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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 Singapore.

 

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 embarked.

 

 

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 station.

 

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.

 

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R.N.A.S. SEMBAWANG

 

 

 

 

Function :
The support of disembarked Squadrons.

 

MONAB Components :
Mobile Maintenance 8, Maintenance Servicing 15 & 16

 

Commissioned :
 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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