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MTB 295

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:21 pm
by cassje
This was my father’s boat. Hugh Somerville Cassidy RANVR DSM. Any information of war time activities greatly appreciated, photos or operations.

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:00 pm
by reinaart
There is quite a bit of info on MTB 295's operational history on this Italian site. I'm afraid you will have to use the Google translation service. I'm sure someone on this board can provide the original English source.

http://www.aidmen.it/topic/133-quattro- ... i-disegni/

Regards,

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:08 pm
by Pioneer
As Arjan suggested, here is a Google translation of part of that site...
"From Ancona, the 20th and in particular the MTB 295 participates on 9 August 1944 in Operation Gradient, a successful raid of 85 commandos embarked on 5 motor boats in northern Dalmatia with Osor targets on Cres, Nesrine on Mali Lošinj and the swing bridge between the two islands. On 10 August, the 295 and another MTB carry 4 officers from the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) on the island of Ist and to Mulat, where the wrecks of two sunken motor-sailers could provide a repaired and disguised point for refueling operations. boats alongside them, to establish appropriate agreements with local partisans.
On the night between 17 and 18 August, the Lancaster head of the family led three MTBs including Cassidy's 295 for the first patrol mission in the Gulf of Venice. Off the coast of Poreč, the 295 and the 371 launch 4 torpedoes, of which 3 go to sign sinking the steamer in German hand NUMIDIA, 5.339 ts / 1913 (ex Austro-Hungarian of Tripcovich), which was equipped with a braked balloon.
After a failed attack against two MFPs on August 21 (the jets were bad targets for torpedoes), the flotilla attacks on August 24/25 and sinks the German deep-sea fishing boat ADDIS ABEBA, former French chalutier SACIP II, between Venice and Trieste ex JEAN HAMONET, 614 tsl / 1921, departed from Venice for Trieste, with a torpedo of the two launched by the 373 of Lt. Cruise...."
Plenty more interesting material on that site - not sure what a "braked balloon" is ??

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:36 pm
by reinaart
I take it that a barrage balloon is meant. The Google translation into English is not too bad though, the one from Italian into Dutch is much worse.

Regards,

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 9:24 am
by reinaart
I think MTB 295 is a strong candidate for the well-known pic of the "Mystery Vosper". At any rate, I'm convinced the Vosper in this photo was a US built one. The stacks of the cowling vents are in the forward position on their housings ,whereas British built Vospers had the stacks at the rear of the housings. Also there are fairleads on the foredeck which are usually absent on British built Vospers. The depression rail of the Oerlikon is identical to the ones on other lend lease Vospers such as MTB 375- MTB 378 and MTB 401- MTB 411.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=390

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:07 am
by reinaart
I think I've found two more pics of No.9 Commando during operation Gradient. According to this site the pics show an ML, I'm convinced, however, it's a Vosper and probably the "Mystery" one.

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdo ... _.jpg.html

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 am
by reinaart
In the mean time I have learned that the other two MTB's taking part in operation Gradient were MTB 297 (Woods) and MTB 371 (Syrett). The three pics may show the same boat but the one with the bicycles probably shows a second boat. Later Annapolis built Vospers (MTB 375-376) didn't have any portholes in the hull but I don't know if MTB 371 still had portholes as there simply don't seem to be any photos of 371-374. There is a drawing of MTB 363 (also built by Annapolis Yacht Yard) which shows this vessel still had the portholes.

According to the Navsource site MTB 297 and MTB 371 had a 20mm gun whereas MTB 295 didn't, so 297 and 371 are probably the most likely contenders for the "Mystery Vosper". Also, the Flottila commander was apparently onboard MTB 297 which may make this boat a more likely subject for some pics (by a war photographer ?).

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:09 am
by reinaart
Some exciting material that Rod has sent me to post on this board. It's all related to Rod's father Lt. Hugh Cassidy and his boat MTB 295. Much obliged Rod !

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Excerpt from his diary :

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Apparently Rod's father was quite an artist !

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Some pics of MTB 295 :

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Judging from these pics one may conclude MTB 295 had the same camo scheme as the "Mystery" Vosper and it also had a 20 mm Oerlikon on her foredeck. There are some differences though, the camo pattern on the front of the bridge doesn't match, the Oerlikon may lack a shield (difficult to judge) and the bridge doesn't have an additional clear wind screen. The wind screen may have been added later but judging from these photos I tend to think the Mystery Vosper was MTB 297. My guess is that the photo with the bicycles probably shows MTB 295. Once more the pic of the Mystery Vosper :

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:47 am
by reinaart
Some more historical gems from Lt. Hugh Cassidy :

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In this photo he is preparing a fishing line in the port of Augusta :

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The photo also shows some interesting details of the bridge such as the steering column.

MTB 287 and the boat in the background had been upgraded with 20 mm Breda guns on the foredeck :

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This pic shows MTB 378 with her original armament (no Oerlikons fitted yet) :

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Excerpts from his diary :

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:23 am
by reinaart
Some more pics Rod sent me. One I forgot to post last time, it shows MTB 295 :

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Photo showing the crew of MTB 295 with signatures. Perhaps someone can provide a full list of the names :

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Lt. Amiers RANVR :

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MTB 46 with John Phillips, Southey NZ, Woodhouse NZ :

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Bari harbour raid 17 ships sunk 6 MTBS badly damaged, photo taken the next morning :

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Ancona commando raid :

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Komiza (Vis) and mount Holm :

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MTB 226 Hvar :

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I will post some more pics later today.

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:07 am
by reinaart
MTB 295, 290 and 287 escort surrendered Italian Navy vessels to Malta :

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MTB 289 under way :

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MTB 371, 374 and 295 :

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Partisans and MTB crew :

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MTB 295 under tow after raid Valona :

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Hideout under sunken schooner Vis :

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MTB 295 and 298 :

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MTB 295 under tarp :

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:08 pm
by Peter
Very interesting post re MTB 295, there are some pictures that remind me of my time on board MTB 243 also with the Partisans and the escorting the Italian Fleet on surrender into Malta. The Bari raid also brought many memories, the exploits of MTB 295 are detailed in "MTB's At War" by Len Reynolds and Bert Cooper both whom I knew within the Coastal Forces Veterans Association. Finally may I query the picture shown of the crew of MTB 295, when usually for a Vosper type boat it was 2 Officers, Cox'n, 3 Engine Room,Torpedoman,Gunner, WT,
2 Seaman, and Radar

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:08 am
by Admin
Finally may I query the picture shown of the crew of MTB 295, when usually for a Vosper type boat it was 2 Officers, Cox'n, 3 Engine Room,Torpedoman,Gunner, WT, 2 Seaman, and Radar

I think you may be right about that Peter. That particular photo strikes me as more like one taken of an ‘entry class’ either during, or after completing, basic training.

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:28 am
by reinaart
Good morning gentlemen, you are quite right. Rod told me this morning the pic actually shows his dad's group in training, probably at Portsmouth 1942. I can imagine these pics do stir some memories Peter. Some more pics :

Crew member Malta :

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Preparations for Albania raid MTB 290 and 295. The gun in the pic is a captured Italian 20mm Breda :

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Commanding Officer MTB 371 :

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Ancona, Jeep assigned for MTB use :

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CO Senior Officer Flotilla, no name :

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Crew MTB 295 Malta :

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Crew 20th FLT W PARTRIDGE COXN ANGUS SLT PAULSEN LT AKINS HICKFORD MCLRN HOLDEN SIGGERY GARDNER – TAKEN AT SLIP MALTA 1943: (Once more there is a Breda gun in this pic)

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Crew:

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FORT WILLIAM CFB MTB OFFICERS J PHILLIPS BEN GOODMAN P ASG=HTON A WOODHOUSE ARKINSON H CASSIDY :

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Hugh Cassidy and Fred Franzel RNVR :

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On leave in Rome 1945 NIRVENETTA CLUB LT SHIELS MCBRIDE FRENZEL HUGH CASSIDY WRIGHT :

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LT BILL RICHARDS CO MTB 297 :

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LT STEVE MOORE RCNVR :

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Leave Algiers, drinks :

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Dock :

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Engineer, no name :

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Malta with MTB 295 on slipway see arrow :

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To be continued.

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:46 pm
by reinaart
Leave Rome March 1945 :

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Mess deck MTB :

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MTB 48 :

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MTB 60 :

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MTB 84 LT DUKE DUNOLAY :

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MTBS 295 298 289 :

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MTB 295 INSPECTING SHIP AFTER REPAIRS MALTA (MTB 374 in the background):

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SLTS BEAUMONT CASSIDY :

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MTB 315 :

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MTB:

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Refitting:

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Unknown vessel :

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Tito's senior officers and right hand men, probably taken to Manfredonia on MTB 295 :

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LT Hugh Somerville Cassidy DSM RANVR

CO MTB 295 after having received his DS :

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Once more, many thanks for sharing these remarkable photos Rod !

Regards,

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:15 pm
by reinaart
By the way, judging from the various pics of MTB 295 I'm pretty sure she also had a captured Italian 20mm Breda gun rather than an Oerlikon.

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:44 am
by reinaart
Rod has confirmed my assumption about the Breda gun. He pointed me to an interesting diary entry made by his father :

"June 17th. A hell of a time trying to commission the MTBs. These MTBs are new from America, they are not so bad - usual American quick type of work- unfinished- still we have now made them into something with a sting."

Some pics showing the Breda gun.

Komiza harbour entry :

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Some others:

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Loading torpedo Malta :

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:15 pm
by Admin
Dear Arjan

Thank you for all your efforts in posting all the wonderful photos and documents. There's a lot of material and personnel names there to work on over time. I wonder if the wooden schooner moored next the shore at right in the photo of MTB 226 at Hvar is one of those used by the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) and the Levant Schooner Flotilla? They were another of the small scale raiding forces at work in the Mediterranean alongside the Commandoes and the Partisans who were transported at various times by Coastal Forces units. MTB 315 is one of the Royal Navy's Elco MTBs which formed the 10th MTB Flotilla. I have a memoir written by the Motor Mechanic of one of those. I'll email you later if I may about the photos.

Thanks
Admin

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:42 pm
by reinaart
Thanks for your kind words. Of course I'm always willing to help if I can, so feel free to send me an email. I doubt if I can help with the Hvar schooner though .

Regards,

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:43 am
by reinaart
This morning Rod sent me some interesting documents relating to the various operations MTB 295 was involved in. I take it that the abbreviation "Bone" refers to Bonifacio on Corsica.

June-Nov 1943:

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Jan-Aug 1944

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Operation Valona Bay September 1943 :

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Apparently depth charges were used to sink the stricken ship, this is new to me. I knew that on American PT boats depth charges were used to dissuade pursuit by fast enemy vessels :

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Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:27 pm
by reinaart
On second thought, "Bone" probably refers to Bône, the old French name for the town in Algeria which is now called Annaba (to the east of Algiers).

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:27 am
by reinaart
The bridge plaque of MTB 295 has survived :

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I wonder what the text says.

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:40 pm
by Admin
It would need a better scan, but the first word could be postumus (last or final) or possum (able) which with the Latin conjunction could give you something like "Able and Willing" or some such. Willing could be any of a number of latin terms ending in 's' – which the sign appears to read – such as patiens.

Admin

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:21 pm
by reinaart
Hi Kevin, I think the third word starts with "vo". Perhaps the words read : possumus et voluntas. I don't know anything about Latin so I could be wrong. This would indeed translate into something like "willing and able".

Regards,

Arjan

Re: MTB 295

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:11 am
by reinaart
This morning Rod sent me a pic of the builder's plaque, this is an extremely rare artifact (I'm pretty sure it's the only surviving one of its type) :

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MTB 295 can be found in this list (February 1943):

http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/ship ... /jacob.htm

Two pics of MTB 299 showing what MTB 295 would have looked like on completion :

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Arjan