RAF Singapore Auxiliary vessel "Aquarius' sunk 15.2.42 - crew names?

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Michael Pether
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:41 pm

RAF Singapore Auxiliary vessel "Aquarius' sunk 15.2.42 - crew names?

Post by Michael Pether » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:50 pm

I research and compile memorial documents on the ships sunk and identities of those on board, during the evacuation of Singapore in February 1942.There were no passenger lists for these vessels which carried several thousands of British civilian women, children, men and escaping service,men during the last four days before the Surrender. Well over a thousand people lost their lives in the sinking of these vessels.

My documents can be viewed on the COFEPOW or Malayan Volunteer Group websites - under Evacuation Ships.

My current piece of research is on the RAF Auxiliary vessel the 'Aquarius' which was sunk on 15 February 1942 - with only three survivors who all died on a deserted island near Banka Island off the east coast of Sumatra.

My query is where could I find the names of the officers and crew ( totaling 32 men) on 'Aquarius' which left England for Singapore in the 1930s and served as a rescue /supply vessel for the RAF Flying Boat Squadron in Singapore prior to the War with the Japanese?

I have not been able to find anything searching online in the UK Archives - but they may be under a file i am not aware of.


Michael Pether
New Zealand.

Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:31 pm
Location: Near the Itchen Navi

Re: RAF Singapore Auxiliary vessel "Aquarius' sunk 15.2.42 - crew names?

Post by culverin » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:59 pm

Michael, welcome to this valuable resource.

I am not certain how much i can help regarding individuals in RAFA Aquarius but i can give you some details on the vessel.

Built by W. J. Yarwood & Sons in Nantwich, Cheshire as yard number 346 being launched 14th February 1934. She immediately conducted trials in the Mersey before heading East where she duly arrived in Singapore end of June.

She was the first vessel ordered by the new Air Ministry and was designed from the outset for service in Eastern waters based in Singapore specifically in support of 205 squadron Royal Air Force.

Any further searches you make ensure you state RAFA Aquarius but i can tell you that in Model Boats magazine December 2013, issue 757 Vol 63 James Pottinger had an extensive article published devoted to her. I do not have a copy to assist further.

I will see if i have anything filed away regards her ships company in 1934 but i certainly do not at the time of her loss. In the 5 years based in Singapore she was locally manned under a master with an RAF communication detachment embarked, 8 men i believe.

Additionally i have looked at the Cofepow site where i should mention the destroyer Jupiter sunk 28th Feb 1942 was actually sunk in a Dutch mine field and not torpedoed.
A full broadside. The traditional English salute.
Thanks. Sean.

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