From Port T to RAF Gan

ISBN 1-873203-89-6
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List of chapters

  1. The Maldive Islands
  2. The Tentacles of War
  3. 1941: The Creation of Port T
  4. 1942: Strengthening the Defences
  5. 1943: From Build-Up to Obsolescence
  6. 1944: The Rundown
  7. 1945/46: The Withdrawal
  8. Post-War Poverty and Politics
  9. The Ship’s Flag Detachment
  10. Airfield Construction: August 1957 - January 1959
  11. Towards the Rebellion
  12. Airfield Construction: January 1959 - January 1960
  13. The United Suvadive Islands
  14. The Turbulent Return to the Fold
  15. Political Harmony
  16. The Pioneers: 1957 - 1960
  17. The Colonists: 1960 - 1976
  18. Airfield Operations
  19. All in a Day’s Work
  20. Medical Services
  21. Diversions and Excursions
  22. Towards the Withdrawal
  23. The Final Weeks


  1. Gan’s Commanding Officers
  2. 1942 Map of Gan
  3. Aerial Photo of Gan in 1967
  4. RAF Gan Buildings and Other Significant Structures Standing in January 1976
  5. Text of Document Issued to Each Airman Four Weeks Prior to Repatriation

by Peter Doling

Colourful history of the remote military base at Addu Atoll in the Maldive Islands 1941-76

Peter Doling, a former Education Officer at RAF Gan, has invested a great deal of time and effort into the task of compiling this magnificent and comprehensive history of the British military presence on Addu Atoll in the Maldives, from its origins in 1941 as ‘Port T’, a refuelling post used by the Royal Navy, to the construction and occupation of Royal Air Force Gan, which was commissioned in 1957 and closed in 1976.

RAF Gan is still fondly remembered by many who served there and former ‘Gan-ites’ will find much to enjoy in this fascinating book, crammed with just about every fact and figure about Gan that one could hope for.

There are detailed accounts of the island’s role during World War II and of the problems encountered during the construction of the aerodrome which was plagued by frequent bouts of political wrangling between the British and Maldivian governments … plus a catalogue of all major events during the RAF’s 19-year tenure of this remote equatorial atoll.

There are also many light-hearted glimpses of life at the RAF base, with particular reference to the colourful recreational pursuits devised by inventive airmen, both to amuse themselves and to entertain the many visitors who passed through their tropical island staging post.

This large and impressive book, comprising over 250,000 words on 388 large format pages (285 mm wide x 187mm high) is illustrated with many previously unpublished maps and photos, including many in full colour.