Malta Coastal Forces

Discussions relating to the day-to-day running of Light Coastal Forces; shore establishments and mobile bases; command structure; strategy and tactics; training and logistics etc
faulkner
Seaman
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:28 pm

Malta Coastal Forces

Postby faulkner » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:20 pm

hi everyone,first time at this so please bear with me.
i was just wondering if anyone has any information about the coastal forces base on malta during the second world war, the reason for this that my father served aboard the mtb's and i have quite a lot of photos but i am not sure which of them are on malta apart from the obvious ones of the grand harbour and there are quite a few with what i think are american type mtb's(elco's?) if anyone can help or steer me in the right direction for more information i would be very grateful.
Many Thanks

Pioneer
Moderator
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:48 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Pioneer » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:25 pm

Hello faulkner Welcome aboard.
I am sure that you will get some of your queries answered here. Just for starters - during the early phase of WW2, MTBs were berthed at St Angelo. A base had been authorised for construction in early 1939 - this was to become HMS Gregale - but the first MTBs to arrive (from HMS Mosquito, Alexandria) were moored at the submarine base on Manoel Is, transferring later to Tax Biex.

HMS Gregale was commissioned on 5th March 1943 and Paid Off on 31 August 1946. You can of course place your unknown photo's on here - I'm sure that they will be recognised - if you need any help - just 'holler' :tu:

Pioneer
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:48 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Pioneer » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:46 pm

This is rather a cloudy image of the trots at HMS Gregale in 1945. I am not sure of the originator of this photo and am unable to give due credit, What can be said is that all these were Licence built Vosper craft.
As an example, MTB 410 (with some washing hanging out to dry :roll:) seen here almost 'brand new' and in RN servioce, was built by Robert Jacobs of Bay City USA. Completed in November 1944 and returned to the USN in 1945 to eventually be handed over to the 'new' Italian Navy as GIS 883. (She changed her identity twice more to become MS 833 then MS 433).
HMS Gregale (b).jpg
HMS Gregale (b).jpg (70.71 KiB) Viewed 6910 times
In the far distance can be seen an unidentified 'D'

faulkner
Seaman
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:28 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby faulkner » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:54 pm

Many Thanks for the photo, i will try to submit my photo's for everyone to see (Tecnology Permitting)

Jim Woodhams
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Jim Woodhams » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:16 pm

Hello,
I'm new to this forum and only just found your entry from last December, so not sure it is still active. My father, Ken Woodhams, served on MTB 309 in and out of Malta between July 1943 and July 1945. I too have quite a few photos of his that I have inherited. By a strange twist of fate, my father also worked as an Admiralty school teacher in Malta during the 1960s, where I spent most of my school days. I therefore have a good knowledge of the island and could help identify your photos. Would be happy to share the photos I have too. Hope that might help in your quest, and I'd be interested if you have any photos of MTB 309. Thanks.

Jim Woodhams
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Jim Woodhams » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 pm

Here's another similar photo taken roughly in the same place as the one in this thread, at Ta'xbiex wharf. My father's boat, 309, is on the far right.
Attachments
mtb-309-malta.jpg
27th Flotilla, Ta'xbiex, Malta, 1945?

Macfadyen1954
Seaman
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Macfadyen1954 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:39 pm

My late uncle Henry (Harry) MacFadyen served as a Petty Officer Motor Mechanic in Malta through the siege. although he was very reluctant to talk about until just before his death in 2004 it is clear that like everybody else on island he went through a very rough time on near starvation rations for the duration of the siege. An even rougher time was to follow when the the costal forces depot ship HMS Vienna and its MTBs were straddled by bombs in the Italian port of Bari om 2/12/1943 resultant Mustard Gas disaster.

The USA built boats were powered by Alison V12 engines rather than Rolls-Royce Merlin/Meteor, it was my uncles experience that the Alison engine was more suited to marine use because it suffered much less from salt water corrosion than the Merlin. He recalled that because of the siege and the shortage of spare parts the boats were get running using any available material, "National Dried Milk" tins were particularly useful for patching up the boats cooling system even the engine's cylinder water jackets.

Julie
Seaman
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby Julie » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:24 am

I think that you will find that the Elco 77's and 80's were powered by American Packard engines (not Allison)

reinaart
Leading Seaman
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Re: Malta Coastal Forces

Postby reinaart » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:04 am

I happened across a thread on a Packard engine found in a scrapyard in Malta:

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.ph ... MTB-engine

Image

This pic seems to show the same Jacob's Lend-lease Vospers as in the pic posted earlier in the thread by Pioneer:

Image

I wonder if anyone has more pics of these boats?

Arjan


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