naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 529

NAC News – Edition 529

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of  September 8th, 2023

Edition: ATA-529  HMCS Clifton (WWII tug, then post war CFAV Clifton W36)

Quote: “Today, we celebrate the next important milestone for the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Royal Canadian Navy with the arrival of our fourth new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMCS William Hall.  This new asset to Canada’s fleet has been made possible by the vital work of our shipbuilders and the thousands of Canadians that have contributed to the construction of this new ship.  We will continue to provide the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships needed to protect our country, while creating good jobs for Canadians.”  The Honourable Bill Blair, MND, 31 August 2023

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)


Halifax International Fleet Week 07-10 Sept 2023

29 Sept 2023 HMCS Donnacona invites you to their Centennial “Gala-at-Sea”.  1800 for 19:00 Grand Quai 200 De la Commune St W, Montreal, QC, H2Y 4B2.  Tickets $160, dress Mess Kit/Black Tie. (Editor – I’ve asked but received to reply for another way beyond Google Docs at the link to register)

17/18 October 2023 ABCMI’s Annual Business Opportunities Conference & Trade Show – Vancouver Conference Centre ABCMI’s Annual Business Opportunities Conference & Trade Show.  See the website for developing Event Details including Exhibitor Spaces and Sponsorship Opportunities.

2 November 2023 The Deep Blue Forum 2023. Registration. The $50 ticket discount code for NAC members is DB23_NAC.  All serving navy & government personnel can register for FREE.  Venue – The Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Drive.  Not Able to Attend in Person?  All speaker sessions will be live streamed, to allow for virtual attendance.

13 November 2023 0900-1600 hrs Vancouver BC Day Sail event on warship for women and girls

6 December 2023 7:30 am – 6:30 pm Ottawa time.  Industrial Participation Association of Canada (IPAC) announced their first ever Industrial Participation Conference, titled The Changing Landscape of Industrial Participation in Canadian Federal Procurements Conference to be held at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.  Registration is free for public sector!



The threat spectrum (Editor – strategic implications to ponder) and a segue into CGAI: Threats to Canadian National Security (Editor – truly first-rate and sweeping 16:59 min podcast of a 2 June 2023 speech by Jody Thomas the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada)

‘Ready, Aye, Ready’: Aboard the HMCS Winnipeg (Editor – well worth the read)



Fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel delivered to The Royal Canadian Navy

Operation CARIBBE Designated as a Special Duty Operation

Col. Robin Holman Appointed Judge Advocate General (Editor – BZ to outgoing JAG, RAdm. Geneviève Bernatchez who held the position for six years)

On Target: The Woeful State of the Royal Canadian Navy  (Editor – always a fox in the hen house)

CIMSEC: Sea Control 459 – the influence of EEZs on Norwegian, Danish, and Canadian naval forces with Dr. Tim Choi (Editor – 43:13 min podcast)

Thales To Provide In-Service Support For Royal Canadian Navy Vessels

Former Canadian fighter pilots face RCMP probe over training work in China

Canada’s Key to Global Power (Editor – perhaps farfetched, but lots to ponder from this 10:05 min video)

ABCMI: We are thankful and proud to share our feature story highlighting our Business Partner from our 2021-2023 Partnership Sponsorship Program: Seaspan ULC.

Loved ones, first responders mark 25th anniversary of Swissair Flight 111 crash (Editor – please see the “this week in RCN/Maritime History” section at the end.)

The military can’t be the first line of defence in domestic disasters, MPs told

Lookout: 5 September 2023, Volume 68, Issue 35

Trident: 4 September 2023 Volume 57, Issue 18 included RCN Digital Leadership: Aaron O’Connor, Lieutenant-Commander

NAC Naval Affairs Programme Briefing Note #24 Canadian Defence Policy (Editor – please share to anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge, after all, that’s what our naval affairs programme is all about – educating Canadians)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Sept. 5, 2023

U.S. Navy Secretary Sounds Off on Hold on Officer Promotions

Report to Congress on Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier Program

Navy Reveals Contract Costs of Latest 10-Hull Destroyer Deal

US plans to build up force of combat drones, with an eye on China, Pentagon official says

How Does The Pentagon’s Massive Global Transportation System Work? (Editor – 18:14 min video included, this is astounding.  Now, this is what underpins power projection!)

Report to Congress on Columbia-class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program August

Four Former US Navy Officers Cleared in Fat Leonard Case Due to Prosecutor Misconduct

U.S. Navy Will Dismantle Carrier USS Enterprise at a Commercial Shipyard

US Navy retires USS Lake Champlain after 35 years of service with US Navy’s Tico fleet nears 50% strength as USS Lake Champlain departs

Freight Rates Surge As Mississippi River Water Levels Drop



North Korea set to fit all its submarines with tactical nuclear weapons

A Canadian warship has at least 3 encounters with Chinese ships as it patrols contested waters

ASEAN eyes Canada as anchor of peace in Indo-Pacific region

Japan Releases $53B Defense Budget Focused on Shipbuilding, Fighters (Editor – twice Canada’s defence budget if this is US dollars) and Japan Extends Defense Aid to Pacific Nations as Tensions with China Rise

US Navy group heading for Yellow Sea in biggest show of strength near eastern China in 10 years (Editor – HMCS Vancouver participating)

US aircraft spies on China before military drill in East China Sea

China Navy’s Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft holds anti submarine exercise

China’s most advanced Fujian aircraft carrier on track for 2025 PLA handover, latest Weibo photos suggest

Japanese, U.S., the Philippines Drill in the South China Sea; China Contests U.S. Position on Territorial Disputes

Prepping For Another India-Made Aircraft Carrier: Navy’s Big Announcement

USS Shiloh departs Yokosuka, Japan after 17 years of Forward-Deployed Service

Indian Stance on South China Sea Row not linked to BRICS, its Top Envoy says

CIMSEC: Radioactive Tsunamis: Nuclear Torpedo Drones and their Legality in War

Kawasaki prepares P-1 replacement project (Editor – CAE MAD gear)

US 7th fleet commander: China’s “aggressive behaviour ” , must be challenged and checked ! (Editor – 8:01 min video)

PH Navy to commission 2 ex-US patrol vessels Sept. 11

India’s Military Base at Agalega Islands almost complete (Editor – map here)

Launch of ‘DSC A 20 (YARD 325)’ First Ship of 05 x Diving Support Craft (DSC) Project

New China Navy’s Type 075 landing helicopter dock could be under construction

China Designs World’s Largest LNG Carrier




Wagner to be declared a terrorist organisation by UK

Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 destroys Russian KS-701 patrol boat

Threats, insults, and Kremlin ‘robots’: How Russian diplomacy died under Putin (Editor – not a maritime story but one with broad implications.  Unless something significant changes it seems it will be a long and bloody war)

No Signs of Progress in Talks on Reviving Black Sea Grain Deal then Ukraine Says It’s Shipping Grain via Croatian Ports

How Russia’s Economic War in the Black Sea Is Impacting Ukraine | WSJ (Editor – good summary in a 3:45 min video) Two Bulkers Carrying Iron and Ore Depart Ukraine Testing Black Sea Corridor


Poland is a powerhouse in the making (Editor – not a maritime 13:59 min video but so pertinent) and Poland Orders Large Amount Of NSM Missiles

NATO Naval Drill in Baltic Sea to Focus on Repelling Russian Attack

British maritime patrol aircraft keep eye on Russian vessels

Putin’s yacht escaped through Northern Sea Route. Almost at the same time, route operator Rosatom closed down its online ship tracker

After a Year of Repairs, HMS Prince of Wales Gets Under Way at Last and British carrier deploys for trials with combat drones with The first fixed-wing UAV lands on a Royal Navy aircraft carrier

DSEI 2023: Royal Navy To Set Out Thinking And Concepts For Future Air-Defence Capability

Britain accelerating laser weapon programme

RFS Evgeny Gorigledzhan Commissioned in Kaliningrad

Admiral Vaujour is the New Head of the French Navy

ESPS Mendez Nunez Deploys From Ferrol for NATO SNMG2

Army 2023: Malakhit from Russia unveils Project P-750B submarine

Is it true that Russia doesn’t really need a big navy like the US? #shorts (Editor – short video with an interesting perspective)

Casabianca’s Final Toulon Departure before Decommissioning

Multi Role Support Ships – the future of Royal Navy amphibious capability

New Additions To The Hellenic Navy

Last Royal Navy Veteran of Dunkirk Evacuation Passes at 102

Fearsome Weapon Worth of Hundreds Millions for UK Newest Ship (Editor – the CSC is looking at a different gun, the 127/64 LW – VULCANO System)

Russia Lacks Ice-Class Vessels to Develop Arctic’s Northern Sea Route and Russia starts construction of 2nd Project 21180M icebreaker Svyatogor

World’s largest shipping company christens new 24,166 TEU giant in Italy

World’s first floating cruise terminals unveiled (Editor – innovative idea)



UK: Two Royal Navy’s minehunters conduct training with Qatar Navy

Middle East Naval Coalition Expands with Jordan as 12th Member



Russian Research Vessel Intercepts U.S. Icebreaker in the Arctic

Global Trade Finance Gap at Record $2.5 Trillion, Says ADB

Shipping Will Need a Third of World’s Carbon Neutral Fuel by 2030

South African Inquiry Found No Evidence Of Arms Shipment To Russia yet Russian ship violated South African laws as it docked at naval base, inquiry finds

Sand dredging devastating ocean floor, UN warns

NOAA Identifies Seven Nations for Illegal Fishing Activities in 2023 Report to Congress

The Mariner’s Mirror: ‘SHE_SEES’: Women in Maritime 2 (Editor – 18 min, 2nd of 3 podcasts.

Australia launches mission to rescue Antarctic researcher then Australia rescues sick researcher from Antarctica

An Introduction to Food Waste Biodigesters on Ships

Marine Insurers Publish Recommendations for Safe Carriage of Electric Vehicles



Hurricanes Unearth Evidence of Secret Cold War Surveillance Base

The Man Who REALLY Won The Battle Of Trafalgar: Nelson’s Best Friend Lord Collingwood | Our History (Editor – 21:28 min video)

Why Japan could never beat US Carriers (Editor – 13:44 min video)

Divers Discover Two Lost WWI Destroyers off Orkney

Photos: Great Lakes Schooner Found Nearly Intact 142 Years After it Sank

Why Do Ships Have Two Balls? (Editor – 7:47 min video)



(Editor – It was pointed out to me that last week I had not included an important domestic operation that involved the RCN.  A week late, it is now included!  I thank NAC member Nate Charbonneau for pointing it out and allowing us to remember the RCN’s efforts during this tragic accident.)

2 September 1998  The Swissair passenger liner Flight 111 crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia killing all 229 on board.  The immediate response was the establishment of Operation Persistence with more than 2,400 Canadian Armed Forces members, 450 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers (whose contributions came as part of Operation Homage) and hundreds of Canadian Coast Guard personnel took part.  The CAF contribution consisted of 1,300 RCN, 700 army, and 400 air force personnel who served in the operation.  HMCS Preserver became the command ship for the recovery efforts at sea.  Military helicopters and patrol planes searched for human remains and wreckage floating in the water.  Divers, remote underwater vehicles, and the submarine HMCS Okanagan searched the ocean floor.  The Swissair Flight 111 tragedy was the second-deadliest air accident to ever occur in Canada.  Many of the CAF members who took part in the operation were young reservists.  The recovery efforts were physically and emotionally exhausting and some service members suffered ultimately from post-traumatic stress disorders.  The risks of Canadian military service are not only found during deployments in war-torn countries around the world, but domestic operations can also take a heavy toll.

9 September 1919  Alexander Graham Bell sees his HD-4 hydrofoil, powered by twin aircraft engines, reach a new world water speed record of 122 kph; piloted by J.A.D. McCurdy at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

9 September 1942  War Cabinet closes the St. Lawrence River to all Allied shipping except coasters; due to German U-Boat submarine dangers.

9 September 1944  HMCS Dunver commanded by A/LCdr William Davenport,  RCNR, and HMCS Hespeler commanded by LCdr Neville S.C. Dickinson, RCNVR sank the German submarine U-484 in Hebridean waters.

9 September 2002  HMCS Montreal joins the Naval Task Group, part of the international antiterrorism campaign in the Persian Gulf.

10 September 1813  US Captain Oliver Perry defeated six British warships at the Battle of Lake Erie.  During this battle Lt Frédérick Rolette was the First Lieutenant (second in command) of the British schooner Lady Prevost.  When the captain was mortally wounded, he assumed command and fought the ship “with great skill and gallantry” until he himself was severely wounded, burned by an explosion and the ship was a broken unmanageable and sinking wreck.  Lt Rolette served with great distinction throughout the War of 1812.  Significantly, just before the outbreak of the War of 1812, Lt Rolette was posted to Amherstburg, Ont., and he was in charge of the brig General Hunter.  When word of the outbreak of war reached Amherstburg on July 3, 1812, Lt Rolette acted immediately, capturing an American vessel, the Cuyahoga, before the American crew became aware that their country had declared war on Britain.  This was the first action of the War of 1812 and a significant prize, because on board the Cuyahoga were American commander General William Hull’s papers and dispatches, providing the British with a great deal of intelligence on American strengths and deployment.  The Harry DeWolf Class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel HMCS Frédérick Rolette is named in his honour.

10 September 1814  The Kingston Ontario naval dockyard launched the 112 gun HMS St. Lawrence, carrying more armament then Admiral Nelson’s HMS Victory.  The Naval Dockyard was on the grounds of what is now the Royal Military College, with the current Stone Frigate originally being the naval stores building.  At the time she was the largest warship to sail the Great Lakes and she was the only Royal Navy ship of the line ever to be launched and operated entirely in fresh water.  The construction of a first-rate ship of the line, in a campaign that had been dominated by sloops and frigates, gave the British uncontested control of the lakes during the final months of the war.  HMS St Lawrence never saw action, because her presence on the lake once battle-ready deterred the U.S. fleet from setting sail.  The naval actions and building programmes in the Great Lakes lead to The Rush–Bagot Treaty or Rush–Bagot Disarmament treaty between the United States and Great Britain limiting naval armaments on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, following the War of 1812.  Vessels would be limited to one vessel on Lake Champlain, one vessel on Lake Ontario, and two vessels on the upper lakes.  None of the vessels was to exceed 100 tons and its armament was not to be more than 18-pounder gun.  It was ratified by the United States 16 April 1818, and was confirmed by Canada, following Confederation in 1867.

10 September 1939  Canada declares war on Germany.  It was the first time in our history that Canada had issued a formal Declaration of War in her own right.  On the 11th and 12th parliament adopted a special War Appropriation Bill and other bills arising out of the Declaration of War.

10 September 1941  HMCS Chambly commanded by CDR James D. Prentice, RCN, and HMCS Moose Jaw commanded by LT Frederick E. Grubb,  RCN sank the German submarine U-501 off the coast of Greenland.  This is the first U-boat kill made by the Royal Canadian Navy.  During the war the RCN sank, or shared in the destruction, of 31 enemy submarines.  For its part, the RCN lost 14 warships to U-boat attacks and another eight ships to collisions and other accidents in the north Atlantic.

11 September 1833 – Quebec-built steamship ‘Royal William’ reaches England safely; the wooden paddle wheeler is the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam all the way, although sails are raised whenever the wind is fresh; the two steam engines are kept running, but the ship goes slowly under sail because of the drag from the paddle wheels.

11 September 1942 HMCS Charlottetown was torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence, near Cap Chat Quebec, by U517.  She had just delivered a convoy to Rimouski and was returning to Gaspe.  Ten of her ship’s company were lost.

12 September 1759  Admiral Saunders bombards Beauport and feigns a landing to divert attention away from Wolfe’s landing below the Plains of Abraham.

12 September 1846  Franklin Expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are trapped in ice in Victoria Strait.

12 September 1940  Canada’s cabinet introduces Order In Council P.C. 4751, giving Canadian authorities power to imprison disobedient foreign seamen from non-Canadian ships in Canadian ports.

13 September 1750 General Wolf’s forces conducted an amphibious assault and stormed the cliffs of Quebec City and defeated the French.  This battle marked the beginning of the end of France’s rule in North America.

14 September 1940  The Ex-Servicemen’s General Assembly of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the two French islands located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland, announces its support for General Charles DeGaulle.  The British Foreign Office sends note to Ottawa, urging the Canadian government to support the movement.  Canadians decline to act, and the islands Vichy governor dissolves the veterans league.

14 September 1942  500 km east of Newfoundland, German U-Boat U-91 torpedoes and sinks RCN River Class destroyer HMCS Ottawa (A/LCdr Clark Anderson Rutherford, RCN) in the North Atlantic, while escorting convoy ON-127; hit by two torpedoes, she blows up and sinks immediately; 113 of her ship’s company are lost, plus 6 RN seaman and 22 merchant seamen; there are 69 survivors; this included the CO, LCdr C.A. Rutherford, who had given his own life belt to a rating.

15 September 1940  Single men aged between 21 and 24 are called up for WWII.

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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