naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 555

NAC News – Edition 555

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 8th, 2024

Edition: 555 CFAV Tillicum (Editor – more to navies than just warships)

Quote:  “ To Prime Minister Lloyd George, it was simply unthinkable that the British public should know about the realities of war. “if the people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow”, he told the editor of the Manchester Guardian privately in December 1917.  But of course they don’t – and can’t – know.  The correspondence don’t write and the censorship would not pass the truth.”  Censorship and propaganda worked hand in glove, one shutting off unwelcome news while the other smoothed the public’s brow with stirring tales from the front.”  The Wolf, pg 44, Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen, Free Press, 2010

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)


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”.



Sweden officially joins NATO

Boeing secures $3.4B contract for Poseidon aircraft for Canada and Germany (Editor – 14 for the RCAF)

Three new polls suggest a growing number of Canadians want more money spent on defence



State of Canadian Armed Forces’ combat readiness growing worse, government report warns

Canadian leaders vow to be gentle in making defense-spending cuts and officially  DM/CDS Message: DND/CAF Departmental Plan 2024–25 and Spending Reductions

Chief of the Defence Staff Set to Retire

The Launch of the future HMCS Max Bernays (Editor – this 49 sec video event is 2 years old, but I thought it fun to highlight that MAX is leaving Halifax 11 March for a coastal transfer arriving Esquimalt 15 April.  Commissioning 3 May in Vancouver.  A look at the Harry DeWolf class in a 3:02 min video [ignore the odd video title])

2024 Naval Appointments

Editor – VAdm Topshee, Cdr RCN, welcomed HCapt(N) Jeff Topping to the RCN family as the newest Honorary Captain.  HCapt(N) Topping is the Senior Manager Restaurant Development at McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and is affiliated with HMCS Prevost, the Naval Reserve Division in London, Ont.  Honorary Captain Programme

Simulator training for Halifax class warship crews of the Royal Canadian Navy | Go Bold S2 Ep3 (Editor – 32:30 min video)

The last barrier broken (Editor – note 9 March 2001 entry in This Week in RCN/ Maritime History section)

Veterans Bursary Program

B.C. Ferries seeks better dry-dock access for repairs (Editor – or perspective About BC Ferries

HaiSea Marine: Stepping into the future

Impacts of underwater radiated noise may be underrated in the Juan de Fuca

Plastic fibres are a dangerous junk food for tiny ocean creatures

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale (Editor – These books have not been flying off the shelfs, not sure why not.  The RCN had purchased earlier books but not this one so far.  Have a look as they useful for interesting to certain age groups)

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 8, February 26, 2024

Trident: Monday 4 March 2024 Volume 58, Issue 5 note pg. 5 article “A “big deal” between significant milestones”

Change in items to NAC Niobe papers  Transparency in Military Procurement: It’s not Rocket Science – Ian Mack (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: March 4, 2024

Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress

Updated February 28, 2024 (Editor – here is a cheery 90 page read.  American perspective of course, but pertinent to little old Canada.  Excuse me Joe J)

Austal USA Delivers Second-to-Last Independence Littoral Combat Ship

Thales delivers first CAPTAS-4 sonar for the US Navy (Editor – follow on to last week’s written article a 6:31 min video)

Smugglers Run Aground While Trying to Flee Royal Navy and Royal Navy seizes nearly £300m of drugs in the Caribbean Sea

Pentagon abandons effort to scale down amphibious ship design

U.S. Navy Submarines: Soon To Become Drone Motherships?

Haiti’s main port closes as gang violence spirals

Catapulting a Cart that Skips on Water (Editor – 30 sec video) and then Meet USS Enterprise (CVN-80): The Next Generation Aircraft Carrier After USS John F. Kennedy (Editor – 5:08 min video)



Destroyer USS John Finn Transits Taiwan Strait

SNN Aukus at the back of the queue

Beijing condemns Manila’s Maritime Zones Act while Watch: Chinese boats fire water at a Philippine vessel (Editor – 50 sec video) ending in 4 Philippine Sailors Injured, 2 Vessels Damaged in Chinese Attempt to Block Second Thomas Shoal Resupply

China announces ‘excessive’ baseline in Gulf of Tonkin

China’s Naval Transformation, Beijing Builds US-Inspired Aircraft Carrier to Bolster Fleet

India boosts maritime security with MH-60R ‘Seahawks’ commissioning

Obituary: RADM Guy Griffiths (Editor – RAN)




Russian Patrol Vessel ‘Sunk’ Off The Coast Of Occupied Crimea, Ukraine Military Claims and narrated video version Project 22160 Sergey Kotov Sunk By Three Marine Drones! (Editor – 4:53 min video)

Ukraine’s ship killer specialists attacking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (Editor – 3:30 min video)

The Ukraine War in 2024 – The Military and Economic Balance of the Long War (Editor – not naval but a fascinating assessment in a 1:04:37 hr video)

Why This Small Carrier is Most Powerful Outside of the Supercarriers (Editor – fact filled 18:48 min video)

Time For U.S., Allies to ‘Double Down’ on Military Aid to Ukraine, Says Ambassador

ICC issues arrest warrants for top Russian commanders but of course Russia-Ukraine war: Moscow ignores arrest warrants for Putin commanders

Netherlands donates fast patrol boats and other forms of aid to Ukraine

Russia Banished From Membership in the Danube Commission


Western Navies Must Prepare for War on Two Oceans

Netherlands to Spend Billions on Ships to Boost Defense Capacity with Dutch Navy To Replace OPV And LPD With A Single Class Of Ships and Naval Group close to winning Dutch submarine replacement contract and last but not least Netherlands to renew fleet with four advanced air-defense Frigates

Sweden Joins NATO’s Largest Exercise, Steadfast Defender 2024, Marking a Strategic Shift in Defense Policy

As NATO forces move north for exercise, Northern Fleet sails out frigates

£560 Million investment to modernise nuclear submarine supporting more than 1,000 jobs with Extending the life of HMS Victorious

Damen and Saab agree on export of C-71 submarines

Behind the scenes on an attack submarine with Turkey’s TCG Anafartalar

Russian Oil Tankers Behave Strangely After Latest U.S. Sanctions and Unclaimed Arctic Gas Carriers Threaten Russia’s LNG Expansion

Situation around investigation into Nord Stream sabotage attacks farcical — Russian envoy

Latvia, UK and Canada project of testing facility for maritime autonomous operations

Robot ships: Huge remote controlled vessels are setting sail



Red Sea:

Cargo ship attacked by Houthis sinks off Yemen coast sadly Sunken Rubymar presents ‘imminent danger’ to marine ecosystems

Three Dead After Houthi Missile Attack on Bulk Carrier then Shipping Reacts to Fatal Attack on ‘True Confidence’

Containership owned by Switzerland-based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s biggest shipping company, was hit by a missile in the Red Sea on March 4, 2024.

Italian Warship Shoots Down Houthi Drone in Red Sea

HMS Diamond returns to Red Sea to guard shipping from Houthi drone attacks

Yemen’s Houthis Blame UK And US For ‘Glitch’ In Red Sea Undersea Cables but more likely ‘Rubymar’ Anchor Seen as Likely Cause of Severed Red Sea Cables


Maritime corridor to Gaza to begin at weekend – Von der Leyen with US to Build Temporary Port in Gaza to Deliver Aid

Bataan ARG, 26th MEU Heads Home After 8 Months Deployed

Iran Defies US Sanctions With Surging LPG Exports

Port Hamad played host to a number of warships at DIMDEX 2024 Naval Defense Event in Qatar

Suez Canal Head Says Egypt Studying Further Expansion of Waterway



Cable Attack: New Undersea Threat Is Starting To Reshape Naval Wars



The Greenwich Meridian’s Forgotten Rival (Editor – 12:09 min video)

HMCS COLUMBIA, The Sinking Of (Editor – 2:02 min video)

Collision HMCS Preserver and HMS Penelope (1988) (Editor – 7:29 min video)

Tour the HMCS Athabaskan (Editor – 2:47 min video) and HMCS ATHABASKAN Full Speed (Editor – 33 sec video) plus Canadian Navy HMCS Iroquois 280 in heavy seas (Editor – 28 sec video)

Fleet Fighter | Royal Navy pilot training movie (1942) (Editor – 45:18 min video)

Plimsoll at 200: the legacy beyond the load line



9 March 2001  RCN authorizes women to serve in submarines.

9 March 1945  HMCS Uganda arrives in Sydney, Australia, to join the British Pacific Fleet.

10 March 1944 A Sunderland from RCAF Squadron 422 sank U-625 west of Ireland.

10 March 1944  HMC Ships St. Laurent commanded by LCdr George H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR with HMCS Owen Sound commanded by A/LCdr John M. Watson, RCNR and HMCS Swansea commanded by A/CDR Clarence A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR assisted RN warships sink the German submarine U-845 in the North Atlantic.

12 March 1918  Lieutenant (RCN) William McKinstry Heriot-Maitland-Dougall (RCNC 1911–1914) at age of 23 years of age was in command of HMS D3 and was killed with his submarine’s crew of 29 off Le Havre, France.  HMS D3 was sunk in error by French dirigible AT-9, which could not see D3’s insignia because of the sub’s reflection off the waves and took her to be a U-boat firing upon it.  The French hadn’t been informed that D3 was assigned to their waters in the English Channel and were not aware that British submarines were identifying themselves with rockets as opposed to flashing lights.

13 March 1943 HMCS Prescott commanded by LCdr Wilfred McIsaac, RCNVR sank U163 off Cape Finisterre, the kill was originally credited to the submarine USS Herring.

13 March 1944 HMCS Prince Rupert commanded by LCDR Robert W. Draney, RCNR in a combined efforts of multiple allied ships and aircraft sank U575 off Cape Finisterre.

13 March 1945 – The SS Taber Park (a coal-fired steamship) was built in Pictou, Nova Scotia and was delivered to the Government of Canada (Park Steamship Company) on 28 August 1944. With a British crew and a cargo of softwood lumber, her first sailing was in the eastbound convoy HX-309, which departed Halifax on 18 Sep 1944. Shortly after her arrival in Grangemouth, Scotland, the ownership of the ship was officially transferred to the United Kingdom government “C + S.S. Division”.  The SS Taber Park had become a Collier, delivering coal (the life blood of coal-fired steamships in the Battle of the Atlantic) to ports in Northern Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland.  On 13 March 1945, the SS Taber Park, with a cargo of coal, was in convoy FS-1753 southbound in coastal waters from the Port of Tyne to the Thames estuary.  She was sunk about 7 nautical miles SE of Lowestoft, England, where the ocean depth was about 22 meters.  The historical records indicate some uncertainty regarding the cause.  The SS Taber Park might have hit a mine or have been torpedoed by midget submarine.  There were 28 casualties (including four DEMS gunners).  The only survivors were the Master and two crew members.

14 Mar 1923  Lt Frank Meade appointed C.O. of English Half Company in Montreal, the first RCNVR unit appointment; also A/Lt Alexandre Brodeur for the French Half Company, and on 15 Mar. Lt R.H. Yeates for the Hamilton Half Company.  During 1923 & ’24, 11 Units had C.O.’s appointed, although it took a while to establish the actual units in some cases.

14 March 1942 – SS Sarniadoc (Paterson Steamships Ltd, Fort William, Ontario), a Great Lakes ore carrier departed Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) on 9 March with a cargo of high value bauxite to be used in aluminum production for various weapons systems.  She briefly stopped in Port of Spain, Trinidad for fuel and provisions.  On 11 March, the ship continued to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her cargo of bauxite.  She would be refueling in St. Thomas and continuing to a North American port.  The U-161 log entry for 13 March records the first sighting of the Sarniadoc which was on a northern course at 6 knots.  The surfaced U-boat then maneuvered ahead for a night attack.  Four hours later with the target at range 1000 meters, the surfaced U-161 fired a single torpedo which “hit just before the aft smokestack, high water column with small fiery glow, apparently a boiler explosion… the tanker sank immediately after the hit.  No lifeboats.”  The master and 20 crew members went down with their ship, approximately 318 nautical miles due south of St Thomas

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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