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The UGANDA Incident

Subdeacon Joe

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The spring of 1945 found the Allied forces advancing against the Axis powers on all fronts. With victory in Europe only a matter of time, Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced on 4 April that the Canadian Government no longer intended to deploy personnel, other than volunteers, to the Pacific Theatre. The “Volunteers Only” policy, as it was called, required that all naval personnel specifically re-volunteer for service in the Pacific Theatre before they would be dispatched to participate in hostilities. Unaware of the impending policy change, HMCS UGANDA had already set sail to augment the British Pacific Fleet (BPF).


The Canadian cruiser arrived on station on 8 April. Lacking precise direction, she engaged as planned in operations and soon earned quite a reputation. UGANDA was attached to the Fourth Cruiser Squadron, and participated in radar picket, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment duties. Of particular note is her participation in Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa, for which she was awarded a Battle Honour, and Operation Inmate, where she acted as the Flagship for Rear-Admiral Eric Brind in the British Pacific Fleet’s assignment to destroy air installations throughout the Truk Atoll in the Pacific (now part of Micronesia).



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