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The attached PDF file is a transcript of a Supplement to the London Gazette, published on 2nd June 1948, which was the contents of a Despatch that was originally submitted to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty on the 7th June, 1945, by Admiral Sir Bruce A. Fraser, G.C.B., K.B.E., Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet.
I will be interested in any comments that anyone has on the document, or any recollections or photographs from anyone who served in the BPF.
I transcribed the document to make it clearer to read and apologise in advance if any incorrect spelling or punctuation has crept in.
All I can say Jim is that it is a really interesting document.
I haven`t had time to read it all yet but from what I have seen it seems to be a fully comprehensive account of the BPF during the latter stages of the war in the East.
fascinating first hand material to back up the several excellent books on the campaign as a whole; it was not an easy transition from the relatively smaller confines of the Atlantic and Med for our ships to move to the vast open space of the Pacific with the needs for a much more organised fleet train support and less possibility for frequent boiler cleaning interludes.
Thanks for finding and posting it (I note the price of one & six, 7.5p in today's pennies. )
thanks for that Jim it reminded me that i already had it , must read it and comment,
I am in communication with an old shipmate of mine, he served on HMS Undaunted from new and also served with the BPF. He had been looking for such a document for the last 60 years so he may be able to add something to the thread after he has perused it.
I just wondered if the Acting Commander Lewin, in charge of Fighter Control in the document, was a relative of yours Tim?
Indeed a good read, pity it didn't cover the other 'bits' as well instead of just that short period in time.
I enjoyed reading,a grand insight into my late Uncles service in HMS URSA during this tense time.
No relative I am sorry to say; my father didn't actually get to the Pacific. By this stage of the war, 1944, he had been at sea almost continuously for four years, ultimately as 1st of Ashanti. When she paid off for a major refit being by then completely worn out he was sent on the "long course" for gunnery the first part of which was at RNC Greenwich, and later to Whale Island.
It was some years later he made it to the Pacific with Hermes and later still as FO2FEF, and it was while he was in the Pacific in 1982 that the Falklands invasion took place.
Thanks for the reply Tim, a great coincidence considering the uncommon name.
The document confirms the fact that "Friendly Fire" is not a new thing and several of the brave pilots were shot down while trying to protect the fleet at close quarters.
Further to my post #7
Photo of my late Uncle on right in HMS Ursa.
Lovely photo, Benbow. There seems to be too few photographs of the BPF. They missed the party to celebrate the end of the war with Germany and they probably missed the party to celebrate the end of the war with Japan, although there may have been some local celebrations.
A couple of weeks ago in a New York restaurant , I was in conversation with a spritely looking gentleman who had been a USN pilot at Okinawa. He said that there were many casualities on the decks of warships caused by gunners trying to shoot down Kamikazes,They tracked the suicide planes to the water line trying to destroy them, this meant they were firing at zero elevation, resulting in near by ships being hit . He said it was soul destroying having to write to the families of those killed & telling the lie that their sons, husbands, died heros in action.
some years ago I was working in Indonesia where i met an elderly japanese businessman in the tourism industry, we became friends and I learnt that he had been trained as a kamikaze pilot, 17 or 18 years old, and had been scheduled for drafting to his squadron about a week after the A-bomb and surrender. A delightful man with a very whimsical sense of humour; i remember him proposing to hire a cessna an fly us all to a nearby island for a weekend picnic, giving rise to hours of laughter and joking about not coming back.
Has anyone read "Task Force 57" which from memory is another excellent book by Peter Smith? covering the pacific campaign?
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