Target Island

Sun, 04/30/2023 - 11:51

Before Pete Moss passed away a few years ago (HKFP article), he had a large online library of photos he took during the 1960s when he lived in Hong Kong. Sadly, since his passing the library appears to have been forgotten and no longer accessible. However, many years ago I did save this particular shot of a fighter plane doing target practice at Target Island (Ngam Tau Sha)

If anyone knows what happened to Mr Moss's vast collection of photos it would be great if they could comment.

Date picture taken


Given the photo was taken in the 1960s, it was probably a RAF Hunter aircraft at the Port Shelter Firing Range.

I was delighted to find this photo which brought back great memories. When I was a young boy in the mid-1960's we regularly visited the beach in Clear Water Bay adjacent this 'island' (actually connected by a small isthmus to the mainland), when the red flag was not showing and the Hawker Hunters were not engaging in target practice with their 30mm Aden cannon. The place was almost always deserted. My father and I would gleefully rub Coppertone over our backs and arms, and leave my mother to guard our light blue Ford Consul. We would then snorkel around the island and dive for the spent shell cases on one side and then swim around to the other side looking for spent cannon shells. The shell cases were often undamaged but the practice shells usually were beaten up having struck the underwater rocks. I found only one undamaged shell after several years of looking. I remember my father being startled by a large Moray eel that appeared suddenly from behind a rock, and gesturing urgently for me to move away. We also had to be very wary of the abundant jellyfish that populated the shores. We sometimes walked to the top of the island to see what was up there but there was nothing of note, just Land Rover tracks and scrub. The RAF always removed their targets and cleaned up after a firing session. I believe the Royal Navy ships used a different island much further out in this general area for target practice with their onboard guns. All now a distant memory and definitely not something that would happen in these PC times.

I also remember Peter Moss's large online photo collection, which included some wonderful shots of Ma Wan in the 1960s. He had a weekend house there at the time. I will ask around to see if anyone knows what happened to the gallery.

Thanks Pete, I remember he had many images from the construction of Plover Cove reservoir as well. It would be such a shame if they were lost.