naval affairs

NAC News – Edition K454 HMCS St Stephen

NAC News – Edition K454 HMCS St Stephen

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 25th, 2022

Edition K454 HMCS St Stephen (WWII River Class Frigate with a longer history than expected)

Quote of the week, “I think [Russia] already realized that they’re not going to be able to put the puppet government in because there’s such strong Ukrainian resistance and such unity, even among all of the Russian-speaking Ukrainians, against the Russians.” 17 March 2022, Angela Stent, Barron’s

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)


2022 NSNAC Naval Bursary Application

NEW 31 March 2022 12:00 pm Ottawa time.  “Canadian Naval Art and War” VAdm Craig Baines, Cdr RCN) invites you to consider attending the upcoming RCN Distinguished Speaker “Virtual” Presentation (via Zoom).  The speaker will be John Horton, OBC, Naval War Artist (Bio). To register email LCdr Kray Robichaud.

NEW  17-19 May 2022 Niagara Falls, ON.  Mari-Tech 2022 Conference and Exhibition titled Industrial Revolution Making Waves.  Mari-Tech was created by the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering (CIMarE) in 1976 and is the premier event for the marine engineering community in Canada. The 2022 event will be hosted by CIMarE’s Great Lakes Branch.

14-16 November 2022 Originally scheduled for March 2022., this event will be held in-person in Victoria, BC.  The draft program for this November’s MSC22 is now posted on the MSC website and is available on other MSC social media channels.



HMCS Halifax to deploy Saturday as part of NATO support for Ukraine and HMCS Halifax departs to Europe for NATO support during Russian invasion of Ukraine plus joining her MV Asterix supply ship to support NATO operations in northern Europe

The war in Ukraine could force Canada to shed its self-image as a peacekeeper and Top military leader calls for ‘accelerated’ defence investments in response to Russian aggression



Canada is eyeing a defence spending boost. Here’s where experts say extra cash should go but Canadians split on raising taxes for defence spending: poll

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed Canada to think about Arctic security

Canadian troops banned from joining foreign fighters in Ukraine

Canadian military reports sagging recruitment as NATO ramps up deployment in eastern Europe and Canada’s military to adopt gender-neutral dress code as it moves to diversify ranks

The new Canadian surface combatant (Editor – company website with video and news links such as Ultra invests in Nova Scotia based Canadian sonar centre of excellence)

Caring for Veterans (Editor – The College of Family Physicians of Canada have produced a “guide is to highlight special considerations for family physicians and other primary care providers in caring for the Veteran population, including contextualizing this information within the College of Family Physicians of Canada™ (CFPC)’s Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) vision for the future of family practice in Canada.”)

60 Seconds With S1 Julia Garlock

MP Kevin Vuong aims to rejoin Liberals, calls past accusation a ‘fantasy’

Canadian navy cancels training course after alleged racist and sexual misconduct incidents

The LAST Tribal-Class Destroyer HMCS Haida Editor – first-rate RCN 21:13 min video)

St. Lawrence Seaway Kicks Off 2022 Navigation Season



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 21, 2022

Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, 22nd MEU Deploy from Norfolk, N.C.

Report to Congress on Constellation-class Frigate Program (FFG-62)

Navy Clear to Decommission 5 Cruisers, Unclear Which Ships Will Leave the Fleet

Report to Congress on Russian Nuclear Weapons

As US Navy rethinks its fleet, Ingalls Shipbuilding faces uncertain future

Navy moving ahead with HII for small UUV program

US Navy Plans to Decommission 10 LCS Freedom-class (Editor – 11:07 min video analysis)

Chinese Investment Near Panama Canal, Strait of Magellan Major Concern for U.S. Southern Command

A Critical Examination of Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Navy (Editor – points to ponder)

Rare firing of flag officer for sexual harassment came after unwanted kissing

Naval flight officer sentenced to four years after failing to disclose contact with Chinese citizen

Navy Exceeds 650 COVID-19 Vaccine Separations

Carrier George Washington running more than a year behind schedule

Argentine Navy’s final OPV ARA CL Cordero completes sea trials

American Sealift Capacity Gets Much-Needed Booster Shot with Addition of 12 Ships

U.S. Grain Shipping Costs Soar With War and Drought Swinging Demand

Ever Forward Refloating Timeline Unclear Days After Grounding then Dredgers Get to Work Digging Out Ever Forward



Russia halts peace treaty talks with Japan over sanctions

ROK Navy Seizes North Korean Vessel In The Yellow Sea

Japan Commissions First New Mogami-Class Multirole Frigate

US expeditionary mobile base enters S. China Sea for 1st time, sending a worrying signal

Chinese missiles can likely sink US carriers: report (Editor – link to lengthy Congressional Research Service Report included)

Russian Amphibious Sealift Ships Sail Towards Europe

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Sails Through Taiwan Strait Hours Before Biden-Xi Call and PLA fully monitors US destroyer’s transit through Taiwan Straits; maintains high alert to safeguard sovereignty: spokesperson

China fully militarized isles, Indo-Pacific commander says

Spratly Islands must become a ‘stronghold’ protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty–PM

The case for building an evolved Collins Class submarine

Trilateral Naval Training between US, Japan and Australia near China

Communist Chinese Naval Vessels Return from Tonga

HHI splashes South Korea’s final Daegu-class FFX Batch II frigate

Boeing Begins Build On New Zealand’s First P-8A Aircraft

Indonesian Navy Launches Two Domestically Produced PC60 M Fast Patrol Boats

Australia welcomes first evolved Cape-class patrol vessel

CIMSEC: gliders with ears: a new tool in china’s quest for undersea security

Pakistan Navy Conducts Missile and Torpedo Firings during Sea Spark 2022 (Editor – slick 2:42 min video included…heavyweight torpedoes certainly do pack a punch)

Indian Coast Guard commissions new OPV ICGS Saksham

China lockdowns: The economic cost of a zero-Covid policy

Maersk Ship Loses Containers in Pacific Ocean



Ukraine sub-section:

Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government

War in Ukraine: is a peace deal possible? | The Economist (Editor – speculation, of course, but a pragmatic 10:39 min video)

The case against Vladimir Putin

Russia’s Geography Problem (Editor – sometimes basic but still a good explanation in a 11:53 min video)

Russian Forces Are Tightening Their Grip Around Ukraine’s Port Of Mariupol and Russian Navy Joins the Bombardment of Mariupol

Russian Landing Ship Docks in Ukraine and VIDEO: Russian Landing Ship Destroyed in Ukrainian Port

New Videos Show Russian Navy Firing 8 Naval Cruise Missiles From the Black Sea in explanation Russia has used Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the sea to target Ukraine territory

Ukraine Could Lose $6 Billion in Grain Exports with Ports Blocked

Ukraine Dismisses Russia’s Claim About Drifting Mines in Black Sea (Editor – it does make the old point, that even the fear of mines has an impact)

A Retired Ukrainian Naval Commander on What Its Navy Has—and What It Needs

Possible Outcomes of the Russo-Ukrainian War and China’s Choice (Editor – this article was pointed out to me by one of our members.  Interesting Chinese take on the Russo-Ukraine war – translated from the original Chinese.)

Top Russian naval chief born in Kyiv reportedly killed in battle

Intel Sharing Between U.S. and Ukraine ‘Revolutionary’ Says DIA Director

Russia’s Amphibious Operation Dilemma and Intentions of Russian Amphibious Warships in Black Sea Still Unclear

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Turkey’s Response and Black Sea Access Issues

Fincantieri Delivers First PPA ‘Thaon Di Revel’ to Italian Navy

Saab inks $116M deal for mid-life upgrade of Swedish Navy’s Gotland-class submarine

Great Scott – Survey Ship Breaks Deployment Record

Australia Bans Exports Of Alumina and Aluminum Ores To Russia

Bangladesh Seeks $22.4 Million Insurance Claim from Missile Strike on Ship in Ukraine

Europe General:

Truman and Cavour and Charles de Gaulle Conduct Joint Operates in Ionian Sea and VIDEO: Navy Pilots Flying Dozens of Daily Russian Deterrence Missions from USS Harry S. Truman (Editor – a 2:36 min video included…great eye candy too)

NATO launches analyses for hardening its eastern flank

Greek Communist attack on HMCS Montreal on YouTube (Editor – other country’s have idiot activists too…sorry, no other details)

German K130 corvette FGS Braunschweig returns from 13-month UNIFIL deployment

Four dead after US military plane crashes in Norway

European Patrol Corvette Could Start Construction In Four Years

Norway Refuses To Fuel Russian Super-Yacht



Yemen Houthis Attack Saudi Refinery In The Red Sea Port Of Yanbu

Day 1 at DIMDEX 2022: Qatar Emiri Naval Forces and New Ship Designs (Editor – 12:08 min video) and DIMDEX 2022: Dearsan Showcases “USV 15” For The First Time

UK joins US and France in Oman’s biggest naval exercise

Whirlwind Crew Marks End of Ship’s U.S. Navy Service at Decommissioning

Iran rescues dozens as UAE-flagged cargo ship sinks in Gulf ) (Editor – perhaps a ro-ro cargo stowage issue?)

Germany Announces Energy Deal With Qatar

Suez Canal Increases Toll Surcharges for Ships



Decline of Putin’s Russia (Editor – a forewarning in a 6 year old 15:43 min video)

UN ocean treaty summit collapses as states accused of dragging out talks

Proceedings Podcast Ep. 259: The State of Maritime Shipping (Editor – insightful USNI 52:35 min podcast)

The Carbonless Fuel That Could Change How We Ship Goods | Maria Gallucci | TED (Editor – 7:27 min video)



The Type IX U-Boat – The problem of German subs and how to fix them

CIMSEC: Sea Control 329 – the San Juan island boundary dispute with J Overton (Editor – 23:04 min podcast)

Aircraft Carrier Number 1 (Editor – note the exercise air attack on Hawaii in 1928!)

The Loss of Force Z – Why send battleships against aircraft? (Editor – background, intel and events that led up to the loss of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales in a 51:02 min video)



  • 26 March 1941 HMCS Otter was a civilian, steel-hulled yacht named Conseco that was converted for naval service and commissioned in Oct 1940.  The ship was used as a training vessel and for anti-submarine patrols as part of the Halifax Local Defence Force.  Otter was tasked to escort HMS Talisman into port and was await the submarine’s arrival near the Sambro Light Vessel when a fire broke out.  While fighting the fire, the engines and electric pumps failed, and the Captain gave the order to abandon ship after the code books had been destroyed and the magazines had been flooded.  The crew faced heavy seas and one lifeboat capsized while awaiting rescue.  Two officers and seventeen ratings died in the incident, all were RCNVR/RCNR, and six Mentions in Despatches were awarded, three posthumously.
  • 29 March 1940  The British ship Esmond inbound from St. John’s Newfoundland , rammed and sank the Halifax pilot vessel Hebridean.  Six pilots and three members of the crew were drowned.
  • 29 March 1945  HMCS Teme (frigate) is torpedoed by U Boat 246 in the English Channel off Falmouth and declared a total loss.
  • 30 April 1943  RAdm Leonard Murray took command of air and naval forces involved in the convoy protection in the Northwest Atlantic.  Commander-in- Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic is significant as it was the only Allied Command area of responsibility held by a Canadian.  So far as the western Atlantic was concerned Canada was now a full partner.
  • 31 March 1945  HMCS Conestoga, the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training establishment, is paid off.
  • 31 March 1991  The Gulf War between Iraq and the United Nations coalition ends.
  • April
  • 1 April 1733  Canada’s First lighthouse lit for the first time, using coal from nearby Morien and Spanish River; the round 200 metre tower, made with cement from limestone burned in local kilns, is the first fireproof concrete structure in North America at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, and the only other on the entire eastern coast of North America is in Boston.
  • 1 April 1873  Wreck of luxury liner SS Atlantic, sailing from Liverpool to New York; the ship was turning into Halifax Harbour to get coal, but struck a reef in the foggy night near Mars Rock, Meagher’s Island, near Terrance Bay – 546 people drown in heavy seas, while local fishermen managed to save 300.  Prospect, Nova Scotia.
  • 1 April 1941  RCN armed merchant cruiser Prince Henry intercepts two German ships off Peru; the ships were scuttled.
  • 1 April 1942  The Canadian registered SS Robert W. Pomeroy (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co, Toronto), was a coal-fired Great Lakes freighter.  With a cargo of lumber, her first (and only) wartime crossing was in convoy SC-3 (47 ships) which departed Sydney NS on 2 September 1940 bound for Liverpool.  Four of the ships were sunk by U-boats.  On arrival in the UK, the Pomeroy was “considered not suitable for Deep Sea Trading” and was “allocated” to be a local UK collier.  During one of her voyages, she joined the unescorted coastal convoy FN-67 which was northbound for the Blyth and Tyne coal mining ports, but she sank about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk England.  She was “submerged, mast visible and [anti-aircraft barrage] balloon still flying”, but the records indicate some uncertainty regarding the cause of her sinking.  She might have hit a mine or broken her back in heavy seas.  One casualty amongst the crew.
  • 1 April 1959  The new St. Lawrence Seaway opens for business; it was officially dedicated 26 June by the Queen and US President Dwight Eisenhower

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, I thank NAC member Bill Dziadyk for his able assistance and detailed work.  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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