14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
keithmcg
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14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:57 pm

I'm seeking anything on the 14th Fairmile Flotilla in which my father Robert (Bob) McGregor, JX350787, from Dunblane served. He made the trip from Milford Haven to the Far East on ML 591 which was lost on the Sittang River in Burma in 1945 - https://www.burmastar.org.uk/stories/in ... e-sittang/ gives the story. Subsequent to the sinking he served on ML 855 until December 1945 of which I can find little information. Any news, views or other insights welcome. Best regards, Keith McGregor

Admin
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Admin » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:34 pm

hello Keith

Thank you for your enquiry about the 14th ML Flotilla. The article you link to provides a very good account. I have materials from Ken Joyce, who served on ML 269, which was a member of the 14th Flotilla, which I will email to you using the contact address you have given. I don't think there is any mention made of your father's boats, but Ken's materials may provide an additional insight into the Burma campaign.

Regards
Admin

Stephen
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Stephen » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:43 pm

Hi Keith and welcome to the forum,

Funnily enough I've just returned from Burma. Two books that might be useful are The 13th & 14th Fairmile Flotillas in Burma and From Trombay to Changi - The Story of Arakan Coastal Forces. Both are privately published and contain a large number of scanned documents. Unfortunately neither have an index, so I can't tell you how much coverage there is of the two Fairmiles you're interested in. A slightly more accessible book that might give you some good background to the operations is The Banzai Hunters by Peter Haining, but although there is an index, individual MLs are not listed.

Hope this is of use,
Steve

keithmcg
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:16 pm

Steve,

Many thanks for being in touch. I've come to this party pretty late in the day as I just got hold of the old mans Navy service record a few short weeks ago, so am playing catch-up with my research. I have a copy of The Banzai Hunters winging its way in my direction and I think I've managed to pin down the Arakan book in Australia of all places. The 13th & 14th Flotillas in Burma is sadly evading me completely despite having a couple of local book sellers on the case - any ideas where I might get a copy?

Keith

Stephen
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Stephen » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:39 pm

Hi Kieth,

Gulp, it appears that since I bought my copy, the prices have increased a little. This is the only copy I can find of the 13th & 14th Flotillas - it's definitely more than I paid for it! I'm sure it could be had cheaper than this, but it is the only copy I can find online right now.

Steve

keithmcg
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:05 pm

Hi Steve,

I think my dear wife found this one after your last post and yes, not cheap, but probably worth it in the long run.

Thanks for the help.

Keith

Admin
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:06 pm

Stephen I was trying to email you, but it bounced back. Can you tell me who the copyright holder is on that publication on the 13th & 14th Flotillas? I corresponded with Ken Joyce of ML 269 some years ago and he sent me photocopies of his entries in that booklet, and I'm sure if it belongs to the veterans then they would want it distributed by us, and not sold on Ebay for outlandish prices. I wanted to say I'll remove the E-bay link if you don't mind as it's sold now and I don't want to advertise them or provide them with any encouragement to profit off of the veterans.

Admin
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:07 pm

I think my dear wife found this one after your last post and yes, not cheap, but probably worth it in the long run.

Keith, did you receive the materials from Ken Joyce which I emailed you?

Admin

Stephen
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Stephen » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:28 pm

I've sent you an email!

keithmcg
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:13 pm

Admin, Yes I did indeed receive your email with the Ken Joyce attachments - many thanks. I also replied to you at your 'info@' address at the time and subsequently with another enquiry - have you received them?

It was me that bought the book on ebay for nearly eighty quid (rascals!), but for me it'll be worth it.

Best regards,

Keith

Admin
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:28 pm

No I didn't receive it Keith. Can you give it another go please?

keithmcg
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Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:13 am

Kevin, Here you go from my earlier email to you.


Now read all your attachments from Ken Joyce in detail.

It very much echoes the tale of my Father's trip, including the days leading up to D-Day where he was active as well. It could also be the case they were at St. Christopher about the same time. Dad was there from late December '43 to late January '44, then to Drake and Hornet before being assigned to ML 591 on the 3rd April '44

Best regards,

Keith

keithmcg
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Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: 14th ML Flotilla - ML's 591 and 855

Postby keithmcg » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:47 pm

Just been through the 13th & 14th Flotilla's book from cover to cover -quite a story all round.

I also note the report by Lt. Commander Leslie regarding the loss of 591 and 905 on the Sittang but it's really unclear in parts (bad print copy). Do you know if that report is published in other Naval records that are accessible.?

I also found reference to 855 and I'll get back to you under separate cover on that one as I have a couple of photographs of her and her crew (including Dad) when he'd been reassigned to her. Does this site take PDF files or will I have to get them digitised in JPEG?

Best regards,

Keith


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