How Hawker Hurricanes defended the vital port of Aden

The story of a small unit defending the vital port of Aden was told by Andrew Thomas in the October 2014 issue of FlyPast

Dominating the entrance to the Red Sea, the port of Aden has held strategic importance since the beginning of Middle Eastern trade routes back in ancient history. In World War Two it proved to be vital to Allied shipping – offering a relatively safe haven for both military vessels and merchantman alike.

Aden Defence Flight Hurricane I P3978 off the coast of Aden.
Aden Defence Flight Hurricane I P3978 off the coast of Aden. SQN LDR H H MOON

An early threat to Allied shipping and land-based interests in the region came from Italian bombers based in Italian East Africa, on the other side of the Gulf of Aden. From March 1939, the Hurricanes of 94 Squadron were based at Khormaksar to counter this danger. By mid-1941 this potential hazard had diminished and 94 was moved to Egypt. This left the handful of aircraft serving with 73 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at the nearby Sheikh Othman airfield as the only fighters in the colony.

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