HMML 361

Motor Launches (ML), Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) & Rescue Motor Launches (RML)
DAVE BURTON
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:17 pm

HMML 361

Postby DAVE BURTON » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:47 pm

I am researching the service history of ML 361, my father served on her under the command of Lt.R.M.Young R.C.N.V.R.I would like to hear from any surviving ships company or their families.I have a fair amount of info and photos but there is still more I would like to add.

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

Re: HMML 361

Postby Brian Holmes » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:04 pm

ML_361 Anglo-American Nile Tourist Company, Cairo 1/43

For Operation Emolument - operations in the eastern Mediterranean and for resisting a heavy air attack 8/43
DSC TLt Robert MacKenzie Young RCNVR
MID AB Charles John William Barnaby C/JX141849
CGM AB Michael Stanley Cooney C/JX236141
MID AB William Higginbottom C/SSX21788
MID AB Henry Smith P/JX329980
DSM AB Ernest Brady Turner P/SSX35541
DSM Ord Anthony John Douglas Darbyshire C/JX372570

Wind up of the war in Europe (Gazette Date - 11/12/45)
DSM ChMtrMch John Russell Halliday P/MX89372

Known Crew
TLt Robert MacKenzie Young RCNVR HMS Stag (RN base, Port Said) (for motor launches) 6/5/42 HDML 1046 Commanding Officer ML 361 17/11/42 HMS Gregale (Coastal Forces base, Malta) 8/7/44 HMCS Collingwood (corvette) 26/2/45 HMCS Chicoutimi (corvette) 15/4/45 transferred to the RCN 1946 HMS Ajax (cruiser) 10/46 LtCdr 28/1/48 Naval Service HQ, Ottawa 1949-50 Manning Commander, RCN Depot, Esquimalt 13/2/50 HMCS Ontario 30/8/51 HMCS Star (Hamilton Naval Division) (for Naval Divisions) 13/4/53 Commaanding Officer, HMCS Ungava (minesweeper 5/5/55 – 14/4/57 HMCS Scotian (Halifax Naval Division
ChMtrMch John Russell Halliday P/MX89372
AB Charles John William Barnaby C/JX141849
AB Michael Stanley Cooney C/JX236141
AB William Higginbottom C/SSX21788
AB Henry Smith P/JX329980
AB Ernest Brady Turner P/SSX35541
Ord Anthony John Douglas Darbyshire C/JX372570

Wartime Activities
6/6/43 Operation Chaff
ML 361 in a clandestine operation to Crete. ML 361 lands and recovers personnel.
8/43 Operation Emolument
ML361 conducts a clandestine operation to Crete. ML 361 lands and recovers personnel.
0200 Departs Crete for Tobruk.
0655 Attacked by three Arado 196 aircraft which split with one coming in from each quarter and the third from ahead.
0700. Aft Oerlikon and port Breda hit the aircraft coming in from the port quarter causing it to break off the action but both gun crews are then hit. An RAF rescue launch takes off casualties and acts as escort back to Derna
Clandestine supply missions in the Adriatic
Recovers a party of thirteen American nurses from a beach south of Valona, Albania. Their aircraft had crashed en route from North Africa to Brindisi, Italy.
13-4/5/44 ML 361 and ML 841 sink an I Boat by gunfire.

Post War Fate
1945 Greek = Karpathos

David Cook
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: HMML 361

Postby David Cook » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:39 pm

My father, AB Charles Reginald Cook P/JX264349 served on ML 361 from 1st April 1944 until 22nd December 1944 as an Asdec rating. On leaving ML 361 he joined ML 841

David Cook

DAVE BURTON
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: HMML 361

Postby DAVE BURTON » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:08 pm

Dear Dave, Thanks for the info on your dad, my dad was AB.John Burton probably known as "Blondie".He served on 361 at the same time as your dad.361 often operated with 841 and on 13/14 May 1944 were both credited with the sinking of an I Boat.Once again thanks for getting in touch, I will add you dads name to my history of 361
Yours
Dave Burton

blackbeard56
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: WEST BARBARY, KERNOW

Re: HMML 361

Postby blackbeard56 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:41 am

Ahoy shipmates etc.,

I have recently completed eight years of research on clandestine maritime operations in the eastern Mediterranean in which M.L. 361 features a great deal. I am happy to share information, to fill in the gaps, and so on. For instance, the fact that she was an S.O.E. boat, offered by the C-in-C and chosen by Lt. Commander Pool and Lt. Commander Campbell for specific use on Cretan Ferry-Trip operations. Interested?
Cheers Away,
Blackbeard56

lancslass
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: HMML 361

Postby lancslass » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:47 pm

Hi. I have just started researching my father's record of service. He served on Ml361 for 2-3 years and was part of the mission where they picked up the American nurses. His name is Edward Thomas Crosbie. He doesn't talk too much about his service so any informatin about this Motor Launch would be interesting to me. Prior to this he remembers being on MGB 82, MGB42, MTB231, ending up on minesweeper ML581

blackbeard56
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: WEST BARBARY, KERNOW

Re: HMML 361

Postby blackbeard56 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:54 pm

Any idea on his dates of service on 361?

lancslass
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: HMML 361

Postby lancslass » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:17 pm

He tells me it was 1942, 1943, but I know he was involved with picking up the nurses which I believe was 1944.

blackbeard56
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: WEST BARBARY, KERNOW

Re: HMML 361

Postby blackbeard56 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:17 pm

October 18th 1942 - a meeting between the Admiralty and S.O.E.(Cairo) where the idea of an M.L. was accepted. Lt. Commander Pool and Lt. Commander Campbell went on to do a round of the yards and picked out M.L. 361 for S.O.E. operations. In early January 1943 she was ready to leave the Cairo yard and went down the Sweetwater Canal to Port Said to have her armaments fitted. These were quite revolutionary, far beyond anything previously carried by a gunboat of her size. The ordinary “B” Class Fairmile was fitted with twenty depth-charges, all carried on the upper deck. Campbell retained just two, the saving of top-weight allowing him to have guns and ammunition lockers installed without making the vessel top-heavy. On the foredeck amidships was a 20-millimetre Oerlikon (instead of the usual six-pounder), with a 40-millimetre Breda on either bow (as in Armadillo). Each bridge wing had a twin Vickers, gas-operated, .303 machine gun, with a pair of .5 Browning heavy machine guns fitted abaft them, and then two 20 millimetre Breda automatic cannons. The usual 20-millimetre Oerlikon amidships aft was retained.
To man this armament it was necessary to carry a larger crew, but as M.L. 361 carried no Asdic the usual two Asdic ratings were dispensed with. The ship’s company ended up as 18, being sufficient to man the guns likely for either an air attack or for use against surface craft - some of the guns being suitable for one, but not both, kinds of engagement. This was all topped off with a camouflage scheme of Mountbatten Pink on the topsides and a delicate pastel shade of apple green on the upper works, making her as inconspicuous as possible at night.
The Captain was Lt. Bob Young, R.C.N.V.R., with Lt. Norman Hinton R.A.N.V.R. appointed as his First Lieutenant. February 9th. Operation SOULBURY. M.L. 361 sailed from Alexandria for Mersa Matruh, Bardia, and finally Sollum (due to a heavy swell running into Bardia). The object of this operation was to land two S.O.E. agents, a quantity of stores, and Sergeant Moir for M.I.9.
February 14th. M.L. 361 sailed from Sollum for Crete at 0730, with a fresh westerly wind and a considerable sea running. The conditions improved in the afternoon but, as Crete was approached, the wind went northerly with heavy rain and poor visibility. This increased until at midnight it was blowing gale force, with low cloud hanging on the mountains making it difficult to pick up landmarks.
February 15th. After steaming up and down close to the shore, blinded by the stinging spray blown into their eyes, M.L. 361 arrived at her rendezvous at 0200, an hour late. Paddy Leigh-Fermor was in charge of the beach, or rather rocky crevice, and had the evacuation well organised. Ferrying the 27 evacuees aboard [including George Psychoundakis and Tom Dunbabin] was completed in ¾ hour.
With little more than two hours left before dawn they set off at top speed, making good seventeen knots, until at daybreak a quartering sea compelled a reduction of speed. As they got clear to the south, away from the protection of Crete, the seas increased and the M.L. yawed wildly as each wave came under them. At 1000 a further reduction to 10 knots was necessary.In the overcast weather only two aircraft were seen, flying low towards Crete, but they flew straight past without altering course. Landed in Mersa Matruh at 1315. THE FIRST OF MANY SUCH OPERATIONS.

lancslass
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: HMML 361

Postby lancslass » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:03 pm

Fascinating. Thank you for the information. It should make fr a lively discussion with my dad.


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