- Francis, Richard
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Vampire I
- March 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Overall there were more than 50 survivors landed at Singapore on 29 January 1942. The next day Thanet’s survivors were dispersed to other ships, including her sister ships, Stronghold and Sultan. Others were evacuated by troopship to safety at Colombo. Together with survivors from the Prince of Wales, some of Thanet’s men were sent to man the liner Empress of Scotland (formerly Empress of Japan) to replace the Chinese crew who were objecting to sailing to the European war zone! The ship eventually sailed with over 4000 women and children evacuees onboard.
HMAS Vampire had sailed south to Sunda Strait on the 28th. In company with HMAS Yarra she escorted a convoy to the Sunda Strait under heavy air attack. On being relieved by HMIS Sutlej (sloop) Vampire proceeded independently to Batavia, joining HM Ships Exeter and Jupiter to escort two US transports, again through the Sunda Strait.
The Endau action by Vampire and Thanet was probably the last aggressive naval operation undertaken by Allied warships before the evacuation and surrender of Singapore on 15 February 1942.
(Ed, I believe HMS THANET and her companions deserve a worthy record of their achievements in that otherwise disastrous campaign. John Winton’s “The Forgotten Fleet” (BPF) mentions the re-occupation of the Naval Base in 1945 in some detail.)