MTB 309

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
Jim Woodhams
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MTB 309

Postby Jim Woodhams » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:24 pm

Can anyone help in my quest for more information about MTB 309? My father was first officer from July 1943 until the end of the war, based variously at Malta and Alexandria. I have inherited quite a few momentos and many photographs, and have read a few of the 'MTB books', but would be interested to know if there are any veterans who might remember MTB 309, or if anyone else has any photos or other information. Many thanks.

Pioneer
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Re: MTB 309

Postby Pioneer » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:33 pm

Hello Jim
Welcome aboard.
MTB 309 was an American Elco 77 ft, built 11 February 1942, Commissioned 22nd April 1942. Her first Commanding Officer was Lt D Jermain DSC. RN who was also the 15th Flotilla’s Senior Officer.
In September 1942 the remaining boats of the 10th Flotilla (MTBs 260-268) joined forces with the 15th Flotilla, Lt Jermain DSC RN remaining as SO until being replaced by Lt Cdr C Evensen DSC RNVR in September 1943.
MTB 309 had a very active war in the Mediterranean /Aegean seas described in some detail in “Mediterranean MTBs at War” by L Reynolds and H Cooper. ISBN 0 7509 2274 5.
Could you post some of your photo’s here (or e-mail copies of them to the CFV address – I can post them up for you)

Jim Woodhams
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: MTB 309

Postby Jim Woodhams » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:48 pm

Dear Pioneer,
Many thanks for your reply. I've already read the "Mediterranean MTBs at War" book, and was thrilled to discover within it a photo of my father on page 139, fourth from right. My quest is to see if I can discover some more information about 309's exploits, and whether any other photo or documentary sources exist. I tried about three years ago to contact Denis Jermain, but alas my letters were not answered. I now see he has died.

The crest and makers plate of 309 hang on my wall, a lovely momento of a boat to which my father was very attached. Uploaded is a photo of 309 lying at Ta'xbiex in Malta - the reverse of the photo has a greeting from Lt. Jermain and is dated July 1942.
MTB-309-Malta-July-1942.jpg
MTB 309, Ta'xbiex, Malta, July 1942

greenhouse
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Re: MTB 309

Postby greenhouse » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:05 pm

I served on all the boats which was the 10th Flotila including MTB 309 from Algiers to Dhodeconese Islands as Petty Officer Motor Mechanic. I was the PO MM who went on any boat in the Flotila if the Mechanic was indisposed for any reason. Most of my time was on MTB/PT Boat 315. Yes we were busy at times especially when the Yanks bombed us while in harbour in Sfax!! We were sent to El Djem as guests of the 8th Army in the desert while our boats were repared for sea & we found that big yellow bands were painted on the stern to enable the Yanks to see us!! From Sfax, we sailed to Malta & I think the Germans /Italian air force followed us & flattened everything in Sliema were we were tied up but missed the boats. When we could leave Malta, after the invasion of the island I forget the name of, we went to Alexandria, perhaps for a break? We left Alexandria to go to Beirut to practice camoflage practice & when tied up we all went ashore leaving 2 armed guards patrolling the jetty. When we returned to the boats, the Skippers were going mad! Apparently, someone had been on board all the boats & stolen the guns & ammunition stored outside the Skipper's cabin in locked cupboards. The "sentries" knew nothing about what had happened. I wonder how some of these young lads who are always "bored" would cope if they had to go through what some of the lads went through then? Ron. Matthews.

Kiwi2013
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: MTB 309

Postby Kiwi2013 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:40 am

Re MTB 309. There is quite a bit of information about the 10th MTB flotilla to be had as I have found as I have searched for information relating to an uncle who served in MTB 266 from May 1942 until March 1944. If you want t continue discussion by email can you give me an address to contact?

To Ron Mathews - I saw a piece I think attributed to you in a history piece on-line which suggested you joined the 10th/15th Flotilla but I wasn''t sure exactly when. Are you able to advise me exactly when you arrived? If you were in Algiers I assume that was at Bone and then you would have been with the flotilla at Sicily before heading back to the Aegean and the Dodecanese. I am interested in your recollections of those days. I am also interested in your memories of people in the 10th/15th when you arrived as there s very little about the personalities available it seems to me. MTB315 was commanded by a close colleague of my uncle, also a New Zealander, Lt Len Newall DSC. He left the flotilla in July 1944 I believe.

Howard

greenhouse
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Re: MTB 309

Postby greenhouse » Mon May 27, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi Howard, Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. Yes, I joined the 10th Flotilla in Algiers on my 18th birthday, May 16 1943. ( 20 RN age) I was on most of the Boats in the Flotilla & Lt. Wilkinson was the Engineer Officer. If you wish to email me, my address is: [sent in pm] I have written an account of some of my exploits on MTBs & in fact been on the BBC today as they have been celebrating the "Atlantic Convoys". Look forward to hearing from you, Regards, Ron. Matthews. PO Motor Mechanic.
Last edited by Admin on Tue May 28, 2013 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Email address removed for security

o3aaron
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Re: MTB 309

Postby o3aaron » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:02 pm

Hi Ron,

My Grandfather I believe also served in this same area. I don't know what Flotilla he was on but I know he ended up in Malta during WW2. However, his name was also Ron Matthews. He passed many years ago but thought it maybe a strange coincidence if you knew him or of him. If there is any details I can give you please let me know!

Thanks a lot,

Aaron

greenhouse
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: MTB 309

Postby greenhouse » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:23 pm

Hi AARON, I was in Malta & my name is Ron Matthews but I have had my pulse checked & I am still alive. It must be a real coincidence but I did not meet anyone with the same name otherwise I may have been able to blame him for all sorts of things! I am having problems logging on to this site but if you wish to email me on - trones@hotmail.co.uk then perhaps we could chat more about this coincidence, Ron Matthews.

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: MTB 309

Postby Brian Holmes » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:27 pm

MTB_309 Elco Works, Electric Boat Company, Bayonne, New Jersey 09/02/42

For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk summer 1942
DSC* Lt Denis Jermain
DSM Sto1 Ernest Baynes D/KX127770
MID LTel Francis McMahon D/JX149283

Known Crew
TLt Robert Varvill RNVR TSLt 31/3/41 4th MTB Flotilla HMS Beehive 4/8/41 TLt 1/6/42 Commanding Officer MTB 421 8/1/44 Commanding Officer MTB 309 and Senior Officer 10th MTB Flotilla 23/1/45 DSC and MID 1944 Queen's Commendation (Civil): District Officer Calabar Nigeria 1951 Born 31/3/20 and died in Sussex 22/2/03
TLt Kenneth James Frederick Woodhams RNVR. Joined RNVR 13/1/42 HMS Wolverine (destroyer) (Operation Pedestal, convoy to relieve Malta) 8/42 MTB ... (HMS Mantis (Coastal Forces base, Lowestoft)) First Lieutenant MTB 309 30/10/43 – 45 TLt 29/7/45 MMS 182 (motor minesweeper) -11/2/46 transferred to RN 22/1/47 Office of the Senior Psychologist, Admiralty (HMS President)serving at HMS President Emergency List 1952 Permanent RNR 1960 Trained as a school teacher. Teacher, RN School, Verdala (Malta), 1960s VRD 1965 Born 29/1/23 in Tonbridge Wells, Kent and died 12/7/73 in Basingstoke, Hants
Lt Denis Jermain Commanding Officer MTB 19 9/39 Commanding Officer MTB 31 MID 1940 DSC 1941 MTB 315 MID 1942 10th MTB Flotilla MID 1943 Commanding Officer MTB 309 & Senior Officer 15th MTB Flotilla DSC* 1943
Lt Ross C Campbell RCNVR HMS Raleigh (training establishment, Torpoint) TSLt 31/12/40 HMS Hornet (Coastal Forces base, Gosport) TLt 31/12/41 Commanding Officer MTB 309 8/12/42 Commanding Officer MTB 480 1/6/44 HMS Mantis (Coastal Forces base, Lowestoft) 7/45 Diplomat and company president. PRESIDENT, INTERCON CONSULTANTS LIMITED 1983-- ; Dir., ADOPAC Ltd.; began career Legal Division, Department of External Affairs 1945; Third Secretary, Canadian Legation, Oslo, 1946-47; Second Secretary, Copenhagen, 1947-50; European Division Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, 1950-52; First Secretary, Canadian Embassy, Ankara, 1952-56; Head, Middle East Division, 1957-59; Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs 1959-62; Assistant Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, 1962-64; Advisor, Canadian Delegates to U.N. Gen. Assemblies and Cdn. Ministerial Dels. to N. Atlantic Council, 1958-64; Cdn. Ambassador to Yugoslavia, 1964-67; (concurrently) to Algeria 1965-67; Ambassador and Perm. Rep. to NATO (Paris May 1967, Brussels Oct. 1967-1972); Ambassador to Japan, 1972-75; (concurrently) to Rep. of Korea 1973-74; Chrmn., Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Jan. 1976-May, 1979; Pres., Atomic Energy of Can. Internat'l, 1979; Nuclear Consultant 1980-81; Pres., Canus Technical Services Corp. 1981-83 Born in Toronto, Ontario 4/11/18 and died in Aylmer, Quebec 15/8/2007
TLt Charles Donald Chaffey RCNVR Ord HMCS Discovery (RCN base & reserve depot, Vancouver, BC) 10/40 HMS Raleigh (training establishment, Torpoint, Plymouth) 11/40 HMS Pytchley (destroyer) HMS King Alfred (RNVR officers' training establishment, Hove, Sussex) 12/40 TASLt 31/12/40 HMS St Christopher (Coastal Forces establishment, Fort William) (for motor launches) 5/9/41 TLt 31/12/41 ML 209 First Lieutenant MTB 232 2/4/42 MTB 309 Commanding Officer MTB 232 Commanding Officer MGB 21 26/5/43 Commanding Officer MTB 465 27/3/44 – 9/2/45 Commanding Officer MTB 486 25/2/45 – 3/3/45 Born in 1918 and died in 1989
TSLt K J K Woodhams RNVR MTB 309 30/10/43
LTel Francis McMahon D/JX149283
Sto1 Ernest Baynes D/KX127770

Wartime Activities
11/02/42 Transferred to Royal Navy under lend lease
15th MTB Flotilla
22/04/42 Commissioned at Alexandria
22/23/5/42 MTB 309 and MTB 312, sailed from Tobruk and landed agents on the North African coast.
23/24/5/42 MTB 309 and MTB 312, sailed from Tobruk and landed agents on the North African coast.
26/27/5/42 At 0300, MTB 309 and MTB 312, are on patrol in the Bomba area when a Flak lighter is sighted. They attack with torpedoes and at least two pass under the shallow draft vessel. They then attack with depth charges. MTBs 309 and 312 conduct a search but find neither the Flak lighter nor wreckage.
Services during the withdrawal from Tobruk summer 1942
20/6/42 Escaped from Tobruk carrying official records.
9/42 10th MTB Flotilla
31/09/42 MTBs 307, 309, 311 and 316 depart Alexandria for an attack on Rhodes. The boats refuel at Paphos.
1-2/10/42 MTBs 307, 309, 311 and 316 fire torpedoes into Rhodes Harbour. Explosions are heard but the results are unknown.
3/2/43 Arrives in Malta from Benghazi. Navigational problems resulted in the vessel overshooting Malta and making a landfall at Pantelleria. The mistake was realised and the vessel set course for Malta, ran out of fuel, but was spotted by searching aircraft and rescued.
11-12/5/43 MTB 265, MTB 309 and MTB 316 capture 117 prisoners from a group of small boats off Cape Bon. This includes a party of German paratroopers. A vessel, thought to be a submarine is sighted and a torpedo attack made. The torpedoes miss what is the partly submerged wreck of a destroyer. In MTB 309 there are five times as many prisoners as crew. Crewmen guarding the prisoners use German weapons and a co-operative prisoner provides instruction in their use
Based at Bone
7-8/10/43 MTBs 309 and 313 are on patrol between Rhodes and Symi. They destroy a seaplane, moored in Symi harbour, by gunfire and damage a caique.
17/10/43 MTB 313 is caught alongside in an air raid on Casteloriso and a dockside building collapses on top of her. MTB 309 tows MTB 313 clear of the harbour and, after temporary repair, MTB 313 reaches Alexandria under her own power
19-20/10/43 At 1815, MTBs 307, 309 and 315 depart Casteloriso to search the north coast of Kos.
0045 MTBs 307, 309 and 315 are off Cape Deplini running eastwards, on silent engines, at 12 kts about a mile off shore. MTBs 307, 309 and 315 cross to Kalimno and then work back to the north of Kos.
0235 A ship is sighted and, at 1000yds, is identified as a Flak Lighter. A second vessel is then sighted to the east. MTB 309 is ordered to torpedo the Flak Lighter. MTB 307 is ordered to stand by and MTB 315 goes after the other target now identified as a 500-600 ton coaster. MTB 315 fires her port torpedo which misses and explodes on impact with the shore. The starboard torpedo passes under the vessel and hits a Flak Lighter on the other side and aparently unloading it. There is an initial explosion followed by several secondary detonations. MTB 307 is then ordered to torpedo the coaster. The starboaard torpedo hits the coaster’s bow causing her to sink. MTB 309 attacks the other Flak Lighter without success. The starboard torpedo goes rogue and runs off at ninety degrees whilst the port torpedo passes under the lighter and explodes on impact with the beach.
13/11/43 MTBs 307 and 309 evacuate troops from Leros.
25/12-20/1 MTBs 260 and 309 operate in the vicinity of Rhodes.
12-13/1/44 MTB 260 and MTB 309 sink one caique by gunfire off Piscopi Island
9-10/3/44 MTBs 307 and 309 intercept and attack three destroyers that manage to evade their torpedoes.
14/7/44 Operation Tenement – Raid on Symi
MTB 309, ML 349, HDML 1386

Post War Fate
10/10/45 Returned to the United States Navy
26/10/45 Destroyed

CAM
Sub Lieutenant
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:49 am

Re: MTB 309

Postby CAM » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:59 pm

Is there a description of actions MTB-309 and other MTB night 14.06. 1942 at Tobruk? Italians write that MTB thrice tried to break through the fence into the harbor, but were repulsed by two attendants barges and torpedoboats.

http://www.marina.difesa.it/documentazi ... 81_143.pdf

CAM
Sub Lieutenant
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:49 am

Re: MTB 309

Postby CAM » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:01 pm

Until that time, I believed that the landing east of Tobruk morning 14.09. 1942 managed to land only MTB-261 and -314 (LC Reynolds and HF Cooper, "Mediterranean MTBs At War", Sutton, 2001.). But the break P.Smith "Massacre at Tobruk" writes that it was the MTB-260 and -314, and the crew sat down on the stones MTB-314 picked flagship MTB-309. What do they write about this other authors?

Rvictor
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Re: MTB 309

Postby Rvictor » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:54 am

Here is a photograph from my father's album - MTB's 315 & 266. On the reverse my father wrote what seems to be "RAZZLE TIN" and "MTB BASE ALEXANDRIA RNZN EGYPT 1943"

regards
Rvictor
Attachments
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Admin
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Re: MTB 309

Postby Admin » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:56 am

Ras El-Tin was the site of the Coastal Forces base HMS Mosquito at Alexandria. MTBs 315 and 266 were American-built Elco boats which formed part of the 10th MTB Flotilla. Their Commanding Officers in 1943 were both New Zealanders, Lt L Newall and Lt N Broad. MTB 266 later sank in Alexandria Harbour after sustaining damage in action in September 1944. Both boats are well documented in Mediterranean MTBs at War by Len Reynolds

Graham101
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Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:56 am

Re: MTB 309

Postby Graham101 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:55 pm

Hi Ron,

My Grandfather I believe also served in this same area. I don't know what Flotilla he was on but I know he ended up in Malta during WW2. However, his name was also Ron Matthews. He passed many years ago but thought it maybe a strange coincidence if you knew him or of him. If there is any details I can give you please let me know!

Thanks a lot,

Aaron
Don't know if you are still on the forum but I just came across a Petty Officer Matthews a Motor Mechanic on MTB 61, 7th Flotilla Vospers operating out of Malta early 1943. It's on page 71 of the copy of 'Flag 4' I got from the library. If you do still visit here hope it helps


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