HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
Popeye
Seaman
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:22 pm

HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Popeye » Tue May 01, 2012 10:35 pm

Could anyone please provide information on the above boats. My Dad served on both in the following periods:

SGB Grey Wolf - 4th January to 23rd September 1944.
He spoke of the flotilla commander, Peter Scott, being onboard until shortly before D-Day. Where can I find details of specific incidents in the period?' I know that the boat was at Omaha Beach but not much more than that. How was she occupied from D-Day until September 44? Was the flotilla successful in minesweeping after that date? He was transferred to ML246 at this point. Were all the crews disbanded or did they stay on and take part in their new minesweeping role?

ML 246 - 14th ML flotilla - 24th September 1944 to 26th October 1945.
The flotilla sailed to the Far East and took part in Operation Dracula in early May 1945. Information recently provided on this site on MLs 245 and 246 mentions operations on the Arakan coast after arriving in the region and prior to Dracula. Can anyone provide any information on what the flotilla did in the Arakan area?
I have a letter from Dad to his father dated 21st June 1945, while on ML 246, in which he wrote:-
"We have been digging in and helping the Army out at Prome. They are pretty busy right now and you should have seen their faces when they first saw the Navy so far inland."
Prome is on the River Irrawaddy about 160 miles north of Rangoon. The 14th Army reached Rangoon from the north within days of the Dracula landings in early May so I am puzzled as to what was going on there in June, as the main thrust of the Army had turned east following the Japanese across the Sittang River. Maybe they were mopping up remnants of the Japanese army.
Dad spoke of the Berkshire Regiment, part of the 2nd British Division, and said that on leaving Portsmouth for the last time in 1946 he had to go to Reading barracks for more paperwork before he could go home. Some time after returning to civilian life he returned to Reading with some other former sailors when they paraded through the town at the rear of the Berkshire Regiment on its official return home. This has always puzzled me. Can anyone cast more light opn this, please?
Any help with the above would be very much appreciated.
Having read articles on this and other sources I realise how very fortunate my generation has been to have been spared what these people had to do.
Last edited by Admin on Thu May 03, 2012 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited post title slightly to read better

Admin
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Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Admin » Thu May 03, 2012 1:16 am

Hello Popeye

This section entitled Burma Operations (1942-1945) from the Official History of the Royal Indian Navy by Lieutenant D.J.E. Collins, and available to read online gives quite a good account of the naval campaign on the Arakan Coast, if you haven't already come across it.

I seem to recall seeing a photo of ship's crew of one of the Greys recently but I can't recall which one. I'll try and dig it out. Grey Wolf was constructed as SGB 8.

Admin
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Admin » Thu May 03, 2012 7:00 pm

SGB-8.jpg
SGB 308, later Grey Wolf, believed to be taken during her sea trials, which would most likely make this the Firth of Clyde, given her construction yard of Denny Brothers at Dumbarton.

Brian Holmes
Commander
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:26 pm
Location: Portsmouth

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu May 03, 2012 8:44 pm

ML_246 Sheerness Dockyard 21/7/41
Known Crew
Lt N Hunt (Commanding Officer)
TSLt William John Baker RNVR
TSLt John Campbell Barry RNVR (3/6/44 - ) Served in HMS Howe as an ordinary seaman before being commissioned in 1944 and joining Coastal Forces Served in ML 222. First Lieutenant ML 246 1/5/44. 10th ML Flotilla and voyage to Bombay 10/44.
Ord Thomas Harris Davies D/JX302998 Died cause unknown 5/3/43 Age 36 Husband of Mary Catherine Davies, of Flint. Buried in Flint (St. Mary) Churchyard Extension Sec. D. Line 10. Grave 5

Wartime Activities
7/41 Free French = St Ives
1/7/41 20th ML Flotilla assembling at Portland
ML 123, ML 192, ML 245, ML 246, ML 247, ML 262, ML 267 and ML 268
2nd Division 20th ML Flotilla (Based on Portsmouth)
Convoy escort in English Channel
4/42 20th ML Flotilla (Based on Weymouth)
Convoy escort, patrols and Air Sea Rescue
8/42 Returned to Royal Navy Crew transferred to 23rd MTB Flotilla (Free French)
19/8/42 Operation Jubilee - Raid on Dieppe
SGB 5 (Grey Owl) ,SGB 9
MGB 50, MGB 51, MGB 312, MGB 315, MGB 316, MGB 317,MGB 320, MGB 321, MGB 323, MGB 326
ML 120, ML 123, ML 189, ML 190, ML 193,ML 194, ML 230, ML 246, ML 292, ML 309, ML 343, ML 344, ML 346, RML 513
6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
20th ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth
Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy
ML 123, ML 146, ML 147, ML 151, ML 198, ML 205, ML 246, ML 247, ML 269, ML 297, ML 902 and ML 903
Navigation Leaders at Juno Beach
14th ML Flotilla
Arakan

Post War Fate
11/45 Burma RNVR
1/46 For disposal

Brian Holmes
Commander
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu May 03, 2012 8:46 pm

SGB_8 HMS Grey Wolf Denny (Dunbarton) 17/4/42
For an action off Cap Barfleur on 18th June 1942
MID Lt Ian Raymond Griffiths

For an attack on R Boats off Boulogne on 9th July 1942
DSC Lt Ian Raymond Griffiths
MID Ord Eric William Sawyer P/JX315602

For an action in the Channel on 25th July 1942
DSC Lt Richard George Lovell Pennell

For Operation Jubilee – the raid on Dieppe on 19th August 1942
MID Lt Ian Raymond Griffiths

New Year Honours List 1943
MID TLt William Osmond John Bate RNVR

For fortitude when mortally wounded during an action in enemy waters in the Channel on 26th July 1943
MID(Post) AB George Gray P/SSX17209

For a series of actions in the Channel over a period of two years
MID TLt Raymond Langridge RNVR
DSM ERA2 Frederick Moreland Merwood P/MX47326
DSM* PO Thomas Boyle C/JX139471

Permission to wear a US award for services in the Bay of Seine in June 1944
LLegMer TLt Charles Edward Capel Martin RNVR

Known Crew
Lt Ian Raymond Griffiths RN Commanding Officer 7/42
TLt William Osmond John Bate RNVR First Lieutenant SGB 8 7/42 Served in 29th (Canadian) MTB Flotilla Born in Brentford district, Middlesex 1913
TLt Raymond Langridge RNVR 8/2/43
TLt Charles Edward Capel Martin RNVR First Lieutenant MGB 59 29/10/40 - 3/42 TLt 19/4/41 Commanding Officer MGB 318 3/42 - 7/43 Commanding Officer HMS Grey Wolf Commanding Officer MGB 503 DSC 1944 and LM 1945. Born in Abergavenny, 21/04/13 and died in Chelsea, London 19/2/98
Lt Richard George Lovell Pennell
TSLt D Day RNVR joined as TMid 16/11/42
ERA2 Frederick Moreland Merwood P/MX47326
PO Thomas Boyle C/JX139471 MGB 318 DSM 1943 MTB 614 MID 1944 SGB 8 DSM 1944
AB George Gray P/SSX17209
Ord Eric William Sawyer P/JX315602

Wartime Activities
18-9/6/42 HMS Albrighton, SGB 4, SGB 6, SGB 7 and SGB 8 attempt to intercept two German merchant vessels accompanied by E Boats that have departed Le Havre off CapBarfleur at approx. 0100.
0100 Shortly afterwards SGB 6 has an engine failure, loses contact and returned to Portsmouth
0230 HMS Albrighton makes Radar contact at about 2.5 miles. A warning signal was seen followed by a merchant vessel at 1000 yards. HMS Albrighton opened fire and fired a torpedo that missed before breaking off to allow the SGBs to attack and to illuminate with starshell. The second merchant vessel is sighted. One vessel is severely damaged by gunfire and the other is torpedoed. SGB 7 was sunk in the action.
0415 HMS Albrighton has stayed behind searching for SGB 7 but breaks off as it is growing light.
9/7/42 SGB 4 and SGB 8 are in an attack on R Boats off Boulogne
25/7/42 SGB 3and SGB 8 are in an action in the Channel
19/8/42 Operation Jubilee – the raid on Dieppe
18-9/5/44 9th S Boat Flotilla sorties from Cherbourg to Le Havre. A brief skirmish with the gun-boats SGB Grey Owl and SGB Grey Wolf
1944 Converted to fast minesweeper
.
Post War Fate
3/2/48 Sold

Popeye
Seaman
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Popeye » Fri May 18, 2012 6:02 pm

Many thanks to Bryan Holmes for the prompt, detailed reply.

The list of the known crew of HMS Grey Wolf includes PO Thomas Boyle DSM MID who I met following my father's death in 1975. He kindly spent an hour or so with me describing the day to day life and the friendships, and tensions onboard. Like my father, he spoke of Peter Scott being on the boat in 1944 which none of the sources I have seen seem to mention. I imagine Scott spent some time on each boat in the flotilla.

Would you please record my father on the list of known crews for HMS Grey Wolf and ML 246. He was Able Seaman John Ferriter JX324410.

Thanks also to Admin and especially for providing the photograph of Grey Wolf.

Stephen Ferriter

Pioneer
Moderator
Posts: 308
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Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Pioneer » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:09 am

A very interesting thread on the development of the unique propulsion unit employed in the Steam Gun Boat can be read on the World Naval Ships Forums.

Buddy
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:51 am

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Buddy » Sun May 11, 2014 2:31 pm

I have some photos of a badly damaged SGB4 Grey Fox in I am certain Newhaven harbour.
Peter Scott was the flotilla senior officer as I remember. Lt-Cdr Ron Ashby was due to take command the day after the damage was sustained. Ron Ashby was previously the O.C. of MTB 07 in Hong Kong, my father was the Stoker PO on 07. The 2nd MTB Flotilla escaped from Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 with the legendary one legged Chinese Admiral Chan Chak. The story can be read on my site http://www.hongkongescape.org.
Following his spell on Grey Fox Ron Ashby went on to command the coastal forces during the Arakan campaign with I believe some sixty four ML's under his command. I keep in touch with his son Vaughn and he has all his father's papers etc regarding these times. I can always forward any enquiries on if needed.

Buddy Hide Jr

Popeye
Seaman
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby Popeye » Fri May 23, 2014 10:41 pm

Hello Buddy,

I have been unable to learn the movements of ML 246 in Burma in the period after Operation Dracula and the end of the war. I believe that the ML went to Prome in June 1945 and I have some of the details of the surrender of the Japanese forces at Mergui in September 1945 in which the crew took part but nothing else. I understand that the MLs in the Irrawaddy Delta usually operated independently.

It would be of great help if you could forward my enquiry to Lt Cdr Ashby's son.

Many thanks,

Stephen Ferriter

CAM
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:49 am

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby CAM » Fri May 15, 2015 4:15 pm

Is there a report on the battle SGB-8 and -7 in the Seine Gulf 19/06/1942 ?

CAM
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:49 am

Re: HM SGB Grey Wolf & ML 246

Postby CAM » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:01 pm

As distinguished himself in battle with the German minesweepers near Le Treport 04/09/43 SGB-8?


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