naval affairs

NAC News – Edition J396 HMCS Fort Frances

NAC News – Edition J396 HMCS Fort Frances

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of February 12th, 2021

Edition – J396 HMCS Fort Frances (WW2 Algerine-class minesweeper, and other duties)

Rod Hughes -Editor NAC News  (comments welcome to help improve this service)

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  • ★ The National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Canadian Surface Combatant)  NAC Paper
  • ★   Editor – Impact of COVID on Sea and Navy League Cadet programmes – maybe you can help (See Scuttlebutt below for the full explanation)
  • RUSI(NS) will meet by Zoom Wednesday, 17 February 2021, for a presentation by Cmdre James Clarke; Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Plans Directorate; NORAD and USNORTHCOM.  Cmdre Clarke’s talk is titled “NORAD Modernization: Enabling Forward Operations.”  To register, email by close of business Sunday, 14 February.  As the subject line for your registration email, put: RUSI(NS)/N-NC Distinguished Speaker 17 February 2021 Registration.  For non- RUSI(NS) members please provide your name and organization.
  • Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University: The Americas Series  Session 3 in the series titled Canada & USA  This presentation covers two North American countries with rich naval tradition and sizeable navies.  Canada and the United States are NATO navies and, as such, are of utmost interest and relevance to transatlantic security.  Scheduled via Zoom for 18 Feb 2021 10:00 AM EST.  Registration (free) is required.
  • Canadian Nautical Research Society: Canada’s Pacific Gateway, Past Present and Future.  The Society will hold its annual conference 10–11 June 2021 and the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 12 June 2021.  The conference theme will be Canada’s Pacific Gateway, past present and future.  Proposals are invited for papers or presentations related to the general theme of Canada’s wider Pacific Ocean dimensions or other maritime contemporary and historical topics.  This will be a virtual conference to commemorate the 150th anniversary of BC joining Canada, 25 July 1871.  Earlier plans to hold a traditional conference in Victoria on these dates have been cancelled.















★   Editor – Impact of COVID on Sea and Navy League Cadet programmes.  I am ringing the general alarm for rescue stations.  The pandemic is having a significant detrimental impacted on the delivery of both the Sea and Navy League Cadet programmes.  I believe you are all aware of the logical CAF directed cessation of Corps drill nights, the closing of access to CAF facilities, stoppage of seasonal events such as biathlon competitions and band camps, and the shuttering of the summer camps.  Hence both programmes are now delivered via Zoom, but the staff are understandably having challenges delivering remotely what should be hands-on programmes in a way that engages and inspires cadets…this situation is expected to continue for some months.  These struggles have translated into a substantial decline in the number of cadets in both age groups joining and remaining with their Corps.  I understand that these types of motivational problems are in the school system too, but participation isn’t elective there.  I hasten to acknowledge that I do not have a solution to all their problems, but I do believe that if your NAC Branch investigates the status of your local Corps, they will discern various problems that they and maybe you will be able to help with.  This is not a blame game, we are all in this together, and I also ask that whatever is decided, please work with our stalwart shipmates in the Navy League of Canada to mitigate any duplication of effort.  For your attention.



(If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and more modern significant dates are also welcome.  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”, Roger Litwiller’s excellent website, the encyclopedic guidance of NAC member and author Fraser McKee, and anywhere else I can find credible information.)

  • 1 February 1911 The first recruiting posters for the RCN are issued to post offices throughout Canada.
  • 1 February 1968 The personnel and organization of the RCN, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force were unified into a single organization, the Canadian Forces.
  • 5 February 1944 HMS Puncher, an aircraft carrier, is commissioned into the Royal Navy at Vancouver with a Canadian crew, but a British air complement.
  • 6 February 6, 1943 – Italian aircraft attack and sink RCN Flower Class corvette HMCS Louisbourg east of Oran while she is escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Bone, Algeria; 2 Officers, 35 crew, and 5 RN seaman are lost.
  • 8 February 1943 HMCS Regina commanded by LCdr Harry Freeland, RCNR sinks the Italian submarine Avorio in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 10 February 1942 HMCS Spikenard is torpedoed by U136 and sunk in the North Atlantic.  There were only 8 survivors and 57 perish.
  • 14 February 1945 Five Motor Torpedo Boats (459, 461, 462, 465, 466) of the Canadian 29th Flotilla burn in Ostende harbour.  26 RCN crew are lost.
  • 15 February 1965 The Maple Leaf becomes Canada’s official flag.
  • 16 February 1945 HMCS St. John commanded by A/LCdr William R. Stacey, RCNR sinks the German submarine U-309 off the northeast coast of Scotland near Moray Firth.
  • 18 February 1944 Sixteen Canadian minesweepers, in four divisions of four ships, begin to leave St. John’s for British waters to take part in the invasion of Normandy.
  • 19 February 1944 Motor Torpedo boats of the 29th and 65th (Canadian) Flotillas began to be commissioned (continues until 31 March).
  • 22 February 1943 – Operation Torch – RCN Flower Class corvette HMCS Weyburn strikes a mine laid by U-118 off the Strait of Gibraltar; the explosion kills one seaman of her crew of 77; before the ship sinks, all but two depth charges are rendered safe by throwing the detonators over the side; British destroyer HMS Wivern starts to remove the wounded and survivors when twenty minutes later an after bulkhead gives way and the corvette begins to sink; the two depth charges explode, killing 8 more sailors and wounding others in the water; Wivern’s engines and boilers are hit, leaving the ship dead in the water; 84 RCN and RN sailors are wounded in total. Gibraltar.
  • 22 February 1945 HMCS Trentonian is torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine U1004 near Falmouth England, six of her ship’s company were lost.
  • 24 February 1944 HMCS Waskesiu commanded by LCdr James P. Fraser, RCNR sank the German submarine U-257 in the North Atlantic.
  • 27 February 1930 HMCS Thiepval is lost in Barkley Sound, British Columbia.
  • 28 February 1946 HMCS Cornwallis is paid off (taken out of service) and new recruit training begins to be conducted at local naval depots.
  • 28 February 1991 Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Persian Gulf War ends.