MTB 730

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
Ian Sayer
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:43 pm

MTB 730

Postby Ian Sayer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:34 am

About 11 years ago I purchased the visitors book of MTB 730. It contains around 160 signatures and most of these are MTB personal. The book covers the period May 1944 to May 1945 and there is an entry on the 20th July 1944 from Sir Winston Churchill and Hastings Ismay when MTB 730 took the pair from Utah Beach to Arromanches. This, of course, was the same day that the attempt on Hitler's life took place.
I just looked at the book yesterday and thought I would do a bit of research on 730 but I couldn't find anything at all.
I was wondering if any forum members might have some information regarding the boat itself and the crew. A photo would be of particular interest.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks

Ian

Stephen
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Stephen » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:18 pm

Hi Ian,

Welcome to the forum. I'm not sure how much you already know, but MTB 730 was a Fairmile D 'Dog' Boat. She was built at Woodnutt & Co in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and was completed on the 28th April 1944. At Normandy, she was the lead vessel of the 63rd MTB Flotilla, under Acting Temporary Lieutenant Commander G. C. Fanner, DSC, RNVR. There's a picture of sister vessel MTB 724 here: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205124877. She was part of the same Admiralty order but was built at a different yard, so the exact configuration may have differed a bit.

There's a diagram of 730 in the book Dog Boats at War, by Leonard Reynolds (Sutton Publishing, 1998), dated to December 1944. She looks almost identical, except that the fore and aft guns are 6 pounders mounted on MkVII mountings. This may have been the result of a refit, so it's possible that her configuration at launch was the same as 724's photo. There's also some more detailed drawings of 730 in Coastal Craft History Volume 3: The Fairmile D, by Mark Smith. These are based on original line drawings by John Lambert, but the colours in the book appear to be based on Admiralty instructions, so I don't know if Mark found any pictures to assist him. He is a member of this forum, so you may be able to contact him.

The drawing would appear to be the only entry for 730 in Reynolds' book, but there's a bit about the 63rd Flotilla. She clearly saw a bit of action around D-Day. As it happens, Coastal Forces at Normandy is something I'm researching at the moment, so I'll let you know what I find relating to 730 in the Admiralty reports at Kew.

Regards,
Steve

Ian Sayer
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Ian Sayer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:53 pm

Hi Steve
Thanks for the welcome and the detailed info you have provided. Much appreciated. In fact I didn't have any info on 730 at all so your material is very useful. Thanks again.
I am just going through the signatures as I write this and when I have finished the exercise I will post copies of the entries which some of the forum members might find useful. It might also help to fill in a few blanks. Some PT commanders are included .
Regards
Ian

Stephen
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Stephen » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:22 pm

Hi Ian,

No problem at all. I've just looked as bit further into the book that I drew some of the information about construction from earlier; Allied Coastal Forces of World War II Volume 1: Fairmile Designs & US Submarine Chasers by John Lambert & Al Ross (1990, Conway Maritime Press). Unsurprisingly, Lambert's original line drawing, which probably served as the basis for both of the above publications, is in there, along with a deck plan. It's a very good book with all of the technical details of Fairmiles, but it is a bit expensive.

If you do want to do any more reading I can heartily recommend Dog Boats at War. If you wanted to read a memoir of service on board them, then there's no better book than Motor Gunboat 658, also by Leonard Reynolds. It's a very well written book and will help you appreciate many of the details of these boats and life on them. That said, Reynolds served in the Mediterranean. Geoffery Hobday served briefly in home waters in command of of MGB 725, but most of his book In Harm's Way is dedicated to his own service in the Med.

I'll certainly be interested to see the names of 730's visitors.
Regards,
Steve

Ian Sayer
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Ian Sayer » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:47 pm

Hi Steve
Thanks for the additional info.
I shall certainly order some of the publications you mention.
I do think the visitors book will be of interest. I'll post it as soon as I have identified as many of the signatures as I can.
Regards
Ian

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

Re: MTB 730

Postby cdsc123 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:02 am

MTB 730;
Attachments
2007-02-20_224445_MTB730_small.jpg
2007-02-20_224445_MTB730_small.jpg (30.04 KiB) Viewed 718 times

Ian Sayer
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Ian Sayer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:34 am

Thank you cdsc123
Regards
Ian

Kenton
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Kenton » Wed May 10, 2017 6:49 am

MTB 730;
Great picture. I can just imagine being on that boat.

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

Re: MTB 730

Postby Brian Holmes » Wed May 10, 2017 8:07 pm

MTB_730 Woodnut & Co Ltd, St Helens, Isle of Wight 28/4/44
Known Crew
TALtCdr George Clifford Fanner RNVR TLt 22/2/41 HMS Minos II (Lowestoft) 6th ML Flotilla 1/8/41 Based on Great Yarmouth Commanding Officer ML 150 1941 HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) for minelayers 5/1/42 Commanding Officer MGB 323 6/42 – 1/44 Birthday Honours 1942 DSC For Operation Jubilee - Raid on Dieppe 19/8/42 MID New Year Honours 1944 MID HMS Britannia III for coastal craft 10/42. 63rd MTB Flotilla MTB 708 Senior Officer SGB Flotilla 6/44. Commanding Officer MTB 730 & SO 63rd MTB Flotilla HMS Attack Birthday Honours List 1945 DSC* Born in Axbridge Somerset 1909 and died (12?)/1976 in Southampton district, Hampshire
TLt D Turnell RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 20/10/41 Commanding Officer MGB 93 1/42 HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) for minelayers 9/3/42 TLt 21/6/43 Commanding Officer MGB 334 10/7/44 Commanding Officer MTB 730 & SO 63rd MTB Flotilla 30/10/44
TSLt J S McGill RNVR TSLt 5/5/44 63rd MTB Flotilla MTB 730 25/10/44
TSLt A C Brown RNVR TMid 25/6/43 52nd MTB Flotilla Based on Plymouth MTB 720 25/10/43 63rd MTB Flotilla MTB 730 16/5/44 Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy TSLt 23/9/44
Wartime Activities
63rd MTB Flotilla (With the WTF)
Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy

Post War Fate
4/46 Sea Cadet Corps
27/5/58 Sold

Ian Sayer
Seaman
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: MTB 730

Postby Ian Sayer » Thu May 11, 2017 8:52 am

Thank you Brian. Very useful.

Regards

Ian


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