Beira Patrol

Mozambique Channel

01-mar-66    to    25-jun-75

Operation History: Login to Edit    

Established by the British Government under UN Security Council Resolutions 217 and (by 9 Apr 1965) UNSCR 221, to enforce economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), primarily to prevent the flow of oil to the country from the East African coast. The patrol began with two frigates and an RFA, initially supported by a carrier (until mid May 1966), whilst the RAF organised its local base of operations for air cover, with Shackletons from Majunga between 16 Mar 1966 and Jun 1971, until Madagascar obtained its independence from France and the basing agreement ended. By Mar 1971, this had reduced to one warship and one RFA in support. Almost 80 Royal Navy warships took part in this operation at various times over its 10 year lifespan. The Operation was called off when Mozambique gained independence from Portugal, HMS Salisbury the last warship on patrol departed and the UK Treasury breathed a huge sigh of relief.

HMS Mohawk,(Captain Stanley L McCardle), though not mentioned here, was the first ship to take up the Beira Patrol. The three patrol lines were originally named after ex-girlfriends of our (RAN) Navigation Officer. I was one of 3 Midshipmen in Mohawk. I can't now remember the exact dates, but we were based at Mombasa, and were actually on patrol during the World Cup semi-final; England v Portugal. At that time a Portuguese (ex RN) frigate was in company, ensuring that we didn't enter their territorial waters. (Capt McCardle had served in her as an Able Seaman when she was RN!)During the match the two ships sailed close alongside (as if a RAS) and the match commentary was played on the ships speaker systems, in both languages. With the cheering, (or otherwise!) ships' companies manning the sides, it was as if the game was being played in the ocean between us.

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Units which served in this Operation: Login to Edit    

DatesRotary Wing Aircraft UnitModels
    mar66 to jun75 UK 829 squadron Fleet Air Arm wasp
    jun70 to jun75 UK 737 squadron Fleet Air Arm sea king

Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

Ships which served in this Operation: Login to Edit    

Aircraft CarrierAudacious class Royal Navy R05 HMS Eagle, Royal Navy R09 HMS Ark Royal,

Guided-Missile DestroyerCounty class Royal Navy D16 HMS London, Royal Navy D20 HMS Fife,

FrigateIkara Leander class Royal Navy F109 HMS Leander, Royal Navy F38 HMS Arethusa, Royal Navy F39 HMS Naiad,

FrigateType 12 Rothesay class Royal Navy F101 HMS Yarmouth, Royal Navy F103 HMS Lowestoft, Royal Navy F107 HMS Rothesay, Royal Navy F113 HMS Falmouth, Royal Navy F115 HMS Berwick, Royal Navy F126 HMS Plymouth, Royal Navy F129 HMS Rhyl,

FrigateType 81 Tribal class Royal Navy F119 HMS Eskimo, Royal Navy F122 HMS Gurkha, Royal Navy F131 HMS Nubian, Royal Navy F133 HMS Tartar,

FrigateExocet Leander class Royal Navy F45 HMS Minerva, Royal Navy F47 HMS Danae,

FrigateSeawolf Leander class Royal Navy F58 HMS Hermione,

FrigateTowed Array Exocet Leander class Royal Navy F28 HMS Cleopatra, Royal Navy F40 HMS Sirius, Royal Navy F56 HMS Argonaut,

Support ShipImproved Tide class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A76 RFA Tidepool,

Support ShipSomersby class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A84 RFA Reliant,

Support ShipCanadian Fort class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A229 RFA Fort Duquesne,

Support ShipRetainer class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A280 RFA Resurgent,

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