In Time of War: View pages | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

In Time of War: View pages

Proceeded at dawn and steamed to C2 buoy off Aplichau. Went up to Aberdeen later & Rose & party rejoined navy spent night at China F.C. ((China Fleet Club)) Various planes seen over HK during day.

Went up 5.45 and returning 6.30 when single bomber dropped three only bombs abreast of ship but off HK island. Set junk building yard on fire. Put out by 8.30.

Tried to find out news of D. and Mrs Dronit  but could not get in touch with anyone. ((Other possible readings could be "Drouit" or "Drunit; but neither of these is listed in FRL1941.)) Thracian in to oil.

Very little news of situation. Chinese divisions said to be attacking in rear.

Cicala had bomb through aft on Wednesday but was patched.

Sailors very happy all day camouflage painting ship.

Good shooting at evening plane.

Fairly quiet forenoon. Went up at daylight.

Several alerts p.m. 9 planes bombed up behind Mount Kellett and 4 bombs later in [...] and market. Oil store fire got under control.

[Bevis sinking river steamers and block ships.] Went up at 5.45. News from Claire that Day and others OK at Kow. Hosp.

APVs shot up and rammed junks coming from Lamma.

Potato Jones killed. Royal Scots stayed in dugouts at night and were bombed. Indians did very well. MTB [rating] in [skimmer] to get Chinese girl shot up  [Pic's] master lost leg.

Very lovely day. V. cold early.

6 planes over early. Bombs fell close astern. Later attack unloaded in El[...] & entrance.

Got orders to go to Deep Water Bay & [flood]. 7.45: Another attack and bombs fell in billet just left! Terrific shindy as going down harbour. Shaving water and coffee all cold!

Found Thracian crumpled bow and took all her ammunition. Later anchored off W. shore of Deep Water Bay. Plane over p.m. dived but no bombs. One plane brought down a.m.

Landed head of bay and walked Aberdeen and back. Cholera shot. Several damaged cars and lorries. R. Scots lost 700 out of 900.

Quiet early. Got ropes ashore and warped ship in as close as possible. Beattie pulled over in skiff for paint.

26 big bombers over very high about 1 o'clock. Loosed off on Aberdeen dock.[i] Sunk MTB 08 [Grapnel] & damaged yard. Very badly wounded Engineer Officer of Thracian and Lt. Coles.[ii] Dive bombers attacked us, Cicala, Ebonol, Cornflower.[iv] Lot of bombs on Middle Island[v] and one about 50 yards from us. No dead fish! Cicala claimed to have brought down two.

Ashore 5.15 and walked Aberdeen and back. Lieutenant from Manila urgent signal to Commodore for naval cap.[vi]

USS Arizona lost.


[i] There were two dry docks at Aberdeen (on the south side of Hong Kong Island) at this time. (CD1941, p. A483.)

[ii] Perhaps G.R.C. Coles, whose address it seems is, "Lieutenant of the Yard's Residence, H.M. Dockyard". (FRL1941)

[iv] HMS Cornflower, a mine-sweeper, was lost on 19 December 1941 in an air raid at the fall of Hong Kong. See: <>.

[v] Middle Island (熨波洲, Tong Po Chau) is located 100 m off the southern coast of Hong Kong Island, between Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. Original diary entry has "Mid Id".

[vi] Sic. An earlier reference explains this: "A lighter moment of the day was the story that a naval officer attached to the U.S. Navy in Manila had made a signal to the Commodore asking that he might be sent a new cap."