ML 891

Motor Launches (ML), Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) & Rescue Motor Launches (RML)
David Carter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:06 pm

ML 891

Postby David Carter » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:01 pm

I see that today is the anniversary of 3 sailors being killed on this ML. Can anyone tell me what was the action this boat was involved in?

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

Re: ML 891

Postby cdsc123 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:23 pm

Hi David

ML 891

37th ML Flotilla

Lt. Johnny Weston RNVR
S/Lt Peter King RNVR

Mined and Sunk at Kyaukpyuat, Ramree Island, Burma 21.1.45.

Regards, Christian.

kenjoyce
Able Seaman
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:37 am

Re: ML 891

Postby kenjoyce » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:26 am

Are you sure there were 3 dead from this event? I have met Lt Weston a few times in Appledore and he described the event as he edged in to rescue the men from the Landing Craft that had been the first to be mined and on withdrawing through the mined area he ordered all hands on deck except the MM who was killed.

David Carter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: ML 891

Postby David Carter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:14 pm

Christian - thank you for the info.
Kenneth - I was reading from yesterday's book of remembrance, which lists 3 men, died the same day. You say Lt Weston lived in Appledore - Kent or Devon?

Regards

David

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

Re: ML 891

Postby cdsc123 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:41 pm

Quoted from "FROM TROMBAY TO CHANGI, THE STORY OF ARAKAN COASTAL FORCES, WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED BY OFFICERS WHO PARTICIPATED"



AT 09:30 THE MLS DEPLOYED TO STARBOARD AND PORT TO ENGAGE ANY TARGET THAT PRESENTED ITSELF, AND THE LANDING CRAFT ROARED ONTO THE BEACHES TO DISGORGE TROOPS WHO SPREAD OUT IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

THE 37TH FLOTILLA WERE ON THEIR FIRST OPERATION, HAVING COME DOWN DIRECTLY FROM CHITTAGONG. SOME OF THE 55TH AND 37TH FLOTILLA MADE A SWEEP OF THE INNER HARBOUR, WHILE ML 440, ML 474 AND ML 476 ANCHORED IN COMPANY WITH ML 891 OFF THE BEACH TO AWAIT FURTHER ORDERS.

AT 11:00 AN LCA WITH 32 MEN ON BOARD, WHILE APPROACHING THE BEACH IN THE VICINITY OF THE MLS SUDDENLY BLEW UP AND DISAPPEARED IN CLOUDS OF SMOKE. THE TIDE HAD GONE DOWN AND THE LANDING HAD TAKEN PLACE OVER A MINEFIELD. THE MLS PICKED UP SEVEN SURVIVORS, AND ML 474, ML 476 AND ML 891 TOOK THEM TO HMS RAPID AND LAY ALONGSIDE. ML 891 CAME OUT ASTERN AND JUST AS SHE CLEARED THE DESTROYER, A COLOSSAL EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE AND ML 891 DISAPPEARED IN A VIVID CLOUD OF FLAMING SMOKE. SURVIVORS CLINGING TO THE KEEL OF THE UPTURNED ML WERE TAKEN OFF BY A MOTOR BOAT FROM HMS RAPID, THE MOTOR BOAT BEING SAFE BECAUSE OF ITS SHALLOW DRAFT. FOURTEEN OF THE MLS CREW OF SEVENTEEN WERE PICKED UP UNWOUNDED OR WITH MINOR WOUNDS.

LDG. MOTOR MECHANIC S.E. ADAMS AND A STOKER WERE KILLED, JOHNNY WESTON WAS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.

There follows an announcement made in The Daily Telegraph on 21.01.85 which reads;

IN MEMORIAM

H.M.M.L. 891

IN PROUD AND FOND MEMORY OF THE SHIPS COMPANY OF ML 891, SUNK AT RAMREE LANDING, JAN 21 1945- JOHN G WESTON, DSC., 7 MARINE PARADE, APPLEDORE, N. DEVON.

kenjoyce
Able Seaman
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:37 am

Re: ML 891

Postby kenjoyce » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:39 pm

Thank you David and Christian. John Weston lived in Appledore, North Devon with his wife in a house with the walls covered with his paintings. His local pub was I think the Royal George. I have lost touch with my Burma Star friends in North Devon and don't know anything about his dear wife. If the War hadn't ended he was to be appointed as Lt Cdr of the 14th Flotilla for Operation Zipper in place of Lt Cdr Leslie. Over a beer in the Royal George in his Devon accent he proclaimed, "I would have led you to your death!"

David Carter
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: ML 891

Postby David Carter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:00 pm

Dear Christian and Kenneth

Thank you both for your very comprehensive replies. As it happens I know Appledore very well. Father's (and eventually Hector's) boat was built at Blackmore's yard in Bideford and fitted out in Appledore, it carried out trials in the Torridge estuary. Grandfather moved to Northam after the war, and I spent much of my childhood there. Shame I never met Lt Weston.

Regards

David

D Lester
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:09 pm

Re: ML 891

Postby D Lester » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:29 pm

George Lay was the POMM on ML 891. George was in hospital in Vizagapatam and on 21 Jan 45, and POMM Walker from ML 896 had taken his place , on loan . ML 896 was having Depth finding equipment fitted to enable it to scout in front of HMIS Narbada up the Chaungs which it did in later operations on the Arakan
When he recovered from his injuries , John Weston became NOIC Calcutta
My father, David Herbert Lester deceased , was crew on ML 892 from Durban to Vizagapatam and then coxswain on ML 893 for operations in the Arakan.
Hope this adds to the understanding.
David Lester


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