Mombasa Flood Relief Operations Kenya
HMS Victorious (R38) disembarked 6 of 825 Squadron's Whirlwinds on 22 Nov in Kenya to assist with flood relief operations around Mombasa. Less than 24 hours after landing, 3 flights of 2 Whirlwinds were spread along 250km of Indian Ocean coastline from Mombasa (near the flood operations centre), through Malindi to Lamu.
In addition to food drop, the Mombasa detatchment flew reconnaisance, personnel transport and CASEVAC missions, the special conditions of the area meant that cattle movement flights (nearly 150 in total) were also required between 30 Nov and 1 Dec to maintain meat supplies to Mombasa, because of the swollen rivers.
The Malindi detatchment specialised in lifting doctors, veterinarians and agricultural officers around the Sabuku River area. From 27 Nov intensive food drops took place and 141 hours were flown with the distribution of almost 64800 kg of food aid was achieved before it was relieved by 824 Squadron on 8 Dec.
The Lamu detatchment worked mostly on food drops and disease containment measures, flying 113 hours over 13 days, from a makeshift heliport set up near the seawall and unofficially known as HMS Vulture. During the period fuel drums had to be delivered by Tank Landing Craft and be pumped into the Whirlwinds by hand.
On 9 Dec after a handover, 825 Squadron departed to land on HMS Victorious and continue on to Malta.
The RAFs 21 Squadron on detatchment from RAF Eastleigh also operated Twin Pioneers from Malindi with support from 16 Coy RASC (packing and air despatch of the stores) from 29 Sep. RAF Eastleigh also received 4 Sycamores from 225 Squadron in mid Nov when Beverleys of the Medium Range Transport Force staged through El Adem, before unloading in Nairobi, for them to begin relief operations. On 24 Nov half the force moved to Mogadishu, returning just before Christmas. The piston engined Sycamores performed unexpectedly well in those hot and high conditions.
Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation
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