naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 474

NAC News – Edition 474

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of August 12th, 2022

Edition:  474  “There was always something exciting about fast destroyers moving at top speed in line ahead into a night battle.  This was particularly true if one was on the bridge.  Firstly there was the noise of the sea crashing against the bows and, above you, the rattling of the rigging from the oncoming wind and the flapping of the huge battle ensign on the foremast.”  A Midshipman’s War – A young man in the Mediterranean Naval war 1941-1943, page 162, Frank Wade, 1994

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

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2022 NAC Endowment Fund approved grants – Your National Board of Directors has endorsed the EF grants recommended by the EF trustees. The individual cheque(s) for each grant(s) has been recently mailed to the associated branch for presentation to the deserving applicant. And while your are at it do consider a donation to our fund!

14-16 November 2022 Registration for Maritime Security Challenges 2022 in Victoria BC is open!  The past two years have seen an explosion of major events and trends that are shaking the world: a once-in-a-century-pandemic; a land war in Europe; international energy and food crises; the rise of authoritarian political movements and governments; more dramatic weather; and decades-high inflation. Many of these issues are playing out at sea, as shipping costs soar, navies modernize to protect their national maritime claims, and state rivalries flourish in the maritime domain.



Top soldier says he won’t confirm or deny that Canadians troops are on the ground in Ukraine the plot thickens Canadian military’s special operations members helping train Ukrainians: sources

Russia halts US inspections of nuclear arsenal under New START treaty

What would be the regional and international consequences of a prolonged Chinese blockade of Taiwan?(Editor – now here is something to ponder) and Economic impact of latest Taiwan Strait crisis



Canadian warships not involved in NATO naval task forces for first time since 2014

One more behind-the-scenes look at #RIMPAC2022!  (Editor – 1:43 min CAF video)

Conquering The Arctic: HMCS Labrador, the Piasecki HUP-3 Retriever and the Bell HTL-4  (Editor – this 16:26 min video is so informative I moved it up from Scuttlebutt)

Statement by the Chief of the Defence Staff on the Conclusion of the Arctic Chiefs of Defence Meeting

Fire safety system problems on new Arctic ship delays deployment on northern exercise

Seaspan says 2 smaller dry docks needed to meet demand for services, will provide 100 new jobs

New trade specialty badge arrives at Naval Fleet School (Pacific)

Canada on track to spend $200M per year on medical cannabis for veterans

The fight for Lake Ontario

Unvaccinated CAF Soldiers Still Dismissed Despite Imminent End of Mandatory Vaccines then Top commander defends military’s vaccine requirement, says ‘tweak’ in the works

Who Watchdogs BC’s Ship Breakers?

Cochrane man building scaled down Canadian naval ships

A secret no more: Canada’s 1st codebreaking unit comes out of the shadows

PSHCP Update: New tentative agreement reached

My VAC Account

Lookout Volume 67 Number 31/August 8, 2022

Trident  Volume 56, Issue 16, August 8, 2022



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Aug. 8, 2022

CIMSEC: Sea Control 369 – conceptualizing ports and organized crime with Dr. Anna Sergi (Editor – 36:18 min podcast)

USS Abraham Lincoln Return Marks End of Second High-Tempo Carrier Deployment in WESTPAC

VIDEO: Carrier USS George H.W. Bush Deploys, Set to Relieve Harry S. Truman Strike Group in Europe(Editor – skip the video)

HII to conduct keel laying for US Navy’s Ford-class vessel CVN 80 (Editor – the 9th American ship named Enterprise.  Not all were entitled to “USS”)

Overspec’d, Overpriced, all Navy: Bob Work on Institutional Addictions

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Busts Three Drug Boats in One Week

USS Vella Gulf Becomes First of Five Ticonderoga-Class Cruisers to Decommission This Year

US military trying to purge rank and file racism

Report to Congress on the History of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay

USS Bulkeley departs Norfolk for new homeport in Rota, Spain

Farragut Deploys with George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group and US Navy Ticonderoga-class Guided-missile Cruiser USS Leyte Gulf Underway for Deployment

Raytheon delivers first pods of the new electronic warfare system AN/ALQ-249 to US Navy

Flood Training Simulator #shorts (Editor – 45 sec video)

CIMSEC: Vice Admiral Hank Mustin on the politics of naval capability development

CIMSEC: Naval Gunfire Liaisons and 21st Century Fires

Navy Rolls Out Retention Programs for Submarine Commanders, Senior Enlisted Sailors

Report to Congress on Columbia-class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program

MQ-8 Fire Scout demonstrates expeditionary capability during Navy exercise

NUWC Division Newport tests Snakehead large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle for autonomous missions

US Navy Taps Six Firms for Large Drone Ship Concepts

NASSCO Awarded Additional $1.4B to Expand Oiler and Sea Base Classes

White House Port Envoy Says Nation’s Entire Supply Chains Need 24/7 Operations, Not Just Ports

Fire at Cuban Petroleum Terminal Expands to Fourth Fuel Tank

Panama Canal grapples with climate change threat

Port of Savannah’s Container Boom Accelerates (Editor – for perspective, Port of Vancouver did 4 million in 2021) and Empties Lift Port of Long Beach to New July Record as Imports Fall

US ports eye $3bln for electrification from Inflation Reduction Act



McMaster: Taiwan Could Prove Difficult for China to Invade on the other hand Taiwan’s reunification countdown has begun

U.S. Will Continue Taiwan Strait Transits, FONOPs in Western Pacific Despite Growing Tension with Chinaand of course PLA to conduct regular combat readiness security patrol in Taiwan Straits

PLA focuses on land attack, sea assault on 3rd day of drills around Taiwan island and Canadian MND says China’s live-fire exercises off Taiwan an ‘unnecessary escalation,’ defence minister says

China’s Newest Attack Submarine Now Stationed Near Taiwan

Japan’s MSDF, Solomon Islands hold 1st drill amid China tension

Sri Lanka Turns Chinese Naval Vessel Away From Port of Hambantota

AUKUS: politics, strategy and submarines

Thailand could acquire Chinese CHD620 diesel engine for the Yuan class submarine

Near Peer: China (Understanding the Chinese Military) (Editor – 43:44 min video.  Lots to ponder in a documentary with a considerable naval element)

Ambiguity Continues over Status of Navy’s Third Aircraft Carrier

Indonesian Navy Commissions 9th and Final Bintuni-Class LST

USNS Charles Drew Repair In An Indian Shipyard Marks A First

Australian Police Seize $195 million in Cocaine Aboard Maersk Boxship

Navy warship visits fourth smallest country on the planet – renewing ties after 97 years




Ukraine war must end with liberation of Crimea – Zelensky and Rally around or abandon the flag? Data on Russia’s support for the Kremlin

Ukraine war: Crimea blasts significantly hit Russian navy – UK

Ukraine and Russia Agree to Protect Grain Ships in Black Sea and Ukraine war: Four more grain ships leave Ukraine as hopes grow for export stability plus Ukraine Calls for Full Restoration of Black Sea Ports and Shipping

Saipem in Talks to End Its Arctic LNG 2 Projects in Russia


Australia’s UK-Designed ‘Slower & Heavier’ Frigates Are Facing ‘Teething Problems’ – British Defense Chief

Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2 Operates in Eastern Mediterranean and Dutch mine countermeasure vessel Vlaardingen joins NATO fleet in Mediterranean Sea then HMS Hurworth prepares for NATO minehunting duties

New photos of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov released

Russian Shipbuilding Program To Be Modified Under New Naval Doctrine

MOD Allows Changes in Navy’s $7 Bn Submarine Tender, No Changes in Capability Requirements

FDI and FDI HN Frigates under construction at Naval Group shipyard

Two new EDA-S amphibious standard landing craft join the French Navy

U.S. Navy Recovers F/A-18E from Mediterranean Sea

More American nuclear submarines arrive in Scotland

Gorch Fock Departs on First Training Mission After Refit

Carrier NAe São Paulo Finds Controversy on the Way to the Scrapyard

Rhine Water Levels in Germany Leaves Ships Only Part-Loaded

Turkey Sends New Oil and Gas Drillship to the Mediterranean

Video: Spanish Police Divers Find Cocaine in Ship’s Cooling Intake



Hezbollah warns Israel over border dispute with Lebanon

Iran Navy Says Repelled Attack on Ship in Red Sea



Clarksons: 147 ports offer LNG bunkering as LNG capable newbuilds hit 37 Pct

EU NavFor Op Atalanta 41st rotation underway

Threat to undersea cables grows



Forgotten 1943 Battle Between America & Canada  (Editor – here is a bit of history nobody talks about, for a good reason, in an 8:01 min video)

The lost nuclear bombs that no one can find

The Tiny Submarines that Shocked an Entire Country (Editor – 11:38 min video)

Editor – timely 3-part and first-rate documentary about the Crimean War

The Crimean War – Episode 1 The Reason Why

The Crimean War – Episode 2 The Valley of Death

The Crimean War – Episode 3 War and Peace

The Mariner’s Mirror 43 min podcast Maritime Disasters: The H.L. Hunley



13 August 1813  British schooner HMS Nancy discovered and trapped by a US squadron at the Nottawasaga River; Capt Lt Miller Worsley of the Royal Navy, warned of a close American presence, had the Nancy towed two miles up the river, where he built a blockhouse armed with two 24-pounder carronades and a 6-pounder gun from the schooner; his force consisted of 21 sailors, 23 Ojibwa and 9 French-Canadian voyageurs; the following day, 14 August, some American wood-cutting parties discovered the schooner’s hiding place, and Worsley was forced to scuttle the ship. Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

13 August 2010  The MV Sun Sea, carrying 490 Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka, is towed to the docks at CFB Esquimalt; the Thai cargo ship was intercepted off Vancouver Island on 12 August; the Tamils are moved to detention centres in the Vancouver area to await processing of their refugee claims.

14 August 1944  HMCS Iroquois commanded by CDR James C. Hibbard, DSC, RCN during a mixed melee ran German minesweeper M-385 aground.

14 August 1945  Japan offers its unconditional surrender.

14 August 1946  11 Naval Reserve Air Squadrons authorized to be formed.  Not all were ever established.

14 Aug 2008  Leading Seaman Robert Teodor Binder MB, of Mississauga was a member of the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Bravery on 26 November 2010.  The citation to his award notes that on the night of 14 August 2008, at the age of nineteen, he and two others repeatedly dove and performed CPR to rescue the occupants of a sinking car.

15 August 1827  Royal Navy Captain John Franklin lands at the entrance of the Rideau Canal, on his return down the Ottawa River from the Arctic, welcomed by Colonel By, he is escorted up to Barracks Hill (what is now Parliament Hill), then the encampment of the 71st Regiment. The following day, 16 August, he will lay the foundation stone of the Ottawa Locks being built by Thomas Mackay. A reporter from the Montreal Herald witnessed the event: “I have this evening to communicate to you one of the most important events that ever occurred in the Canadas — an event which will doubtless form an era in the history of this country for ages to come. It was no less than the depositing of the first stone of the locks of the Rideau Canal… to the tap of MacKay’s trowel young Capt. Franklin put the one-and-one-quarter ton stone to bed while the garrison band played and loud “huzzas” went up from the excavation in a strange and wild setting.”

15 August 1914 The Panama Canal was opened to traffic.

15 August 1940  Convoy SC1 sailed.  SC series of convoys were introduced to provide a system of protection for slow merchant ships (7.5 knots minimum, often not achieved) which had previously been sailing independently, with disastrous consequences.  Sydney, Cape Breton, was chosen as the western terminus to help ease congestion on the port of Halifax.  During the winters of 41 and 42 the SC convoys were shifted to Halifax, due to ice in Sydney harbour and its approaches.  In Aug 42, when the terminus for the HX series of convoys was shifted to New York City, the SC convoys were moved to Halifax, with an interval originating from New York between Sep 42 and Mar 43.  Of the 177 SC convoys, only three failed to reach their destination. SC52 lost 4 of its 34 ships to U-boats in Oct 41 and with the prospects for continued heavy opposition, was returned to Sydney by a tortuous circumnavigation of Newfoundland.  SC62 and 63 were scattered by bad weather in Jan 42 and completed their voyages as independently routed ships.  In all, only 29 of the 177 SC convoys were attacked, mainly made possible by signals intelligence and evasive routing, and only 145 ships were lost from the total of 6,806 (2.1%).  This number is somewhat misleading as many ‘stragglers’ were sunk when they dropped out of convoy that were not counted against convoy losses.  Likewise, a few ‘rompers’, ships that detached from the convoy to move ahead independently, were lost, and not counted.

15 August 1944  HMC Ships Prince David and Prince Henry participate in the Allied landing in southern France, codenamed Operation Dragoon.

15 August 1945  VJ-Day ends WWII.

16 August 1940  LCdr Henry “Harry” George Dewolf, RCN, was posted ashore to NSHQ, Ottawa as the Director of Plans and Secretary to the Chiefs of Staff Committee, after a tour of duty as the Commanding Officer of HMCS St Laurent since 1937.

16 August 1956  HMCS Assiniboine is commissioned into the RCN as the second of the new St. Laurent class of destroyer escorts.  She was the first to be converted to a DDH reaching the fleet in 1963.

16 Aug 1977  VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre (NOTC), was established in the Canadian Forces Fleet School in NADEN in September 1976, and welcomed its first students on 16 August 1977.

16 August 2011  Government announces that the name “Air Command” is being changed to the air force’s original historic name: Royal Canadian Air Force, and the name of Maritime Command to RCN to better reflect Canada’s military heritage and align Canada with other key Commonwealth countries whose military units use the royal designation.

17 August 1809  Construction of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s Monument begins; at the top of Jacques Cartier Square. Montréal, Québec

17 August 1940  Mackenzie King meets Franklin D. Roosevelt for two-day conference at Ogdensburg to discuss North American Defence; will sign Ogdensburg Agreement on August 18 the parties will discuss modifying cash and carry principle for delivery of arms from US factories to Canadian forces; on August 18, the parties will agree to set up a Canadian-American Permanent Joint Board of Defence, composed of senior officials from both countries.

17 August 1942 – In 1925, the Scottish built SS Princess Marguerite (Canadian Pacific Railway, Company) arrived in Victoria, BC. She would provide the popular “triangle route” passenger service between Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle.  In September 1941, she was pressed into wartime service for the “conveyance of cased petrol”.  (Standard tinned-steel 4 gallon rectangular “Petro, Oil and Water Cans” used by the armed forces.  Two cans were cased in special cardboard boxes.)  In a Vancouver shipyard, she was fitted with necessary storage features and equipment to become a “cased petro carrier”.  She completed nine deliveries of cased petrol to military and naval destinations in British Columbia.  However, she was then requisitioned by the Admiralty to serve as a troop ship.  Under secret orders, she departed Victoria on 7 November 1941 and was westbound for Singapore via Pearl Harbor and other ports.  About nine months later, she was in a small convoy steaming from Port Said, Egypt, bound for Cyprus with 125 crewmembers and 998 British troops embarked.  At 12:32 (GMT +2) on 17 August 1942, the submerged U-83 (Hans-Werner Kraus) sighted the convoy “…a formation of one torpedo cruiser, 1 two-stacked ship  …, 1 three-stacked ship [Princess Marguerite]…, 4 destroyers….   Strong battle and hunting protection around the formation.”  At 14:08, the U-boat fired a fan of 4 torpedoes at the Princess Marguerite.  Two torpedoes slammed into her, and she was quickly ablaze.  The fire caused further explosions and the Master (Richard A. Leicester) ordered abandon ship.  Petroleum products burning on the surface made evacuation hazardous.  Within 45 minutes, she sank (32°03’N 32°47’E) about 50 nm NNE of Port Said.  Five crewmembers and 53 soldiers were casualties.  The survivors were rescued by HMS Hero and HMS Kelvin and were landed at Port Said. News of the loss of the SS Princess Marguerite was not released until after the war.

17 August 1942 – The Canadian built (Burrard Dry Dock Company, Vancouver) but British crewed SS Fort La Reine was on her maiden voyage, with grain loaded in New Westminster and lumber loaded at Comox and Port Alberni.  She departed Port Alberni on 22 July 1942 bound for the UK via the Panama Canal.  On 13 August, she joined Convoy PG-6 (23 ships) for the transit from Panama to Guantanamo, Cuba. At 06:19 (GMT+2) on 17 August 1942, U-658 (Hans Senkel) fired a fan of two torpedoes at the ships as they were entering the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti.  The first torpedo sank the SS Fort la Reine.  Three crew members were killed.  The master, 36 crew members and four DEMS gunners were rescued by HMS Pimpernel and a USN patrol boat.

17 August 1943   The first Quebec Conference (codenamed “QUADRANT”) – Mackenzie King hosts Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the Combined Chiefs of Staff at the sixth Anglo-American War Conference, held at the Citadelle and in the Chateau Frontenac hotel; ends August 24, 1943; plans developed for Overlord, the 1944 landings in France; Churchill and Roosevelt also secretly signed the Quebec Agreement to share nuclear technology.

18 August 1833  Steamship Royal William leaves Pictou NS; will arrive in Gravesend September 11;  the first vessel to cross the Atlantic under steam power.

18 August 1944  HMC Ships Ottawa II commanded by Cdr James D. Prentice, DSO, RCN, HMCS Kootenay commanded by A/LCdr William H. Wilson, RCN, and HMCS Chaudière commanded by A/LCdr C. Patrick Nixon, RCN sank the German submarine U-621 while on patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

18 August 2005  HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337) deployed to the Canadian Arctic to prohibit illegal fishing and to reassert sovereignty in the North.

SIGNIFICANT RCN DATES – 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”, The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History Vol 1-3, NAC member Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, encyclopedic guidance from NAC member Fraser McKee, the site, and anywhere else I can find credible information.  For the merchant ship history, a special thanks to NAC member Bill Dziadyk for his able assistance and detailed work.  The RCN lost 1,965 men and 24 ships during the War, most of them in the Atlantic.  A comprehensive list of the staggering merchant losses – sunk, damaged, or lost – Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945 by Rob Fisher {Revised June 2001}, and for the loss of individual personnel RCN Ship Histories, Convoy Escort Movements, Casualty Lists 1939-1947)

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