Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
EXILEDO
Seaman
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:28 pm

Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Postby EXILEDO » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:59 pm

I am trying to find any information about my father-in-laws Royal Navy service in World War Two. Unfortunately he died many years ago and did not speak much about his service. My nephew found his "Certificate of Service" recently and asked me if I would find out what I could.

His certificate shows him joining the Navy 27th July 1942. He was 17yrs at this time. He became a telegraphist and served on MGB 318 from May 1944 until January 1945. His final posting was at RNAS Yeovilton in 1946. On occasions he mentioned two things which the family remembered, these being the fact that the O.I.C. on his MGB was a South African and that he was attached to a French MTB/MGB for a period. Would such an attachment be possible/probable?

Also if anyone could shed some light on a line, the only one in fact, listed under Wounds etc. This reads "13-9-46 Payment of P.W.C(?) & W.G. authorised"

I would also be interested in any information on MGB 318. I have bought Osprey publishing book on British M.G.B's and at least we can see what his boat looked like, that is if the Pennant number listing is correct.

Thanking anyone who takes time to read this and for any help.

cdsc123
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Re: Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Postby cdsc123 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:15 pm

This is a picture of MGB 318;
Attachments
MGB318.jpg

Admin
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Re: Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Postby Admin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:21 am

MGB 318 was one of twenty-four Fairmile C-Class Motor Gun Boats, numbers 312–335, which were involved in a number of famous operations, including clandestine work as part of the 15th MGB Flotilla operating out of Dartmouth to the coast of Brittany. The MTB 718 web site provides some useful information and identifies Lieut. J. (Jan) McQuoid-Mason of the South African Naval Volunteer Force as CO of MGB 318. The same web site has a video for download showing MGB 318 casting off to go on patrol with members of the crew including Lt. McQuoid-Mason on the bridge. There is also an interesting book available on the subject entitled Secret Flotillas Vol 1: Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany 1940-44.

As a telegraphist your father-in-law could certainly have worked alongside a Free French crew, as each of their boats carried a Royal Navy telegraphist to ensure clear lines of communication.

This photograph from the IWM Collection shows one of her sister boats MGB 335.

Image
MGB 335. © IWM (FL 16330)IWM Non Commercial Licence

EXILEDO
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:28 pm

Re: Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Postby EXILEDO » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:36 pm

Thanks both for your great contributions. I was amazed just how much information there is on the web. The MTB 718 was amazing. At least now we can build up a picture of where and in what conditions Reg served.

Thanks again.

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: Ordinary Telegraphist Alfred Reginald GILL (MGB 318)

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:52 pm

MGB_318 Aldous Successors Ltd, The Shipyard, Brightlingsea 6/7/41

For distinguished services (Gazette Date - 30/3/43)
DSM CMtrMch Thomas Barker P/MX98419
DSM PO Thomas Boyle C/JX139471

For thirteen operations off the enemy coast in the Plymouth area in 1942 and 1943 (Gazette Date - 18/1/44)
DSC TLt Charles Edward Capel Martin RNVR

For special operations at sea. (Gazette Date - 15/8/44)
DSC TLt John Thuenis McQuoid-Mason
DSC TLt David Leslie Birkin RNVR
DSM* PO Horace Edwin Mould P/JX204934
DSM AB Roger Bartley C/JX260016
DSM AB Harold Pickles D/JX272386

For special operations at sea. (Gazette Date - 27/3/45)
DSC Lt Lloyd Forester Bott RANVR


Known Crew
ACdr Edward Albert George Davis RNR Lt Cdr 26/11/42 15th MGB Flotilla - attached as operational commander as required MGB 318 For special operations at sea DSO*
TLt John Thuenis McQuoid-Mason SANF(V) TSLt 28/8/41 HMS Minos II (Lowestoft) 27/10/41 15th MGB Flotilla 5/42 For special operations at sea DSC First Lieutenant MGB 501 15/12/41 – 27/7/42 TLt 28/8/42 HMS Dartmouth II (Dartmouth) (additional; for coastal craft) (Commanding Officer MASB 36 in the second quarter of 1943) Based at HMS Cicala Commanding Officer MGB 318 7/43 - 11/44 HMS Afrikander (Simonstown) Commanding Officer MGB 2003 and Senior Officer, 71st MTB Flotilla 6/45 HMS Afrikander (Simonstown) Born in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa 28/10/15 and died in Port Shepstone, Natal 17/3/79 Chartered Secretary, General Manager of various Building Societies, Town Clerk of Umtentweni, MPC for Natal South Coast
TLt David Leslie Birkin RNVR TLt 14/1/43 Navigator MGB 318 For special operations at sea. MID
TLt Lloyd Forester Bott RANVR Ord Joined RANVR 19/11/41 HMAS Cerberus (Flinders Naval Depot, Williamstown, Victoria) (passage to UK in "Largs Bay") 8/12/41 HMS Collingwood 12/2/42 HMS Victory 13/4/42 HMS St Christopher 12/6/42 HMS Attack 1/9/42 HMS King Alfred 1/1/43 ProbTSLt 15/1/43 HMS St Christopher (additional; for motor boat course 22/2/43 HMS Midge First Lieutenant MGB 504 6/5/43 – 5/12/43 MTB 727 6/12/43 – 9/1/44 MTB 719 10/1/44 TLt 15/1/44 First Lieutenant MGB 502 1/2/44 – 31/10/44 MGB 318 1/11/44 HMS Drake for passage to Australia [HMAS Cerberus III] 1/12/44 HMAS Lonsdale (Melbourne) 31/1/45 DSC 1945 Born 8/4/17 in Northcote
TLt Harold Thomas Kemsley RNVR TLt 6/10/40 12th MGB Flotilla Commanding Officer MGB 318 7/41 - 3/42 HMS Defiance HMS Forte IV (Falmouth) for MLs 2/3/42 Commanding Officer ML 181 & SO 10th ML Flotilla 2/3/42 For Minelaying from April to November 1943 DSC For Operation Hostile – minelaying off the northwest coast of France DSC* 1944 Coila
TLt Charles Edward Capel Martin RNVR First Lieutenant MASB 59 29/10/40 33rd MGB Flotilla Based at HMS Hornet and HMS Bee (Felixstowe) First Lieutenant MGB 59 TLt 19/4/41 HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) for minelayers 16/2/42 15th MGB Flotilla Commanding Officer MGB 318 3/42 - 7/43 For thirteen operations off the enemy coast in the Plymouth area in 1942 and 1943 DSC Commanding Officer HMS Grey Wolf Permission to wear a US award for services in the Bay of Seine in June 1944 LLegMer Commanding Officer MGB 503. Born in Abergavenny, 21/04/13 and died in Chelsea, London 19/2/98
TLt Andrew Smith RNVR TSLt 9/4/42 15th MGB Flotilla First Lieutenant MGB 503 1/43 TLt 1/8/44 15th MGB Flotilla Commanding Officer MGB 318 1/12/44 - 7/45 For special operations at sea DSC
TLt Kenneth Murray Uhr-Henry RANVR TLt 26/9/42 15th MGB Flotilla - attached as landing officer as required. For special operations at sea DSC MGB 318 HMS Braganza (Bombay)
TLt Gordon Hamilton Bell RNVR TMid HMS Forte IV (Falmouth) for MLs 13/4/42 TSLt 2/12/42 HMS Dartmouth First Lieutenant MASB 36 4/1/43 HMS Cicala (Dartmouth) 15th MGB Flotilla First Lieutenant MGB 318 10/4/44 15th MGB Flotilla MGB 502 30/10/44 MGB 2002 and died when that vessel sank 12/5/45
LtCdr Raymond Guest United States Navy (Observer for Operation Felicitate)
TSLt Michael John Pollard RNVR TASLt 12th MTB Flotilla Based at Portsmouth and Dartmouth MTB 328 2/12/41 HMS Hornet for small craft 19/1/42 TSLt 8/3/42 11th MTB Flotilla Based on Dover, Portland and Portsmouth First Lieutenant MTB 49 08/06/42 First Lieutenant MTB 105 1/1/43 15th MGB Flotilla First Lieutenant MGB 318 26/1/43 TLt 4/3/44 HMS Bulolo (Landing Ship Headquarters) 25/10/44
TSLt T P V Lawler RNVR TSLt 29/4/43 First Lieutenant MGB 331 10/6/43 First Lieutenant MGB 318 5/10/44 TLt 29/4/45
TSLt D H Bell RNVR 15th MGB Flotilla First Lieutenant MGB 318 10/4/44
CMtrMch Thomas Barker P/MX98419 15th MGB Flotilla MGB 318 For distinguished services (Gazette Date - 30/3/43) DSM
PO Thomas Boyle C/JX139471 15th MGB Flotilla (Coxswain) MGB 318 For distinguished services (Gazette Date - 30/3/43) DSM 51st MTB Flotilla MTB 614 For an action off Dieppe 28/3/44 1944 SGB 8 For a series of actions in the Channel over a period of two years DSM*
PO Horace Edwin Mould P/JX204934 MASB 24 New Year Honours List 1943 DSM PO MGB 318 For special operations at sea DSM*
AB Roger Bartley C/JX260016 15th MGB Flotilla MGB 318 For special operations at sea. (Gazette Date - 15/8/44) DSM MGB 2002 Killed in action Saturday 12 May 1945
AB Harold Pickles D/JX272386 15th MGB Flotilla MGB 318 For special operations at sea DSM
Ord Gordon Baker (Killed by accidental discharge of a firearm after one of the attempts at Operation Carpenter)

From the obituary of Charles Edward Capel Martin published in the Daily Telegraph 28/03/98.
Born at Abergavenny, 21/04/13 into a steel family and educated at Eton where he broke the rules by keeping a motorcycle. On one occasion, having fallen off, he had a friend testify that his two black eyes were the result of a boxing match. After Eton, he served an apprenticeship with the Austin Motor Company and practiced motor racing on Southport Sands.
At the age of 20 he raced an MG Magna, a present from an aunt at Brooklands. Over the next few years he entered 20 races at Brooklands on each occasion he provided his own car and employed his own mechanic.
1934 He bought a Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix car as well as a Bugatti Type 51 and a Bugatti Type 55.
1935 With co driver Charles Brackenbury, he came third overall in an aston martin as well as winning as coming first in class and winning the Biennial Cup.
1935 With co driver Freddie Dixon, he won the 500 mile race at Brooklands. He also held the lap record at Donnington.
1937 He won at Avus, Germany in an ERA.
He took up sailing and acquired a 39 ton ketch which was laid up at Shoreham on the outbreak of war.
4/40 He joined the RNVR and served at Dunkirk before serving in the corvette HMS Gardenia on Atlantic convoy duties.
9/40 He joined Coastal Forces and was appointed to MGB 59 as first lieutenant based at HMS Hornet and then HMS Bee.
1/43 He was appointed to MGB 318 in command and joined 15th MGB Flotilla, operating from Dartmouth, ferrying agents and stores between England and the north and west coasts of France.
7/43 He was appointed to SGB 8 Grey Wolf in command serving through Operation Neptune before ending the war commanding a large yacht at HMS Western Isles.

War Activities
1/42 12th MGB Flotilla
At Great Yarmouth
MGB 313, MGB 315, MGB 318, MGB 320, MGB 321, MGB 323, MGB 326 and MGB 327
15th MGB Flotilla
Employed on clandestine operations supporting resistance activities in France and Holland replacing MGB 314.
On the first operation off Holland the vessel ran aground on a falling tide. By daylight land was clearly visible close enough to be able to see road traffic. Vessel eventually freed with a combination of kedging and main engines enabling her to limp back to Gt Yarmouth with twisted drive shafts.
6/42 After repair was transferred to Dartmouth.
21/7/42 Rescued survivors from MGB 501 when she blew up near the Longships lighthouse near Lands End.
26/8/42 Operation Neptune.
MGB 318 and MGB 323 approach French tunneymen in the Western Approaches to warn them of increased air attacks in U Boat hunting areas. Two tunneymen are contacted and persuaded to sail to England.
9/10/42 Operation Carpenter.
MGB 318,escorted by MGB 323, makes a first attempt to land and bury arms near Ile de Batz but fails due to bad weather. Escorted by MGB 323. Off Start Point, MGB 318 ships a sea up to the wheelhouse which leaves both anchors broken loose on the deck and speed is reduced to effect repairs.
9/10/42 Operation Carpenter.
Second attempt to land and bury arms near Ile de Batz failed due to bad weather at the pinpoint. Since there appears to be no chance of the weather improving, the operation is cancelled.
10/42 Operation Carpenter.
Third attempt to land and bury arms near Ile de Batz is abandoned when routing imposed by naval operations in the Plymouth area result in an extra 23 miles on the operation which would delay the arrival at the pinpoint beyond the critical deadline.
14-5/10/42 Operation Carpenter.
Fourth attempt to land and bury arms near Ile de Batz is abandoned when the pinpoint could not be positively identified and heavy surf made boatwork impractical. Approaching the English coast failures of main and auxilliary steering reduces MGB 318 to tiller steering until repairs are made. MGB 318 is escorted by MGB 323
11/42 Two further attempts at Operation Carpenter. The first failed due to bad weather but the second was successful 10/11/42.
4/1/43 Operation Carpenter II.
MGB 318 in a first attempt to land and bury stores 7 miles southwest of Ile de Batz. Despite bad weather and navigational problems at the pinpoint, boats are launched but proceed to the wrong bay and then return without landing. The operation is then abandoned
6/1/43 Operation Carpenter II.
MGB 318 in a second attempt to land and bury stores 7 miles southwest of Ile de Batz. The operation is abandoned due to weather and technical problems. The masthead light is flashing due to a short circuit and fracture of the exhaust pipe on the centre engine causes the engine room to be evacuated apart from occasional visits.
24/1/43 Operation Tenderly.
MGB 318 lays two FH830 acoustic beacons in connection with forthcoming Operation Carpenter II despite heavy weather.
24-25/1/43 Operation Tentative.
MGB 318 lays two FH830 acoustic beacons in connection with Operation Carpenter. One near the Triagoz Plateau and the other off Ile Losquet. The first buoy is laid in 28 fathoms at a position Triagoz lighthouse 044 degs 1.7 miles and confirmed working by ASDIC. The second buoy is laid in 22 fathoms at triagoz 352 degs 4.6 miles and is confirmed as operational.
On the return trip, five or six enemy trawlers are sighted and they challenge MGB 318 which turns away laying a smoke screen. The trawlers then open fire at around 2000 yds. The trawlers become confused and engage each other and MGB 318 is able to evade them and set course for Plymouth with the weather deteriorating to Force 9.
MGB 318 arrives the following afternoon after more than 20 hrs at sea of which the coxswain spent 15 hrs on watch. All port guardrails bent and both rubbing strakes sprung.
9/3/43 Operation Tentative.
MGB 318 is laying of two FH830 acoustic beacons in connection with Operation Carpenter II Task is 50% completed .
10/3/43 Operation Draper.
MGB 318 attempts to interview the sole islander on Ile Stagadon and establish a dump. The islander can not be contacted although an arms dump is established among rocks.
Transferred to Falmouth
28-29/3/43 Operation Cook. .
MGB 318 attempts to land and bury stores (15 cases each weighing 80 lbs) at Ile Guennoc but fails due to fog on the French coast where he vessel is unable to find the buoy at the entrance to the approach channel..
28/3-1/4/43 Further attempt at Operation Carpenter II cancelled.
3/4/43 Operation Cook
MGB 318 makes a second attempt to.land stores. The echo sounder becomes defective shortly after passing the Manacles buoy near the Lizard and could not be fully repaired. MGB 318 lands and caches stores (12 out of 15 cases) amongst rocks, since a site with sufficient sand for burial could not be found, at Ile Guennoc.
27/9/43 Operation Happen.
MGB 318 in an attempted beach reconnaisance near Clogounouan failed due to bad weather. MGB 318 came close to capsizing on the return journey.
3-4/11/43 Operation Envious
MGB 318 in an attempt to land ammunition and embark 15 evaders from Ile Rossevor. Less than one hour after leaving Falmouth the centre engine exhibits fuel starvation and has to be fed by hand pump for the remainder of the trip.
By 2200 the vessel is in heavy mist and positions are being taken from Outfit QH which fails at 2335 followed shortly by the echo sounder. MGB 318 land ammunition but fails to evacuate the 15 evaders due to be picked up who had been placed, by the resistance on Ile Guenioc. They are left stranded without food or water for 48 hours before being relieved by the resistance who leave them there for another 24 hours in an attempt to set up another pick-up which did not happen. After 4 days on the island, the airmen are recovered by the resistance. MGB 318 plants an acoustic beacon shortly after leaving the shore and then sights two flak trawlers at around 2000 yds crossing and heading east. Engines are stopped until the trawlers pass as the appearance of a hostile vessel in that position would have been suspicious.
26/11/43 Operation Envious IIa.
MGB 318 in an attempt to land an agent and another attempt to pick up the 15 airmen. The island is found to be deserted although the agent is landed at Ile Rossevor. A very light illuminates the area shortly after the boats returned and MGB 318 quickly withdrew.
1-2/12/43 Operation Envious IIb.
MGB 318 and MGB 329 make another attempt to pick up airmen (personnel to be picked up having risen to twenty). Ile Guenioc is found to be deserted yet again but personnel to be picked up are found on Ile Tranioc and lifted off by three surf boats. Both MGBs were, by now dragging anchors in a gale and were on the point of abandoning the operation. MGB 318 spots one surf boat and rescues the crew and seven airmen. The remaining two surf boats are wrecked and personnel are recovered by the resistance.
0930 The vessels are only 30 miles from the Breton coast in full daylight, making only 8-9 kts and getting low on fuel.
1032 The centre engine is shut down to conserve fuel as headway had been reduced to 6 kts.
1725 Vessels secure in Falmouth after 25 hours at sea.
23-4/12/43 Operation Felicitate.
Further attempt by MGB 318 by which tine the number of personnel to be recovered has risen to 32 and there is a large amount of mail. Despite a good weather forecast the situation deteriorated and the anchor line parts. A second anchor is dropped and the line attached to that parted. A surf boat has been launched with another in tow but could not make headway and the order is given to sink the boat in tow and return which they do under severe difficulty. The mission is then abandoned. ABs Bartley and Pickles are left stranded when they fail to find the MGB
25-6/12/43 Operation Felicitate
MGB 318 sailed at short notice after Christmas Lunch towing a 25 ft surfboat. Christmas decorations are strung up in the chartroom and the crew is rapidly sobering up. The number of people to be picked up necessitates two trips to the beach but thirty two people are recovered.
0600 on Boxing Day, all three engines packed up south of the Lizard but two engines are repaired allowing the vessel to proceed to Falmouth.
29/1/44 Operation Flannelfoot
MGB 318 in an attempt to land three agents at Ile D’Er
23/3/44 Operation Flannelfoot II
MGB 318 in an attempt to land 3 agents at Ile D’Er
25/3/44 Operation Flannelfoot III
MGB 318 in an attempt to land 3 agents at Ile D’Er
17/6/44 Operation Glover V. Successfully embarked mail from Ile Grande
16/7/44 Operation Glover VI. Attempt to land stores and embark mail from Ile Grande abandoned due to absence of reception party.
23/7/44 Operation Glover VII. Successfully landed stores and embark mail from Ile Grande
29/7/44 Operation Glover VIII. Successfully landed an agent at Ile Grande
5/8/44 Operation Glover IX - Successfully recovered the agent landed on Operation Glover VIII from Ile Grande
12/8/44 Operation Robespierre III. Attempt to recover evaders from SW of Ile De Batz abandoned due to absence of reception party
25/8/44 Operation Robespierre IV. Successfully recoved agents from SW of Ile De Batz. Post liberation daylight landing.
1-6/9/44 Operation Korda I. With MTB 718, photographic reconnaisance mission in the Aber Wrach area abandoned due to bad weather.
12-17/9/44 Operation Korda II. With MTB 718, successfull photographic reconnaisance mission in the Aber Wrach area.

Post War Fate
10/45 For disposal


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