Far East Fleet (United Kingdom)

The Far East Fleet (also called the Far East Station) was a fleet of the Royal Navy which existed between 1952 and 1971.

Far East Fleet
HMNZS Taranaki (F148) underway in May 1964.jpg
Taranaki and Victorious underway during exercises in May 1964
Active1952–1971
Country UK
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeFleet
Garrison/HQSingapore Naval Base
EngagementsMalayan Emergency
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

During the Second World War, the Eastern Fleet included many ships and personnel from other navies, including those of the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. On 22 November 1944 the Eastern Fleet was re-designated East Indies fleet and continued to be based in Trincomalee. Following its re-designation its remaining ships formed the British Pacific Fleet.[1] In December 1945 the British Pacific Fleet was disbanded and its forces were absorbed into the East Indies Fleet. In 1952 The East Indies Fleet was renamed the Far East Fleet. After the Second World War the East Indies Station continued as a separate command to the Far East until 1958. In 1971 the Far East Fleet was abolished and its remaining forces returned home, coming under the command of the new, unified, Commander-in-Chief Fleet.

Post-warEdit

After the war, the East Indies Fleet was once again based at the Singapore Naval Base. The 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron HMS Glory and HMS Theseus) arrived from the British Pacific Fleet in October 1945, and operated from Trincomalee, then Singapore, from October 1945 to October 1947. In 1952, the East Indies Fleet was redesignated the Far East Fleet. The Fleet then took part in the Malayan Emergency and the Confrontation with Indonesia in the 1960s. By 1964, the fleet on station included Victorious, Centaur, Bulwark, Kent, Hampshire, 17 destroyers and frigates, about ten minesweepers and five submarines.[2]

The Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Fleet, for most of the postwar period a rear admiral, was based afloat, and tasked with keeping the fleet "up to the mark operationally". Some also held the appointment of Flag Officer Commanding 5th Cruiser Squadron, probably including Rear Admiral E.G.A. Clifford CB, who was flying his flag in HMS Newcastle on 12 November 1953. Meanwhile, the fleet commander, a vice admiral, ran the fleet programme and major items of administration 'including all provision for docking and maintenance' from his base in Singapore.[3]

The fleet was disbanded in 1971, and on 31 October 1971, the last day of the validity of the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement, the last Commander, Far East Fleet, Rear Admiral Anthony Troup, hauled down his flag.[4]

Commander-in-Chief, Far East FleetEdit

Post holders included:[5][6]

Rank Flag Name Term
Commander-in-Chief, Far East Fleet
1 Vice-Admiral   Sir Guy Russell January 1952 – March 1953
2 Vice-Admiral   Sir Charles Lambe March 1953 – April 1955
3 Vice-Admiral   Sir Alan Scott-Moncrieff April 1955 – October 1957
4 Vice-Admiral   Sir Gerald Gladstone October 1957 – April 1960
5 Vice-Admiral   Sir David Luce April 1960 – November 1962
6 Vice-Admiral   Sir Desmond Dreyer November 1962 – January 1965
7 Vice-Admiral   Sir Frank Twiss January 1965 – June 1967
8 Vice-Admiral   Sir William O'Brien June 1967 -September 1969
9 Vice-Admiral   Sir Derek Empson September 1969 – April 1971
10 Vice-Admiral   Sir Anthony Troup April – November 1971

Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East FleetEdit

Included:[citation needed]

Rank Flag Name Term
Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Fleet
1 Rear-Admiral   Laurence Durlacher 1957–1958
2 Rear-Admiral   Varyl Begg 1958–1960[7]
3 Rear-Admiral   Michael Le Fanu 1960–1961
4 Rear-Admiral   John Frewen 1961–1962
5 Rear-Admiral   Jack Scatchard 1962–1964
6 Rear-Admiral   Peter Hill-Norton 1964–1966
7 Rear-Admiral   Charles Mills 1966–1967
8 Rear-Admiral   Edward Ashmore 1967–1968
9 Rear-Admiral   Anthony Griffin 1968–1969
10 Rear-Admiral   Terence Lewin 1969–1970
11 Rear-Admiral   David Williams 1970–1971

Chief of Staff, Far East FleetEdit

Included:[8]

Rank Flag Name Term
Chief of Staff, Far East Fleet
1 Captain Ralph L. Fisher January – October 1952
2 Commodore   Laurence G. Durlacher October 1952 – September 1954
3 Commodore   George A. F. Norfolk September 1954 – October 1956
5 Commodore   Christopher H. Hutchinson October 1956 – March 1959
6 Rear-Admiral   Ronald E. Portlock March 1959 – April 1961
7 Rear-Admiral   Bryan C. Durant April 1961 – July 1963
8 Rear-Admiral   Francis B. P. Brayne-Nicholls July 1963 – July 1965
9 Rear-Admiral   Dennis H. Mason July 1965 – December 1967
10 Rear-Admiral   Ian D. McLaughlan December 1967 – February 1970
9 Rear-Admiral   John A. Templeton-Cotill February 1970 – March 1971

Flag Officer, Malayan AreaEdit

As the Malayan Emergency developed, the Flag Officer, Malayan Area's title changed as his areas of responsibility increased.[9]

Commodore, Amphibious Forces, Far East FleetEdit

Commodore, Amphibious Forces, Far East (COMAFFEF)[10] was based at HMNB Singapore from May 1965 to March 1971.

The Navy established the Amphibious Warfare Squadron in March 1961, which was responsible to the Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf until August 1962. It then was reassigned to Flag Officer, Middle East, until April 1965. The squadron was then transferred to the Far East where it was renamed Amphibious Forces under the new Commodore, Amphibious Forces, Far East Fleet in May 1965.[11] The post was discontinued in March 1971.

Incumbents included:[12]

Rank Flag Name Term
Commodore, Amphibious Forces, Far East Fleet
1 Commodore   Hardress L. Lloyd May 1965 - May 1966
2 Commodore   David A. Dunbar-Nasmith May 1966 - July 1967
3 Commodore   E. Gerard N. Mansfield July 1967 - November 1968
4 Commodore   Thomas W. Stocker November 1968 - September 1970
5 Commodore   Derek W. Napper September 1970 - March 1971

Escorts in the Far East FleetEdit

From February 1963 the remaining destroyer and frigate squadrons in the Far East Fleet were gradually amalgamated into Escort Squadrons. All were disbanded by the end of December 1966. Those in the Far East Fleet became the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Far East Destroyer Squadrons.

Commodore-in-Charge, Hong KongEdit

This officer was based at HMS Tamar. He was responsible for administrating all naval establishments in Hong Kong including HMNB Hong Kong and, at times, exercised operational control over Royal Navy ships in that area.[13]

Subordinate naval formationsEdit

Units that served in the fleet included:[14][15]

Naval Units Based at Date Notes
4th Cruiser Squadron Trincomalee then Singapore Naval Base December 1947 to July 1954
5th Cruiser Squadron Trincomalee then Singapore Naval Base January 1942 – May 1960
8th Destroyer Flotilla Singapore 1947 to July 1951 re-designated 8th DSQ
1st Destroyer Squadron Singapore 1950 to April 1960
8th Destroyer Squadron Singapore July 1951 – May 1963 renamed 24th ESQ
1st Far East Destroyer Squadron Singapore December 1966 to 1 November 1971
2nd Far East Destroyer Squadron Singapore December 1966 to 1 November 1971
3rd Far East Destroyer Squadron Singapore December 1966 to December 1970
1st Escort Flotilla Singapore 1946 to 1954
21st Escort Squadron Singapore May 1964 to December 1966
22nd Escort Squadron Singapore May 1963 to June 1964 became 29th Escort Squadron
24th Escort Squadron Singapore May 1963 to December 1966 renamed from 8th DSQ
25th Escort Squadron Singapore January 1963 to May 1964 renamed from 6th FSQ
26th Escort Squadron Singapore May 1963 to December 1966 renamed from 3FSQ
29th Escort Squadron Singapore June 1964 to December 1966
30th Escort Squadron Singapore September 1964 to December 1965
3rd Frigate Squadron Singapore May 1949– 1954, January 1958 to May 1963 renamed 26th ESQ
4th Frigate Squadron Singapore January 1949 to August 1954
4th Frigate Squadron Singapore January 1956 – December 1960
4th Frigate Squadron Singapore September 1961 to September 1962
5th Frigate Squadron Singapore December 1959 to December 1962
6th Frigate Squadron Singapore December 1960 to September 1961; September 1962 to January 1963 Renamed 25th Escort Squadron
6th Mine Counter-Measures Squadron Singapore 1962 to 1971
8th Mine Counter-Measures Squadron Hong Kong 1962 to 1967
6th Minesweeper Flotilla Singapore August 1947 to 1951 placed in reserve
6th Minesweeper Squadron Singapore 1951 to June 1954 new formation
104th Minesweeper Squadron Singapore 1960 to 1962
120th Minesweeper Squadron Hong Kong Naval Base 1952 to 1962
7th Submarine Division Singapore 1959
7th Submarine Squadron Singapore 1966 to 1971
Persian Gulf Division Juffair Naval Base January 1942 to January 1954
Red Sea Division Aden Naval Base February 1942 to January 1954

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Hobbs, David. "THE BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET IN 1945 A Commonwealth effort and a remarkable achievement" (PDF). navy.gov.au. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  2. ^ Grove, p. 266
  3. ^ Hill, p. 219
  4. ^ Grove, p. 307
  5. ^ Whitaker's Almanacks 1941 – 1971
  6. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. pp. 151–152. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  7. ^ Heathcote, Tony (2002). The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 – 1995. Pen & Sword Ltd. p. 27. ISBN 0-85052-835-6.
  8. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. p. 153. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  9. ^ Benbow, Tim; Thornton, Rod (2013). Dimensions of Counter-insurgency: Applying Experience to Practice. Cambridge, England: Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 9781136790034.
  10. ^ Mackie, Colin (August 2018). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin. C. Mackie. p. 222. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. ^ Watson, Dr Graham (12 July 2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  12. ^ Mackie, Colin (August 2018). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin. C. Mackie. p. 222. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  13. ^ Office, The Colonial (1970). Hong Kong: Report. Hong Kong: Government Press. p. 187.
  14. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939–1945: 3.3 INDIAN and PACIFIC OCEANS". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  15. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947–2013:1. ROYAL NAVY ORGANISATION AND DEPLOYMENT FROM 1947". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 12 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2018.

ReferencesEdit

  • Grove, Eric (1987). Vanguard to Trident: British Naval Policy Since World War II. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0870215520.
  • Heathcote, Tony (2002). The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 – 1995. Pen & Sword Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-835-6.
  • Hill, Richard (2000). Lewin of Greenwich. Weidenfeld Military. ISBN 978-0-304-35329-3.
  • Jackson, Ashley (2006). The British Empire and the Second World War. London: Hambledon Continuum. ISBN 1-85285-417-0.
  • Mackie, Colin. (2018) "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie. Scotland, UK.
  • Muggenthaler, August Karl (1980). German Raiders of World War II. London Pan. ISBN 0-330-26204-1.
  • O'Hara, Vincent (2009). Struggle for the Middle Sea: the great navies at war in the Mediterranean theater, 1940–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1591146488.
  • Shores, Christopher; Cull, Brian; Izawa, Yasuho (1992). Bloody Shambles: The Drift to War to the Fall of Singapore. I. London: Grub Street. ISBN 0-948817-50-X.
  • Watson, Dr Graham (2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment 1947-2013". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith.

External linksEdit