naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 554

NAC News – Edition 554

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 1st, 2024

Edition: 554   Women in the RCN – An Incredible Legacy

Quote:  “The casualty numbers were staggering.  Of 393 U.S. soldiers on board the two cutters, 183 died and 157 were wounded.  There were 113 Royal Navy dead and 86 wounded as well as five U.S. dead and seven wounded.  The casualty rate was 90 per cent – about double the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea 88 years earlier.”  The Bravest Canadian, pg. 103, Sam McBride, Granville Island Publishing, 2012 (Editor -follow on from edition 552 with the Harbour assault of Oran 8 Nov 1942 lead by Canadian Capt (RN) Fritz Peters where he earned his VC.)

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.

23-24 April 2024 ABCMI & Coast Innovation Forum Vancouver Convention Centre West, 1055 Canada Pl. Vancouver BC.  ABCMI in partnership with COAST will be providing two days of panels, speakers, and industry showcase presentations embracing emerging technologies and innovation in the ocean and marine space. Not only will this forum be for all those companies directly or indirectly involved in bringing innovative new products and services to market but also for all entrepreneurial businesses progressing through the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) spectrum from idea to commercialization. The event will also feature plenty of networking opportunities with government and private sector entities as a well as a small trade show for exhibitors wanting to show off their cutting edge products.

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.

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”.



Putin warns West against sending troops to Ukraine

Trudeau signs $3-billion security deal for Ukraine on 2nd anniversary of Russian invasion

Canada is facing ‘irrelevance’ on world stage, ex-defence chief warns (Editor – 11:34 min news video, part of the programme is with Gen (Retd) Rick Hillier)

U.S. ambassador says ‘world is watching’ Canada’s military spending

Sooner or later, every NATO country will have to meet defence spending target, says Polish PM



Longest Naval Vessel Ever Built in Canada Reaches Full Length (Editor – HMCS Protecteur coming along nicely shown in a 51 sec video! I saw her myself from the air from a Helijet flight on the weekend, and I believe you can see parts of HMCS Preserver in the sheds beside her Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards makes progress on JSS2 with delivery of 17m long bulbous bow following on from Seaspan Holds Keel Laying Ceremony for HMCS Preserver (Editor – 2:25 min video)

Ottawa’s 1980s system of buying weapons is no match for 21st-century warfare – Canada Undefended: Richard Shimooka in the National Post and Cost of Liberal government’s defence plan has jumped by $50B, PBO says (Editor – perhaps not the best way to get to 2%) however Making the Political Case for Increased Defence Spending in an Uncertain World

HMCS Charlottetown: New lease of life for Canada’s expert submarine-hunter (Editor – includes 3 min video)

Vard Marine Inc. Welcomes Serco into the Team Vigilance Preferred Suppliers Program

Meet Canadian Lieutenant Navy Kary-Anne Poirier – nato shape

Lawsuit over massive Veterans Affairs accounting error to cost Ottawa almost $1 billion

Forces ombudsman calls on MPs to make his office independent of National Defence

New B.C. Ferries vessels, expected in 2029, to carry 2,100, run on greener tech

SAAM Towage new two electric tugs arrive in Vancouver

Battle of the Atlantic Heroes: William Cameron

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

What happens if a loved one dies abroad (Editor – not news but a useful compendium)

VAC: Salute! – February 2024

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 8, February 26, 2024 note memoir about HMCS Protecteur’s engin room fire

Change in items to NAC Niobe Papers The Royal Canadian Navy in the Arctic, A Short History – Adam Lajeunesse  (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. 26, 2024

The Maritime Chessboard Top 10 Strategic Importance of Naval Warfare (Editor – 12:19 min video)

Report to Congress on Navy Distributed Maritime Operations Concept

French Navy Kicks Off Jeanne d’Arc 2024 Deployment

Massachusetts SSN 798 Virginia class submarine launched ! (Editor – impressive boat in a 9:23 min video)

Life Inside US’ Most Feared Billions $ Destroyers Patrolling the Seas 24/7 (Editor – 15:04 min video)

Thales Delivers First CAPTAS-4 Sonar for US Navy

Navy Awards $1.2B Repair Contract for Attack Sub USS Boise More Than 7 Years Late

Titan sub: Bangs that led to hope of crew’s survival heard for first time

The Dismantling of US Navy’s Aircraft Carrier That Was Sold For a Penny (Editor – 15:21 min video)



Senate confirms Paparo as new INDO-PACOM commander

Chinese coast guard ships enter restricted area: Kuan naturally China Says Its Coast Guard Patrols Around Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands ‘Beyond Reproach’

Our Best Look At Taiwan’s First Homegrown Submarine (Editor – surprising details in pics) and connected background [including Canadians involvement] T-DAY: The Battle for Taiwan

Australian Navy Begins ‘Smart’ Sea Mine Training

OOCL names eighth 24,000+ mega boxship




Ukraine says it has downed second Russian A-50 spy plane in weeks

U.S. Issues Sweeping Sanctions Against Russia. Here are the Key Parts: with U.S. Sanctions Russia’s State-Owned Shipping Company Sovcomflot and US Sanctions Block LNG Carriers for Russian Arctic Project 

Major Munitions Transfers from North Korea to Russia (Editor – detailed look at the shipping)

Ukraine war: Ukraine reports jump in number of downed Russian planes

Ukrainian Special Forces attempt to carry out a landing operation in Kherson

British and Irish parts found in deadly Iranian drones that Putin is using to blitz Ukraine (Editor – 10:40 min video)

Kyiv – The Tragic History of Ukraine’s Capital (Editor – not a maritime video but included for perspective, what a turbulent past in a 8:48 min video)

U.S. Analysis Shows Price Cap on Russian Oil is Working


Carrier HMS Prince of Wales Under NATO Command in Major Exercise

Poland to Purchase South Korean KSS III Submarine Under the Orka Program (Editor – 5:54 min video)

Type 31 frigate HMS Venturer build progresses with Essex joins HMS Venturer family as under-construction Type 31 frigate is affiliated with county

Denmark, like Sweden before them, ends probe into Nord Stream pipeline ‘sabotage’

Behind the scenes on a Spanish F100 air defence frigate (Editor – 3:30 min video.  I wonder why the RCAF Cyclone doesn’t have anti-ship missiles?)

S-80 Plus Class: Growing Potential for Spain’s Submarine Program (Editor – tortuous development explained in a 4:19 min video)

Damen Reveals Multi-Purpose Support Ship Design

Danish Navy completes integration of Katfish mine hunting systems

Heavy lift carriers arrive in Belokamenka after Arctic voyage from China with vessels Two module carriers Audax and Pugnax were built in 2016



Red Sea:

Houthis Say No End to Red Sea Attacks Until Israeli ‘Aggression’ Stops

Up to Four Subsea Cables Have Been Damaged Off Yemen

U.S., U.K. Conduct Joint Strikes Against Eight Houthi Locations in Yemen with U.S. Has Hit 230 Houthi Targets in Yemen

German Frigate Shoots Down Houthi Drones but German navy almost shot down US drone over Red Sea — reports (Editor – here’s an understatement, “the friendly-fire incident showed that coordination between allies involved in various missions in the region around Yemen “needs to be improved.”)

Greece Sends Frigate to Join EU Naval Operation in Red Sea


FBI: Smuggling Vessel’s Captain Was In Contact With Iranian Military



USCGC Polar Star Completes Annual Mission to Antarctica

Why the Closest US and Chinese Base is in Djibouti (Editor – strange place explained in a 18:42 min video)

Impact to Global Trade Due to Disruptions of Shipping in the Red Sea, Black Sea and Panama Canal (Editor – intriguing 16:46 min video)

Tanker Prices Are Soaring, and Shipyards Stand to Benefit

Life INSIDE World’s WIDEST Ship Ever Built Looks Like Half a Ship (Editor – 13:01 min video)

IMO makes ‘insufficient progress’ on slashing black carbon emissions from Arctic shipping

Second LNG-fueled 7,000 CEU car carrier joins CMA CGM

Climate change: ‘Ice bumps’ reveal history of Antarctic melting



(Editor – flashbacks in 3:26 min and 2:52 min videos) P R O T E C T E U R – C L A S S & I R O Q U O I S C L A S S

Canadian Corvettes Battle U-boat Wolfpacks in the Battle of Atlantic, WW2 – HMCS Sackville (Editor – eclectic 46:35 min video)

The Forgotten Story of How British Redcoats Took on Japanese Samurais (Editor – extraordinary events explained in a 16:54 min video)



2 March 2011  HMCS Charlottetown heads for Libya to provide humanitarian assistance.

3 March 1921  HMC Submarines CH-14 and CH-15 are commissioned into the RCN.  The submarines are H-Class ordered by the RN and built in the US.  They did not see action during WWI and were eventually gifted to Canada.  They were both scrapped and broken up in 1927.

4 March 1943  HMC Ships Shediac commanded by Lt John E. Clayton, RCNR with St. Croix commanded by LCdr A. Hedley Dobson,  DSC, RCNR sank the German submarine U-87 off the coast of Leixões in Portugal.

6 March 1944  HMC Ships St. Catharines commanded by LCDR Herbert C.R. Davis, RCNR, HMCS Chilliwack commanded by LCDR Clifton P. Coughlin,  RCNVR, HMCS Gatineau commanded by LCdr Harold V.W. Groos, RCN, HMCS Fennel commanded by A/LCdr William P. Moffat,  RCNVR, and HMCS Chaudière commanded by A/LCdr C. Patrick Nixon, RCN, assist Royal Naval warships in the sinking of the German submarine U-744 in the North Atlantic.

6 March 1945  The SS Green Hill Park was one of about 400 freighters built for the allied merchant navies by the Park Steamship Company which was owned by the Government of Canada.  On the 6th of March 1945, the Green Hill Park exploded, and burst into flames, in Vancouver harbour while loading cargo at the Canadian Pacific Railway pier.  The ship’s cargo included 85 or 95 tons of sodium chlorate, commonly used as a fertilizer.  One of the fertilizers, under certain conditions, could be a powerful high explosive.  Observers saw three explosions, and, initially, it was believed that portions of the ship’s cargo of sodium chlorate exploded.  However, it could have been due to ignition of fumes from the barrels of overproof whiskey located in her holds.  Her cargo also included six tons of flares.  Six longshoremen, and two seamen, lost their lives.  The ship was badly damaged but repaired.  After the war, she sailed under the Panamanian flag as the SS Phaeax II and later as the SS Lagos Michigan until scrapped in 1967.

7 March 1945  HMC Ships La Hulloise commanded by LCdr John Brock, RCNVR, with HMCS Strathadam commanded by LCdr Howard L. Quinn, RCNVR, and HMCS Thetford Mines commanded by LCdr John A.R. Allan, DSO,  RCNVR sank the German submarine U-1302 in St. George’s Channel (Irish Sea).

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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