Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Enquiries relating to individual men and women who served with HM Light Coastal Forces; help with interpreting service records, or with tracing former comrades
cornishman
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Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby cornishman » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:22 pm

Hello, and thank you for accepting me to this fascinating site.

My father Charles Edgar Srodzinski who passed away in 1985 aged 81. As with anyone who served their country during the war, they didnt really speak of his time apart from snippets.
My dad told me that he spent time at Fort William and in Gosport, HMS Hornet I believe and was one of the gunners. One other bit was after D-Day he managed to get ashore and looked inside one of the german gun emplacements.
I have his Service Record, but would like to know more about operations he was involved in.

His Service Record is as follows.

Infuegrable (this may be wrong as its hard to make out the spelling). Ord Sig 1st Oct 41-- 1st Dec 41
Infuegrable Ord Sea 1st Dec 41---1st Dec 41.
Raleigh Ord Sea 2nd Dec---29th Jan 42
Excellent Ord Sea 30th Jan 42--- 26th Feb 42
St Christopher Ord Sea 27th Feb 42--- 20th Mar 42
St Christopher (ML 481) Ord Sea 21st Mar---31st May 42
Racer II (ML 481) Ord Sea 1at Jun 42---8th Aug 42
Attack AB 9th Aug 42---21st Aug 42
St Christopher (MGB 615) AB 22nd Aug 42---30 Sep 42
Hornet (MGB 615) AB 1st Oct 42---31 Mar 43
Aggressive (MGB 615) AB 1st Apr 43---5th Sep 43
Aggressive (MTB 608) AB 6th Sep 43---2nd Jan 45
Hornet AB 3rd Jan 45---16th Jun 45
Dartmouth (RCF) AB 17th Jun---5th Apr 46
Drake AB 6th Apr 46---7th Jun 46

On 1st Oct 1944 Awarded WSI (3)
1st Oct WSI (4)
Not sure what WSI means.

1s Oct 1944 granted Good Conduct Badge/Medal 1st.

There are some Captains Signatures but I cannot quite make some of them out, but are as follows.
G. Hutiburn
L. Lowray
J. L. Barton
R.W. Kelly
D.H. Sherman

I do have some photos and names of crew members.

Again, I would love to know more of my late fathers career, and what medals he would of been awarded as when he passed away I could not find any.

After the war he joined the RAF and changed his surname to his mothers maiden name of Lamble.

Much appreciation. Ian Lamble.

Dad006.jpg
MTB608001.jpg
Dad021.jpg

Admin
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby Admin » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:14 pm

Hello cornishman

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your enquiry and photographs. the one of a damaged MGB 608 is particularly interesting, taken at Portland possibly? or else Newhaven which would have been HMS Attack or HMS Aggressive.

I'm not sure what the first ship name in your list could be as presumably it would have to be a training establishment of some sort. Raleigh is a training establishment as is Excellent which was the gunnery school at Whale Island in Portsmouth. St Christopher is the Coastal Froces training school at Fort William, Racer II was at Larne, Attack at Portland, Hornet (the principal Coastal Forces base) at Gosport, Aggressive at Newhaven. I'm not sure if Dartmouth refers to a ship of that name or the place, which was another of the locations for Coastal Forces. Drake is a barracks at Devonport, ahead of demobbing presumably. WSI stood for war service Increments.

Both MGB 608 and 615 were later redesignated as MTBs. MGB 608 had three awards to crew members for an action off Le Havre on 15 April 1943, while MTB 608 had four awards to crew members for an action off Dieppe on 28 March 1944, and two for an action in the British sector of the Normandy assault area on 3 August 1944.

MGB 608 was part of the 18th MGB Flotilla (Portsmouth and Newhaven) from February 1942 until October 1943 and then as MTB 608, the 51st MTB Flotilla (Portsmouth, Newhaven, Dover and Ramsgate) from October 1943 until May 1945. Len Reynolds in Dog Boats at War records an incident which may have accounted for the damage shown in the photo:
March ended on 28/29th with a very different experience for Ian Lyle's 51st Flotilla in their first action after their reorganization: they had originally been the very early 18th MGB Flotilla. They were now based at Newhaven, and although labelled MTBs, still had their MGB armament and no tubes. Their six-boat patrol that night (611, 602, 614, 613, 608, 615) was later labelled ‘whisker-singeing' as it took them right to the harbour mouth of Dieppe. As soon as they arrived, they met two groups of R-boats and a corvette or torpedo boat and engaged them at very close range. The shore batteries joined in and illuminated the whole scene with starshell. One R-boat was seen to explode and others were hit, but all the 51st's boats suffered severely, particularly from the shore batteries, and the resulting casualty list made grim reading: twelve killed, eleven seriously wounded and eighteen with minor wounds. All the boats got back to Newhaven, but repairs put them out of action for some time. Dog Boats at War, L C Reynolds
As mentioned in the extract, MGB 608 was redesignated an MTB at this time even though it was not equipped with torpedo tubes. The photo shows 608 as having the flag superior 'S' which signified a motor gun boat rather than 'V' for a motor torpedo boat, but it may not have changed its flag at this time either, so this may still be the event that gave rise to the damage shown. I'll send you an email regarding your photos.

Regards
Admin

cornishman
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby cornishman » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:47 pm

Thank you Admin for giving me a brief on where each establishment is and where the boats would of been stationed.

It is interesting to see that some boats were initially designated MGB's then MTB's without adding the tubes. Did they ever get torpedo tubes or always ran without.

Like I said in my previous message, my father kept his memories of his time serving to himself, so what you have put gives me a look onto what he may of been up to during the war, so I think I shall see if I can purchase the Dog Boats at War as it sounds very interesting, especially if I can place my father in those theatres of war.

I do have a couple of other photos including another of 608 alongside but down at the stern. The one with 3 crew together shows my dad on the right.

Do we know of any of the sailors that served on these boats that are still with us, as it would be interesting if any looked at the crew photo could spot themselves. Most I can only presume will now be in their 90's and the numbers must be getting fewer year by year. At one time my dad did make contact and went to a reunion which I think could of been in Gosport, but that was back in the 80's or 90's. I myself was stationed in Gosport at 20 Maritime Regt so do know where HMS Hornet was, not that you could tell nowadays.

If i can dig anymore information out or photos I will gladly post on here.

Ian Lamble.
MTB608002.jpg
Dad003.jpg

Guthlac
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby Guthlac » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:07 pm

I'm wondering if the cap tallies in your second photo (HMS Impregnable) relate to the first entries of your father's naval career?

Regards

Robert

cornishman
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby cornishman » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Hi Robert.

I think you could be right. looking back at the hand written entry and a bit of a squint, it could spell out HMS Impregnable. Therefore this photo could of been taken after their basic training had finished.

My dads medals were never found when he passed away, so if I were to get replacements, which medals would I be looking for.

Regards. Ian.

Admin
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby Admin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:56 pm

Hello Ian

As far as I'm aware your father wasn't awarded any specific honour, so he would likely have been eligible for those medals relating to service during the war in Europe which could include 1939-1945 Star, Defence Medal, 1939-45 Medal, and possibly the France & Germany Star, which some Coastal Forces members are known to have received, but if you obtained a copy of his war records from the Ministry of Defence, that would likely list the medals he was actually awarded.

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cornishman
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby cornishman » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:54 pm

Hello Admin.

Thank you very much for answering my question and will look into obtaining a copy of his war record from the MOD. I believe he only got the standard issued medals for his part in the war, but it will be interesting if he got the France & Germany Star.

On a slightly different topic. Do the Coastal Forces Veterans hold a reunion from time to time, or have your numbers declined to the point in which it is not feasible to hold them. I am only curious as part of 20 Maritime Regt in Gosport, we hold a reunion each year, and is a great time to meet old ship mates.
Ian.

Admin
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby Admin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:43 pm

Hi Ian

In the case that I'm aware of regarding the France & Germany Star, the recipient's boat had been based at Ostend for a time, so the criteria may be a flotilla that was based on the continent for a time during the Allied advance into France and then later Belgium and Holland.

The Coastal Forces Veterans Association has now disbanded, which only leaves a few branches such as London, who continue to hold occasional meetings, but not reunions as such. Having said that, I had come across this notice a few days ago, detailing a Coastal Forces Officers Annual Dinner event at Hornet in November. The CFHT referred to is the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust

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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby Admin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:12 pm

France & Germany Star 1944 to 1945:
Star awarded for 1 or more days’ service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands or Germany between the above dates. Naval personnel will qualify for service afloat in the North Sea and English Channel within certain specified boundaries.

SMinnette
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby SMinnette » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:22 pm

Hi Ian,
My father Stan Minnette snr served in the 51st flotilla on boats 611 and 615 under Lt I.D 'Spud' Lyle RNVR. He probably would of known your father or maybe even served with as a crew mate. Unfortunately, Dad passed away three years ago. I may have some of Dad's photos and if I can locate them, I'll post them on here.

Regards

Stan Minnette jnr

cornishman
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Re: Researching my father Charles Srodzinski Naval career

Postby cornishman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:17 pm

Hi Stan.

It would be interesting if your father served with mine at some point or another. I would love to see some of your dads old photos. I think I have another somewhere of possibly the crews in 1945, you never know your father might be on it somewhere.
I dont know if you have read all the above text, but my father didnt really talk about his life on the boats apart from what I stated above. Did your father recall any memories.

Lovely to hear from you Stan.

Ian.


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