RN Liaison Personnel on Allied MTBs

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Mark C. Jones
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:56 am

RN Liaison Personnel on Allied MTBs

Postby Mark C. Jones » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:04 am


I am a naval historian in the United States. I am researching a topic concerning the RN during World War II. I am interested in the liaison teams placed by the RN on Allied warships from Poland, Norway, Netherlands, Free France, Yugoslavia and Greece. Each foreign warship of trawler size or larger that operated as an independent unit received a liaison team of a single junior officer plus 2-12 enlisted communications ratings. The single officer, usually a Sub-Lieutenant or Lieutenant, RNVR, was known as a British Naval Liaison Officer or BNLO.

As best I can tell, individual MTBs, MGBs, MLs etc did not carry a liaison team. Instead, the flotilla had one or more BNLOs and each MTB in the flotilla may have had a single British sailor aboard to assist with communications. This information comes from a book about the 23rd Free French MTB flotilla at Dartmouth as well as from some files at the National Archives at Kew. The Free French seem to have decorated quite a few RN sailors, one from each boat in the flotilla, for their liaison duties.

My question for you is, how might I find out more about how RN liaison personnel worked with coastal forces? Can any of your members point me toward published accounts of Polish, Norwegian, Dutch or Free French coastal craft? These published accounts could include newspaper obituaries of former coastal forces personnel who served aboard foreign boats. Can you recommend any other organizations or museums to contact?


Mark C. Jones
naval historian
Morristown, New Jersey, USA

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