Written by: Godrey Tyson
With reference to my enquiry re the fate of the D-boat MGB 614, I received the following very interesting letter from Mr R. Mackintosh which may be of interest to some of our members.
Saw your letter in the December issue. Like you I was a ‘D’ Boat sailor at Newhaven and Dover during 1943 and ‘44 serving as ChMM on MGB 611 and 613 and like you I cannot understand why there is no record of our existence despite the many engagements we had off the French coast.
I feel I know your boat almost as well as the one I served in, because we always fought together, usually 611, 614 and 616.
There are many stories that we could tell, but there are three that have caused concern because I could never get to the truth of things.
26th July. 1943. A raid on a French port by MGB 611 and 614 — Excessive damage and many casualties.
April or May, 1944. The only time the whole flotilla of seven ships put to sea together and have a disastrous engagement with E-Boats, I think the whole engineroom staff of 614 were killed as a result of some officer operating the Methyl Bromide fire extinguisher without informing them.
30th July, 1944. The Germans attacked the Trout(?) Line of RN warships guarding the Arromanches beach with small one-man submarines. The destroyer Quorn was sunk and we were sent to assist, but could only save some of the crew. A hospital ship was also sunk, but there is no record of this.
There are many stories that could all tell of these momentous years of our lives — bravery, stupidity, hilarity but most of all the comradeship of the lower deck.
I am 81 now, I live alone but am still proud of having served in Coastal Forces.
Best wishes and good sailing.
Signed - R. Mackintosh.
I was very pleased to receive this letter.
CFVA News: Edition: December 1996 Volume: 88 Page: 15