FAA Veteran returns to Sembawang
The following photographs were taken during former Leading Air
Mechanic (Engines) Douglas 'Shorty' Heath's visit to the
former Royal Navy Air Station at Sembawang, Singapore, H.M.S.
SIMBANG. His visit was made while travelling with a
party of 130 RN veterans who made the trip to Singapore to mark 65
years since the end of the war with Japan. The veterans and their
partners were able to make the journey thanks to the Heroes Return 2
Scheme, the second lottery funded scheme which supports veterans,
spouses, widows and carers wishing to return to those places where
they fought during the Second World War and mark any relevant
anniversaries in 2009 and 2010.
Towards the end of the Second World War Duggie was part of the RN
unit which arrived at Sembawang airfield to reopen it as a Royal
Naval Air Station after the Japanese surrender of Singapore in 1945.
He was part of the ship's company of HMS NABROCK, Mobile Naval Air
Base No. 9 (MONAB IX) which reopened and commissioned the base
as Royal Naval Air Station Sembawang,, HMS NABROCK, on October 5th
1945. The station renamed HMS SIMBANG on December 15th
1945 when it was decided to make its status permenant. For
more details on MONAB IX visit the
HMS NABROCK page.
Duggie outside the main hanger
Duggie outside the former Junior rates accommodation blocks
Bullet damage on the hanger doors
Duggie taking in the display at the Sembawang heritage
Duggie outside the rear of the former RN wardroom
Duggie outside the entrance of the former RN wardroom
Duggie with Warrant Officer Richard Woo Huat outside the old
airfield control tower at Republic of Singapore Air Force
base, Sembawang. WO Huat was Duggie's guide for his visit
and organised for these photographs to be taken in line with
the base security policy.
The interior of the former HMS SIMBANG chapel
Exterior of the former HMS SIMBANG chapel
RNAS Sembawang shortly after being reoccupied by the Royal
Navy in 1945, vehicles and temporary buildings of MONAB 9
can be seen.
Some of the
buildings pictured in Duggie's visit are in this shot - the
main hanger is partly visible on the top right; the officers
mess is at the bottom; the junior rates accommodation block
is the low, dark building near the tress in the centre of
Compare these photos with those taken
Photos courtesy of the Republic Of Singapore Air Force via Douglas
Heath, Vice Chairman of Tamworth Branch of the Royal Naval
Association and Treasurer of the Tamworth Fleet Air Arm Association
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