Ethiopia Military

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The Ethiopian Navy under Haile Selassie

1,062 Comments · Military history

After the end of World War II, Ethiopia was given control over Eritrea and its ports, allowing the creation an Ethiopian Navy.

In 1958, the Ethiopian Navy became a separate branch of the armed forces. Haile Selassie I appointed Norwegian naval officers to help organize a coastal navy.

Also, a number of retired British naval officers acted as advisors and trainers until the advent of the Derg in 1974.

The Emperor also founded the Ethiopian Naval College, located in Asmera (now part of Eritrea).

The education comprised a 52-month program of study. Some members of the navy also went on to study at Leghorn, Italy.

Celebrations for Ethiopian Navy Day were held in Massawa, such as the occasion in 1969 when the USS Forrest Royal (DD872) and ships from other nations observed the 1st graduation of new midshipmen; the Forrest Royal also hosted a celebration aboard ship which the Emperor attended. The Emperor was presented with a painting of the Forrest Royal at the celebration.

The former USS Orca, a World War II-era Barnegat-class small seaplane tender launched in 1942 (similar to the USS Suisun), was transferred to Ethiopia in January 1962.

It was re-christened as the Ethiopia (A 01), and served as a training vessel until the loss of the Red Sea coast to Eritrea in 1991.

Though unserviceable, it escaped to Yemen, where it is presumed to have been sold for scrap.

Keywords: World War II, Ethiopian Navy, Haile Selassie I,


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