MGB 647

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
Rampant
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MGB 647

Postby Rampant » Fri May 01, 2009 4:02 am

Thanks to tangosix on the Army Rumour Service, I have discovered this site. My Grandfather served on MGB 647 during WW2, if you look at the photo on pg 12, that's him, second from the right. C.P.O. James R. Deeming D.S.M. (He was a C.M.M. when he recieved the medal in 1944) if anyone can provide me with information apertaining to the vessel and the crew. I would be most grateful.

Thank you, in anticipation.

Campbell Deeming

Pioneer
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647

Postby Pioneer » Fri May 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Hello 'Rampant'
Welcome aboard, very glad that you found us.
We have a couple of London Branch members who were actually on 647 - Peter Bickmore BEM (who will be contacting you) and Dennis Reeve who unfortunately is not 'on line', but I understand from our Chairman Ken G, he may be contacting you by 'phone.
Dennis was on board 647 for most of her time in the Med so he would have known your Grandfather.
Please let us know how you get on - and also please pass on our regards to 'Tangosix'

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

MGB 647

Postby Brian Holmes » Wed May 06, 2009 3:39 pm

I have produced a database covering coastal forces boats and here is my entry for 647

MGB_647 A M Dickie & Sons, Bangor, Wales 24/2/43
For assistance rendered to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean 22/10/43
Greek War Cross 3rd Class
TLt Maurice Mountstephens RNVR
For skill in boarding enemy craft in the Mediterranean (Gazette Date - 5/9/44)
MID TLt Maurice Mountstephens RNVR
For actions off the west coast of Italy and Dalmatia 6/44
DSC TLt Maurice Mountstephens RNVR
DSM Sea Norman Matheson P/X19568A
New Year Honours 1945
DSM CMtrMch James Robert Deeming P/MX69296
Birthday Honours 1945
MID POOrdMch Reginald Stephen Tomlin P/MX116279
Wind up of the war in Europe (Gazette Date - 11/12/45)
DSC TSLt Edward Lonsdale RNVR

Known Crew
TLt Maurice Mountstephens RNVR (Commanding Officer)
TLt K E A Bayley RNVR (Commanding Officer)
TSLt Edward Lonsdale RNVR (First Lieutenant â?? started as Navigator when a Midshipman 1/43 -)
CMtrMch James Robert Deeming P/MX69296
POOrdMch Reginald Stephen Tomlin P/MX116279
AB William James Lemon C/JX 240704 Died in an accident 17/4/43 aged 21 Son of Ernest and Victoria Lemon, of Liverpool
AB James Christopher Smith P/JX 627062 (Died 10/6/44). aged 18. Son of Christopher James Smith and Mary Rosina Smith, of Everton, Liverpool. Buried in Belgrade War Cemetery 9. D. 3.
AB William Wood P/JX 294612 (Died 10/6/44) aged 22. Son of William and Catherine Wood, of Bathgate, West Lothian. Buried in Belgrade War Cemetery 9. D. 1.
Sea Norman Matheson P/X19568A
Ord John McGill D/JX 422698 (Died 10/6/44) aged 18. Son of Agnes McGill, of Possilpark, Glasgow. Buried in Belgrade War Cemetery 9. D. 2.

War Activities
19th MGB Flotilla
Mediterranean
10/43 Approaching Tobruk whilst transferring from Malta to the Aegean, MGB 643, MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 are fired on by shore batteries and a visual signal is required to get them to cease fire.
22/10/43 MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 render assistance to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean
2-3/4/44 MGB 647 and MTB 651 intercept a schooner. MTB 651 goes alongside the schooner, puts a party aboard and tows the vessel back to Vis where she is found to be loaded with explosives and mail.
3-4/4/44 MGB 647 and MTB 651 intercept two schooners off Prisnjak Island and tow them back to Vis.
6-7/4/44 MGB 647 and MGB 661 intercept the schooner Libecchio carrying a cargo of foodstuffs and tow her for 52 miles back to Vis. TLtCdr Thomas Fuller RCNVR is embarked in MGB 661 as Senior Officer.
9-10/4/44 MGB 647 and MGB 661 destroy a schooner and an I Boat with gunfire and sink a motor boat by ramming. They also capture two schooners and a motor boat.
6/44 Actions off the west coast of Italy and Dalmatia
9-10/6/44 Embarked a boarding party of one officer, two corporals and four marines from A Coy 40 Commando under Lt Copsey RM for an offensive sweep with an MTB
Nothing seen
14/9/44 MGBs 645, 647, 659 and MTB 667 depart Brindisi and land troops on Krithera, carry out patrols and land agents over the next two weeks.
7-8/10/44 MGBs 646, 647 and MTB 667 are in action with a group of MAS and R Boats off Piraeus and claim to sink two of them..
15/10/44 Dawn. MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 651 and 667 sail in company with HMS Black Prince, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax and HMS Aurora. MTB 651 transfers the Captain Minesweepers from his damaged vessel to another. HMS Black Prince anchors off Piraeus and MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 651 and 667 ferry troops ashore. One hundred at a time.
MTB 651 enters Salonika on reconnaisance. The walls are packed with excited civilians giving her an enthusiastic reception. MTB 651 reports by wireless and is told to stay. MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 667 join. It is nearly three weeks before significant forces arrive.
19/11/44 MGBs 646 and 647 with MTBs 651 and 667 return to Piraeus. They return to Brindisi by the end of the year.
10-1/4/45 MGBs 643 and 647 encounter three Flak Lighters and two E Boats in the Planinski Channel. MGBs 643 and 647 close to attack but are driven off by heavy gunfire. MTB 647 has most of her stern blown off by an 88mm round.

Post War Fate
9/46 Scuttled off Malta

Pioneer
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Postby Pioneer » Wed May 06, 2009 10:39 pm

Hello Brian...Welcome aboard and thank you for your comprhensive short history on some of the War activities of MTB 647.
As you may know - the London Branch has a couple of the members of the crew of 647 (Peter Bickmore BEM and Dennis Reeve) while our Chairman was a member of the crew on 651.
Many thanks for your post

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

Re: MGB 647

Postby cdsc123 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:56 pm

MGB 647
MGB647.jpg
MGB647.jpg (44.37 KiB) Viewed 13476 times

Rampant
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 3:48 am

Re: MGB 647

Postby Rampant » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:23 am

I would just like to thank you for your help gentleman, I was able to get in contact with Peter Bickmore both on the phone and by mail. I sent him loads of photos associated with my grandfather, and had some very interesting conversations with him regarding the applicabilty of small fast boats in todays age. He is a most charming and remarkable gentleman, and he cleared up a number of questions regarding Grandad's service. I never got to talk to Dennis, but I think Peter sent him some photos.

I had noticed that the wrecked boat in Norway, was the same model as 647, what a shame that there is no living example of these craft as a testament to the King's Pirates, maybe one day eh?

jonco
Chief Petty Officer
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Re: MGB 647

Postby jonco » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:54 pm

Hi - realise this thread has not been commented on for awhile but I have just noticed a photo of MGB 647 in my father's album. There is also a photo of MGB 646 and a photo of a `Taffy' Hook on MGB 645. The caption just states `off Greece' The copy of my father's service record does not show him serving on any of these MGB's but there is a link somewhere. It does show him as serving on ML 563.
MGB 646 - off Greece.jpg
MGB 647 - off Greece.jpg

Brian Holmes
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Location: Portsmouth

Re: MGB 647

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:19 pm

MGB 646 Risdon Beazley Ltd, Northam Bridge, Southampton 19/11/42

For assistance rendered to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean 22/10/43
Greek War Cross 3rd Class
Lt Bernard Louis Knight-Lachlan RNVR

For destruction of an enemy tanker in Piraeus 8/10/44
MID TSLt Michael Gordon Roberts RNVR
MID ALSto Frederick Charles Hawksbee D/JX156757
MID AB Victor Clarence Bradbury C/JX409946

New Year Honours 1945
DSM* ACMtrMch Frederick Norman Dowson D/MX74648

For jettisonning ammunition at Katakolon, Greece 4/1/45
MID AB William Wilson D/JX204365

For damage control measures in the Mediterranean 15/1/45
MID LMtrMch Alfred David Ripley P/MX117863

Wind up of the war in Europe (Gazette Date - 11/12/45)
MID AB Leslie Jones /HD/X1572

War Activities
19th MGB Flotilla
MGB 641, MGB 642, MGB 643, MGB 644, MGB 645, MGB 646, MGB 647, MGB 648
Mediterranean
4/5/43 MTB 634 and MTB 635 with MGB 643 and MGB 646 are attacked by aircraft off Cap Serrat. Three boats are damaged. Eight men are severely wounded and eleven men are slightly wounded. One aircraft kill and three damaged are claimed.
10/7/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily
19th MGB Flotilla
MGB 641, MGB 643, MGB 646
14-5/7/43 MGB 641, MGB 643 and MGB 646 are on patrol south of Messina when they sight a U Boat and engage with gunfire until the U Boat dives. Shore batteries, on the mainland engage the boats. MGB 641 is severely damaged by fire from a shore battery in Straits of Messina and is beyond hope. Standing orders dictate that boats should not stop to assist when shore batteries have the range. MGB 643 and MGB 646 return a little later after the light has faded further and recover the entire crew of MGB 641 which has suffered no casualties.
10/43 Approaching Tobruk whilst transferring from Malta to the Aegean, MGB 643, MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 are fired on by shore batteries and a visual signal is required to get them to cease fire.
21/9/43 With Cdr Allen embarked, departs from Messina, Sicily for Maddalena, Italy for a reconnaisance. On the boat’s successful return, carrying charts of the Italian minefields at Maddalena a convoy of three LCTs, Empire Damsel six MTBs and MGBs and two ML Minesweepers, carrying the mobile Coastal Forces Base, departs from Messina, Sicily for Maddalena, Italy.
22/10/43 MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 render assistance to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean
1/44 60th MTB/MGB Flotilla
MGB 643, MGB 645, MGB 646, MGB 647 MGB 661, MTB 651, MTB 656, MTB 667
Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic
14-15/4/44 MGBs 646 and 661 sink a tug and the 400 ton tanker it is towing as well as capturing a 250 ton lighter. MGBs 646 and 661 take thirty five German prisoners and forty three others are reported missing.
20-21/5/44 MGB 646, MGB 674 with MTB 656 intercept a 250 ton oil barge off Curzola Island and drive it ashore in flames.
7-8/10/44 MGB 646, MGB 647 and MTB 667 are in action with a group of MAS and R Boats off Piraeus and claim to sink two of them..
Destruction of an enemy tanker in Piraeus
15/10/44 Dawn. MGB 646 and MGB 647 with MTB 651 and MTB 667 sail in company with HMS Black Prince, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax and HMS Aurora. MTB 651 transfers the Captain Minesweepers from his damaged vessel to another. HMS Black Prince anchors off Piraeus and MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 651 and 667 ferry troops ashore. One hundred at a time.
MTB 651 enters Salonika on reconnaisance. The walls are packed with excited civilians giving her an enthusiastic reception. MTB 651 reports by wireless and is told to stay. MGBs 646 and 647 with MTB 667 join. It is nearly three weeks before significant forces arrive.
19/11/44 MGBs 646 and 647 with MTBs 651 and 667 return to Piraeus. They return to Brindisi by the end of the year.
MGBs 645 and 646 are storm bound, over Christmass, in an inlet between Poros and Kithera.
4/1/45 MGBs 645 and 646 arrive in Katakolon. The town is believed to be in British hands but it has been evacuated and there is no sign of activity. Each boat investigates and boards a caique. MGB 646’s boarding party is fired on from the shore. Lt M J Roberts is fatally wounded and AB Daley fails to make it back aboard and is taken prisoner by ELAS forces. AB Daley is returned, at Patras in mid january, having been forced ton walk 90 miles over the mountains, in midwinter, without cold weather clothing.
15/1/45 Damage control measures in the Mediterranean

Post War Fate
8/45 For disposal

Peter
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Re: MGB 647

Postby Peter » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:08 pm

This photograph shows some former crew members of MGB 647, and was taken during a get together in Southend in 1986. The members include myself as the radar operator onboard 647, and well as stoker and shipmate Ken Speed, who recently passed away.
mgb-647-crew-southend-1986.jpg
From left to right: Lt M Mount-Stephens, Coxwain Fred Hislop, Lt Teddy Lonsdale, Dicky Bird, Peter Bickmore (Radar), Dennis Reeve and Ken Speed (Stoker)

jonco
Chief Petty Officer
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Re: MGB 647

Postby jonco » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:15 pm

Peter - Good photo - I have sent you a personal message with a question.

CAM
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Re: MGB 647

Postby CAM » Sun May 25, 2014 7:01 pm

There is also a photo of MGB 646 and a photo of a `Taffy' Hook on MGB 645.
MGB 646 - off Greece.jpg
MGB 647 - off Greece.jpg
What kind of gun aft at gunboats?

CAM
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Re: MGB 647

Postby CAM » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:11 pm

MGB 646
War Activities
22/10/43 MGB 645, MGB 646 and MGB 647 render assistance to the Greek destroyer Adrias, mined in the Aegean
This reference indicates that the MGB 19th flotilla only arrived in Alexandria to go to the Aegean Sea on October 24. So when they arrived at the MGB Kastellorizo ​​and what they did before departing from Samos 21/11/1943?
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWD-Levant1943d.htm

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Re: MGB 647

Postby Pioneer » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:06 pm

Peter Bickmore BEM has asked that I try to post a copy of a page from 647's Log Book.
October 1943 - March 1944. Peter was not aboard 647 until June 1944
Log book page 30001.jpg

CAM
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Re: MGB 647

Postby CAM » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:26 pm

And when the other boats of the 10th Flotilla MTB arrived in Kastellorizo​​?

swoods2775
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Re: MGB 647

Postby swoods2775 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:00 pm

Does the name George Woods ring any bells?


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