MTB 5009 crew photos

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
Kieron
Seaman
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:39 pm

MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Kieron » Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:59 pm

My late father George Heard (CFVA member 1212) was a stoker on MTB 723 and MTB 5009. While researching for an account of his wartime service, I came across these photographs. In the whole crew photo, Dad is in the second row from the rear, behind the CO (Samuel Stewart, I believe). In the other photo, Dad is on the left, with two of his shipmates. I would be very interested to hear if anyone can provide names for those two, or indeed for any of the other crew members. I know of at least two former CFVA members (Donald Campbell and Jim Donaldson) who served on 5009 at the same time as my father. Perhaps someone here can recognise them in these photographs?

Regards, Kieron
MTB_5009_crew.jpg
MTB_5009_George_Heard.jpg

Admin
Site Admin
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Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Admin » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:37 pm

Hello Kieron

Welcome to the forum. I corresponded with you earlier and forgot to get back to you about the photos I held which I am posting here. These were passed to me by the family of Wilfred 'Wolf' Watkins RNVR, who was Navigating Officer on 5009 based in Lowestoft (HMS Mantis).

The shot of the MTB 5009 shows wearing camouflage colours which some of the very late Dog Boats had, in line with a possible requirement to work close inshore in support of raiding parties?

The photograph of officers was taken at a cricket match at HMS Hornet, Portsmouth, in 1945. The officers are left to right:

5009
Sam Stewart
Wilfred Watkins
Ken LeVoi

5007
Donald Milner (who became the BBC correspondent in India)
Jimmy Whiffer?
Ronald Hedgecox

mtb-5009-gosport-watkins.jpg
mtb-5009-officers-wartkins.jpg

Kieron
Seaman
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Kieron » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:01 pm

Thanks Admin, much appreciated.

Interesting to see MTB 5009 in camouflage, as the photo that I have shows a plain grey paint job. I have a photo of MTB 723, also in camouflage, and the pattern is very similar. I assume it was done to a set design. My father told me that it was for boats operating in northern (Norwegian?) waters, which probably ties in with your comment about inshore work.

I think the crew photo that I uploaded was probably taken on the occasion of that cricket match you mentioned. Here is another photo, that includes the officers and some of the crew from MTB 5007.

Regards, Kieron

MTB _5009_and_MTB_5007.jpg

Mr.Spigot
Seaman
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2022 10:37 am

Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Mr.Spigot » Sat Nov 05, 2022 10:44 am

I was fascinated to read this and also to recognise my late Father-in-law, Allan Robinson, who served on 723 and 5009. In the first photo he is sitting at the front to the left of the lifebelt with his arms folded and in the second one of the 5009 crew he is in the second row, 2nd from the left. He would have been 19 when these photos were taken.
We have just discovered his diary covering his wartime experiences and some of the actions that 723 and 5009 were involved in. He does not mention any other crew names apart from Stewart, the skipper. Sadly, he died in 1994.

Admin
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Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Admin » Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:22 pm

Hello Mr Spigot

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for the identification of your late father-in-law in the crew photos above. I have a couple of photos of MTB 723 which I will email you, if you don't mind my corresponding with you, as I would also like to learn more about the wartime diary you mentioned.

Regards
Admin

Kieron
Seaman
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Kieron » Sun Dec 11, 2022 10:51 am

Hi Mr Spigot,

Thank you for your contribution to this topic. My Dad and your late father-in-law must have been well known to each other, having served in the same two boats. You will be aware that actions involving MTB 723 are documented in the book Dog Boats at War, by Leonard Reynolds. However, I have not come across any accounts of actions in which MTB 5009 took part, and had assumed that things had quietened down by that relatively late stage of the war in the North Sea. Therefore, I would also be very interested to learn more about your late father-in-law's wartime experiences, as described in his diary.

Best wishes, Kieron

Peel
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2024 3:50 pm

Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Peel » Thu Mar 28, 2024 5:23 pm

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I searched across the internet for MTB 5009. It was the first time I have done this, as I have only recently asked my father what reference his MTB had!

Yes, I asked him, as he is still very much alive. In fact he is 97 on Easter Sunday. I haven't told him yet that I have found this forum and wanted to post these words and save a couple of the crew pictures, so that I can show him when he visits us on Monday.

His name is Robert (Bob) Peel and he was 17 and a bit when he was called-up and had his eighteenth birthday in March 1945. In the joint crew photo, he is just behind the B of MTB on the lifebuoy, so that's fourth from right on that second row of nine. In the other photo of MTB 5009 only, he is again fourth from right on the second row from the front, just behind the lieutenant.

He says that the skipper's name was Watson.

Dad is very much 'with-it' and only stopped driving a few months ago. He lives a few miles away from us and so I see him often. His naval career continued after the war ended, for the statutory duration and he moved onto HMS Vanguard and was an Able Seaman, visiting South Africa with the Royal Family on board, in 1947.

He hasn't discussed the war or that period of his life much; for no particular reason as far as I know. The sad thing was that he was needed at home on VE day because his father had just died (illness not in action). He had to travel home on VE day when everyone else was also travelling, making it very difficult to get from port up to Scarborough. He was sad and most of them were happy!

He told me the other day that he took more shore leave than his pass allowed, so that he could be at home with his mother and siblings and sort things out. He was granted 3 days but took 2 more. When he returned to MTB 5009 the skipper was very accommodating.


That's about it!
Thanks for the forum - Dad will get to see it on Monday.

Tim

David Carter
Sub Lieutenant
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Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby David Carter » Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:22 pm

Tim = Thanks for posting that. Please wish your father well on his birthday from us in CFVA

David Carter

Kieron
Seaman
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: MTB 5009 crew photos

Postby Kieron » Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:16 pm

Hello Tim,

Belated thanks for your post - I am afraid that I saw it only today. It was nice to hear about another of my father's shipmates, and I hope that your Dad was pleased when you showed him the forum.

Best wishes, Kieron


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