- Book reviewer
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations, History - WW2, Book reviews, Naval Engagements, Operations and Capabilities
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
So Long Singapore
by Hugh Campbell and Ron Lovell.
Reasonably priced at $25.00 plus $7 postage and packing, this book is thoroughly recommended.
Available from the author (Hugh Campbell) at:
19 Brushy Creek Road,
Lenah Valley TASMANIA 7008
Review by Vince Fazio
This is the story of the Royal Air Force Auxiliary vessel Tung Song and her epic voyage after escaping from Singapore in 1942 when it was overrun by the Japanese Army. The people onboard were mostly RAF Servicemen and some wives and it is their story, to a large extent.
Quite a number of people recalled their experiences in this saga, and although the story mainly concerns the voyage of the Tung Song (at one time known as Ann – which caused some alarm when confronted by HMS Mauritius), the corvettes of the RAN and other ships of the Royal Navy also played a significant role in connection with this story, in one form or another.
This book also confirms the total and appalling lack of preparedness of the British High Command, who had grossly underestimated the capability of the Japanese during the Malayan campaign. That, however, is a story in its own right.
The illustrations are well chosen and reflect the whole life of the ship until the end of her escape to Australia. As a reference of events which occurred during the Malaya debacle it is worthwhile, as it gives a comprehensive account of the events as seen through the eyes of the airmen and others who were there at the time. It is not only good reading for ex-RAF people but also for seafarers in general.
Well presented, this is another winner from Hugh Campbell, whose previous book “Notable Service to the Empire” is a valuable reference about the ships of the RAN.