MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Enquiries relating to individual men and women who served with HM Light Coastal Forces; help with interpreting service records, or with tracing former comrades
esbw
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:49 pm

MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby esbw » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:02 pm

I'm hoping to find more information about my Uncle Robert Alan Forbes who I believe was Commander (?) of MGB 646 and was in Malta in 1943. We have the ships bell and commemorative ash tray with "HMMGB 646 Gun Room Malta 1943" engraved on it. I'd be grateful for any information or pictures anyone may have about my uncle and the activities of MGB 646. Thank you

Pioneer
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Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby Pioneer » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:35 pm

Welcome aboard 'esbw' - hope that you enjoy the trip
The excellent book by Leonard Reynold "Dog Boats at War' ( ISBN 0 - 7509-1817-9) mentions MGB 646 several times.
Lt R A "Tufty" Forbes is also mentioned as the Commanding Officer in earlY '43, the boat is later shown as under the command of Lt B Knight-Lacklan.
He was also the CO of "C" 335 (in 1942). This boat was badly damaged in action and sustained several crew casualties - inc the CO - Rescued by Lt Thorpe in 334. there was an attempt to sink the hulk of 335 - but it was taken in tow by the enemy to Den Helder.

esbw
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:49 pm

Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby esbw » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:56 pm

Thank you Pioneer
We have a family story that suggests that one of the MGB's that R A Forbes served on was sunk off North Africa and that his Bull Terrier "Tiger" went down with it. Maybe this was 335? This may also explain why we have the ships bell for 646.
I will get hold of the book you suggested and look forward to some bedtime reading! If anyone else has any further information on R A "Tufty" Forbes or C 335 / MGB 646 I'd love to hear more. Thank you again.

Pioneer
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Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby Pioneer » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:50 pm

Hello again 'esbw'
Just to whet your appetite a little further - Geoffrey Hobday's book "In Harm's Way" (ISBN 0 901627 30 5) mentions his aquaintance with Lt 'Tufty' Forbes on several pages.
He also mentions that he (Lt 'Tufty' Forbes) picked up the boat (646) from new - (built by Risdon Beazley Southampton Nov 1942.)
The "C" class of Fairmiles however only saw action in Home waters (so 335 is not the identity of the MGB lost off Africa) -335 had been identified as being sunk ... "in the North Sea"... - but we now know that she was salvaged and towed to Den Helder by the German Navy - could this be the mistaken craft??
When Lt Forbes left 646 - his No 1 - Lt B Knight-Lacklan took over command - there is a very interesting short story told in the above book, regarding some pidgeons that caused some embarrassment to Lt Forbes - but I will not spoil it for you. A very interesting and well liked character by accounts.

esbw
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:49 pm

Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby esbw » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:40 pm

Thank you again - more bedtime reading! I look forward to it. esbw

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby Brian Holmes » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:41 pm

MGB_646 Risdon Beazley Ltd, Northam Bridge, Southampton 19/11/42

For assistance rendered to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean 22/10/43
Greek War Cross 3rd Class
Lt Bernard Louis Knight-Lachlan RNVR

For destruction of an enemy tanker in Piraeus 8/10/44
MID TSLt Michael Gordon Roberts RNVR
MID ALSto Frederick Charles Hawksbee D/JX156757
MID AB Victor Clarence Bradbury C/JX409946

New Year Honours 1945
DSM* ACMtrMch Frederick Norman Dowson D/MX74648

For jettisonning ammunition at Katakolon, Greece 4/1/45
MID AB William Wilson D/JX204365

For damage control measures in the Mediterranean 15/1/45
MID LMtrMch Alfred David Ripley P/MX117863

Wind up of the war in Europe (Gazette Date - 11/12/45)
MID AB Leslie Jones /HD/X1572

Known Crew
TLt R A Forbes RNVR (Commanding Officer - 1943)
Lt Bernard Louis Knight-Lachlan RNVR (Commanding Officer)
TSLt Michael Gordon Roberts RNVR Fatally wounded 4/1/45 Age 24. Son of Stanley Gordon Roberts and Daisy M. G. Roberts, of Gloucester
ACMtrMch Frederick Norman Dowson D/MX74648 LMtrMch MGB 9 DSM 1942 ACMtrMch MGB 646 DSM* 1945
LMtrMch Alfred David Ripley P/MX117863
ALSto Frederick Charles Hawksbee D/JX156757
AB Victor Clarence Bradbury C/JX409946
AB Daley
AB Leslie Jones /HD/X1572
AB William Wilson D/JX204365

War Activities
19th MGB Flotilla
MGB 641, MGB 642, MGB 643, MGB 644, MGB 645, MGB 646, MGB 647, MGB 648
Mediterranean
4/5/43 MTB 634 and MTB 635 with MGB 643 and MGB 646 are attacked by aircraft off Cap Serrat. Three boats are damaged. Eight men are severely wounded and eleven men are slightly wounded. One aircraft kill and three damaged are claimed.
10/7/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily
19th MGB Flotilla
MGB 641, MGB 643, MGB 646
14-5/7/43 MGB 641, MGB 643 and MGB 646 are on patrol south of Messina when they sight a U Boat and engage with gunfire until the U Boat dives. Shore batteries, on the mainland engage the boats. MGB 641 is severely damaged by fire from a shore battery in Straits of Messina and is beyond hope. Standing orders dictate that boats should not stop to assist when shore batteries have the range. MGB 643 and MGB 646 return a little later after the light has faded further and recover the entire crew of MGB 641 which has suffered no casualties.
10/43 Approaching Tobruk whilst transferring from Malta to the Aegean, MGB 643, MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 are fired on by shore batteries and a visual signal is required to get them to cease fire.
21/9/43 With Cdr Allen embarked, departs from Messina, Sicily for Maddalena, Italy for a reconnaisance. On the boat’s successful return, carrying charts of the Italian minefields at Maddalena a convoy of three LCTs, Empire Damsel six MTBs and MGBs and two ML Minesweepers, carrying the mobile Coastal Forces Base, departs from Messina, Sicily for Maddalena, Italy.
22/10/43 MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 render assistance to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean
1/44 60th MTB/MGB Flotilla
MGB 643, MGB 645, MGB 646, MGB 647 MGB 661, MTB 651, MTB 656, MTB 667
Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic
14-15/4/44 MGBs 646 and 661 sink a tug and the 400 ton tanker it is towing as well as capturing a 250 ton lighter. MGBs 646 and 661 take thirty five German prisoners and forty three others are reported missing.
20-21/5/44 MGB 646, MGB 674 with MTB 656 intercept a 250 ton oil barge off Curzola Island and drive it ashore in flames.
7-8/10/44 MGB 646, MGB 647 and MTB 667 are in action with a group of MAS and R Boats off Piraeus and claim to sink two of them..
Destruction of an enemy tanker in Piraeus
15/10/44 Dawn. MGB 646 and MGB 647 with MTB 651 and MTB 667 sail in company with HMS Black Prince, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax and HMS Aurora. MTB 651 transfers the Captain Minesweepers from his damaged vessel to another. HMS Black Prince anchors off Piraeus and MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 651 and 667 ferry troops ashore. One hundred at a time.
MTB 651 enters Salonika on reconnaisance. The walls are packed with excited civilians giving her an enthusiastic reception. MTB 651 reports by wireless and is told to stay. MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 667 join. It is nearly three weeks before significant forces arrive.
19/11/44 MGBs 646 and 647 with MTBs 651 and 667 return to Piraeus. They return to Brindisi by the end of the year.
MGBs 645 and 646 are storm bound, over Christmass, in an inlet between Poros and Kithera.
4/1/45 MGBs 645 and 646 arrive in Katakolon. The town is believed to be in British hands but it has been evacuated and there is no sign of activity. Each boat investigates and boards a caique. MGB 646’s boarding party is fired on from the shore. Lt M J Roberts is fatally wounded and AB Daley fails to make it back aboard and is taken prisoner by ELAS forces. AB Daley is returned, at Patras in mid january, having been forced ton walk 90 miles over the mountains, in midwinter, without cold weather clothing.
15/1/45 Damage control measures in the Mediterranean

Post War Fate
8/45 For disposal

jonco
Chief Petty Officer
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Re: MGB 646 Robert Alan Forbes

Postby jonco » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:31 pm

If you look in the Motor Gun Boat section under MGB 647 - there is a photo of 646.


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