Berthing / Bedding cards for RAF passenger on troopship “Devonshire” @1951

$21.00 CAD

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Berthing card and Bedding card for RAF Leading Aircraftman (LAC) D. Allison, service # 4067101, RAF Unit 662 E.

Also including photo postcard of M.V. "Devonshire".

Based on service #, can determine:

#4060000 to 4079999:  Feb 1951 Regular enlistments Non ATC Cardington

The Devonshire was operating in the Far East in the 1950s. No records found to determine what this RAF airman / unit was doing there.

Listings of the Devonshire's activities could solve the riddle (see below). My guess, Cyprus.


The Devonshire was built in 1939 by Fairfield Shipbuilding of Glasgow, as a troopship and made her first trip from Southampton to India, spending the next four years trooping in Australia, the Far East, South Africa and the Mediterranean. In 1943 she took part in the Sicily Campaign, as Command Operations ship, carrying troops for the Salerno landings. Post war she transported troops to the Far East and Korea


No. 662 Squadron was formed at RAF Old Sarum on 30 September 1943 with the Auster III which gave way to the Auster IV in March 1944. The squadron role was to support the British 21st Army Group in June 1944 when it moved to France. The squadron supported the Army until the end of the war when it was disbanded on 15 December 1945 at Melsbroek in Belgium.

After the war the Air Observation Squadrons were reformed and No. 662 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force was reformed as such at RAF Colerne on 1 May 1949, also operating a flight from RAF Middle Wallop, to provide support to the Army in the West Country until it was disbanded at RAF Colerne on 10 March 1957


MV Devonshire

June 6th 1951: 500 paratroopers of the 33rd Airborne Light Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, embarked in the troopship Devonshire at Liverpool for Cyprus. The men were alerted suddenly three weeks previously to prepare for overseas service following the breakdown of the Anglo-Persian oil talks. They arrived in Nicosia on June 21st 1951.

August 31st (?) 1951: Twelfth Royal Lancers arrived in Singapore from Britain by the troopship Devonshire to relieve the 4th Hussars, who had been operating against terrorists in North Malaya.

December 1951: Wellington December 20th — Reinforcements for the New Zealand Korea force, consisting of seven officers and 133 men will sail from Wellington on December 31st. In Sydney they will join Australian troops sailing for Japan in the British troopship Devonshire.

December 28th 1951: Nairobi, The Third Battalion of the King's African Rifles left Nairobi on their way to Malaya. They will embark at Mombasa in the troopship Devonshire, and will be joined later by the First Nyasaland Battalion.

January 21st 1952: Singapore, more than 1,500 trained jungle fighters in the 1st Nyasaland and 3rd Kenya Battalions of the King's African Rifles arrived in the troopship Devonshire to fight Communist guerrillas in Malaya.

February 25th 1952: it was announced that Australia's occupation force in Japan were being sent home. The first draft were set to reach Sydney on Monday (25th) in the British troopship Devonshire. An Army headquarters spokesman said today that the rest would return as shipping became available. The Devonshire, on loan from the British Government, was carrying 240 soldiers and 56 Army families. The next ship repatriating Australian soldiers and families was expected late in March. 

February 28th 1952: Soldiers were called in to load cargo on board the troopship Devonshire at Circular Quay, Sydney after waterside workers had gone on strike. The Devonshire was expected to sail on Monday March 3rd with Australian troops for Korea. She had arrived at Sydney on February 25th from Japan.

March 3rd 1952: Army security officers thoroughly searched the troopship Devonshire before nearly 1,600 soldiers embarked for Korea. Intelligence officers and bomb experts of the RAE helped in the search. Ship's engineers helped them examine the engine room. 'We feared that Communists might try to sabotage the Devonshire,' an Army officer said. The Devonshire reached Kure on March 18th (also reported March 28th). To the tune of 'Waltzing Matilda' played by the band of the British cruiser HMS Ceylon, the Anzac fighting team marched ashore.

December 18th 1952: The gale delayed the berthing of the troopship Devonshire with soldiers from Korea aboard. The troopship, due to have berthed at Liverpool on 18th, was riding out the gale outside Liverpool docks. May 7th(?) 1952: Devonshire arrived at Sydney from Japan.

September 20th (?) 1952: Devonshire arrived in the United Kingdom from Australia (?).