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Started by Ross Debenham, July 20, 2023, 05:59:54 AM

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Ross Debenham

I attach a scan of a cover just purchased which is post marked somewhere in Senegal in 1943. Censored using n.109 censor marker on 9 May, 1943. Can any of the naval experts inform me if there was a Royal Navy presence in Senegal in 1943. The only clue I have to the sender is H Johnson written on the reverse.

Nick Colley

Hi, Ross, interesting that you should put that up. I also have a cover from Senegal in May 1943. I have yet to establish the character of our naval presence in Senegal at that time, but considering what happened between the Allies and the (Vichy) French forces at Dakar in September 1940, I imagine relations between the Brits and the local French forces were less than cordial. Anyway, the nearest I've got so far is the establishment of a shore base, HMS Fann, at Dakar, which first appears in the June 1944 Navy List. However, the earliest dates of appointment of the officers listed are in March 1944. This is in agreement with the listing of HMS Fann in a compilation of naval shore establishments compiled by the late Bill Garrard – he has HMS Fann existing between March 1944 and 30th June 1945.

That's the best I can do so far.

Ross Debenham

Thank Nick, I note that your cover has no sender on reverse. Mine has H Johnston on the reverse with no service number. All very interesting.