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Encyclopedia > RAF Far East Air Force

The RAF Far East Air Force was the command organisation that controlled all Royal Air Force assets in the east of Asia. The first organisation dedicated to this task was formed in Singapore in 1930 as Royal Air Force Base Singapore. This was upgraded to Headquarters Air Force Far East Command in 1933. During WWII, when Malaya, Singapore, Burma and Hong Kong were overrun by the Japanese, the command retreated to India, there receiving the name Air Headquarters Bengal. The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Commanders {{{commander1}}} {{{commander2}}} Strength {{{strength1}}} {{{strength2}}} Casualties 17 million military deaths 7 million military deaths World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th century conflict that engulfed much of the globe and is accepted as the largest and deadliest... The Federation of Malaya, or in Malay Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, was formed in 1948 from the British settlements of Penang and Malacca and the nine Malay states and replaced the Malayan Union. ...

The true ancestor of the postwar Far East Air Force was formed in November 1943, under Lord Louis Mountbatten the supreme Allied commander South East Asia Command. It was called Air Command, South East Asia. In 1946, this was renamed Air Command Far East, and finally Far East Air Force in June 1949. 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (June 25, 1900 – August 27, 1979) was a British admiral and statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. ... South East Asia Command (SEAC) was the body set up to be in overall charge of Allied operations in the South-East Asian Theatre during World War II. The initial supreme commander of the theatre was General Sir Archibald Wavell, initially as head of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command... The RAF Far East Air Force was the command organisation that controlled all Royal Air Force assets in the east of Asia. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ...

During the war years, it was subordinate to Allied Forces South East Asia. The triservice headquarters remained in place after the war over to coordinate re-occupation of territory within the bounds of the command that had not yet been liberated from the Japanese. That included parts of Burma; the other British colonies of Singapore, Malaya, British North Borneo and Brunei; the independent nation of Siam, the French colony of French Indo-China up to the 16th parallel, and most of the Dutch colony of the Netherlands East Indies. After the completion of the re-occupation duties, SEAC was disestablished in November 1946.

However, the benefits of a supreme commander were not forgotten, and a triservice headquarters was revived in 1962, when the Far East Command was formed. The Far East Command was also disestablished in 1971. The Far East Command was a British military command which had 2 distinct periods. ...


Postwar Occupation Duties

Unlike in Europe, war ended very unexpectedly in the Far East. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, combined with the American blockade of Japan, and the Soviet entry into the war on August 9, 1945 finally shocked the Japanese into suing for peace. Once peace came, there was a period of euphoria within the RAF units, but the forces in the region came back down to earth with a bump a few days later. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Main keep of Hiroshima Castle The city of Hiroshima (広島市; -shi) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chugoku region of western Honshu, the largest of Japans islands. ... Megane-bashi (Spectacles Bridge) Nagasaki â–¶(?) (長崎市; -shi, literally long peninsula) is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture. ... State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Socialist republics/ Communist state Area  - Total  - % water Largest on the planet 22,402,200 km² ?% Population  - Total  - Density 3rd before collapse 293,047,571 (July... August 9 is the 221st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (222nd in leap years), with 144 days remaining. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...

Instead of the end to operations that a great many of the conscripts had naively thought would occur, if anything, operations in some parts of the forces increased in tempo. South-East Asia Command had been increased in size from the day after the surrender, taking in south French Indo-China, and much of the Netherlands East Indies. The command was now half as big again in area as it had been during the war. The strain imposed by the high operations tempo that occupation duties, when combined with the downsizing of the command due to demobilisation and return of American lend-lease aircraft was very great, and it manifested itself in a series of mutinies around the command in early 1946. Indochina, or French Indochina, was a federation of French colonies and protectorates in south-east Asia, part of the French colonial empire. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands Indië) was the name of the colonies colonised by the Dutch East India Company which came under administration of the Netherlands during the ninteenth century (see Indonesia). ...

The first of these was at Mauripur in Karachi, India. Enlisted airmen downed tools and refused to work until their grievances about demobilisation had been met. Given the nature of the times, this was impossible, although their complaints were passed up the chain of command. The stoppages were non-violent almost to a fault, and since the personnel involved were hostilities-only conscripts, rather than regular professional members of the RAF, the stoppages were not formally treated as mutinies. Had they been so, punishments up to and including execution by firing squad could have been imposed on those responsible. Other mutinies occurred in Ceylon, elsewhere in India and Singapore. They also spread to units of the Royal Indian Air Force for a short while.

The easiest of the occupation tasks was in Siam. Unlike elsewhere in the region, Siam had retained a functioning civil government throughout the war, and thus British troops did not have to deploy to restore order over most of the country. RAF forces set a headquarters in Bangkok, at Don Muang airfield, under Group Captain D O Finlay on 9 September 1945. The headquarters was from No. 909 Wing RAF. The Wing left its previously controlled aircraft, P-47 Thunderbolts in Burma. Three squadrons were represented in Siam during the occupation, No. 20 Squadron RAF with Spitfire VIII aircraft, No. 211 Squadron RAF with Mosquito VI aircraft, and a detachment of No. 685 Squadron RAF with Mosquito photo reconnaissance aircraft. The airfield was defended by No. 2945 Squadron RAF Regiment. In addition to the resident forces, C-47 Dakota transport aircraft were frequent users of Don Muang. They made supply runs to the airport, stopped over on trips to and from French Indo-China, and evacuated prisoners of war and internees who had been imprisoned in Siam at the end of the war. The job in Siam was completed very quickly, with almost all of the RAF personnel at Don Muang being gone by January 1946. For the country formerly called Siam see Thailand SIAM is an acronym for Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. ... Bangkok from the Chao Phraya River at sunset, July 2004 The Wat Phra Kaew temple Bangkok Metropolitan Administration building Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep ( ▶ (help· info)), or Krung Thep Maha Nakhon ( ▶ (help· info), IPA: ), is the capital and largest city of Thailand, with an official 1990 population of... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, or Jug as it was known, was one of the main US Army Air Force (USAAF) fighters of World War II. The P-47 was a big, rugged, overbuilt aircraft that was effective in air combat but proved particularly useful as a fighter-bomber. ... No. ... Douglas DC-3 VH-AES at Avalon in 2003. ...

Burma was also relatively straightforward to deal with, although more complicated than Siam. Much of the colony had been conquered several months before the war ended, in the big British offensive of summer 1945. That gave ACSEA crucial breathing space to start getting the colony back on its feet before the massive increase in occupation duties postwar occurred. RAF Burma was well established under Air Marshal Sir Hugh Saunders. At the end of the war, it had 28 squadrons under its control. This quickly reduced as the demobilisation really kicked in. Again, the transport squadrons saw the largest amount of work, evacuating POWs and internees and supplying garrisons and the civilian population. Second to the transport squadrons in workload were the photo reconnaissance aircraft. The opportuinity was taken to complete the process of surveying SE Asia from the air, and using the survey to bring maps up to date. The survey was not completed until August 1947. After the cleanup immediately postwar, came the task of preparing Burma for independence. AHQ Burma moved out of Rangoon to Mingaladon on 1 January 1947. The headquarters was disbanded on 31 December 1947, and three months later Burma became independent. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...

The most prickly tasks in the entire command were the temporary occupations of the colonies of other European powers. One was the occupation of part of French Indo-China, and the other the occupation of part of the Netherlands East Indies.

The easier of the two was French Indo-China. Resentment against the French was strong, with Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh movement beginning to become a real problem. British forces were responsible for the southern part of the country, south of the 16th parallel, whilst Chinese forces dealt with the north. An RAF headquarters was set up near Saigon on 8 September, at Tan Son Nhut airfield. However, the main occupation forces were slow to arrive, so that Mountbatten had to use Japanese forces still in the area for internal security duties for a short while. One aspect of the occupation that was mercifully smaller in magnitude than in other areas of the command was prisoners of war. Only about 5,000 were in French Indo-China, and thus that part of the repatriation problem was small. Hồ Chí Minh Hồ Chí Minh (meaning Ho, Enlightened Will) (Chinese : 胡志明) â–¶ (help· info) (May 19, 1890 – September 2, 1969) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and statesman, who later became Prime Minister (1946-1955) and President (1955-1969) of North Vietnam. ... The Viet Minh (abbreviated from Việt Nam ộc Lập ồng Minh Hội, League for the Independence of Vietnam) was formed by Ho Ngoc Lam and Nguyen Hai Than in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France. ... Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Chí Minh) is the largest city in Vietnam, located near the delta of the Mekong River. ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ...

At Tan Son Nhut, a large amount of space was available for transport aircraft; hard standings for about 70 Dakotas. This was fortunate, since a great deal of transport aircraft effort was required in the country, despite the low numbers of POWs. The other aircraft at the airfield were Spitfires of No. 273 Squadron RAF and yet again, a detachment of photo recon Mosquitos. The situation in French Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies was particularly tricky because of the hostility of the locals to the returning colonial powers. French Indo-China was handed back to French control a great deal more quickly than the type were avoided was to provide some spare Spitfires in the command to Armée de l'Air pilots who were being sent to the colony, and had Netherlands East Indies to Dutch control, meaning that RAF aircraft did not have to get involved in suppressing any revolts in the area, apart from one occasion when Spitfires attacked enemy forces with cannon fire to support French ground troops. One way that more commitments of this flown the type in Europe. The main RAF presence was withdrawn in mid February 1946, when the Air Headquarters was disbanded. However, a small RAF presence was retained for a few more months to help direct military transport aircraft using the airfield. Aircraft of the French Armée de lAir during the Battle of France in 1940. ...

Malayan Emergency

Short Respite


Drawdown and Departure


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RAF Seletar was a Royal Air Force station in Singapore. ... RAF Tengah was a former Royal Air Force station in Singapore. ... RAF Changi is a former Royal Air Force station in Singapore. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... RAF Gan was a Royal Air Force station on Gan Island, the most southerly of the Maldive Islands, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. ... RAF Kai Tak was a Royal Air Force station in Hong Kong. ... The Shek Kong Airfield (22. ...

Commanding Officers

  • Air Marshal Sir Francis J Fogarty 26/11/49 to 11/06/52
  • Air Marshal Sir Clifford Sanderson 11/06/52 to 12/11/54
  • Air Marshal Sir Francis J Fressanges 12/11/54 to 13/07/57
  • Air Marshal The Earl of Bandon 13/07/57 to 30/06/60
  • Air Marshal A D Selway 30/06/60 to 31/05/62
  • Air Marshal Sir Hector McGregor 31/05/62 to 10/06/64
  • Air Marshal Sir Peter Wykeham 10/06/64 to 08/08/66
  • Air Marshal Sir Rochford Hughes 08/08/66 to 11/02/69
  • Air Marshal Sir Neil Wheeler 11/02/69 to 01/10/70
  • Air Vice Marshal N M Maynard 01/10/70 to 31/10/71

Subordinate Formations



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