Operation Livery

Operation Livery was a series of naval air strikes on northern Japanese occupied Malaya and air cover missions for minesweeping operations by the British in July 1945 during World War II. It was carried out by the 4th and 7th Minesweeping Flotillas, taking place off Phuket Island, Thailand. It was the last action of the Eastern Fleet during the war.[1]

British order of battle




The escort carrier HMS Empress sailed on 19 July to partake in Operation Livery. Aircraft from herself and Ameer were to attack Japanese targets starting 24 July in northern Malaya and southern Thailand (specifically Phuket Island) while also covering the minesweeping operations of the 4th[7] and 7th[8] minesweeping flotillas in the Strait of Malacca. This was also meant to give the Japanese the impression that landings were going to take place.[8] Vice-Admiral H.T.C. Walker lead from aboard the Nelson.[9] During the operation, the minesweeper Squirrel struck a mine and had to be scuttled by gunfire from other ships.[10] At one point, a mine was spotted from Empress and taken under small arms fire until other ships could destroy it. Three Japanese aircraft attacked the cruiser Sussex, which destroyed two and forced the last one to retreat. On 26 July a kamikaze Mitsubishi Ki-51 attacked the Ameer in the Bay of Bengal, but was shot down by AA fire and crashed into the sea 500 yards from the ship. Another kamikaze struck the minesweeper Vestal, forcing it to be scuttled. Between 24-27 July, Grumman F6F Hellcats flew over 150 sorties, destroying more than 30 grounded Japanese aircraft while damaging rail and road links.[11]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Operation Livery, July 1945". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  2. Brown, J. D. (May 2009). Carrier Operations in World War II. Seaforth Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 9781848320420.
  3. Lt Cdr Mason, Geoffrey RN (Rtd). "HMS Rifleman, minesweeper". Naval History. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  4. Ministry of Defence (Navy), Great Britain (1995). The advance to Japan. War with Japan. Volume 6, Part 1. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 334. ISBN 9780117728219.
  5. Lt Cdr Mason, Geoffrey RN (Rtd). "HMS Pincher, minesweeper". Naval History. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  6. CSV Media Clubhouse (2003-09-10). "Aboard cruiser HMS Sussex (1945)". BBC. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  7. "HMS Sussex, British heavy cruiser, WW2". Naval History. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  8. 1 2 Begg, Richard Campbell; Liddle, Peter (2000). For five shillings a day: experiencing war, 1939-45 (illustrated ed.). HarperCollins. p. 375. ISBN 9780007104321.
  9. McMahon, William E. (1978). Dreadnought battleships and battle cruisers (illustrated ed.). University Press of America. p. 53. ISBN 9780819104656.
  10. Wragg, David (2005). The Escort Carrier in the Second World War: Combustible, Vulnerable, Expendable! (illustrated ed.). Casemate Publishers. p. 160. ISBN 9781844152209.
  11. Hobbs, David (30 September 2014). British Aircraft Carriers: Design, Development & Service Histories. Seaforth Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 9781473853690.

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