naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 567 (HMC NRS Aldergrove)

NAC News – Edition 567 (HMC NRS Aldergrove)

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of May 31th, 2024

Edition: 567 HMC NRS Aldergrove  Quote:  “The commissioning of a ship is a critical milestone, as it represents its official welcome into the Royal Canadian Navy and signifies that it is available for unrestricted service.  I commend the tremendous dedication of the captain and crew of HMCS William Hall, who have successfully completed months of trials and training to be ready for this moment.  Our fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel now stands ready to protect our Arctic waters and Canada’s maritime interests.” VAdm Angus Topshee, Cdr RCN.

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)


NEW 30 October 2024.  Seaspan is pleased to announce their upcoming National Shipbuilding Strategy Industry Day, in partnership with the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI).  It will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  More details to come for those who register.

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.



Editor – This one deserves to be highlighted again.  NAC Naval Affairs team has finalized and published the excellent paper titled “Canada in Extremis – Rebalancing the Canadian Armed Forces and Rebuilding the Canadian Navy”.  A great read and useful for making Canadians aware of the need for the RCN, share this paper as widely as you can!



It’s time for Canada to ‘step up’ on military spending, U.S. senator says (Editor – ironically Canadians dislike being told what to do by their “neighbour”, includes a 9:37 min CBC interview video)

Royal Canadian Navy launched its fifth new Arctic and offshore patrol ship, HMCS Frédérick Rolette (Editor – 1:46 min video)

Defence Team News | 30 May 2024 (Editor – HMCS Charlottetown showcased in a 1:54 min video)

Delivering the new Protecteur-Class to the Royal Canadian Navy

Seaspan Shipyards Unveils Digital Model of Canada’s Heavy Polar Icebreaker

Canada purchasing 16 new fighter jets out of current budget, minister says

Richard Shimooka: Canada’s military is in crisis. Here’s what’s definitely not helping

5% of women at military colleges report being sexually attacked and Man gets three years for ‘vile, violent, degrading’ sexual assault in CFB Esquimalt dorm

Opinion: Time to Enforce the Polar Code in Canada’s Arctic Waters (Editor – a few holes and inaccuracies in this glass half-empty opinion.  After attending the excellent Nautical Institute BC branch’s Maritime Arctic Conference (2/3 May) it’s clear that TC and the CCG have a much better handle on the situation that this article infers)

Soldiers leaving Canadian Forces over ‘toxic leadership’, top adviser warns

Correcting the record on Stoker 1st Class Verne LeRoy Turner’s cause of death

From Paper Charts to ECDIS: A Journey Through the Evolution of Marine Navigation (Editor – great paper by NAC member Nigel Greenwood)

Government of Canada awards 2 contracts for Canadian Coast Guard’s Multi-Purpose Vessels (Editor – I missed this article from March)

Public service Supplementary Death Benefit receives long-awaited update

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale

Lookout: 21 May 2024 Volume 69, Issue 20

Trident: Monday 27 May 2024 Volume 58, Issue 11 with VAdm Andrew Laurence Collier: A life of service and devotion

NAC Niobe paper No. Personnel Vulnerabilities in the RCN by Lieutenant-Commander Fraser C. Gransden  (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 28, 2024

First woman to lead US Navy reflects on her career milestones (Editor – 6:43 min news video)

Kongsberg completes demonstrations of HUGIN AUV for US Navy

China, Russia Trying to Infiltrate US Military Bases: Navy Admiral

Senators Quiz Navy Leaders on Proposed Sea-Launched Nuclear Cruise Missile

Constellation Frigate ‘Unplanned Weight Growth’ Could Limit Service Life, Says GAO and Navy Frigate: Unstable Design Has Stalled Construction and Compromised Delivery Schedules plus Navy Frigate and Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Face Similar Design Challenges

Japan-Based Chief Petty Officer Sentenced to 18 Years for Attempted Espionage

Coast Guard Crew Offloads $468 Million Worth of Cocaine in San Diego

Ecuadorian Coast Guard Vessel Sinks After Busting Smuggling Boat

The America’s Next Super Aircraft Carrier – USS John F. Kennedy (Editor – 8:01 min video)

Panama Canal Increases Maximum Draft Ahead of Schedule

Judge dismisses felony convictions of 5 retired military officers in US Navy bribery case



This Island Holds the Secrets to China’s Massive Naval Expansion | WSJ (Editor – informative 8:45 min video)

Drills of PLA, CCG continue around Taiwan island

Chinese vessels maintain presence in East China Sea near disputed Senkaku Islands for record 158 days

China’s Type 076 Is Shaping Up To Be A Monster Amphibious Warship (Editor – larger than USS America)

Chinese, Cambodian sailors conduct maritime live-fire drill during “Golden Dragon-2024” joint exercise

Memorial plaque installed near sunken US sub in La Perouse Strait (Editor – nice gesture, strange timing)

U.S. carrier group enters South China Sea amid Taiwan tensions

The facts about Australia’s nuclear submarine program while Australia Forms Consortium to Design Nuclear Submarine Yard in Osborne

US Submarine tender anchors in Australia

Taiwan Revives Indigenous Frigate Program Featuring US-Made Radar

Japan reports first sighting of new PLA combat drone over East China Sea

China Launches 10th Type 055 Vessel, Increases Production At Dagushan




Biden gives Ukraine permission to carry out limited strikes within Russia using US weapons with France’s Macron urges a green light for Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with Western weapons (Editor – the sabres are rattling)

Russian Cargo Ship Hits Train Bridge Supplying Crimea

War Risk Insurance Challenges in the Wake of Russia-Ukraine War

EU Weighs Proposal to Sanction Russian Oil Tanker Insurer Ingosstrakh


Sweden’s NATO Membership Unlocks the Baltic Sea for Alliance, Ends 200 Years of Neutrality and The Baltic Sea explained (Editor – a 12:32 min video for perspective) then Sweden Builds Naval Outputs To Add Value For NATO

An Anglo-French Deterrent for European NATO — But Everyone Has to Pay while

SNLE-3G: France’s Next Generation SSBN Submarine Begins Construction (Editor – 5:50 min video)

French Charles De Gaulle Carrier Strike Group Finishes Mediterranean Deployment

NATO ships counter ‘hybrid threats’ during mine exercise

The nuclear legacy of the Russian Arctic (Editor – what a nightmare)

Cavour / The multi-purpose aircraft carrier of the Italian Navy (Editor – 14:07 min video)

French Navy increases arsenal with EXOCET missiles upgrade

Fincantieri Launches 10th FREMM Frigate for the Italian Navy

New sea trials for Russian Navy Lada class submarine Velikiye Luki.

Progress report – Royal Navy Maritime Aviation Transformation

Royal Netherlands Navy Selects High Eye’s Airboxer VTOL UAV

French naval training ships dock in Limerick for first time since 1691

UK’s new UAV killer uses 13-cent radio energy shots to destroy drones (Editor – less than a mile at sea is point-blank.  The urge to use other systems earlier will remain)



Red Sea:

Houthis Claim Attacks on Six Ships in Red, Arabian, and Mediterranean Seas

Bulk Carrier Hit by Missiles in Red Sea and Greek bulk carrier Laax damaged after being struck by three Houthi missiles

IMO Members Adopt Resolution Condemning Attacks in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (Editor – Yemen is an IMO member, but don’t control the Houthis area. The Resolution quote “appealed to any party with influence over the Houthis to use it to halt the attacks.”)

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan deploys for Red Sea to relieve HMS Diamond


US Gaza pier knocked out of action by heavy seas and Has the Gaza Pier Been Beached? | Army Watercraft come ashore off Gaza and Israel (Editor – JLOTS details explained in a 23:49 min video) Gaza Pier Sections Now in Israel Port City for Repairs, Two Army Watercraft Recovered



Sudan offers naval base to Russia in exchange for weapons

Better shipyard capacity key to building, refitting 3,500 green ships by 2050

EU naval forces liberate cargo ship, crew following failed pirate attack off Somalia



Fort Stikine and the Great Bombay Explosion (Editor – 14 April 1944 – Horrific explosion of ship and subsequent Bombay harbour fire that resulted in 700 lives lost as fires raged for three full days.  Stikine was one of the 198 Fort Class cargo ships built in Canada during WW2 for use by the UK under the Lend-Lease scheme.)

CIMSEC: Sea Control 523 – the boats of Cherbourg with Abraham Rabinovich (part 1) (Editor – 24:08 min podcast recounts the story of the Israeli Navy’s first squadron of missile boats, as well as the first missile battles at sea.)

Getting Ready to Refloat and Move the Ship To Paint Under the Blocks: Drydock Update 10 (Editor – lteats on USS New Jerseys docking in a 6:43 min video)

The World’s First Commissioned Aircraft Carrier #shorts (Editor – 1 min video)

The Forgotten Fleet: The British Pacific Fleet (Part 1) (Editor – 15:26 min video and) The Forgotten Fleet: Operation Iceberg (Part 2) (Editor – 23:15 min video)



June 1943 (the exact date is unknown) Commander Isabel Macneill OC, OBE, WRCNS as a LCdr and one of the graduates of the first course, was appointed commanding officer of Conestoga the navy’s shore establishment in Galt (now part of Cambridge, Ontario.  She was the first female to command an HMC “Ship” (a commissioned shore establishment with the HMCS designation is referred to as a “stone frigate.”) in the British Commonwealth during the war.  Macneill was responsible for the training of nearly 6,000 Wrens during the war.  In 1945, HMCS Conestoga was closed and Macneill was appointed a Staff Officer Wrens to the Commander Atlantic Coast.  In 1954, the navy decided it would create a permanent female component of the RCN and called upon Macneill to assist.  The following year Cabinet approved the motion and, for the first time in any of the Commonwealth’s navies, women were formally integrated into the regular force.  In 1957, Macneill left the RCN for the last time.

1 June 1758  Vice Admiral Edward Boscawen of the Royal Navy arrives at Gabarus Bay, 10 km west of Louisbourg, just after midnight in dense fog from Halifax, Nova Scotia; with thirty-nine warships, supply ships and ten transports, crowded with 13,000 regular troops, Highlanders, light infantry, rangers, and colonial militia.  The expedition is commanded by Maj Gan General Jeffery Amherst, with his field commander, Brig Gen James Wolfe; the British do not attempt to land troops until June 8 because of heavy surf.

1 June 1759 – A British fleet, under Admiral Saunders, leaves Louisbourg for Quebec carrying James Wolfe and his army.

1 June 1831  Sir James Ross first discovers the position of the North Magnetic Pole on the west coast of Boothia Peninsula; takes possession of the North Magnetic Pole and adjoining territory in the name of King William IV, and erects a cairn; spends his third Arctic winter in Victoria Harbour. Boothia, Nunavut

1 June 1840  Samuel Cunard navigates his 700-ton wooden paddlewheel steamer Unicorn to Halifax; after two-week trip from Liverpool with 27 passengers.

1 June 1876  The Royal Military College of Canada opens in Kingston, Ontario, with a class of eighteen cadets.

1 June 1941 HMCS Bytown is commissioned as a depot ‘ship’ created to allow RCN personnel in Ottawa, to be paid.  All uniformed personnel needed to be borne on the books of a ‘ship’ for accounting purposes, even if they were serving at a shore establishment.  This is a tradition held over from the Royal Navy, and these ships are often referred to as “Stone Frigates”.  Bytown served in this role for the Naval Service Headquarters (NSHQ), and the Ottawa Half-Company, the Naval Reserve Division that became HMCS Carleton on 1 November 1941.  Two years after Bytown was established, the HMCS Bytown Naval Officer’s Mess would open.  HMCS Bytown was paid off 7 December 1964.

1 June 1943  The first German mines are swept in the approaches to Halifax harbour.

1 June 1968  Canada signs the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in New York along with the US, Britain, USSR, and 57 other countries.

2 June 1891  Shipping – RMS Empress of Japan is the second of the Canadian Pacific Steamships “Empress” ships to arrive at Vancouver harbour, via the Suez Canal and Hong Kong; Canadian Pacific Steamships had signed a contract for subsidized mail service between Britain and Hong Kong via Canada. Vancouver, BC

3 June 1910  The Honourable Louis P. Brodeur is appointed the first Minister of the Naval Service.

3 June 1944   Flight Lieutenant R.E. McBride, flying an RCAF Canso aircraft, sinks U-477 with four depth charges.

3 June 1963  Canada declares 12 Mile Limit; (19.3 km) exclusive fisheries zone off the Canadian coast; effective May 1964. Canadian jurisdiction over sea fisheries used to be confined to waters within the traditional three-mile territorial limit. In 1964, Canada extended fisheries control nine miles beyond the territorial sea; in 1971, the three-mile territorial sea and nine-mile fishing zone were replaced by a twelve-mile territorial sea measured from straight base- lines drawn from “headland to headland”.  Also in 1971, special fishing zones were established by Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy on the Atlantic Coast, and in Queen Charlotte Sound, Hecate Strait, and Dixon Entrance on the Pacific coast.

3 June 1991  Letters Patents are published for an insignia denoting Mentions in Despatches.

4 June 1742  The first warship built in New France called the CANADA is launched.

4 June 1812  US Congress votes for war against Britain; the conflict will begin 18 June 1812, when President James Madison officially proclaims the United States to be at war.

4 June 1976  Canada declares it is extending its 12-nautical-mile coastal fishing zone to 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore fisheries jurisdiction zone, effective January 1, 1977; mature northern cod were estimated at 75 million, down from 900 million in 1962; Canada to set numbers of fish harvested and quotas for foreign fleets, because fish stocks are being depleted by new technologies such as sonar and freezing facilities which let the ships stay at sea longer.

5 June 1741 Vitus Bering , a Danish-born navigator in service to the Russian Navy, sails from Kamchatka Peninsula to explore North America.

5 June 1792  Spanish navigators Dionisio Galiano and Cayetano Valdés leave Nootka Sound and sail into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, reaching Puerto de Núñez Gaona (Neah Bay, Washington), where a Spanish post is being built by Salvador Fidalgo.

5 June 1944  Sixteen RCN Bangor Class minesweepers help clear the English Channel in preparation for the D-Day landings.  In the largest minesweeping operation ever undertaken, 247 minesweepers were deployed to sweep ten approach lanes across the English Channel, clear the disembarkation and fire support sectors of the assault area, and then sweep the final paths to the beaches.

6 June 1943  HMCS Prince Robert is recommissioned as an anti-aircraft cruiser.

6 June 1944  110 RCN ships and 10,000 sailors take part in Op NEPTUNE, landing 14,000 Canadian soldiers on Juno Beach in the invasion of France.  Destroyers: HMCS Algonquin and Sioux, Landing Ships Infantry (Medium): HMCS Prince Henry carrying the 528th Flotilla of eight landing craft assault (LCAs), and HMCS Prince David, carrying the 529th Flotilla of six LCAs.  The Bangor Class Minesweepers: HMC Ships Bayfield, Blairmore, Caraquet, Cowichan, Fort William, Malpeque, Milltown, Minas, Mulgrave and Wasaga (31st Flotilla); HMCS Thunder (4th Flotilla, RN), HMC Ships Georgian, Guysborough, Kenora and Vegreville (14th Flotilla, RN) and JMCS Canso (16th Flotilla, RN).  Landing Craft Infantry Large: 260th, 262nd, and 264th Canadian Flotillas, each with 10 RN landing craft manned by RCN personnel.   Motor Torpedo Boats: 29th and 65th Flotillas, with eight and seven boats respectively.

7 June 1942  The US merchant ship Coast Trader torpedoed by Japanese Navy submarine I-26 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca inside Canadian waters; the vessel had set off from Port Angeles, Washington, bound for San Francisco with a cargo of 1,250 tons of newsprint in its hold; wreck discovered in 2013 survey by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, organized by Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard, using a remote-controlled robotic submarine; the same Japanese submarine will shell the Estevan Point lighthouse a few days later.

7 June 1958  HMCS Restigouche is commissioned as the first of a class of destroyer escorts meant to replace the St. Laurent class.

7 June 1965  Department of National Defence replaces navy, army, and air force commands with six functional commands: Maritime, Mobile, Air Defence, Air Transport, Materiel, and Training.  Naval shore establishments, army camps and air force stations became either Canadian Forces Bases or Canadian Forces Stations, depending on size. Navy, army, and air force headquarters were moved from Ottawa and established respectively in Halifax, Montreal (St-Hubert) and Winnipeg. The umbrella name for the new organization was the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).  It later became the Canadian Forces (CF) before reverting to the CAF in 2013.  By 2014, many of Hellyer’s changes had been reversed.  The three services are once again known as the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force, and its members wear distinct uniforms; former rank names and designators for the navy and army have also been reinstitutedEdition: 566  HMN Ships Cabot, Fogata, and Petrel (Editor – 1914-1915, the Royal Newfoundland Navy consisted of 3 ships – which eventually transferred to the RCN.

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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