2" Rocket flare launcher

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

2" Rocket flare launcher

Postby reinaart » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:35 pm

I wonder how/when these flares were used. I haven't managed to find much on the internet, I assume they were used to illuminate targets but I would appreciate some further info. Apparently the flare rockets were sometimes stored in a rack on the (port?) side(s) of the wheelhouse :

Image
WITH AN MTB FLOTILLA. 6 OCTOBER 1944, FELIXSTOWE. MTBs OF THE 21ST FLOTILLA UNDER THE COMMAND OF LIEUTENANT GEORGE J MACDONALD, DSO, DSC AND 2 BARS, RNZNVR, OF WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND. THE CRAFT ARE BUILT BY VOSPER.. © IWM (A 25856)IWM Non Commercial Licence

The flare launcher itself :

Image
AT THE LIGHT COASTAL FORCES BASE HMS HORNET, GOSPORT, 15 AUGUST 1944. © IWM (A 25147)IWM Non Commercial Licence

I wonder if a parachute was attached to the head of the flare.I'm not sure if this is the rocket flare in question (no mention of a parachute):

http://www.annehughesdiary.co.uk/Tgt-Rkt.pdf

Thanks in advance.

edit: a clearer shot of the flare rockets rack (probably MTB 349), 18th photo :

http://www.rodericktimms.royalnavy.co.u ... hotos.html

Arjan

GCU Grey Area
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 9:47 am

Re: 2" Rocket flare launcher

Postby GCU Grey Area » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:21 pm

There are drawings of the rocket in John Lambert and Al Ross' Allied Coastal Forces of World War II Volume I. The rockets carried a parachute in their forward section.

Vosper boats either carried the ready rounds on racks on both sides of the wheelhouse (often with canvas covers), or in boxes in the same location (e.g MTB 224), or further forward in vertical boxes (e.g MTB 204). MTB 358 had boxes along the deck inboard of the 21-inch tubes, and the Type II Vospers had armoured boxes against the deckhouse.

British Power Boat Company 71ft 6in MGBs/MTBs carried them in similar sorts of racks or boxes, usually against the wheelhouse, with the launcher mounted on the starboard side of the power-operated 6pdr. Some BPBCo boats carried two launchers side-by-side.

Fairmile Ds were often fitted with several vertical racks forward of the deckhouse, or similar boxes to the Vosper and BPBCo boats, with either one or two launchers on their forward 6pdrs. A few Fairmile Bs carried launchers, with ready racks on the sides of the wheelhouse.

You'll probably find them on other boats - knowing the size of the rocket, look for similarly sized boxes near the launcher.

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

Re: 2" Rocket flare launcher

Postby reinaart » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:31 pm

Thanks a lot for your extensive reply.

Kind regards,

Arjan

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

Re: 2" Rocket flare launcher

Postby reinaart » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:31 pm

Once you know what to look for, these rocket storage boxes are indeed easy to recognise. A rescue launch with 2" rocket flares at Den Helder in 1945 :

Image

Source: Dutch Photo Museum

Arjan


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