naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 503

NAC News – Edition 503

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 3rd, 2023

Edition: 503   Quote: “[Many countries] don’t see this world now as being led by China or led by the U.S. only.  It benefits them to have relationships on both sides.”

17 February, 2023.  Madiha Afzal, NBC News

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.  Contact Kevin Goheen if you wish someone to be added to the NAC News email distribution. (Influencer or good candidates to become a NAC member, and note the first year’s NAC/Branch membership dues are waived)


Editor – Miscalculation of Disability Pensions Class Action.  A class action lawsuit that has been launched against the Federal Govt regarding underpayment of disability benefits since 2002.  The Government has settled the lawsuit but for veterans to receive compensation, they must register with the law firm handling the lawsuit by 31 March 2023.  Please distribute this info to anyone you think may benefit from the settlement.

It’s Time to Recommission the UNTD Association with a New Name.  At the November 2022 Annual General Meeting, UNTDA members voted unanimously to broaden Association membership to welcome both active and retired Naval Reservists of all ranks into full membership.  The search for that new name is open to all current members and prospective new members.   Submit your suggestions to until March 1, 2023, when they will be compiled and reviewed to determine a short list or top contender to be presented to the membership at the AGM in Victoria in May.



Minister of Defence attends NATO Meeting of the Defence Ministers Meeting then Minister Anand Meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense



The CGAI Podcast Network: The Global Exchange: Updating The Defence Policy (Editor – excellent 1:04:15 hr podcast)

Vice Admiral (ret’d) Peter Cairns, CMM, CD, passed away peacefully in Hospital in Ottawa on Saturday 18 February 2023.

Calgary’s naval reserve celebrating 100 years at HMCS Tecumseh

Canadian Surface Combatant Land-Based Testing Facility – Frequently asked questions.

Conduct and Culture leader says, ‘culture is every one of us’

Irving Shipbuilding hopes to attract hundreds of tradespeople (Editor – 1:27 min news video)

S1 Kam Vantroba was carried across the border in a duffle bag | Sailor Stories (Editor – RCN 5:05 min video)

Cash Out Annual Leave

Federal government spending more than $11M to preserve Canadian war memorials overseas

Small propeller defects can result in increased underwater radiated noise

Canada Funds Efforts to Improve Ballast Water Management

Naval Affairs Program Briefing Note # 1 Canada as a Maritime State (Editor – please share)

Study reveals global algae blooms are growing, and warming waters may be to blame

Federal Retirees turns 60

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 8, February 27, 2023 with Western Region Naval Reservists participate in Small Boats Exercise



US Navy applies lessons from costly shipbuilding mistakes

CIMSEC: Fighting DMO, pt. 2: anti-ship firepower and the major limits of the American naval arsenal

US Navy laments China’s shipbuilding supremacy

US Navy reviews cost-saving design changes before resuming amphib buys

Navy Reserve Struggling to Recruit New Sailors, Emphasizing Benefits

U.S. Marine Corps Converts OSV Into a Stern Landing Craft Testbed

SECNAV Names Future Virginia-class Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine after 70th Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton

US Navy officially receives Lewis B. Puller class ESB USNS John L. Canley

Iranian Warships Finally Dock in Rio de Janeiro After U.S. Issues Sanction Threat

Report to Congress on The Purple Heart

Former 7th Fleet Logistics Chief Sentenced to 30-Months in ‘Fat Leonard’ Bribery Case

Pentagon Committee Recommends Private Firearm Restrictions for Service Members, Personnel Policy Reform to Prevent Military Suicides (Editor – so ironic)

Cocaine worth $330m found in Ecuador banana shipment

Costa Rica receives new NCPV to bolster maritime security

Advanced Nuclear Power Could Transform U.S. Maritime Industry

US ports to build out nearly $50 bln in green infrastructure over the next decade

EverClean from Armach Robotics. A powerful solution in the long-fought battle for optimum hull performance (Editor – a commercial but a look at what tech can do.)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Feb. 27, 2023

China anticipated to steadily, reasonably expand defense budget amid military spending growth around world

Taiwan Capable of Surviving Initial Chinese Invasion: Defense Minister

PLA Navy holds 1st amphibious assault ship far sea drills in West Pacific (Editor – hype about gear, but without battle experienced troop/sailors of dubious value)

Nuclear weapons enter South Korean political debate as threats grow  (Editor – not a maritime article, but with broad implications)

America ARG, Makin Island ARG Will Join Cobra Gold 2023

US, Philippine marines team up to bolster littoral warfare skills

Island facing West Philippine Sea seen boosting coastal defense

Singapore Chief of Navy to become Chief of Defence Force

China protests after US Navy jet flies through Taiwan Strait

Berlin Eyes $5.2 Billion Submarine Deal During German Chancellor India Visit: Report but Germany’s HDW May Not have a Smooth Dive with Russia Pitching AMUR-1658 Based Submarine to India

Indonesia’s submarine problem

The Secret Nuclear Submarine that Surfaced Right Next to China (Editor – 9:32 min video)

Chinese Bulk Carrier Damaged by Ice Sinks Off Russia (Editor – 200 nm north of Japan)

India bans oil tankers, bulkers older than 25 years to modernize fleet and cut emissions

China Importing Russian Oil at Record Pace




Lessons from Ukraine: Brookings scholars assess Vladimir Putin’s assault, Ukraine’s resistance, and the world’s response after one year of war and Opinion | Vladimir Putin’s Big Backfire then As Russia’s Military Stumbles in Ukraine, Chinese Strategists Are Taking Notes and The free world cannot afford a loss in Ukraine: Sarah Teich and Maria Reisdorf in the Toronto Sun (Editor – not maritime articles but included for perspective)

Naval warfare poised to play smaller role in year 2 of Ukraine war and Russia’s Inability to Dominate the Sea has Changed the Course of the War in Ukraine (Editor – love the stamp)

Weapon replacement costs changing nature of Ukraine war

Ukraine’s Final Gyurza-M-Class Gunboat Starts Factory Trials Near Kiev

Insurers Count the Cost of Ships Caught in Ukraine Crisis and Ukraine to Set Up $500 Million Insurance Fund for Ships Entering Ports

Russia Sold Oil Far Above Price Cap, Researchers Say


Italy migrant boat shipwreck: More than 100 people feared dead

Moscow lowers ambitions in nuclear icebreaker program, will not build fleet of new super-powerful vessels after all (editor – result of sanctions?)

US blocking Russia from participating in Nord Stream explosion probe — MFA (Editor – I thought this video was better placed after this article than in the Canada section Russian disinformation fogs up view of Ukraine war for many Canadians)

BAE providing Maritime Indirect Fire System for Type 26 and 5” gun details 5″/54 caliber Mark 45 gun (Editor – not the CSC gun, not sure why, but I believe the 127mm Leonardo Vulcano has been selected.  I wonder which rounds have been considered.)

In focus: the Fleet Solid Support ship design

The Most Terrifying Nuclear Warships #shorts (Editor – 40 sec video) and more details Russia continues upgrading its Kirov-class nuclear-powered cruisers

US and allies hold naval drills as Russian activity increases in Mediterranean

Why HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier is Not Nuclear-Powered? #shorts (Editor – 50 sec video)

New smaller Italian sub

Future of Ex-HMS Courageous Now in Doubt (Editor – the USS Nautilus museum shows some of the costs of maintaining a submarine museum)



U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Interdicts Illegal Drugs Shipment in Arabian Sea

Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster seizes smuggled anti-tank missiles off Iran

Iran nuclear: IAEA inspectors find uranium particles enriched to 83.7% (Editor – sure, an “unintended fluctuations”)

U.S. Navy, 50 Partners Start International Maritime Exercise IMX 2023 and International Maritime Exercise 2023 Kicks Off Operational Phase with DriX USV Takes Part In Middle East Region’s Largest Naval Exercise plus Royal Navy warships to join one of largest naval exercises to push tech and training boundaries

NAVDEX 2023 Live Demonstration (Editor – 2:03 min video)

Special mission subs unveiled



The highly charged geopolitics of lithium

Only one of SA Navy’s four frigates operational; no submarines serviceable

Alarm Over Unabated Fishing by Foreign Ships in South Atlantic Waters

Courage Under Pressure: Capt. Arne Rinnan and the “Tampa Affair”



The Forgotten First Voyage to the North Pole (Editor – given all the recent fun with balloons this 8:58 min video might amuse)

The Mariner’s Mirror: The Maritime History of Time (Editor – 36 min podcast)

Why Hovercraft Failed as Passenger Ferries, but Not as Icebreakers (Editor – 22:14 min video)

Fritz X – WW2 German Smart Bomb (Editor – 7:46 min video)

The Forgotten Empress (Editor – historical connections in a 35:03 min video)

Escort Carriers – When You Need a Lot of Carriers Fast (Editor – 10:27 min video)



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 submarine U-87 off the coast of Leixões in Portugal.

6 March 1943  The Canadian built (North Vancouver Ship Repair) but British crewed SS Fort Battle River departed Glasgow as one of 62 merchant ships in slow convoy KMS-10G bound for Bone, Algeria. On 6 March 1943, the convoy was attacked by U-410 (Horst-Arno Fenski) about 225 nm (36°33’N 10°22’W) west of Gibraltar.  Three ships were damaged.  The Fort Battle River was so badly damaged that she sank three days later on 9 March.  The master, 45 crew members, 10 gunners and nine army passengers were picked up by HMCS Shediac (T/Lt J.E. Clayton, RCNR) and the SS Empire Flamingo and were landed at Gibraltar.

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.

6 March 1945  The SS Green Hill Park was one of about 400 freighters built for the allied merchant navies by the Park Steamship Company which was owned by our Government of Canada.  On the 6th of March 1945, the Green Hill Park exploded, and burst into flames, in Vancouver harbour while loading cargo at the Canadian Pacific Railway pier.  The ship’s cargo included 85 or 95 tons of sodium chlorate, commonly used as a fertilizer.  One of the fertilizers, under certain conditions, could be a powerful high explosive.  Observers saw three explosions, and, initially, it was believed that portions of the ship’s cargo of sodium chlorate exploded.  However, it could have been due to ignition of fumes from the barrels of overproof whiskey located in her holds.  Her cargo also included six tons of flares.  Six longshoremen, and two seamen, lost their lives.  The ship was badly damaged but repaired.  After the war, she sailed under the Panamanian flag as the SS Phaeax II and later as the SS Lagos Michigan until scrapped in 1967.

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 2001  RCN begins allowing women to serve in submarines.

9 March 1915  Winnipeg born Air Commodore (RCAF) Redford (Red) Mulock CBE, DSO (with bar), Legion of Honour (France) is the first Canadian to qualify in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the first Canadian to become a fighter ace by destroy Five enemy aircraft.  On September 6 Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) became the first Canadian to attack a submarine when he dropped five 20-pound bombs on a U-boat.  While over land Mulock’s No. 3 Squadron was equipped with now aging, but agile Sopwith Pup aircraft.  Under Red’s command his pilots, half of whom were Canadians, claimed 80 successful combats with the loss of nine Pups.  In 1918, with the joining of the RNAS and the RFC to form the new Royal Air Force, Mulock was called upon to form a new Bomber Wing.  Mulock earned the praise of his superiors for his knowledge and handling of men and machines.  Of note he was the only Canadian airman to receive the honour of Commander of the British Empire.  Red transferred to the RCAF Reserve after his return to Canada and rose to the rank of Air Commodore.

9 March 1945  HMCS Uganda arrives in Sydney, Australia, to join the British Pacific Fleet.

10 March 1942      On 27 February 1942 the passenger/cargo ship SS Lady Nelson (Canadian National Steamships Ltd, Montreal) departed Halifax on her scheduled passenger and freight service to Bermuda and various Caribbean ports.  On 8 March (20:15 GMT+2), U-161 (Albrecht Achilles) sighted her smoke on the horizon.  The Lady Nelson was steaming towards Port Castries, St Lucia.  Before the U-boat could be positioned for an attack, the Lady was alongside a wharf in Port Castries.  On 9 March, U-161 remained submerged about a mile off the harbour entrance and observed a second steamer at the wharf. At 04:49 on 10 March, the surfaced U-boat approached the entrance and fired two torpedoes.  The first torpedo hit the Lady Nelson which caught fire and sank by the stern in shallow waters. Fifteen passengers and three crew members were killed. (The second torpedo struck the British SS Umtata which also sank by the stern.)  The Lady Nelson was refloated and towed to Mobile, Alabama for repairs.  She became a hospital ship for the remainder of the war. While not commissioned into the RCN, the Merchant Navy crew, the Canadian Army medical staff and the ship’s patients referred to her as the HMCHS Lady Nelson.

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.

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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