naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 563 (HMC NRS Aklavik)

NAC News – Edition 563 (HMC NRS Aklavik)

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 3, 2024

Edition: 563  HMC NRS Aklavik Quote: “Veterans are the backbone, the spine, and sinew of who we are in this country.  One percent of you these days — one percent of you serves all the rest of us.  And the 99 percent who aren’t with you deserve to treat you with the dignity and respect in service that you deserve.  You’re the best of us, and we owe you.”  President Biden,  Remarks by President Biden on Supporting Veterans as Part of the Unity Agenda, 8 March 2022

(Editor – appropriate for Battle of the Atlantic Sunday – 5 May 2024

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”.



NATO chief chides Ukraine allies for delays that helped Russia

Not-So-Smooth Sailing: The Founding of Canada’s Naval Service (Editor – Timely Legion Magazine article)

Russia blamed for GPS interference affecting flights in Europe then Statement by the North Atlantic Council on recent Russian hybrid activities



Initial construction to begin in June on new Canadian warships (Editor – article just in time to celebrate a fine RCN weekend with 114th anniversary on Saturday, and the Battle of Atlantic Sunday!)

Battle of the Atlantic and Battle of the Atlantic, 1939 to 1945 (BoA Sunday 5 May 2024)

Homecoming for HMCS Max Bernays

The government’s defence policy update is a small step in the right direction—if it is actually implemented: Richard Shimooka in the Hub

A Defence Policy for Uncertain Times

Supreme Court rules military judges sufficiently independent from chain of command

Trudeau’s $25 Billion Trans Mountain Expansion Starts Commercial Operations however Port Constraints for Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline May Crimp Oil Exports

Military charges senior officer with making derogatory remarks about commanders, allies (Editor – this is unusual, being sent home under a career end cloud was customary)

Seaspan Marks 30 Years of Ship Repair Excellence in Victoria

Large vessels with a smaller footprint planned for new BC Ferries designs

Government hits Canada Life with financial sanctions

Kingston cruise operator threatens legal action over ongoing closure of LaSalle Causeway

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

Our Navy Today VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 3 (Editor – RCN monthly News)

VAC Salute April 2024 (Editor – note “Countdown to the 80th anniversary of D-Day” and Captain (N)(Ret’d) Harold (Hal) Richard Tilley, CD  [Great pic!])

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 17, April 29, 2024

Trident: Monday 29 April 2024, Volume 58, Issue 9

NAC Niobe paper No. 11 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles A Future Capability for the RCN by Commander Mark O’Donohue  (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 29, 2024

What is deterrence, and what is its role in U.S. national defense?

Dear Admiral, Bull Halsey Did Not Have A Recruiting Crisis – OPED (Editor – lessons here)

30 sailors and Marines injured in at-sea training mishap off Florida

Raytheon’s Hueber on SM-6, ESSM Block 2, Australia and US missile production (Editor – 6:44 min video)

Ocean Drones: A Revolution in Marine Robotics (Editor – good summary in a 4:44 min video)

Navy Air Defense Mission in the Red Sea Makes Case for Directed Energy Weapons, Says VCJCS Grady

Navy’s Triton UAV to Provide Targeting for LRASM

General Dynamics Lays Keel of Sixth US Navy Expeditionary Sea Base Ship

Northrop’s colossal Manta Ray underwater drone passes at-sea tests

Navy Elects to Fix USS Boxer Rudder with Divers, Repair Could Take 2 Months (Editor – why drydocks matter)

Inside US Navy’s Massive Indoor Ocean (Editor – 13:17 min video)

26 April – The Shipping Container

Argentina’s Rosario Grain Port Slips in Global Rankings Due to Drought

El Nino, Water Management Issues Blamed for Snarling Panama Canal



29 navies at 19th Western Pacific Symposium

Russia Shipping Oil to North Korea Above UN Mandated Levels

Chinese Warships Permanently Deployed at New Overseas Naval Base

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Fujian Leaves for First Set of Sea Trials

Chinese female carrier aircraft pilot trainees complete solo flights

New US Government chart outlines scope of China’s naval power

Manila says China obstructs, damages its ships at disputed shoal

Pakistan Navy’s first Hangor-class submarine unveiled in China

U.S., Pakistan Forces Complete Exercise Inspired Union 2024

UPDATED: Chinese Spy Ships Stalk U.S., Philippine and French Warships in South China Sea

A Deep Analysis Into Anti-Submarine Warfare (Editor – The link to this 15:24 min video was broken last week.  Enjoy.)




Why do the US and its allies want to seize Russian reserves to aid Ukraine? (Editor – not maritime, but an aspect with potentially significant impact)

First ten armoured vehicles promised to Ukraine to be delivered by summer, Blair says (Editor – not naval, but part of Canada’s contribution however late they may be)

NATO aid allows Ukraine to target ‘the one thing Russia would not want to lose’ | Sean Bell (Editor – 10:04 min video to ponder)

Where is #Russia’s Dark Fleet Tankers Going? (Editor – informative 40 sec video)


Two Major NATO Naval Exercises Underway

French carrier group under NATO command

Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Now in the Mediterranean Sea

UK wants next-generation defensive aids for Royal Navy submarines

Royal Navy to equip 19 ships with trainable decoy launchers

New U.S sanctions take aim at Russian Arctic shipping

As Russia’s “Syrian Express” Takes the Long Way Home, NATO is Watching



Red Sea:

UKMTO: Ship Damaged in Missile Attack in Red Sea

CIMSEC: Evaluating the naval response to the Red Sea crisis

CIMSEC: Panda Express: a proposed convoy operation in the Red Sea

CIMSEC: Naval interoperability and NATO’s naval presence: lessons from the Red Sea

Red Sea Diversions Spew Carbon Emissions Equal to 9 Million Cars

Houthis Claim Multiple Attacks in Red Sea, Indian Ocean

Containerships Absorb Red Sea Diversions as Schedule Reliability Improves


Gaza Aid From Cyprus Resumes After Pause Following Aid Worker Killings with Gaza Aid Pier Ready in Two to Three Weeks, US Says and Royal Navy landing ship RFA Cardigan Bay to support international effort to build Gaza pier

Iran Says Crew Of MSC Aries To Be Released

Shadow-Fleet Oil Tanker That Crashed Had Void Western Insurance while G7 Price Cap on Russian Oil ‘Increasingly Unenforceable’, Insurers Warn

Qatar Inks Record-Setting Shipbuilding Order with China for New LNG Carriers



Subsea Cable Damage Cuts Internet to Islands Off Africa Coast



U-537’s Secret Mission to Canada (Editor – 12:16 min video)

The Astronaut That Was Buried at Sea (Editor – 30 sec video)

Thomas Cochrane: The Real Master & Commander (Editor – 16:53 min video)

Titanic’s Strangest Feature #shorts (Editor – 30 sec video)

How Do You Paint Under The Keel Blocks? (Editor – another USS New Jersey battleship 4:16 min video)



4 May 1910  The Canadian Navy, in 1911 re-designated as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), is authorized after Royal assent is given to the Naval Service Act of Canada.

4 May 1911   Her Majesty’s Dockyard Esquimalt is transferred from British to Canadian authorities.

4 May 1943  A Canso from RCAF Squadron 5 sank U-209 in the North Atlantic, and a Wellington from RCAF Squadron 407 sank U-846 in the Bay of Biscay.

4 May 1945  The cruiser HMCS Uganda sails with an American task force to bombard Japanese airfields as part of the Okinawa campaign.

6 May 1944  HMCS Valleyfield, a frigate, is torpedoed and sunk by the U-548 in the Atlantic Ocean with a loss of 123 sailors.

7 May 1945 – The SS Avondale Park was built by Foundation Marine in Pictou, Nova Scotia and was delivered to the Government of Canada (Park Steamship Co.) on 15 May 1944.  With a British crew and a cargo of timber and pulpwood, her first sailing was eastbound in convoy HX-292 (132 merchant ships and 27 escorts) which departed Halifax on 22 May.  Shortly after her arrival in the Tyne coal mining port, on 10 June the ownership of the ship was transferred to the UK Ministry of War Transport “C. & S.S. Division, for Coastal Services” as a “coaster” collier to be managed by the Witherington & Etheridge Company. — A year later, in the early evening hours of 7 May 1945, with DEMS gunners manning her aft gun, the Avondale Park departed Methil (near Edinburgh, Scotland).  She was bound for Belfast in convoy EN-491 (5 merchant ships and 3 Royal Navy armed trawler escorts).  The convoy was only about 17 miles from Methil when the Avondale Park was sunk by the second of two torpedoes fired by U-2336.  A few moments later, the U-boat then sunk the Norwegian SS Sneland I with a single torpedo.  The only casualties were 2 crew members from the Avondale Park.  The Canadian SS Avondale Park and the Norwegian SS Sneland I were the final merchant ships sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic.  A signal had been sent to all U-boats on 4 May 1945 ordering them to surrender but U-2336 had not received the signal.

7 May 1989   The auxiliary minesweepers HMCS Anticosti (110) and Moresby (112) commissioned into the RCN for the fore coming of the Kingston class ships.  The grand plan was for the auxiliary minesweepers to gain experience, followed by the Kingston Class, and the third step was a purpose build mine warfare class.  Time, funding, and technological advances precluded this third step.  They two ships were paid off 21 Mar and 10 Mar 2000 respectively.

8 May 1942 – The SS Mont Louis (Hall Corporation of Canada, Montreal) was in transit from Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana (now Suriname) bound for Trinidad, with a cargo of bauxite for onward shipping to American and Canadian aluminum smelters.  Over the past two months, the Mont Louis had made six such round-trip deliveries of bauxite to Trinidad.  U-162 sighted the Mont Louis steaming without running lights.  The U-boat stalked the unescorted ship for about two hours until achieving the optimum range and aspect for targeting and fired a single torpedo which slammed into the engine room.  The U-boat commander’s log recorded that the explosion was followed by “dark black cloud development, which immediately enveloped the entire ship’s length”.  When the heavy smoke cleared, “nothing was seen of the steamer”. She was sunk about halfway between Paramaribo and Trinidad.  Thirteen crewmembers were killed.  hile obscured by the smoke, the master and seven crewmembers had successfully abandoned ship.  They were rescued by the Canadian two-masted schooner SV Mona Marie which landed them at Georgetown, British Guiana on 10 May.

8 May 1942  U Boat 553 is the first enemy submarine to enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence to attack Canadian shipping.

8 May 1967  The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act is given Royal assent and begins the process of unification of the previously separate RCN, Canadian Army, and RCAF.

9 May 1918  Lieutenant (RNVR) Rowland Bourke was commanding Motor Launch 276 when the events that would earn him a Victoria Cross occurred.  The British had attempted an operation to block the port of Ostend, Belgium so it could not be used by the Germans who were occupying it.  In the aftermath of the overnight daring but bloody naval assault, Bourke took his ship into the enemy harbour to look for any remaining survivors of the raid.  Lt Bourke was born in London, England and emigrated to Canada in 1902.  A naturalized Canadian he was the only Canadian Naval VC winner during WW1, and one of only four Canadian Naval VC recipients ever.  He is buried in Royal Oak cemetery Victoria BC.

9 May 1941  SS Esmond (Newfoundland registry) suffered no casualties after being torpedoed by U-110 and sinking between Iceland and Greenland.

9 May 1942  MV Calgarolite had nobody killed after being torpedoed by U-125 50 miles southwest of Grand Cayman Island, Caribbean.

10 May 1942  SS Kitty’s Brook (Newfoundland registry)  9 crew killed when hit by one torpedo from U-588 and sank 35 miles southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia.

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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