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Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:12 am
by meli
Hi,
I am trying to find any information about my late father, Dennis Bodman. Dad died in 1982 when I was 17 and I never really knew about his time in the Navy. A few years ago my aunt (his sister) came across a journal he had written during June 1944, which covered the D-Day operation and mentions some of the boats taking part: MTB 687, MTB 723, MT B681 (Dad's boat), MTB 666 and MTB 685.

The journal also details the sinking of MTB 681 on 9th June 1944 - Dad was a gunner and luckily his only injuries were a lost big toe(!) and a dent in his head. My mum has the original newspaper cutting of this and I have been able to get copies of three other accounts, one by another crew member of 681, one by a crew member of another MTB who assisted in the rescue and one by the commander of 58th Flotilla, Ken Gemmill. The journals mention several MTBs and also a few names and I am more than happy to send copies to anyone who may be interested.

If anyone has any information on the 58th Flotilla, or remembers my Dad or MTB 681 I would love to hear from you! I do have other various bits of information which may seem disjointed but could perhaps help someone else -so if anyone thinks I can help their search please let me know.

Thank you so much for reading this!

Meli

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:51 am
by Pioneer
Hello 'Meli', welcome aboard

A very detailed account is given on the loss of MTB 681 and the enemy forces involved in a Naval Historical Branch File MO6889; and a very good summary of the action is also in "Dog Boats At War" by Leonard Reynolds ISBN 0 7509 1817 9.

Lt Cdr Kenneth Gemmell was the Senior Officer of the 58th Flotilla until August 1944. (Lt Cdr D Wright then held that position until May 1945).

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:45 pm
by meli
Hi Pioneer!

Thank you for your warm welcome and information. Can you tell me how I would access the Naval Historical Branch File MO6889 - is it available on the internet or would I have to request it in writing?

I have read Dog Boats at War - my local reference library managed to get me a copy!

Thanks again for your help.

Meli

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:53 pm
by Pioneer
Hello again 'meli'
Here is the address of the Naval Historical Branch.

Admiralty Library,
Naval Historical Branch
Main Road,
HM Naval Base Portsmouth,
PO1 3LU.
Tel: 023 92 724327 or 725300
Fax: 023 92 724003

I would suggest that you first give them a ring, having the details at hand, they are very helpful. There may well be a charge for a copy of the File - let us know how you get on.
Best of Luck

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:54 am
by meli
Hi Pioneer,

Thanks so much for the information, I'm really grateful! Apologies for not replying sooner, I've had computer problems which hopefully are resolved now. I'll give the Naval Historical Branch a ring and will let you know how I get on.

Once again, many thanks!

Meli

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:45 pm
by Brian Holmes
MTB_681 Brooke Marine Ltd, Oulton Broad, Nr Lowestoft 20/7/43

For an action off the Dutch coast 9/6/44
DSC TLt Edward Stuart Forman RNVR
MID TLt George Thomas Taylor RNVR
DSM POMtrMch John Arthur Anthony Shenton P/MX79271
MID LMtrMch Stephen Hal Robert Jennings P/MX124989
DSM AB Harold Whittle P/JX247807
DSM Sig David Malcolm Stein C/JX572622

Known Crew
TLt Edward Stuart Forman RNVR Drove a small boat during Dunkirk evacuation. Commanding Officer MTB 681 17/5/43 Commanding Officer MTB 784 1/9/44 DSC 1944 Born 1907 in Bridlington, Yorkshire and died 2000 in Yorkshire
TLt George Thomas Taylor RNVR First Lieutenant 17/5/43
TSLt T E Bell RNVR 17/5/43
POMtrMch John Arthur Anthony Shenton P/MX79271
LMtrMch Stephen Hal Robert Jennings P/MX124989
AB Harold Whittle P/JX247807
Sig David Malcolm Stein C/JX572622
Sto1 Joseph William Roberts D/KX 115049 (Killed in action 10/6/44) Aged 22. Son of Joseph Henry and Winifred Mary Roberts, of Bodorgan, Anglesey. Buried in Llanfwrog (Ss. Mwrog And Mary) Churchyard
Tel Frederick William Riley C/JX 426285 Killed in action 10/6/44 aged 19 Son of Frederick George and Daisy Beatrice Riley, of Islington, London

Wartime Activities
6/43 34th MTB Flotilla
MTB 666, MTB 669, MTB 672, MTB 681, MTB 683, MTB 684, MTB 685, MTB 686, MTB 687
Based on Lowestoft
10/43 58th MTB Flotilla
MTB 666, MTB 669, MTB 675, MTB 681, MTB 683, MTB 684, MTB 685, MTB 686, MTB 687, MTB 723
Based on Lerwick and Lowestoft
5/3/44 MTB 681 and three Norwegian boats make a long distance patrol off Kristiansand\
9-10/6/44 MTB 687, MTB 681, MTB 683, MTB 666, MTB 723 and MTB 684 of the 58th MTB Flottilla attack German Convoy.1253 off Den Helder and fire six torpedoes with three claimed hits. In a second attack, two torpedoes are fired and a hit claimed on an armed coaster. MTB 681 is set on fire and sinks. Two men are killed and seven wounded. The armed trawlers V 1314, V 2021 and V 2022 are sunk in action. Survivors are rescued by MTBs 683 and 687

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:45 pm
by Roy Skeates
Dennis. I have quite a lot of information about MTB681. A lifelong friend(now deceased) Frank Withers was Telegraphist and I also have information from Lt "Polly" Perkins commander of MTB 683 who rescued the crew of 681 after the sinking.My info. includes original reports to the Admiralty on the sinking and Frank Withers account of the sinking. Of interest is that I built a very detailed 1/24th scale model of 681. The model won a Silver Medal at the Model Engineer Exhibition and the Mountbatten Trophy for best warship. I could photo copy and send the info to you if you wish. Roy Skeates

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:07 pm
by KeithALucas
My father Edwin George Lucas served on MTB 683 and is alive and well at 91 years old and was involved in the rescue of your father.

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:27 am
by Admin
Hello Keith

Thank you for your message. I note the original message is some five years old now, so I hope the original correspondent will reply, not least because I would have liked to have copies of all the resources mentioned, and I'm not sure why we didn't gather them at the time. If there's no response after a few days, I'll try emailing the address meli originally supplied. I notice Roy Skeates, who I actually met quite recently, also joined the thread, so I will endeavour to chase him up too.

Regards
Admin

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:58 am
by Stephen
Hi Kieth, welcome to the forum. Glad to see you here as well as on Facebook. You've already seen these, but for everyone else's benefit (and I hope some of the early contributors do return), here are the two pages relating to this event in the Coastal Forces Log for June 1944 (The National Archives, ADM 199/2417).
ADM 199-2417 a.jpg
ADM 199-2417 b.jpg

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:20 am
by Admin
mtb-681-roy-skeates.jpg
Working scratch built model of MTB 681 built by Roy Skeates on display at the 2016 International Model Boat Show

Re: Dennis George Bodman MTB 681

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:49 am
by meli
My father Edwin George Lucas served on MTB 683 and is alive and well at 91 years old and was involved in the rescue of your father.
Hi Keith!
Apologies for the very long delay, I had forgotten about this post until my son reminded me today!
I would love to hear any stories your Dad has shared.
Best wishes,
Meli