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  • Beira Patrol

    Mozambique Channel

    01-mar-66    to    25-jun-75

    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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    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


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    Aircraft Carrier  Audacious class   Royal Navy R05 HMS Eagle, Royal Navy R09 HMS Ark Royal,
    Guided-Missile Destroyer  County class   Royal Navy D16 HMS London, Royal Navy D20 HMS Fife,
    Frigate  Ikara Leander class   Royal Navy F10 HMS Aurora, Royal Navy F109 HMS Leander, Royal Navy F38 HMS Arethusa, Royal Navy F39 HMS Naiad,
    Frigate  Type 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,
    Frigate  Type 81 Tribal class   Royal Navy F119 HMS Eskimo, Royal Navy F122 HMS Gurkha, Royal Navy F131 HMS Nubian, Royal Navy F133 HMS Tartar,
    Frigate  Exocet Leander class   Royal Navy F45 HMS Minerva, Royal Navy F47 HMS Danae,
    Frigate  Seawolf Leander class   Royal Navy F58 HMS Hermione,
    Frigate  Towed Array Exocet Leander class   Royal Navy F28 HMS Cleopatra, Royal Navy F40 HMS Sirius, Royal Navy F56 HMS Argonaut,
    Support Ship  Improved Tide class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A76 RFA Tidepool,
    Support Ship  Somersby class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A84 RFA Reliant,
    Support Ship  Canadian Fort class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A229 RFA Fort Duquesne,
    Support Ship  Retainer class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A280 RFA Resurgent,

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