naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 507

NAC News – Edition 507

Junior leaders graduate in Halifax

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 31st, 2023

Edition: 507 Quote:  “This would be their [HMS Tyger] station while the drama of the landing and what followed took place [Second Battle of Copenhagen, 1807], clamping an iron hold on Sjaelland while it played out.  Kydd felt a wash of pride.  This is the reality of command of the sea: ships at sea far out of sight of armies but directly affecting the strategics of the battle and its eventual outcome.” Inferno – Thomas Kydd novel, Julian Stockwin, 2016.

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)


5 April 2023 ABCMI: You are invited to a Celebration of BC’s Maritime Heritage: Workboats for the World. The Robert Allan Story

18-20 April 2023 MARTECH Conference: Evolution Through Technology and Talent, Vancouver BC.

3 May  NAC and the RCN will mount a Battle of the Atlantic Gala Dinner, an event that in the past has been a highlight of the Associations’ annual programme.  As in the past, it will be a memorable evening held at the Canadian War Museum.  The evening will commemorate the contributions of the members of the RCN, RCAF, and Canada’s Merchant Navy who served in the Battle of the Atlantic, as well as naval veterans of the Korean War.  This year we will also celebrate the Naval Reserve Centennial.  This is an advance notice to NAC members to give you the opportunity to register in advance of the open registration.  If you have not already done so, this would also be an opportune to renew your NAC membership for 2023.  Detailed information on the event and the menu options is available at 2023 Battle of the Atlantic Gala.  Registration can be completed from that page.  Should you need assistance with the registration or have further questions, please contact us at



Russia to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Putin says and Nato condemns ‘dangerous’ Russian nuclear rhetoric

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on March 23, 2023 (Editor – several pertinent issues mentioned here) and Beijing demands that US stop provoking China



HMCS Montréal, supply vessel [MV Asterix] leave Halifax on 6-month deployment

New crop of junior leaders graduate in Halifax

RCN WW2 veteran William (Bill) John Cox passed away at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial in Halifax 23 March 2023 at the age of 105.  You will see from his obit that he was a giving individual to his family, country, and community – BZ Bill on a life well lived.

Upgraded missiles to better defend ships against air attacks

Ottawa misses own deadline on inking deal with Quebec shipyard to build icebreakers

Military under fire as thousands of troops face lost cost-of-living allowance

Canada in the market for up to 16 military surveillance aircraft

Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System Kicks Off 65th Navigation Season and Canada commits $420 million for Great Lakes environmental work during Biden visit

Veterans’ groups call for answers as budget stokes memories of past cuts

US Navy Awards Raytheon $234M Over-The-Horizon Missile Contract (Editor – the CSC will carry this type of missile)

Canada’s Davie Eyes Arctic Shipbuilding Expansion with Helsinki Shipyard

Meet the BC coast pilots guiding ships into Victoria Harbour

After 55 Years, B.C. Cleans Up the Wreck of the MV Schiedyk

NAC Naval Affairs Program Briefing Note # 5 Canada’s Submarine Assets (Editor – please share to anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge)

Lookout:  Volume 68, Issue 12, March 27, 2023 with Retirees honored with Command Commendation



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 27, 2023

Ford Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy to Deliver a Year Later

Brazil Navy Riachuelo class submarine conducts immersion tests (Editor – note the SSN’s mentioned in the article)

US Navy award C4I surface fleet modernisation contract

Proceedings Podcast: Sailing Upwind with Admiral Winnefeld (Editor – 39:04 min video)

Austal USA Launches USNS Cody (EPF 14) And Kingsville (LCS 36)

USNI: Chinese Spy Balloon Recovery Operation by U.S. Navy (Editor – 38:21 min video)

MARAD Head ‘Not At All Confident’ Ready Reserve Fleet Could be Crewed in a Crisis

US Navy Taps Textron for Non-Towed Mine Countermeasure Technology

Hypersonic ship-killer: Navy taps Lockheed, Raytheon to start developing HALO missile

Wall-Climbing Robots to Assess US Navy Amphibious Assault Ship, Destroyers (Editor – Gecko Robitics)

Brazil Lays The Keel Of The First Tamandare Class Frigate

U.S. Navy Commences USS Connecticut (SSN 22) Repairs

Navy: Puget Sound Submarine Dry Docks to Complete Seismic Repairs by July

Report to Congress on Constellation-class Frigate Program (FFG-62) and Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

US Navy sets out DDG 1000 modernisation plans

CIMSEC: Sea Control 422 – artificial intelligence in naval operations with Tuneer Mukherjee (Editor – 37:55 min podcast)



Makin Island ARG Docks in Busan, 3 LCS Now Underway in Indo-PACOM and North Korea Fires Missiles As US Aircraft Carrier Set To Arrive In South

PODCAST: Preparing Australia for an invasion of Taiwan, with Malcolm Davis (Editor – thought-provoking 38:23 min video with implications for Canada to consider)

PLA expels US warship for second consecutive day from territorial waters off Xisha

A Strategy of Denial for the Western Pacific

US-Japan interoperability deters China and North Korea

Ashland completes Forward Deployment to Sasebo

Video: Philippine Ferry Fire Kills At Least 31 with Search Continuing

Japan eyes upgrading Aegis ships with Tomahawk missiles by FY 2027

Chinese navy to recruit more professional, practical carrier-based aircraft pilots among junior high school graduates

China is Preparing Merchant Ro-Ro Ferries for Amphibious Warfare

The smart card tracking workers on China’s giant Type 075 amphibious assault ship

U.S. Naval ship Matthew Perry returns to Indo-Pacific waters after repairs in Chennai

Internet cables the next front in US-China tech war

India, UK hold bilateral maritime exercise ‘Konkan’

Buyer of used submarine beware and Smarter ways to pay for the submarines

2 ex-US Cyclone patrol boats to join BRP Mariano Alvarez in Navy fleet

U.S. Navy Deploys an LCS to Enforce Fishing Rules in Western Pacific

MSC Accepts Next Ultra Large as Era of Big Boxship Begins




Drifting Naval Mine Damages Resort Complex Near Odesa

Construction of future Russian icebreaker Rossiya delayed due to self-bombing (Editor – now this oops is funny)

One Year Later, Russian Navy Confirms Loss of the Amphib Saratov

The ancient secrets lurking beneath the Black Sea (Editor – 2:15 min video)

EU Looks at New Ways to Limit Russian LNG Imports


Denmark Locates “Object” Near Nord Stream as Norway Steps Up Patrols and Moscow Considers Seeking Compensation for Nord Stream Pipeline Explosions then Russia Fails at UN to Get Nord Stream Blast Inquiry “oh what a tangled web we weave/when first we practice to deceive” [Sir Walter Scott] Nord Stream Deep Dive Finds Putin’s Fingerprints (Editor – the TASS web site contains articles and theories blaming everyone else)

Russia won’t sit idly by after Finland and Sweden join NATO

Norway watches warily as Russian subs and aircraft step up Arctic patrols (Editor – 3:28 min video included)

Norway’s plan to bring Arctic Council back from a year in limbo

His Majesty the King’s cypher to be worn during coronation parade

2.5 tonnes of hashish seized off Algarve coast

First minehunter of Belgian-Dutch RMCM program hits the water

Royal Navy autonomous mine hunting at the sharp end

Turkiye’s First Shipborne Combat Drone TB-3 Bayraktar Breaks Cover

France’s 2nd Barracuda Type Submarine Aces Alpha Trials

British P-8 trains with the Royal Navy in Baltic

Interview with the Force Commander of Operation AGENOR (Editor – 6:47 min video)

UK’s amphibious flagship HMS Albion home after displaying military might on Exercise Joint Viking

Gorch Fock Begins 175th Foreign Training Cruise

Belgian Navy to Procure A Third Coastal Patrol Vessel

Discover the French Navy’s New Generation Supply Vessel (Editor – 6:48 min video)

Portrait of a submariner: Life with the Silent Service recorded for future generations

Aging Shadow Fleet Carrying Russian Oil Poses Disaster Risk



Chinese destroyer Nanning returns to escort mission after drills with Iran, Russia

Rear Admiral Emmanuel Slaars, ALINDIEN, at IDEX 2023 (Editor – 6:35 min video)

Egyptian Navy orders seven coastal patrol ships from Swiftships

U.S. Navy Decommissions Last Patrol Craft Stationed in Bahrain



Europe migrant crisis: Dozens missing off Tunisian coast

Ongoing Incident: Pirates Board Product Tanker in Gulf of Guinea then Monjasa Confirms Pirate Attack with Search Ongoing for Missing Tanker and then Tanker Seized By Pirates in Gulf of Guinea Reappears 540 Miles Away

Rapidly melting Antarctic ice could affect oceans ‘for centuries’ (Editor – includes videos)

MSC Accepts Next Ultra Large as Era of Big Boxship Begins (Editor – although MSC is a European company it has global customers as do the other huge container lines)



U-Boat Rampage – The Unkillable Commander (Editor – 11:32 min video)

Did the Shipwreck of the U-864 Submarine Reveal a Stunning Discovery? (Editor – 45 sec video) and ticking time bomb Green Warriors of Norway: “Salvage the 67 tonnes mercury bomb now”

Battle of the Komandorski Islands – Pacific War #70 DOCUMENTARY (Editor – 18:09 min video)



1 April 1733  Canada’s First lighthouse lit for the first time, using coal from nearby Morien and Spanish River; the round 200 metre tower, made with cement from limestone burned in local kilns, is the first fireproof concrete structure in North America at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, and it is the only other on the entire eastern coast of North America is in Boston.

1 April 1873  Wreck of luxury liner SS Atlantic, sailing from Liverpool to New York; the ship was turning into Halifax Harbour to get coal, but struck a reef in the foggy night near Mars Rock, Meagher’s Island, near Terrance Bay – 546 people drown in heavy seas, while local fishermen manage to save 300. Prospect, Nova Scotia

1 April 1941  RCN armed merchant cruiser Prince Henry intercepts two German ships off Peru; ships scuttled.

1 April 1942  The Canadian registered SS Robert W. Pomeroy (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co, Toronto), was a coal-fired Great Lakes freighter.  With a cargo of lumber, her first (and only) wartime crossing was in convoy SC-3 (47 ships) which departed Sydney NS on 2 September 1940 bound for Liverpool.  Four of the ships were sunk by U-boats.  On arrival in the UK, the Pomeroy was “considered not suitable for Deep Sea Trading” and was “allocated” to be a local UK collier.  During one of her voyages she joined the unescorted coastal convoy FN-67 which was northbound for the Blyth and Tyne coal mining ports but she sank about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk England.  She was “submerged, mast visible and [anti-aircraft barrage] balloon still flying”, but the records indicate some uncertainty regarding the cause.  She might have hit a mine or broken her back in heavy seas.  There was one casualty amongst the crew.

1 April 1943  Murray was made Commander-in-Chief Canadian Northwest Atlantic, thereby becoming the only Canadian to command an Allied theatre of operations during World War II. Still headquartered in Halifax, Murray commanded all Allied air and naval forces involved in convoy protection between Canada and a point south of Greenland, until the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

1 April 1959  New St. Lawrence Seaway opens for business; will be officially dedicated June 26 by the Queen and US President Dwight Eisenhower.

1 April 2023  RCN acquires new large aviation ship to enhance operational reach and expend expeditionary capability.  (It is April first)

2 April 1887  US seizes Canadian sealing ships in North Pacific; other seizures on the 9, 12, and 17th. Juneau, Alaska

2 April 1941 – On 26 March 1941, the SS Beaverdale (Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. Montreal – home port London, UK) departed Halifax, with a general cargo, eastbound for Liverpool.  She was sailing independently (no escorts).  At 01:00 (GMT+2) on 2 April, the freighter was about 285 nm SW of Iceland (60°50’N 29°19’W) when U-48 (Herbert Schultze) fired a single torpedoed which exploded into her amidships.  The surfaced U-boat waited about 25 minutes while two lifeboats were being launched before delivering the coup de grâce by shelling her from the deck gun.  Twenty crew members (including one Canadian) and one gunner were killed.  The Master and 57 survivors were picked up by two merchant ships and landed in Iceland.

3 April 3, 1935  Lt(N) J. P. Connolly appointed Commanding Officer, charged to raise a RCNVR unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

3 April 1996  Members of the Canadian Forces ordered to spend the entire day searching for documents that may aid the Somalia inquiry. Ottawa, Ontario

3 April 2007  Royal Assent given to the Veterans’ Bill of Rights; PM Harper says Ottawa will establish an ombudsman for veterans, so the government can respond quickly and fairly to any concerns of veterans. Ottawa, Ontario

4 April 1949  Canada signs the Washington Treaty with Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the U.S.; and becomes a founding member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization; NATO members pledge to defend each other in event of Soviet attack.  NATO is Canada’s first peacetime military alliance.  Washington, DC

5 April 1958  Ripple Rock blown up with 1.2 tons of Nitramex, one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosion to date, removed a shipping hazard just below the surface of Seymour Narrows near Campbell River that had sunk or damaged 119 vessels and caused the death of over 100 people.  Captain George Vancouver called the narrows “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world.” Campbell River, BC

7 April 1941  The Canadian registered SS Portadoc (Paterson Steamships Ltd., Fort William, Ontario), was a coal-fired Great Lakes freighter.  The ship was pressed into wartime service in May 1940.  However, she would become a collier and she required modifications by a Sydney NS shipyard for safely storing and transporting coal.  It was planned that the ship would then sail to and provide services to the coal “Bunker Depot” in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.  The SS Portadoc’s first (and only) wartime crossing was steaming independently on 25 February 1941 from St John NB (with a cargo of lumber) destined for Freetown Sierra Leone, via Halifax, and St. Lucia.  The attack was about 225 nautical miles west of the destination Freetown. The submerged U-boat, at a range of only 270 meters, fired a single torpedo which slammed into the engine room.  Even though the torpedo failed to detonate, the resulting flooding caused the ship’s bow to quickly rise up vertically. The ship would not sink because of the buoyant cargo. U-124 surfaced and shelled her with 5 rounds incendiary and 16 rounds explosive from the deck gun, followed by several shots close range with the anti-aircraft 2 cm MG C/30 gun.  The master and 19 crew members had abandoned ship in two lifeboats and the U-boat provided them with water, after being questioned.  The survivors made landfall six days later at Benty, French Guinea and were interned by the Vichy French authorities.  One of the crew later died in captivity.

7 April 1948  RCN’s aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent commissioned to replace HMCS Warrior.  Halifax, Nova Scotia

7 April 1991  HMCS Athabaskan, Terra Nova and Protecteur arrive home from Gulf War; ships left in early August; Huron leaves for the Gulf to help enforce the embargo against Iraq. Halifax, Nova Scotia

7 April 1995  HMCS Nipigon, HMCS Gatineau, and HMCS Onondaga supported Fisheries and Oceans and Coast Guard ships during a dispute with Spain over illegal overfishing of Greenland turbot on the Grand Banks.

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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