|HM Naval Base, Diego Garcia|
|Country||Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory|
|Type||Naval Base & Station|
|Garrison/HQ||RN Base, Diego Garcia,|
Diego Garcia was a naval base and area of operations of the British Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy that was part of the Chagos Islands or (Chagos Archipelago). It was first established during the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 with the British using it until at least the 1960's. Today the Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia which is a British Ministry of Defence facility leased to the United States Navy.
Diego Garcia and the rest of the Chagos islands were uninhabited until the late 18th century. In 1778, the French Governor of Mauritius granted Monsieur Dupuit de la Faye the island of Diego Garcia, and evidence exists of temporary French visits to collect coconuts and fish. Several Frenchmen living in "a dozen huts" abandoned Diego Garcia when the British East India Company attempted to establish a settlement there in April 1786.
Diego Garcia became a colony of the UK after the Napoleonic Wars as part of the Treaty of Paris (1814), and from 1814 to 1965 it was administered from Mauritius. From 1881 until 1888, Diego Garcia was the location of two coaling stations for steamships crossing the Indian Ocean.
In 1914, the island was visited by the German light cruiser SMS Emden halfway through its commerce-raiding cruise during the early months of World War I. During World War II in 1942, the British opened RAF Station, Diego Garcia and established an advanced flying boat unit at the East Point Plantation to aid the search of Japanese and German submarines and surface raiders operating in the area.
In February 1942, British also opened small Royal Navy base on the island that was a fueling and operating base of the Eastern Fleet in order to avoid any Japanese attack until 1944. At Cannon Point, two 6-inch naval guns were installed by a detachment of the Royal Marines. They were later manned by Mauritian and Indian Coastal Artillery troops. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the station and base was closed on 30 April 1946.
In the early 1960s, the UK was withdrawing its military presence from the Indian Ocean, not including the airfield at RAF Gan to the north of Diego Garcia in the Maldives (which remained open until 1976), and agreed to permit the United States to establish a naval communication station and later a large naval base on one of its island territories there. Diego Garcia today remains a part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The atoll is located 3,535 km (2,197 mi) east of Tanzania's coast, 1,796 km (1,116 mi) south-southwest of the southern tip of India (at Kanyakumari), and 4,723 km (2,935 mi) west-northwest of the west coast of Australia.
|Naval Officer-in-Charge, Diego Garcia|
Components under this Command
Royal Naval Air Section, R.A.F. Station Andrakaka.
|Royal Naval Air Section, Andrakaka||HMS Ironclad||Andrakaka, Diego Suarez||24 May 1942 - 16 September 1943|||
- Drury, Tony (2010–2020). "Andrakaka". www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk. T. Drury. Retrieved 27 September 2020.