The Royal East African Navy was a unified naval force of the former British colonies of Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, and Zanzibar. It was the colonial forerunner of the Kenyan Navy and Tanzanian Navy. Formed in 1953, it was disbanded in 1962.
The Royal East African Navy (REAN) had its origins in the Kenyan Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), which after the end of World War II in 1945 operated a small naval force in the waters of East Africa. In 1950, the Kenyan RNVR was replaced by the East African Naval Force, which received contributions from both Kenya and Tanganyika, and later Uganda and Zanzibar as well. The East African Naval Force in turn became the REAN in 1953. It replaced the Tanganyikan RNVR (established in 1939) and Sultanate of Zanzibar′s RNVR (established in 1938) as well as that of Kenya.
|Royal East African Navy
||1953 – 1962
||British East Africa:
The REAN was administered by the East Africa High Commission (composed of the colonial governors of Tanganyika, Uganda, and Kenya) and was responsible to the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer, Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf for operational duties. The REAN headquarters was in Mombasa, Kenya, and headed by a resident officer from the Royal Navy. Royal Navy ships were reassigned to the REAN and identified as His/Her Majesty’s East African Ship (HMEAS).
Initially, the REAN was a 200-member force. In 1961 The Statesman’s Yearbook wrote that the REAN had a complement of eight officers, eight chief petty officers, and 200 ratings.
The REAN conducted training. It also performed useful work in famine relief operations.
After Tanganyika became independent on 9 December 1961, its government decided that the REAN was unsuitable in its existing form, and with Tanganyika pulling out of the force the governments of Kenya, Uganda, and Zanzibar could not afford the cost of modernizing it. In December 1961, it was announced that the REAN would disband in 1962. When it disbanded, its assets were handed over to the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation. Its former ships were discarded or sold.