Thank you for this.Admin wrote:Hello Christopher
Thank you for your enquiry to our forum. As you are no doubt aware Europa was the main base for the Royal Navy Patrol Service (RNPS), whose makeup and role was somewhat different to that of Coastal Forces, as the minesweeping trawlers were working hard to keep the East Coast channel clear for north south convoys, as well as for the movement of the Royal Navy's capital ships from their bases in places like Rosyth to manoeuvre safely south. There is an account of the work involved at the start of Gunboat Command, the biography of Robert Hichens, who went on from working on minesweeping initially to become a famous commander of Coastal Forces MGBs, and Coastal Convoys 1939-1945: The Indestructible Highway provides a very good account of this important, but somewhat overlooked aspect of the War.
Although the work of the RNPS intersected at times with that of Coastal Forces in MLs, MGBs and MTBs, and they shared some of the East Coast bases, they were two different entities, so unfortunately I don't have any information I can give you, but other readers may be able to contribute something. Similarly, Combined Operations at times embodied elements of Coastal Forces, usually in providing close inshore covering fire, or delivery of commandos, but being as your subject was with Landing Craft, again we don't hold much detailed information on that. Landing craft were certainly used during the campaign to oust the Japanese from Burma, and Coastal Forces were there too, and so the broader books on those subjects may contain the odd reference. I ran a quick search for him in the London Gazette to see if I could turn up any award for him, but didn't manage to find anything.
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