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EAST INDIES FLEET Punishing Air Attacks On Nicobar Islands British Official Wireless Rec. 1.30 p.m. RUGBY, July 13. "During sustained mine-sweeping operations between July 5 and 10 in the approaches to the Malacca Straits ships of the British East Indies Fleet were undisturbed by the enemy," states a special naval communique issued from headquarters in South-east Asia. "An air attack, combined with a bombardment, was also carried out by units of the fleet against radar installations, airfields and shore batteries on islands of the Nicobar Group." the communique continues. "Our carrier-borne aircraft also attacked airfields in North-west Sumatra. "The British forces were commanded by Rear-Admiral W. R. Patterson, commanding the Fifth Cruiser Squadron, flying his flag in

the cruiser Nigeria. The first air attack was directed against Niccpbar and it set fire to radio installations on the island. All enemy craft in the area were rendered unseaworthy. "Our aircraft were met by heavy anti-aircraft fire and rescue ships and naval air-sea rescue Walrus aircraft, which had to approach close in shore to recover pilots who had been shot down, were engaged by ineffective enemy machine-gun fire. "A bombardment and air attack on July 7 against Nancowy, another island of the Nicobar Group, were carried out in heavy rain squalls. Fires and explosions in a camp were observed and two coastal vessels were left on fire. Two airfields at Kutaraja and Ihonga in North-west Sumatra, were attacked on Wednesday by Hellcat fighter nlanes One Japanese aircraft was Sot down by our pilots- when returning to our earners. Only one of our pilots is missing from all these operations. None of our ships suffered casualties or damage.

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BRITISH SWEEP, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 165, 14 July 1945

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BRITISH SWEEP Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 165, 14 July 1945

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