Operation Corkscrew (ii)

This was a British naval raid on Japanese coastal shipping in the Gwa area, to the south-east of Cheduba island, in the Arakan western coastal region of Japanese-occupied Burma (7 March 1944).

For the severance of this line of Japanese communications the British considered that the most suitable area was that between Gwa and Andrews Bay as here the Japanese craft had to enter the open sea. On 7 March, therefore, the 55th and 56th Motor Launch Flotillas of the Indian navy despatched ML-412, ML-416, ML-417, ML-440, ML-441, ML-439, ML-476 and ML-438 in ‘Corkscrew’ (ii). The launches proceeded uneventfully as far as Gwa Bay to attack any craft which might be found there, and to bombard the shore installations. No targets were found inside the bay, however, and the Japanese made no attempt to attack the launches, although the force was less then 1 mile (1.6 km) from the shore.

ML-438 and ML-440 approached Andrews Bay from the south-west, and while crossing Sandoway Bay sighted and sank three small fishing boats. Intelligence had reported a gun in the vicinity of the jetty, but this could not be seen, and range was therefore opened to 800 yards (730 m) and a general bombardment carried out. A certain amount of opposition was experienced, but this was silenced after the first 10 minutes, and the whole force returned safely to the Naf river on 8 March.