West Africa Station
The West Africa Station was a formation and command of the British Royal Navy during the Second World War, it was defined so by the Admiralty to identify the geographical area jurisdiction of the Flag Officer, West Africa. It existed from 1942 to 1945.
|West Africa Station|
|Garrison/HQ||Freetown, Sierra Leone|
For both strategic reasons and identifying areas of jurisdiction the Royal Navy was distributed around the world, separated into various fleets or squadrons operating from a number of regional stations, also known as commands.
In 1941, escort forces began to be built up at Freetown. Initially consisting of two corvettes and a few Free French ships. The West Africa station was created in August 1942 as part of the Admiralty's re-organisation of commands. This was due to the growing importance of Freetown as a major base for convoy escorts.. The senior officer on the West Africa Station was the Flag Officer, West Africa. The area command existed until 1945.
Earlier West Africa stations
This command should not be confused with the West Africa Squadron later known as the "West Coast of Africa Station." That unit was primarily a patrol squadron operating off the Western Africa during the 19th century. Also should not be confused with the Cape of Good Hope Station that merged with the West Coast of Africa Station to create the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa Station for the periods (1857-1865, 1867-1920) that command was based at Simonstown, South Africa.
- 1807: British slave trade illegal
- 1808: First RN anti-slavery patrol, West Africa Squadron, ships on "particular service"
- 1819: West African Station an independent command under a Commodore
- 1840: West African Station still independent, but not under a Commodore
- 1842: West African Station once more commanded by a Commodore
- 1857-1865: West African Station again combined with Cape of Good Hope Station
- 1866: West African Station an independent command again
- 1867 West Africa/Preventative Squadron is disbanded
- 1867-1920 West Africa Station combined with Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station and West Africa Station
- 1920-1941 No West Africa Station
- 1942-1945 Flag Officer, West Africa operated from Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Archives, The National. "Royal Navy operations in the Second World War - The National Archives". The National Archives. London, England: The National Archives. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- Buchet, C., Higgie, A., & Duffy, M. (2013). APPENDIX 3: The Structure of British Naval Administration. In The British Navy, Economy and Society in the Seven Years War (p. 269). Boydell and Brewer. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt24hfwq.19
- Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939-1945:West Africa Command". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, p.84. February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
- Mackie, Colin. (2018) "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie. Scotland, UK.
- Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939-1945:West Africa Command". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015.