70TH Anniversary: Victory in Europe Day

© IWM (A 15801)

LIGHT COASTAL FORCES

25,000+

The number of personnel recruited to Light Coastal Forces during the Second World War

  • 1 Rear-Admiral

1,328+

Casualties suffered by Light Coastal Forces in over six years of conflict

  • 100+ casualties from the Commonwealth

2,000+

Boats constructed: MASBs, MTBs, MGBs, SGBs, MLs, RMLs & HDMLs

  • 8 SGBs
  • 207 Vosper MTBs
  • 671 Fairmile Bs

3,520+

Awards granted to Coastal Forces personnel

  • 1 VC
  • 30 DSOs
  • 746 DSMs

14

Nationalities who served with Light Coastal Forces: British, Irish, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, French, Greek, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Indian, Burmese

90+

Coastal Forces bases worldwide

  • 40+ Home Waters
  • 30+ Mediterranean

22

The number of MTBs available to the Royal Navy at outbreak of war in September 1939

  • 8 based at Hong Kong and lost during the Japanese invasion

16

Age of the youngest Coastal Forces casualty, Edwin Frederick Daniels killed on MTB 622. Son of Mrs E Daniels, of Redhill, Surrey

  • 10 March, 1943

10+

Theatres of Operations including: The Channel, North Sea, Southern Mediterranean, Agean, Adriatic, West Africa, Indian Ocean, Burma, Pacific, West Indies

10

The number of Wrens who died while in service with Light Coastal Forces

  • 5 Awards to Wrens

90+

Vosper design MTBs delivered to our ally the Soviet Union to assist them in helping to defeat Hitler and the Nazis

poppy wreath

In Memoriam

On this day: 23rd May

Able Seaman Charles Herbert Allison (H.M.M.T.B. 726)
Ordinary Seaman Donald Lewis Evans (H.M.M.T.B. 726)
Leading Seaman Charles Roy Mason (H.M.M.T.B. 726)
Leading Stoker James Gallacher Gargan (H.M.M.T.B. 76)

View the Book of Remembrance

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


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

London Branch

February Newsletter

The February edition of the newsletter carries a message from the new Chairman Ken Gadsdon, who carries the very best wishes of the branch in his new post. As well as an update from the Treasurer, this edition also carries the first report from the City of London Sea Cadets detailing their recent achievements. Finally there is a reminder of the reality of war in a letter sent to deceased branch member Harry Leader DSM by Frank Coombes DSM, recounting their time in MTBs 621 and 622, both part of the 31st MTB Flotilla

London Branch February 2015

Coastal Forces Veteran Ken Gadsdon

Cometh the hour, cometh the man! The newly appointed London Branch Chairman Ken Gadsdon


Research

Articles

The articles section contains accounts written by veterans detailing aspects of their service in Coastal Forces during the Second World War and life after.

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Boat Database

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Veterans Area

Visit the veterans area to get up-to-date news and information from the world of Coastal Forces Veterans by reading the latest branch newsletters.

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Gallery

The photo gallery forms a visual record of the history of Coastal Forces and contains many records of the working environment of boats and their crews.

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Map Room

The Maps Room employs Google map technologies to chart the location of all former Coastal Forces bases world-wide with a note on the history of each.

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War Reports

In the War Reports section you can read official war reports written during the Second World War that offer revealing insights into the role of Coastal Forces.

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