Operation Gander

'Gander' was a British special forces operation in which a small commando party was landed on Kastelorizo island in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey to take advantage of Italy’s armistice with the Allies before the Germans could seize control (9/10 September 1943).

The landing party of Special Air Service and Special Boat Section personnel was transported from Haifa in the motor launches ML-349 and ML-357, and paved the way for the arrival of a larger force transported within the overall context of 'Accolade'. The island remained under British occupation for the rest of the war.

In July 1944, a fuel dump caught fire and spread to an adjacent ammunition dump, the resulting explosion destroying half of the homes on the island.