naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 504

NAC News – Edition 504

Jennifer Bennett Commissioning

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 10th, 2023

Edition: 504   Quote: “Putin may still be president of Russia for some time to come…As long as Russia continues to sell oil and gas and commodities somewhere, the state will continue to generate revenues.”  27 February 2023, Fiona Hill, Foreign Policy

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)


NEW DND and CAF Open Public Consultations on Update to Canada’s Defence Policy

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.



China boosts military budget while warning of escalating threats

Secretary General in Stockholm: time to welcome Finland and Sweden as NATO Allies and NATO Secretary General hosts meeting of senior officials from Türkiye, Finland and Sweden

AUKUS: Aussies to buy 3-plus subs from US, build more from UK designs, reports say

Ocean treaty: Historic agreement reached after decade of talks



Climate change threatens Canadian security, prosperity, warns stark spy agency brief

Ottawa will pay for repairs to Navy’s new Arctic ships due to expired warranty

Ottawa on hook for software glitch that caused deadly military helicopter crash

‘I climbed all my mountains’: Liberal MP Marc Garneau retires from politics (Editor – Marc was a fine RCN NTO Captain before being our first Canadian in space.  We wish him well for his many years of diverse service to his country!) (Executive Director – I met Mr. Garneau a few times while he was serving as Carleton University’s Chancellor and I always felt he served diligently in that role.)

8 March 8th was International Women’s Day.  To start this section – 100-year-old Second World War veteran honoured for her contributions to the Canadian Navy and other shining Canadian naval examples are Jennifer Bennett who became the first female rear-admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the first woman to be appointed Chief of Reserves and Cadets, the most senior reserve officer position in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF); and, Isabel Macneill was a pioneering woman in non-traditional leadership positions.  She was the first female commanding officer of a navy ship in the British Commonwealth and the first female prison superintendent in Canada.  To learn more about women’s contributions to the Canadian military, check out the Memory Project’s NEW resource kit on Women in the Canadian MilitaryDefence Team News | 8 March 2023 (Editor – 2:21 min video) and 60 Seconds with Capt(N) Kelly Williamson and Christina Jutzi (Editor – 60 sec video)

Canada participates in successful Our Ocean Conference

Kraken Robotics to equip a NATO Navy with Aquapix sonars

Military leaders told sex misconduct scandal was a PR war

‘I want my suffering to mean something’: B.C. man sues cadets captain, government over alleged rape

Royal Roads site likely to be returned to Indigenous people

NAC Naval Affairs Program Briefing Note # 2 Maritime Threats to Canada (Editor – please share)

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 9, March 6, 2023 and HMCS Regina’s gun refit a cut above

Trident: Monday 6 March 2023 Volume 57, Issue 5



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 6, 2023

James Cleverly says Falklands are British as Argentina ends deal

Adm. Linda Fagan Calls for Continued Coast Guard Investment to Meet Homeland, Global Demands

USS Gerald R. Ford starts final exercise before deployment

US Navy Showcases Digital Technology for Future Constellation Frigate Bridge Design

U.S. Army’s Next Heavy Landing Ship May Outclass Marine Corps’ LSM

Discover USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), the U.S. Navy’s Latest Freedom Type Littoral Combat Ship (Editor – informative 8:07 min video…almost smell a new ship!) and USS Sioux City (LCS 11) test with Unmanned Systems, deployments with US 4th, 5th and 6th Fleets (Editor – 3:04 min video) and to illustrate a point USS Milwaukee Keeps Drugs from Reaching the United States

US Navy takes delivery of ship to shore connector LCAC 105

Bollinger Shipyards delivers new fast response cutter to US Coast Guard

Navy Accepts Delivery of USNS Apalachicola

SECNAV, Navy Maritime Intel Director Give Warnings About Illegal Chinese Fishing

CIMSEC: Fighting DMO, Pt. 3: assembling massed fires and modern fleet tactics

Sea Based X-Band Radar in Hawaii for maintenance, upgrades

U.S. Coast Guard Decommissions 55-Year-Old Cutter

A Day In Life of a US Navy Captain Living On 13 Billion $ Aircraft Carrier (Editor – impressive officers showcase in a 8:27 min video)

Report: Tom Cruise Heads Back to Sea to Film His Next Blockbuster

Saildrone Completes Groundbreaking Unmanned Ocean Mapping Mission

Why Brazil Sank Its Own Aircraft Carrier At Sea #shorts (Editor – 55 sec video)



HMS Queen Elizabeth to form backbone of Indo-Pacific security in co-operation with France

USS George Washington destined for Japan to replace USS Ronald Reagan, report says

Australia supports Vanuatu after tropical cyclones (Editor – great example of using an aviation/amphib ship for emergencies)

South Korea, US Announce Largest Military Exercises in 5 Years

Indian Navy Conducts Major Exercise TROPEX-23

Congress Notified of Potential $1.4B E-2D Hawkeye Sale to Japan

Japan Commissions Fourth Mogami-Class Frigate ‘Mikuma’ 「みくま」

Taiwan to Simulate Chinese Amphibious Landings, Counterattacks

Destroyer USS John Finn arrives in Japan ahead of USS Shiloh’s decommissioning

China hints at carrier-borne airpower breakthrough

The Disputed Chagos Islands Have an Illegal Fishing Problem

Quad Committed to Supporting Pacific Island Countries: Joint statement

Philippines Says Chinese Navy Ship Spotted Near Disputed Island and Chinese Warship, Cutter Violate Pag-asa Island Territorial Sea, Says Philippine Coast Guard

PT PAL’s CEO on Submarines and Frigates for Indonesia, LPD for Philippine Navy, XLUUV (Editor – 4:22 min video)

Royal Australian Air Force Reactivating Squadron to Operate New MQ-4C Tritons

Australian Navy receives Ocius Bluebottle USVs

BAE Systems completes mid-life upgrade of Anzac class frigate HMAS Stuart

Australia’s ‘biggest drug bust’ nets $700m of cocaine (Editor – incudes 52 sec video)

World’s largest: Colossal MSC Tessa delivered to MSC

Russian Kilo class submarine launches Kalibr missile near Japan

INSANE Reason Why Thailand Has TOO Many Aircraft Carrier (Editor – 40 sec video)




CDS General Wayne Eyre Visits Ukraine and Ottawa ready to supply Ukraine with Canadian high-tech drones, source says

NATO Secretary General to parliamentarians: support Ukraine for as long as it takes

NATO Secretary General at EU Defence Ministerial: we must boost ammunition stockpiles, ramp up production

Huge budget deficit is building up in Russia’s economy (Editor – not a maritime article but noteworthy implications)

Russia Navy still has 13 ships including two submarines in Black Sea to threaten Ukraine

Ukrainian Attack On Russian Port In Black Sea Shows No Base Is Safe

Russian Ship Loaded With Military Equipment Enters Black Sea and Iran said to have supplied Russia with large shipment of ammunition

Ukraine plans spring counter-offensive to cut off Crimean peninsula from Russia (Editor – article includes 3 videos)

Ukraine sea drones show the way

Russia Wheat Exports Nearly Double What They Were Before War

Russia’s Crude Exports By Sea Slide as Lucrative Pacific Trade Declines and Ukraine Lists Five Greek Tanker Companies as Candidates for Sanctions and why in part Report: Russia Exporting Diesel to Saudi Arabia via Ship-to-ship Loadings


Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, U.S. Officials Say (Editor – still speculation as report not yet release) that said then Germany Raids Suspected Ship in Nord Stream Pipeline Blast Probe and the plot thickens

Denmark Investigates Yacht Linked to Nord Stream Blasts

Russia stirs the pot Lavrov says Russia will no longer rely on West in energy policy

EU Plans Annual Naval Exercise to Protect Subsea Pipelines, Cables, and Offshore Wind Farms

HMCS Fredericton Takes Part in Operation Sea Guardian

What you need to know about Russia’s hypersonic missiles

NATO kicks off anti-submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Manta 23

Russian sub Kronshtadt to carry Kalibr cruise missiles, says defense chief

Turkish Navy officially receives Anadolu class LHD TCG Anadolu from SSB

HMS Enterprise’s voyage to come to an end after 20 years of service

CIMSEC: Sea Control 418 – Russia’s 2022 maritime doctrine with Dr. Olga Chiriac (Editor – 30:46 min podcast)

British warship engages French Carrier Strike Group aircraft

Australia Joins MU90 Light Weight Torpedo ISS Program

Report: Russia to Mothball Damaged Nord Stream Gas Pipelines

Saab’s Submarines Looking For New Hunting Grounds

Russia Oil Still Switching Hands Off Spain Coast

Fincantieri Floats Its First LNG and Largest Cruise Ship Sun Princess (Editor – 175,500 gross tons and 1,133 feet in length)



US Navy Task Force 59 Reaches Full Operational Capability, aims for 100 UXVs (Editor – 6:31 min video) and Gulf nations summon sea drones to curb illicit trafficking

Iran claims to have produced a new ballistic missile capable of hitting targets at sea

UN buys huge ship to avert catastrophic oil spill off Yemen

IRGC Navy receives new vessels with mounted missile launchers

Indian warship in Bahrain for CMF drill; officials meet onboard INS Vikrant

Indian Navy’s Kalvari Class Submarine INS Vela Visits Oman’s Port Salalah

UAE Procures LPD from Indonesian Shipbuilder PT PAL

CMN And Zamil Shipyards Deliver The Last Batch Of 58 HSI-32 FPB To Saudi Arabia

US Designates More Companies and 20 Ships in Crackdown on Iranian Oil



Over a ton of drugs seized by Op Atalanta assets

First Israeli offshore patrol vessel for Cote d’Ivoire arrives home

MOL’s Smallest Ship Collects Marine Debris off Bali but Plastic Entering Oceans Could Nearly Triple by 2040, Research Finds



Touching tribute for Voyager survivors

One of the Tiniest WW2 Warships Sinks The Most Submarines Ever (Editor – 10:47 min video)

The Mariner’s Mirror – Navigation in the Middle Ages (Editor – 35 min podcast)



12 March 1918  Lieutenant (RCN) William McKinstry Heriot-Maitland-Dougall (RCNC 1911–1914) at age of 23 years of age was in command of HMS D3 and was killed with his submarine’s crew of 29 off Le Havre, France.  HMS D3 was sunk in error by French dirigible AT-9, which could not see D3’s insignia because of the sub’s reflection off the waves and took her to be a U-boat firing upon it.  The French hadn’t been informed that D3 was assigned to their waters in the English Channel and were not aware that British submarines were identifying themselves with rockets as opposed to flashing lights.

12 March 1980.  HMCS Huron and HMCS Margaree rescued 21 crewmen from the sinking freighter MV Maurice Desgagnes who had been caught in a winter storm.  “While sailing about 75 miles ESE of Halifax in 50 – 60 mph winds a monster wave stuck the vessel, causing the cargo (oak railway ties) to shift drastically.  She sank in the Atlantic about 30 minutes after the last man left the pitching deck.”  HMCS Huron, under the command of Cdr Jim Spalding received a Unit CDS Commendation.

13 March 1943 HMCS Prescott commanded by LCdr Wilfred McIsaac, RCNVR sank U163 off Cape Finisterre, the kill was originally credited to the submarine USS Herring.

13 March 1944 HMCS Prince Rupert commanded by LCDR Robert W. Draney, RCNR in a combined efforts of multiple allied ships and aircraft sank U575 off Cape Finisterre.

13 March 1945   The SS Taber Park (a coal-fired steamship) was built in Pictou, Nova Scotia and was delivered to the Government of Canada (Park Steamship Company) on 28 August 1944. With a British crew and a cargo of softwood lumber, her first sailing was in the eastbound convoy HX-309, which departed Halifax on 18 Sep 1944. Shortly after her arrival in Grangemouth, Scotland, the ownership of the ship was officially transferred to the UK Ministry of War Transport “C. & S.S. Division”.  The SS Taber Park had become a Collier, delivering coal (the life blood of coal-fired steamships in the Battle of the Atlantic) to ports in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.  On 13 March 1945, the SS Taber Park, with a cargo of coal, was in convoy FS-53 (aka FS-1753) southbound in coastal waters from the Port of Tyne to the Thames estuary.  She was sunk about 7 nautical miles SE of Lowestoft, England, where the ocean depth was about 22 meters.  The CO of HMS Wallace recorded: “An underwater explosion was felt at 0350 and an orange flash was observed … some distance away. … When the wreck was sighted about 60 feet of the keel was above water… No light can be thrown on the cause of the sinking of the SS “Taber Park.””.  The SS Taber Park might have hit a mine or have been torpedoed by midget submarine.  There were 28 casualties (including four DEMS gunners) and only four survivors.  The Master, Chief Officer and one crewmember were rescued by HMS Viceroy.  A fourth survivor was picked up by the Free French Naval Forces ship P.L.M. 17.

14 Mar 1923  Lt Frank Meade appointed C.O. of English Half Company in Montreal, the first RCNVR unit appointment; also A/Lt Alexandre Brodeur for the French Half Company, and on 15 Mar. Lt R.H. Yeates for the Hamilton Half Company.  During 1923 & ’24, 11 Units had C.O.’s appointed, although it took a while to establish the actual units in some cases.

14 March 1942 – SS Sarniadoc (Paterson Steamships Ltd, Fort William, Ontario), a Great Lakes ore carrier departed Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) on 9 March with a cargo of high value bauxite to be used in aluminum production for various weapons systems.  She briefly stopped in Port of Spain, Trinidad for fuel and provisions.  On 11 March, the ship continued to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her cargo of bauxite.  She would be refueling in St. Thomas and continuing to a North American port.  The U-161 log entry for 13 March records the first sighting of the Sarniadoc which was on a northern course at 6 knots.  The surfaced U-boat then maneuvered ahead for a night attack.  Four hours later with the target at range 1000 meters, the surfaced U-161 fired a single torpedo which “hit just before the aft smokestack, high water column with small fiery glow, apparently a boiler explosion… the tanker sank immediately after the hit.  No lifeboats.”  The master and 20 crew members went down with their ship, approximately 318 nautical miles due south of St Thomas.

14 March 1943 – When war was declared against Germany on 3 September 1939, the SS Empress of Canada (Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. Montreal – home port London, UK) had just departed Victoria in a routine passenger and cargo service from Vancouver to Hong Kong and other far-east ports.  After her return to Vancouver, she was immediately pressed into “government service”.  On 4 November, she took on a full load of coal at Union Bay, Vancouver Island, before departing on her final commercial service to Hong Kong.  However, after departing Hong Kong on 24 November she was bound for Wellington, NZ and Sydney, Australia to embark troops.  Later, in Fremantle, Western Australia, she joined troop convoy US-1, and delivered ANZAC troops to the Suez Canal on 12 February 1940.  The Empress continued to transport troops.  About three years later, on 1 March 1943, she departed Durban, South Africa northbound for the UK via Freetown, Sierra Leone.  She was sailing independently (no escorts). At 23:56 GMT on 13 March, the Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci (Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia) fired two torpedoes at the Empress of Canada, of which one exploded into her stern, immobilizing the ship.  The master gave the order to abandon ship.  The submarine waited 30 minutes, while lifeboats were being lowered, before firing a coup de grâce at 00:40 (14 March). The ship finally sank at 01:15 about 590 nm SSE of Freetown.  There were 392 casualties (44 crew members, 8 gunners and 340 passengers – mostly Italian PoWs).  The Chief Engineer, a Canadian, was one of the casualties.  1,519 survivors were picked up by HM Ships Boreas, Petunia, Crocus, and Corinthian and were landed at Freetown.

15 March 1949  Many of the crew of HMCS Crescent at Nanjing, China locked themselves in their messdecks, and refused to come out until getting the captain to hear their grievances.  This was one of three incidents that lead to a commission of inquiry and a report named the Mainguy Report.

16 March 1941 – SS J.B. White (Atlantic Transportation Company Ltd, Montreal), with a cargo of 2500 tons of steel and 4500 tons of newsprint, was one of 41 ships in the slow convoy HX-112, on route from Halifax to Liverpool.  On the night of 15/16 March 1941 and about 215 nautical miles SE of Iceland, the convoy came under an attack by five U-boats.  However, U-99, with Otto Kretschmer in command, was the only U-boat to succeed in sinking any of the ships. U-99 sank the SS Venetia, Motor Tanker Ferm, Motor Tanker Beduin, MV Korshamn and the SS J.B. White.  Two crew members from the J.B. White were killed.  The 38 survivors were rescued by HMS Walker.  The next day, on 17 March, HMS Walker and HMS Vanoc disabled and brought the U-99 to the surface.  Otto Kretschmer and 39 of his crew surrendered and became POWs.  The engineering officer and two of his men lost their lives when opening valves to scuttle their boat.

17 March 1943   The Canadian built (North Vancouver Ship Repairs Ltd.) but British crewed SS Fort Cedar was on her maiden voyage from Vancouver via the Panama Canal when she departed New York on 5 March in slow convoy SC-122 (60 ships), bound for the UK.  On 17 March, about midway (52°14’N 32°15’W) between Newfoundland and Ireland, she was damaged by a torpedo fired by U-338 (Manfred Kinzel) and later the same day a coup de grâce fired from U-665 (Hans-Jürgen Haupt) sunk her.  The master, 42 crew members and seven gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Zamalek and landed at Gourock, Scotland on 22 March.

17 March 1945  HMCS Guysborough, a Bangor-class minesweeper, was sailing alone on, in the Bay of Biscay off Ushant when she was hit with an acoustic torpedo from U-868.  It was early evening when she was hit, but Guysborough did not sink immediately and a second torpedo in the late afternoon at took Guysborough to the bottom.  Two crew members were killed instantly in the explosions, the remaining crew abandoned ship onto five Carley floats because the ship’s motor cutter and the whaler were unusable.  The survivors lashed four floats together and this became a temporary raft for 48 men. The fifth Carley float was overcrowded and drifted away.  Guysborough was able to send a distress signal, but it took 19 hours for the frigate, HMS Inglis to arrive.  In total, 49 men died of injuries or from exposure – 36 on the overcrowded raft.  Two RCNVR sailors were recognized posthumously for their actions with Mentioned in Dispatches.

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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