Naval History Homepage and Site Search




EAST INDIES STATION - c April 1940 to c May 1941


Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMS Khartoum, destroyer, at her launch 5 February 1939; lost less than 18 months later  (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

on to Eastern Theatre Operations, November 1941 to March 1942
or back to Admiralty War Diaries


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)


East Indies Station September 1939 to March 1942






Areas of Operations (click to enlarge). Only some locations in text are shown



Click for Convoy Route Codes, Operation Code Names and Royal Navy  Minelaying





Commander in Chief East Indies Station


15th October 1940

No. 1084 E.I. 03203


War Despatch


I have the honour to forward for the information of Their Lordships the following brief report on general matters of interest concerning the activities of my Command covering the period since my previous despatch (545 E.I. 3203 of 15th April 1940) to the present time.


2.  Detailed records of the activities continue to be forwarded separately in accordance with the directions of Their Lordships.


3.  At the beginning of the period under review the chief function of the East Indies Squadron were still the protection of trade and escort and cover of troop convoys and individual troopships, the forces at my disposal including a hunting force and submarines.  The opportunity was taken to carry out an extensive refitting programme in order to prepare the ships as far as possible for future eventualities, which appeared likely to arise.


4.  Towards the end of March and throughout April and May the increasing tension with Italy necessitated full precautionary measures being taken, and considerable changes in the composition and disposal of the East Indies Squadron were effected.  The aircraft carriers, newest cruisers, and submarines were all transferred to the Mediterranean Station, whence and also from other Stations reinforcements were drawn in the shape of older cruisers, sloops, and A/S Trawlers.  A Red Sea Force was instituted under the Command of Rear Admiral A.J.L. Murray, C.B., D.S.O., O.B.E., who had previously commanded hunting Force 'I'.


5.  The actual outbreak of war with Italy came as a relief for all officers and men, who welcomed the prospect of action after the enforced passivity that had obtained hitherto on the East Indies Station.  This passivity had not, however, been borne by all, since many of the reinforcing ships had seen service in Home Waters and the experience they had gained in action has proved invaluable, particularly in the protection of convoys from air attack.


(page two missing, containing paragraphs 6 through 11).


11. ...expressed his desire to carry on the fight with the British but was recalled to Saigon by his Commander in Chief.


12.  During August, units of the Red Sea and Aden Forces took an effective part first in reinforcing and then evacuating British Somaliland.  The latter operation was most expeditiously carried out under difficult conditions.  The Commander in Chief, Middle East, in his despatch covering the operations paid warm tribute to the work of the Naval Forces involved, and singled out certain officers and ratings as worthy of awards.  My submissions 947/E.I. 260 of 6th September 1940 and 1032/E.I. 260 of 4th October 1940 reported the matter to Their Lordships.


13.  My Station marches with the Command of the Commander in Chief, Middle East to a considerable extent and I have felt the need at times of better liaison with him.  Arrangements are now in train which I hope will effect this and facilitate the excellent cooperation which I have constantly experienced from him and the Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Middle East.  The Air Officer Commanding, Far East has continued readily to meet the naval requirements on the East Indies Station, so far as his resources have permitted.


14.  I have to regret I have to make mention of the loss of one of H.M. Ships and one of H.M.I. Ships.  H.M.S. KHARTOUM sank on 23rd June as a result of an internal explosion initiated by the bursting of a torpedo air vessel (see HMS Khartoum - Loss due to defective air vessel, 23rd June 1940).  Fortunately, the only casualties were one rating killed, one officer and three ratings injured, and certain of the equipment was salved.  On the same day, I learnt of the loss of H.M.I.S. PATHAN off Bombay, also owing to an explosion, but the definite cause of this has not been established.  In this case the casualty list was regrettably longer, namely 2 officers and 3 ratings killed, and 22 ratings injured.


15.  Endeavour has been made to strengthen the local defences at the ports under my control, but the lack of suitable craft leaves much to be desired.  The situation will be improved when the building now in progress outside the United Kingdom begins to show results.


16.  I continue to be well satisfied and deeply impressed with the keenness, efficiency, and excellent spirit shown by all the personnel who serve on the East Indies Station, both afloat and ashore, and including the Fleet Auxiliaries and ships of the Royal Merchant Navy, and the civil staffs.  My command at the date of this despatch includes five R.A.N. ships, one manned largely by New Zealand personnel and five R.I.N. sloops.  I have nothing but the highest praise for the loyal service they are all giving.


17.  On this occasion there are no officers and ratings whom I wish to Commend especially to the notice of Their Lordships, other than those whose names have been reported in connection with particular operations and incidents.


 I have the Honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant.

(sgd) R. Leatham, Vice Admiral, Commander in Chief.







Commander in Chief East Indies Station


7th March 1941


No. 264 E.I. 03203


War Despatch


I have the honour to forward for the information of Their Lordships the following brief report on general matters of interest concerning the activities of my Command covering the period since my previous despatch (1084/E.I. 03202 of 15th October 1940) to the present time.


2.  Detailed records of the activities continue to be forwarded separately in accordance with the direction of Their Lordships.


3.  During the period under review, the war has entered on a much more dynamic phase on the East Indies Station and many of the ships under my command have been in action with the enemy – either surface craft, aircraft, or shore batteries.  The four remaining Italian U boats east of the Mediterranean have continued to evade contact with our surface forces, but within the past few days a strong claim has been made by a unit of the Royal Air Force to have destroyed one of them in the Red Sea.  This claim at present awaits conclusive confirmation.  The other U boats are believed to be trying to make their way to Italy or occupied France via the Cape, and hopes are held that they will be intercepted.


Action with enemy surface unit.


4.  On Trafalgar Day, 1940, H.M.S. KIMBERLEY (Lieutenant Commander J.S.M. Richardson) engaged and sank off Harmil (Hormi ?) Island, the Italian destroyer FRANCESCO NULLO, which with at least one other destroyer, had unsuccessfully a British convoy during the previous night.  A second enemy destroyer was later during the same day damaged and possibly sunk in the same locality by a Royal Air Force bomb attack.


5.  Another successful attack by one of H.M. Ships on an Italian armed surface craft took placed on 27th February when H.M.S. LEANDER (Captain R.H. Bevan, Royal Navy) intercepted the raider RAMB I after the latter had been at sea a week, having left Massawa to cruise towards the Dutch East Indies.  Although completely outclassed, the raider gallantly engaged LEANDER, but a few salvoes set her heavily on fire and she struck her colours and was abandoned by her officers and crew, all of whom (104 in total) were saved except on man killed in action and another who died of wounds in LEANDER.


6.  After a quiet period reports a raider activity on this Station, re commenced early in November since when they have been intermittent, culminating on 22nd February in the sighted of a Pocket Battleship (presumably ADMIRAL SCHEER) by an aircraft belonging to H.M.S. GLASGOW (Captain H. Hickling, Royal Navy).  The aircraft was carrying out a special search as the result of two raider distress reports on successive days in the Seychelles – Madagascar area. At the time of sighting GLASGOW was approximately 70 miles distant.  Owing to low visibility the aircraft failed to regain touch with the raider after refuelling, and as the speed of GLASGOW was limited 24 knots on account of damage by enemy action on the Mediterranean Station, the ship herself was unable to make contact with the raider.  On receipt of the report, I immediately instituted a hunt with all the available force at my disposal but there has since been no further news of the pocket battleship and it appears probable that she has proceeded to a different area.  The hunt continues but a number of units engaged in it have had to be withdrawn to their other tasks, convoy escort, cooperation with the military forces in East Africa, etc.


7.  On 4th March, in the course of the hunt for the pocket battleship, H.M.A.S. CANBERRA encountered in position 8-40S, 6-25E, the German ship COBURG in company with the Norwegian tanker KETTY BROVIG (which, it was ascertained later, had been captured by a German raider on 2nd February.)  Neither ship was flying colours.  Suspecting COBURG to be a raider (it was subsequently proved she had no guns)  CANBERRA engaged her until she was set on fire amidships.  Both COBURG and KETTY BROVIG were abandoned by their crews, the tanker after taking scuttling action.  It not possible to save either ship.  The survivors, numbering approximately 100 (including Germans, Norwegians, and Chinese) were picked up by CANBERRA and LEANDER who were operation as a unit.  A full report of this occurrence has not been received.


Offensive Action Against enemy land forces, etc.


8.  The military offensive against Italian Somaliland which began on 11 February was successfully assisted in its early stages by a force of H.M. Ships under the immediate command of Captain J.H. Edelstein, Royal Navy, H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE, and cooperation is now being maintained by H.M.S. CERES (Captain E.G. Abbot, A.M., Royal Navy) and my liaison officer (Lieutenant Commander M.H. St. L. Nott, O.B.E., Royal Indian Navy).  Their written reports have not yet reached me.  One of the earliest and not the least important results of the offensive was the capture of five Italian merchant vessels, trying to escape from Kismayu.  These will shortly be in service under the British Flag, and it is hoped that three others which scuttled themselves at Kismayu will be salved.  A Yugoslav ship which had been captured and used by a German raider to convey prisoners to Mogadiscio was recovered in a seaworthy condition and the prisoners themselves were rescued on shore and taken to Mombasa in CERES.  Some of them have volunteered to man the captured Italian ships.  The German ship UCKERMARK, which had been at Kismayu since the outbreak of war, scuttled herself on being intercepted by H.M.S. HAWKINS (Captain H.P.K. Oram Royal Navy) and efforts to prevent her sinking were unavailing.  Another German ship TANNENFELS which left Kismayu on 30th January has not yet been traced.  One Italian ship has reached Madagascar and one other is not yet accounted for.


9.  For some time prior to these operations I had been concerned about the evidence that the Italians were obtaining supplies through the ports of Kismayu and Mogadiscio – allegedly from Japanese sources.   H.M. Ships carried out as constant patrol off the coast as could be arranged with my limited resources, but it became clear that evasion was taking place, and as a further deterrent bombardment of supply ships and various military objectives at Kismayu and Mogadiscio, as well as at other places along the coast, were carried out during November and December by H.M. Ships COLOMBO (Captain C.A.E. Stanfield, Royal Navy), DORSETSHIRE (Captain B.C.S. Martin, Royal Navy), LEANDER (Captain R.H. Bevan, Royal Navy), and SOUTHAMPTON (Captain B.C.B. Brooke, Royal Navy).    Further such operations planned for January were cancelled on account of the impending military offensive, but early in February, Fleet Air Arm aircraft from H.M.S. FORMIDABLE (Captain A.W. La T. Bissett, Royal Navy) successfully bombed Mogadiscio and laid magnetic mines in the approaches to the harbour.


10.  Subsequently, Fleet Air Arm aircraft from FORMIDABLE carried out three bombing and torpedo attacks on Massawa, the results of which have not been clearly established.  From the first of these attacks, two aircraft failed to return and it is believed the crews are now prisoners of war. (Acting S/LT (A) J.H. Jefford, S/LT (A) C.P. Simpson, and Leading Airman F.H. Shiel of 826 Squadron and Acting S/LT (A) D.M.R. Wynne-Roberts, RNVR, Probationary Temporary Acting S/LT (A) M.G.C. Keeley, RNVR, and Leading Airman W.M. Brown of 829 Squadron were shot down and made prisoners of war.).


11.  The arrangements for seaborne supplies for the advancing forces in Italian Somaliland are being energetically organized by Captain Abbott and Lieutenant Commander Nott (see para. 8).  In conjunction with the local military and sea transport authorities.  Similar action is being taken in respect of the coastal operations in the Eritrea by the Navy Officer in Charge, Port Sudan (Commander G.T. Whitehouse, D.S.C., Royal Naval Reserve).


Enemy Air Activity


12.  There has been a marked diminution in enemy air offensive action and it now more than four months since an air attack was made on shipping in the Red Sea, in spite of the attractive targets offered by the many large troop convoys.  Aden, also, was free from air raids for a long period which was recently broken on one occasion with little effect.  In October, Bahrein was visited by Italian aircraft which aimed bombs at the oil fields, but no damage resulted.  Immediate steps were taken to provide such A/A defence as was procurable, but the raid has not been repeated yet.


Protection of Trade, etc


13.  The protection of trade and the escort and cover of troop convoys and individual troopships continue to be the chief responsibility of the East Indies Squadron.  The prevalence of raiders and unavoidable paucity of warships to patrol trade routes combine to cause constant anxiety.  A partial solution has been effected by a general policy of routeing traffic, as far as possible, in such a manner as to render attack more and protection less difficult – at the expense of additional steaming distances for many ships.


14.  The size and importance of convoys escorted through the station have gone on increasing and I am happy to be able to record that they have continued to enjoy immunity fro loss.  My signal -612 of 10th February (copy attached) contains some statistics in this connection.


Far Eastern Situation


15.  The deterioration of the Far Eastern situation during the past few months has caused full precautionary measures to be taken.  I have been represented at two conferences held at Singapore to discuss defensive measures and plans in general.  To facilitate these, the Admiralty approved in November that the boundary between the China and East Indies Station should be adjusted so that the coasts of Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands now fall with in the China Command.


Relations with French


16.  The situation in regard to the French Colonies on the East Indies Station has remained more or less static and with the irritation caused by the interception of French shipping, there appears little prospect of any early change under the present administrations.




17.   The appointment of my own Liaison Officer to General Headquarters, Middle East, has proved of the greatest value and has been an unqualified success.  I owe to the Commander in Chief, Middle East and the Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Middle East – and to their subordinate Commanders with whom I have had dealings- a debt of gratitude for the whole hearted cooperation which they have always afforded to me and my representatives.  Cooperation with the Command in Chief, Far East, has also been established on a basis which will be most valuable when the new flying boat squadrons and bases are functioning on the East Indies Station.


18.  I reiterate my satisfaction with the high standard of keenness and efficiency displayed by all the personnel under my command and I wish to express my admiration of the manner in which they maintain such an excellent morale in the face of monotony, a trying climate and, for most of them, very brief opportunities for recreation.  I am confident that every soul among them will welcome every opportunity to show the enemy their combative spirit and their superiority in battle.


19.  I attach as an appendix the names of certain officers and ratings – other than those who have been reported in connection with particular operations and incidents – whom I wish to commend especially to the notice of Their Lordships.


I have the Honour to be, Sir, Your Obedient Servant

 (sgd) R. Leatham, Vice Admiral, Commander in Chief.







Commander in Chief, East Indies Station

H.M. Naval Office, Colombo


16th July 1941


No. 796/E.I. 03203.




I have the honour to forward for the information of Their Lordships, the following brief report on general matters of interest concerning the activities of my Command, covering the period since my previous despatch (264/E.I. 03203 of 7th March 1941) to the date on which I am transferring command of the East Indies Station to Vice Admiral Geoffrey Schomberg Arbuthnot, C.B., D.S.O.


2.  Detailed reports continue to be forwarded separately in accordance with the directions of Their Lordships.


3.  The most noteworthy happenings during the period under review have been the total extinction of the Italian Naval resistance and maritime interests in the Red Sea; the sinking of a German raider after a long and successful career of depredation in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans; and the outbreak of trouble in Iraq.


Operations against Italian forces


4.  Early in March, the remaining four of the Italian U boats which had been based at Massawa were understood to be trying to make their way to Italy or occupied France, via the Cape.  Dispositions were made which it was hoped might lead to the interception of one of more of them.  The result, however, was negative, and it is presumed that the U Boats safely completed the first phase of their voyage.


5.  On 16th March, after being in enemy hands seven months, Berbera was recaptured by a force of Indian troops from Aden.  These were transported in a small force of H.M. Ships and H.M. Indian Ships under the command of Captain Harold Hickling, Royal Navy, H.M.S. GLASGOW, and an effective naval bombardment practically cleared the town of Italian troops so that the landing me with negligible resistance.  The recovery of Berbera provided the British Forces operating in Italian East Africa with a strategically better base for supplies.


6.  As the capture of Massawa became imminent, special action was taken to intercept any enemy merchant ships which might attempt to escape and to frustrate such offensive operations as enemy warships might be tempted to undertake in a 'death or glory' spirit.  The Italian sloop ERITREA and auxiliary cruiser RAMB II succeeded in escaping to Japan and the German merchant ships WARTENFELS to Madagascar.  Two further German merchant ships BERTRAM RICKMERS and ODER now made the attempt but were intercepted by H.M. Ships and scuttled themselves.  It was elicited from prisoners taken from the ODER that a notified 'minefield' in the Bab el Mandeb Straits had had a deterrent effect on the other ships which might have escaped and now, it is hoped, will be salved at Massawa.


7.  On 1st April, a report was made to me from the Fleet Air Arm unit disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE at Port Sudan that an Italian destroyer (LEONE) was observed to be sunk about 40 miles northeast of Massawa.  The ship had been observed under way earlier from the air and it is probable she scuttled herself or ran ashore.  On 3rd April, the same Fleet Air Arm unit sighted four Italian destroyers off Port Sudan.  Two of them (NAZARIO SAURO and DANIELE MANIN) were hit by bombs and sunk.  The other two (PANTERA and TIGRE) scuttled themselves on the Saudi Arabian coast about 20 miles south of Jeddah.  Of the three destroyers or torpedo boats not accounted for, two were found to be scuttled when Massawa fell on 8th April and the third is believed to have scuttled on the Saudi Arabian coast.  Thus the offensive operations that had been looked for from the destroyers failed to materialize, but a presumed 'E' boat attacked H.M.S. CAPETOWN about 40 miles north of Massawa on the night of 7th/8th April and obtained a torpedo hit in a boiler room the repairs to which will unfortunately keep the ship out of action for several months.


Mine clearance at Massawa was pressed on with and the first ship to enter the port was H.M.I.S. HINDUSTAN on 15th April.  Subsequently the work of clearing up the outlying islands was proceeded with.


8.  This elimination of the Italian Naval forces together with the nearly complete destruction of their air forces, enabled me to bring to an end the convoying of ships through the Red Sea and thereby to speed up supplies to the Middle East and to transfer urgently needed reinforcements of cruisers, destroyers, and sloops to the Mediterranean Fleet.


9.  Minor Operations against Italian East Africa, in which naval forces have taken part, were the capture of Dante, Cape Guardafui Lighthouse (now again in operations) and finally of Assab.  I regret that during these operations the Royal Indian Navy A/S vessel PARVATI was sunk by a mine off Assab on 30th April.


Raider Activity


10.  In my despatch dated 7th March, I stated that the hunt continued for the Pocket Battleship ADMIRAL SCHEER (which was sighted on the East Indies Station on 22nd February) but unfortunately no further contact was made and it is understood that the ship returned safely to Germany.  After the hunt was abandoned, there was no known raider activity on the Station until 25th April, when S.S. EMPIRE LIGHT was sunk without succeeding in passing a distress message.  Three days later an incomplete distress message was received from S.S. CLAN BUCHANAN and on 7th May a similar message from S.S. BRITISH EMPEROR.  As a result of the dispositions,  I then made the raider (No.33, alias PENGUIN, a converted merchant ship) was intercepted on the following day by H.M.S. CORNWALL (Captain P.C.W. Manwaring, Royal Navy) and was destroyed after a short engagement.  A full report of the action has been forwarded separately (791/E.I. 1287 of 15th July 1941).


11,  There has since been a further lull in know raider activity, but two ships (S.S. MAREEBA and S.S. VELEBIT) have recently been given up for lost in the Bay of Bengal, and in the absence of any other satisfactory explanation, it must be assumed that a raider was responsible.  The forces at the disposal of the Commander in Chief for protection of shipping have been greatly strengthened by the return of H.M. Ships HERMES and ENTERPRISE to ocean patrol after a period in the Persian Gulf, necessitated by events in Iraq.  Also a number of Royal Air Force Catalina flying boats are now available and should be of the greatest value for the protection of shipping and the location and destruction of raiders.


Iraq and Persian Gulf


12.  At the beginning of April a military coup d'etat in Iraq resulted in the Regent embarking at very short notice in H.M.S. COCKCHAFER at Basrah and a new Administration with pronounced pro Axis inclinations being set up under Rashid Ali.  In consequence of the announced intention of H.M. Government to carry out their treaty righty of establishing lines of communications in Iraq and the distinct possibility of trouble when troops arrived, the Persian Gulf Division of H.M. Ships was strongly reinforced and the Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf (Commodore Cosmo M. Graham, Royal Navy) transferred his headquarters from Bahrein to Basrah.


13.  The first troop convoy from India was due to arrived at Basrah about 17th April and on the 14th April, in compliance with the wishes of Their Lordships, I transferred my flag to H.M.S. LEANDER and proceeded with despatch to the Persian Gulf, arriving at Basrah on 19th April, having further transferred my flag to H.M.S. SEABELLE at the Outer Bar of the Shatt el Arab.  In the meantime, after the uncertainty which existed until almost the last minute whether the disembarkation would be opposed, the troop convoy had arrived on the 17th and the landing was effected without incident.


14.  I remained at Basrah for four days, during which I held valuable conferences with the General Officer Command, British Troops, and the Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf, and exchanged calls with the local dignitaries – each of whom was affable to a degree, although one was sensible all the time that the atmosphere of tension had not dissipated.  There was however, no good reason for me to remain longer from my headquarters and with the approval of Their Lordships, I returned in H.M.S. LEANDER to Colombo, arriving 29th April.  The ship called at Bahrein for fuel, and I took the opportunity to wait upon the Sheikh of Bahrein (His Highness Sir Hamad bin ΤIsa Al Khalifah), and to inspect the naval establishment.  Off Muscat I carried out a 'flag showing' demonstration having previously informed the Political Agent.


15.  On 2nd May, after the British troops had been appreciably reinforced from India, hostilities with the Iraqis broke out and continued until the armistice was signed on 31st May.  While they lasted, H.M. Ships at Basrah forced an integral part of the defences of the town, a landing parted from H.M.S. EMERALD seized Fao, and aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm disembarked from H.M.S. HERMES did excellent work in support of the Royal Air Force.  Later naval vessels carried a waterborne expedition to Kut.  Throughout, convoys bringing large numbers of troops under the escort of H.M. Ships continued to arrive safely from India. And the work of reinforcement still goes on.


16.  The arrival of German aircraft in Iraq, and the probability of Syria being used as a base for large numbers of them, brought the problem of protecting the vulnerable Shatt el Arab from enemy mining urgently to the fore.  The imminence of the danger has not passed, but nevertheless all possible measures are being taken to press on with providing against the contingency should it again arise.  One of these is the development of an alternative to Basrah as the base for supplies.  There is a divergence of opinion between the Services whether this would be better situated at Um Qaer or at Kuwait, and I have represented my views to the Admiralty.  At the present time a reconnaissance of the Persian Gulf generally is being carried out by representatives of the combined Services.


Enemy Air Attacks


17.  The approach of enemy forces in the Eastern Mediterranean also brought home the necessity of arming merchant vessels using the Red Sea and Persian Gulf against enemy air attacks and a scheme to effect this to the fullest extent practically has been instituted.  The increased menace from the air by bombs or mines to the safe arrival at Suez of the large and valuable transports included in troop convoys, has necessitated also the selection of alternative anchorages where, if circumstances indicate the desirability of doing so, disembarkation will be effected instead of at Suez.


Far Eastern Situation


18.  My Chief of Staff represented me at a further conference held at Singapore in April, and in the absence of any improvement in the Far Eastern outlook, there has been no relaxation in the precautionary measures which have been taken.


Relations with French


19. There is still little change to report in regard to the Vichy French Colonies on the East Indies Station.  As far as possible all sea borne supplies are prevented from reaching French Somaliland, but there is no indication that this will have any early effect in making the Governor less intransigent.  With regard to Madagascar, I have represented to Their Lordships my concern over the serious menace to our shipping that would ensue from ships, submarines, and aircraft based on that Island if it were allowed to remain in Vichy Hands in the event of a state of War with Britain being declared.




20.  In this my final despatch I wish to pay renewed tribute to all the Military and Air Force Commanders and The Civil Heads of Administration in India, the Colonies, and Protectorates, etc with whom I had dealings for their courteous and ready cooperation.


21.  I also wish to express my appreciation of the excellent service I have at all times received from the Officers and men of the Royal Indian Navy who have served under my command.  They have done splendid work and for this and many other services I am indebted in no small degree to Vice Admiral Sir Herbert Fitzherbert, K.C.I.E., C.B., C.M.G., with whom I have always maintained the closest relations.  I am no less grateful to the Officers and men of the Australian, New Zealand, and Free French warships who from time to time have operated on the Station.


22.  Finally, I have conveyed my thanks to all (including those who man the Royal Fleet Auxiliaries and Mercantile Fleet Auxiliaries, and the other Civil Staffs) at present serving on the East Indies Station for the tireless and willing help they have given me – with a special word of gratitude to the Engine Room staffs and those, who, both afloat and ashore, have had to stick it out under the worst Climatic conditions.


23.  I attach as an appendix the names of certain Officers and ratings – other than those who have been reported in connection with particular operations and incidents – whom I wish to commend especially to the notice of Their Lordships.

 I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant

(sgd)  R. Leatham, Vice Admiral, Commander in Chief.


on to Eastern Theatre Operations, November 1941 to March 1942
or back to Admiralty War Diaries

revised 9/4/12