Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Enquiries relating to individual men and women who served with HM Light Coastal Forces; help with interpreting service records, or with tracing former comrades
Eden
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:04 am

Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Eden » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:12 am

Hello ,

I wonder if anyone on the forum may be able to help me -relating to the above named subject ?
I am research my family history and have a great uncle who was Donald George Dowling - from searching the web i found this site with what appears to be references to my relative and Motor Torpedo Boat 606 , who i gather served during the war in the Coastal defence forces ?
I'm hoping to find out any info or details on Donald and his service and wonder if anyone here could please help with this or possibly provide advice on likely resources ?
Is it likely there might be a service photo of him for example ?
( hope this is ok - i've also posted this message on the MTB section )
Many thanks in advance ,

Eden

Admin
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Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Admin » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:07 am

Hello Eden

I've taken the liberty of deleting your other post in the Motor Torpedo Boats section as we try to discourage duplicate posts in order not to have replies split between two different but similar posts. Other references to him in the forum appear to be for MGB 606, though our boats database indicates MTB 606 had been converted from Motor Gun Boat (MGB 606) in September 1943 and as MTB 606 was sunk in action off the Dutch coast on 4 November 1943.

You're probably aware that your relative was awarded a Mention in Dispatches whilst serving with MGB 606 and the original entry for Temporary Lieutenant Donald George Dowling may be read online in the London Gazette.

There is a more complete image of the crew of MGB 606 in the memoir written by Ken Forrester on this site, but it's unclear whether he had joined the boat at the point this photo was taken.

Regards
Admin

Eden
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:04 am

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Eden » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:49 pm

Hello Admin ,

Sorry about the duplicate post - i was thinking it might catch the eye of some of the regulars on the MGB/MTB forum who had mentioned Donald which is how i found the site .But thankyou very much for your further helpful info re Donald - all very much appreciated .

Bradl3y
Seaman
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:30 am

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Bradl3y » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:06 am

Hi- my Uncle served on MGB/ MTB 606 from when she was launched until when she was lost off coast of Norway in 1943.
Your great uncle was my uncles 'Skipper' & he always credited him with having saved his life. You can contact me here or via email. - brdlyandrew@aol.com

Regards
Andy

Brian Holmes
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Posts: 245
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:08 pm

Reference to MTB 503 may be an error in Navy List

MGB_606 Wallasea Bay Yacht Station Ltd, Wallasea Bay, Nr Rochford 7/7/42

For an action in the Nore area 27/3/43
MID CMtrMch Joseph Howard Thompson P/MX98650

For an action in which an enemy merchant ship was sunk 19/9/43
MID TLt Donald George Dowling RNVR

For an action in the Nore area 19/10/43
MID AB George Alfred Kerby D/SSX17963

For an action off Smiths Knoll 24/10/43
MID PO Edmund William Hogarth D/JX135490
MID Sto1 Ronald Reginald Smith D/KX140160

For an action in the Nore area in which two trawlers were sunk and E Boats damaged 3/11/43
MID TSLt Ivone Kinross RNVR
MID LMtrMch Richard Mulrooney P/MX99486

Known Crew (MGB 606)
TLt E D Truman RNVR TLt 13/10/40 HMS St Christopher for MLs 18/8/41 Commanding Officer MGB 606 18/5/42 TALtCdr Commanding Officer MGB 313 & as Senior Officer, 12th MGB Flotilla 19/7/43 HMS Mantis
TLt Donald George Dowling RNVR TLt 15/5/40 HMS Midge for minelayers 29/9/42 Commanding Officer MTB 503 19/7/43 Commanding Officer MGB 606 19/7/43 TALtCdr HMS Midge for MLs 22/11/43 Commanding Officer MTB 790 & Senior Officer 68th MTB Flotilla 12/2/45 Senior Officer 72nd MTB Flotilla and Commanding Officer MTB 786 11/6/45 MID 1943 Born 22/5/09 in Camberwell, London and died 12/84 in Newton Abbot, Devon
TLt F L Hewitt RNVR First Lieutenant 12/7/43
TSLt T F Ronayne RNVR MTB 503 9/6/42 MGB 606 9/6/43
CMtrMch Joseph Howard Thompson P/MX98650
PO Teague
LSea Raybould
AB Ken Forrester P/JX295085 HMS Collingwood 14/8/41 HMS Excellent AA3 HMS St Christopher Manor Naval Barracks, Brightlingsea, Essex HDML 1060 HMS Attack 5/42 MGB 606 AB LSea HMS Ganges 8/43 HMS Hornet MTB 632


Crew of MGB 606


Known Crew (MTB 606)
TSLt Ivone Kinross RNVR TSLt 11/3/41 ML 515 14/12/42 Navigating Officer MTB 606 1943 MTB 719 MTB 5003 2/45 TLt 11/3/45
A/ChMtrMch Joseph Howard Thompson P/MX 98650, killed in action 03/11/1943 aged 22 Son of Joseph and Victoria Thompson, of Sunderland, Co. Durham DSM
PO Edmund William Hogarth D/JX135490
LMtrMch Richard Mulrooney P/MX99486
AB George Alfred Kerby D/SSX17963 AB MTB 606 MID 1943 LSea MTB 684 MID 1944
Sto1 Ronald Reginald Smith D/KX140160
Sto1 James Totton D/KX 137206 Killed in action 03/11/1943
Sig Thomas Singleton D/JX 231867 killed in action 4/11/43 aged 20 Son of Henry and Alice Singleton, of Preston Buried in Preston New hall Lane Cemetery Sec. K.K. C. of E. Grave 443 CWGC says HMS Midge

War Activities
7/42 Working up at Weymouth
17th MGB Flotilla
MGB 601, MGB 603, MGB 604, MGB 605, MGB 606, MGB 607, MGB 609, MGB 610, MGB 612
Based at Great Yarmouth
Memory of Ken Forrester P/JX295085
I got off to a bad start on our first mission over the Dutch coast. We were spotted by a prowling Messerschmitt 109 when we were approximately half way over. He never attacked us although we opened fire on him, myself included, but he kept us (MGBs 606, 603, 605, the latter being the leader) under surveillance and plotted our course. As night fell we lost him, but you can guess that the enemy ships were waiting for us. Our captain was Lt Truman (of the brewing family) who I had not a lot of faith in. I soon learned that his voice quivered when under stress. It was not long before tracer shells and bullets began firing at us, and we were lit up as bright as day with star shells. It was my first time in action. I was trembling like a leaf but being a twin Oerlikon gunner (I had been up rated to Oerlikon by then), I had to do my duty and fire back. The shaking made no difference to my aim because the guns were hydraulically operated and not hand held. By this time shells were flying over us, some ricocheting off the water and flying overhead and some hitting us. It was at this time we got badly hit with a shell in the engine room, my gun lost power, the engines stopped and we were a sitting duck. In a broken voice the captain gave the order “Stand by to abandon ship”. I thought to myself, unlucky 13, my first action and at the very best I’m going to finish up in the water and be taken P.O.W. However, I think it was 603 who came alongside in the mayhem that was going on around us and got us in tow. The other boat was dropping smoke floats and luckily the enemy fire was directed at the flames that were coming from these floats. We were gradually towed out of danger, and a little later the motor mechanic and his staff got one engine going and we limped back to our base at Great Yarmouth. It was unbelievable, but I can’t remember any casualties being sustained on that mission which would take place in October 1942.
27/3/43 MGB 603, MGB 606 and MGB 607 intercept and damage a German armed trawler.
4/43 MGBs 603, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 intercept a convoy and engage the escort but are unable to break through.
30/4/43 MGB 605, MGB 606, MGB 610, MGB 612 and MGB 621 with MTB 624, MTB 630 and MTB 632 depart Great Yarmouth to patrol the northern section of the Dutch coast.
MGB 621 is compelled to turn back with an engine defect. MGB 606 and MGB 612 with MTB 624 patrol the outer convoy routes off Vlieland and Terschelling.
MGB 605 and MGB 610 with MTB 630 and MTB 632 patrol the inner convoy routes.
0500 Both groups turn for home and shortly afterwards MGB 605 and MGB 610 with MTB 630 and MTB 632 sight four German vessels and close hoping that they will be taken for E Boats. MGB 605 and MGB 610 with MTB 630 and MGB 632 engage with gunfire and severely damage three Flak Lighters. A German account states the force was four boats from 12. Vorposten-Flotilla and. V 1241 / Stangenwalde was sunk
19-20/9/43 MTB 617, MTB 624, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 depart GreatYarmouth at 1400
MTB 624 returns with engine problems
2030 MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 reach the Hook and turn northward
2300 Approaching Ijmuiden, a Radar contact is obtained on a large ship about 4 miles away and close to shore. The ship is stopped and has an escort around it.
MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 turn southward and approach from a better direction. The close escort has moved off to the west.
MTB 617 closes to 300 yards to make a torpedo attack but water depth is 6 fathoms with a risk that the torpedoes will ground so MTB 617 crept away to find a better position.
2336 MTB 617 fires two torpedoes from 1000 yards in 7 fathoms of water. Both torpedoes hit the liner Strasbourg (17,000 tons) aground off the entrance to Ijmuiden.
MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 attack two armed trawlers severely damaging them.
Two R Boats are sighted coming out of Ijmuiden and MGB 610 and MGB 612 engage them forcing them to retire.
Four M class minesweepers approach engaging with guns and MGB 610 is hit but remains in action.
MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 retire to the northwest under smoke and sight four more M class minesweepers coming rapidly out of Ijmuiden.
MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652, MGB 606, MGB 610 and MGB 612 stop about eight miles away from the action. MGB 610 has the fire under control but is making water. MGB 606 has two guns out of action and only six rounds of 6pdr ammunition left having fired 88 rounds. MGB 606 and MGB 610 are despatched to Great Yarmouth.
MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652 and MGB 612 head northeast to resume their search of the convoy route. MTB 617s Radar has been damaged in the action and MTB 652 assumes Radar watch.
0138 MTB 652 plotted Radar contacts at 3 miles and three M class minesweepers and two Flak Lighters are spotted. MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652 and MGB 612 close and come under heavy fire and retire to the west
0228 Return to harbour is received from CinC Nore
9/43 Modified and reclassified as MTB
10/43 50th MTB Flotilla
MTB 603, MTB 604, MTB 605, MTB 606, MTB 607, MTB 609, MTB 610, MTB 612 later MTB 673, MTB 676, MTB 677, MTB 678, MTB 734, MTB 751, MTB 756
Based at Great Yarmouth, Dover, Newhaven, Ostend
19/10/43 MTB 606, MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 652 and MTB 682 are in an action in the Nore area
24/10/43 An action off Smith’s Knoll involving MTB 439, MTB 442, MTB 606, MTB 610, MTB 629, MTB 630, MTB 632, MTB 650 and MTB 652. MTB 439 is damaged
24-5/10/43 32 German S-Boats of the 2, 4, 6 and 8 S-Flotillas sortie from Ijmuiden and attack Convoy FN.1160 off Cromer. The Convoy is escorted by the destroyers Pytchley, Worcester, Eglinton, Campbell and Mac#kay, MGB 609, MGB 610, MGB 607, MGB 603, MGB 315, MGB 327, ML 250 and ML 517. HMS Mackay rams and sinks S 63. MGB 603 and MGB 607 hit on the boats of the 4. S-Flotilla on the return leg and sink S 88 which was standing by the damaged S63
3-4/11/43 MTB 606, MTB 617, MTB 621, MTB 630, MTB 632, MTB 650 and MTB 671 are on an operation to land a party of commandos on the Dutch coast.
Approaching the coast they sight four E boats. Two E boats are damaged and retire towards the coast. MTB 617 is hit and an oerlikon gun is out of action. MTB 617 is sent back to the base with the commandos since the landing is compromised and the Senior Officer transfers boats to MTB 606.
MTB 606, MTB 621, MTB 630, MTB 632, MTB 650 and MTB 671 sweep northward from the Hook and sight a convoy consisting of a large buoy laying ship Main escorted by armed trawlers Vp 1401 and Vp 1419 and Flak lighter FJ23.
MTB 606, MTB 621, MTB 630, MTB 6, MTB 650 and MTB 671 attack.
Vp 1419 hits the bridge of MTB 606 with an 88mm shell. Two more hits are received in the engine room one in a petrol space and one in the tiller flat. The steering is stuck and MTB 606 goes round in a circle. The LMtrMch gets two engines working spasmodically.
MTB 621 received hits and retired to the west.
MTB 630 attemps to take MTB 606 in tow but fails and then comes alongside and rescues survivors.


Memory of TSLt Ivone Kinross RNVR
I realised they needed a compass aft so I wrenched the main compass off its stand and carried it aft. Don Bradford stayed on the bridge trying to direct the boat, and I went down into the engine room to see what was happening. I went down the fo’d ladder and found visibility cut to about three feet by a steamy smoky fog. I tried to move aft along the centre gangway but was horrified to see a long blue flame horizontally barring the way. It came from the starboard inner engine. I couldn’t get by so shot up the for’d ladder and made my way back aft and down the after hatch. There was smoke and fire everywhere and strong exhaust fumes. I was worried that the methyl-bromide automatic extinguishers might either be inadvertently set off or activated from the bridge. I knew they were lethal so I turned aff four ignition switches to ‘Off’ and rushed up to report the shambles to the SO, who had seen the abortive efforts of 630 to rig a tow and decided 606 was too far gone to save. Lt Jim Kirkpatrick laid 630 alongside and all the wounded were passed over. Don Dowling organised the destruction of the secret gear and the safety of the confidential books and Tubby Hewitt was sent to set demolition charges in the engine room.

Memory of TLt F L Hewitt RNVR
While I was setting the charges, I suddenly realised 630 had departed - and I was left behind in the burning boat! I felt very lonely. Fortunately, Alan Yates, the First Lieutenant of 630, realised I was not among those present and ‘Kirk’ reversed 630 back to collect me. Allthe time we were being lit up by starshell and still being shelled.

Brian Holmes
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Posts: 245
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:26 pm
Location: Portsmouth

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:10 pm

MTB_790 Boat Construction Co Ltd, Barracks Ope, Falmouth 7/45

Known Crew
TALtCdr Donald George Dowling RNVR TLt 15/5/40 HMS Midge for minelayers 29/9/42 Commanding Officer MTB 503 19/7/43 Commanding Officer MGB 606 19/7/43 TALtCdr HMS Midge for MLs 22/11/43 Commanding Officer MTB 790 & Senior Officer 68th MTB Flotilla 12/2/45 Senior Officer 72nd MTB Flotilla and Commanding Officer MTB 786 11/6/45 MID 1943 Born 22/5/09 in Camberwell, London and died 12/84 in Newton Abbot, Devon
TLt William George Dalziel RNVR Navigator MTB 630 4/43 - Wounded in action 30/4/43 TSLt 14/2/43 HMS Midge 4/43 First Lieutenant MGB 333 12/7/43 First Lieutenant MTB 632 1/10/43 First Lieutenant MTB 771 7/44 First Lieutenant MTB 790 2/7/45 Commanding Officer BYMS 2006 17/12/45
TLt John Valentine Balfour RNVR TSLt 23/10/42 ML 500 8/3/43 First Lieutenant MTB 704 31/8/43 TLt 1/7/44 DSC MTB 778 30/10/44 Commanding Officer MTB 790 2/7/45 Commanding Officer MTB 5020 8/10/45 Born 29/8/21 and died in Birling, Maidstone, Kent 8/2/2001
TSLt John Ainsley Peters RNVR TSLt 9/1/44 MTB 256 DSC 1944 MTB 5007 18/12/44 MTB 790 29/1/45 MTB 786 11/6/45
TSLt R B Baynes RNVR TSLt 28/11/44 MTB 729 MTB 761 17/3/45 MTB 790 2/7/45
TSLt P.J Bartaby RNVR TMid 21/1/44 First Lieutenant MTB 42 15/05/44 HMS Midge TASLt 5/12/44 MTB 790 26/2/45 TSLt MTB 786 11/6/45

Wartime Activities
5/45 72nd MTB Flotilla
MTB 774, MTB 779, MTB 783, MTB 785, MTB 786, MTB 790, MTB 793, MTB 794
Gathering at Portland

Post War Fate
1949 MTB 5003(ii)
FPB 5003
25/11/53 Sold

Brian Holmes
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Posts: 245
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:26 pm
Location: Portsmouth

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:11 pm

MTB_786 Solent Shipyards Ltd, Burseldon Bridge, Sarisbury Green, Nr Southampton 12/7/45

Known Crew
TALtCdr Donald George Dowling RNVR TLt 15/5/40 HMS Midge for minelayers 29/9/42 Commanding Officer MTB 503 19/7/43 Commanding Officer MGB 606 19/7/43 TALtCdr HMS Midge for MLs 22/11/43 Commanding Officer MTB 790 & Senior Officer 68th MTB Flotilla 12/2/45 Senior Officer 72nd MTB Flotilla and Commanding Officer MTB 786 11/6/45 MID 1943 Born 22/5/09 in Camberwell, London and died 12/84 in Newton Abbot, Devon

TLt Donald George Dowling RNVR Commanding Officer MGB 606 Senior Officer 72nd MTB Flotilla and Commanding Officer MTB 786 11/6/45 MID 1943 Born 22/5/09 in Camberwell, London and died 12/84 in Newton Abbot, Devon
TSLt John Ainsley Peters RNVR TSLt 9/1/44 MTB 256 DSC 1944 MTB 5007 18/12/44 MTB 790 29/1/45 MTB 786 11/6/45
TSLt P.J Bartaby RNVR TMid 21/1/44 First Lieutenant MTB 42 15/05/44 HMS Midge TASLt 5/12/44 MTB 790 26/2/45 TSLt MTB 786 11/6/45

Wartime Activities
12/44 67th MTB Flotilla
MTB 765, MTB 767, MTB 773, MTB 785, MTB 786, MTB 796, MTB 5002, MTB 5005, MTB 5010
Based at Great Yarmouth
5/45 72nd MTB Flotilla
MTB 774, MTB 779, MTB 783, MTB 785, MTB 786, MTB 790, MTB 793, MTB 794
Gathering at Portland

Post War Fate
1949 Sold

Eden
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:04 am

Re: Donald George Dowling MTB 606

Postby Eden » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:02 am

Brian ,

Many thanks indeed for your highly detailed posts which are greatly appreciated .
As a small follow up i thought i would just post the text (not sure if scanning the original image is allowed) of a newspaper article i have found in archives which briefly mentions D G DOWLING & his work with his flotilla group , which may be of interest to readers of this thread .

WESTERN MORNING NEWS

Publication date:Wednesday 29 August 1945

"MEMORIAL PARTY WATCH MTB's IN ACTION "

"Many people gathered yesterday morning on Haldon Pier , Torquay, where the four MTB's which arrived on Monday are berthed.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Torquay (Mr. and Mrs. A. Denys Phillips) were received by the flotilla commander, Lieut.-Com. D. G. DOWLING , R.N.V.R. They were accompanied by the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress (Ald. and Mrs. L. E. Currey) and a party of aldermen and councillors.The Mayor and Mayoress with some of the party , went on board one of the boats , while the Deputy Mayor with others boarded another , and soon after the two boats put out to sea .

With the harbour far behind the ships guns opened fire on an oil drum floating some distance away .The visiting party and crews plugged their ears with cotton wool to deaden the sound of the guns . A few minutes later the oil drum disappeared as shells and bullets found their mark .
The boats are of a new type and are being used mainly for training Royal Navy crews ."


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