Previously secret documents released by the Public Record Office in London yesterday showed that the Royal Navy ordered a secret crackdown on gay sailors and officers in the late 1960s after an internal investigation concluded that "at least 50% of the fleet have sinned homosexually at some time in their naval service life", reported The (UK) Guardian quoting some navy chiefs.
The Navy however decided that there was little it could do to stamp out homosexual practices and due to the number of men involved, it decided that it "couldn't afford to throw them all out as the navy would not be adequately manned."
The files, which were released for the first time, describes how sailors would visit the legendary Bugis Street in Singapore as soon as their ship docked.
A document written by the navy's medical director general in 1969, describes these Asian prostitutes as "very beautiful" who "dress well and smell delicious."
The file says many sailors visited the area "for kicks", got drunk and "end up sleeping with male prostitutes known as catamites" who dressed up convincingly as females.
"Many senior staff have visited Bugis Street to see for themselves and agree that they also could easily be fooled ONCE."
The admiralty decided to give all crews visiting Singapore a stern vice squad lecture on the grounds that the young sailors were not hardened homosexuals.
Yet another document describes how a local man had regularly invited visiting sailors to his apartment in Bermuda, "giving them presents for partaking in grossly indecent acts and posing for sexually perverted photographs".
Sex between consenting adult male civilians in the UK had been legalised in 1967.