Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

News items of interest to Coastal Forces veterans, or notices concerning veterans' reunions or events
smith190
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby smith190 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:35 pm

Hi

Thanks for allowing me onto your forum. My name is Simon Smith and Father Peter served on the above ships and was an active member of CFV until his death 12 years ago. I am trying to do some research for the family and have some information but would welcome any pointers to piece together what he did. I accompanied him to Vis in 1996 along with two of his ex shipmates Ken Gadson and Fred( cant remember his last name) and was honoured to hear some of the tales and meet some partisans. I have Flag 4 and "our lady of the pirates" and wondered if anyone has any more info and or photos of the above ships or knew my Dad?

Also, my father would have been nearly 93 and joined up in 1943 so he would have been one of the younger ones I guess. I'm happy to share all I have from my Dads records if it helps anyone else? I presume all the "Branches have now closed or are any still active? Thanks in anticipation Simon

Stephen
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby Stephen » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 am

Hi Simon and welcome to the forum.

I'm sure that Admin can help out with your queries with the branches better than I, but I can perhaps recommend some more reading material for you. All three vessels you list above get some mention in the works of Leonard Reynolds. Operations involving 84 and 406 are both given several pages in Mediterranean MTBs at War by Reynolds and H. F. Cooper, and there are pictures of both of them. Likewise 651 features in Dog Boats at War, although I can't see a photo in there. Of course, I can't say your father was on board during all of the actions and events described in the books, but if you have his service record then you may be able to work out from the dates which ones he may have been part of.

You'd probably find Reynolds' own wartime memoirs Motor Gunboat 658 of interest too, as he served in the Mediterranean and Adriatic (and it's a brilliant book anyway). I'm not luck enough to own a copy of Our Lady of the Pirates, but I have read Flag 4 and I think you'll find the above books even more informative.

Hope this helps,
Steve

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

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby David Carter » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:38 am

Dear Simon and Steve. In answer to your question "are any Branches still active?" I am happy to reply that London Branch meets regularly on HMS Belfast. We shall be there this coming weekend.
We are open not just to veterans, but to their families, so you would be most welcome to join us. We have a nominal subscription of £10 which is to cover the cost of producing a quarterly newsletter. You mentioned Ken Gadsdon, he is the Chairman. One of our members regularly arranges visits to Vis, where he served.
If you would like to join, send me your address etc to cdcarter263@hotmail.com
David Carter (Secretary, London Branch)

smith190
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby smith190 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:44 pm

Hi David and Steve

Thanks ever so much for your prompt replies and am glad tha there are still active members of the CFVA. I will see the logistics about coming to London on Saturday as would be wonderful to meet up with some of my Dad's ex comrades.What time is the meeting starting?

I have a copy of Flag Four and Our Lady of the Pirates and a couple of others, I might be able to get hold of another copy of "Our Lady" if that is of use, if not, i'm sure I could photocopy the copy my Dad gave to me. Do you know if the Mediterranean MTBs at War is still in circulation?

Many thanks

Simon

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

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby David Carter » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:57 pm

Hello Simon We shall be on HMS Belfast on Sunday for Remembrance Day. The service starts about 10.30. Unfortunately the Chairman will not be there due to ill health. The other veteran from Vis will be at HMS Hornet in Gosport. You are welcome to join us then, or at our next Branch meeting, also on HMS Belfast on 13th January 2019.
David C

smith190
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby smith190 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi David

I'll come to your event on the 13th January on HMS Belfast then if that is ok?

With best wishes

Simon

Stephen
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby Stephen » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:19 am

Apologies for my delayed reply - I was away much of the last week. Although Reynolds' book are out of print, you can find Mediterranean MTBs at War on ebay for about £25 right now and Dog Boats at War for as little as £7.40. I'd recommend them both. The third book in Reynolds' series, Home Waters MTBs and MGBs at War, is often a bit more pricey but also worth it if you ever come across it. Prices range from £28 to £77 on ebay at the moment!

I would love to get hold of a copy of Our Lady of the Pirates, although I've never even seen a copy for sale in the flesh or online (I don't believe it was ever properly published was it?). I wouldn't want to put you to any trouble, but if you ever did have a spare copy, I'd certainly be interested!

Regards,
Steve

Peter
Sub Lieutenant
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby Peter » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:39 pm

Hi Simon
Sorry for the delay in answering your query, could you check your Fathers boat numbers, checking through records of CFVA members your Dad was Membership No 492 (a very early member) and his boat No's recorded are MTB 81-MTB 651- MTB 406 , so poor old MTB 84 has again fallen through the pages. I am trying to remember you Dad if he went to Vis in 1996 as I have been the one arranging the visits to Vis from that time , but now at 94 I'm hoping my Daughter will take up the baton as she did this year.
I have the book history of the 24th flotilla which says “MTB's 80-84-95 were allocated to the 8th flotilla and were replaced with MTB's 226-242-and 243 for the 24th flotilla”. So it would seem Simon that we your Dad and me must have met somewhere, sometime, my service was aboard MTB 243 and MGB 647
Peter

smith190
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Research on MTB 651, 84 and 406

Postby smith190 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:39 pm

Hello Peter and Stephen

Sorry for the belated reply. Thank you for your post on the 14th and 20th November. Yes I went with my Dad to Vis in 1996 along with Fred Nellthorpe and Ken Gadsden and we did meet. It was a super trip and would very interested to hear if your daughter is thinking of doing another trip next year?

I am struggling to fin anything about St Angelo VTS base in Italy as my dads service record shows him being based there before going on MTB 651.

Peter, are there any copies of the Flotilla activities around that time as according to my dads paperwork he was injured on MTB 406 on the 29th Jan 45 and have copy of his "Certificate of hurts and wounds" which is now confusing me.

Stephen, will you be attending the London meeting on the 13th January as I might be able to let you borrow a copy of the "Our Lady of the Pirates"?

I would love to come to the meeting on the 13th January and will email David separately.


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