naval affairs

NAC News – Edition K489

NAC News – Edition K489

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

Edition:  K489 HMCS Hespeler (WWII Castle Class)

Quote – “On the individual level, studying history gives us roots: a context for our existence.  Individuals who lack that context lack a significant element of self-understanding but also an understanding of their relationship with the rest of society.  Rootlessness limits our ability to function, to empathize, to feel invested in anything beyond our own immediate needs.  It also disempowers us.”  The wrong side of history, Trilby Kent, The Globe and Mail Opinion, 22 October 2022

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 NAC Endowment Fund Campaign  is now underway! Please consider a donation to our Fund as it supports a wide range of maritime related activities. You can even donate using cryptocurrency (Yes – the NAC EF accepts cryptocurrency!!! –  who knew). Check out the donation form at this webpage.

30 Nov 2022 13:00 (Halifax time) RUSI-NS invites you to join in on their presentation “Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Intelligence Support in Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fisheries.” The presentation is virtual using Zoom.  There is no fee to attend this event.  To register, email by close-of-business Sunday, 27 November.  As the subject line for your registration email, put: RUSI(NS) Distinguished Speakers 30 November 2022 Registration.  In addition to your name, please provide your organization (agency/directorate, unit, association, or company).  Participation is limited and later registrants may have to be put on a waiting list.  Instructions will be emailed to registrants by end Tuesday, 29 November.

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 UNTD in Victoria 9-12 May 2023.  You will find both at



European Parliament declares Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism

NATO secretary general says alliance must prepare for ‘long haul’ in Ukraine



BZ to Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson appointed to the Senate of Canada and backgrounder

HMCS Vancouver concludes Operation Neon

First change of command since 2019 for HMCS Goose Bay

Russia resuming bomber, submarine patrols near North America after pause: Norad

New pictures released of the future Canadian OPV William Hall

Canadian Coast Guard Offshore Oceanographic Science ship achieves important construction milestone

How fallout from top secret documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort could affect Canada

B.C. Ferries seeking shipyards to build up to four Island-class ferries

Canada Proposes Halifax as North American Location for NATO’s DIANA Initiative

Lookout: Volume 67, Issue 46, November 21, 2022



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 21, 2022

Canada, France Should Join AUKUS Style Tech Agreement with U.S., Senator Says

Intellectual Readiness Is Vital to Sea Power

Defense Primer: U.S. Defense Appropriations Process

Defense Primer: U.S. Special Operation Forces

Defense Primer: Ballistic Missile Defense

Navy eyeing ‘ZEUS,’ an upgrade program for the Zumwalt destroyers

US Navy Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship Cooperstown Arrives at Naval Station Mayport

Boeing HAAWC achieves initial operational capability status from US Navy

Royal Navy Selects Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile

Navy Requests Concepts for Attritable Mother Ship for Unmanned Systems

New Temporary Home for USS Truman Sailors Features More Privacy, Better Computer Access, Navy Says

Bicentennial of the Brazilian Fleet

Brazilian Court Denies Efforts to Dock “Toxic” Aircraft Carrier

Record $1B in Counterfeit Goods Seized at Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports

Containership Backup is Declared Over in Southern California



Kamala Harris Will Visit The South China Sea and US Works To Reset Ties With The Philippines as part of An American strategy for the Indo-Pacific in an age of US-China competition

USS Benfold Conducted Taiwan Strait Transit in Early November

Report: China is On Course to Overtake America’s Naval Capabilities (Editor – depends on what yardstick is used)

Need for Japan to bolster its defences and Japan hardens on Senkaku Islands

Two Japanese Destroyers Score in Ballistic Missile Defense Test off Hawaii

Royal Navy joins one of largest exercises in Pacific for 1st time

US hypes China’s JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile deployment ‘with ulterior motives’ other side of the coin China making South China Sea a nuclear missile launchpad

Chinese Forces Seize Rocket Debris From Philippine Navy and Philippines Asks China for Explanation Over Latest Sea Feud

China, Cambodia look to upgrade military ties along with expanded naval base

Second Project 15B Destroyer Delivered to the Indian Navy

The SMART Torpedo That Can Fly #shorts (Editor – short video)

China, Vietnam to conduct 33rd joint patrol in Beibu Gulf: Defense Spokesperson

South Korea: Two Indian Navy ships dock at Busan port

India and France Conduct Joint Surveillance in Indian Ocean

Robberies on Ships Underway Continue to Rise in the Singapore Strait

Carriers in ‘Panic Mode’ as China Bookings Plummet

Tonga volcanic eruption reshaped Pacific seafloor




Sevastopol attack will go down in naval history

Ukraine’s Maritime Drone Strikes again: Reports Indicate Attack on Novorossiysk (Editor – importantly this port/naval base is on real Russian soil)

The Ukrainian Navy Still Has One Big Amphibious Ship. She’d Be Pretty Useful Right about Now.

Russia’s Tanker Fleet Too Small to Bypass Oil Price Cap


USS George H.W. Bush Operates with French, Italian Carriers in the Ionian Sea

Russian Jets Make “Unsafe” Low-Altitude Pass Over NATO Task Force

Future Dutch Submarine: TKMS Type 212CD E (Editor – Canadian contender? in a 5:03 min video)

Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth visits Norway

CIMSEC: Sea Control 392 – Russia’s arctic strategy in a changing region with Katarzyna Zysk (Editor – 35:26 min podcast)

Russia is developing a unique system capable of launching Tsirkon & Onyx missiles

Dutch Naval Programs at NEDS 2022: Submarines, Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates and MCM Vessels(Editor – timely discussion in a 13:51 min video) and Future Dutch Submarine: Saab C71 Submarine (based on A26)

Hellenic Coast Guard Rescues 500 Migrants Off Crete

HMS Birmingham Leads RN Second Batch of Type 26 Frigates Ordered

FGS Bonn Returns from Six Month Deployment (Editor – can’t wait until our two canadianized ones arrive!)

Putin Commissions One Nuclear Icebreaker and Launches His Next

Turkish Navy’s Future Flagship TCG Anadolu Completes First Helo Landings

US Coast Guard Legend class Hamilton visits Latvia amid tensions with Russia

Calling Suppliers: Norway Needs Tech for World’s First Ship Tunnel

Cost of Decommissioning Oil and Gas Wells in the UK North Sea Could Reach $23 Billion

Finland and Germany Starting LNG Imports

Autonomous OBN Seismic Survey Robots Could Enter Commercial Operation in 2024



Naval Iron Dome successfully tested, as Iran hits another tanker then Britain Says Drone Circles Ship in Gulf of Oman (Editor – “Hebrew-Arab axis”?) and U.S. 5th Fleet Reveals New Details on Iranian Drone Attack on Tanker

USS Nitze Seizes $20M in Narcotics From a Dhow in Gulf of Aden

Houthi Rebels Strike Yemeni Oil Terminal for the Second Time

3 weeks, 15 unmanned systems: Navy launches ‘Digital Horizon’ exercise in Middle East

Pakistan Navy ship reaches Qatar for FIFA World Cup security

China Signs Quarter-Century LNG Deal With Qatar



In Pictures: Inside the floating polar research laboratory

UN: Nigeria’s Pirates Switch From Kidnapping Seafarers to Stealing Oil

Franco-South African maritime exercise underway

Fires, Inflation and Climate Change: Global Trends to Watch in Marine Insurance



Sunken warship sows 80 years of environmental damage



27 November 1940 – After France capitulated to Germany in June 1940, ships of the puppet Vichy France regime were subject to “requisition’ by the allied nations.  The French freighter SS Lisieux (built 1919) had arrived in Vancouver, BC on 25 June.  Two weeks later, she was seized by the Canadian government and was lent to the UK government’s “C & SS Service” to serve as a coastal collier, “as ship not suitable for trans-Atlantic trade”.   On 20 September, the Lisieux, with a Free-French crew, departed Victoria and was bound for Sydney, Nova Scotia via the Panama Canal.  She arrived in Sydney on 4 November.  On the 22nd, with a cargo of newspaper pulp and BC lumber, she departed Sydney in convoy SC-13 (43 ships and 6 escorts) which was eastbound for Liverpool.  Five days later, a storm with gale force winds caused the convoy to disperse.  The fully loaded hull of the SS Lisieux could not withstand the pressures of the storm. On 27 November 1940, she foundered and sank (48°8’N 47°50’W) about 195 nm east of Newfoundland.  Fourteen crewmembers perished and sixteen were rescued by the Norwegian SS Bernard and landed at St John’s Newfoundland.

28 September 1945 The first Allied convoy sailed up the Scheldt and discharged its cargo at the port of Antwerp.  Given the Canadian army’s efforts of liberation, it was fitting that the first vessel in the convoy was the Canadian-built Fort Cataraqui.

28 November 1953 The first group of 48 RCN volunteers left Montreal by air for submarine training with the Royal Navy.

29 November 1957  HMCS Kenora and Kentville, two paid off minesweepers, are transferred to the Turkish navy as Bandirma and Bartin.

1 December 1940 Destroyer HMCS St Laurent (ex HMS Cygnet), a Crusader or C-class destroyer known in the RCN as a River-class destroyer, was dispatched to escort convoy HX-90 in the Western Approaches, which was under heavy attack by seven U-boats.  The attacking U-boats were commanded by some of the most successful aces of the war including Kretschmer, Prien, and Schepke.  Between 1-3 Dec, they sank ten ships for a total of over 69,000 tons.

1 December 1948  HMCS Shearwater, RCN Air Station, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is commissioned.

2 December 1940 – In December 1939, the ocean liner SS Montrose (Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd, Montreal) was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into an armed merchant cruiser. She was commissioned into Royal Navy as HMS Forfar. On 2 December 1940, Forfar was torpedoed and sunk about 500 nautical miles west of Ireland (54º35’N 18º18’W) by U-99 (Otto Kretschmer). The Forfar had just left convoy HX-90 and was eastbound to meet and escort westbound convoy OB-251. The Captain, 35 officers and 136 ratings were casualties. Three officers and 18 ratings were rescued by HMCS St. Laurent (Cdr Harry De Wolf, RCN), HMS Viscount (LCdr M.S. Townsend, RN) and the SS Dunsley and were landed at Oban, Scotland.

2 December 1943 – The Canadian built (under the US Lend-Lease program by Burrard Dry Dock Company) SS Fort Athabaska was launched in Vancouver on 4 April 1943 and delivered to her British crew on 16 May. On 2 December 1943 she was preparing to depart the Bari harbour in southern Italy (with a cargo that included two captured German PC 1000 RS rocket propelled armor-piercing bombs), when the German Luftwaffe launched a major air raid by Junkers Ju 88 bombers on Bari.  The Fort Athabaska caught fire from an adjacent burning freighter and the two German rocket bombs exploded sinking the ship.  Forty-six crewmembers were killed.

2 December 1943 – The Canadian built, but British crewed SS Fort Lajoie was sunk by the German Luftwaffe during the raid on Bari.

2 December 1946  HMCS Middlesex goes aground on Shut-in Island near Halifax and becomes a total loss.

2 December 1968  The Canadian submarine HMCS Rainbow is commissioned; purchased from the United States, it was originally the USS Argonaut launched in 1944.

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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