Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
91 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
1. A report was received by the Admiralty from the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet2 on the afternoon of 6 December, to the effect that two Japanese convoys comprising thirty-five transports escorted by eight cruisers and ten destroyers had been sighted at between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. GMT by reconnaissance aircraft off Cambodia Point.3 The convoys were preceded by an advance guard of three destroyers and were steaming westwards.
2. A later report from the Commander-in-Chief stated that the advance guard had altered course north-west.
3. A further telegram on this movement will be sent as soon as possible, but the information available is not yet sufficient to establish whether the Japanese are making for:
The Admiralty advise that the last-mentioned possibility can by no means be excluded.
2 Admiral Sir Tom Phillips commanded the Eastern Fleet from 3 to 10 Dec 1941. He lost his life when his flagship, the Prince of Wales, was sunk by Japanese air attack.