MTB 345 – 30TH July, 1943

MTB 345
MTB 345 passes a steam powered vessel at speed, possibly during her acceptance trials, prior to her commissioning in 1942 © IWM

Aspøy, Norway

MTB 345 was captured by German forces on the 28th July 1943 whilst on patrol in Norwegian waters. However, the 30th July marks the anniversary of the loss of her crew, who after being captured and interrogated by German Navy Intelligence, were handed over to the Security Police who executed them as 'pirates' and 'saboteurs', despite the crew all being in uniform, and engaged in a routine naval operation.

The Loss of MTB 345

poppy wreath

In Memoriam

On this day: 29th July

Able Seaman William F Langley (H.M.M.G.B. 67)
Sub-Lieutenant Walter Thomas Wilson (H.M.M.G.B. 67)

View the Book of Remembrance

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them


Patrick Macnee (1922–2015)

portrait of the actor patrick macnee
Patrick Macnee as John Steed in The Avengers © StudioCanal

The actor Patrick Macnee has died at his home in California age 93. A star of film and television, his best known role was that of debonair secret agent John Steed, in the cult television series The Avengers. During the Second World War he served as Sub-Lieutenant and Navigation Officer on MTB 415, before being promoted First Lieutenant of MTB 434. His boat was sunk by gunfire from a German surface craft off Normandy on 9 July 1944, though he was absent from the vessel at the time, having been hospitalised prior to the event with bronchitis.


London Branch

Summer Newsletter

This edition plays catch-up to combine branch reports from March and May of 2015. Recently appointed Branch Chairman Ken Gadsdon writes on the subject of new members and donations made to London Branch, while Treasurer David Carter provides a report on the recent annual maintenance programme for the preserved vessel HDML Medusa which will see her seaworthy for the next twelve months. There is also a full report from the City of London Sea Cadets on their recent accomplishments which included a well attended trip to the Norfolk Broads.

London Branch June 2015

hms belfast on the thames at tower bridge

The offices of London Branch Coastal Forces Veterans moored on the Thames


The End of War – A Veteran's Perspective

an entry from the diary of a sailor marking the end of war in europe
The entry from the diary of Peter Bickmore, radar operator on MGB 647 in the Adriatic, noting the end of war in Europe on this day

Peter Bickmore of MGB 647 Recalls the End of Hostilities in Europe

peter bickmore 1943
Peter Bickmore in 1943

The dawn of my VE Day broke over the Island of Ischia, a small Island in the Bay of Naples, where we the crew of MGB 647 were enjoying some respite during the time our boat was undergoing some extensive repair as a result of enemy action off the coast of the then Yugoslavia.

The news was greeted at first with silence, then utter deflation in that the mental attitude we possessed, FEAR ( For Ever At Risk ) that had been our constant companion for the past two years had suddenly been released and was to be replaced with what?

Was it true, are we really going home? Our hopes and dreams then came flooding in; this then was the time to cheer, no more night patrols, close up to action stations, enemy ahead, is it really true?

It was then that the attitude problem that I was to wrestle with for many months to come took over with the doubts and the truth of what was happening or was is it all a dream and perhaps I will soon be waking up. Love and care of the family was to play a major role in my period of rehabilitation from war to peace, and from fear to hope.

The memories of my war in the Mediterranean with Royal Navy Light Coastal Forces serving aboard Motor Torpedo Boats and Motor Gun Boats was the comradeship that existed within the crews and the discipline that was essential for our survival.

Peter Bickmore BEM
peter bickmore on the ferry from Komiza in may 2015
Peter Bickmore on the ferry from Komiza in May 2015 © Jaap Lotstra

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