It should also be recognised that 243 was directly involved with the rescue operations following the Bari raid of 2nd December 1943 with two of her crew being decorated–Sub Lt J.E.Collins being awarded the MBE and A/B Peter Bickmore the BEM. but as you say, 243 was by this time in a sorry state having seen action in Home Waters as well as in the Mediterranean. Her role with 'Special Services' in the Med finished at the end of July 1944.…For these reasons the role of the 24th Flotilla was changed. It became a Special Service Flotilla, used to escort commando raids, or to land other small units of LRDG and SBS personnel on occupied coasts. Five of the remaining boats (85, 86, 89, 97 and 243) had to have their torpedo tubes removed and were each fitted with an additional 20-mm Breda gun to increase their fire-power. The other three boats (81, 84 and 242) retained their torpedoes in order to be able to operate as MTBs when required to do so. They were, of course, available to carry out the Special Service missions which were planned while the five boats being stripped of their torpedo tubes were all out of action…
…All five boats returned for operational use during the last two weeks of July 1944 but, shortly after, there was another change of plan. 81, 86, 89 and 243 were sent to pay off so that their crews could stand by to man the first four new USA-built Vospers of the 28th Flotilla. This left 84, 85, 97 and 242, all now dedicated to the Special Service role, led by Lt Roger Keyes RN….
My father Albert Baden Everitt JX389616 Torpedoman 1st. Class. His first MTB was 297 from 9th.Jun until 25th. Aug 1943. Then 29th Aug 1943 until 7th. Nov 1943. MTB243 26th. Nov 1943 until 3rd. Dec 1943. the night of Bari raid. He was aboard that night because. He was denied shore leave for dissent. This being brought about by, whilst returning to harbour after patrols, he was given job of washing the deck. Officer noticed cigarette butt in the gully and pointed it out to my father, he rolled his eye's and for this was denied shore leave. So whilst he was aboard his mates were away on shore leave. He never spoke of the war, only snippets when something came on telly. He did mention having to retrieve bodies from the water on that night. He mentioned the mustard gas. my father was 18 years and 9 month old. He was in TC Brindisi from the 4th Dec 1943 until 7th Dec 1943. Before being posted aboard MTB297 on 8th. Dec 1943 he was aboard until 28th Dec 1943. Joining MTB 651 on the 29th. Dec 1943 he was aboard until 5th Jul 1944.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests