naval affairs

NAC News – Edition K346 HMCS Whitby

NAC News – Edition K346 HMCS Whitby

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of February 28th, 2020:

Edition – K346 HMCS Whitby (WW2 Revised Flower Class Corvette)

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

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  • 2020 NAC BOA Gala, conference and AGM – 30 April – 3 May 2020 in Ottawa.
    • 30 Apr (Thursday) – Evening – 2020 BOA Gala Dinner at Canadian War Museum
    • 1 May (Friday) – Day – NAC National Conference
    • 2 May (Saturday) – Morning – NAC National 2020 AGM
    • 3 May (Sunday) – 1000-1400 – National RCN BOA ceremony/parade and associated social gathering


  • Navy Outlook 2020 – Sponsored by CADSI: Wednesday 8 April 2020 – Ottawa – Your Navy’s update on operational requirements, projects, and the RCN’s current and future strategic outlook
  • Vanguard Launches First-Ever Canadian Submarine Event  (Editor – The next big RCN procurement challenge!  The Deep Blue 2020 Forum, a one-day event, will take place on 29 October 2020, details to follow)


(Editor – for brevity I don’t normally include long texts but as related to this article I think it warranted, “This article, while factually correct, fails to mention a number of points.  Specifically, that in the case of the JSS, the Government of Canada initially mandated that the shipyard (Seaspan) build the three CCG Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) – of which two have been delivered and the third will be delivered summer 2020 –  and an Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) before the JSS for the RCN be constructed. This has now been amended to build the first JSS after the third OOFV and the second JSS will follow the OOSV (not an optimal construction plan for the shipyard). Likewise, in the case of the CSC project, the Government of Canada mandated that the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) project precede the CSC project to give the shipyard (Irving) an opportunity to refine its workforce before commencing construction of 15 very complicated modern warships. Of the eight AOPS (6 for the RCN and 2 for CCG) the first two ships are currently “floating” in the water (scheduled to be delivered to the RCN this year) with construction well underway for the third and fourth ships of the class. Therefore, given the place of the JSS and CSC projects in the NSS shipbuilding schedule, these ships were never to be the first ships to be delivered under NSS and thus one should not be surprised they are not currently “floating”. With regards to monies spent to date on the JSS and CSC projects, yes significant monies have been spent on designs and in the case of the CSC project this will continue as part of total project costs to finalize a design of a ship that will meet Canadian requirements and ensure longevity in service in the RCN for the bulk of the 21st century. One has only one chance to get it right in ship design and the RCN has historically benefitted with Canadian-ized ship designs which have allowed Canada to safely push ships well beyond their designed service life (by a considerable factor). However, in the case of JSS, this figure represents much more than design work, as preparatory contracts have been let for long lead items such as propulsion systems, which typically require five years lead time, as there is no ‘maritime Walmart’ with aisles of ship systems waiting to be purchased at the last minute – in the maritime sector (commercial as well as naval) these types of items (engines, shafts, propellers, etc.) are ordered specifically for each ship build.  The JSS design (based on the German  Berlin-class replenishment ship) is expected to be finalized very soon and to maintain schedule, Seaspan has commenced construction on a number of modules that are not impacted by any Canadian design changes to the Berlin-class design – so work is proceeding on JSS, with a keel laying ceremony last month for the first JSS, the future HMCS Protecteur. In sum, given that the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) has been underway for less than 10 years, and the Government of Canada has ordered five completely different classes of ship with unique designs, the current state is a considerable achievement in comparison with other Allies.  Norman Jolin, Associate Consultant, CFN Consultants, and NAC member”)








(I have added more events.  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”, and Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site)

  • 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 Armed Forces.
  • 2 February 2003 – HMCS Regina joins the Canadian Naval Task Group, part of the international anti-terrorism campaign in the Persian Gulf.
  • 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 1943 – Italian aircraft attack with torpedoes 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, 40 survive.
  • 8 February 1943 – HMCS Regina sinks the Italian submarine Avorio in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 8 February 1943 – HMCS Weyburn mined and sunk.  As the ship sank the two depth charges whose pins had not been removed exploded, killing those in the water and killing and severely injuring members of the HMS Wivern’s crew who were conducting the rescue.  HMS Wivern herself was severely damaged and had to be towed back to port.
  • 11 February 1942 – HMCS Spikenard while escorting Convoy SC-67 in the North Atlantic is torpedoed and sunk by U136.  There were only 8 survivors and 57 perish.
  • 13 February 1859 – Royal marines called in to keep order during the BC gold rush.
  • 14 February 1945 – 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla is destroyed in a catastrophic fire at Ostende Harbour, Belgium.  26 RCN sailors are killed & boats 459, 461, 462, 465, & 466 are lost.
  • 15 February 1965 – The Maple Leaf becomes Canada’s official flag.  The white ensign is lowered in RCN ships at 1200.  Effective May 5, 2013 (Battle of the Atlantic Sunday), the two flags switched roles: the white flag with the maple leaf canton became the ensign, and the national flag became the jack.
  • 16 February 1945 – HMCS St. John sinks the German submarine U-309 off the northeast coast of Scotland near Moray Firth following a persistent attack with Depth Charges & Hedgehog.
  • 18 February 1942 – Newfoundlanders rescue 185 from USN ships driven onto the rocks in a storm, 203 perish.
  • 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 begin to be commissioned (continues until 31 March).
  • 22 February 1943 – RCN Flower Class corvette HMCS Weyburn strikes a mine laid by U-118 off the Strait of Gibraltar during Operation Torch; 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.
  • 25 February 1955 – Women become part of the RCN.
  • 27 February 1930 – HMCS Thiepval is lost in Barkley Sound, B.C.
  • 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.