naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 426

NAC News – Edition 426

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of September 10th, 2021

Edition – 426  “No land force can act decisively unless it is accompanied by a maritime superiority; nor can more than negative advantages be expected without it.”  George Washington 1781

Fellow Members: Rod Hughes, Editor NAC News

(Comments welcome to help improve this service).  Q

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


NEW 12 Sept 2021 – CNMT “Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters” Show and Tell aboard HMCS Sackville.  You may have read the item in the latest Action Stations describing a new graphic novel set in 1942 with a young Prairie Sailor joining his first ship – HMCS Sackville. I n attendance will be Susan Tooke, whose husband (Trustee Richard Rudnicki) illustrated most of the book.  After Richard’s untimely passing, Susan completed the book with Brian Bowman writing the text.  Doug Thomas assisted with the accuracy of text and depictions of the ships and life at sea and will be available to talk about the process.  Copies of the book will be available for sale.

NEW 13 September 2021 – The CDA Institute will be hosting an election debate on national security & defence from 10:30 -12:00 am (Ottawa time).  Registration to view the event online is free.  Act Fast as Places are Limited.  Register at the link below or visit the CDAI website:

UPDATE – 19-20 October 2021 – Arctic Workshop/Conference – Halifax.  POSTPONED Due to pandemic restrictions this workshop has been postponed until next spring or summer. More details on this activity are forthcoming.



















(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 September 1939 RCN, RCNR, RCNVR placed on active service.
  • 1 September 1942  HMCS Morden commanded by Lt John J. Hodgkinson, RCNR sank the German submarine U-756 in the Atlantic.
  • 1 September 1944 HMCS Saint John commanded by A/LCdr William R. Stacey, DSC, RCNR with HMCS Swansea commanded by CDR A. Frank C. Layard, DSO, RN sank U-Boat 247 off Land’s End, England.  This was HMCS Swansea’s fourth submarine under two separate CO’s.
  • 3 September 1814  Lieutenant Miller Worsley and Andrew Bulger lead 77 men by canoe north from Wasaga Beach, Ontario, captures American warship USS Tigress at anchor in False Detour Channel, about 88 km northeast of Mackinac Island; then go after USS Scorpion, which they capture September 5.
  • 3 September 1939  Battle of the Atlantic begins as a female merchant sailor Hannah Baird of Verdun, Québec sees her ship, Donaldson liner SS Athenia torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat west of Ireland on route to Montréal, one week before Canada declared war and one week after the merchant service and military were placed on a war alert. The sinking kills 188 of those aboard, including Biards and three other Canadians, the first Canadian casualties of the Second World War.
  • 3 September 1939 Britain declares war on Germany two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; France follows 6 hours later, and then Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada on week later. On September 5, 1939, the United States will proclaim neutrality.
  • 3 September 1940  US President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces Lend Lease Programme, where 50 American destroyers will be traded to Britain, of which 7 go to Canada, in exchange for leases on naval and air bases in the British colonies, including St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Bermuda; Canada also agrees to shelter the destroyers in Canadian ports before they are handed over to British crews.
  • 3 September 1942  World War II – HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Trail together pick up 17 survivors from the Canadian merchant ship Donald Stewart that was torpedoed and sunk northeast of Cape Whittle in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in position 50°32’N, 58°46’W by German U-boat U-517.
  • 3 September 1943 Canadian flotillas of landing craft engaged in the crossing of the Straits of Messina – the invasion of Italy.
  • 3 September 2016 – Franklin Expedition – Parks Canada and the Arctic Research Foundation find the underwater wreck of Sir John Franklin’s flagship HMS Terror; it is “in pristine condition”, north of where the wreck of HMS Erebus — the expedition’s flagship — was found in 2014.
  • 4 September 1990  Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces formation of Operation Scimitar, to provide air cover for the two destroyers and the supply ship sent to the Persian Gulf in late August of 1991 as part of Operation Friction, tasked with enforcing the United Nations trade blockade against Iraq.
  • 5 September 1814  Lt (RN) Miller Worsley, flying captured American colours in the USS Tigress, takes the USS Scorpion at anchor after fierce hand-to-hand fighting; sails both ships west to Fort Michilimackinac.
  • 5 September 1918 The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service is authorized and begins operations in Nova Scotia.
  • 6 September 1940 HMS Duchess arrives in Halifax harbour, bringing the members of the Tizard Mission and a black metal box containing, amongst other things, six examples of the cavity magnetron. This would later be described as “the most important cargo to reach our (i.e. North American) shores”.
  • 6 September 1940 The USN destroyers USS Aaron Ward (DD-132), USS Buchanan (DD-131), USS Crowninshield (DD-134), USS Hale (DD-133), USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193), USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195), USS Herndon (DD-198) and USS Welles (DD-257) arrive at Halifax, Nova Scotia.  These are the first of the “flushdeck” destroyers to be transferred under the “Destroyers-For-Bases” deal.  Contrary to popular opinion, none of the eight ships to be transferred were taken directly from reserve status and handed over to the RN.  All eight ships had been recommissioned at least during 1939 and all had been engaged in operations on the neutrality patrols.  Two ships were recommissioned considerably earlier and had served for extended periods with both the US Atlantic and Pacific Fleets: Crowninshield (1930) and Buchanan (1934).  All eight destroyers were decommissioned from the USN on 09 Sep and commissioned into the RN on the same day.  USS Crowninshield was commissioned as HMS Chelsea (I35).  She reached Devonport, England, on 28 Sep 1940 and was assigned to the Sixth Escort Group, Western Approaches Command, for local escort duty.  In Nov 42, Chelsea became one of eight ‘flushdeckers’ lent to the RCN.  She served with Canadian forces until the Dec 43, operated with both the Mid-Ocean Escort Force and Western Escort Forces.  Chelsea returned to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on 26 Dec 43 and, in early 44, was reduced to reserve status in the Tyne estuary.  On 16 Jul 44, she was transferred to Russia and renamed Derskni.
  • 7 September 1816  Steamship Frontenac launched at Bath, west of Kingston; first steam powered vessel on the Great Lakes.
  • 7 September 1942 HMCS Raccoon Torpedoed and sunk by U 165, while escorting convoy QS.33 in the St. Lawrence River.  There were no survivors.  37 perished.
  • 7 September 1943 HMS Nabob (an aircraft carrier) is commissioned into the Royal Navy with a Canadian crew and a Royal Air Force complement.
  • 7 September 1955 HMCS Sioux sails home from the U.S. naval base at Yokosuka, Japan, ending the Royal Canadian Navy’s involvement in the Korean War.
  • 8 September 1939  Mackenzie King says no to conscription; stresses munitions-making, and building up RCN and RCAF.
  • 9 September 1919  Alexander Graham Bell sees his HD-4 hydrofoil, powered by twin aircraft engines, reach a new world water speed record of 122 kph; piloted by J.A.D. McCurdy at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
  • 9 September 1942  War Cabinet closes the St. Lawrence River to all Allied shipping except coasters; due to German U-Boat submarine dangers.
  • 9 September 1944 HMCS Dunver commanded by A/LCdr William Davenport,  RCNR, and HMCS Hespeler commanded by LCdr Neville S.C. Dickinson, RCNVR sank the German submarine U-484 in Hebridean waters.
  • 10 September 1814  Kingston naval dockyard launches the 112 gun HMS St. Lawrence, the largest warship ever to sail the Great Lakes; carrying more armament than Admiral Nelson’s Victory.
  • 10 September 1939 Canada declares war on Germany
  • 10 September 1941 HMCS Chambly commanded by CDR James D. Prentice, RCN, and HMCS Moose Jaw commanded by LT Frederick E. Grubb,  RCN sank the German submarine U-501 off the coast of Greenland.  This is the first U-boat kill made by the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • 11 September 1833 – Quebec-built steamship ‘Royal William’ reaches England safely; the wooden paddle wheeler is the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam all the way, although sails are raised whenever the wind is fresh; the two steam engines are kept running, but the ship goes slowly under sail because of the drag from the paddle wheels.
  • 11 September 1942 HMCS Charlottetown was torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence, near Cap Chat Quebec, by U517. She had just delivered a convoy to Rimouski and was returning to Gaspe.  Ten of her ship’s company were lost.
  • 12 September 1759  Admiral Saunders bombards Beauport and feigns a landing to divert attention away from Wolfe’s landing below the Plains of Abraham.
  • 12 September 1846 Franklin Expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are trapped in ice in Victoria Strait.
  • 12 September 1940 Canada’s cabinet introduces Order In Council P.C. 4751, giving Canadian authorities power to imprison disobedient foreign seamen from non-Canadian ships in Canadian ports.
  • 13 September 1750 General Wolf’s forces conducted an amphibious assault and stormed the cliffs of Quebec City and defeated the French. This battle marked the beginning of the end of France’s rule in North America.
  • 13 September 1942 HMCS Ottawa sunk by U91 who hit her with two torpedoes in the North Atlanta while she was escorting convoy ON.127.  113 of her Ship’s Company were lost, plus 6 RN seaman, and 22 merchant seamen.
  • 14 September 1940 The Ex-Servicemen’s General Assembly of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the two French islands located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland, announces its support for General Charles DeGaulle.  The British Foreign Office sends note to Ottawa, urging the Canadian government to support the movement.  Canadians decline to act, and the islands Vichy governor dissolves the veterans league.
  • 14 September 1942  500 km east of Newfoundland, German U-Boat U-91 torpedoes and sinks RCN River Class destroyer HMCS Ottawa (A/LCdr Clark Anderson Rutherford, RCN) in the North Atlantic, while escorting convoy ON-127; hit by two torpedoes, she blows up and sinks immediately; 113 of her ship’s company are lost, plus 6 RN seaman and 22 merchant seamen; there are 69 survivors; Battle of the Atlantic growing in intensity.
  • 15 September 1940 Single men aged between 21 and 24 are called up.
  • 16 September 1939 – The first convoy of the war—designated HX-1—leaves Halifax for the United Kingdom. Eighteen merchant ships are escorted by HMCS Saguenay and HMCS St. Laurent to a North Atlantic rendezvous with Royal Navy cruisers.
  • 16 September 1942 The first of sixteen RCN corvettes sails for the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the North African landings (Operation Torch).
  • 17 September 1904 – Captain Joseph Bernier departs from Québec on the Canadian government steamship ‘Arctic’; given the command because of his interest in the Polar regions (he had devised a plan to reach the North Pole via the Bering Strait); will make 12 expeditions into polar seas in the next 20 years; he will spend the winter in Hudson Bay collecting Canadian customs duties from whalers and traders. Québec, Québec
  • 19 September 1940 HMCS Bras D’or sank in a storm in the St. Lawrence with the loss of all 30 hands.
  • 19 September 1941  German U-74 torpedoes and sinks RCN Flower Class corvette HMCS Lévis 200 km off Cape Farewell, Greenland; 18 lives are lost.
  • 19 September 1969  Ottawa to reorganize Canadian Armed Forces; 50% cut in NATO manpower; retirement of RCN aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure.
  • 20 September 1943  German U-boat U-305, using a new acoustic torpedo (GNAT), hits and sinks RCN Town Class destroyer HMCS St. Croix, while she is escorting convoy ON.202, south of Iceland; 65 members of the ship’s company perish; five officers and 76 men are rescued by HMS Itchen, however, only two days later, the Itchen is also torpedoed by an enemy submarine; only one St. Croix sailor, Stoker W. Fisher, survives the two sinkings; one of the men lost was Surgeon Lt W. L. M. King, RCNVR, Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s nephew.
  • 20 September 1917  Borden government passes the Military Voters Act and Wartime Elections Act, giving the vote to soldiers and sailors under 21, and serving women; wives, widows, mothers, and sisters of servicemen also get the vote; the first women ever to be able to vote in Canadian federal elections
  • 21 Sept 1943 In 24 hours, Canadian and British minesweepers cleared a lane through a minefield laid by U-boats off Halifax.  No lives were lost.
  • 22 September 1917 Flight Sub Lieutenant N.A. Magor, the Canadian pilot of a large American flying boat sank the UC 72 in the North Sea with direct hits by two 230 lb bombs.  This was one of a few submarines destroyed by air action during WW1.
  • 23 September 1940  The second group of eight “overage” USN destroyers to be turned over to the RN in exchange for bases in the Western Hemisphere are transferred to RN crews at Halifax, Nova Scotia.  USS Abbot (DD-184), commissioned as HMS Charlestown (I-21), USS Foote (DD-169), commissioned as HMS Roxborough (I-07), USS Hopewell (DD-181), commissioned as HMS Bath (I-17), and USS Doran (DD-185), commissioned as HMS St Marys ( I-12), USS Maddox (DD-168), commissioned as HMS Georgetown (I-40), USS Thomas (DD-182), commissioned as HMS St Albans (I-15), and USS Kalk (DD-170), commissioned as HMCS Hamilton (I-24), as part of the destroyers-for-bases deal.
  • 24 September 1940 The third group of 6 overage USN destroyers exchanged for bases in the Western Hemisphere are turned over to the RCN at Halifax, Nova Scotia.  USS Bancroft (DD-256), commissioned as HMCS St Francis (I-93) USS McCook (DD-252), commissioned as HMCS St Croix (I-81), and USS Haraden (DD-183), commissioned as HMCS Columbia (I-49), part of the destroyers-for-bases deal.
  • 24 September 1941  Canada joins eight other allied governments in pledging support to the Atlantic Charter, an eight-point declaration issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
  • 24 September 1955 HMCS Sioux returns to Esquimalt, the last ship of the RCN to return from the Korean conflict.
  • 24 September 1965 – Military RCN commissions HMCS Ojibwa, first of three 2000-ton RCN Oberon class submarines. Chatham, England
  • 25 September 1940 Canadian armed merchantman Prince Robert captures German ship Weser off Mexican coast. The German freighter is taken into the Canadian merchant service, renamed SS Vancouver Island.
  • 26 September 1940 USS Thatcher (DD-162), commissioned as HMCS Niagara (I-57), part of the destroyers-for-bases deal.
  • 27 September 1854  Steamship Arctic sinks off Cape Race, Newfoundland with 300 people on board after colliding with the 250-ton French iron propeller ship S.S. Vesta; the 3,000-ton side-wheeler was the largest and most splendid ship of the Collins Line (United States Mail Steamship Company) in competition with Samuel Cunard’s Royal Mail Steam Packet Company; casualties include 92 of her 153 officers and men, and all the women and children on board, including the wife, the only daughter, and the youngest son of shipowner E. K. Collins; first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean liner.
  • 27 September HMCS Labrador arrives in Esquimalt via the Artic.  She was the first naval ship and the first deep draught vessel of any kind to traverse the North West Passage.
  • 27 September 1994  US Navy closes Argentia submarine detection base; last US military base in Canada.
  • 29 September 1940 USS Mackenzie (DD-175), commissioned as HMCS Annapolis (I-04), and USS Williams (DD-108), commissioned as HMCS St Clair (I-65), part of the destroyers-for-bases deal.
  • 30 September 1939 Presentation of the King’s Colour to the RCN in Victoria BC.  The first occasion that the Colour was personally presented by the ruling sovereign to a naval force outside the British Isles.  The Commanding Officer on the West Coast was Captain (later RAdm) Victor G. Brodeur, the Royal Guard was commanded by LCdr (later RAdm) E.P. Tisdall, and the Colour Officer was Lt. (later RAdm) J.C. Hibbard.
  • 30 September 1994  Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina is commissioned in Saint John, New Brunswick.


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