back Appendices Back to the start of the 'London Gazette'

Appendix I
C. Pulford, Air Vice-Marshal - 12th Dec. 1941.
T. A. Vigors, Flt. /Lt, O.C. 453 Squadron. - 11th Dec. 1941

Appendix II
Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet - 9th December, 1941

Appendix III
Signals made by Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet

Appendix I

Air Headquarters Far East, Singapore. 12th December, 1941.

Sir, I have the honour to forward herewith a report made by Flt. /Lt. Vigors, temporarily commanding 453 Squadron, who took his squadron over to provide fighter cover to H.M. Ships PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE.
The tributes paid by Flt./Lt. Vigors to the magnificent conduct of the officers and men of the PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE are tributes which the whole of the personnel under my command would like to join in.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,

(Signed) C. Pulford.
Air Vice-Marshal, Commanding,Royal Air Force, Far East.
The Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet,
H.M. Naval Base,

R.A.A.F Station,Sembawang. 11.12.41.

To: Commander-in-Chief, Far Eastern Fleet.
Sir, I had the privilege to be the first aircraft to reach the crews of the PRINCE OF WALES and the REPULSE after they had been sunk. I say the privilege, for during the next hour while I flew around low over them, I witnessed a show of that indomitable spirit for which the Royal Navy is so famous. I have seen a show of spirit in this war over Dunkirk, during the "Battle of Britain," and in the London night raids, but never before have I seen anything comparable with what I saw yesterday. I passed over thousands who had been through an ordeal the greatness of which they alone can understand, for it is impossible to pass on one's feelings in disaster to others.
Even to an eye so inexperienced as mine it was obvious that the three destroyers were going to take hours to pick up those hundreds of men clinging to bits of wreckage, and swimming around in the filthy oily water Above all this, the threat of another (bombing and machine-gun attack was imminent. Every one of those men must have realised that. Yet as I flew around, every man waved and put his thumb up as I flew over him.
After an hour, lack of petrol forced me to leave, but during that hour I had seen many men in dire danger waving, cheering and joking as if they were holiday-makers at Brighton waving at a low flying aircraft. It shook me for here was something above human nature. I take off my hat to them, for in them I saw the spirit which wins wars.
I apologise for taking up your valuable time, but I thought you should know of the incredible conduct of your men.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(Signed) T. A. Vigors,
Flt. /Lt, O.C. 453 Squadron.

Appendix II

Operational Signals made byCommander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet, on 9th December, 1941.
TO: Force Z 
FROM C-in-C , E. F.
1. Besides a minor landing at Kota Bharu which was not followed, landings have been made between Pattani and Singgora and a major landing 90 miles north of Singgora.
2. Little is known of enemy naval forces in the vicinity. It is believed that KONGO is the only capital ship likely to be met. Three Atago type, one Kako type, and two Zintu type cruisers have been reported. A number of destroyers possibly of fleet type are likely to be met.
3. My object is to surprise and sink transports and enemy warships (before air attack can develop. Objective' chosen will depend on air reconnaissance. Intend to arrive objective after sunrise tomorrow 10th If an opportunity to bring KONGO to action occurs this is to take precedence over all other action.
4. Subject to Commanding Officer's freedom of manoeuvre in an emergency Force Z will remain in close order and will be manoeuvred as a unit until action is joined. 'When the signal "Act independently" is made or at discretion of 'Commanding Officer, REPULSE will assume freedom of manoeuvre remaining in tactical support but engaging from a wide enough angle to facilitate fall of shot.
5. Intend to operate at 25 knots unless a chase develops and subsequently to retire at maximum speed endurance will allow.
6. Capital ships should attempt to close below 20,000 yards until fire is effective but should avoid offering an end on target. Ships must toe prepared to change from delay to non-delay fuzes according to target.
7. PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE are each to have one aircraft fuelled and ready to fly off if required If flown off aircraft must return to land base. Kota Bharu aerodrome is understood to be out of action.
8. TENEDOS will be detached before dark to return independently to Singapore.
9. Remaining destroyers may be detached during the night 9th/10th should enemy information require a high speed of advance In such case these destroyers are to retire towards Anamba Island at 10 knots until a rendezvous is ordered by W/T.


FROM: C-in-C, E.F
Inform Ships' Companies as follows:
"The enemy has made several landings on the north coast of Malaya and has made local progress. Our Army is not large and is hard pressed in places. Our Air Force has had to destroy and abandon one or more aerodromes. Meanwhile fast transports lie off the coast. This is our opportunity before the enemy can establish himself. We have made a wide circuit to avoid air reconnaissance and hope to surprise the enemy shortly after sunrise tomorrow Wednesday. We may have, the luck to try our metal against the old Japanese battle-cruiser. KONGO or against some Japanese cruisers and destroyers which are reported in the Gulf of Siam. We are sure to get some useful practice with the H..A. armament, " Whatever we meet I want to finish quickly and so get Well clear to the eastward" before the Japanese can mass too formidable a scale of an attack against us. So shoot to sink."

Appendix III

Signals made by Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet, to Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet
TO: C-in-C, Eastern Fleet. FROM: Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet.
R.A.F. reconnaissance to depth of 100 miles to the north-westward of you will be provided by I Catalina from 0800 onwards tomorrow 9th.
(ii) It is hoped that a dawn reconnaissance of coast near Singgora can be carried out on Wednesday, 10th.
(iii) Fighter protection on Wednesday, 10th will not, repeat not, be possible.
(iv) Japanese have large bomber forces based Southern Indo-China and possibly also in Thailand. C-in-C, Far East, has requested General MacArthur to carry out attack with his long-range bombers on Indo-China aerodromes as soon as possible.
(v) Kota Bharu aerodrome has been evacuated and we seem to be losing grip on other northern aerodromes due to enemy action.
(vi) Military position near Kota Bharu does not seem good, but details are not available.
T.O.O. 2253GH/8.

Correct my 1125/9. Force was sighted at 0900Z/9 (1630GH/9).
T.O.O. 1155Z/9.

TO: C-in-C, Eastern Fleet. FROM: Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet.

Only significant enemy report is contained in my 1125Z/9th. Enemy apparently continuing landing in Kota Bharu area which should be fruitful as well as Singgora.
2. On the other hand enemy bombers on South Indo-China aerodromes are in force and undisturbed. They could attack you five hours after sighting and much depends on whether you have been seen today.
Two carriers may be in Saigon area.
3. Military situation at Kota Bharu appears difficult. Aerodrome is in enemy hands.
4. All our northern aerodromes are becoming untenable due to enemy air action. C-in-C, Far East, hints he is considering concentrating all air efforts on defence of Singapore area.
5. Extremely difficult to give you clearer picture because air reconnaissance communications are so slow due partly to damage to aerodromes.
T.OO. 1415Z/9 (2I45GH/9).

TO: C-in-C, Eastern Fleet. FROM- Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet.
Enemy reported landing Kuantan, latitude 03 50' North.
T.O.O. I505Z/9.
back Back to the start of the London Gazette