In November 2019, I received the following from Taff Webb. His father served on HMS Warrior in 1953 on the cruise to Korea. He passed away in 2017.
HMS Warrior's cruise from Plymouth to Suez, 1954
HMS Warrior's cruise from Suez to Hong Kong, 1954
HMS Warrior's cruise in the Far East and the Vietnam evacuation,1954
The text in the image above reads:
Viet Nam Evacuation
Between the 5th and 13th of Sept.
a total of 3,188 refugees were
taken in two journeys, south from
Haiphong to St. Jaques.
Depart Hong Kong - 12 June
Kobe - 15-16 June
Kure - 16-19 June
Sasebo - 20-21 June
Inchon - 29 June - 2 July
Kure - 4-12 July
Kure - 24-28 July
Kure - 6-8 August
Kure-Singapore - 9-16 August
Singapore - 16-31 August
Haiphong evacuation - 31 August - 15 September
Singapore - 15-23 September
singapore-Hong Kong - 23-28 September
Hong Kong - 28 September - 7 October
Sail for Singapore - 7 October
1954 began with new communist offensives menacing South Vietnam, central and northern Laos, and the northeast of Cambodia. On May 8, 1954, the French base at Dien Bien Phu suffered a major defeat after a heavy artillery attack. The French forces in North Vietnam evacuated to below the 16th parallel. Bao Dai wished to lead the country with the support of the United States, but a referendum held in October decided to uphold Ngo Dinh Diem. Under the pece accords civillians had 300 days, ending on May 18, 1955, to choose which part of the country, north or south, they wanted to live in.
During Operation Passage to Freedom, around 800,000 people moved south with the help of mostly American and French ships. HMS Warrior was the UK's contribution to theeffort. On September 4, 1954, HMS Warrior transported 1,455 people from Haiphong in the north Vietnam to Saigon in the south. There are other figures of the number of refugees helped. The figure of 3,188 is taken from one of HMS Warrior's 'seatime' postcards. The Presidential Citation given to the crew of HMS Warrior gives the figure as 3,221.
Taff visited Eden Camp, Malton, North Yorkshire, a "Modern History Theme Museum" and there photographed a "Crossing the Line" certificate issued to B. H. Gott on November 30, 1954.
"Crossing the Line" certificate issued to B. H. Gott on November 30, 1954
The certificate reads:
1953 - 1954
Home Sea Service
To Whom It May Concern
Whereas we give this as a Royal Patent to certify
that B. H. Gott
this day visited Our Royal Domain on board Her Britannic
Majesty's Ship Warrior and has received the ancient initiation
and rite necessary to become one of Our Loyal Subjects...
Should he at any time fall overboard we recommend all Sharks,
Dolphins and Denizens of the Deep under Our commnd to
refrain from eating, plying with or otherwise maltreating him.
We further direct all Masters, Mates, Matelots, Marines
and Mariners to treat him with the respect due to one who has
visited Us. In longitude 90 52' W
this 30th day of November 1954
This page created December 14, 2019; last modified December 16, 2019