East Point, British Indian Ocean Territory

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East Point
Ghost town
A view of East Point from the air
A view of East Point from the air
Map of Diego Garcia. East Point is annotated.
Map of Diego Garcia. East Point is annotated.
Coordinates: 07°21′12.2″S 072°28′3.5″E / 7.353389°S 72.467639°E / -7.353389; 72.467639Coordinates: 07°21′12.2″S 072°28′3.5″E / 7.353389°S 72.467639°E / -7.353389; 72.467639
Country United Kingdom
Overseas territory  British Indian Ocean Territory
Population (2016)
 • Total 0
Time zone UTC+6 (UTC+06:00)
Former Plantation Manager's house, prior to restoration

East Point is an abandoned settlement on the east of the atoll of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It was the largest civilian settlement in the archipelago, and served as the administrative capital until the depopulation of the territory.[1][2][3]

The settlement contained a church, cemetery, school, sanatorium in addition to senior management housing.[4] The settlement also contained a post office, which became the plantation warden's office.[5]

History[edit]

The settlement was one of four founded during the French rule. Originally named Pointe le Est, it originally served as a coconut plantation.[6]

Diego Garcia was ceded to the United Kingdom after the Napoleonic wars as part of the Treaty of Paris (1814).[7]

During World War II[edit]

In 1942, the British opened RAF Station Diego Garcia and established an advanced flying boat unit at the East Point Plantation, staffed and equipped by No 205 and No 240 Squadrons, then stationed on Ceylon. Both Catalina and Sunderland aircraft were flown during the course of World War II in search of Japanese and German submarines and surface raiders. At Cannon Point,[8] six naval guns were installed by a Royal Marines detachment. In February 1942, the mission was to protect the small Royal Navy base and Royal Air Force station located on the island from Japanese attack.[8] They were later manned by Mauritian and Indian Coastal Artillery troops.[9] Following the conclusion of hostilities, the station was closed on 30 April 1946.[10]

Post desettlement[edit]

Abandoned buildings in the town

Originally, the British Representative resided in East Point, however later moved to the US Base.[11]

Today, the settlement lies in the eastern restricted zone of the island.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Schmidt. "ECHELON US Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East Detachment, Diego Garcia". thelivingmoon.com. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  2. ^ "History - The Chagos Archipelago". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  3. ^ Marine Governance in the Chagos Archipelago, Richard Dunne. Bristol University. 25 September 2015
  4. ^ "Chagos Islanders v. Attorney General".
  5. ^ "Plantation Warden's Office". Flickr - Photo Sharing!.
  6. ^ Ted Morris. "Diego Garcia - The Plantation". zianet.com. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  7. ^ Edis (2004), p. 32.
  8. ^ a b Cannon Point, Diego Garcia. 28 April 2007 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Edis (2004), p. 73.
  10. ^ Edis (2004), p. 70.
  11. ^ "Seabees in the Early 1970s on Diego Garcia, BIOT".