State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday visited the historic frigate UBS Mayu, preserved as a museum ship at the Thanlyin Naval Station.
The State Counsellor was given a presentation of UBS Mayu’s history by Rear-Admiral Htay Naing at Thanlyin Naval Station Guest Hall. The State Counsellor was then shown recorded video footage of Lt. Commander Mitchell, on behalf of the British Government, transferring UBS Mayu to the Burma Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in a ceremony personally attended by Bogyoke Aung San (then Minister for Defence) in which he inspected the Guard of Honor and accepted the transfer of the ship on behalf of Myanmar.
The State Counsellor, together with the Deputy Minister for the President’s Office U Min Thu, Rear-Admiral Htay Naing and other officials, then toured the warship and signed the guest book.
The State Counsellor received a souvenir and a documentary photo of her father Bogyoke Aung San, taken during the acceptance ceremony of UBS Mayu, from Rear-Admiral Htay Naing.
The State Counsellor then took a commemorative photo with the officials in front of the UBS Mayu.
The UBS Mayu is a River Class frigate measuring 300 feet 7.75 inches long and 37 feet 9.25 inches at the beam. It has a draft of 14 feet 4 inches (full load) and a displacement of 1,614.91 tons (full load). It was formerly known as the HMS Fal and was commissioned to the British Royal Navy on 15 July 1943 as part of the 38th Division of scout ships.
The HMS Fal was handed over by the British Royal Navy to the Burma Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve at a ceremony on 25 May 1947. Lt. Commander Khin Maung Bo was the first commanding officer after the transfer.
The ship was renamed Mayu, after the Mayu River in Rakhine State, where Myanmar naval forces participated in heavy battles alongside allied forces.
The UBS Mayu fought in various battles on the Tatmadaw’s side after Myanmar gained independence in 1948. She served on the frontlines at the capture of Insein, the battle of Thanlyin-KyaitKhauk and the capture of Pathein in 1948, the capture of Kyaukpyu in 1949, and the capture of Mawlamyine in 1950.
The ship, which was in service for 40 years, was used in military operations and safeguarded Myanmar’s territorial waters and coastline. As the ship’s condition declined in its later years, a decision was made at the 262nd Defence Council Executive Meeting on 2 August 1979 to decommission the UBS Mayu. Thus, the UBS Mayu, carrying the history of independence with it, was preserved as a museum ship at Thanlyin Naval Station.