naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 556

NAC News – Edition 556

U-99 under construction

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 15th, 2024

Edition: 556 Quote: “A strong and successful Alliance depends on the support and understanding of its citizens.  NATO pursues this through tailored communications and engagement with a wide range of international media and key opinion formers, through digital outreach on multiple platforms, and through a clear and consistent brand identity. As well as explaining to citizens what NATO is and does, NATO also works to counter Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference, including disinformation.  NATO’s approach relies on fact-based and credible public communications.”  NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has released his Annual Report for 2023, 14 March 2024 (Editor – sage words, full report link in General Europe section)

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.

NEW 03-05 May 2024 Canadian Naval Air Remembers (CANAR).  Reunion to commemorate Canadian Naval Aviation.  From 1914 until today.  A memorial to involve all ranks, all services, civilians, and immediate family involved in shipborne/shore aviation roles.  For details of events, memorial, accommodations and administration check the following links: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and Shearwater Aviation Museum

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”.



Defence of Australia: An isolationist fantasy, old and tired dream we struggle to wake from (Editor – a wakeup call that has eerie similarities with Canada)

Growing number of Canadians anxious about state of Canada’s military, polls show (Editor – 5:44 min video) plus The Canadian Armed Forces is facing a CRISIS | Ret. Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve (Editor – 30:09 min video)



Poor State of CAF Readiness Raised at CDAI Defence Conference

Gen. Wayne Eyre’s speech advocating for openness on defence issues is now secret (Editor – bizarre given the NATO Secretaries General’s quote at the top of this edition)

Canada faces a series of ‘crises’ that will test it in the coming years, RCMP warns (Editor – not a maritime article, but domestic instability inevitably must affect the CAF)

Federal Fleet Services installs MARSS NiDAR Counter-UAS system on the Combat Support Ship Asterix (Editor – fascinating 36:37 min video)

US Navy Launches Operation Ice Camp in Arctic Ocean (Editor – note Canadian involvement) and Canada showcases ability to defend Arctic amid global tensions

NATO: Who is (and isn’t) paying their way? (Editor – starts slow and a bit quirky but useful for perspective in a 22:49 video)

Physician assistant pushes practice to new depths

Farewell CT-155: RCAF Retires Hawks, Halting Pilot Training Within Canada (Editor – the RCAF has its challenges too)

Military leaders ignored more than decade of sex misconduct allegations involving ‘Officer X’: report

Canada quietly marks 10 years since troops left Afghanistan

Military ditching aptitude test for some applicants, will start accepting recruits with medical conditions

Damage control training for sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy | Go Bold S2 Ep4 (Editor – 48:10 min video)

Parks Canada Offers Free Daily Admission for CAF Personnel, Veterans, and their Families

Discussion Paper on Canada’s Navigable Waters Act

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale (Editor – My new marketing expert gave me an improved sales pitch!  “NAC has children’s books for sale.  These books are a great way for children to learn about the navy and what it does.  The illustrations are wonderful, and the stories are fun.  And don’t forget to get a copy of the NAC graphic novel (“Hunter and Hunted: On Board a Canadian Corvette in the Battle of the Atlantic”) and learn all about what the RCN was doing in WWII.”)

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 10, March 11, 2024

Change in items to NAC Niobe papers Towards a Renewed Canadian Submarine Capability – Jeffrey F. Collins   (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 11, 2024

Venezuela now has more Iranian-made attack boats

Army Watercraft Depart for Gaza Port Mission, Navy Preparing East Coast Reserve Ship to Sail

New Navy Budget Seeks 6 Battle Force Ships, Decommissions 19 Hulls in FY 2025

Pentagon to release Arctic strategy that outlines tech, presence needs

SOUTHCOM Commander Warns of Risk of Chinese Investment in South America, Caribbean

US Navy’s CMV-22 Osprey fleet back in the air

How the US Navy’s new C-130s could end the world (Editor – something very different in a 8:49 min video)

New Anti-Drone Weapon & Boat vs. Barrier (Editor – two short video)

Pentagon Will Spend $1B on First Round of Replicator Drones

Oceanology International 2024: HII unveils UUV REMUS 130

Conrad to Build Another US Navy Berthing Barge

Labor Unions Propose Fees on Chinese-Built Ships Calling at U.S. Ports

U.S. Leads Global Oil Production for Sixth Straight Year

Panama Canal Increasing Daily Transit Slots Amid Improved Water Levels

US to pump $450 million into port infrastructure development

Royal Caribbean Suspends Stops in Haiti as Precaution Due to Civil Unrest (Editor – no brainer!)



Austal Australia delivers Guardian class patrol boat to Fiji Navy

1st MH-60R Squadron commissioned into Indian Navy

Philippines prepares to boost defence spending to $6.2bn by 2029

Japan Commissions Third Taigei-Class Submarine

One year along Australia’s optimal pathway to nuclear-powered submarines




Ukraine’s enhanced Sea Baby drone

RUSSIA – $300BN Frozen Russian Assets to be LIQUIDATED as USA & UK Demand Action is Taken (Editor – not a maritime story but pertinent to the war)

Ukraine’s New Weapon: Sweden-made Monstrously Powerful “CB90” Fast Assault Craft (Editor – 10:02 min video)

Why Ukraine Keeps Attacking This 12-Mile Bridge | WSJ (Editor – 4:38 min video)


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has released his Annual Report for 2023

Sweden hoists its flag at NATO and will join Canadian brigade in Latvia

Sweden’s First Task in NATO: Defend Key Island on Baltic’s Sea Lanes

Oslo ups defence spending to 2 % of GDP

NATO task groups come together off Norway coast with Nato flexes its muscles as huge 15-ship formation is led by Royal Navy aircraft carrier (Editor – recce potpourri in a 1:08 min video)

Russia requests UNSC meeting on Nord Stream blasts

Türkiye’s first national frigate fires first missile from indigenous VLS

Denmark to start conscripting women for military service (Editor – unusual step)

Terrifying! Putin Visits New Tu-160M Bomber Factory (Editor – a plane with serious anti-ship capabilities 8:34 min video) and Russia ready to use nuclear weapons if threatened, Putin tells state media

The Royal Navy’s future vision for the underwater battlespace

thyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ New Submarine Production Facility in Kiel (Editor – another boat and support infrastructure for Canada to consider)

DragonFire – UK Laser Directed Energy Weapon shoots down a drone (Editor – RN 3:34 min video)

Russia Replaces Navy Chief, Fontanka Reports

Why QE Carriers are Considered a PART-TIME Fleet (Editor – disheartening 18:32 min video)



Red Sea:

IMF PortWatch: Suez Canal Trade Cut in Half

Red Sea: US, UK and French destroy dozens of Houthi drones

U.S. Forces Strike Back After Houthi Attack on Merchant Vessel

Missile Woes For German Navy Amid Red Sea Operation (Editor – missilery is both demanding of people skills and technically complex, lessons to learn here)

Gaza Pier Announced by the US | How the US Military Builds a Pier | Joint Logistics Over the Sea (Editor – 31:58 min video) and then a few days later US Army Sets Sail on Some Slow Boats to Gaza


China, Iran and Russia stage joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman

Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 seizes 770 kg of methamphetamine in the Arabian Sea

DIMDEX 2024: Unmanned systems and counter drone solutions (Editor – 10:52 min video)

Qatar’s Al Zubarah-class corvette Damsah at DIMDEX 2024 (Editor – well armed corvette in a 4:38 min video) and Fincantieri to Support Qatar’s Naval Training

Royal Navy minehunting force in the Gulf looks to the future with autonomous systems (Editor – 4:43 min video)



Bulk Carrier ABDULLAH Hijacked in Indian Ocean then Hijacked Bulk Carrier Arrives Off Somali Coast

60 migrants die in dinghy in Mediterranean, survivors say



USS Monitor – From Angry Raft to National Treasure (Editor – 1:46:45 hr video)

Canadian Destroyer Escort, HMCS Annapolis DDH 265 – AC Fuel Replenishment from USS Abraham Lincoln (Editor – this 15:25 min video will jog some memories, love the radar sweep interference)

Former HMCS Porte Dauphine for Sale



16 March 1941 – SS J.B. White (Atlantic Transportation Company Ltd, Montreal), with a cargo of 2500 tons of steel and 4500 tons of newsprint, was one of 41 ships in the slow convoy HX-112, on route from Halifax to Liverpool.  On the night of 15/16 March 1941 and about 215 nautical miles SE of Iceland, the convoy came under an attack by five U-boats. However, U-99, was the only U-boat to succeed in sinking any of the ships. U-99 sank the SS Venetia, Motor Tanker Ferm, Motor Tanker Beduin, MV Korshamn and the SS J.B. White.  Two crew members from the J.B. White were killed.  The 38 survivors were rescued by HMS Walker.   The next day, on 17 March, HMS Walker and HMS Vanoc disabled and brought the U-99 to the surface.  39 of the crew surrendered and became POWs.  The engineering officer and two of his men lost their lives when opening valves to scuttle their boat.

17 March 1945  HMCS Guysborough, a Bangor-class minesweeper, was sailing alone in the Bay of Biscay off Ushant when she was hit with an acoustic torpedo from U-868.  It was early evening when she was hit, but Guysborough did not sink immediately and a second torpedo in the late afternoon at took Guysborough to the bottom.  Two crew members were killed instantly in the explosions, the remaining crew abandoned ship onto five Carley floats because the ship’s motor cutter and the whaler were unusable.  The survivors lashed four floats together and this became a temporary raft for 48 men.  The fifth Carley float was overcrowded and drifted away.  Guysborough was able to send a distress signal, but it took 19 hours for the frigate, HMS Inglis to arrive.  In total, 49 men died of injuries or from exposure – 36 on the overcrowded raft.  Two RCNVR sailors were recognized posthumously for their actions with Mentioned in Dispatches.

19 March 1941  Lt R.J.C. Pringle, RCNVR, appointed C.O. of HMCS Suderöy V, first RCNVR officer in command of an HMC Ship, a requisitioned Norwegian trawler.

20 March 1943 – World War II – UK destroyer commissioned into RCN as HMCS Griffin; 3 weeks later, renamed HMCS Ottawa; second of four now so named. Halifax, Nova Scotia

20 March 1945  HMCS New Glasgow commanded by LCDR Ross M. Hanbury, RCNVR was rammed by accident by U-1003 while snorkelling.  The boat severely damaged her snort and conning tower, and part of New Glasgow’s hull plating and her port propeller.  U-1003 limped seaward, but by the next morning of 21March had to abandoned and the crew took to the life rafts, where they were found the next day.

22 March 1944 – SS Watuka (Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Company, New Glasgow, NS) with a cargo of 1998 tons of coal, was one of five ships transiting from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Halifax in an unescorted convoy SH-125.  The five ships departed Sydney on 21 March.  The ships were approaching Halifax when U-802 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the overlapping ships and an acoustic torpedo was fired at one of the ships.  Three detonations were heard but only Watuka was hit and she sank 15 nautical miles SE of Halifax.  Two crew members were killed. However, the master, 22 crew members and two gunners were picked up by the trawler HMCS Anticosti.

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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