase, in October 1813.
  • 11 June 1940 While evacuating personnel from le Havre, France, destroyers HMCS St. Laurent and Restigouche engage German artillery and fire the first shots of the war by Canadian warships.
  • 11 June 1940 HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Restigouche evacuate military personnel from Le Havre, France, exchanging gunfire with German artillery batteries in the process.
  • 11 June 1944 HMCS Sioux commanded by A/LCdr Eric E.G. Boak, RCN with Polish destroyers sank (schnellboot) S-136 off Normandy.
  • 11 June 1999  The United Nations sets up peacekeeping mission, including 600 Canadians consisting of HMCS Protecteur, an infantry company, and transport planes to support the mission in East Timor. Operation Toucan will help organize elections, support the new government and establish the rule of law; Canadian participation ends February 23, 2000.
  • 13 June 1941 Newfoundland’s sea defences are brought under Canadian control with the appointment of Commodore L.W. Murray, RCN, as the commander of Newfoundland Force.
  • 14 June 1941 Warships of the Newfoundland Escort Force begin convoy escort operations in the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • 14 June 1957 HMCS Magnificent, Canada’s second aircraft carrier, was decommissioned and returned to the RN in Plymouth UK.
  • 15 June 1920 The demobilization of the wartime RCN is completed with the disbandment of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR).
  • 15 June 1938 – HMCS Ottawa is commissioned at Chatham, England.
  • 15 June 1940 The Erik Boye is sunk by submarine U38 in passage off Land’s End thereby becoming the first Canadian flagged merchant ship to be sunk as a casualty of the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • 16 June 1921 The Royal Naval College of Canada is closed.
  • 16 June 1943 HMCS Waskesiu is commissioned into the RCN, becoming the first of sixty RCN frigates built in Canada.
  • 17 June 1991 The Government of Canada announces the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for Korea and the Gulf and Kuwait medal.
  • 18 June 1940 French cruiser Emile Bertin arrives in Halifax with $305 million in gold from the Bank of France; gold released after the war.
  • 19 June 1812 The United States formally declares war against Great Britain.
  • 19 June 1951 HMCS Cayuga begins the second of three tours to Korea.
  • 20 June 1923 HMCS Brunswicker, a current day Naval Reserve Division, was raised as a RCN Volunteer Reserve half-company in Saint John, NB.
  • 20 June 1942 HMCS Edmundston (corvette) rescues 31 crewmembers from the SS Fort Camosun that had been disabled by a Japanese submarine near the Washington coast.
  • 21 June 1749 A military expedition led by Colonel Edward Cornwallis arrives at the harbour at Chebucto, NS and establishes the Halifax military base.
  • 21 June 1940  HMCS Fraser evacuates from France some Free French troops, and the then Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France, who became subsequently the Canadian Ambassador to France, and even further in the future, the Canadian Governor-General, Lieutenant-Colonel G.P. Vanier.
  • 21 June 1940 The National Resources Mobilization Act is passed provides for conscription for home defence and registration of all adult males and females.
  • 21 June 1942 Late on the evening of June 20, 1942, the Canadian submarine P-514 left Argentia, bound for St. John’s to join a convoy.  Although its normal crew contingent was listed as 33, there were 42 on board.  It was thought some may have been catching a ride to rendezvous with other vessels.  In the middle of the night, with heavy fog, the Bangor class minesweeper HMCS Georgian sat just off Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, waiting to escort a convoy bound for Sydney, N.S.  In a case of mistaken identity HMCS Georgian, which was also there waiting, picked up the unmistakeable sound of diesel engines from a submarine on its hydrophone.  The minesweeper’s captain, Lt. Alfred George Stanley, closed in on the signal. Still, there was no reply from P-514.  At 3:05 a.m., the submarine was rammed amidships on the port side, broadside on. Her navigation lights were seen to flick on. The submarine then disappeared, there were no survivors.
  • 21 June 2001 Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson unveils the National Aboriginal Monument, Ottawa, to commemorate the sacrifice of aboriginals in both world wars and Korea.
  • 22 June 1940 The last class of RCN Volunteer Reserve officers graduate from HMCS Stone Frigate.
  • 22 June 1967 HMCS Onondaga (submarine) commissioned at Chatham Dockyards.
  • 23 June 1919 The Air Board is formed in Canada to control all aspects of aviation, including military.
  • 23 June 1940 Destroyer HMCS Restigouche engaged in French evacuation operations off St Jean de Luz engaged in French evacuation operations.
  • 23 June 1940 Sgt. Henry A. Larsen leaves Vancouver on the RCMP schooner St. Roch bound for Halifax via the Northwest Passage; ship will take southerly route through Arctic islands, and after two winters trapped in the ice, will reach Halifax Oct. 11, 1942; first ship to make the voyage from west to east, and in both directions, and to circumnavigate North America; St. Roch declared national historic site in 1962; berthed at Vancouver Maritime Museum.
  • 23 June 1961 The Antarctic Treaty comes into force. The continent is declared a scientific reserve and military activity is banned.
  • 23 June 1968 HMCS Okanagan (submarine) commissioned at Chatham Dockyards.
  • 23 June 1995 HMCS Winnipeg Commissioned at Esquimalt BC.
  • 24 June 1762 A French fleet commanded by Chevalier de Ternay captures Bay Bulls and St. John’s, Newfoundland.
  • 24 June 1943 HMCS Sault Ste. Marie is commissioned as the first Algerine-class minesweeper produced for the RCN.
  • 24 June 1944 HMCS Haida commanded by Cdr Harry G. DeWolf, DSO, RCN, with HMS Eskimo and a Royal Air Force patrol aircraft sink the German submarine U-971 in the English Channel.
  • 25 June 1940 HMCS Fraser is lost with 47 crew lost after colliding with a British warship, HMS Calcutta in the Bay of Biscay.
  • 25 June 1965 RAdm Walter Hose is buried at Windsor, Ont.  Considered the founding sponsor of the RCNVR & Naval Reserves post-RNCVR.
  • 25 June 1950 North Korean forces cross the 38th Parallel and invade South Korea and the Korean War starts; nearly 27,000 Canadians serve, 1,558 are wounded, 516 die.
  • 25 June 1963 HMCS Assiniboine is recommissioned as the RCN’s first helicopter-carrying destroyer.
  • 25 June 1994 HMCS Saguenay is sunk off Lunenburg as a diving park.
  • 26 June 1923 HMCS Queen, a current day Naval Reserve Division, was raised as a RCN Volunteer Reserve half-company in Regina.
  • 26 June 1959 Canadian warships assigned to Atlantic Command participate in the opening ceremonies of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • 27 June 1918 Fourteen nursing sisters are among the 234 who die when the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle is torpedoed by a U-boat.
  • 28 June 1922 The National Defence Act is passed, incorporating the Department of the Naval Service, the Department of Militia and Defence and the Air Board as a new Department of National Defence.
  • 28 June 1977 HMCS Huron (2nd) represents Canada at the Silver Jubilee naval review at Spithead.
  • 28 June 2001 Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson officially dedicates the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.
  • 29 June 1992 HMCS Halifax is commissioned as the first of the new Canadian Patrol Frigates
  • 30 June 1921 HMC Submarines CH-14 and CH-15 are paid off.
  • 30 June 1941 HMCS Wasaga is commissioned, becoming the first Canadian-built Bangor-class minesweeper.
  • 30 June 1950 The Canadian Parliament supports the government motion to assist the United Nations in its position on the Korean situation.


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