naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 508

NAC News – Edition 508

Ship in a lock

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of April 7th, 2023

Edition: 508 Quote:  “There is, however, a splendid exception – when all hands, old and young, went to the bottom; and that is the magnificent Merchant Navy of the British Nation.  Seven million tons sank under these men, and the record of so many I’ve seen who were saved was: “Three times torpedoed.”  And remember! For them no Peerage or Westminster Abbey.  They didn’t even get paid for the clothes they lost, and their pay stopped the day the ship was sunk.”  Memories, by Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Fisher, Fisher, John Arbuthnot Fisher, Baron, 1841-1920, page 119, Dictated September 1919.

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 Call for former Naval Reservists to participate in the stand up of an all ranks Naval Reserve Association.  The UNTD seeks to serve as the foundation for its creation by  ‘recommissioning’ itself in this wider context, including all serving and former naval reserve members, for the collegial interaction of the entire naval reserve community to: “Connect, Collaborate, Commemorate, and Celebrate” their collective experiences of Canada’s naval reserve.  All current members are eligible to either self-nominate or nominate fellow members to run for election at the May AGM by completing and submitting the e-form at  by Sunday, April 16, 2023. (Note that you do not need to be in attendance for the election at the AGM in Victoria).

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.  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.  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

2 November 2023 Mark your calendars, the Deep Blue Forum 2023.  Venue – The Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Drive.



Nato’s border with Russia doubles as Finland joins and Finland’s joining NATO threatens key Russian bases

NATO is getting ready to twist Canada’s arm on defence spending

Russia assumes UN Security Council presidency despite Ukrainian anger



Davie Shipyard joins Irving, Seaspan in national shipbuilding program

Royal Canadian Navy pitches $60 billion submarine purchase, say defence and industry sources

Budget 2023: Battle looming between defence officials and lawmakers, experts say (Editor – several issues discussed in a 12:52 min video interview of the CDS)

Canadian government doesn’t scale back on Chinese steel in new navy patrol ships

Marine shipping in the Great Lakes: what you need to know (Editor – useful summary, as an aside, it looks like it will be a tight fit draft wise for the CSC [8m] to get to the lakes)

Navy launches new ‘experience’ program to cope with military recruit shortfall and The Naval Experience Program (Editor – RCN 1:34 min video) and more for different media  We can’t wait to share with you what we’ve been working on! #shorts

Boeing and CAE agreement advances P-8A Poseidon programme

Submarine status at Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Q&A with Chris Earl

B.C. commits $9M to deliver clean power to Victoria’s harbour in hopes of reducing cruise ship emissions

NATO Day 2023 (Editor – 42 sec CAF video) and for perspective How Putin saved NATO

Maritime Engineering Journal – Canada’s Naval Technical Forum Edition 103 Spring 2023 (Editor – NAC stalwart Jim Carruthers exploits explained in a 3 page article starting on page 22)

NAC Naval Affairs Program Briefing Note # 6 National Shipbuilding Strategy 101 (Editor – please share to anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge)

Lookout: 3 April 2023, Volume 68, Issue 13

Trident: Monday 3 April 2023 Volume 57, Issue 7 with Naval Reserve at Montreal City Hall



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: April 3, 2023

Top Navy Admiral Says No To Icebreakers

Lawmakers decry US Navy’s plan to decommission aging amphibious ships

Navy Awards $1.3B to Ingalls Shipbuilding for LPD-32 Amphibious Warship and CNO Wants to Pursue Multi-Year Buy for Stalled Amphibious Ship Program

US Navy Tests Secret Maritime Data Technology

Flight IIA Destroyer Lenah Sutcliffe (DDG 123) Sails Away From Ingalls Shipbuilding

Coast Guard crew offloads $166 million worth of counternarcotics in San Diego

Sea Air Space 2023: Maritime Strike, HALO, Thales, GE Marine and SPY-6 (Editor – 10:21 min video, and another 10:57 min video)  Sea Air Space 2023: General Atomics, SERCO NOMARS, Metal Shark LRUSV (Editor – the long range gun ammo is spectacular)

Former Austal USA Executives Indicted for Alleged Accounting Fraud, Face SEC Complaint

Navy Commissions Future Littoral Combat USS Ship Santa Barbara and Virtual Tour of Independence-Class Littoral Combat Ship USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) (Editor – USN 4:09 min video)

Navy Estimates 5 More Years for Virginia Attack Sub Production to Hit 2 Boats a Year

MDA Test Successfully Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target

US Navy Promises To Strengthen Merchant Marine And Coast Guard Partnerships

Navy Exporting Middle East Unmanned Template to SOUTHCOM to Curb Illegal Fishing, Battle Drug War

U.S. Navy Destroyer Offloads $70M Worth of Cocaine in Port Everglades



China to inspect ships in Taiwan Strait, Taiwan says won’t cooperate and Taiwan Braces for New Pressure Tactic in Disputed Strait as China Starts Inspecting Merchant Ships

China ships stay in Japan waters near Senkakus for record time

Chinese, Japanese defense ministries establish direct telephone line for maritime, air liaison mechanism

PLA holds intensive drills prior to Tsai’s planned meeting with McCarthy and China Sends Carrier Group Off Taiwan Ahead of US Meeting

Russia announces plans for Pacific region submarine bases and Submarine force armed with Poseidon torpedoes to come into operation in Kamchatka in 2025

United Front: South Korea, US, And Japan Stage Joint Anti-Submarine Exercises

Philippines Announce 4 New Locations to Host U.S. Troops

Red Hill Depot Halfway Through Repairs, Defueling to be Completed Next Year (Editor – a relevant article after the excellent NAC-O organized presentation on Monday from Professor Sal Mercogliano who is currently researching the history of early WW2 USN fuel distribution across the Pacific to Australia to support the allied navies, in particular the fast carriers.  Moral of the story, amongst the many illustrated, was the ongoing need for many fueling vessels of all types!  {The RCN can’t get it’s AOR’s fast enough.})

China’s ports dominance undermines western aims to loosen trade ties

China Panic!: UK’s Aircraft Carrier Warns Chinese Submarine that is hunting them in South China Sea (Editor – noteworthy glimpse in a 4:10 min video)

China Unveils Naval Variant Of WZ-7 Recon Drone

India signs deal to install air-independent propulsion systems on Kalvari subs

Japan’s ATLA Reveals New XLUUV Submarine

Indian Navy signs contracts for construction of 17 naval vessels

Global Sting Operation Nets $3 Billion Worth of Cocaine

Robbers Board Evergreen Boxship in Manila Anchorage




Object Near Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Poses No Safety Risk – Denmark and Poland suspected behind sabotage of Nord Stream gas pipelines then again Nord Stream Pipeline Blasts Probe Continues, but Culprits Difficult to Determine

Western Restrictions on Russian Oil Reshuffle Global Shipping Patterns


Maiden voyage of Arctic platform could turn into 2 year ice odyssey

First images of new Multi Role Ocean Support ship (MROS) renamed RFA Proteus

The fourth Type 26 frigate which bears the name Birmingham began to take shape in Clyde

Paolo Thaon di Revel Joins SNMG2

Navantia’s S-81 “Isaac Peral” Submarine Successfully Performs Its First Dive Tests

Bill for 2 new Belgian ASW Frigates increases by 800 million euros

CIMSEC: Sea Control 424 – French naval diplomacy with Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu Rey (English version) (Editor – 23:12 min podcast)

Swedish armed forces ready and waiting to join NATO as Finland becomes member and CIMSEC: Sea Control 425 – Sweden’s navy in NATO with Dr. Sebastian Bruns (Editor – 32:26 min video)

Germany sends Berlin-class replenishment ship Bonn to Mediterranean (Editor – same class of ship that is the basis of the design for the new HMCS Protecteur) and Germany’s EGV Berlin Replenishment Ship to Receive Hospital Facility

Netherlands to acquire Tomahawk cruise missiles for frigates & subs

The Most Insanely Armed Incredibly Smoking Aircraft Carrier (Editor – 11:50 min video)

New UK mine-hunting vessel gets her official name

Construction starts on Polish Navy’s 4th Kormoran II minehunter

Finland’s New FSRU Terminal Gets its First American LNG Cargo

Europol Says Corruption is Enabling Criminal Gangs to Infiltrate Ports

Airship Tested for Port Surveillance at Spain’s Valenciaport



US Extends Carrier Deployment After Syria Attack

New Commodore Takes Command of Task Force 56

Russia Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov visits Saudi Arabia for first time ever

French Frigate Joins Operation Agenor in Strait of Hormuz Patrols

EU and U.S. hold first joint naval exercise (Editor – I understand there are nuances, but it’s still amusing when EU, NATO, and/or US separately are specified when mostly they are the same countries just doing a different “mission”.  Forgive me, but does anyone outside the group seeking recognition notice the difference?)

Euronav Tanker Departs for Yemen to Replace Decaying FSO Safer



Two Brookings articles with global pertinence: War, peace, and the international system after Ukraine and China’s role in the fentanyl crisis

7 candidates join the race for IMO Secretary-General role

EU Med naval force notches up 9 000 ship checks

Updated: France Says Six Crew Kidnapped as Pirates Abandon Tanker

Clarksons says alternative fuel ships account for 47 pct of orderbook, projects another 100 LNG carrier orders and an example Keel laid for LNG-powered Disney Treasure

Iranian Navy 86th flotilla docks at Port of Cape Town in South Africa and Chinese Surveillance Ship Docks in South African Port then South Africa Says Contentious Chinese Ship is for Research, Not Surveillance

Study: Torrents of Antarctic Meltwater are Slowing Ocean Currents and Climate change: Norwegian seafloor holds clue to Antarctic melting (Editor – I get the sinking feeling with the growing evidence and importance of the impact that I should be moving these articles for the relative obscurity of the bottom of the Global section.  Thoughts?)



HMS Prince of Wales – A Prince Stricken From the Air (Editor – 16:40 min video)

USS Pueblo (AGER-2) – Guide 329 (Editor – 7:03 min video) and more details

The Nuclear Threat of a 50-Year Imprisoned Ship (Editor – 12:03 min video)



8 April 1945 cruiser HMCS Uganda joins British Pacific Fleet. Hong Kong, China

9 April 1929 – Canadian Ambassador Vincent Massey protests against sinking of Canadian schooner I’m Alone; crew released; case of rum-runner to go to arbitration. Washington, DC

10 April 1836  Hudson’s Bay Company steamship SS Beaver arrives at Fort Vancouver and has her boilers and paddles connected; left London August 29, 1835 under the command of Captain David Home under sail alone; rounded Cape Horn and called at Juan Fernandez and Honolulu on route; SS Beaver will be used to service trading posts between the Columbia River and Russian America (Alaska); 1862 chartered by the Royal Navy to survey and chart the coast of the Colony of British Columbia.

11 April 1940  Burrard shipyards begin building corvettes and minesweepers for action in the Battle of the Atlantic.  Together with the neighbouring North Van Ship Repair yard, and the Yarrows Ltd. yard in Esquimalt, which were eventually absorbed, Burrard built over 450 ships, including many warships built and refitted for the RN and RCN in the First and Second World Wars. Vancouver, BC

11 April 1962  The Government of Canada announces plans to build eight frigates and buy three submarines.

12 April 1945 – The Canadian tanker SS Silver Star Park (Park Steamship Company, Montreal) was built by Westcoast Shipbuilders in Vancouver.  On 26 December 1943 she departed Victoria on her maiden voyage via the Panama Canal to a refinery at Caripito, Venezuela (87 nm up the San Juan River).  She delivered her first load of Venezuelan petroleum across the Caribbean (in convoy TAG-113) and up the Atlantic (in convoy GN-113) to New York on 3 February 1944.  She made ten more such deliveries of Venezuelan petroleum (six to New York and four to Portland. Maine).  On 12 April 1945, the Silver Star Park was on the final leg of another petroleum delivery.  She was about 45 nm ENE of the Long Island Sound access to New York City and about 10 nm from Newport, RI, when she and the American freighter SS Mangore collided.  The fully loaded tanker caught fire, and the Master, 14 crew members and one DEMS gunner were killed.  When the blaze was extinguished, the ship was towed into Newport.  There were twenty-nine survivors.  The tanker was fully repaired and later sold to the Brazilian Navy as a supply ship.

14 April 1828  The 18-gun sloop HMS Acorn missing presumed foundered off Halifax with the loss of 115 men.

14 April 1944 – The Canadian built (Prince Rupert Drydock & Shipyard) SS Fort Stikine was launched on 31 July 1943 in Prince Rupert, BC.  She was British crewed.  Almost a year later the Fort Stikine departed Karachi on 9 July 1944 in convoy PB-74 (24 ships, including her sister ship the British crewed SS Fort Crevier) which was bound for Bombay (now Mumbai).  Her main cargo included: 1,396 tons of munitions (flares and signal rockets, incendiary bombs, mines, shells, and torpedoes), and 112 (28 pound) gold bars.  (In Karachi, she had delivered some air force related cargo and then was able to also load bales of raw cotton, some commercial miscellaneous items and 1000 drums of lubricating oil.)  The convoy arrived in Bombay on 12 April. On the 14th, there were fourteen ships in the Bombay “tidal port” which had a gate to restrict the outflow and maintain depth.  The Fort Stikine was alongside a jetty, when at about 11:00, personnel on other ships noticed a thin coil of black smoke coming from one of her vents. Leakage of lubricating oil was causing spontaneously combustion within the bales of cotton.  At about 15:45, the SS Fort Stikine blew up in a series of explosions of munitions.  In addition to the loss of the Fort Stikine, eleven ships (including the Fort Crevier) were sunk or considered total losses.  231 service and port personnel were killed and 476 were injured.  Fires in the surrounding areas killed up to 1,300 persons and about 80,000 were made homeless by the Bombay Explosion.

14 April 1944  HMCS Swansea commanded by A/Cdr Clarence A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR with HMS Pelican combined to sink the German submarine U-448 in the North Atlantic.  Swansea’s second kill in less than six weeks.

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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