I am researching the activities of the 12th MTB Flotilla between October 1941 and January 1942, and would value as much information as anyone has about what the 12th MTB Flotilla was stood up to achieve, why they trained at Dartmouth, what they were training for (was it a specific operation, or just trials), and why they were paid off after only three months.
The 12th MTB Flotilla consisted of six MTBs (spelt out to aid internet searches): MTB 327; MTB 328; MTB 329; MTB 330; MTB 331; and MTB 345. My specific interest is MTB 331, which was Commanded by Derek 'Jake' Wright DSC** RNVR, whose biography I am presently researching. Having said that, any information about the 12th Flotilla in this period will greatly aid my research.
What I know:
- The 12th MTB Flotilla consisted of 55' Thorneycroft MTBs, five of which (327-331) were due to have been sold to the Phillipines navy.
- On 28 Oct 41 MTBs 327-331 were ordered by A.L. T.O. 2283/41 (dated 6/10/41) to form up. This note (which I do not hold, but would really like to find) required removal of one set of Ram Discharge Gear for torpedoes from one of these boats (to be replaced earliest) and to despatch this to The Captain HMS Vernon.
- On 14 Nov 41 MTB 327 was "Detailed for special trials with HMS Vernon"
- This 'Special Service' reported directly to Combined Operations HQ.
- They formed the 12th MTB Flotilla. Based on 'Red List' data, between 21 and 28 Dec 41 they sailed from HMS Hornet (where they had formed up) and arrived in Dartmouth.
- Between December 1941 and January 1942 they practiced attacking anti-torpedo booms with depth charges.
- They reported directly to Commodore Mountbatten, who had recently (on 27 Oct 41) taken over as head of Combined Operations from Admiral Keyes.
- They occasionally forayed to the Solent, where a boom had been laid against which they practiced.
- The plan to attack anti-torpedo booms with depth charges failed, and the 12th MTB flotilla proceeded back to HMS Hornet.
- The decision to decommission the 12th Flotilla appears to have been taken on 21 December 1941 and promulgated by a signal from DDOD(C) on 21 Dec 41.
- They departed from Dartmouth (based on Red Lists) between 11 and 18 Jan 42.
- Once back in Hornet, the 12th Flotilla was laid up until summer 1944, with the exemption of MTB 345 which was recommissioned in March 1943 for road transport to Inverness (then sailed onward to Lerwick).
Any information whatsoever about the 12th MTB Flotilla, either collectively or any individual boat, during the period October 1941 to January 1942, will be most gratefully received. What they were up to is a real mystery!
(I have attached the 'ships card' for MTB 327, which has some details and references regarding their activation).