Operation Transport

This was a British naval attack against Japanese shipping and military facilities in the Japanese-occupied Andaman islands group in the Bay of Bengal (14/20 March 1944).

Comprising the destroyers Rapid, Saumarez and Volage, Force 70 departed Trincomalee in Ceylon on 14 March and passed through the Ten Degree Channel on the night of 15/16 March. The force then swept toward Penang on the west coast of Malaya, but found no targets. The ships next undertook a gunfire bombardments of Sigli on the island of Sumatra during 17 March and of Port Blair in the Andaman islands group on 19 March. The force entered the Stewart Sound during the afternoon of 19 March and, after destroying a junk, came under fire from a gun of at least 6-in (152-mm) calibre.

Rapid was hit and stopped, and Saumarez started to tow the damaged ship clear of the area while Volage provided covering fire but was herself hit. The casualties sustained in this action were one officer and 10 men killed, and two officers and 21 men wounded in Rapid, and three men killed and four men wounded in Volage.

The force then steamed to Akyab in the Arakan western coastal region of Burma, where it arrived on 20 March. Rapid departed Akyab two days later to reach Colombo in Ceylon on 27 March before setting off one day later for repairs at Simonstown in South Africa.