2017 has been a very busy year on my social media. In January I started a campaign of posting “On This Day in RCNHistory,” in addition to my “RCN Photo of the Day”. This has lead to a very active year on my Twitter and Facebook feeds with over 2 million hits on Twitter alone.
Below is my Top 10 List from my Twitter feed.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) October 14, 2017
Published 14 October with 6,186 hits, this post celebrated the arrival of Canada’s first submarines in Halifax, NS following an arduous journey from Esquimalt, BC. During this transit they became the first RCN ships to pass through the Panama Canal.
Canadian Artist Marc Magee’s painting is the focus of this post.
Cold, snow and ice, Merchant Sailors are still working the Great Lakes until the end of December. Canada is a Maritime Nation. https://t.co/b0qFiu3TpE
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) December 17, 2017
— Captain Jason Church (@JasonChurch) December 15, 2017
Published on 17 December, my quote of this video from Captain Jason Church had 6,443 hits. Many Canadians don’t realize how important the Merchant Navy is to Canada’s economy. Capt Church is a master in one of the Lakers working the Great Lakes and routinely posts video’s of his ships movements.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) August 24, 2017
Published on 24 August this post received 6,726 hits, honouring Canada’s first units to depart for the Persian Gulf.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) April 11, 2017
Published on 11 April for National Pet Day, this post had 7,005 hits. Any post with a cute puppy does well, especially when standing on the bridge of one of Canada’s Navy ships.
#OTD/1942 in #RCNHistory -Battle for Convoy ONS154 begins. In a 7 day running battle HMCShips ST. LAURENT, BATTLEFORD, CHILLIWACK, NAPANEE, SHEDIAC & KENOGAMI engage 21 UBoats. 14 of 46 merchant ships are lost w/ 551 sailors killed, 1 UBoat sunk. @MMageeArt painting. pic.twitter.com/1XuBs7sqRp
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) December 26, 2017
Published on 26 December, this post had 7,042 hits at the time of writing this blog. The Battle for Convoy ONS 154 was a tragic 7 day running battle across the North Atlantic, six RCN ships battled 21 German UBoats and is considered one of the worst convoy battles during WWII.
Artist Marc Magee captured the torpedoing of SS Scottish Heather, the tanker was the fuel ship for the convoy escort. Her loss restricted the ability of the escorts to pursuit the UBoats and resulted in several escorts ships running out of fuel and having to be towed into port.
#OTD/1958 in #RCNHistory -The RCN’s Banshee F@H-3 fighters are fitted with Sidewinder missiles, becoming the 1st Canadian Military aircraft to have air-air missiles. Photo -DND/LAC 4951335 @RCN_MRC @RCAF_ARC pic.twitter.com/BUBk7uxgvs
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) December 10, 2017
Published on 10 December with 7,332 hits. So often when the history of the Canadian Navy is discussed the heritage of the Canadian Naval Air Service is omitted. With a rich history, the Fleet Air Arm has played an active role in Canadian Naval history. The first Canadian military aircraft to be equipped with Sidewinder air-to-air missles was the RCN’s Banshees flying from HMCS BONAVENTURE.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) January 22, 2017
Published in the New Year on 22 January, this post is a collection of photos I took on 1 May 2016 and received 7,469 hits. I was very fortunate to attend the 2016 Battle of Atlantic Service in HMCS MONTREAL off Halifax.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) July 9, 2017
Published on 9 July with 7,522 hits, this post celebrated Canadian engineering and innovation. HMCS BRAS D’OR was a Canadian designed hydrofoil for the RCN and set the world speed record. Today she is a museum ship at the Musee Maritime de Quebec in L’Islet, PQ.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) July 23, 2017
Published on 23 July this post had 8,680 hits. With the National Shipbuilding program underway and the loss of the RCN’s replenishment ships, the construction of MV Asterix as an interim AOR has created much discussion. She remains a privately owned merchant ship and is leased to the Canadian Government. This is new in Canadian Naval circles and therefor the name and designation of the ship has created some interesting discussions.
— RLitwiller-NavAuthor (@RLitwiller) July 22, 2017
The top tweet on my feed is also about MV Asterix, published on 22 July, this blog link received 9,043 views. Federal Fleet Services who own and manage ASTERIX invited me to the official unveiling of the AOR at Davie Shipyard in Levis, Quebec. This was the first in a series of blog posts relating to the construction of this magnificent ship.
2017 has been an exceptional year of experiences for me. I have been fortunate to attend several events; the unveiling of MV Asterix, speaking across Canada, including Navy Days at the Naval Museum of Alberta in Calgary and RCN Gala at HMCS CATARAQUI in Kingston, participating in the Tall Ships in Bath, ON, Quebec City and Halifax, dedication of a new Battle of Atlantic Memorial at HMCS PREVOST in London, ON, and contributing to a video documentary on WWII Shipbuilding, just to name a few. Needless to say, I am looking forward to new adventures in 2018!
I would like to thank my social media followers, for it is your support that has made this one of my most successful years. Please continue to follow/like my feeds and I look forward to your comments.
Cover Photo: At the 2017 HMCS CATARAQUI Naval Ball on 3 November Roger presented LCdr Robert Brunner, Commanding Officer, with a historical plaque on HMCS TRENTONIAN to be displayed with the exceptional model of the RCN Corvette at the Naval Reserve Unit. Photo courtesy Brian T. Lee -DND Photographer.