MTB 633

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
brac123
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:46 pm

MTB 633

Postby brac123 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:17 pm

Hi their can abody help i am looking for info on the MTB 633 which served in the north sea at lowerstoft in suffolk and then sent to the med in 1943-1945, and he was all over the place i know some of the ship mates who served with him also got some pictures when they were in Malta can anyone help, many thanks

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby Peter » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:28 am

Your enquiry with MTB 633 she was the first operational boat that I served on during the invasion of Sicily
having just completed my memoirs which contains a section of my experience of the action in which she took part in that campaign I would be happy to pass on this information
Peter

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

Re: MTB 633

Postby Brian Holmes » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:19 pm

MTB_633 Dorset Yacht Co Ltd, Hamworthy, Poole 23/11/42

For Operation Husky - Invasion of Sicily
MID Lt Alexander Primrose Graham Joy RCNVR
MID ACMtrMch Eric James Stanton Hollis P/MX89677

For an action off Kelibia and Cap Bon 28/4/43
MID TSLt Kenneth Dunstan Golding RNVR

Known Crew
TLt Clifford Jack Fleming RNVR TLt 24/2/40 HMS Midge for minelayers 10/5/42 MTB 633 21/10/42 MTB 617 23/1/43 ML 492 ML 496 5/5/43 HMS Hornet HMS Scarborough 1944
TLt Henry Eric Butler RNR HMS Viva II 6/40 MGB 66 3/41 Spare Commanding Officer 6th MTB Flotilla 30/12/41 DSC Commanding Officer MTB 43 27/01/42 – 18/08/42 Commanding Officer MTB 633 23/1/43 Service with Naval Officer in Charge Mersa Matruh 8/7/43 – 10/43 Office of Commander-in-Chief Levant, later Flag Officer Eastern Mediterranean 10/43 HMS Nile DSC 1940 MID 1945
TLt Alexander Primrose Graham Joy RCNVR HMS Hornet 2/9/40 HMS Nile for MTBs 8/10/41 Commanding Officer MTB 215 8/10/41 Commanding Officer MTB 267 Lt 18/3/42 HMS Mosquito for MTBs 5/4/42 Commanding Officer MTB 633 3/5/43 – 3/10/43 Commanding Officer MTB 637 Commanding Officer MTB 759 MID 1943 Died in Toronto, Ontario 13/7/96
TLt W H Keefer RCNVR TSLt MGB 70 21/12/40 TLt 18/3/41 First Lieutenant MGB 51 27/6/41 MTB 345 15/12/41 Commanding Officer MTB 76 4/42 HMS Mosquito for MTBs 24/4/42 Commanding Officer MTB 633 3/10/43 Commanding Officer ML 876 27/10/44
TSLt Arthur Stephen Rendell RCNVR TSLt First Lieutenant MGB 657 28/12/42 TLt 10/11/43 Commanding Officer MTB 670 30/2/44 Commanding Officer MTB 633 31/5/44 HMCS Stadacona (Halifax NS) 7/5/45 Died in Vancouver, British Columbia 19/7/93
TLt F E Dowrick RNVR TASLt HMS Midge for minelayers 9/2/42 TSLt 15/11/42 MTB 298 1944 TLt 15/5/44 Commanding Officer MTB 633 14/4/45
TSLt D G Homeray-Davies RNVR MTB 633 12/7/42 TLt 2/4/43 Commanding Officer ML 337 22/4/45
TSLt F S G Gruber RNVR TSLt 27/5/43 MTB 633 1/8/43 HDML 1257 27/12/43 ML 218 8/10/44
TSLt Kenneth Dunstan Golding RNVR MTB 633 21/10/42 TSLt 8/8/42 MTB 289 27/9/43 TLt 18/2/44 Commanding Officer MTB 633 1945
TASLt J Kinross RNVR Mid 30/6/44 HMS Gregale MTB 633 19/1/45 TASLt 19/3/45
ACMtrMch Eric James Stanton Hollis P/MX 89677 MTB 637 MTB 633 TSLt(E) 7/8/44 HMS Aggressive (Coastal Forces base, Newhaven) Engineer Officer, Coastal Force Mobile Unit 2 [HMS Fox (RN base, Lerwick Shetlands)] 4/6/45 HMS Pembroke IV (accouting base, Chatham Born in Aston district, Warwickshire 28/3/11 and died in Oxford 1/85
PO Harry George Proctor D/JX 145712 Killed in action 10/4/45
AB Arthur Arnold P/JX 139711 Died cause unknown 24/7/43. Son of David Herbert and Ethel Harriet Arnold; husband of Annie Arnold, of Northborough, Northamptonshire. Buried in Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily III. E. 13
AB Herbert Norris P/JX 296115 (Killed in action 3/12/44)

Wartime Activities
32nd MTB Flotilla
MTB 633, MTB 634, MTB 635, MTB 636, MTB 637, MTB 638, MTB 639, MTB 640
Mediterranean
28/4/43 At 0130, MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639, depart Sousse for Ras Mahmur arriving at 0500. This is an experiment to see if they can operate in daylight whilst gathering intelligence data. MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639 are flying German ensigns. They proceed north, keeping about one mile from the shore, plotting gun emplacements and other shore defences
0330 MTB 639 receives a signal cancelling the order to clear the sea lanes and concentrate on gathering information.
0730 MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639 round Kelibia Point.
0850 MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639 round Cape Bon.
0920 MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639 sight a wrecked destroyer about a mile and a half from Ras Muhmur. MTB 633, MTB637 and MTB 639 switch to white ensigns.
Two Italian motor minesweepers are encountered and destroyed by gunfire. Shortly afterwards a German R boat is attacked and left on fire and abandoned. Several JU52 transport aircraft are sighted on the beach. The boats close and attack with gunfire.
1000 A Friessler Storch observation aircraft is damaged by oerlikon fire as it comes in to land, on the beach, at Ras-el-Amar. A large ship is sighted in the Bay of Tunis, hull down and on fire. The boats then commence an offshore sweep.
1200 A large ship is sighted and the boats investigate. This proves to be a German hospital ship and the boats retire towards Kelibia Point without attacking. German fighters are observed.
1240 A convoy is sighted and the boats close to attack. MTB 639 has expended both torpedoes in earlier encounters and attacks the leading escort, which is the Italian vessel Sagittario, with gunfire. MTB 633 and MTB 637 close to attack the merchant vessel Teranio with torpedoes. There are around thirty aircraft present and the scene is in range of shore batteries.
1252 MTB 633 fires two torpedoes and MTB 637 follows suit shortly afterwards. Aircraft make a concentrated attack upon MTB 639. The commanding officer and three ratings are killed and the first lieutenant, navigator and two ratings are badly wounded. The coxswain rigs towing lines despite a bad leg wound.
1310 MTB 639 is stopped ten miles south east of Cape Bon and being abandoned. Detonators in the IFF equipment are set and the confidential books are dropped overboard in the safe. MTB 637 goes alongside MTB 639 to transfer the wounded and unwounded survivors. MTB 633 picks survivors out of the water. MTB 639 is then sunk by gunfire. MTB 633 and MTB 637 then disengage to the south under attack by aircraft and shore batteries. MTB 633 shoots down one aircraft with oerlikon fire.
1400 The Senior Officer, Lt Philip Francis Stewart Gould RN DSC*, dies of his wounds
MTB 635 is prevented from joining MTBs 633, 637 and 639 in their action near Cape Bon by engine problems. MTB 635 maintains a radio watch and intercepts requests for air support TLt Perks takes action by going to an anti aircraft unit on the jetty and contacting an American airfield by telephone. Air support is despatched in this manner.
6/6/43 At 2200, MTB 633 (Senior Officer), MGB 658 and MGB 663 depart Malta to patrol between Cape Passero and Cape Murro di Porco, Sicily. Cape Passero Lighthouse is lit.
MTB 633, MGB 658 and MGB 663 patrol approximately 3 miles off shore sweeping inshore with Radar for two hours with no contacts. A searchlight is observed sweeping out to sea to the north.
MTB 633, MGB 658 and MGB 663 stop and listen. Nothing is found.
At 0440, MTB 633, MGB 658 and MGB 663 depart the patrol area for Malta.
10/7/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily
32nd MTB Flotilla
MTB 633, MTB 640
14/7/43 At 1300, MTB 633, MTB 655 and MTB 656 depart Malta for a patrol in the Straits of Messina. Senior Officer, TLt E T Greene-Kelly RNVR, is embarked in MTB 655.
2344 MTB 633, MTB 655 and MTB 656 engage a group of two E Boats. MTB 633 and MTB 656 engage the leading boat and MTB 655 engages the second boat at a range of 300 yds. The E Boats are driven towards the shore with the second boat being set on fire, her guns put out of action and runs aground. The other E Boat runs north, on fire, and with only one gun still in action. Shore batteries engage the MTBs and searchlights illuminate them. MTB 633, MTB 655 and MTB 656 break off the action believing the E Boats to have been destroyed.
Returning to Malta at the end of the patrol, two vessels are sighted off Cape Alassio but they are travelling faster than the current maximum speed of the MTBs. More boats are sighted and there is a running fight but the boats are faster and the MTBs break off the action.
0500 Shortly after dawn, more boats are sighted. Both groups pass, on reciprocal courses, 1000 yds apart with shots being exchanged. The MTBs enter the advanced base at Syracuse, Sicily.
MTB 633 has expended 72 rounds of 2 pdr, 280 rounds of oerlikon, 1000 round of .5” and 350 round of .303” ammunition.
Based on Maddalena
14-5/10/43 At 1500, MTB 633 and MTB 636 with MGB 658 depart Maddalena for a patrol in the Piombino Channel. TLtCdr Edward Trenchard Greene-Kelly (Senior Officer 33rd MTB Flotilla) is embarked in MTB 633. MTB 633 develops engine trouble and is ordered back to Maddalena. TLtCdr Edward Trenchard Greene-Kelly transfers to MTB 636.
1/44 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla
MGB 657, MGB 658, MGB 663, (MGB 642) MTB 655, MTB 633, MTB 640, MTB 649
Based at Bastia, Brindisi, Komiza and Ancona
24-25/4/44 Operation Newt - LCGs 14, 19 and 20, MGB 657, MGB 660 and MGB 662, MTB 633, MTB 640 and MTB 655 with USN PT 202, PT 209, PT 211, PT 212, PT 213, PT 216 and PT 218 depart from Bastia. The LCGs depart at 1500, the MGBs and MTBs depart at 1800 and the PTs at 1830. At 2000, the force forms up and sets off at 7kts. Also at 2000, Flak Lighters F-515, F-423 and F-621 with the tug Tebessa depart Livorno for San Stefano with supplies. Also in the area are ‘Armed Flak Lighters’ (Gunboats) F-350, F-589 and F-610 in one group and patrol vessels M7607 and Vp 7013 in another group.
2125 PT 202, PT 212 and PT 213 are detached to the Vada Rocks area.,
2205 PT 202, PT 212 and PT 213 report a southbound convoy.
2207 PT 218 reports a Radar contact off Piombino Point and this is assessed as an escort group about to rendezvous with the convoy.
2300 The force turns north in an unsuccessful attempt to get between the two contacts.
2320 The force turns south and, shortly afterwards the ‘escort group’ turns west making interception inevitable. At 0005, the force opens fire. Starshell illuminates two Flak Lighters.
0008 A tug and three more Flak Lighters are encountered. The tug is hit repeatedly and sinks. One Flak Lighter explodes and a second is set on fire before later blowing up. A third Flak Lighter is sunk. MGB 657, MGB 660 and MGB 662 close the beach and encouter and engage an undamaged and apparently abandoned Flak Lighter which is set on fire and explodes. MGB 657, MGB 660 and MGB 662 recover twelve survivors including Dutchmen from the tug crew. The force is now closing on the ‘escort group’ and fires starshell. The Germans fire a recognition signal and the force waits for two minutes whilst closing before opening fire. Flak Lighters F-350 and F-610 are repeatedly hit by gunfire. On F-610, ammunition starts to explode and the crew abandon ship. F-589 is hit by gunfire putting two guns out of action and starting a fire amonst ammunition that the crew extinguishes. F-589 attemps to escape behind a smokescreen. MTB 633, MTB 640 and MTB 655 are tasked with destroying F-589 and lose contact with the force. F-589 is severely damaged and is beached south of San Vicenzo.
0120 PT 202, PT 212 and PT 213 encounter a third group that opens fire on them before thet are in a firing position. PT 202 fires a five star recognition signal and the Germans cease fire. The boats attack with torpedoes causing a Flak Lighter to explode and sink before gunfire from the other two lighters forces the boats to retire behind a smokescreen. The force then breaks off to return to Bastia.
0400 Bastia reports an enemy force, on the return route, off Capraia.
0440 The scouting force reports being in an attacking position and then makes an unsuccessful torpedo attack on German Torpedo Boats TA 23, TA 26 and TA 29.
17/6/44 MGBs 658 and 663 with MTBs 633 and 655 are on patrol in the Piombino Channel between Elba and the mainland.
0100 Three Radar contacts are reported close inshore MGBs 658 and 663 with MTBs 633 and 655 close to attack and identify the contacts as a destroyer, a torpedo boat and a Flak Lighter standing off a small harbour MGBs 658 and 663 with MTBs 633 and 655 open fire and MTB 655 fires torpedoes. German forces return fire. MGB 658 is damaged by gunfire. Her steering is jammed when the wireless aerials and other rigging are brought down and wrap themseves around the wheel. In MGB 658, three men are killed and five are wounded including the temporary commanding officer and the coxswain.
17-8/6/44 TA 29 and TA 24 are in action with PT 207, MTB 633, MTB 640, MTB 655 and MGB 658 .
56th MTB/MGB Flotilla
11-12/9/44 MGB 657 is mined in Mediterranean around sixty miles north of Ancona. The stern is blown off aft of the petrol space and five men were killed. MGB 657 is towed back to base by MGB 658 and MTB 633 and declared a Constructive Total Loss.
20/9/44 MTB 633 and MTB 655 are directed to Sulet Island where 43 RM Commando are in action and reporting a likely German evacuation during the night. Off Rogac Cove, MTBs 633 and 655 sight three I Boats and engage with gunfire setting all three boats on fire and silencing them. MTBs 633 and 655 make a second attack and an I Boat blows up. All three I Boats are sunk in the action. The 200 man garrison of Solta were being evacuated in the three I Boats and there are heavy casualties.
1/11/44 Operation Exterminate - At 1700, HMS Wheatland, HMS Avondale, MTBs 274, 285 and 295, MGBs 633, 638 and 642 and ML 494 sail. HMS Wheatland and HMS Avondale are to land a South African shore watching party on the north side of Pag. MTBs 274, 285 and 295 are to patrol west of Pag. MGBs 633, 638 and 642 are to parol between Ptemuda and Asinello.
c1950 MTBs 274, 285 and 295 sight two German destroyers, DD 202 and DD 208, on a southerly course. HMS Wheatland and HMS Avondale engage the destroyers settin them on fire. HMS Wheatland and HMS Avondale close in and engage with close range weapons until the destroyers sink. A third enemy destroyer, Audace, appears, is engaged by HMS Wheatland and HMS Avondale and sunk.
2-3/12/44 Operation Antagonise
HMS Brocklesby, HMS Lamerton, HMS Quantock, HMS Wilton, LCH 282, three LCGs, an LCF, MTBs 633 and 649 with two MGBs, three MLs and two HDMLs. HMS Lamerton, HMS Wilton and the three LCGs bombard Lassin. HMS Brocklesby and HMS Quantock close Cigale Cove and expend 600 rounds against buildings and jetties. MTBs 633 and 649 enter Cigale Cove and engage an EMB which runs onto rocks. A second boat is sunk and two further boats destroyed at their berths. MTB 633 is engaged by machine gun and rifle fire putting two engines temporarily out of action.
9-10/4/45 MTBs 633, 634 and 638 with MGB 662 are on patrol off the Arsa Channel. Four Flak Lighters are detected by Radar at 8000 yards and MTBs 633, 634 and 638 with MGB 662 attack from inshore with torpedoes which miss. The Flak Lighters engage with 88mm and 20mm guns. MTBs 633 and 638 are hit and stopped. In MTB 633, the Commanding Officer is severely wounded and the Coxswain is killed. MGB 662 and MTB 634 close and engage with gunfire. MGB 662 is hit by three 88mm rounds. Three men are killed and five men are severely wounded. The Flak Lighters reach the entrance to the channel. MTBs 633, and 634 with MGB 662 close MTB 638 to render assistance. The foredeck is under water but MTB 634 takes MTB in tow, stern first, to Ancona.

Post War Fate
30/1/46 Lost on passage Malta – Alexandria

brac123
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby brac123 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:02 pm

Dear Peter thanks very much for the info on this boat as my father serve on her my dads name was able seaman Patrick Bracken from Liverpool,and some of his ship mates were called Scouse Bowers,Dinger Bell and a man called Hardgreaves,i have some pic`s from Malta i will put them up soon,any many thanks for the info yours gratefully John

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby Peter » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:13 pm

Thanks John for your reply sadly my time on MTB 633 was very brief in that I had little time to blend with the crew , but the memory remains very vivid , It was in the Port of Augusta in Sicily on July 21st 1943 that one of the crew Shipmate A/B Arthur Arnold was killed during an enemy air raid on the port . For many of us this was our first encounter with the pain and tragedy of war and our response at this time of danger was put to the test . On reflection apart fro the deep sadness at the situation it was the calmness and the experienced that would be much needed by as all as the war progressed on through Italy and the then Yugoslavia campaign . MTB 633 returned to Malta for repair and respite for the crew and counselling and support from each other .
Peter

vscott
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:03 am

Re: MTB 633

Postby vscott » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:06 pm

Hello,
Thank you to those who have posted the information about MTB 633. I am the daughter of TLt Henry Eric Butler, Commander of MTB 633, 21/4/43. You might be interested in knowing that a description of the Battle of Kelibia Point described here is also described in the Reader's Digest "Secrets and Stories of the War", 1963, London, pp 302-306. I am interested in connecting with anyone who had a relative on MTB 633 during the time my father was the Commander (I think this may have been up to 7/43 but am not sure). Also interested in any photographs of MTB 633 and to know of her fate after the war.
Victoria (Butler) Scott

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby Peter » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:08 pm

Good Evening Victoria
I read your request about MTB 633 , and I can only follow on from my post on the subject , that I did serve on MTB 633 as a
stand by RDF operator from July 16th 1943 until the boat returned to Malta on 23rd July after operations around the Messina channel off the Italian coast , I am able to relate these dates because I have retained my diary that I kept un be knowing to the authorities for which I am sure would have been jailed , Sadly I am not able to confirm that your Father was the Commanding Officer at that time . My best wishes and regards
Peter Bickmore BEM

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby Admin » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:33 am

Also interested in any photographs of MTB 633 and to know of her fate after the war.
Victoria (Butler) Scott
MTB 633 was lost on passage between Malta-Alexandria on 30 January 1946. One of eleven earmarked for the Royal Egyptian Coast Guard, this boat was being towed to Alexandria by one of four destroyers when severe weather caused the tow to part or be cut. It foundered and was sunk by gunfire from the escort to prevent it forming a navigational hazard.

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MTB 633

Postby Peter » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:03 pm

MGB 647 was with those 11 boats lost in a storm being towed to Alexandria in 1946 . I have great memories of the 12 months I was part of her crew , before leaving her in Malta in June 1945 . These boats were home for some 2 years for many who sailed with them from the UK in 1943 crossing the Bay of Biscay in weather that was not kind to that type of craft . I have happy memories of the boat and crew during my 12 months until we paid off in Malta in June 1945 .
These boats saw many actions in the campaigns of Scilly - Italy -Greece and the then Yugoslavia and I recall with pride the comradeship both our leisure time , and when most needed , in action with the enemy .
So may be the lying of these boats on the bed of the Mediterranean is their just and honourable resting place
Peter


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