Help Needed !

General feedback or comments related to the forum
nickbrom
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Help Needed !

Postby nickbrom » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:11 pm

I am trying to fill in details of my late father Gordon Bromage's Naval Service .

He joined as a boy sailor at HMS Ganges in 1938 and invalided out in March 39 after falling from the infamous mast.

He rejoined in June 1942 and eventually served in the 56th Flotilla mainly in 663.

I have a photo of him which shows him as a 1st class stoker (his record shows he was made up to this rank march 1943.

On his Tally Band it shows what looks like the intials "H M T R " can anyone tell me what that stood for ?

Thanks in Advance
Nick
Attachments
IMG-20201120-WA0013.jpg

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:52 pm

Hello Nick

Welcome to the forum and thank you for the portrait of your father. I am fairly certain the cap ribbon reads HMTB, it’s just that the bottom part of the letter ‘B’ is slightly occluded by the angle of the shot and what looks like a shallow ridge at the bottom of the cap, which the ribbon sits in.

Admin

nickbrom
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby nickbrom » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:21 pm

Makes total sense now you have said it !

Can I ask if the Combined Ops badge on his sleeve could have been when he was operating out of Felixstowe or later in the Med?

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby Admin » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:13 pm

Do you have your father's service record details at all? 663 was actually an MGB forming part of the 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla in the Mediterranean, under the command of a Canadian, Lt T E Ladner, who was part of a famous trio of Canadians along with Lt Cdr J D Maitland as Senior Officer of the flotilla, and Lt C Burke who were collectively known as the Three Musketeers. MGB 663 wasn't completed until March 1943, and was lost to a mine in the Adriatic in October 1944. There were raiding forces operating in the Mediterranean and either carried by Coastal Forces units, or escorted by them as part of joint attacks, and another correspondent forwarded a set of photographs recently including one of a Combined Operations badge which I will send you a link for.

The East Coast units working out of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth carried clandestine elements across the North Sea at times, but the main activity in Home Waters was centred around units based in the Helford River in Cornwall for operations to France, so any clarification on any other boats served on, or bases would be helpful.

Peter
Able Seaman Radar
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby Peter » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:07 pm

Hi Nick
On reading your request for information of MTB 663 sadly she hit a mine returning from an operation around Venice on October 9th 1944 with a loss of 3 Crew members and 8 wounded .I attaché details as recorded in the book Dog Boats at War written by Len Reynolds whom I knew within the Coastal Forces Veterans Association sadly now disbanded. The Combined Operations badge was for operations where Boats were used for ferrying Commando's carrying out raids on enemy Coast

nickbrom
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby nickbrom » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:19 pm

Do you have your father's service record details at all? 663 was actually an MGB forming part of the 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla in the Mediterranean, under the command of a Canadian, Lt T E Ladner, who was part of a famous trio of Canadians along with Lt Cdr J D Maitland as Senior Officer of the flotilla, and Lt C Burke who were collectively known as the Three Musketeers. MGB 663 wasn't completed until March 1943, and was lost to a mine in the Adriatic in October 1944. There were raiding forces operating in the Mediterranean and either carried by Coastal Forces units, or escorted by them as part of joint attacks, and another correspondent forwarded a set of photographs recently including one of a Combined Operations badge which I will send you a link for.

The East Coast units working out of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth carried clandestine elements across the North Sea at times, but the main activity in Home Waters was centred around units based in the Helford River in Cornwall for operations to France, so any clarification on any other boats served on, or bases would be helpful.
I have his Service record with his bases and dates, but that is all. He spoke often about the 3 Muskateers and was able to visit his Skipper T Ladner in Vancouver shortly before his Skipper passed away.
.

He told us he was sunk on 2 occasions one of which was 663 and possibly 657?

Thank you keeping this website up and running to commemorate their sacrifice

nickbrom
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby nickbrom » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:56 pm

Have found this picture of him. Says Anzio 1945.

I know he drove trucks a lot collecting supplies. I have some pictures of him with a truck so guess that's why the "uniform"?
Attachments
20201123_130005.jpg
20201123_125959.jpg

John110547
Seaman
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:11 pm

Re: Help Needed !

Postby John110547 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:40 pm

Hi Nick

Re your request for info on MGB 663 & 657, the following is the information I have on my database, I hope the following helps

MGB 663

MGB 663 was a Fairmile D type MGB/MTB ordered 28 November 1941. Commission on 8 March 1943 as MGB 663. This vessel was armed with 1 x 1 40mm/39(1.575”) 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun + 2 x 2 0.5”/62(12.7mm) Vickers Mk III Machine Gun + 2 x 2 .303”/93(7.7mm) Vickers K Machine Gun + 2 x DCR for Type ‘D’ Mk VII Depth Charges. MGB 663 was assigned to joined 20th MGB Flotilla based at St Christopher.

MGBs 663, 648, 657, 658, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 30 April 1943 departed Milford Haven for the Mediterranean.

MGBs 663, 648, 657, 658, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 3 May 1943 convoy is approached & circled by German Condor long range reconnaissance aircraft.

MGBs 663, 648, 657, 658, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 4 May 1943 at 01.00 with convoy bound for Gibraltar is attacked by gunfire from the German submarines U 439 & U 659. MGB 658 runs down the tracer bearing & MGB 657 is hit by shellfire which sets fire amidships. MTBs 654, 667 & 670 search for the U-boats, which collide & both U 439 & U 659 sink. MTB 654 picks up 10 U-boat survivors & MTB 667 pick-up 2 more.

MGBs 663 & 657 on 23 May 1943 took the surrender of the Galite Island off the coast of Tunisia.

MGBs 663, 642, 643, 645, 646, 647, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 674 from 1 June 1943 commenced a programme to improve their anti-submarine potential by upgrading their armaments to 1 x 1 57mm/43(2.25”) 6pdr/7cwt Mk IIA QF Gun + 1 x 2 40mm/39(1.575”) 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun + 2 x 2 0.5”/62(12.7mm) Vickers Mk III Machine Gun + 2 x 2 .303”/93(7.7mm) Vickers K Machine Gun + Holman Illuminate Projector + 14 Type ‘D’ Mk VII Depth Charges in chutes & Y-gun thrower with four reloads. These vessels were also to be used for minelaying, so the upgrade would allow easy removal of depth charges, Y-gun thrower & depth charge chutes which would be landed so minelaying equipment could be fitted to a vessel quickly.

MGBs 663, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 674 of 20th MGB Flotilla from June 1943 base in Mediterranean.

MGBs 663, 658 & MTB 633 on 6 June 1943 depart Malta to patrol between Cape Passero & Cape Murro di Porco. No contacts.

MGBs 663, 658 & MTB 633 on 7 June 1943 returned to Malta. No contacts.

MGBs 663, 642, 657, 658, 659 & MTBs 633, 640, 649, 650 from 1 August 1943 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Maddalena.

MGBs 663, 659 & MTB 665 on 19 December 1943 with USN PT 209 were on patrol in the Piombino Channel, with PT 209 acting as the radar boat. PT 209 made radar contact with destroyers near Elba & after passing on this information MTB 655 ( PT 209 turn south & commenced a torpedo run on the destroyers with the MGBs attacking firing all guns. The destroyers on seeing the attacked turned northeast away from Bastia & withdraw.

MGBs 663, 642, 657, 658 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 from 1 January 1944 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Maddalena.

MGBs 663, 657, 658, 659 & MTBs 640, 655 on 21 January 1944 at 17.00hrs departed Bastia to escort Royal Navy Cruiser, HMS DIDO & the USN 15th PT Squadron (PTBs 203, 209, 211, 217) who were carrying units of the Psychological Warfare Service as part in Operation Lurcher. This operation was in support of the Anzio landing, by simulating a landing 55 miles north of Anzio at Civitavecchia to create a diversion & confuse the enemy.

MGBs 663, 657, 658, 659 & MTBs 640, 655 on 22 January 1944 with Royal Navy Cruiser, HMS DIDO & the USN 15th PT Squadron (PTBs 203, 209, 211, 217) are proceeding to create a diversion as part of Operation Lurcher. At 01.47hrs PTB 203 reported radar contacts off their port bow at 2800yds. All the MTBs & MGBs closed on the radar contacts & at 02.07hrs identified a Flak Lighter & two E-boats heading southeast. At 02.13 the MTBs & MGBs attacked the contacts resulting in the sinking of the Flak Lighter & both E-boat withdraw, one of them on fire. MTB 655 with MGBs 659 & 658 were slightly damaged by shellfire, but MGB 658 loss 1-crew member who died from his wounds two days later. Later that day MGBs 657, 642, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 took part in Operation Shingle, the Anzio landings. At 17.45hrs MGBs 657, 659, 663 depart Bastia to patrol north of Civitavecchia. At 23.27hrs MGB 657 reports radar contact 4200yds off the starboard bow. At 23.47hrs contacts sighted, a convoy of six Flak Lighters, four E-boats & a destroyer. At 23.51hrs the destroyer flashes a challenge & the MGBs then attack the Flak Lighters & the E-boats engage the MGBs. Both MGB 659 & 663 are set on fire by shellfire, as all three MGBs target the destroyer. MGB 659 is then hit again, this one engine & the 2pdr gun were put out of action. At this point with all three MGBs damaged with wounded, they withdraw.

MGB 663 in May 1944 had it's 40mm/39(1.575") 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun replaced with 57mm/31(2.25") 6pdr/8cwt Hotchkiss Mk VI QF Gun.

MGBs 663, 658, MTBs 633, 640, 655 & PT 207 on 17 June 1944 were on patrol in the Piombino Channel when they engaged the German Torpedo Boats TA 24 (ex-Arturo, Italian Ariete-class torpedo boat) & TA 29 (ex-Eridano, Italian Ariete-class torpedo boat) who were laying minefield off Elba.

MGBs 663, 658, MTBs 633, 640, 655 & PT 207 on 18 June 1944 at 01.00hrs in the Piombino Channel, three radar contacts are made close inshore. The MTBs/MGBs close to attack the contacts which were identified a destroyer, a torpedo boat & a Flak Lighter standing off a small harbour. MTB 655 fire torpedoes & all boats open fire with their guns. The German vessels returned fire hitting MGB 658, killing 1-crew members & wounding five others. Also, the steering on MGB 658 jammed when the wireless aerials & other rigging was brought down & wrap around the wheel. MTB 655 lost 1-crew member in this action.

MGBs 663, 642, 657, 658, 659 & MTBs 633, 655 from 30 July 1944 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Komiza.

MGBs 663, 657, 658 on 17 August 1944 at 23.00hrs make radar contact with convoy some 300yds away, which are lying invisible due to their closeness to a cliff. MGB 663 fires a star shell & the MGBs attack the convoy. One I-boat was sunk & two arm trawler return fire damaging both MGB 657 & 658. A 37mm shell hits MGB 657 engine room & starts a fire which is quickly put out. All MGBs withdraw. At 23.59hrs all three boats make a second attack on the convoy.

MGBs 663, 657, 658 on 18 August 1944 at 00.35hrs the three MGBs make a third attack on the convoy & the schooner DORA catches fires & explodes. The convoy scatters. At 01.50hrs the schooner JOTA is found & set on fire. At 02.50hrs a tanker barge is found & sunk. At 03.25hrs the schooner JOTA explodes. At 04.00hrs the MGBs are fired on from the shore & retire out to sea. The following day the RAF Hurricanes attack the same convoy sinking the tanker barge Peter & damaging the tanker barge HELGO & I-boat (I68).
MGB 663 on 10 October 1944 hit a mine & sunk off the coast of Rimini, France with the loss of 3-crew members.

MGB 657

MGB 657 was a Fairmile D type MGB/MTB ordered 28 November 1941 & commission on 9 February 1943 as MGB 657. This vessel was armed with 1 x 1 40mm/39(1.575”) 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun + 2 x 2 0.5”/62(12.7mm) Vickers Mk III Machine Gun + 2 x 2 .303”/93(7.7mm) Vickers K Machine Gun + 2 x DCR for Type ‘D’ Mk VII Depth Charges. MGB 657 was assigned to joined 20th MGB Flotilla based at St Christopher.

MGBs 657, 648, 658, 663, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 30 April 1943 departed Milford Haven for the Mediterranean.

MGBs 657, 648, 658, 663, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 3 May 1943 convoy is approached & circled by German Condor long range reconnaissance aircraft.

MGBs 657, 648, 658, 663, MTBs 654, 655, 667, 670 & ML 240 on 4 May 1943 at 01.00 with convoy bound for Gibraltar is attacked by gunfire from the German submarines U 439 & U 659. MGB 658 runs down the tracer bearing & MGB 657 is hit by shellfire which sets fire amidships. MTBs 654, 667 & 670 search for the U-boats, which collide & both U 439 & U 659 sink. MTB 654 picks up 10 U-boat survivors & MTB 667 pick-up 2 more.

MGBs 657 & 663 on 23 May 1943 took the surrender of the Galite Island off the coast of Tunisia.

MGBs 657, 642, 643, 645, 646, 647, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 674 from 1 June 1943 commenced a programme to improve their anti-submarine potential by upgrading their armaments to 1 x 1 57mm/43(2.25”) 6pdr/7cwt Mk IIA QF Gun + 1 x 2 40mm/39(1.575”) 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun + 2 x 2 0.5”/62(12.7mm) Vickers Mk III Machine Gun + 2 x 2 .303”/93(7.7mm) Vickers K Machine Gun + Holman Illuminate Projector + 14 Type ‘D’ Mk VII Depth Charges in chutes & Y-gun thrower with four reloads. These vessels were also to be used for minelaying, so the upgrade would allow easy removal of depth charges, Y-gun thrower & depth charge chutes which would be landed so minelaying equipment could be fitted to a vessel quickly.

MGB 657 on 10 July 1943 is bombed by an enemy aircraft during the landing on Sicily. The bomb misses but 3-crew members are wounded & have to be transferred to the Hospital Ship TALAMBA.

MGBs 657, 658, 659 on 26 July 1943 bombard the railway station & sidings at Taormina, Sicily.

MGBs 657, 642, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 633, 640, 649, 650 from 1 August 1943 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Maddalena.

MGBs 657, 642, 658, 663 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 from 1 January 1944 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Maddalena.

MGBs 657, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 640, 655 on 21 January 1944 at 17.00hrs departed Bastia to escort Royal Navy Cruiser, HMS DIDO & the USN 15th PT Squadron (PTBs 203, 209, 211, 217) carrying units of the Psychological Warfare Service as part in Operation Lurcher. This operation was in support of the Anzio landing, by simulating a landing 55 miles north of Anzio at Civitavecchia to create a diversion & confuse the enemy.

MGBs 657, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 640, 655 on 22 January 1944 with Royal Navy Cruiser, HMS DIDO & the USN 15th PT Squadron (PTBs 203, 209, 211, 217) are proceeding to create a diversion as part of Operation Lurcher. At 01.47hrs PTB 203 reported radar contacts off their port bow at 2800yds. All the MTBs & MGBs closed on the radar contacts & at 02.07hrs identified a Flak Lighter & two E-boats heading southeast. At 02.13 the MTBs & MGBs attacked the contacts resulting in the sinking of the Flak Lighter & both E-boat withdraw, one of them on fire. MTB 655 with MGBs 659 & 658 were slightly damaged by shellfire, but MGB 658 loss 1-crew member who died from his wounds two days later. Later that day MGBs 657, 642, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 took part in Operation Shingle, the Anzio landings. At 17.45hrs MGBs 657, 659, 663 depart Bastia to patrol north of Civitavecchia. At 23.27hrs MGB 657 reports radar contact 4200yds off the starboard bow. At 23.47hrs contacts sighted, a convoy of six Flak Lighters, four E-boats & a destroyer. At 23.51hrs the destroyer flashes a challenge & the MGBs then attack the Flak Lighters & the E-boats engage the MGBs. Both MGB 659 & 663 are set on fire by shellfire, as all three MGBs target the destroyer. MGB 659 was then hit again, this one engine & the 2pdr gun were put out of action. At this point with all three MGBs damaged with wounded, they withdraw.

MGBs 657 & 658 on 18 August 1944 were involved in a surface action & was only slightly damaged by shellfire.

MGBs 657, 660, 662 on 27 March 1944 take part in Operation Gun off the west coast of Italy.

MGBs 657, 660, 662 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 on 24 April 1944 18.00hrs depart Bastia to rendezvous with USN MTBRon 15 (PTs 202, 209, 211, 212, 213, 216, 218) & LCGs 14, 19, 20 to patrol off Giglio Island (Operation Newt). At 21.25hrs PTs 202, 212, 213 were detached to the Vada Rocks area & at 22.05hrs reported back to the Flotilla a southbound convoy. At 22.07hrs PT 218 reported a radar contact off Piombino Point, which was assessed to be the escort group heading to meet the convoy. At 23.00hrs the Flotilla turned north in an unsuccessful attempt to get between the convoy & its escort. At 23.20hrs the Flotilla turned south to intercept the escort group.

MGBs 657, 660, 662 & MTBs 633, 640, 655 on 25 April 1944 at 00.05hrs with USN MTBRon 15 (PTs 202, 209, 211, 212, 213, 216, 218) & LCGs 14, 19, 20 were heading towards an enemy contract. The Flotilla fire star shells to illuminate a Tug TERESSA & 5 Flak Lighters (Fs 423, 461, 515, 621, ?). They hit the TERESSA repeatedly with shellfire & it sunk. Then one Flak Lighter exploded, a second caught fire before it exploded & other sunk by shellfire. MGBs 657, 660, 662 found an undamaged & abandoned Flak Lighter beached which they destroyed with shellfire before recovering twelve survivors from the water including Dutchmen from the Tug crew. The Flotilla then closed on to & attacked the second contact. Flak Lighter F-350. 358 & 610 were hit repeatedly with shellfire & were destroyed. A third contact was then attacked with torpedoes & shellfire. Vp 7013 was sunk. The flotilla then headed back to Bastia & on the way the scouting group made an unsuccessful torpedo attack on the German Torpedo boats Tas 23, 26 & 29.

MGB 657 in May 1944 had it's 40mm/39(1.575") 2pdr Vickers Mk VIII Gun replaced with 57mm/31(2.25") 6pdr/8cwt Hotchkiss Mk VI QF Gun.

MGBs 657, 642, 658, 659, 663 & MTBs 633, 655 from 30 July 1944 assigned to 56th MTB/MGB Flotilla based at Komiza.

MGBs 657, 658, 663 on 17 August 1944 at 23.00hrs make radar contact with convoy some 300yds away, which are lying invisible due to their closeness to a cliff. MGB 663 fires a star shell & the MGBs attack the convoy. One I-boat was sunk & two arm trawler return fire damaging both MGB 657 & 658. A 37mm shell hits MGB 657 engine room & starts a fire which quickly put out. All MGBs withdraw. At 23.59hrs all three boats make a second attack on the convoy.

MGBs 657, 658, 663 on 18 August 1944 at 00.35hrs the three MGBs make a third attack on the convoy & the schooner DORA catches fires & explodes. The convoy scatters. At 01.50hrs the schooner JOTA is found & set on fire. At 02.50hrs a tanker barge is found & sunk. At 03.25hrs the schooner JOTA explodes. At 04.00hrs the MGBs are fired on from the shore & retire out to sea. The following day the RAF Hurricanes attack the same convoy sinking the tanker barge Peter & damaging the tanker barge HELGO & I-boat (I68).

MGBs 657, 658 & MTB 633 on 12 September 1944 were on patrol 60 miles north of Ancona when MGB 657 hit a mine. The explosion blew off the stern aft of the petrol space, killing 3-crew members. MGB 658 & MTB 633 managed to bring MGB 657 back to base, where it was declared to be constructive total loss & broken up in December 1944.


Return to “Forum & Web Site Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ahrefs [Bot] and 0 guests