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The North America and West Indies Station was a
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or
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of the
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's
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stationed in
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
n waters from 1745 to 1956. The North American Station was separate from the
Jamaica Station Jamaica station is a major train station A train station, railway station, railroad station or depot is a Rail transport, railway facility or area where trains regularly stop to load or unload passenger train, passengers, freight rail transp ...
until 1830 when the two combined to form the North America and West Indies Station. It was briefly abolished in 1907 before being restored in 1915. It was renamed the America and West Indies Station in 1926. It was commanded by Commanders-in-Chief whose titles changed with the changing of the formation's name, eventually by the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.


History

The squadron was formed in 1745 to counter French forces in North America, with the headquarters at the Halifax Naval Yard in
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French, Scots Gaelic , capital ...

Nova Scotia
(now
CFB Halifax Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax is Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocea ...

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). The area of command had first been designated as the North American Station in 1767, under the command of Commodore Samuel Hood, with the headquarters in Halifax from 1758 to 1794, and thereafter in Halifax and
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Bermuda
. Land and buildings for a permanent Naval Yard were purchased by the Royal Navy in 1758 and the Yard was officially commissioned in 1759. The Yard served as the main base for the Royal Navy in North America during the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, and the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted French First Republic, France against Gr ...
. Following American independence in 1783,
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
was the only British territory left between
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French, Scots Gaelic , capital ...

Nova Scotia
and the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
(by agreement with the Spanish government, a Royal Navy base was maintained in
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Florida
until this was ceded to the United States), and was selected as the new headquarters for the region. The establishment of a base there was delayed for a dozen years, however, due to the need to survey the encircling barrier reef to locate channels suitable for large warships. Once this had been completed, a base was established at St. George's in 1794, with the fleet anchoring at ''Murray's Anchorage'' in the northern lagoon, named for Vice Admiral
Sir George Murray Sir George Murray (6 February 1772 – 28 July 1846) was a United Kingdom, British soldier and politician from Scotland. Background and education Murray was born in Perth, Scotland, Perth, Scotland, the second son of Sir William Murray, of Ocht ...
, who became the Commander-in-Chief of the new ''River St. Lawrence and Coast of America and North America and West Indies Station''. The Admiralty also began purchasing land at Bermuda's West End, including Ireland Island, Spanish Point, and smaller islands in the Great Sound with the intent of building the
Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda HMD Bermuda ( Her/His Majesty's Dockyard, Bermuda) was the principal base of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medi ...
, and a permanent naval base there, with its anchorage on ''Grassy Bay''. The construction of this base was to drag on through much of the Nineteenth Century. Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren was appointed Commander-in-Chief in 1812, and he and his staff seem to have spent most of their time at Bermuda during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
(he was replaced by Vice Admiral
Sir Alexander Inglis Cochrane
Sir Alexander Inglis Cochrane
in 1813), from where the blockade of much of the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States and raids such as the
Battle of Craney Island The Battle of Craney Island (Virginia), Craney Island was a victory for the United States during the War of 1812. The battle saved the city of Norfolk, Virginia, Norfolk, and the adjacent city of Portsmouth, Virginia, Portsmouth, from British ...

Battle of Craney Island
were orchestrated. 2,500 soldiers under Major-General
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aboard , three frigates, three sloops and ten other vessels, was sent to Bermuda in 1814, following British victory in the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurg ...

Peninsular War
, and joined with the naval and military forces already at, or operating from, Bermuda to carry out the Chesapeake campaign, a punitive expedition which included the Raid on Alexandria, the
Battle of Bladensburg The Battle of Bladensburg was a battle of the Chesapeake campaign of the War of 1812, fought on 24 August 1814 at Bladensburg, Maryland, northeast of Washington, D.C. Called "the greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms," a United King ...
, and the
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was launched in August, 1814. In 1813, the area of command had become the ''North America Station'' again, with the West Indies falling under the
Jamaica Station Jamaica station is a major train station A train station, railway station, railroad station or depot is a Rail transport, railway facility or area where trains regularly stop to load or unload passenger train, passengers, freight rail transp ...
, and in 1816 it was renamed the ''North America and Lakes of Canada Station''. The headquarters was initially in Bermuda during the winter and Halifax during the summer, but
Admiralty House, Bermuda Admiralty House in Bermuda was the official residence and offices for the senior officer of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from ...
, became the year-round headquarters of the Station in 1821, when the area of command became the ''North America and Newfoundland Station''. In 1818 Halifax became the summer base for the squadron which shifted to the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, for the remainder of the year.Marilyn Gurney, The Kings Yard, Maritime Command Museum, Halifax. In 1819, the main base of the Station was moved from Halifax to Bermuda, which was better positioned to counter threats from the United States.''The Andrew and The Onions: The Story of The Royal Navy in Bermuda, 1795–1975'', by Lieutenant-Commander B. Ian D. Stranack. Bermuda Maritime Museum Press Halifax continued to be used as the summer base for the station until 1907. At around the same time that the main base was moved the area of command was redesignated as the ''North America and West Indies Station'', and remained so until 1907, when the North America and West Indies Station was abolished and replaced by the 4th Cruiser Squadron. These were based in England and Bermuda was redesignated from a base to a coaling station, although the dockyard remained in operation. The Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, remained in Bermuda. The Royal Navy withdrew from Halifax in 1905, and the Halifax Naval Yard was handed over to the
Royal Canadian Navy , march = "Heart of Oak" , mascot = SONAR (Newfoundland dog) , battles = , website = , commander1 = , Monarchy of Canada, of Can ...
in 1910. The North America and West Indies Station was restored in 1915, and incorporated the 8th Cruiser Squadron from 1924–25. In 1942 the title of C-in-C America and West Indies was re-styled ''Senior British Naval Officer, Western Atlantic''. In 1945 the ''America and West Indies'' title was restored.Lieutenant-Commander B. Ian D. Stranack, ''The Andrew and The Onions: The Story of The Royal Navy in Bermuda, 1795–1975''. Bermuda Maritime Museum Press; In 1951, the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, was closed, with the Admiralty Floating Dock No. 5 towed to Britain by HM Tugs ''Warden'' and ''Reward'' (the smaller AFD 48 remained). The position of Senior Naval Officer West Indies (SNOWI) was established as a Sub-Area Commander under the Commander-in-Chief of the America and West Indies station. The occupant of this position was a commodore, and was provided with a shore office on Ireland Island (which was beside the Victualling Yard until 1962), but was required to spend much of his time at sea in the West Indies. A flagship (between 1951 and April, 1956, this was successively HMS ''Sheffield'', HMS ''Superb'', HMS Sheffield, HMS ''Kenya'') and other vessels of the America and West Indies Squadron continued to be based at the South Yard of the former Royal Naval Dockyard, where the Royal Navy maintained a ''Berthing Area'' under the command of a Resident Naval Officer (RNO), but were detached from the
Home Fleet The Home Fleet was a fleet Fleet may refer to: Vehicles *Fishing fleet *Naval fleet *Fleet vehicles, a pool of motor vehicles *Fleet Aircraft, the aircraft manufacturing company Places Canada *Fleet, Alberta, Canada, a hamlet England *Ches ...
, and their refits and repairs were thenceforth to be carried out in Britain. The RNO had his own office in one of the houses of Dockyard Terrace.
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
land not required for the continued naval operations was sold to the colonial government. There was also an RNO in . In 1952, the Commander-in-Chief, Vice Admiral Sir
William Andrewes Admiral (Royal Navy), Admiral Sir William Gerrard "Bill" Andrewes (3 November 1899 – 21 November 1974) was a Royal Navy officer who served in World War I and World War II, commanded the British and Commonwealth Naval Forces and Task Force 95 ...
, became the initial Deputy
Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic The Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) was one of two Supreme Allied Commander, supreme commanders of the NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the other being the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The SACLANT led Allied ...
. For ships stationed in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
and
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
, go to List of Royal Navy ships in North America.


Disestablishment and successor, SNOWI

On 29 October 1956, the post of Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station, was abolished, leaving the Senior Naval Officer, West Indies as his replacement. SNOWI reported directly to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, flying his flag back in the United Kingdom. SNOWI also served as Island Commander Bermuda (ISCOMBERMUDA) in the
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
chain of command, reporting to Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic Area, as part of
SACLANT The Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) was one of two Supreme Allied Commander, supreme commanders of the NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the other being the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The SACLANT led Allie ...
. The ships of the command were reduced to two Station Frigates. All remaining Admiralty land, including Admiralty House at Clarence Hill and Ireland Island, along with and War Department lands, were sold to the colonial government between 1957 and 1965. That part of the dockyard still required for naval operations remained under Admiralty control under a ninety-nine year lease, and the South Yard Berthing Area was commissioned on 1 June 1965, as , under the command of the RNO, with the headquarters of SNOWI and the RNO in Moresby House (originally built in the 1899s as the residence of the civilian Officer in Charge, Works). In December, 1967, the position of RNO Bermuda was abolished, with its duties passing to SNOWI's secretary and SNOWI taking over command of HMS ''Malabar''. As SNOWI was frequently in the West Indies, he was unable to effectively command HMS ''Malabar'' and a Lieutenant-Commander was consequently appointed to the roles of Commanding Officer of HMS ''Malabar'' and RNO in 1971. The former Royal Naval wireless station land at Daniels Head was leased to the
Royal Canadian Navy , march = "Heart of Oak" , mascot = SONAR (Newfoundland dog) , battles = , website = , commander1 = , Monarchy of Canada, of Can ...
on 1 January 1963, for the purpose of a new radio station. It became CFS Daniel's Head when the Royal Canadian Navy became part of the
Canadian Forces The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; french: Forces armées canadiennes; ''FAC'') is the unified military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
in 1969. After the assassination of the
Governor of Bermuda The Governor of Bermuda (fully the ''Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Somers Isles (alias the Islands of Bermuda)'') is the representative of the British monarch The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the Briti ...
, Sir
Richard Sharples Sir Richard Christopher Sharples, (6 August 1916 – 10 March 1973) was a British politician and Governor of Bermuda who was shot dead by assassins linked to a small Insurgent, militant Bermudian Black Power group called the Black Beret Cadre ...
, in February 1973, provided enhanced security for Commodore
Cameron Rusby Vice-Admiral Sir Cameron Rusby (20 February 1926 – 6 September 2013) was a Royal Navy officer who served as Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. Naval career Educated at the Britannia Royal Naval Colleg ...
, the then-SNOWI. A detachment of Royal Marines (subsequently replaced by soldiers from the Parachute Regiment) was posted to the Dockyard to guard SNOWI. While Bermuda had been the ideal base of operations for the North America and West Indies Station, at a thousand miles north of the Virgin Islands, it was far too distant to serve as an effective headquarters for only the West Indies. This meant that both SNOWI and the Station Frigates spent little time in or near Bermuda. On 1 April 1976, the post of SNOWI was abolished, and the Station Frigates were withdrawn. The RNO and his staff remained, and a frigate was appointed West Indies Guardship, but seldom visited Bermuda. HMS ''Malabar'' ceased to be a base and was rated only as a supply station. By 1995, when ''Malabar'' was handed over to the
Government of Bermuda Bermuda is the oldest British Overseas Territory, and the oldest self-governing British Overseas Territory, and has a great degree of internal autonomy through authority and roles of governance delegated to it by the national Government (the Bri ...

Government of Bermuda
, the Royal Naval presence in the North-Western Atlantic and Caribbean had been reduced to only the West Indies Guard Ship, a role which was rotated among the fleet's escorts, which took turns operating extended patrols of the West Indies. Years after the disestablishment of the SNOWI post, the West Indies Guard Ship task was redesignated
Atlantic Patrol Task (North) Standing Royal Navy deployments is a list of operations and commitments undertaken by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy on a worldwide basis. The following list details these commitments and deployments sorted by region and in alphabetical order. Ro ...
.


Sub commands

*
Jamaica Division The Jamaica Division of the North America and West Indies Station was a Command (military formation), sub-command of the British Royal Navy, Royal Navy's North America and West Indies Station head-quartered at Port Royal dockyard in Jamaica from 1 ...
consisting of naval vessels * Jamaica Dockyard shore establishment.


Commanders in Chief

Commanders of the station have included:; ;


Commander-in-Chief, North American Station

* Commodore Sir James Douglas, 1st Baronet, James Douglas (1746–48) - appointed Commodore of Newfoundland at this time. * Commodore Charles Watson (Royal Navy officer), Charles Watson (1748–49) * Commodore Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel, Augustus Keppel (1751–55) * Commodore Lord Alexander Colville, 7th Lord Colville of Culross, Alexander Colville (November 1759 – October 1762) * Commodore Richard Spry (October 1762 – October 1763) * Rear Admiral Lord Alexander Colville, 7th Lord Colville of Culross, Alexander Colville (October 1763 – September 1766) * Captain Joseph Deane (Royal Navy officer), Joseph Deane, September 1766 – November 1766 (senior captain) * Captain Archibald Kennedy, 11th Earl of Cassilis, Archibald Kennedy, November 1766 – July 1767 (senior captain) * Commodore Samuel Hood (July 1767 – October 1770) * Commodore James Gambier (Royal Navy officer), James Gambier (October 1770 – August 1771) * Rear Admiral John Montagu (Royal Navy officer), John Montagu (August 1771 – June 1774) * Vice Admiral Samuel Graves (June 1774 – January 1776) * Vice Admiral Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, Richard Howe (February 1776 – September 1778) * Vice Admiral James Gambier (Royal Navy officer), James Gambier (1778–79) * Vice Admiral John Byron (1779) * Vice Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot (1779–81) * Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Graves, 1st Baron Graves, Thomas Graves (1781) * Rear Admiral Robert Digby (Royal Navy officer), Robert Digby (1781–83) * Rear Admiral Sir Sir Charles Douglas, 1st Baronet, Charles Douglas (1783–85) * Vice Admiral Sir Herbert Sawyer (1730–1798), Herbert Sawyer (1785–89) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir Richard Hughes, 2nd Baronet, Richard Hughes (1789–92) * Captain Sir Rupert George (1792-1794) * Vice Admiral George Murray (MP), George Murray (1794–96) * Vice Admiral George Vandeput (1797–1800) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir William Parker, 1st Baronet, of Harburn, William Parker (1800–02) * Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell (Royal Navy officer), Andrew Mitchell (1802–06) * Vice Admiral Sir George Cranfield Berkeley (1806–07) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir John Borlase Warren, 1st Baronet, John Warren (1807–10) * Vice Admiral Sir Herbert Sawyer (1810–13) * Admiral Sir Sir John Borlase Warren, 1st Baronet, John Warren (1813–14) * Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane (1814–15) * Vice Admiral Sir David Milne (Royal Navy officer), David Milne (1816) * Vice Admiral Sir Edward Griffith Colpoys, Edward Colpoys (1816–21)


Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station

* Vice Admiral Sir William Charles Fahie, William Fahie (1821–24) * Vice Admiral Sir Willoughby Lake (1824–27) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir Charles Ogle, 2nd Baronet, Charles Ogle (1827–30) * Vice Admiral Sir Edward Griffith Colpoys, Edward Colpoys (1830–32) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet, George Cockburn (1832–36) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir Peter Halkett, 6th Baronet, Peter Halkett (1836–37) * Vice Admiral Sir Charles Paget (Royal Navy officer), Charles Paget (1837–39) * Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Harvey (Royal Navy officer), Thomas Harvey (1839–41) * Vice Admiral Sir Charles Adam (1841–44) * Vice Admiral Sir Francis Austen (1844–48) * Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Thomas Cochrane (1848–51) * Vice Admiral Sir George Seymour (Royal Navy officer), George Seymour (1851–53) * Vice Admiral Sir Arthur Fanshawe (1853–56) * Vice Admiral Sir Houston Stewart (1856–60) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet, Alexander Milne (1860–64) * Vice Admiral Sir James Hope (Royal Navy officer), James Hope (1864–67) * Vice Admiral Sir Rodney Mundy (1867–69) * Vice Admiral Sir George Wellesley (1869–70) * Vice Admiral Sir Edward Fanshawe (1870–73) * Vice Admiral Sir George Wellesley (1873–75) * Vice Admiral Sir Astley Cooper Key, Astley Key (1875–78) * Vice Admiral Sir Edward Augustus Inglefield, Edward Inglefield (1878–79) * Vice Admiral Sir Francis Leopold McClintock, Francis McClintock (1879–82) * Vice Admiral Sir John Edmund Commerell, John Commerell (1882–85) * Vice Admiral Richard Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, The Earl of Clanwilliam (1885–86) * Vice Admiral Sir Algernon Lyons (1886–88) * Vice Admiral Sir George Watson (Royal Navy officer), George Watson (1888–91) * Vice Admiral Sir John Hopkins (Royal Navy officer), John Hopkins (1891–95) * Vice Admiral Sir James Erskine (Royal Navy officer), James Erskine (1895–97) * Vice Admiral Sir John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher, Jackie Fisher (1897–99) * Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford (1899–15 July 1902) * Vice Admiral Sir Archibald Lucius Douglas, Archibald Douglas (15 July 1902 – 1904) * Vice Admiral Sir Day Bosanquet (1904–07) :''Vacant (1907–13)'' * Vice Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock (1913–14) * Rear Admiral Robert Hornby (1914–15) * Vice Admiral Sir George Edwin Patey, George Patey (1915–16) * Vice Admiral Sir Montague Browning (1916–18) * Vice Admiral Sir William Lowther Grant, William Grant (1918–19) * Vice Admiral Sir Morgan Singer (1919) * Vice Admiral Sir Trevylyan Napier (1919–20) * Vice Admiral Sir William Christopher Pakenham, William Pakenham (1920–23) * Vice Admiral Sir Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, 4th Baronet, Michael Culme-Seymour (1923–24) * Vice Admiral Sir James Fergusson (Royal Navy officer), James Fergusson (1924–26)


Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station

* Vice Admiral Sir Walter Cowan (1926–28) * Vice Admiral Sir Cyril Fuller (1928–30) * Vice Admiral Sir Vernon Haggard (1930–32) * Vice Admiral Sir Reginald Plunkett (1932–34) * Vice Admiral Sir Matthew Best (Royal Navy officer), Matthew Best (1934–37) * Vice Admiral Sir Sidney Meyrick (1937–40) * Vice Admiral Sir Charles Kennedy-Purvis (1940–41)


Senior British Naval Officer, Western Atlantic

* Vice Admiral Sir Charles Kennedy-Purvis (1942) * Vice Admiral Sir Alban Curteis (1942–44) * Vice Admiral Sir Irvine Glennie (1944–45)


Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station

After the end of the Second World War the former name of the station was restored. * Vice Admiral Sir William Tennant (Royal Navy officer), William Tennant (1946–49) * Vice Admiral Sir Richard Symonds-Tayler (1949–51) * Vice Admiral Sir
William Andrewes Admiral (Royal Navy), Admiral Sir William Gerrard "Bill" Andrewes (3 November 1899 – 21 November 1974) was a Royal Navy officer who served in World War I and World War II, commanded the British and Commonwealth Naval Forces and Task Force 95 ...
(1951–53) * Vice Admiral Sir John Stevens (Royal Navy officer), John Stevens (1953–55) * Vice Admiral Sir John Eaton (Royal Navy officer), John Eaton (1955–56)


See also

* List of fleets and major commands of the Royal Navy * Military history of Nova Scotia * Military history of Canada * Commander-in-Chief, North America


References


Sources

*


External links

* Leo Niehorster
Station as at 3 September 1939
{{Royal Navy fleets Royal Navy stations Military of Bermuda Military history of Nova Scotia Military history of the Atlantic Ocean Military units and formations disestablished in 1956 Military units and formations of the Royal Navy in World War II