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Royal Navy in British Guiana in WW2


Hi all,

I'm new here and I have a question. I'm working on a book that I hope to complete within the next six weeks. I like to have my facts right.
In my book the Guianas - British, Dutch and French play - a minor but not unimportant role. Now, I know that the Americans were calling the shots in British and Dutch Guiana and after March 1943 in French Guiana as well. They had their airbases there and they were responsible for the antisubmarine warfare along the coast and further into the Atlantic. I can find all kinds of information about British Guiana during WW2, but nowhere on the internet I can find even the smallest bit of information about the presence of the Royal Navy there.
Were they there in WW2 and if so, where and with what? All I need is patrol boat on the Essequibo River and some Royal Navy personnel in Parika and Georgetown.
They must have been there. I can't imagine that the British left it all to the Americans.
Any information is highly appreciated.

Best regards,

Theo Horsten


Lantern Swinger
Interesting question, but I wouldn't have thought the RN were very interested in Guiana during WW2, having plenty on their plate in Home Waters, in the North and South Atlantic, and the Med. After the Battle of the River Plate, nothing much seems to have happened in the South or near South America, apart from fast convoys to South Africa.
Re The Royal Navy in British Guiana in WW11.
There was a Royal Navy presence in British Guiana in the form of HMS Black Bear. She was an armed yacht and there was a listening post in Georgetown. My uncle, Alan Bradbury served as a telegraphist and were able to relay communications from the Graf Spee incident. They were also on submarine watch and rescued several crew from torpedoed vessels. There is a short resume of HMS Black Bear on Google. I am doing research into crew of this vessel re photographs etc.

Deleted 58790

Built originally as a luxury yacht for F. M. Singer, New York, USA of the sewing machine and called SS Xarifa. She was sold to the British Royal Navy in 1940 and became HMS Black Bear until 1947. She was then sold to Royal B. Bodden of George Town, Cayman Islands and converted into a cargo ship called Caymania SS. Sold in 1962 to Gran Flota Mercante Panamena SA, Panama and renamed Quiban SS. Read more at wrecksite:
Thanks for this - the first part I knew . I have seen a photo of the RN crew but cannot locate it anywhere now. I am trying to compare family photos to this one. Any clues where to look?

Deleted 58790

Sorry . I could provide with the names of officers who served aboard her during WW2. I suppose you could trace relatives and see if they might help with crew photographs.
Good news. My uncle was Alan Arthur Bradbury and he was a telegraphist. I have photos of him in Guyana. I understand that he celebrated his 21st birthday with my family.
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