naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 562 (CFAV Firebrand)

NAC News – Edition 562 (CFAV Firebrand)

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of April 26th, 2024

Edition: YTR 562  CFAV Firebrand  Quote: “There’s an awful lot of this Israeli government that wants a conflict with Iran, that sees this as their chance to perhaps get rid of the Iranian nuclear program or to get the United States involved.”  15 April 2024, Bruce Riedel, The Washington Post

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)


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”.



Princess Anne’s B.C. itinerary includes overnight trip on new navy ship



Royal Canadian Navy Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Unmanned Aircraft System

CGAI podcast: Budget 2024 & Optimizing Defence Procurement (Editor – 1:45:47 hr podcast)

How Many WW2 Veterans Still Alive 2024? (Editor – I could not help but think during the introduction of recently deceased and wonderful 103-years young life-time NAC member Peter Chance – a 9:00 min video)

Canadian military to destroy 11,000 Second World War-era pistols

Denmark’s Arctic, North Atlantic focus: Canada among new defence attaché posts

Steerprop to provide propulsion package for Canadian Coast Guard’s MPVs

Navy Bike Ride open for registration

Port of Vancouver experiencing a surge in intermodal congestion

Great Lakes Museum opens with its new exhibit ship S.S. Keewatin

Editor – HMCS Sackville will cold move to her downtown berth 1 May 2024.

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 16, April 22, 2024

NAC Niobe paper No. 10  Crewing the Canadian Surface Combatants (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: April 22, 2024

US prepares to exempt AUKUS nations from ITAR

US Coast Guard commissions newest national security cutter

USS George Washington to Depart for Japan via South America

CIMSEC: Make ASW Joint: integrating the joint force into full spectrum ASW

CIMSEC: Asymmetric naval strategies: Overcoming power imbalances to contest sea control

Why Warships Cannot Reload Missiles at Sea (Editor – 14:50 min video)

HD HHI signs $463 million contract to build four warships for Peruvian Navy

HII delivers Virginia class submarine USS New Jersey to Navy

Chile’s New Icebreaker Prepares to Enter into Service

Raytheon to develop two Standard Missile types with better targeting

US Navy embarks Mine Countermeasures USV on USS Canberra for 1st time

Navy looks to apply jet readiness gains to surface ship fleet

Baltimore Bridge Wreck Removal: Trapped Ships Depart while Dali owners using historic maritime law in attempt to offset salvage costs in Key Bridge collapse (Editor – 1:48 news min video)

A Holistic Approach to Commercial Maritime National Security | Sal Hosts @Sea-Air-Space 2024 (Editor – roundtable in a 1:05:18 hr video)

Hypervelocity Projectile (HVP) at Sea Air Space 2024 (Editor – a wow kinetic weapon! 3:45 min video) and the gun to fire it The Mark 45 (Mk 45) Naval Gun System | FIVE INCH FIREPOWER (Editor – 19:08 min video.  Not the same gun as CSC has but the same size.  5 inch = 127 mm)

V-BAT (Editor – 30 sec video)

Lack of Free San Diego Dry Docks Complicates USS Boxer Repair

Colombia to recover $23-billion cargo from “holy grail of shipwrecks”

U.S. Inbound Containers Surge to Start 2024



China Hosts Foreign Naval Officials Amid South China Sea Tensions with Admiral Moiseev signs MoU with Chinese navy

Singapore’s fourth Invincible-class submarine launched and Fourth Invincible Class Submarine (Type 218SG) For Singapore (Editor – 2:04 min video)

Balikatan 2024 Drills Prioritize South China Sea, Luzon Strait

$53b+ for Navy development and First RAN officers assigned to US Virginia-class submarines

COMSUBPAC Holds Undersea Warfare Commanders’ Conference in Pearl Harbor

U.S. 7th Fleet Holds Change of Command, Welcomes New Commander

US Navy to Turn Pacific Oil Rigs Into Mobile Military Bases to Counter China

Japan navy helicopters: Crew missing after deadly Pacific crash

Ten dead as navy helicopters collide mid-air in Malaysia

China Is Building the Type 076 LHD: Its Special Aircraft Carrier (Editor – interesting look in a 14:03 min video)

India delivers first batch of BrahMos to Philippines

China has reportedly made progress on a laser-powered submarine project

A Deep Analysis Into Anti-Submarine Warfare (Editor – interesting wander through ASW in a 15:24 min video)

Oil Supertankers Headed For China Jump To The Highest In A Year




Ukraine Strikes Russia’s Kommuna Submarine Rescue Ship With Neptune Missiles however she’s a tough old lady and Russia’s Historic Submarine Rescue Ship Looks Undamaged After Claimed Strike

U.S. secretly sent long-range missiles to Ukraine for its fight with Russia with missile details ATACMS: The Himars Missile Upgrade Ukraine Desperately Wants | WSJ Equipped (Editor – 7:32 min video)

UK: Prime Minister announces delivery of 60 boats to Ukraine

Ukrainian Expatriate Engineers Develop Torpedo-Armed Sub


6th Astute class submarine, HMS Agamemnon formal naming ceremony (Editor – Nelson would smile, a 1:42 min video)

French Carrier Charles De Gaulle Leaves on Deployment

Moscow says it will build drone bases along Arctic coast

Wildcat and Martlet: The combination providing a ring of steel around warships

Bulgarian Navy to restore minelaying capability in transport ship conversion

Video: Italian Police Find $27M of Cocaine in Vessel’s Sea Chest



Red Sea:

Shipping Industry Issues Plea to UN to Protect Maritime Security and Seafarers

Houthis Claim Fresh Attacks After Brief Hiatus then Houthis Attack US-flagged container vessel Maersk Yorktown

Greek frigate Hydra shoots at a drone but misses another in Red Sea

HMS Diamond makes first Sea Viper anti-ballistic missile kill in action in the Red Sea


Combined Maritime Forces Hosts 2024 Maritime Security Conference

CTF 150 Commander meets with Indonesian Navy colleagues (Editor – Capt (RCN) Colin Matthews is Commander of Combined Task Force 150)

Finland Joins World’s Largest Maritime Security Partnership

Gaza pier: US begins building floating base to boost aid unfortunately USNS 2nd Lt John P Bobo Has Engine Fire and Aborts Gaza Mission | Status of Other Ships (Editor – 18:43 min video)

Iranian Spy Ship MV Behshad Returns Home After 3 Years At Sea After Regional Tensions Escalate



Mercy Ships to Build New Hospital Ship

Seized Ship’s Cargo Reveals Impact of Iran Tensions on Global Trade



Titanic animation Sinking simulation 1995 (Editor – great explanation why the debris field in a 1:55 min video)

How to Build a Battleships Main Guns – Is a Bigger Battery Better? (Editor – 39:15 min video)

U-47 Strikes Britain: The Raid on Scapa Flow and the Sinking of HMS Royal Oak, 1939 (Editor – 13:04 min video)

The Mariner’s Mirror podcast: The Dreadnought Hoax (Editor – 42 min podcast)



28 April 1818  U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Convention, signed April 28 and 29, 1817, making it a lawful treaty of the United States; limits naval forces on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Washington, DC

29 April 1941  Lt A.G.S. Griffin appointed C.O. of HMCS Pictou, first RCNVR of an operational escort warship.

29 April 1944  German torpedo boat T-24 sinks HMCS Athabaskan commanded by A/LCdr John H. Stubbs, DSO, RCN who was killed in action; 128 lose their lives and 86 are captured.

29 April 2020  Crash of RCAF CH148 Cyclone flying from HMCS Fredericton as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under Operation REASSURANCE crashed into the Ionian Sea, killing four members of the RCAF and two members of the RCN: Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Brenden MacDonald, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, and Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke.

30 April 1884  Victoria coal baron Robert Dunsmuir starts building the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Railway, later known as the Vancouver Island Railway, to support the coal and lumber industry, and the Royal Navy Base at Esquimalt Harbour; on August 13, 1886 John A. Macdonald will drive home the last railway spike at Cliffside near Shawnigan Lake.

30 April 1941 The passenger /cargo ship SS Nerissa was pressed into service as a troopship.  Her home port became Halifax.  Her accommodation was increased from 229 to 250 passengers, and she was fitted with guns.  In her 6 eastbound crossings to the UK, many of the passengers were Canadian and Newfoundland armed forces plus civilians, refugees, and Merchant Navy seamen.  Convoy escort protection had been provided for 7 of her 12 transits through the most dangerous Western Approaches.  On her 13th wartime crossing originated in Halifax, she was eastbound for Liverpool via St John’s Newfoundland.  Embarked were: 105 (British, Newfoundland and Canadian) crew members, 152 armed forces, 14 American volunteer Air Transport Auxiliary pilots and 20 civilians.  Her cargo was: 1,872 Tons of general items, 574 Tons of Aluminum, 352 Tons of ammunition shells, and 251 Tons of trucks (Canadian Army ambulances).  Nerissa was sailing independently and was sunk by U-552, about 80 nautical miles northwest of Ireland and about a half-day from Liverpool.  Of the ship’s eight lifeboats, only one was successfully launched, one was upright but flooded, four were capsized and two were pulled down with the ship.  The next morning on the 1st of May, only 84 survivors remained alive to be rescued by HMS Veteran.  The sinking resulted in the third largest loss of life for a ship sunk by U-boats in the approaches to the British Isles.  The 207 casualties were: 81 Merchant Navy; 10 RCN; 73 Canadian Army; 4 Royal Navy; 8 RAF; 3 Royal Norwegian Air Force; 11 American ATA pilots; 3 National Defence staff; and 14 civilians (including 3 children).  Worthy of mention the sinking of the Nerissa is considered the Canadian Logisticians Darkest Day.  Forty-four military logisticians: one Pay Commander, Francis R.W. Nixon, RCN (age 37); 33 Corps of Military Staff Clerks; three Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps; three Royal Canadian Army Service Corps; and one Royal Canadian Ordnance Corp…and three National Defence HQ civilian auditors were killed.

30 April 1943  The Flag Officer Atlantic Coast, Rear-Admiral Leonard Murray, RCN became the only Canadian to command a Theatre of War during WWII under the title of Commander-in-Chief Canadian Northwest Atlantic.  In doing so he became Commander-in-Chief of the area from the Gulf of Maine to Baffin Island, ranging out to mid-Atlantic, and thereby took control of all shipping movements in the western North Atlantic.

1 May 1942 – The four-masted schooner SV James E. Newsom (Zwicker Geldert Shipping Co Ltd, Halifax, NS) was sailing independently from Turks Island, via Barbados with a declared cargo of sugar cane molasses, bound for St. John’s Newfoundland.  The sails of a schooner on a northwesterly course were first sighted by U-69 (the first of the 568 Type VIIC class U-boats commissioned during the war) and the boat maneuvered ahead of the ship and at 17:28, started shelling the schooner with high explosive and incendiary rounds from the 3.5 inch deck gun followed by rounds from the 20 mm AA gun until the ship sank at 18:03 about 370 nm NE of Bermuda.  The Master and 8 crewmembers abandoned ship in a lifeboat and made it to Bermuda.

1 May 1945  HMCS Uganda, on service in the Pacific, bombards air bases on the Sakishima Islands and comes under kamikaze attack by two Japanese planes.

1 May 1961  415 Maritime Patrol Squadron is reformed at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, flying Argus maritime patrol aircraft.

1 May 2002  HMCS St. John’s joins the Canadian Naval Task Group, part of the multinational anti-terrorism campaign in the Persian Gulf.

2 May 1945  During an air strike in the Kattegat four Mosquito aircraft of RCAF Squadron 404 provided aircover while RAF Squadrons 143, 235, 248, and Norwegian Squadron 333 attacked with rockets and sank U-2359.

3 May 1937   A Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) half-company was authorized in Thunder Bay (Port Arthur at the time) and later developed into HMCS Griffon, the current local Naval Reserve unit.

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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