ML 206

Motor Launches (ML), Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) & Rescue Motor Launches (RML)
RichardBell
Seaman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:43 am

Re: ML 206

Postby RichardBell » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:55 pm

I am afraid I do not have dates but I will check my records of where ML206 was based during the war from the records of the Royal Navy. I think 206 was posted to the Med in late 45 but my father did not go.

RichardBell
Seaman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:43 am

Re: ML 206

Postby RichardBell » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:11 am

ML206 movements from launch in 1941 to July 1945
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Gray207
Petty Officer
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:09 pm

Re: ML 206

Postby Gray207 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:23 pm

Richard, thank you for this information. It has proven very helpful. The dates generally tally with my own timeline and I’ve been able to tighten up the gap that I had around the Christmas of 1944 – though, as always, more information raises further intriguing questions.

Individual ships from the flotilla would, of course, have been in for repair or refit at different times, so were not always together, which complicates matters. However, the flotilla deployment contained within your time line is particularly useful. I had been under the impression that the flotilla had been based in Ostend not Terneuzen but I suppose it spent considerable time at both ports during mine sweeping operations. Just as it spent roughly equal times at Gosport and Ramsgate, when on convoy escort duty in the Channel, even though the flotilla was actually based in Gosport.

Could you tell me how you obtained the information? I am wondering if similar deployment details exist for ML 207. My own searches have not uncovered anything. However, I have unearthed information that explains why ML 206 was being repaired in the October of 1943, after being damaged by a shell in Ramsgate Harbour. I discovered a document at the National Archives that relates to the incident, which I have included below - ML206 is mentioned top left.

adm267_123_002.jpg

My father also mentioned the incident, although he was not there at the time, the crew told him about it. This is his account:


There was one particularly tragic incident that the crew often spoke of. It happened in the October of 1943, just a few weeks before I joined the ship. ML 207 and its sister, ML206 were moored close together in Ramsgate harbour when the shell warning sounded. Soon after, a shell hit the water of the harbour close to where the ships were berthed, disintegrating as it did so and sending a torrent of shrapnel in their direction. ML 206 took the brunt of the strike with metal bomb fragments tearing though several parts of the hull. The largest hit the rear quarter and ripped straight through the wardroom where the offices, including the flotilla commander Lt. Cdr. Harry Leslie and his second in command, Sub.Lt Peter Harrison, were sleeping. Leslie had the top bunk and Harrison the lower. Tragically, one large fragment severed Sub.Lt. Harrison’s head clean off, killing him instantly, whilst Lt. Cdr. Leslie, just inches above him, was left completely unscathed.


My father told me that the crew regarded the incident as tragic example of fate. Here was a brave man killed in a UK harbour whilst asleep in his bunk, when he had been in the front line in fights with German forces in the channel and else ware. I’ve since also discovered that Sub.Lt Harrison is buried in Ramsgate cemetery.

RichardBell
Seaman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:43 am

Re: ML 206

Postby RichardBell » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:47 pm

I obtained the information on behalf of my mother from The Naval Historical Dept of Ministry of Defence in Portsmouth. They sent my fathers war records along with the detail of ML206 movements

Gray207
Petty Officer
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:09 pm

Re: ML 206

Postby Gray207 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:11 pm

Richard

Thanks for the reply. I already had my father’s service record from when he left the Navy, so have never requested a further copy. I did contact Portsmouth some years back, asking if they had any information about ML 207 but was simply directed to the National Archives. I was also told that there was a possibility that Greenwich may have information. I will try Portsmouth once more.

Thanks again for the information.


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