MTB 377

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
reinaart
Leading Seaman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

MTB 377

Postby reinaart » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:56 pm

I wonder if there are any pics of MTB 377 taken at Bastia or Leghorn. I know that it was present at Leghorn where it accompanied MTB 378 on several missions. I wonder if this IWM pic could possibly show MTB 377 , the Vosper in the background with a twin Oerlikon, a metal band stand and an American radar mast abaft the bridge/pilot house (the vessel in the foreground is a 78' Higgins MTB) :

Image

I have always assumed that MTB 378 was the only Annapolis Vosper to have been upgraded with a twin Oerlikon but it doesn't have an American radar mast in the pics I know. Could it be that MTB 377 was also upgraded at some point ? I have quite a few pics of MTB 375 and MTB 376 also taken at Leghorn but none show a twin Oerlikon nor an American radar mast.

Regards,

Arjan

Stephen
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: MTB 377

Postby Stephen » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:18 pm

Can't tell you what boat it is, but in the background to this picture the second vessel is seemingly equipped with the US radar mast and armed with a twin Oerlikon. Hard to be sure though.

There may be a second twin Oerlikon at the extreme right too.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205160302

reinaart
Leading Seaman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Re: MTB 377

Postby reinaart » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:25 pm

Thanks Stephen, I have pored over the two pics with the posing Navy officers but I can't make heads or tails of them. The pics are a bewildering mix of Higgins and Vosper MTBs (perhaps even an Elco 77 footer among these and I'm not really familiar with the anatomy of Higgins and Elco MTBs) and many distinguishing details are obscured by the people in the foreground.

Regards,

Arjan

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

Re: MTB 377

Postby Admin » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:00 pm

I believe this is part of the same series and identifies one of the Vospers as 401. I recall that the American boats used to pair up with the 'Dog Boats', functioning as their eyes and ears, so it may well be every boat with the American radar here is one of the US boats. The gunboats were the ones attacking the F-Lighters on the German coastal convoys, since being shallow drafted and sailing inshore, torpedoes proved ineffective and wasteful.

Image
LEADER OF MEDITERRANEAN LIGHT COASTAL FORCES SAYS GOODBYE. MAY 1945, ON BOARD HMS LOOKOUT, AT CANNES. COMMANDER R A ALLAN, DSO, OBE, RNVR, OF CARDROSS, DUMBARTONSHIRE, SAID GOODBYE TO OFFICERS OF MTB'S OF THE MEDITERRANEAN FORCES INSHORE SQUADRON OF WHICH HE WAS SENIOR OFFICER AND WHOSE OPERATIONS HE DIRECTED OR LED FOR 3 1/2 YEARS BEFORE HIS RECALL TO THE UNITED KINGDOM.. © IWM (A 29010)IWM Non Commercial Licence

Image
MEN OF THE LIGHT COASTAL FORCES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. MAY 1945, LEGHORN, ITALY.. © IWM (A 29006)IWM Non Commercial Licence

reinaart
Leading Seaman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Re: MTB 377

Postby reinaart » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:20 pm

Thanks, the last pic you posted gives the best clues to identify the various vessels. From the right to the left :
MTB 420 (78' Higgins), MTB 313 (77' Elco), MTB 400 (Jacobs Vosper with Radar mast on the port side), behind MTB 400 probably MTB 401 (also Jacobs Vosper with Radar mast on the port side), MTB 309 (77' Elco). Behind MTB 309 at least two Jacobs Vospers with the Radar mast on the port side. One of these might be MTB 403 (also present at Leghorn). I think the floating jetty the officers posed on is to the left of MTB 309.

Regards,

Arjan

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

Re: MTB 377

Postby Admin » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:04 pm

Len Reynolds in Mediterranean MTBs at War shows one of the dockside photos and gives the officers as belonging to the 7th and 27th flotillas, which would make the boats some of, 375, 376, 377 & 378 (US Vospers); 419, 420, 421, 422 & 423 (US Higgins); 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 402 & 403 (US Vospers); and 307, 309 & 315 (US Elcos). The Elcos were the remnants apparently of the old 10th MTB Flotilla.

reinaart
Leading Seaman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Re: MTB 377

Postby reinaart » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:43 pm

Thanks, on closer inspection the number on the right hand Elco MTB does indeed seem to be 315 and not 313 as I assumed earlier.

By the way, some time ago I tried to find out which German "Flak Lighters" were actually sunk during operations MTB 378 was involved in. These two German Marinefährpräme were confirmed as victims (the first was actually built in the Netherlands for the German Navy and then transported over land to the Mediterranean) :

http://www.historisches-marinearchiv.de ... _value=149
http://www.historisches-marinearchiv.de ... _value=150

I don't know if there is anything in the German records about the operations MTB 377 was involved in.

Regards,

Arjan

reinaart
Leading Seaman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Re: MTB 377

Postby reinaart » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:28 pm

Two pics of American PT boats at Leghorn, the first seems to show the jetty the British officers posed on.

Image
Image

Arjan


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