naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 500

NAC News – Edition 500

USN sailors recovering Chinese Spy Balloon (photo: Tyler Thompson)

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of February 10th, 2023

Edition: 500 (Editor – few Canadian 500 series numbered ships, but an opportunity to show you HMS Anguilla a WWII Colony Class frigate and the wartime RN pennant numbering system) P.S. will the new HMCS Protecteur and Preserver retain their predecessors old numbers, respectively; 509 & 510?)

Quote: {Enigma decryption} “So that’s what happened!…I have been afraid of this time and time again. Although the experts continually proved – with convictions it seemed – that there were other reasons for the suspect observations, they were never able to dispel my doubts completely…Only after the war did I feel reasonably reassured by the lack of any reports from the Allied side…Well, now you historians will have to start right from the beginning again!” Donitz Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days, 1990 Introduction, Jurgen Rohwer

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 Kevin Goheen 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)


RCN: Canada’s Naval Reserve celebrates centennial in 2023  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 2023Cross Canada listing of Events taking place during the Centennial of the Canadian Naval Reserve in 2023

The Canadian Naval Tribute Project (Editor – the Project has an impressive new website.  The team is still seeking and accepting donations for this worthy project!)

15 February 2023 The Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia extends an invitation to a presentation by Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson, Commander, 3 Canadian Space Division, titled “3 Canadian Space Division.”  The event will start at 1 pm Atlantic/Halifax time, Wednesday, 15 February, then be followed by Q&A and finish by 3 pm Atlantic time.  To register email by close-of-business Sunday, 12 February.  As the subject line for your registration email, put: RUSI(NS) Distinguished Speaker 15 February 2023 Registration.  In addition to your name, please provide your organization (agency/directorate, unit, association, or company).

The Vice-Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Cairns Award was created to recognize and honour Canadian innovators and trailblazers in the shipbuilding industry who have made inspiring contributions to Canada, the Canadian Marine sector and the Canadian shipbuilding industry.  Submissions need be completed and submitted to Maritime Affairs Navy League of Canada no later than February 23rd, 2023.  Attention to Committee Chair Mme Louise Mercier.

28 February 2023  ShipTech Forum 2023 8:00 – 18:00 (Ottawa time) The ShipTech Forum is a hybrid conference with virtual access too.  It is intended to showcase emerging technologies, address a range of marine and shipbuilding issues as well as ship repair and the advantages they provide for growth and export.  To register visit  All serving Naval & Public sector Personnel can register for Free!  Discount for NAC members who wish to purchase a ticket, we will supply you with a discount code ($50 savings from regular rate).  Discount of $175 for NAC members who wish to purchase a booth.  One complimentary ticket for a NAC representative to attend (value of $425)

It’s Time to Recommission the UNTD Association with a New Name.  At the November 2022 Annual General Meeting, UNTDA members voted unanimously to broaden Association membership to welcome both active and retired Naval Reservists of all ranks into full membership.    The search for that new name is open to all current members and prospective new members.   Submit your suggestions to until March 1, 2023, when they will be compiled and reviewed to determine a short list or top contender to be presented to the membership at the AGM in Victoria in May.

Canadian Naval Review holds an annual essay competition. A prize of $1,000 is awarded for the best essay, provided by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust. The winning essay will be published in CNR.  Deadline for the 2023 Competition: 30 May 2023 (Third item down at link)



President Niinistö: Finland aims to join Nato with Sweden “as soon as possible”

Why wasn’t the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down over Canada?



How complicit governments support the drug trade (Editor – the shocking dirty reality) and closer to home More to opioid crisis than China and Mexico

Learning from the past: The future HMCS William Hall

Canada’s Invictus Games team trains at CFB Esquimalt

Editor – last week I included the obit for Dave Howard a WWII RCNVR officer.  I didn’t know that he was the last CO of HMCS Dundas and the second oldest living Olympian.  A special person indeed.

The Canadian Armed Forces browse careers (Editor – interesting to see what occupations are in demand and have signing bonuses)

Changes to Depart With Dignity Program

Comment: The Maritime Museum and the future of history (Editor – please note that the museum re-location initiative is collecting signatures for a petition supporting the move to the Steamship building.  Simple signing form on the right side of the linked page)

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority hires new chief executive (Editor – former RCN officer Robert Lewis-Manning about to be at the helm)

Federal government announces $46.5 million for deep sea research

Editor – a first-rate programme worth highlighting The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation

UNTD published Citizen Sailors Virtual Cenotaph Vignettes

Great Bear Sea: vast new marine zone a ‘mindset shift’ for conservation and Vancouver protesters call for deep-sea mining ban at ocean conservation conference then Canada Says ‘Rigorous’ Regulations Needed for Subsea Mining

Fugitive from Victoria rescued by U.S. Coast Guard after stolen yacht flips (Editor – Hollywood couldn’t make this up!)

CFB Esquimalt land could be used for more housing, Eby tells Trudeau (Editor – 2:07 min video)

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 5, February 6, 2023 with The remarkable journey of HMCS Thiepval

Trident: Volume 57, Issue 3, Monday February 6, 2023



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Feb. 6, 2023

U.S. Navy, Coast Guard Deploy to Recover Chinese Spy Balloon’s Debris and Navy Contracted Salvage Ship Underway to Collect Chinese Spy Balloon Remains (Editor – the payload package that matters is probably on the seabed)

Why Mines are Bigger Threat than Anti-Ship Missiles and US Navy and HII Complete Production of Mk 18 Mod 2 UUV

Attracting Quality Workforce Biggest Issue Facing Shipyards, Experts Tell Congress

CIMSEC: From eyes above: Information architectures for striking maritime targets

Proceedings Podcast: SWO Boss on Manning and Readiness (Editor – energizing and informative 32:01 min podcast between USNI and VADM Roy Kitchener, U.S. Navy, Commander of Surface Forces, discusses training, readiness, manning, and retention.)

Future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. Successfully Installs EASR Antenna

BAE delivers 1,000th F-35 Lightning II fuselage to Lockheed Martin in major milestone for the world’s largest defense programme (Editor – no longer a “new-fangled” aircraft!) and for Canadian content Parliamentary budget officer to examine Liberal government decision to buy F-35

France Navy’s patrol ship Dumont d’Urville conducts drills with Colombia

The Pentagon Saw a Warship Boondoggle. Congress Saw Jobs. so US Navy’s 25th LCS Delivered by Lockheed Martin yet The short life of the new USS Little Rock: Design flaws, setbacks lead to decommissioning

Former Navy Captain Sentenced to 30-Months Following Guilty Plea in ‘Fat Leonard’ Case

Report: Carrier USS Ford’s Electromagnetic Systems Still Need Work

Saudi Group offers $6 million for hull of Brazilian aircraft carrier Sao Paulo but Brazil sinks rusting aircraft carrier in Atlantic despite pollution concerns



Taiwan activates defences as 20 Chinese military aircraft cross Taiwan Strait central line

US Marines to join Japanese guarding remote islands

New Zealand drug bust: Batman-labelled cocaine haul seized at sea

Indonesia To Intensify Talks On Code For South China Sea

Chinese vessels try to intercept Navy patrol in WPS

Pakistan to start multinational naval exercise Aman 2023 with Chinese naval ship Nanning to participate in multinational naval exercise

First Fighters Land Aboard India’s New Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant and India’s aircraft carriers are key to Indo-Pacific strategy

Raytheon to Deliver Aircraft Approach and Landing System to Japan here is Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS)

ISRO and Indian Navy Conduct Key Crew Module Recovery Trials for Gaganyaan Mission

Australia’s First Nuclear Submarine Could Be a Reality in Less Than 30 Years, Former PACOM Commander Testifies

Australian Police Bust Another Large Meth Shipment at Port Botany

Why the U.S. Dominates the Pacific’s Subsea Cable Infrastructure

Nuclear advantage remains unexplained but Understanding Australia’s submarine commitment

Malaysia reduces order for new Maharaja Lela-class Littoral Combat Ships

UK: Royal Navy’s River class OPV HMS Spey to visit South Korea amid tensions with North Korea




Ukraine, Russia Continue to Clash Over Control of Dnieper River

What is hybrid warfare? Inside the centre dealing with modern threats (Editor – impacts many facets of life)

Russia’s ‘Shadow Fleet’ of Tankers Swells to 600 Ships, Trafigura Says (Editor – demand and greed are indeed a ruthless couple) and EU Agrees to $100 Price Cap on Russian Diesel as Import Ban Looms still Mediterranean Ship-to-Ship Loadings of Russian Oil Hit Record in January


Building brigades: Canada, NATO allies struggle to shore up Baltic defences against Russian threat (Editor – not a maritime article put pertinent for perspective)

Spain sends amphibious assault ship Juan Carlos to help Türkiye (Editor – good for them, the versatility of honking big ships) and Carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Standby to Assist in Turkey Earthquake Relief Efforts

Russia Decommissions World’s Largest Submarine (Editor – end of an era)

CIMSEC: rules of engagement and undersea incursions: reacting to foreign submarines in territorial waters

Kremlin surprised Hersh’s bombshell Nord Stream report not a sensation in Western media (Editor – if this was a newspaper this would be the comics…TASS article)

Container Fire Continues to Burn at Port of Iskenderun (Editor – what a mess!) but thankfully the Fire Extinguished at Turkey’s Iskenderun Port, Defense Ministry Says

French Navy to Set Sail for Round-The-World Deployment

Keeping the fleet stealthy – the acoustic ranges used to support the Royal Navy

British Poseidon aircraft get new rescue capability

NATO SNMG1 Participates In Arctic Dolphin 2022

World’s Largest Submarine Drone Being Built In Germany more details MUM – Modifiable Underwater Mothership

Portuguese Navy OPV Drago Assists in Offshore Drug Bust

CO of Lost Norwegian Frigate Faults Tanker for Collision

U.S. Destroyer Operating Near the Black Sea for First Time Since Russia Invaded Ukraine

UKHO to extend timetable for paper chart withdrawal

NATO conducts exercise with two Albanian Navy patrol vessels

Discover the French Navy’s New OPV for the Indo-Pacific (Editor – 5:05 min video)

Gibraltar Seizes Large Amount of Cocaine Hidden in Bulker’s Sea Chest

Icon of the Seas dome an engineering feat for world’s next largest cruise ship (Editor – 20-deck, 250,800-gross-ton vessel)

Hapag-Lloyd kicks off retrofits of 100 ships with new propellers and bulbous bows

Germany Explores Hydrogen Bunkering from its North Sea Island



France Navy FREMM DA Alsace makes port visit in Israel

U.S. Expands Sanctions on Iranian Petchem Smuggling Network

Watch: World’s largest containership squeezes through Suez Canal (Editor – 1:22 min video)



Alarm as Cases of Seafarers Abandonment Hit New Highs in 2022 and then mutiny! J Seafarers Seize Ship Over Owed Wages and Owner Neglect

Droughts leave cargo riverboats high and dry

Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov to call at Cape Town on Sunday

Hensoldt South Africa to supply SM periscope to South American navy

Urgent need for change in ship recycling sector: 80% of ships scrapped on South Asian beaches

US Cargo Ship Delivers New Causeway Along with Supplies to Antarctic

Nigeria orders more vessels from France’s Ocea



HMS Caroline to reopen to public after three years (Editor – Visit HMS Caroline

sole survivor from the Battle of Jutland)

CIMSEC: Kamikazes: The Soviet Legacy and Kamikazes: the legacy of Soviet naval aviation, pt. 2  (Editor – cold war chronicles)

Free labour spawns sabotage in Nazi factories

The Mariner’s Mirror – Fishermen Vs U-Boats: Harry Tate’s Navy (Editor – 29 min podcast)



11 February 1942  The unescorted motor tanker MV Victolite, (Imperial Oil Shipping Co. Ltd of Toronto), was sailing from Halifax to Las Piedras, Venezuela with a cargo of ballast seawater in her tanks (She would be returning to Halifax with tanks of Venezuelan petroleum).  At 0328 on 11 Feb 42, she was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-564 (Reinhard Suhren) about 260 nm north-northwest of Bermuda.  The surfaced U-boat watched the crew abandon their ship in lifeboats, identified the vessel from her distress signals, and then shelled her for a short time to confirm that all crew had left.  A boarding party in a rubber dinghy then went to the abandoned tanker to search for secret documents and diesel oil that could be used to refuel the U-boat, but all safes were open and empty, and the fuel found was unsuitable as it was too viscous.  The boarding party left after placing four scuttling charges in the engine room.  However, the ship remained afloat after the explosions and U-564 shelled her again.  The U-boat left the burning wreck behind after firing 98 rounds from the deck gun into the tanks and the superstructure.  The lifeboats with the 45 crew members and the 2 Royal Navy DEMS gunners were never seen again.

14 February 1945  Five Motor Torpedo Boats (459, 461, 462, 465, 466) of the Canadian 29th Flotilla accidently burned in Ostende harbour, three boats were saved.  26 RCN and 35 RN crew were killed.  This disaster was a stunning blow to the men of the small craft everywhere; and only the 65th Canadian Flotilla now remained to carry on to the end of the war with what was perhaps the most colourful, the most closely knit and the most thoroughly “allied” of all forces in which men of British, Canadian, French and many other nationalities worked together.

15 February 1944   On 15 February 1944, the Canadian built (Burrard Dry Dock Company, Vancouver) but British crewed SS Fort St. Nicholas was providing logistics support to Operation Shingle (the landing of allied troops at Anzio).  At 15:22, she was sunk (40°34’N 14°38’E) about 9 nm SW of Salerno Italy by a G7es (T54) passive acoustic torpedo which was fired by U-410 (Horst-Arno Fenski).  The Master and crew were rescued by an RAF crash boat and landed at Salerno.

15 February 1965  The Maple Leaf becomes Canada’s official flag.

15 February 1982 the semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit “Ocean Ranger” sank in what was one of the worst offshore accidents in Canadian history.  The Ocean Ranger was drilling an exploration well on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland for Mobil Oil of Canada, Ltd with 84 crew members on board when it sank in a storm.  There were no survivors.

16 February 1945  HMCS Saint John commanded by Cdr (RN) AFC Layard (Temporarily in Command while A/LCdr William R. Stacey, DSC, RCNR was absent) sank 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.

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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