Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Two groups escaped Sfakia on a landing craft
By the morning of 1 June 1941, there were still three landing craft at Sfakia. A group of five officers and 135 enlisted men escaped the island on one of the landing craft. 56 of the men were Royal Marines as one of the officers. They had problems, including a limited supply of fuel, food, and water. They were able to arrive at the island of Ghaydapoula on the first day. They had covered 18 miles. On the island, they overhauled the engines. By night, they set out for Africaa. They were out of fuel by the next day. They drifted for three days and then made a sail. They had some men were knew about sailing, so they reached the coast about 19 miles west of Sidi Barrani. They had arrived on 9 June 1941. A second, smaller group also set out from Sfakia on a landing craft on 1 June 1941. They were led by Lieutenant Day of the Welch Regiment. There were 44 men. They were better prepared and had help from Greeks, who gave them food and water. They also reached the beach near Sidi Barrani, this time on 10 June. They sailed much of the way. They were without food for five days. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.