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the crew of mtb 255
  MTB 460 of the 29th MTB Flotilla at sea in the Spring of 1944. (© Libraries & Archives Canada)


The Ostend Disaster

Aftermath of the fire and explosion in Ostend harbour © Library and Archives Canada

Ostend, Belgium: 14th February 1945

February 14th sees the anniversary of an incident that occurred three months prior to the end of the Second World War in Europe; one which saw the greatest single loss of men and boats of Coastal Forces in a catastrophic accident which took place at Ostend in Belgium. Sixty-two sailors were killed, and others injured, when twelve boats were destroyed in a fire and explosion.

Ostend had recently become home to the battle hardened 55th MTB Flotilla and the Canadian 29th MTB Flotilla, along with a mobile base unit for servicing the boats. The 29th MTB Flotilla, had been formed in March 1944 using Canadian crews, with Royal Navy supplied 72’ 6” British Power Boats.

Read more: The Ostend Disaster 1945