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Help Needed !

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:11 pm
by nickbrom
I am trying to fill in details of my late father Gordon Bromage's Naval Service .

He joined as a boy sailor at HMS Ganges in 1938 and invalided out in March 39 after falling from the infamous mast.

He rejoined in June 1942 and eventually served in the 56th Flotilla mainly in 663.

I have a photo of him which shows him as a 1st class stoker (his record shows he was made up to this rank march 1943.

On his Tally Band it shows what looks like the intials "H M T R " can anyone tell me what that stood for ?

Thanks in Advance
Nick

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:52 pm
by Admin
Hello Nick

Welcome to the forum and thank you for the portrait of your father. I am fairly certain the cap ribbon reads HMTB, it’s just that the bottom part of the letter ‘B’ is slightly occluded by the angle of the shot and what looks like a shallow ridge at the bottom of the cap, which the ribbon sits in.

Admin

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:21 pm
by nickbrom
Makes total sense now you have said it !

Can I ask if the Combined Ops badge on his sleeve could have been when he was operating out of Felixstowe or later in the Med?

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:13 pm
by Admin
Do you have your father's service record details at all? 663 was actually an MGB forming part of the 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla in the Mediterranean, under the command of a Canadian, Lt T E Ladner, who was part of a famous trio of Canadians along with Lt Cdr J D Maitland as Senior Officer of the flotilla, and Lt C Burke who were collectively known as the Three Musketeers. MGB 663 wasn't completed until March 1943, and was lost to a mine in the Adriatic in October 1944. There were raiding forces operating in the Mediterranean and either carried by Coastal Forces units, or escorted by them as part of joint attacks, and another correspondent forwarded a set of photographs recently including one of a Combined Operations badge which I will send you a link for.

The East Coast units working out of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth carried clandestine elements across the North Sea at times, but the main activity in Home Waters was centred around units based in the Helford River in Cornwall for operations to France, so any clarification on any other boats served on, or bases would be helpful.

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:07 pm
by Peter
Hi Nick
On reading your request for information of MTB 663 sadly she hit a mine returning from an operation around Venice on October 9th 1944 with a loss of 3 Crew members and 8 wounded .I attaché details as recorded in the book Dog Boats at War written by Len Reynolds whom I knew within the Coastal Forces Veterans Association sadly now disbanded. The Combined Operations badge was for operations where Boats were used for ferrying Commando's carrying out raids on enemy Coast

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:19 pm
by nickbrom
Do you have your father's service record details at all? 663 was actually an MGB forming part of the 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla in the Mediterranean, under the command of a Canadian, Lt T E Ladner, who was part of a famous trio of Canadians along with Lt Cdr J D Maitland as Senior Officer of the flotilla, and Lt C Burke who were collectively known as the Three Musketeers. MGB 663 wasn't completed until March 1943, and was lost to a mine in the Adriatic in October 1944. There were raiding forces operating in the Mediterranean and either carried by Coastal Forces units, or escorted by them as part of joint attacks, and another correspondent forwarded a set of photographs recently including one of a Combined Operations badge which I will send you a link for.

The East Coast units working out of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth carried clandestine elements across the North Sea at times, but the main activity in Home Waters was centred around units based in the Helford River in Cornwall for operations to France, so any clarification on any other boats served on, or bases would be helpful.
I have his Service record with his bases and dates, but that is all. He spoke often about the 3 Muskateers and was able to visit his Skipper T Ladner in Vancouver shortly before his Skipper passed away.
.

He told us he was sunk on 2 occasions one of which was 663 and possibly 657?

Thank you keeping this website up and running to commemorate their sacrifice

Re: Help Needed !

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:56 pm
by nickbrom
Have found this picture of him. Says Anzio 1945.

I know he drove trucks a lot collecting supplies. I have some pictures of him with a truck so guess that's why the "uniform"?