naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 565 (NRS Albro Lake)

NAC News – Edition 565 (NRS Albro Lake)

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 17th, 2024

Edition: 565 NRS Albro Lake (Redesignated HMCS on 1 July 1956)

Quote: “Over the six war years, however, 126,000 Canadians were working in ninety shipyards, contributing to the construction of 4,047 naval vessels and 410 cargo ships.  The arrival of the government’s Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd. in 1941 pushed shipyard employment numbers to an annual high of 75,847 workers in 1943, largely centred in Quebec and British Columbia.”  Battle of the Atlantic – Gauntlet to Victory, page 305, Ted Barris, 2022

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)


Editor – next week’s NAC News edition will be delayed a day as I will be out of town for much of next week.

14 November 2024   Mark your calendars, here is the advanced notification for Vanguard Deep Blue Forum 2024 to be held at The National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5W1.



NATO Military Chief on How Countries Can Prepare for War, a Second Trump Presidency and More | WSJ (Editor – a must watch insightful interview in a 35:09 min video. Please share it around!) the Admiral mentions Article 3 of The North Atlantic Treaty (1949)

Canada could exceed NATO’s defence spending target after approval of planned projects, Blair says



The navy is looking at deploying ‘ghost fleets’ — warships that don’t need crews

22nd Royal Canadian Navy Command Chief Petty Officer Announced

HRH Princess Anne visits British Columbia (Editor – Princess Royal’s duties as Commodore-in-Chief of Canadian Fleet Pacific)

From Paper Charts to ECDIS: A Journey Through the Evolution of Marine Navigation (Editor – excellent explanation, note the author is NAC member Nigel Greenwood)

A TOTALLY normal day in the NAVY… (Editor – amusing/interesting 29:40 min video)

Rear-Admiral Hugh Francis Pullen: A legacy of naval excellence and philanthropy

Canadian Military Journal [Vol. 23, No. 4, Fall 2023] An AOPS That Can Fight? Patrol Ships for an Increasingly Dangerous World – Adam Lajeunesse

Canadian Armed Forces: Bloated Head (Editor – 5:28 min Esprit de Corps magazine video)

CAF Story | The Journey of a CANSOFCOM Supporter (Editor – CAF 2:02 min video)

Ottawa getting ready to ditch costly, error-prone Phoenix pay system

New $25M facility allows Canada’s ocean scientists, military to share research

The Role of Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Data for Arctic Navigation

Davie named Canada’s top defence company for 2024

Alberta Urges Trudeau to Head Off Port and Rail Strikes

Canada’s Department of National Defence wins 2023 Code of Silence Award

First cruise ship in five years makes a port stop in Nanaimo

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue No. 19, May 13, 2024

Trident:  13 May 2024, Volume 58, Issue 10 (Editor – includes article “HMCS Sackville heads to summer berth with NEP help”)

NAC Niobe paper No. 14 The Royal Canadian Navy and Naval Diplomacy  (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: May 13, 2024 (Editor – The pics alone are worth the look.  Pile of ships of Gaza)

HASC Chairman’s Mark Authorizes Second Virginia-class Submarine, Cuts $1B from Delayed Frigate Program

New Challenges for the Bering Strait (Editor – 4:39 min video)

USS Carney Returns to U.S. After Six Months of Houthi Attacks in Red Sea

US Navy Removes First 155mm AGS from USS Zumwalt at Ingalls Shipbuilding

HASC Mark Would Give Sailors Under E-6 Basic Housing Allowance (Editor – USN E6 or Petty Officer First Class is equivalent to RCN Petty Officer Second Class)

Approximately 30 Percent of Sailors Remain in Same Area Following New Billet Assignment, CNP Says (Editor – need “homeport divisions”)

No Shortage of Good Ideas to Address the Mariner Shortage

Brazilian Air Force Enhances Fleet with Upgraded P-3AM Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Pyle: Red Sea Operations Demonstrate Importance of Trainers for Surface Community

NTSB Preliminary Report on Baltimore Bridge Collapse Released and a lengthy 32:37 min video explanation Why Did Dali Lose Power in Baltimore? | NTSB Releases Preliminary Report while Controlled explosions set off on collapsed Baltimore bridge during cleanup (Editor – 30 sec news video) a better look What’s Next For Dali after They Demolish The Francis Scott Key Bridge on the Ship? (Editor – a 15:22 min video, interesting summary but the explosion is in the first 2 minutes)

Panama Canal Slowly Returning to Normal Operations and Panama Canal in Talks With US LNG Producers to Increase Transit



Canada Deploys CP-140 Aurora Aircraft to Japan to Support Implementation of Sanctions Against North Korea

U.S., Japan, Korea Coast Guards Sign Trilateral Agreement to Increase Maritime Cooperation

Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Leaves Japan for the Last Time

US to Deploy Triton Surveillance Drones in Japan This Month

Australia unveils record $37 billion defense budget and RADM Hughes on the future of the Royal Australian Navy (Editor – 10:32 min video)

Japan Shocks China by Revealing 5 Never-Before-Seen Weapons (Editor – 22:13 min video)

Manila accuses Beijing of island building in South China Sea

Record number of Chinese ships enter Taiwan waters near Kinmen island (Editor – see the map in the article for a Kinmen surprise (for me at least) and also Matsu Islands)

ESB Miguel Keith Drills with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force in East China Sea

Taiwanese naval drones won’t be able to sink our ships, mainland Chinese media says (Editor – Russia thought this too) yet they build China Builds World’s First Dedicated Drone Carrier

Work on 3rd Aircraft Carrier to start soon, more to follow, says Defence Minister (Editor – India)

Exclusive: U.S. and Taiwan navies quietly held Pacific drills in April

HMS Spey teams up with South Korean ships and aircraft to patrol Korean Peninsula

U.S. Destroyer Makes ‘Innocent Passage’ Past Chinese-controlled Island Chain in the South China Sea

Taiwan lawmakers to visit disputed South China Sea island

Amazing Tour Inside a Chinese Attack Submarine (Editor – detailed look at an older Kilo in a 17:49 min video)

China’s Biggest LNG Buyer Expands Fleet for Global Heft

India Inks 10-year Deal to Operate Iran’s Chabahar Port but Chabahar Port: US says sanctions possible after India-Iran port deal




Russia’s Black Sea fleet falls back amid staggering losses

Canada presses Germany to boost parts production as Ukraine struggles to field its Leopard tanks and Canada pitches in $76 million for ‘faster’ German air-defence systems in Ukraine (Editor – not naval but part of Canada’s contribution)

Shipments of liquefied gas from Russian Arctic could be stopped this summer


Vladimir Putin set to transfer Sergei Shoigu from Russian defence ministry

Strong navy is crucial to see off Russian and Chinese threats says British Admiral (Editor – Times Radio interview in a 10:27 min video.  A UK spin of a similar vein as the NATO Military Chief’s in “This Week’s Significant Articles”)

Cocaine Superhighway Brings Drugs and Violence to Europe (Editor – OMG)

Intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM Bulava RSM-56 officially in service with Russian Navy.

Royal Navy’s Multi Role Support Ship programme to go ahead (Editor – article from 2023 Multi Role Support Ships – the future of Royal Navy amphibious capability) plus Royal Marines to get six new ships which can launch drones and fire laser weapons

Kongsberg, partners to develop Norwegian and German super-sonic strike missile

Royal Navy invests in advanced simulators for ship-handling training (Editor – 2:42 min video)

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle successfully transfers Aster missile to BRF Jacques Chevallier and Aboard a Deployed Aircraft Carrier – FS Charles de Gaulle during NATO Mission Akila (Editor – fresh approach to making the deployment news worthy in a 16:20 min video)

Chinese Heavy Lift Vessel Carrying New Arctic LNG 2 Modules to Russia Despite Sanctions

Naval Exercises Intensify as Greece Aims to Prevent Russian Oil Transfers



Red Sea:

Yemen’s Houthis say They Targeted US Warship and Vessel ‘Destiny’ in Red Sea then EU Advises to Give Wide Berth and Zig-Zagging After Houthi Escalations

May 13 Red Sea Update

CSIS: Operations in the Red Sea: Lessons for Surface Warfare (Editor – 1:15:11 min video interview)

Admiral: Red Sea Crisis Shows Need for Low-Cost Air Defense


Combined Maritime Forces Support Joint Maritime Information Center

Crack in US-Israel alliance for first time in decades

U.S. Anchors Temporary Pier in Gaza with 2 Navy Destroyers Will Help Protect Military’s Gaza Aid Pier, Official Confirms

Israeli forces eliminate commander of Hamas’ naval unit in Gaza City



EU Naval Forces Capture Six Suspected Pirates in the Gulf of Aden

Look Inside the Well Docks of Amphibious Ships Around the World (Editor – part of what a honking big ship gives a nation in a 15:27 min video)

This Buoy Just Unlocked Unlimited Wave Energy (Editor – 12:27 min video)

Carnival Corporation, Seaspan Equip Entire Fleets with Starlink Internet (Editor – Starlink for Maritime Rates)



How Inertial Navigation Changed Air, Sea & Space Travel for Ever? (Editor – 14:52 min video)

Resolute desk



(Editor – this item is a late entry that should have been with last week’s edition.  A not inconsequential period of the eventual RCN’s history)

14 May 1914  The Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) is authorized as part of the RCN.  Nine years before the 1923 creation of the RCNVR, the Canadian government of Robert Borden embarked on the creation of a naval reserve.  The RNCVR was to consist of 1,200 men who agreed to serve in wartime with the RN or the RCN.  It was organized in three divisions: Atlantic, Lake or Central, and Pacific.  The cap tallies bore the initials RNCVR, a crown or crown & anchor and the name of the division.  Rank stripes of officers as well as the stripes on sailors’ collars were wavy.  The government, however, did little to organize the RNCVR and once WW1 broke out, did nothing on the grounds that any trained men who could be used as instructors would be urgently needed elsewhere.  Local initiative led to the creation of a half company in Victoria and a full company in Vancouver.  During WW1 8,000 officers and ratings joined the RNCVR for service at home or overseas, including those in the Overseas Division.  The RNCVR crewed 160 vessels, mainly patrol vessels protecting the shores around Canada and convoy escort duty.

19 May 1845  The HMS Erebus with its sister ship HMS Terror sailed out of the river Thames, carrying 128 officers and men under the command of Sir John Franklin.  Their mission: to locate and transit the fabled Northwest Passage, the long-sought pathway from Atlantic to Pacific through North America’s ice-strewn Arctic inlets.  It would take until September 2014, a search team to find wreck of Erebus, sitting in just 11 meters (36 feet) of water.  Two years later, another team found the almost-pristine wreck of Terror, in deeper water 30 miles from its companion.

19 May 1943 – SV Angelus sailed under the French tricolor for 19 years until on 11 May 1942 the ship was captured by the Canadian warship HMCS Prescott (K 161) whilst on the Grand Banks.  She was sunk by shellfire from U-161 south of Nova Scotia.  8 crew were killed.  (K161 captured her, and U-161 sank her)

20 May 1941 – The unescorted SS Rothermere (Newfoundland registry) was hit in the engine room by one torpedo from U-98 southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland.  The ship sank by the stern after being hit for a second time.  Rothermere had 18 crew members and three gunners killed.  32 crew members, one gunner and one passenger were picked up by the Icelandic steam merchant Bruarfoss and landed at Reykjavik.

21 May 1917  The Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) is established by Royal Charter.  Today the commission is responsible for the commemoration of 1.7 million individuals – and care for graves, cemeteries, and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories.  The Commission consists of six member countries – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.

21 May 1939  King George VI unveils the National War Memorial (known as “The Response”) in Ottawa.  In his address to an estimated 100,000 persons who gathered to witness the ceremony, King George spoke of the symbolism of the memorial and the sacrifice to which it was dedicated:  “The memorial speaks to her world of Canada’s heart.  Its symbolism has been beautifully adapted to this great end.  It has been well named “The Response.”  One sees at a glance the answer made by Canada when the world’s peace was broken and freedom threatened in the fateful years of the Great War.  It depicts the zeal with which this country entered the conflict.”

22 May 1931  HMCS Saguenay is commissioned at Portsmouth – one of the first ships built for the RCN.

24 May 1941   HMS Hood is sunk by the Bismarck in the Denmark Straits: three Canadian Midshipmen Christopher Norman (Victoria BC), Francis Jones (Revelstoke BC), Thomas Beard (Victoria BC), serving in the battle cruiser are killed.  All three midshipman were sons of RCN or Canadian Army officers.

24 May 1963   41 Sea King helicopters designated the CH-124 entered service with the RCN.  By the time it was retired from service 55 years later, in 2018, it had undergone a variety of modifications and role-changes. Throughout, it maintained its well-earned reputation as the workhorse of the fleet.  While most other navies only operated such large helicopters from aircraft carriers, the RCN embarked the Sea Kings on their helicopter-carrying destroyers (DDH).  To do so, Canada developed the “beartrap” hauldown system, which allowed the helicopter to land safely and quickly, even on a rolling deck.  Sea King helicopters were a critical element in nearly every naval operation at home and abroad.

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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