Richard John Mulrooney 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
Mulrooney
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 21, 2022 6:00 pm

Richard John Mulrooney MTB 606

Postby Mulrooney » Sat May 21, 2022 6:13 pm

Hello
I did a search for my grandfather Richard Mulrooney and was surprised to find his name in this thread Mystery Captured Flags Picture. I am pretty sure he was a lead motor Mechanic on several different MTB's.

I also think he is in one of the pictures. How would somebody of that position dress? Would he have no brass buttons, a flat cap, et cetera?.

Please could you tell me what the information below means?
LMtrMch Richard Mulrooney P/MX99486

he was awarded a DSM and I would love to know more details of why he was given this. I do have a story from my father but I'm not sure how accurate it is.

My grandfather Richard Mulrooney was also involved in the Veteran Coastal Forces Association in Liverpool.
Sadly he's no longer with us

Many thanks
Mike Mulrooney

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Richard John Mulrooney MTB 606

Postby Admin » Sun May 22, 2022 11:46 am

Dear Mike

Thank you for your enquiry. To answer your questions, LMtrMch stands for Leading Motor Mechanic, and the service number P/MX99486 comprises 'P' for Portsmouth as his assigned Port Division, which was one of three — the others being 'D' for Devonport at Plymouth, and 'C' for Chatham. The 'M' stands for Mechanics Branch, and the 'X' is for Hostilities Only personnel, as distinct from prewar Regular Navy. His award as notified in the London Gazette only holds basic information which reads:
For outstanding courage and skill in action with the enemy in Light Coastal Craft

To get more specific information you would need to obtain the file containing the original recommendations made by the boat's commanding officer, if they exist in the archive at Kew, as some do. In the crew photo of MTB 606, the Petty Officers wear jackets similar to those of the officers, as well as a peaked cap, though the cap badge is smaller. In addition Officers display rings on their sleeves, one for a Sub-Lieutenant, two for a Lieutenant, and one broad ring with a ring top and bottom for a Lieutenant Commander, usually Senior Officer of Flotilla. Leading Seamen would have worn the same as sailors, with a small insignia on their arm, whilst a Mechanic or a Stoker (Mechanic's assistant) might be dressed in overalls as workwear. In the photo of the crew with the flags, the Mechanic may be the one in overalls holding up the item of clothing, but any member of a boat's crew could potentially wear overalls.

If the family no longer has the citation which would have come with his award, or his full service record given him on his discharge, then more information might be gleaned from obtaining his service details from the Royal Naval Disclosure Cell. If you have his CFVA membership number then it might be possible to find further details of his service if he provided them to the CFVA when he joined. Alternatively if I know his date of death, which may have been noted in a newsletter at the time, I may be able to determine his CFVA number that way.

Regards
Admin

Mulrooney
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 21, 2022 6:00 pm

Re: Richard John Mulrooney MTB 606

Postby Mulrooney » Sun May 22, 2022 2:10 pm

Hello

My grandfather was Richard John Mulrooney and am trying to find out more information why he was given a DSM
I know it was "For outstanding courage and skill in action with the enemy in Light Coastal Craft" but am hoping to get a little more information. I have what my father told me but I'm not sure how accurate that was.

I was also told an interesting tale about Ian Fleming being dropped off by an MTB

I'm fortunate enough to have the DSM in my possession. I knew my grandfather well but like many he never spoke about what occurred during the conflicts. He passed away when I was 19 and I never got asking those awkward questions about what to do it. He just didn't want to talk about it.
I remember the veteran coastal forces Association were present at his funeral.

I also know that he was greatly involved in the Coastal Veteran Forces Association in Liverpool during the 1980s and probably before that. He was good friends with a gentleman called Bill Webb who was also involved in the association. Another of his wartime friends was Les Poole who lived in Essex.

MID LMtrMch Richard Mulrooney P/MX99486
Richard John Mulrooney 1922 - 1986
MTB 606 amongst others

I'm calling in respite and return home tomorrow. I will see if there is any other official documentation with the DSM. But to be honest I do not think there is.

Thanks your help
Mike

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Richard John Mulrooney MTB 606

Postby Admin » Sun May 22, 2022 6:49 pm

Hello again

I have just amalgamated the previous post and its reply into this thread to keep the messages together and avoid any confusion, and also placed it under the Personnel category rather than MTB.

I have found his CFVA number which was 495, and his original new member details in the March 1981 newsletter. He is listed as Chief Motor Mechanic for MTBs 606 and 690. MTB 690 was a member of the 53rd MTB Flotilla. I have some resources on other boats in the flotilla but nothing on MTB 690 itself. MTB 606 was originally MGB 606, and part of the 17th MGB Flotilla, whilst as MTB 606 it formed part of the 50th MTB Flotilla.

There is an account given by Les Pool in one of the CFVA newsletters which recalls the incident for which he received his DSM.

MGB 606 — to MTB 606
With torpedo tubes fitted now MTB 606 was ordered to carry out a sortie over the other side. Commander Bradford would be accompanying us as his boat was out of commission and on board was a small squad of Commandos. We never did find out what the mission was as you'll find out later. As we were creeping again to the Dutch coast, I could hear from my turret, coming from the bridge, comments about only being gremlins on the radar. Well those gremlins sure packed a punch as in minutes all hell was let loose — our boat being first in line took the full force of the onslaught. How anyone on deck survived we'll never know. We received a direct hit — probably something like a six pounder in the engine room — killing P.O. Mechanic Joe Thompson and M/M Jimmy Totten instantly. Leading M/M Rick Mulrooney and little M/M Joe Kearney were blown against the bulkhead. Although he must have been badly shaken up Rick through expertise and great courage was able to get one engine to fire and that enabled us to get away from most of the heaviest flak. Rick was awarded the D.S.M. for his part in saving the crew from either being a P.O.W. or drowning as the boat was now sinking and abandon ship was ordered. Another boat of the flotilla came alongside and we transferred to her. While this was going on Rick and the 1st Lieut. were planting explosive charges, which later on made a huge firework display. Four were killed that night from MTB 606 and all but six of us were detained in the Royal Naval hospital on returning to Yarmouth. Rick Mulrooney was President of the Merseyside branch before passing away having had the dreaded cancer and I lost a very dear friend and shipmate, and probably owed my life as well as others to him.

Member 804 Les Pool

This incident is also mentioned in former crew member Ken Forrester's account of his service in Coastal Forces If I Only Had Known, and is also covered in full in Senior Officer of Flotilla, Lt Cdr Donald Gould Bradford's memoir, Day In, Night Out (Chapter 5: A Secret Landing)

Regards
Admin


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