naval affairs

NAC News – Edition J483

NAC News – Edition J483

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of October 14th, 2022

Edition:  J483 HMCS Birch Lake (WWII Lake Class minesweeper…well almost)

Quote: “By the time of the German capitulation in May 1945, RCAF squadrons had accounted for, or participated in the destruction of twenty-one U-boats, over 10 per cent of the 197 credited to commonwealth air forces and just under 9 per cent of the 245.5 destroyed by all Allied shore-based aircraft in almost six years of war.” W.A.B. Douglas The Creation of a National Air Force, The Official History of the Royal Canadian Air Force Volume II, University of Toronto Press in co-operation with DND… 1986, page 43.

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 David Soule 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)


The 2023 Centennial of the Naval Reserves is fast approaching.  You can find information on activities planned in all the NRDs on the UNTDA website along with the programme and on-line registration for a major conference and celebration organized by the UNTDA in Victoria 9-12 May 2023.  You will find both at

1-2 November 2022.  NAC is pleased to become a supporting partner of this year’s Deep Blue Forum sponsored by Vanguard Canada.  The 2022 Deep Blue Forum – The Canadian Patrol Submarine Project: 2030 Options for Canada.  National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON.  Reception 1 November 17.30 – 20.00 (Ottawa time) at the National Arts Centre 1 Elgin Street.  On-line agenda.  Keynote speakers: Cdr RCN, VAdm Angus Topshee; President BMT Canada Ltd, Darcy Brytus; and the reception speaker is DG Naval Force Development, Cmdre Jason Armstrong. Details for attending. (there are a limited number of discounts available for NAC members, contact Nora Kennedy by email for details)       The Summer 2022 Starshellfocused on submarine issues.

2 November 2022 7:00-9:00 PM Halifax time.  The RUSI Nova Scotia extends the invitation to join the Zoom presentation  by Adam MacDonald of Dalhousie University, titled “The Maritime Domain of the Russian-Ukrainian War: Implications, Considerations and Lessons for Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy.”  To register, email by close-of-business Sunday, 30 October. Instructions will be emailed to registrants by end Monday, 31 October.

14-16 November 2022 Registration for Maritime Security Challenges 2022 in Victoria BC is open!  The past two years have seen an explosion of major events and trends that are shaking the world: a once-in-a-century-pandemic; a land war in Europe; international energy and food crises; the rise of authoritarian political movements and governments; more dramatic weather; and decades-high inflation.  Many of these issues are playing out at sea, as shipping costs soar, navies modernize to protect their national maritime claims, and state rivalries flourish in the maritime domain.



Military chief warns China and Russia are ‘at war with the West’ and Canada is not ready

Let’s get serious about a Putin-era strategy for energy, economy, climate: Freeland

NATO chief tries to allay nuclear war fears, says exercise will proceed in face of Russian threats



HMCS Calgary honoured for record drug seizures

Ultra to provide hull-mounted sonar for Canadian Surface Combatant

Letters Oct. 5: Our navy needs more resources; Ottawa is letting us down and Jesse Kline: Armed Forces admit there’s no one left to use its rusted out gear piling on Richard Shimooka: The neglect of Canada’s armed forces is leaving us all defenceless

From typewriters to virtual meetings, Ken Nicholson guided the armed forces’ transformation (Editor – five decades of contribution!)

Continued NATO membership may require buying Mistral LHDs

Forces 101 – General presentation on the Canadian Armed Forces (Editor – CAF recruiting/explanation 14:36 min video)

Twitter: The largest defence procurement project in Canadian history is underway at Irving Shipbuilding. We’re hiring – over 250 open positions. Apply today.

New Coast Guard icebreaker named CCGS Judy Lamarsh

Canadian military selects new pistol to replace aging handguns

Developer abandons planned condo complex at Juno Beach

CAF Story | Faith at Sea (Editor – 3:04 min video)

Melanie Joly pushes LNG ties in Japan and South Korea, amid North Korea missiles

Canada Plans Legislative Overhaul of Port Governance and Finances

Ranks of the Royal Canadian Navy (Editor – basic explanation for the uninitiated in a 12:23 min video)

Pacific Coast govts set sights on port electrification and maritime decarbonisation

Lookout Volume 67, Issue 40, October 11, 2022



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 13, 2022

2022 U.S. National Security Strategy (Editor – 48 page document)

Ultra secures US Navy next-gen sonobuoy contract

Northrop Grumman’s New Navigation Capability Approved for US Navy Deployment

U.S. Navy Tries Reloading VLS Missile Cells With a Commercial OSV

Royal Navy Deploys to Help Fight Gang Violence in Turks & Caicos

Coast Guard Cutter Northland Diverted to Patrol Near Port-au-Prince, Haiti

USS Billings (Gold Crew) Returns Home after 4th Fleet Deployment

CIMSEC: Depth from above: reinventing carrier ASW

Here’s Why The US Navy Could Not Prove A Teenager Destroyed It’s Mighty Warship

Mississippi Barge Backup Stalls Millions of Tons of Cargo



China’s Communist Party Congress: A really simple guide (Editor – not a maritime article but a good explanation)

Maiden sea sortie Warship INS Vikrant departs from dock for maiden operational trials

Japanese Forces Tracking Russian, Chinese Ships Operating Near Hokkaido

China’s J-20 stealth fighter jets drive away foreign aircraft in combat patrols over East China Sea  (Editor – article for domestic consumption I must presume?)

Latest diesel-electric sub built for Russian Pacific Fleet arrives in Vladivostok

China, Russia Quietly Expanding Arctic Partnership, Says Panel

Multiple paths to nuclear submarines  (Editor – lots for thought here) and this would get expensive Australia Should Work Closely With U.S. to Master Nuclear Submarine Building, Congressmen Say

MHI Launches ‘Jingei’ – 3rd Taigei Class Submarine for the JMSDF

India Plans Malabar Exercise with Quad Partners as Russian War Promises a Winter Surge

MiG-29K fighter jet crashes over the sea in Goa but two pilots ejected safely, says Indian Navy

Sikorsky delivers S-92 helicopter to Korea Coast Guard

China’s next aircraft carrier likely to be nuclear

More frequent Chinese patrols put ‘heavy burden’ on ageing Taiwan frigates

Taiwan’s new home-built submarines

Taiwan building stealth corvettes to seek and kill Chinese subs

Austal Launches 4th Evolved Cape-Class Patrol Boat

PLAN hospital ship completes first medical tour on Xisha, Nansha islands




Enter the Butcher of Ukraine (Editor – this will not end well)

Video: Kerch Strait Bridge Damaged in Massive Explosion then Russian Salvage Team Arrives At Kerch Strait Bridge and then Russia Sets Up Ferry Service to Bypass Damaged Kerch Strait Bridge so is it safe to use Broken link: post-mortem on Kerch Bridge blast and the result Crimea bridge: Russia ‘to repair blast damage by July 2023’

Canada announces another military aid package for Ukraine as Russia presses air attacks and Nato countries to boost Ukraine’s missile defence after massive Russian strikes

Suspected Ukrainian Explosive Sea Drone Made From Recreational Watercraft Parts


Can NATO Protect Pipelines & Subsea Cables?

US Navy Jet Flew Across Baltic Hours After Nord Stream Burst

Putin Offers to Supply Europe With Gas Via TurkStream Subsea Pipeline

Royal Marines spearheaded the UK’s largest combined amphibious exercises in years

NATO forces participate in UK-led Exercise Joint Warrior

Royal Navy leads “game-changing” NATO tech experiments

Vyborg Shipyard launches border guard ship Purga of Project 23550

DSIT To Exhibit A Comprehensive Torpedo Defence System For Surface Vessels

UK Provides MROSS Program Update Following Nordstream Incidents

Navy submariners pictured wearing black caps for one of first times

UK Wildcat Helicopters Successfully Complete Missile Trials

Royal Navy Builds Operational Concept For Type 32 Frigate

British aircraft carrier finally on way to Scotland for repairs

French Carrier Strike Group Trains against Missile Threats

In focus: The Power Improvement Project for the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers

Russian Improved class submarine Ufa conducts dive in Baltic Sea

Naval Electronic Warfare: Briefing by Safran Electronics & Defense (Editor -15:30 min video)

With Nord Stream gone, where will Europe get its gas?

Black Sea Grain Corridor Attracts Enough Ships to Create a Backlog

Russia to lead Sakhalin-1 as Exxon cuts and runs



Israel Fast-tracks Lebanese Maritime Deal but Lawmaker Review Looms and Egypt Wants to Develop Gaza’s Offshore Gas Field

U.S. Naval Forces in Middle East Interdict $29 Million in Illegal Drugs

U.S. Coast Guard Ship Seizes $48 Million in Drugs in Middle East

25 Crewmembers Rescued From Burning Container Ship in Red Sea then Fire Damaged Containership Reportedly Sunk in Red Sea

US & UK conduct surface drone exercise in Arabian Gulf and Navy boosting USV presence, network capability in Middle East

HMS Montrose: Royal Navy seizes drugs worth £15m in Arabian Sea

INS Tarangini at Port Said in Egypt for Loayan 22



Grand African NEMO 2022 Exercise Kicks Off

Study: Maersk among 134 ‘highly carbon-exposed’ companies failing to include climate risks in financial reporting

Container Lines Blank Sailings Bring Capacity Back to 2019 Levels

IMB: Global Piracy Remains at Lowest Level in Decades



The Mariner’s Mirror 54 min podcast Great Sea Fights 10: Salamis – The Most Significant Battle in Naval History?



15 October 1941 – On 25 September 1940, the MS Weser, a supply ship for the German raider Orion, was captured by HMCS Prince Robert and brought to Esquimalt by a prize crew.  On 3 October 1940, she was “requisitioned” as the SS Vancouver Island, (Merchant Marine Ltd., Ottawa).  Because of her high speed of 15 knots, she did not sail in convoys.  On 9 October 1941 she departed Quebec with a general cargo which included 993 tons of copper, 751 tons of aluminum, 450 tons of zinc, 357 tons of asbestos and 87 tons of steel.  The Vancouver Island was bound for Liverpool via Sydney, Belfast, and Cardiff.  On 15 October at 21:54 (GMT+2) the U-558 sighted the unescorted Vancouver Island.  The surfaced U-boat then travelled at full speed to get into a favorable attack position.  An hour later at 22:49, U-558 fired a fan of three torpedoes.  The ship was hit in the fore part and amidships.  She stopped but did not sink.  U-558 fired two more from 1000 meters hitting the ship fore and aft and causing her to sink fast by the stern.  She was sunk about 550 nm west of Ireland.  The Master, 64 crew members, 8 DEMS gunners and 32 passengers were all casualties.

16 October 1915  An Order-in-Council gives the Hospitals Commission authority to provide retraining and rehabilitation for disabled veterans.

16 October 1940 – The Great Lakes freighter SS Trevisa (Canadian Lake Carriers Ltd., Montreal) was pressed into wartime service on 20 September 1940. Two weeks later, on 5 October, the SS Trevisa, with a British crew and a cargo of lumber, departed Sydney NS in convoy SC-7 (35 ships) bound for Liverpool. (On arrival in the UK, it was planned that she would be “allocated” to the UK Ministry of War Transport “C. & S.S. Division” and become a collier.) On 11 October, bad weather caused several ships (including the Trevisa) to be separated from the convoy and sail independently. The convoy and the stragglers were intercepted by one of the first U-boat wolfpacks of the war. Twenty merchant ships were sunk and two were damaged, with 141 lives lost. On 16 October at 03:50 (GMT+2) it was a bright moonlight night, and the submerged U-124 (Georg-Wilhelm Schulz) fired a single torpedo into the aft of the Trevisa. The U-boat log recorded “Ship lay deeply with the stern in the water and sank” (57°33’N 20°36’W) about 480 nm SNW of the North Channel entrance to the UK ports. Seven crew members were killed. The master and 13 crew members were picked up by the corvette HMS Bluebell and landed at Gourock, Scotland.

16 October 1944  HMCS Annan, CO A/LCDR Charles P. Balfry, RCNR, and HMCS Loch Achanalt, CO A/LCdr Richard Wallace Hart, RCNVR sank the German submarine U-1006 south of the Faeroes.  HMCS Loch Achanalt’s Radar Operator had first radar contact of U-1006 located astern of HMCS Annan.  Canadian were for a time most of the sea-going radar component of the RN.  Thirty out of the forty radar officers who completed their initial training with the Admiralty in 1940 were Canadian.

17 October 1944  HMCS Prince Henry and HMCS Prince David engage in landing liberation forces in Greece (17-18 Oct).

19 October 1940   The auxiliary minesweeper HMCS Bras d’Or foundered in the early morning while keeping the Romanian freighter Ingener N Vlassopol under surveillance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Anticosti Island.  The two ships traveled down the St. Lawrence River together but in the Gulf of St. Lawrence they ran into a storm and heavy seas on the night of 18/19 October and are eventually separated and the Bras d’Or disappeared with her 30 crewmen.  Investigation determines that the Bras d’Or was not rammed as there is no damage to the freighter.  A report from the mate on the Romanian freighter stated that the lights on the Bras d’Or were extinguished at 0350 hours local, 19 October.  It has been suggested Brad d’Or foundered due to icing conditions that were prevalent at the time.  A search is later made but nothing is ever found of the ship nor were any bodies (5 officers and 25 crew).  Before her service in the RCN, she served as Lightship No. 25 in the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

19 October 1943  British ore carrier Penolver and American freighter Delisle hit mines laid by U-220 off St. John’s Harbour.

20 October 1940  HMS Windflower, the first corvette built in Canada, is commissioned into the Royal Navy with a Canadian crew.  She is turned over to the RCN in 1941.

21 October 1910  HMCS Niobe arrives in Halifax, the first Canadian warship to arrive at her base in Canada.  Now officially celebrated by the RCN as Niobe Day.

21 October 1927 – the destroyers HMCS Patriot pays off into reserve.  The Government of Canada decides to build two new destroyers to replace Patriot and Patrician, and asks the Admiralty for interim replacements.  The destroyers HMCS Champlain (ex-HMS Torbay) and HMCS Vancouver (ex-HMS Toreador) are named and lent to the RCN.   There is already an HMS Vancouver in the RN but the Admiralty agrees to change its name to HMS Vimy.  These are the first two ships of the RCN, other than auxiliaries, which receive names associated with and suggested by Canada.

21 October 1942  HMCS Royal Roads becomes the Royal Canadian Naval College and commences training cadets.

21 October 1943 HMCS Chedabucto sank after night collision with the cable vessel Lord  Kelvin, 30 miles from Rimouski, Quebec.  She is later beached and becomes a total loss. One officer was lost.

21 October 1944  HMCS Uganda (later Quebec) is commissioned, becoming Canada’s first cruiser since Aurora was paid off in 1922.

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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