ML Identification ??

Motor Launches (ML), Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) & Rescue Motor Launches (RML)
Colin Smith
Seaman
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:21 pm

A callout for help please,
Is there anyone out there with any knowledge of ML craft...the reason for asking is I am trying to identify a craft my Grandad served on circa "43 - I can post some pics if anyone is able to assist in identification....I have several pics with her bearing what appears to be Q544, 544 and RML544. These were all kept together so assume she is the same craft. I have looked in the boat database here and it lists as a Fairline craft, but I can find absolutely no further info on this craft wherever I search. Almost as if it didn't exist !

I have inherited my grandad's radio controlled scale model and this craft was always spoken about with such fond memories.

I have posted here as he was a member of the CFVA, he was also on HMS Adamant - which if the model was based on this would be much easier to find info on.

Any help greatly appreciated.

RogerP
Chief Petty Officer
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:32 pm
Location: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby RogerP » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:37 pm

Hello Colin,

John Lambert's (and Al Ross) book 'Allied Coastal Forces of WW2, vol 1' states that ML 544 was built in Looe, completed Oct 42 but no mention of being an RML. I'm certain more knowledgeable people (Brian Holmes for one) will provide more accurate info.

Photo's would be a great help of course and good to see anyway, so please post whatever you have.

Roger Pearson.
Bendigo, Australia.

Brian Holmes
Commander
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Brian Holmes » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:41 pm

probably no more than in John Lamberts book

ML_544 Frank Curtis Ltd, Looe, Cornwall 10/42
Wartime Activities


Post War Fate
12/45 For disposal
Sold Yacht = Xrona

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Brian Holmes » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:46 pm

RML.jpg
It is in the right number sequence for an RML which looked like this

Colin Smith
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:48 pm

Gents,

Thank you both so much for your help, this has greatly helped in my research into some of the history and actually identified the model type.

Roger, many thanks for the book info, I have ordered a copy (£60.00 lighter) in the hope it may provide some technical info I am hoping to gain on 544.
5.jpg
RML.544
I am hoping this book will be able to confirm some of the info such as armament etc, but out of interest do either of you know, or anyone else for that matter know why it could or would bear 2 numbers.

Looking at my Grandad's service record he served aboard RML.544 between Sept "43 and Nov "44 where she is listed as "Racer RML.544" and then again between Dec "44 and July "45 again as RML.544 but now listed as a Beehive ? Does this make any sense, maybe the book may enlighten me so sorry if this is a silly question. Does this bear any relation to the Q/RML prefix.
3.jpg
Q544
4.jpg
Q544
Out of interest I do recall him saying she was sent for disposal although for the life of me can't recall why, whether damaged or not. He then went on to serve on the Victory, Golden Hind, the HMS Adamant on her tour with the T - class submarine flotilla to Hong Kong and Australia and finally back on the Victory before being released from service in "47.

I have lots more information on these other ships - especially the Adamant, however 544 was one he treasured and hence the model build. Attached a few pics below for you.
DSC_0768.JPG
544 at South Parks, Reading
DSC_0768.JPG (70.16 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
DSC_0780.JPG
544 - Note the CFVA badge on the front, he was a proud member. Still have badges, keyrings, mugs etc.
DSC_0780.JPG (65.31 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
I believe built to scale he spent years on this project, and I have to say I am proud to take her out and at nearly 5 ft long she always generates a lot of interest !!

One other small small question also is a passer by mentioned to me that the flags she is flying are incorrect, not sure whether you can confirm or not, this may just be the correct one were unavailable at the time but I would like to correct if possible.

Many, many thanks again for your help and hopefuly you may be able to enlighten me on these small points and further my education.

Warm Regards

Colin

Pioneer
Moderator
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Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Pioneer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:54 pm

The 'Flag Superior' letter Q, placed before the number (in this case 544) was added to several British 'B' type ML's during the build up to Operation Neptune (D-Day June 1944).
Canadian built Fairmile 'Bs' had 'Q' painted almost all from their build dates.

RML's, some converted, others built as such, could be identified by the box like structure aft of the Funnel which was part of the sick berth facilities for rescue duties.

The reference to "being a Beehive", may be a misinterpretation of "being AT Beehive" - HMS Beehive - a very active Coastal Forces Base at Felixstowe.

Regards

Brian Holmes
Commander
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Brian Holmes » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:19 pm

HMS Racer was the RN base at Larne in Northern Ireland.

On service certificates, Coastal Forces boats are often listed with the name of their associated base ship which would handle records, pay etc

So you have two periods where you can see where she was based.

Number flags were different during World War II from the current version but can be looked up on the internet. We had a set made for Medusa of Q1387

Colin Smith
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:46 pm

Gents,

Again thank you all for your input, that clears up the Beehive/Racer link...I will do some research into the flags, hopefully the book may help. If anyone does have any reference they can point me in the direction of that would be great.

Pioneer you mention RML identified by the box like structure, which would be correct in my case, can I guess at "R" being for rescue which would tie in with the stories I remember being told.

Thank you all again for the input.

I appreciate the time.

Colin

Pioneer
Moderator
Posts: 308
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Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Pioneer » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:50 pm

Yes Colin
RML = Rescue Motor Launch.

Likewise, several Fairmile "D" MTB/MGBs were converted and handed over to the RAF' Marine Division and operated as Long Range Rescue Craft - example shown here is LRRC 008 (but seen without the usual prefix LRRC).
Previously an RN "D" - ex MTB 5016
Attachments
LRRC 008.jpg
LRRC 008

Colin Smith
Seaman
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:05 pm

Thanks Pioneer for your answer and help - now just to resolve the flags and technical info!!

Colin Smith
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:28 pm

Can anybody confirm what this is ?

I was assuming rotating radar but now not so sure.
4.jpg
4.jpg (27.66 KiB) Viewed 7539 times

cdsc123
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby cdsc123 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:58 pm

that's the Radio Direction Finder loop.

Xrona stood for Ex Royal Navy.

I set up a temporary album here showing her voyage down to Gibraltar as a yacht, and her subsequent use locally as a refrigerated cargo vessel.

http://rides.webshots.com/album/581999870sUhUhM

Colin Smith
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:10 am

Wow, thank you...amazing find, how/where did you find this and what book/magazine is this from.

Thanks

Colin

cdsc123
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby cdsc123 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:43 pm

Hi Colin

The article is from The Motor Boat and Yachting magazine, February 1954.

The low quality pictures are due to me not wanting to spread this old book flat on a scanner. PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you the full size photos the same as on the website, and if those are not up to scratch I'll have another go at scanning when I get the chance.

From Lloyds register of yachts, her owner in 1955 was John P Moore, her home port was officially Dartmouth. By the time she was bought by Gibraltar Refrigerated Cargo Ltd she had Paxman Ricardos replacing the GMs. Her skipper in the early 60's was my dad's mate Johnny Stagnetto who sadly passed away recently. My dad owned her sistership ex RML550 as yacht Mamselle De France.

regards, Christian.

Colin Smith
Seaman
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: ML Identification ??

Postby Colin Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:06 pm

Thank You so much for this info, have PM'd you Christian.

Colin


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