MGB 658

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
jonco
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby jonco » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:19 pm

Hello Chine,

Very interesting photos.

My late father was a telegraphist on MTB 670 at about the time your grandfather was on MGB 658. The following is an extract from information I was given in another thread and seems to tie in with one of the actions admin referred to previously. I have posted a few photos in various threads - if you do a general search on the boat numbers they should come up.

12-3/4/45 MTBs 670 and 697 with MGBs 643 and 658 are on patrol off the northern end of the Planinski Channel.
0130 MTBs 670 and 697 with MGBs 643 and 658 are lying stopped.
0215 Radar reports two large contacts at four miles entering the channel. MTBs 670 and 697 with MGBs 643 and 658 start up and close the contacts line abreast making a torpedo attack. Destroyer TA45 is hit by two torpedoes breaks in half and sinks. Eighty men out of a complement of a hundred and fifty are lost. Destroyer TA40 heads for Pola
.

chine
Able Seaman
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby chine » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:35 am

Thanks Jonco

I did come across some of your other pieces of info re: MTB 670. I've done a full search and sort of have an idea of quite a lot of MGB 658's movements and operations, so thanks for the pointer. This might be a silly question, but the date you show here:

12-3/4/45

What does the 12-3 part mean? 3-12 of April 1945, or 12am 3rd April 1945 - or something else?

Thanks!

jonco
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby jonco » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:18 am

Hello Chine,

Oops ! I hadn't noticed that - the text is an extract from the information @Brian Holmes kindly provided in the thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=259&p=852&hilit=Sub ... ating#p852.

I'm sure he will clarify if he spots this.

Regards

Colin

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Peter » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:57 am

Hi Grandson
[attachment=0]Page 6 MGB 647 Log book.jpg
You have certainly generated a very interesting topic re information of MGB 658 . May I suggest the dates refer to April 12th / 13th 1045 . I attaché a page from the log book of MGB 647 on which I was the Radar Operartor at that time , and it shows that we were in that area of operation on Aplil 10th/ 11th with MTB 643 but sadly we sustained a hit and thankfully no casualties
Attachments
Page 6  MGB 647 Log book.jpg

johnk
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:21 am

Re: MGB 658

Postby johnk » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:06 pm

Hello there,

Just caught up with this latest, what fantastic photos, noticed asking if I served, have to state that I did not, closet which it is not, was the SCC and RNXS, my grandfather was a junior midshipman at Darmouth before the war and through to minesweepers at the end, and his brother was unfortunately lost on the Hood, Father an army officer, but then....so great interest especially in coastal forces, and work aboard the charity owning the Paddle Steamer Medway Queen....

Johnk

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Peter » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:54 pm

Losses in the Adriatic.jpg
Hi Grandson
From within my memorabilia files a interesting map of the area within MGB658 operated during the final stages of the Adriatic campaign
Cheers
Peter

chine
Able Seaman
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby chine » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:29 am

Thanks Jonco - reading further I've come to realize 13-4 means 13-14 - so all good!

Peter - That's what its all about! Generating interest and digging stuff up! Thanks for that Log book entry. I'm sure the questions been asked, Is there somewhere where all these log books are stored!?! It would be great to just order a copy of MGB 658's logbooks from the RN! Thanks for the map too! Keep it coming! What a time back then, can only imagine...

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Admin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:13 pm

This is a photograph of some familiar sounding Mediterranean MTB & MGB COs taken at a reunion for the officers and men of the 56th Flotilla held in London in May 1986.
65th-mtb-flotilla-commanders.jpg
From left to right: Burke v56, 658, Holden-Brown 663, 655, Reynolds 658, Ladner 663, Maitland v56, 657 Rendle 657, 633

chine
Able Seaman
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby chine » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:53 pm

Thanks Admin - that's great. Two CO's of the MGB 658!

Anyone know where you can get official war time MGB log books? or is it more hit-and-miss, some survived, some didn't etc?

Thanks

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Admin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:01 pm

As far as I'm aware they don't seem to have been preserved unless they were kept by individual officers, in which case the odd one may be still in the hands of family members somewhere, or donated to some local museum. In the case of MGB 658 for instance, Len Reynolds, who was the last officer of the boat, first published Gunboat 658 way back in 1955, but I don't recall any mention of his having the ship's log, and I don't believe it forms part of the archive of research for his three volumes on Coastal Forces history, which he deposited with the Imperial War Museum. I saw the ones for MTB 85 there once, which do form part of his papers, and which were passed to him by its Commander, H F Cooper, with whom he co-wrote one of the books. There are two of them, which are large A3 type sized books, but they mainly cover the day to day movements of the boat and its location. The action reports for a boat are a separate thing.

Anything still in existence is with the National Archive in the main, which does have logs for some of the later boats retained after the war, up until the official disbandment of Coastal Forces in 1957. Peter's log, which he posted, is a diary he kept himself I understand.

There's also the Naval Historical Branch, but I'm not all together sure what they hold, and what they may have already passed on to the National Archive.

Gail
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:31 am

Re: MGB 658

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:54 am

Thank you to CHine for contacting me 'out of the blue' and directing me to this thread.

My parents now live with me and my father - Stanley Campion - served on MGB 658. Dad is presently recovering from a heart attack he sustained just last week - he will be 90 in a couple of weeks and was the youngest crew member on 658. I'm hoping to perhaps add more snippets of information / photos here as I chat with Dad -he sometimes mentions some day-to-day happenings and places visited but some things are obviously too painful. eg.We have a certificate on the wall for being 'Mentioned in Dispatches' but I don't know why.

Dad was radar operator on 658 and says it was referred to as the 'Cowboy Flotilla' as there were many Canadian crew members. He corresponded with Captain Reynolds in the later years of Reynold's life and speaks fondly of Burke. He trained at HMS Collingwood due to a strong family connection - I understand that his father had served on HMS Collingwood at the Battle of Jutland alongside the present Queen's father. When Dad initially signed up for the RN he was drafted into the Army. Bitterly disappointed he wrote a personal letter to the King - where within 3 weeks he was moved to the Royal Navy!

Whilst I try to gather more info and possible photos - if there is anyone who remembers my father and would like to get in touch - I am sure he would love to hear from you.

Thank you.
Best wishes,
Gail

Pioneer
Moderator
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:48 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Pioneer » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:11 am

Hello Gail
Welcome aboard, we're glad that you found us.
Your father, Stanley Campion, is mentioned in our database Awards (just type in the surname).
It reads - Able Seaman Stanley CAMPION Service No: P/JX 654587 MGB 662 Mention in Dispatches For gallantry, skill and determination whilst serving in Light Coastal Forces in daring and successful attacks on enemy armed shipping in the Adriatic during the months of March and April, 1945: London Gazette: 21st August 1945.
As you can see he was award a Mention in Dispatches whilst serving aboard MGB 662.

Please give our warmest regards to your father.

Gail
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:31 am

Re: MGB 658

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:57 pm

Hello Pioneer,

Thank you so much for this information! I haven't had chance to get to grips with everything on here yet, but I am looking forward to the research.

In the short time since first posting on here this morning- I've had chance to chat with dad and show him some of the photos on here. He found the photo of the reunion in 1986 particularly interesting and evoked the following information......... (such a pity my father knew nothing of it at the time as I don't think he was a member then). These are his words....

' I was on MGB 658 as radar operator (57th Flotilla) but was transferred to MGB 662 (56th Flotilla) - the 'skipper' was Tim Bligh. This was at the time when Field Marshall Tito was leader of the Partisans, but the Germans didn't want to talk to him so negotiated with Tim Bligh.'
Dad went on to say that he was also on MTB 634 for one mission as radar operator (under Sir Walter Blount - who had been 1st Lieutenant on 662). Johnny Peglar was the telegraphist.

Dad reckons he would have been on 658 with your grandfather, CHine, when they were on patrol, having lunch one weekend day, when they got a signal to go North where two Vosper MTBs were lodged on a sandbank. (Off the coast of Yugoslavia). Orders were to retrieve the boats if possible but they ended up having to sink them - the crews were saved though.

Amazingly - this has motivated dad to reveal a photo diary of his time in the RN! It has pages of carefully catalogued photos - examples of which I have tried to attach but not having much luck. He relates snippets which I try to write down (as above) but I hope I may just be able to sit and chat and record our conversations. Hopefully this may help others trying to do research.

Peter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: MGB 658

Postby Peter » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:07 pm

Dear Gail
Whay a great delight to read your post re MGB 658. Firstly I wish your Father well, and reading your post it would seem that we both trod the same path in our war service. I was also a Radar Operator joined HMS Collingwood in late December 1942 when after 10 weeks seamanship training drafted to HMS Valkyrie in the Isle of man for RDF now Radar Course and in May 1943 drafted to Malta with Coastal Forces. I have much written documentation that I would like to share with you that would help your Father recall his war time service.
My best wishes to you all
Peter

Gail
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:31 am

Re: MGB 658

Postby Gail » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:46 pm

Peter- Hello!
Thank you for your response which I have just read to dad. It seems dad joined up a year after yourself- September 1943, but did indeed follow the same route.

' 7 shillings a week of which you had to send one shilling home to your parents. You got an extra threepence ( 3d) if you signed up for either the submarines or coastal forces!' Dad's memories being stirred!

Poor dad is rather emotional, understandably, but I do so hope and look forward to gaining more of an insight into his time in the RN.

I will try to send directly to you a photo of him - amongst the crew of 658- you may be amongst them!

Thank you.
Best wishes,
Gail


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