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The voyage of the Ping Wo and a visit to Hiroshima, 1946.

Posted by Derek Prince, on June 10th, 2024


This brief account of post-war naval service in Kure, near Hiroshima, comes from the 97 year-old Derek Prince. Derek studied at Cardiff University on a one year Naval University short course, which included law, economics, English literature and seamanship, and subsequently for a pilot’s course in the Fleet Air Arm. He started his pilot training at HMS St. Vincent as a Naval Airman Second Class and nearly died in an accident when a Stinson Reliant overturned at HMS Heron (Yeovilton) after a flying lesson. Derek was soon taken off course as the Fleet Air Arm had no further need for pilots in late 1945. Offered a variety of re-mustering possibilities Derek chose to become a coder, a branch placed under Signals. It is from this period that Derek sailed to Japan from Australia and visited Hiroshima.

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