The personnel for MONAB IX began to assemble at
R.N.A.S, Middle Wallop on July 1st 1945, like MONAB VIII this unit
was to support Fighter aircraft only, the unit being allocated the
following maintenance components:
- M.M. 8 Corsair II & IV - Seafire L.III & XV
- M.S. 15 Hellcat ?
- M.S. 16 not known.
It is not known if a trial installation was
undertaken by MONAB IX but the unit's heavy equipment departed from
Liverpool on July 20th, bound for Sydney; also aboard were elements
of MSR 10,
MONAB IX Commissioned at R.N.A.S. Middle Wallop
on August 1st 1945as an independent command bearing the ship's name
HMS NABROCK, Captain. J.S.C. SALTER DSC, OBE, in command. Under
normal circumstances a MONAB would sail three weeks after
commissioning, but the surrender of Japan on August 15th caused the
Admiralty to take stock of MONAB operations, and the departure of
MONAB IX was delayed by a week. Daring this time many personnel were
sent on short home leave on VJ Day.
MONAB IX personnel together with the remaining
stores & equipment sailed from Liverpool aboard the MV Dominion
Monarch on August 30th, with stops at Wellington and Christchurch in
New Zealand before docking at Sydney. Like previous MONABs HMS
NABROCK was disembarked to spend a short time under canvas at
Warwick Farm before the decision was taken that the unit should be
assigned to re-occupy the airfield at Sembawang on the Island of
The transport carrying the unit's heavy equipment
was diverted whilst still en route to Sydney while the personnel
were split into 4 groups for the move to Singapore; the 1st, 2nd and
3rd phase advance parties were to travel by RAF Dakota transport
planes via Moratai, in the Dutch East Indies.
The remaining group, comprising of the main body
of the unit were to travel by sea and were embarked in the
Australian troop ship the HMTS LARGS BAY for passage to Singapore.
This vessel was a vintage trooper, having been in service during
World War 1, and the years had not been kind to her, the members of
the main party being plagued by vermin from the moment they
The advance party of MONAB IX commissioned Royal
Naval Air Station Sembawang as HMS NABROCK, on October 5th 1945
while the HMTS LARGS BAY docked in Singapore on November1st, exactly
9 weeks to the day since the Dominion Monarch has left Liverpool.
R.N.A.S. Sembawang looking South West over the
centre of the airfield towards the technical site. Photo:
From the collection of Jim Davey.
What greeted the men of MONAB XI at Sembawang was
an airfield littered with derelict aircraft and other debris left by
the Japanese; cleaning up the establishment was the first order of
business. On November 8th 'C' flight of 1700 squadron arrived from
RNAS Katukurunda with their Sea Otter aircraft for a brief
detachment, returning to Katukurunda on the 20th; This was to be the
only squadron to visit Sembawang before HMS NABROCK was paid off.
One of the main tasks undertaken by MONAB IX was
the assembling of crated American aircraft, many of which were
Hellcats. Once assembled these brand new aircraft were ferried out
to sea by aircraft carriers and dumped into the ocean. Under the
Lend-Lease agreement with the United States, under which these
machines were supplied, the UK was required to return them or
payment was to be made for them once the war was over; destroying
them was the solution employed.
HMS NABROCK & MONAB IX paid off at RNAS Sembawang
on December 15th 1945, the station re-commissioning the same day as
HMS SIMBANG. Effectively the MONAB ceased to exist, the ship's
company being retained as the complement for the new naval air
The now decommissioned MONAB IX was to be
retained at Sembawang as an enhanced reserve MONAB, its name and
number being deleted; this was held in storage on a care &
maintenance basis for reactivation should it be required. Its
existing components were supplemented by extra equipment and
vehicles recovered from the recently paid off units in Australia. It
is believed that this reserve unit was maintained in storage at
Sembawang until at least the mid nineteen fifties.
The support of disembarked Squadrons.
MONAB Components :
Mobile Maintenance 8, Maintenance Servicing 15 & 16
01 August 1945 (at Middle Wallop)
05 October 1945 (at Sembawang)
Paid Off :
15 December 1945 (at Sembawang)
- Captain J.S.C. Salter D.S.C, O.B.E
01 August 1945 to 15 December 1945
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