Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
Bradl3y
Seaman
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:30 am

Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Postby Bradl3y » Sat May 12, 2012 9:33 pm

While researching my Uncles wartime service in the Royal Navy with Coatal Forces (namely Able Seaman John Allan Bradley service number JX329749) I came across the following photos from our family archives and which show him as a crew member of MTB / MGB 606 (please see below photo- front row seated 3rd from left). My Aunty says that my Uncle during the war turned up at home unexpected and she remembers him standing at the door-step "without any belongings in the entire world except the clothes he was wearing" - as his boat had been lost at sea. MTB 606 was lost on 04/11/1943 during an aborted Commando raid. He did receive a war pension so must have been injured (I remember he was a bit deaf and always wore a hearing aid) so he must have received his injury due to enemy action.
crew606.jpg
Crew Photo MTB / MGB 606
crew606.jpg (35.47 KiB) Viewed 4508 times
I have also come across another crew photo where he appears with a few other members of crew parading captured flags (he is the one in the dark boiler-suit and cap and holding what appears to be a german uniform. The sailor on the far left also appears to be holding a cake! Some of the faces can be seen in previous crew photos of MGB607, MGB 606 and MTB695.
MTB607flagadjusted.jpg
Captured Flag Photo
If anyone can identify any of the sailors in the mystery captured flags photo or knows any information about it then please get in touch. I believe my uncle eventually was posted to ML220 (both boats being based at Great Yarmouth). I am at this moment in time awaiting the arrival of my uncles war service records from RN TNT Search Office.
Last edited by Admin on Sat May 19, 2012 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed all caps from title for legibility

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

Re: Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Postby Brian Holmes » Sun May 13, 2012 8:16 pm

First lets have a look at 606

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 (Commanding Officer)
TLt Donald George Dowling RNVR Commanding Officer MGB 606 19/7/43 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 Navigating Officer 1943 MID 1943
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.
Attachments
606 crew.jpg
606 crew.jpg (70.13 KiB) Viewed 4488 times
606.jpg

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

Re: Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Postby Brian Holmes » Sun May 13, 2012 8:19 pm

And now 607

MGB_607 James A Silver Ltd, Rosneath, Scotland 6/42
For an action with E Boats off Smith’s Knoll 24/10/43
DSC TLt Robert Michael Marshall RNVR
DSC TSLt John Norman Arkell RNVR
DSM PO Hugh Baggott Merriman D/JX133563
DSM AB Leslie Cousins P/JX350038
DSM AB Arthur Hinchcliffe P/JX262382
DSM AB Robert Henry Peter C/JX301335
MID TLt Charles Ortsen Abbott RNVR
MID ALSea Ralph Hopper D/JX136991
MID AB George Thomas Hughes D/JX257184
MID AB Robert Little P/JX322584 (Post)

Known Crew (MGB 607)
TLt Robert Michael Marshall RNVR TSLt HMS Cape Passaro (anti-submarine warfare trawler) 3/2/40 HMS Dolphin (submarine depot, Gosport) (for Fort Blockhouse) 17/6/40 HMS St Christopher (Coastal Forces establishment, Fort William) (for motor launches) 24/6/41 Commanding Officer MGB 607 25/5/42 Commanding Officer MGB 503 22/11/43 Commanding Officer MGB 509 and Senior Officer, 15th MGB Flotilla 11/44 LtCdr 1945 Commanding Officer MGB 2002 11/5/45 killed in action Saturday 12 May 1945 Born in Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire 18/5/17


Known Crew (MTB 607)
TLt Charles Ortzen Abbott RNVR in MTB 504 15/03/43 First Lieutenant, MTB 727 22/11/43. Commanding Officer MGB 607 15/3/43 – 10/43 Commanding Officer MTB 632 30/10/44 MID 1944. Born 28/5/18 at North Bierley, Yorkshire and died in Ipswich 9/88
TLt Robert Michael Marshall RNVR TSLt HMS Cape Passaro (anti-submarine warfare trawler) 3/2/40 HMS Dolphin (submarine depot, Gosport) (for Fort Blockhouse) 17/6/40 HMS St Christopher (Coastal Forces establishment, Fort William) (for motor launches) 24/6/41 Commanding Officer MGB 607 25/5/42 Commanding Officer MGB 503 22/11/43 Commanding Officer MGB 509 and Senior Officer, 15th MGB Flotilla 11/44 LtCdr 1945 Commanding Officer MGB 2002 11/5/45 killed in action Saturday 12 May 1945 Born in Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire 18/5/17
TSLt John Norman Arkell RNVR
PO Hugh Baggott Merriman D/JX133563
ALSea Ralph Hopper D/JX136991
AB Leslie Cousins P/JX350038
AB Arthur Hinchcliffe P/JX262382
AB George Thomas Hughes D/JX257184
AB Robert Little P/JX322584 Killed in a surface action - 24/10/43 Son of John C. Little and Amlie Little, of Manor, Peebles. Buried in Manor Parish Churchyard Grave 111
AB Robert Henry Peter C/JX301335
AB Wilfred Percy Roach D/JX 142841 ML 195 MID 1941 MTB 607 Killed in a surface action 24/10/43 aged 25. Son of Percy and May Roach, of Lanivet, Cornwall; nephew of Mrs. L. Prynne, of Lanivet, Norfolk. Buried in Great Yarmouth (Caister) Cemetery Sec. A. (Naval Reservation). Grave 63
AB Kenneth V Wilkins P/JX383041 Killed in a surface action 25/10/43 aged 19 Son of Albert V. Wilkins and Ethel N. Wilkins, of Hove. Buried in Hove New Cemetery Block 1. Grave 94
Ord Henry Hockley P/JX383344 Killed in a surface action 24/10/43 aged 19. Son of William and Edith Hockley, of Cubitt Town, London. Buried in East London Cemetery, Plaistow Grave 17279. (Screen Wall, Panel 7).
Tel Norman Fairholm C/JX 196322 Killed in a surface action 25/10/43 aged 27. Son of William Claude and Martha Fairholm, of Manchester. Buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery Sec. T. C. of E. Grave 1213
.
War Activities
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
27/3/43 MGB 603, MGB 606 and MGB 607 intercept and damage a German armed trawler.
26-7/5/43 MTB 628, MTB 629 and MTB 632 with MGB 607 engage four German armed trawlers off Terschelling. One trawler is severely damaged and return fire damages MTB 629 and kills PO James Marshall.
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
24/10/43 An action off Smith’s Knoll involving MTB 442, MTB 606, MTB 610, MTB 629, MTB 630, MTB 632, MTB 650 and MTB 652
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 HMS Pytchley, HMS Worcester, HMS Eglinton, HMS Campbell and HMS Mackay, MGB 609, MGB 610, MGB 607, MGB 603, MGB 315, MGB 327, ML 250 and ML 517.
2318 HMS Pytchley has a Radar contact on E Boats to the north and damages one with gunfire.
MGB 603 and MGB 607 move north east to cover the line of retreat to Ijmuiden.
MGB 609 and MGB 610 cover the northerly track of the convoy.
The S Boats arrive astern of the convoy
The trawler HMS William Stephen, a straggler from the convoy, is sunk
C0100 MGB 609 and MGB 610 obtained hydrophone and Radar contact. MGB 609 and MGB 610 make two attacks when the S Boats are seen to approach and drive them off each time. The second S Boat in the line was damaged and left the line
0206 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 MGB 607 rams an S Boat and is subsequently taken in tow by MGB 603.
0400 MGB 603 with MGB 607 in tow obtains a Radar contact and the tow is slipped.
0418 MGB 603 goes into action against six S Boats at a range of under 800 yards significantly damaging one boat.
0445 The S Boats make off to the east and MGB 603 rejoins MGB 607
HMS Mackay rams and sinks S 63.
MGB 603 recovers nineteen survivors from S 88 and tows MGB 607 back to Great Yarmouth
3-4/11/43 MTB 606, MTB 607and MTB 610 are in an action in the Nore area in which two trawlers were sunk and E Boats damaged. MTB 606 is sunk in action by surface craft

Post War Fate
10/45 For disposal

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

Re: Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Postby Bradl3y » Sun May 13, 2012 11:04 pm

Hi Brian,

Thank you for the information re the 606 and 607.

My family have an original 3"x4" photo of the 606 crew and which has the date 3/7/1943 on back and writing which says it can be posted but not for publication. I'm awaiting my uncles war service records fromthe MOD -please can you include his name on your known crew list.

Thanks

Andy

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

Re: Mystery Captured Flags Picture

Postby Bradl3y » Thu May 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Following extensive research into the above captured flags photo I now strongly believe that it may be linked with MTB 617 of 31st Flotilla and MGBs 606 - 607 of the 17th Flotilla.

Under command of Lt Commander Don Bradford (possibly sailor at very back peering over) together with
TLt Donald George Dowling (possibly man with pipe) & possibly TLt Robert Michael Marshall. All very amazing and distinguished officers.

I have found the following action;

On the night of 19th/20th September 1943 an offensive unit of 6 “D” boats made up from the 17th and 31st Flotilla’s led by Lt Bradford RNR, Senior Officer of the 31st aboard MTB 617 (MTB 624 had returned to base - Yarmouth with engine problems) leaving the unit as - MTBs 617, 621, 652from the 31st Flotilla, with MGBs 606, 612 and 610 of the 17th Flotilla .

The action is graphically described in the above book which is certainly recommended. There were 2 fatal casualties on that night :-

MGB.610 ROBSON, Eric, Leading Motor Mechanic, P/MX 503089, killed
MGB.612 HARVEY, George H, Able Seaman, C/JX 317419, killed
(source Naval-History.Net)


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