This book is a personal
account of the closing stages of the war against Japan, victory being,
in no small way, due to the contribution of the British Pacific Fleet.
Formed in 1944, the Fleet, the largest, multifarious collection of ships
of all shapes and sizes to operate as a single unit, collaborated with
the much larger forces of America to reclaim all the areas of the Far
East overrun by the Japanese.
Peter Ward joined HMS Arbiter, an escort carrier and part of the BPF,
as a leading Seaman Radar RP2. The book describes HMS Arbiters
trip to its Pacific Base, Sydney, Australia via Gibraltar, the Mediterranean
and India etc., followed by her part in supplying the Main Fleet in
the Forward Area off Japan using naval bases at Leyte (Philippines)
and Manus (Christmas Islands). Arbiter also visited Hong
Pacific Voyage is based on memories, memorabilia and photographs
taken at the time, together with pictures, ships log references
etc., and describes the danger and discomfort endured by crew members
in ships such as the escort carrier Arbiter engaged in this
final episode of the Second World War.
Two things overshadowed the Far East theatre of war as far as the people
at home were concerned, the distance from the British Isles, and the
European War, well on its way to a conclusion. I hope that this book
will, in some small way, help to redress the balance.