naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 553

NAC News – Edition 553

HMS Dragon

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of February 23rd, 2024

Edition: 553   HMCS Dominion/HMCS Niobe

Quote: “…the Grand Trunk Railroad’s plans to establish a major new Canadian port derailed.  The biggest blow was the drowning of Charles Melville Hayes, the powerful President of the Grand Truck Railroad and champion of Prince Ruppert port development, when RMS Titanic sank in April 1912.  The Bravest Canadian, pg. 20, Sam McBride, Granville Island Publishing, 2012

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)


7-8 March 2024  CDA Institute – Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence.  The Ottawa Conference on Security & Defence is the largest and longest-standing event of its kind in Canada.  Founded in 1932, the Conference of Defence Associations is an umbrella organization for 45 member associations who represent over 400,000 active and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces.  NAC is a member Association.  This event has now 70% of its tickets sold.

1-3 May 2024 NIBC’s Maritime Arctic 2024 conference (Editor – agenda and speakers at this link), Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Victoria, BC.  This international two-and-a-half-day conference will consist of informative presentations, interactive Q&A sessions, and panel discussions, bringing together key Canadian and international stakeholders in the maritime industry, environmental organizations, governmental transport authorities, coast guards, consultants, and technology providers.  Social and professional networking opportunities will be embedded in the programme.  NAC members are eligible for the “Affiliate” reduced rate.  NAC-VI is helping sponsor this event.

NEW 14-16 May Mari-Tech 2024 St.John’s Convention Centre, St. John’s NFLD.  Mari-Tech was created by the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering (CIMarE) in 1976 and is the premier event for the marine engineering community in Canada. The conference has earned a respected position as a neutral, non-political event devoted to engaging the private sector, government, and academia.  This year’s theme is “navigating sustainable marine transportation”.



With American aid to Ukraine stuck in limbo, defence minister says others must step up

French Ambassador to U.S.: For NATO Countries Bordering Russia, ‘Real War is Possible’



Our Clearance Divers find 80 year old ORDNANCE at Second World War disaster site! (Editor – RCN 8:07 min video)

Our Navy Today, Volume 7, Issue 1 (Editor – the latest RCN sitrep.  Includes an interesting note “Regarding the Marine Technician (MAR TECH) occupation”)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Liberals denigrate Canada, no wonder the military can’t recruit

Canadian Armed Forces: By the Numbers (Editor – does this help or hamper, an Esprit de Corps Canadian Military Magazine 4:59 min video)

Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon Vessel Life Extension Contract Awarded

Vast majority of permanent residents applying to join military not accepted in 1st year of eligibility: data

The Canadian Armed Forces Housing Crisis Deepens (Editor – 4:55 min Esprit de Corps video)

Meet the entrepreneur who claims to have cracked shipping’s coating conundrum

Editorial: B.C. Ferries’ vessels should be built in B.C. then Letters Feb. 20: Where B.C. ferries should be built; private development won’t fix housing

All oil and natural gas permits in B.C. waters relinquished, energy minister says

St. Lawrence Seaway 2024 season opens March 22

Renewed Protests Against Deep Water Vessel Dismantling Site in BC, Canada

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 7, February 19, 2024 with 22 Feb NAC-VI luncheon guest speaker, Cdr Meghan Coates, prominently on the front page relinquished her command of HMCS Vancouver and immediately assumed command of HMCS Regina, with most of her crew coming along for the new posting

Trident: Volume 58, Issue 4, 19 February 2024 with an article HMCS William Hall heads to sea ahead of Heritage Day events

Change in items to NAC Niobe Papers An Array of Blunders: The Northern Technology Demonstration Project – William Carruthers (Editor – Please share with anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge, after all, that’s what our naval affairs programme is all about – enlightening Canadians)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Feb. 20, 2024

Navy Will Ask for 1 Virginia-Class Sub in FY 25 Shipbuilding Budget, Increase Amphib Production

More Navy ships get Overmatch networking following Carl Vinson tests

Latest Navy expeditionary sea base to be commissioned in Coronado (Editor – 1:44 min video, then US Navy commissions ESB USS John L. Canley with some more details USS John L Canley commissioned to honour first living black US Marine to receive Medal of Honor

Past Coast Guard Leaders Deliberately Hid Sexual Assault Investigation

Life Aboard US Navy’s LARGEST City at Sea – USS Gerald R. Ford (Editor – amazing ship and her crew on display in a 22:30 min video)

Facing a Water Crisis, Panama Canal Pledges $8.5 Billion Towards Climate Resilience

Construction Starts on Chile’s First Hybrid-Electric Antarctic Cruise Ship



China To Send Coast Guard Ships As Tensions Rise Over Taiwanese Islands with Taiwan Drives Away Chinese Coast Guard Boat as Frontline Island Tensions Rise

USCG Seeks A Greater Role To Ensure An ‘Open And Free Indo-Pacific’

Australia boosts navy funding to build largest fleet since WWII and Navy’s enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet

Austal awarded contract to supply Australia with 2 more Evolved Cape class patrol boats

China Navy to deploy J-35 fighter jets on its aircraft carrier Liaoning

Chinese PLA Navy’s Type 055 destroyer Xianyang is now operational

India Begins Multinational Naval Exercise Milan, Deploys Two Carriers with Russian combat ships arrive in India for multilateral naval maneuvers

BrahMos Aerospace to sign contract for 200 missiles

U.S. Navy Building Robust Logistics Framework in Indo-Pacific

Japan-Based Chief Petty Officer Charged with Espionage

China’s Shipyards Rake in $87B in Revenue – With Slim Margins




Canada donating hundreds of drones to help war effort in Ukraine yet As allies scramble to supply Ukraine, Canada still has no deal to ramp up munitions production then

Canada set to help bankroll massive ammunition shipments to Ukraine: sources however the wrong type of contribution Canadian parts found in weapons used by Russian military in attack on Ukraine

Sweden announces its largest Ukraine military package to date

Russia ‘struggling with supply of weapons and ammunition’ for Ukraine war – Western officials but Ravaged by war, Russia’s army is rebuilding with surprising speed

Ukraine Two Years On: Sobriety, Sadness, and an Absolute Determination to Fight and the other side of the coin Ukraine: Wishful Thinking

Kamikaze Boats Used to be Least Effective! So why a Comeback? (Editor – 15:08 min video)


UK Sets a New Record With Five-Tonne Cocaine Bust

The Royal Navy is Working on GPS-Free Quantum Navigation

HMNB Devonport: Babcock’s super base blueprint for the Royal Navy

Our First Look At The Turkish Navy’s Future Aircraft Carrier (Editor – one wonders what Türkiye needs with a 60,000 ton jump-jet carrier)

Trident missile test fails for second time in a row

UK to restart nuclear submarine reactor dismantling this year

End in sight for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate LIFEX programme

British Warship Tracks Russian Submarine Amid Turbulent Relations | Life At Sea | Spark (Editor – news/documentary 45:27 min video)

Spanish Navy’s subsurface threat now reliant on a single submarine

Russia Eases Icebreaker Escort Rules to Promote Year-Round Arctic Shipping



Red Sea:

Admiral: Houthi Fight is US Navy’s First Combat Operation Since WWII with Navy Has Fired Around 100 Standard Series Missiles At Houthi Drones, Missiles: Report

Canada Says China Has Role To Play In Keeping Red Sea Safe

Maritime Industry Marks Three Months Since Houthis Seized the Galaxy Leader

Houthis Resume Attacks on International Shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Houthis Shoot Drones, Missiles at American-Owned Bulk Carriers

Red Sea: New images show British ship Rubymar has not sunk

German Government Approves Military Participation in EU Red Sea Mission

European Union Launches Red Sea Naval Operation

French Navy Downs Houthi Drones and Escorts CMA CGM Ship Through Red Sea

Crew forced to abandon cargo ship near Yemen after Houthi missile strike

Houthi Militants Deploy a Drone Sub for the First Time

Seafarers Can Now Refuse to Work Ships Transiting the Red Sea Region


U.S. Charges Four for Smuggling Iranian-Made Weapons to Yemen

Italian shipbuilding giant partners with UAE’s defence firm to create €30B JV

International Maritime Security Construct Holds Change of Command

Israeli builder unveils 24-metre landing craft



Unprecedented Shipping Disruptions Reshaping Global Trade, UN Report Warns

Russia Sends Free Grain to Six African Countries

What the Ship: Ep99 | Black Sea, Russia & Ukraine | Red Sea | Panama Canal | Containers | War Risk (Editor – I don’t include all the “What the Ship” podcasts but this one seemed to be a useful summary in a 43:47 min video)

International Chamber of Shipping Launches Effort to Combat Harassment and Bullying in Maritime

How the World’s Largest Cruise Ship Feeds 10,000 People | WSJ Booked (Editor – 5:51 min video)



The U-Boats that Terrorized Canada (Editor – 11:19 min video)

Silent Seas: The Top Secret, Greatest Cold War Naval Espionage Mission (Editor – a wow 11:27 min video)



24 February 1944  HMCS Waskesiu commanded by LCdr James P. Fraser, RCNR sank the German submarine U-257 in the North Atlantic.  In concert with Nene, the contact was gained and lost four times. Ordered to give up the chase, Waskesiu was permitted one more attack, an attack which drove the damaged U-boat to the surface.  Waskesiu opened fire with its main armament, scoring four hits on the submarine’s conning tower. Eventually the sustained gunfire crippled the vessel, and the crew abandoned the sinking submarine.  She was the first Royal Canadian Navy frigate to score a U-boat kill. Supported by Nene, the two ships rescued survivors of U-257.

26 February 1949   During a fuelling stop at Manzanillo, Mexico, 90 Leading Seamen and below of the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan—over half the ship’s company—locked themselves in their messdecks, refusing to come out until the captain heard their grievances.  Two weeks later, on March 15, eighty-three junior ratings in another destroyer, HMCS Crescent, staged a similar protest while alongside in Nanjing, China.  Within days, on March 20, in the carrier HMCS Magnificent, on fleet manoeuvres in the Caribbean, 32 aircraft handlers briefly refused to turn to morning cleaning stations as ordered.  Each episode was defused almost immediately, with the respective captains entering the messes for an informal discussion of their sailors’ grievances.  Since the men had offered no hint of violence, no one used the charged word ‘mutiny’. Indeed, in Athabaskan, the captain was careful to place his cap over what appeared to be a list of demands, so that no technical state of mutiny could be said to exist.  The incidents caused an investigative Commission to be formed that resulted The Mainguy Report.

27 February 1930  HMCS Thiepval a battle class armed trawler is lost after striking an uncharted rock in Barkley Sound, BC.  No casualties.

28 February 1946  HMCS Cornwallis is paid off (taken out of service) and new recruit training begins to be conducted at local naval depots.

28 February 1991  Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Persian Gulf War ends.

1 March 1928  HMC Ships Champlain and Vancouver are commissioned into the RCN, replacing HMC Ships Patriot and Patrician.

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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