British Pacific Fleet

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British Pacific Fleet
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active22 November 1944
Disbanded15 September, 1948
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeFleet
Size142 Ships
Fleet Train 94 Ships
600 Aircraft
125,000 personnel.
Part ofDepartment of Admiralty
Garrison/HQRAN Base, Sydney, Australia (1944-1946), RN Base, Hong Kong (1946-1948)
Commanders
FirstAdmiral Sir Bruce Fraser
LastAdmiral, Sir Denis Boyd.

The British Pacific Fleet was a major naval formation of the Royal Navy created on 22 November 1944 and existed until 15 September, 1948.[1]

The British Pacific Fleet one of the geographical divisions into which the Department of Admiralty administered its worldwide responsibilities. For command purposes the Royal Navy was divided into a number of major or local stations, fleets or or other formations, each normally under an admiral or senior officer.[2] Each command contained at least one dockyard and naval base for the formations assigned to the relevant command.

History

The British Pacific Fleet formally came into being on 22 November 1944 from the remaining ships of the former Eastern Fleet then being re-designated the East Indies Fleet and continuing to be based in Trincomalee.[3] The British Pacific Fleet's main base was at Sydney, Australia, with a forward facilities at Manus Island Naval Base. On 15 September, 1946 the British Pacific Fleet under its final commander-in-chief Vice-Admiral Sir Denis Boyd based in Sydney, Australia moved his headquarters and supporting staff to Hong Kong now called the Far East Station.[4] On 15 September 1948 he moved his headquarters again this time to Singapore and the British Pacific Fleet officially ceased to exist. By this time Admiral Sir Denis Boyd became known as Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station.[5]

Naval HQ

Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet

Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet

Sea Commanders (BPF)

The C-in-C, BPF delegated sea command of the BPF to Vice Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings, his second-in-command.

Vice-Admiral, Second-in-Command, British Pacific Fleet

Vice-Admiral Commanding British Task Forces, British Pacific Fleet

Vice-Admiral Commanding British Task Forces, British Pacific Fleet
Rank Flag Name Term
1 Vice-Admiral Vice Admiral command Flag RN from 1864.png Sir Henry Bernard Hughes Rawlings June, 1945 – July 1945.[6]

Components

At various times it encompassed naval formations and other ships not attached to other fleets. In addition to shore establishments including, barracks, dockyards, depots, hospitals, refitting and re-supply bases, naval bases or victualling yards. Those components that were part of this station are shown below.

As of July, 1945 the British Pacific Fleet consisted of 142 Ships, Fleet Train 94 Ships, 600 Aircraft (front line and ancillary) and 125,000 personnel..[7]

Fleet Formations

Unit From To Ref
1st Battle Squadron December, 1944 September, 1945
2nd Cruiser Squadron April, 1945 April 1946
4th Cruiser Squadron November, 1944 April 1946
Aircraft Carriers (British Pacific Fleet) 17 January, 1945 1948
Destroyers (British Pacific Fleet) 17 January, 1945 April 1946
Fleet Train (British Pacific Fleet) 10 October, 1944 July, 1945

Naval Sub Commands

Stations From To Ref
Administration, (British Pacific Fleet) October, 1944 September, 1945
Naval Air Stations, Australia December, 1944 18 October 1945
Naval Air Stations, Pacific 18 October 1945 ?
Quartermaster (British Pacific Fleet) March, 1945 April, 1946
Western Area, British Pacific Fleet July, 1945 October, 1945

Naval Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Manus Island Naval Base January 1944 1948
Cockatoo Island Dockyard 1857 1991
Garden Island Naval Yard 1856 1967
Royal Australian Naval Base, Brisbane 1944 1994
Royal Australian Naval Base, Melbourne 1944 1946
Royal Australian Naval Base, Port Morseby 1943 1967
Royal Australian Naval Base, Sydney 1944 1946
Royal Naval Barracks, Sydney 1944 1946

Additional Notes

Vice-Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings in his role as Second in Command of the British Pacific Fleet was also appointed Vice-Admiral Commanding British Task Forces, British Pacific Fleet from June to July, 1945.[8]

References

  1. Hobbs, David (2012). "15: A Peacetime Fleet". The British Pacific Fleet: The Royal Navy's Most Powerful Strike Force. Barnsley, England.: Seaforth Publishing. pp. 347–377. ISBN 978-1-84832-048-2.
  2. "Records of Stations and Fleets". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, Surrey, England.: National Archives UK. 1702–1969. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  3. 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.
  4. Hobbs. pp. 347-377.
  5. Hobbs. pp. 347-377.
  6. "Rawlings, Admiral Sir (Henry) Bernard (Hughes), (21 May 1889–30 Sept. 1962), DL". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO (2020). Oxford: A & C Black and Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u50623. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  7. "CHAPTER 24 — With the British Pacific Fleet | NZETC". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington. 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  8. Who Who and Who Was Who (2020)