The Medusa Trust

HDML Boats 1051-1099

HDML_1051  Morgan Giles, Teignmouth, Devon 10/2/41

 

ML1051

Known Crew

TSLt          Norman V Stallworthy RNVR HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 22/2/42 First Lieutenant ML 355 1/43 Anti submarine patrols based on Beirut 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1051 28/2/43 TLt 11/5/43 Commanding Officer ML 354 10/43 Operations in the Aegean HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) Commanding Officer ML 918 31/7/44

TSLt          Douglas John Snelgar RNVR TSLt 15/7/43 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1051 15/12/43 HDML 1023 HMS Mosquito MID 1945 DSC 1945 HMS Lanka (Colombo) 1946 Vicar of Steep (1957-92); Priest-in-Charge of Froxfield with Privett (1988-92); Hon. Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral (1985-92). Born 1917 in Paddington, London and died 18/6/2008 in Petersfield, Hampshire

TASLt       P B Jensen RNVR HDML 1051 22/1/44

TSLt          A L Moseley RNVR TSLt 12/9/43 43rd ML Flotila Based at Alexandria ML 350 16/9/43 ML 348 25/4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1051 27/3/45

TSLt          J G Oliver RNVR TASLt 23/7/44 HDML 1051 17/4/45

TLt            A J K Jenkins RNVR TSLt HDML 1051 24/7/44 TLt 7/10/44

 

Wartime Activities

3/41            In company with HDMLs 1005, 1007and 1015, on passage Hamble - Appledore - Holyhead - Clyde (Holy Loch) for transport to Middle East.

5/41            Embarked in Norwegian vessel SS Belpareil for transport. Crews travelled to Suez via Durban.

8/41            Arrived, in transport, at Suez and unloaded
Mediterranean

1/1/42        102nd ML Flotilla
Based at Alexandria, Egypt
ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051

21/1/42      In thick weather, store ship Manoula and corvette HMS Peony ran aground at Ras Aszaz. Tug St Monance, anti-submarine whaler Sotra, and ML 1051 were sent to assist. The ships were refloated on the 22nd and the corvette returned to Alexandria for docking

 

Post War Fate

4/9/45         On loan to Greece
Greek Navy = Portaria

1961           Sold in Greece

2002           = Rodos, Based in Estapona

2004           Based in Alamaria

HDML_1052  Morgan Giles, Teignmouth, Devon 8/5/41

Known Crew

TLt            A R Vallance RNVR 104th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra LeoneCommanding Officer HDML 1052 12/4/43 TLt 25/6/43 ML 455

TSLt          H A Hagman RNVR TSLt 5/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1052 20/8/44 HMS Iron Duke (Scapa Flow) ML 540 Rescue Motor Launch

TSLt           G A Dunnett RNVR TSLt 26/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1052 11/12/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) HMS Braganza (Bombay)

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        104th ML Flotilla
A
t Greenock to be freighted to Freetown , Sierra Leone
ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML  1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052

1/1/42        At Freetown

6/11/42      ML 1209, ML 1041, ML 1052, ML 285, HMS St Wistan arrived at Takoradi

10/11/42    HMS Copinsay, ML 1052, ML 1019 sailed from Takoradi for Lagos escorting

11/11/42    H.M.S. Copinsay and ML 1019 and ML 1052 arrived in Lagos from Takoradi

24/2/43      ML 1052 sailed for Cotonomu with French recognition signals

25/2/43      ML 1052 arrived in Lagos from Kotonou

12/3/43      ML 1052 sailed from Lagos for Porto Novo with Free French recognition signals

10/4/43      ML 1052 sailed from Lagos for Port Novo

11/4/43      ML 1052 arrived in Lagos from Porto Novo

20/4/43      ML 1052 sailed from Lagos for Porto Novo

21/4/43      ML 1052 arrived in Lagos from Porto Novo

 

Post War Fate

1/46            For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

HDML_1053  Morgan Giles, Teignmouth, Devon 12/7/41

Known Crew

ChSkipper  A G G Jenner RNR Skipper 24/1/39 (Commanding Officer HDML 1053) 18/9/43 AChSkipper 3/7/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1035 18/11/44

Skipper      C J Lazenby RNR Commanding Officer HDML 1053 18/11/44

LtCdr         C R K Roe RN (Commanding Officer HDML 1053 5/2/45) Assistant Surveyor 1st Class (DSC)

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        103rd ML Flotilla
Based at Falmouth on completion
ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033,  ML  1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth

1/42           At Falmouth

1944           Fitted with echo sounders and allocated to Hydrographic Survey duties.

                   Held as a reserve for ML 1001 in the event of damage or breakdown

 

Post War Fate

1945           Survey Motor Launch = SML 2

1949           SML 322

20/4/59       Sold

 

HDML_1054  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 6/11/41

Known Crew

TLt             G G Pinder RNVR TLt 5/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1054 10/43

Skipper       R J Quinton RNR Skipper 1/9/39 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1054 23/9/42 AChSkipper Commanding Officer HDML 1091 12/43 ChSkipper 6/1/44 150th ML Flotilla Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy Operation Big Drum

ChEng        Thomas Mckinnel

AB              John Tyler

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        10th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085.
 

1/42           ML 1054 is at Great Yarmouth

6/43           Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton

11/10/43    Stranded near Heugh Light, Tees and declared Constructive Total Loss

 

Serving on HDML’s in WWII

From Able Seaman Cook John Tyler

 

I received my call up papers for the Royal Navy on December24th 1942 at the age of 21 and was instructed to report to Royal Arthur Skegness on December 30th. Not being too best pleased at this I began a few days of visiting pubs, especially over the Christmas period. I eventually arrived on the said date and set about my induction and basic training for about a 4-week period after which I was moved to the Royal Navy School of Cooking at HMS Europa in Lowestoft. I took the 5-6 weeks cookery course qualifying as an assistant cook.

I was then billeted out with a local family for another 2 weeks before being posted to Granton Dock in Edinburgh where I joined ML1054. The skipper was Sub/Lt. Quinton RNVR who was a trawler skipper and wanted to return to this life as soon as he could.

The Chief engineer was C.P.O. Tommy Mckinnel and seamen Stokes and John Miller were also crewmembers. My sea experience on ML’s began there with regular patrols of 2 boats patrolling from the Forth Bridge to Bass Rock. We would patrol for 2 days and nights and as we came back in to Granton, 2 more of our flotilla’s boats would go out. When out we would sometimes anchor in the lee of Bass Rock overnight to rest and listen. We were patrolling for enemy submarines and E-boats.

ML1054 had Glenifer engines, which proved to be at best unreliable and sometimes unworkable. We would have done better with paddles. Around June or July the entire crew and skipper transferred to ML 1091, which was fitted with Gardener engines and had no crew. ML1054 remained un-crewed at the dockside.

11/10/43     Stranded near Heugh Light, Tees and declared Constructive Total Loss

HDML_1055  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 14/3/42

London Gazette 14/6/45 - Birthday Honours List 1945

MID           Skipper      Vincent Nicolini RNR

MID           Sea             Robert Lees LT/JX514100

 

Known Crew

TSkipper    J G Cook RNR Commanding Officer HDML 1055 14/2/43 ChSkipper 20/12/44

Skipper      Vincent Nicolini RNR Skipper 1/8/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1055 1/1/44 150th ML Flotilla Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy MID in Birthday Honours List 1945

Skipper      G W Duffield RNR Skipper 1/4/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1055 18/7/44 - End

Sea            Robert Lees LT/JX514100

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        109th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085

To join on completion

6/43            Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton

6/44            Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

 

Post War Fate

7/46            For disposal

                   Yacht = Gerenik

 

HDML_1056  Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 18/8/41

Known Crew

Skipper      J Jappy RNR Skipper 1/3/41 Commanding Officer 150th ML Flotilla HDML 1056 21/2/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy Commanding Officer HDML 1058 9/44

Skipper      G F Mutten RNR Skipper 1/1/42 150th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1056 1/12/44 HMS Cochrane II (Rosyth)

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42         109th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085

1/42           At Scapa Flow

6/44            Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

 

Post War Fate

                   Air Safety Launch =  ASL 6

8/46            For disposal

 

HDML_1057  Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 30/9/41

Known Crew

TLt             R C N Pirie RANVR TLt 21/10/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1057 6/1/43 ML 824 6/44

TMid          M G Arkwright SANF(V) TMid HDML 1057 26/8/43 TSLt 12/6/44 59th ML Flotilla ML 366 ML 896 19/2/45 Arakan

TSLt           N J S Carr RNR TMid 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1088 5/8/42 TSLt 18/12/43 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1057 25/3/44

LSea          Robert William James Wilson P/JX 160843 died in an explosion on 13/10/1944, at Kilindini, Kenya, aged 21. Son of Harold G. and Hannah C. Wilson, of Reading, Berkshire

 

Wartime Activities

1/42            At Fort William for training duties and temporarily attached from 110th ML Flotilla

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
Destined for East Indies
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

Transported to South Africa            
110th ML Flotilla
HDMLs 1057, 1080, 1086, 1098

13/10/44     Accidental loss, by explosion of demolition charges, at Kilindini, Kenya. See also HDML 1108

 

HDML_1058  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 8/9/41

Known Crew

Skipper      E J Attridge RNR Skipper 1/9/40 107th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1058 2/7/42 Duchesse De Brabant 1945

Skipper      J Jappy RNR Skipper 1/3/41 Commanding Officer 150th ML Flotilla HDML 1056 21/2/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy Commanding Officer HDML 1058 9/44          

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow on completion
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML  1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

1/42           107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 52

1947           Chinese Navy

 

HDML_1059  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 27/9/41

Known Crew

Lt               Henry Percy Sympson RNVR. HMS St Christopher for MLs 2/8/41 107th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow HDML 1059 died in an accident on 1/8/42. Son of George Percy and Hilda Clara Sympson, of Westminster, London. Solicitor of the Supreme Court. Buried in Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery Plot P. Row 4. Grave 13

Skipper      J W Shell RNR Skipper 24/2/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1059 5/5/43

TSkipper    F J Setterfield RNR TSkipper 20/8/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1059 31/3/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow on completion
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML  1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

1/42           107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 53

1947           Chinese Navy

 

HDML _1060 Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 12/1/42

Known Crew

Skipper       A Clark RNR 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow HDML 1060 23/9/42 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1067 26/11/43

Skipper       W R Durrard RNR 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1026 9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1060 3/11/43 Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton Commanding Officer HDML 1300 8/11/44

TSkipper    G Cowie RNR 150th ML Flotilla HDML 1060 15/7/44 Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy

Sea             John Thomas Armstrong LT/JX 185361 who died on Sunday 6 August 1944 Age 27. Son of Robert T. Armstrong and Ida May Armstrong, of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea; husband of Anne Jane Armstrong, of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. Buried in Newbiggin (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard

Sea             Frank Covell LT/JX 305514 who died on Sunday 6 August 1944 . Age 21. Son of Florence Maria Covell, of Clayton, Manchester. Buried in Poole (Parkstone) Cemetery

R

Ord Robert Kenneth Forrester P/JX295085 HMS Collingwood 14/8/41 HMS Excellent AA3 HMS St Christopher Manor Naval Barracks, Brightlingsea, Essex HDML 1060 Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton HMS Attack (Portland) 5/42 17th MGB Flotilla Based at Great Yarmouth MGB 606 AB LSea HMS Ganges 8/43 HMS Hornet 55th MTB Flotilla Based at Portsmouth MTB 632 Further award for Operation Neptune MID

OTel           Douglas Nicoll C/JX 405278 Who died on Sunday 6 August 1944 Age: 20. Son of Alfred George and Elizabeth Nicoll, of Aberdeen. Buried in Poole (Parkstone) Cemetery     

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        109th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085

6/44            Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

6/8/44         Constructive Total Loss by ammunition explosion Poole Area

 

Memory of Ken Forrester P/JX295085

 

Once we had commissioned the boat and provisions on board, we sailed down the Broads to Lowestoft. By that time it was late January 1942. It was a cold winter with lots of snow around. I had just been to the naval base for a bath when the air raid sirens sounded on my way back to the boat. The wind was blowing and it was snowing, when out of the swirling snow came a German aircraft at zero height, machine gunning. I lay prostrate in the snow and just hoped for the best. Luckily I was unscathed. A couple of days later and still tied up alongside a sea wall, the sirens sounded again for some reason I can’t remember. I was one of a few that was on board at that time, but no officers. I had just armed myself with the Lewis gun and put the ammunition pan in place, when sure enough a German bomber, a Heinkel 111, came in view at a height that could just about be in range, so I fired the Lewis gun from the shoulder at the hostile plane, but alas nothing came down. Thus were my first shots of anger duly dispatched. I was not aware then of what was to follow in the next three years.

We were soon on our way, leaving Lowestoft for Great Yarmouth on our journey to our destination, which turned out to be Granton on the Firth of Forth, in close proximity to the Forth Bridge where our duties would be boom defence. We stayed at Great Yarmouth for a couple of days. It was here I had my first good fortune. Alongside us was moored a brand new ML, as was our boat. That ML was going down to Cornwall, our boat to Scotland. A seaman from the ML got in conversation with me. He was a Scotsman, and he asked me if I would change boats with him so that he could be near home. It seemed to make no difference to me, so I agreed to his suggestion, but my Captain would not let me go. No one knew that three months later that ML would be one of fifteen MLs, one MGB and one MTB and an ancient destroyer that were to take part in the raid of the French port of St Nazaire.

On route we encountered storms and heavy seas and being new to the sea I found it difficult to do any sort of duty because of sickness. I found that my stint on the wheel (steering the ship) gave me most comfort. Eventually we took shelter in Bridlington Bay in the Lee of Flamborough Head for twenty-four hours until conditions improved. The next leg took us to Blyth where once again we took shelter from the storm. In the middle of the night the air raid sirens sounded. By that time we were tied up alongside the quay. German bombers were soon to be heard droning high in the night sky, the wavering pitch of their engine noise immediately identifying them. The anti-aircraft guns were firing and searchlights pierced the darkness in thin long beams. Bombs were falling in the distance, when all of a sudden there came this loud crunch and a flash — a bomb had just missed us and exploded in the water. Luckily that was the only one that came our way. The next morning we were on our way again, but only as far as Berwick on Tweed, the last town in England. Quite why we called there I don’t know, but I have a recollection of a long stone bridge with many arches. Then finally to our destination, Granton, from where we sailed to our station off the Island of Inchkeith, to pick up radio signals and hydrophone watches.

To put it in a nutshell, it was a ‘cushy job’. When back at base there was shore leave, which in my case was spent in nearby Edinburgh, usually dancing at the Palaise. All this was short lived and my honeymoon period was drawing to a close. HDML 1060 was taken to dry-dock at Leith, where the crew were paid off and we were drafted down to HMS Attack at Portland in Dorset, around the end of May. l understand HDML 1060 had a copper bottom fitted and armaments updated and was shipped out to the Far East where she did not survive the war: another let off.

 

6/43            Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton

6/44            Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla
ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

6/8/44         Constructive Total Loss by ammunition explosion Poole Area

 

 

HDML_1061  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 23/4/42

Known Crew

TSLt          D C Kapoor RINVR TSLt 24/3/43 120th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1061 28/5/43 56th ML Flotilla ML 416 HMS Cheetah (Bombay) 1944

SLt             A J Adams RINVR 120th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1061

TLt             H S Holt RINVR TLt 25/3/43 120th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer and previously First Lieutenant HDML 1061 15/6/43 as TSLt HMS Cheetah (Bombay)

TSLt          S C R Reading RINVR Mid 5/4/43 HMIS Dalhousie (Bombay) HDML 1061

TASLt       Sh Ibne Ali RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1061

TMid         J M Storrow RINVR TMid 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1061 TASLt 13/5/44 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

TMid         D N W Knight RINVR TMid 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1061 15/6/43 TASLt 24/5/44 HDML 1120 TSLt 24/11/44

TMid         O S Dawson RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1073 15/6/43 120th ML HDML 1061 28/10/43 TASLt 1/7/44 HMS Cheetah (Bombay)

 

Wartime Activities

5/43            Royal Indian Navy

120th ML Flotilla
ML 1061, ML 1073, ML 1079, ML 1084, ML 1087

 

Post War Fate

6/46            For disposal

 

HDML_1062  Thornycroft, Singapore 1/42

London Gazette 29/1/46 - For the evacuation of Sungei Punngor in  1942

MID           TLt             Colin Edward McMillan RNZNVR (Post)

 

Known Crew

TLt              Colin Edward McMillan RNZNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1062 killed in action on Monday 16 February 1942. Son of Robert John and Mabel Macmillan (nee Hart), of Tauranga, New Zealand

Lt                Richard Anthony West Pool RN HDML 1062 (Senior Officer for operations off the west coast of Malaya – 12/41)

LSea          William Edward Wells C/J 98299 who was killed in action on Monday 16 February 1942  Previously awarded a DSM. Son of William Edward and Elizabeth Waterman Wells; husband of Ethel Amy Wells, of Romford, Essex

AB             Bin A Ismail MN545

Sto1           William Rowland D/KX 116122 who was killed in action on Monday 16 February 1942 . Son of Arthur and Elize Ella Rowland, of Miles Platting, Manchester

 

Wartime Activities

12/41          HDMLs 1062 and 1063 are assigned to special operations on the west coast of Malaya

24/12/41     HDML 1062, towing two motor boats departs Singapore for Port Swettenham. HDML 1062 is subjected to a series of squalls and the tows have to be recovered several times during the night.

25/12/41     Christmass dinner consists of prunes and condensed milk due to the rough weather and tea consists of a Christmass cake. In the evening, HDML 1062 arrives in Port Swettenham

26/12/41     HDML 1062 departs Poirt Swettenham to join HDML 1063 at Sungei Burnan. A civilian rubber planter, William Harvey, acts as a guide and the two HDMLs rendezvous in the early evening.

26/12/41     At last light, HDMLs 1062 and 1063 depart to land embarked troops between Taiping and the Perak River. HDML 1063 transfers troops to a motor boat and retires. HDML 1062 transfers troops to a motor boat but the engine will not start. HDML 1062 recovers the troops and sinks the motor boat before returning to Port Swettenham. On the return trip, HDML 1062 encounters a Koleb (Native boat) and embark a rubber planter his wife and 12 year old daughter who had travelled 300 miles in the open boat. A Chinese and a Malay choose to remain with the boat and head for the coast. HDML 1062 returns to Port Swettenham and lands the survivors before taking on fuel and stores from Kudat.

27/12/41     In the early morning, Port Swettenham suffers an air raid by British aircraft identified as Bristol Blenheims. One aircraft is shot down amongst the mangrove swamps to the west. HDMLs 1062 and 1063 conduct an unsuccessful search for survivors.

28/12/41     HDML 1062 departs Port Swettenham to recover a raiding party. The raiding party are recovered after ambushing a Japanese motor transport convoy.

6-7/1/42      HDML 1062 escorts the tug Elisabeth from Port Swettenham to Malacca which has been evacuated. Both vessels continue on towards Muar in company with two steamships. SS Kinto is attacked, is hit several times by Japanese aircraft, and set on fire. HDML 1062 and the tug Elisabeth are machine gunned but do not suffer casualties.

1300/7        The convoy reaches Muar. In the evening someone representing himself as the District Commissioner boards HDML 1062 and orders the vessel to leave as its presence is provoking a Japanese attack. He is ordered to leave at gunpoint.

8/1/42         HDML 1062 and the tug Elisabeth reach Batu Pahat.

9/1/42         HDML 1062 and the tug Elisabeth reach Singapore Naval Base.

1/2/42         HDMLs 1062 and 1063, towing naval whalers, evacuate troops from the Malayan mainland to Singapore. Coverage is provided by the gunboats HMS Dragonfly, HMS Scorpion and HMS Grasshopper.

1942           Evacuation of Sungei Punngor

14/2/42       HDML 1062 is sheltering in the Bulang Archipeligo south of Singapore in the next bay to ML 310.

16/2/42       Sunk by Japanese surface craft gunfire, Banka Strait

 

HDML_1063  Thornycroft, Singapore 1/42

Known Crew

AB             Rahmat Bin Saleh MN.254 who died, between 01/01/1944 and 31/12/1944 cause unknown

Sig             Bin M Ibrahim MN 928 (RN Malay Section) died 3/3/43

 

Wartime Activities

12/41          HDMLs 1062 and 1063 are assigned to special operations on the west coast of Malaya

23/12/41     HDML 1062, towing two motor boats and the depot ship Kudat depart Singapore for Port Swettenham

25/12/41     HDML 1063 with 25 Australian troops embarked and towing two motor boats departs Port Swettenham for Sungei Burnan.

26/12/41     At last light, HDMLs 1062 and 1063 depart to land embarked troops between Taiping and the Perak River. HDML 1063 vtransfers troops to a motor boat and retires. HDML 1062 transfers troops to a motor boat but the engine will not start. HDML 1062v recovers the troops and sinks the motor boat before returning to Port Swettenham.

27/12/41     In the early morning, Port Swettenham suffers an air raid by British aircraft identified as Bristol Blenheims. One aircraft is shot down amongst the mangrove swamps to the west. HDMLs 1062 aqnd 1063 conduct an unsuccessful search for survivors.

1/2/42         HDMLs 1062 and 1063, towing naval whalers, evacuate troops from the Malayan mainland to Singapore. Coverage is provided by the gunboats HMS Dragonfly, HMS Scorpion and HMS Grasshopper.

1/3/42         Sunk by Japanese surface craft gunfire at Tanjong Priok

 

HDML_1064  Bolson, Poole Dorset 3/7/41

Known Crew

Skipper       J C Scott RNR Skipper 1/12/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1064 20/10/43

Skipper       A W Bruce RNR Skipper 1/3/44 HDML 1064 10/5/44 - End

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow on completion
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML  1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

1/42           107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 61

1947           Sold

 

HDML_1065  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 16/7/41

Known Crew

TSLt           John Edward Branch RNVR TSLt 30/4/42 HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown.Sierra Leone) for MLs 17/8/42 108th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1065 4/43 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown.Sierra Leone) 51st ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML100 2/6/44. Operation Neptune TLt 30/10/44 Commanding Officer ML106 17/4/45

TSLt           C M Risk RNVR TSLt 4/3/43 HMS Melampus (Base at Dakar) 108th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1065 25/3/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1310 22/11/44 TLt 4/3/45

TSLt           H A Shearring RNVR TSLt 13/2/44 108th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1065 28/8/44 HMS Braganza (Bombay)

TSLt           A G Sturrock TASLt First Lieutenant ML 113 19/12/43 TSLt 28/11/43 108th ML Flotilla HDML 1065 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown.Sierra Leone) 1944

Ord             Cornelis Dougan C/JX 259007 who died by drowning on Friday 26 September 1941 Age 26. Son of Cornelis and Margaret Dougan

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        108th ML Flotilla
Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.  ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

3/11/42      ML 279, ML 277, ML 1065 and HMS Spaniard arrived at Bathurst

17/2/43      ML 287 and ML 1065 sailed from Dakar for Bathurst arriving the same day

30/3/43      ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Port Etienne escorting three merchant vessels to Dakar

1/3/43        ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Bathurst and arrived in Dakar

1/4/43       ML 1065 and ML 1066 arrived in Dakar from Port Etienne escorting SS Mary Kingsley, Buffle, and Persistante

2/4/43        HMS Orfasy with ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Dakar escorting SS Medie II and SS Finisterre to meet HMS Burdock and HMS Inkpen escorting SS Tovelil from Bathurst and subsequently to join Convoy SL 127.

3/4/43        ML 1065 and ML 1066 arrived Bathurst from Port Etienne escorting SS Alsace

 

Post War Fate

11/45          For disposal in West Africa

 

HDML_1066  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 20/8/41

Known Crew

TLt             E C Mercer RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 23/2/42 TLt 12/6/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 30/9/42 108th ML Flotilla (Freetown, Sierra Leone) Commanding Officer HDML 1066 9/43 HMS Melampus (Dakar) 1944 51st ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 100 26/3/45

TSLt           T Blair RNVR TSLt 8/4/44 108th ML Flotilla (Freetown, Sierra Leone) Commanding Officer HDML 1066 1/9/44 HMS Turtle (Poole)

TMid           P D Catlow RNVR TMid 10/3/44 108th ML Flotilla (Freetown, Sierra Leone) HDML 1066 12/44 TASLt 18/12/44 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1086 18/12/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        108th ML Flotilla
Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.  ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

2/9/42        ML 1066 left Bathurst for Bissao, Portuguese Guinea, to collect five survivors from a Sunderland aircraft

5/9/42        ML 1066 returned to Bathurst from Bissao with five survivors from a Sunderland aircraft

17/12/42    HMS Portsdown with ML 1044 and ML 1066 sailed from Freetown for Bathurst escorting one merchant vessel

21/12/42    HMS Portsdown with ML 1044 and ML 1066 arrived in Bathurst from escort duties

1/3/43         ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Bathurst and arrived in Dakar

30/3/43       ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Port Etienne escorting three merchant vessels to Dakar

1/4/43        ML 1065 and ML 1066 arrived in Dakar from Port Etienne escorting SS Mary Kingsley, Buffle, and Persistante

2/4/43        HMS Orfasy with ML 1065 and ML 1066 sailed from Dakar escorting SS Medie II and SS Finisterre to meet HMS Burdock and HMS Inkpen escorting SS Tovelil from Bathurst and subsequently to join Convoy SL 127.

3/4/43        ML1065 and ML 1066 arrived Bathurst from Port Etienne escorting SS Alsace

 

Post War Fate

11/45          For disposal in West Africa

 

HDML_1067  Moody, Swanwick Shore, Southampton 8/5/41

Known Crew

Skipper      W E Bilton RNR Skipper 1/3/41 HMS Baldur (Reykjavik) for HDMLs and MLs 106th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1067 12/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1021 1/44 – End 103rd ML Flotilla Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy

Skipper       J Cormack RNR Skipper 1/10/42 HMS Baldur (Reykjavik) for HDMLs and MLs 106th ML Flotilla HDML 1067 12/42 Bedlington

Skipper       A Clark RNR 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow HDML 1060 23/9/42 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1067 26/11/43

TSkipper    J A MacK Garden RNR TSkipper 8/8/43 HDML 1067 12/43

Skipper      J Wood RNR Skipper 1/6/42 HDML 1043 18/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1067 13/12/44 [FS Mouique Camifle]

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        106th ML Flotilla
For duty in Iceland on completion
ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067

1/1/42        106th ML Flotilla
Operating in Iceland
ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067

2/43           Based at HMS Baldur, Reykjavik, Iceland

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 34

1/48            Sold to France = VP24

 

HDML_1068  Moody, Swanwick Shore, Southampton 25/6/41

Known Crew

Skipper       R Read RNR Skipper 29/3/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1068 5/5/43 Van Oost

TSkipper     F Welch RNR TSkipper 1/3/41 107th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1068 18/6/44

TSkipper     G W Ling RNR TSkipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1068 16/2/45

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow on completion
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML  1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

1/42            107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB54

1947           To China

 

HDML_1069  Watercraft, West Molesey 28/5/41

London Gazette 10/11/42 - For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk 1942

DSM          AB             Noel Jack Johnston PM/3322 RANR

 

Known Crew

TALt Cdr    A G Brooks RNR Lt 4/7/41 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt Commanding Officer HDML 1069 1942 TALtCdr HMS Saker (Washington DC)

Lt                Morton HDML 1069

Lt                Thomas HDML 1069

Mid             Desmond Cyril Gurney Simpson 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt HDML 1069 Killed in action on Saturday 20 June 1942 Age: 18. Son of Cyril George Simpson and Mary Alice Margaret Simpson (nee Bond), of Winchelsea, Sussex

AB              Anthony James Thomas Gilmore  D/JX 186868 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt HDML 1069 Killed in action on Saturday 20 June 1942

AB              Noel Jack Johnston PM/3322 RANR * Wounded in five places he brought the damaged vessel back alongside and then collapsed before being rescued by personnel from ML 355)

AB              James Vincent Lang C/SSX 23874 Killed in action on Saturday 20 June 1942 Age 21. Son of George and Florence Brandis Lang, of Erith, Kent

AB              A Morris X21205A RNR *

MtrMch      J Ashley D/MX70134 ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1069*

Sto              B S W Biggs KX120146 ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1069*

Tel              T R Gilfroy D/JX170916 ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1069*

                   *= Survivor rescued by ML 355

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        101st ML Flotilla
Based at Alexandria, Egypt
ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered.  ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted.  ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.

17/3/42       At 23.03, U-83 fired a spread of three torpedoes at a steamer in convoy AT-34 near Tobruk and missed. At 23.17, one torpedo was fired that hit Crista and set her on fire. Two officers and five ratings were lost. The survivors abandoned ship and were picked up by the South African M/S whaler HMSAS Bokburg.

                   The abandoned Crista was located by the British motor torpedo boat MTB-266, which anchored her off Bardia where the fires were extinguished. She was taken in tow by HMS St. Monance (W 63) to Alexandria for repairs, escorted by the British armed trawler HMS Southern Isle and the British motor launches HMS ML-1005 and HMS ML-1069, arriving on 28 March

1942           Withdrawal from Tobruk

20/6/42       Tasked with recovering demolition parties.

1800           Attempted to sail from Tobruk but was hit by a shell within 100 yds of leaving the berth.and again by shells from a panzer on the road at the head of the harbour. On fire, the vessel signaled for medical assistance and returned to the jetty. Five survivors were taken aboard ML 355 and the vessel was abandoned to be captured by Axis forces. There was at least one German tank within 300 yds of the vessel when ML 355 rescued the survivors. Four personnel from ML 355 were decorated for services during the withdrawal from Tobruk 1942.

ML1069

 

HDML_1070  Watercraft, West Molesey 28/5/41

Decorations

London Gazette 14/6/45 - Birthday Honours 1945

MID           Engmn        John Reid LT/KX160095

 

Known Crew

TLt             J H Want RNVR TLt 3/10/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 24/10/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1070 3/43 HMS Copra

TSkipper    J Clark RNR TSkipper 20/8/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1043 7/12/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1070 15/1/44

TSLt          Richard Henry Beale RNVR TSLt 13/5/41 HMS Wildfire for MLs 24/6/41 HDML 1070 1/10/42 Based at HMS Orlando, Greenock HMS St Christopher 3rd ML Flotilla Based at HMS Gregale (Malta) Commanding Officer ML 135 6/2/43 Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily Commanding Officer HDML 1234 23/10/43 TLt 8/11/43 ML 135 For opening up the ports of Piraeus and Itea MID

TMid          R G Woodhead RNVR HDML 1070 28/6/43 TASLt 1/9/43 HMS Orlando TSLt 1/3/44 ML 536 27/3/44

Engmn       John Reid LT/KX160095

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        105th ML Flotilla
Based at Sheerness on completion
ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070.
  ML 1008 joins by end of 1941

1/1/42        Repairing at Sheerness.  Completes 8/1/42

10/42         Based at HMS Orlando, Greenock

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 55.

1948           Sold

ML1070
Imperial War Museum

 

HDML_1071  Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 21/8/41

Known Crew

Skipper      G Innes RNR Skipper 1/7/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1071 20/10/43

 

Wartime Activities

1/7/41        107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow on completion
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML  1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

1/42           107th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

 

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 56

11/47          Sold

 

HDML_1072  Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 13/10/41

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        110th ML Flotilla (Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting. ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

13/1/43      HMS Bredon with ML 278 and ML 1072 sailed from Bathurst for Freetown escorting HM Tug Charon, SS Starling, and SS Kajang

15/1/43      HMS Bredon with ML 278 and ML 1072 arrived in Freetown escorting HM Tug Charon, SS Starling, and SS Kajang

1/2/43        ML 1072 escorting Malakal sailed from Freetown for Sulima

5/2/43        ML 1072 arrived in Freetown escorting Malakal from Sulima

18/4/43      HMS Burdock, HMS Crocus, HMS Portsdown and HMS Butser with ML 209, ML 272, ML 1072, and ML 1231 sailed from Freetown escorting Convoy FT 7 (five ships).
HMS Burdock and HMS Crocus with ML 1072 and ML 1231 to Bathurst with SS New Northland and SS Pinto. HMS Burdock and HMS Crocus to escort remaining ships towards Trinidad, subsequently to disperse and proceed to Recife to escort HM LSTs to Freetown.

20/4/43      HMS Portsdown and Butser with ML 1072 and ML 1231 arrived in Bathurst from Freetown escorting SS New Northland and S.S. Pinto

24/4/43      HMS Orfasy with ML 1072 and ML 1231 sailed from Bathurst escorting Cable Ship Lady Dennison Pender to repair cable

26/4/43      HMS Orfasy with ML 1072 and ML 1231 arrived in Bathurst from Dakar escorting Cable Ship Lady Dennison Pender

30/8/44      Free French
Transferred at Dakar

Post War Fate

1945           French Navy = VP21

 

HDML_1073  Robinson, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire 18/5/41

Known Crew

SLt              H Revell RINVR Commanding Officer HDML 1073

TSLt           R L Pereira RINVR TSLt 24/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1073 19/1/44

Mid             A M Arklie RINVR Mid 24/5/43 HDML 1073

Mid             S C Raghubir RINVR Mid 2/7/43 HMIS Dalhousie (Bombay) HDML 1073 TASLt 5/11/44

TMid          O S Dawson RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1073 15/6/43 120th ML HDML 1061 28/10/43 TASLt 1/7/44 HMS Cheetah (Bombay)

 

Wartime Activities

1943           Royal Indian Navy

120th ML Flotilla
ML 1061, ML 1073, ML 1079, ML 1084, ML 1087

 

Post War Fate

1946           For disposal

 

HDML_1074  Robinson, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire /42

Hydrographic service in the Far East 1944-45 (Gazette date – 24/7/45)

DSC    LtCdr   Stanley William Scott Robinson RAN

 

Known Crew

Lt Cdr         Stanley William Scott Robinson RAN Commanding Officer HDML 1074 5/44 DSC 1945

Lt                E J McKenzie RANR SLt ML 801 20/5/43 Lt 8/3/45 HDML 1074

Alt              William E Officer RANVR Lt 7/8/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1074 6/44 HMAS Miramar II

Alt              W G Stevens RANVR HDML 1074 10/43

Alt              B H Leak RANR TSLt 8/3/43 HDML 1074 28/11/43 HMAS Ladava (Milne Bay, New Guinea)

Lt                Norman Grieve RANVR Lt 7/4/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1074 9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1321 8/43 HMAS Rushcutter

TSLt           L Mushins RANVR TSLt 9/10/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1074 11/44 HMAS Penguin

SLt             Arthur A Wordsworth RANVR First Lieutenant HDML 1074 9/42 Lt 24/11/42 Commanding Officer ML 430 4/43 HMAS Ladava Milne Bay, New Guinea ML 817 4/45

SLt             Christopher R Cundall RANR SLt First Lieutenant ML 425 12/42 HDML 1074 10/43 Lt 16/2/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1340 12/5/44 HMAS Rushcutter

SLt              Raymond G Evans RANR HDML 1074 6/42 SLt 9/8/42 First Lieutenant ML 426 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin Commanding Officer HDML 1324 12/6/44 Lt 9/8/44

SLt             G T Dyson RANR SLt 22/2/43 HDML 1074 12/3/43 12/3/43 Lt 10/9/44 128th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1356 20/12/44 ML 819
Frank Lindsay (Coxswain)

MtrMch     George Richards

AB             Roy Christie HDML 1074 ML 425
‘Bonk’ Sims

Sto             Alex Campbell HDML 1074

Tel             ‘Blue’ Nolan

 

Wartime Activities

                   Shipped to Australia as deck cargo in Port Aukland

7/10/42       Royal Australian Navy
Based on Port Moresby – Conducting anti submarine patrols in Basilisk Passage
Milne Bay
Wedau in Goodenough Bay for air sea rescue duties with some crew living ashore in a long house
Milne Bay

1944-45      Hydrographic service

10/44          Battle of Leyte Gulf – Passage of 1500 miles from Manus losing touch with convoy in a storm and running short on fuel.

14/10/44     Challenged twice by light by a destroyer which failed to see the responses and closed eventually colliding withy ML 1074 taking off the bow in front of the collision bulkhead.

15/10/44     Carried out immediate repairs and refuelled from YMS 316 in heavy weather fouling a propeller when hoses broke.

17/10/44     In calm waters in Surigao Strait where the propeller was cleared

18/10/44     In action at Morotai assisting in shooting down a plane
Subsequently charted the harbour before being repaired.

 

Post War Fate

24/1/48       Sold

 

HDML_1075  Robinson, Lowestoft, Norfolk 11/12/41

Known Crew

TSkipper     R J Spalding RNR Skipper 1/8/40 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HDML 1045 16/9/42 Commanding Officer  HDML 1075 3/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1047 19/1/45

ChSkipper  P Reid RNR Skipper Commanding Officer HDML 1047 4/2/44 Act ChSkipper 29/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1075 19/1/45

Mid            G P Pinder RNVR Mid 19/7/43 HDML 1075 SLt(A) 8/9/44 HMS Sanderling

Wartime Activities
1/1/42         109th ML Flotilla
                   Based at Scapa Flow
                   ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085.
  ML 1075 is at Lowestoft
1/42            ML 1075 is at Lowestoft

Post War Fate

                   Air Safety Launch = ASL 19

8/46            For disposal

                   = Ancelia

 

HDML_1076  McLean, Renfrew Scotland 1/8/41

Known Crew

TLt            I D B Newsam RNVR 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown Commanding Officer HDML 1076 24/5/43 TLt 11/9/43 HMS Black Bat (Devonport) 1944 Commanding Officer ML 259 24/8/44

TSLt          M Matthews RNVR TSLt 24/3/44 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown HDML 1076 20/4/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) HDML 1471

TSLt          R T Hignell RNVR 18th ML Flotilla Based at HMS Mentor II, Stornoway ML 227 17/4/43 TSLt 11/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1076 2/1/45

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        108th ML Flotilla
Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.  ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

28/12/42    ML 1076, ML 1077, ML 1160, and ML 1089 sailed from Freetown to carry out an A/S Sweep

10/1/43      ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Freetown escorting SS Pinzon

14/1/43      ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Bathurst from Freetown escorting SS Pinzon

29/1/43      HMS Fandango with ML 1077 and ML 1076 sailed from Bathurst for Freetown escorting SS Empire Limba

31/1/43      HMS Fandango with ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Freetown from Bathurst escorting SS Empire Limba

18/4/43      FS La Malouine, ML 1076, ML 287, ML 1137, ML 1018, ML 296 and ML 279 sailed from Freetown for a submarine hunt

20/4/43      ML 296, ML 279, ML 1018 and ML 1076 returned to Freetown from submarine hunt

 

Post War Fate

22/12/45     Sold at Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

HDML_1077  McLean, Renfrew Scotland 12/8/41

Known Crew

TLt            H Proctor RNVR 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1077 13/9/42 TLt 7/5/43

TSLt           R W Burlton RNVR TASLt 23/4/43 TSLt 23/10/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1269 17/4/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) Commanding Officer HDML 1077 1/1/45

LMtrMch   Keith Thomas Stratton Meaden D/MX573544 who died on Wednesday 8 November 1944 Age 18 having been attacked by a shark. Son of Thomas William Hazel and Dorothy Isabel Meaden of Whitehouse, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland  Buried in Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery, Sierra Leone 5. B. 1.   

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        108th ML Flotilla
Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.  ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

28/12/42    ML 1076, ML 1077, ML 1160, and ML 1089 sailed from Freetown to carry out an A/S Sweep

10/1/43      ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Freetown escorting SS Pinzon

14/1/43      ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Bathurst from Freetown escorting SS Pinzon

29/1/43      HMS Fandango with ML 1077 and ML 1076 sailed from Bathurst for Freetown escorting SS Empire Limba

31/1/43      HMS Fandango with ML 1077 and ML 1076 arrived in Freetown from Bathurst escorting SS Empire Limba

 

Post War Fate

12/45          For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

HDML_1078  McLean, Renfrew Scotland 17/11/41

Known Crew

TLt            J W A Leach RNVR TLt 6/4/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1141 8/7/43 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1078 25/9/43 ML 241

TSLt         J B Molloy RNVR TSLt 2/10/43 21st ML Flotilla ML 276 23/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1078 20/2/45

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        108th ML Flotilla
Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone

                  ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.  ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

1/43          ML 1078 is surveyed for repairs at Lagos

6/1/43       HMS Hertfordshire, HMS Lady Rosemary, ML 263, and ML 1078 sailed from Takoradi

 

Post War Fate

12/45          For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

HDML_1079  McLean, Renfrew Scotland 6/4/42

Known Crew

TLt            G R Keay RINVR TSLt 12/8/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1079

TSLt          P E Brewer RINVR TSLt 4/2/43 HMS St Christopher 55th MTB Flotilla Based at Great Yarmouth MTB 671 12/4/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1079 Commanding Officer ML 420 22/10/44

TSLt          K A R Kirwan RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1079

Mid            K A Sultan RINVR Mid 23/4/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1079 HMIS Dalhousie (Bombay) TASLt 13/5/44 HMS Cheetah (Bombay) HMIS Baluchistan (Minesweeper)

TMid         R A Mousinho RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1079 27/1/44

 

Wartime Activities

Mediterranean

1/1/42        101st ML Flotilla
Based at Alexandria, Egypt
ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered.  ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted.  ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.

                  Royal Indian Navy (1943 - 46)

120th ML Flotilla
ML 1061, ML 1073, ML 1079, ML 1084, ML 1087

 

Post War Fate

1947           Sold

 

HDML_1080  Ekins, Christchurch, Dorset 8/10/41

Known Crew

TLt            M R Bromell RANVR TSLt 23/10/42 HMS Lanka TLt 24/1/43 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1080 12/3/43 HMAS Rushcutter 1944 ML 427 4/45
John Milles Commanding Officer HDML 1080

TSLt          C Turnbull RNVR HDML 1272 14/6/43 TSLt 5/9/43 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1080 12/44

TASLt      P M Cromer SANF(V) TASLt 10/1/43 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1080 12/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/42            At Fort William for training duties and temporarily attached from 110th ML Flotilla

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla (Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting. ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion
Transported to South Africa
110th ML Flotilla
HDMLs 1057, 1080, 1086, 1098
Operated out of Trincomalee to the Irrawaddy and Sittang deltas Burma. Taking soil samples for analysis at Kandy. Under Colonel Haslar (Blondie). As a Major, Colonel Haslar had taken part in the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ raid on Bordeaux.

9/9/45         Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya diverted to Penang.

 

Post War Fate

                   ML 3501
Malayan Naval Police = SDML 3501

22/6/51       Malayan Navy = Sri Kedah

 

HDML_1081  Bolson, Poole Dorset 19/9/41

Known Crew

TSLt          J G Stirrat RNVR TSLt 18/6/43 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1081 1/11/43 149th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1391 3/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy Channel Marker at Gold Beach on D Day

Skipper      L C Tomlinson RNR Skipper 1/8/40 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1081 21/2/44 150th ML Flotilla Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy Operation Big Drum

Lt               F W Hunt RN Commanding Officer HDML 1081 19/6/45 Assistant Surveyor 3rd Class (MBE)

TSkipper   W H Bunce RNR TSkipper 1/6/43 150th ML Flotilla HDML 1081 15/7/44 (DSM) - End

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        109th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085

1/42           At Scapa Flow

6/44            Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

6/6/44         Operation Big Drum
ML1081, ML1091, ML1417, ML1419 are jamming German Radar on the Cotentin peninsula on D-Day. Operating around 6 miles east of Cap Barfleur from 0230 to 0440.
Carry RAF Type 660 and 662 Jammers plus operators.

Post War Fate

1945           Survey Motor Launch = SML 3

8-9/45         With HMS Franklin and SML 4, surveyed the Weser Estuary and the approaches to Bremen

                   To Denmark to assist with opening ports

1949           SML 323

                   To Iran

1972           Listed in Janes Fighting Ships as in Iranian Navy as "Assion" but out of service    

 

HDML_1082  Bolson, Poole Dorset 1/12/41

Known Crew

TLt              G G Macpherson RNVR TLt 24/4/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1082 11/11/41 Commanding Officer ML 916 28/8/44 DSC

TLt             R Gregory RANVR TSLt 23/10/42 First Lieutenant HDML 1082 12/3/43 TLt 23/10/43 HMAS Cerberus (Flinders Naval Depot, Williamstown, Victoria) 1944

TLt             H Downes RNVR TLt 12/6/42 HMS St Christopher HDML 1082 Commanding Officer HDML 1288 19/5/43

TASLt        R C George SANF(V) TASLt 15/1/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1082 7/44 HMS Braganza (Bombay) HMS Lanka (RN base, Colombo, Ceylon)

TASLt        R S Franck SANF(V) HDML 1082 TASLt 7/1/43 HDML 1082 12/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
(Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

9/9/45        Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya diverted to Penang.

 

Post War Fate

22/7/47       Sold

 

HDML_1083  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 23/10/41

Known Crew

Lt                E D Bennett 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt Commanding Officer HDML 1083 1941 –

TLt             J F Ford RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 20/4/42 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) for MTBs 8/42 TLt 12/2/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1083 6/4/43 ML 385 Commanding Officer ML 360 4/6/44 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece 1945 DSC
Ramsey Wilson Commanding Officer HDML 1083 1944

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered.  ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted.  ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.

                   Detected a submarine off the royal palace near Alexandria which subsequently escaped

3/11/43       Landed an SBS raiding party on Khalki Island west of Rhodes

20/2/44       Lost after grounding on a rock, Gulf of Kos, Aegean
The crew got off and acquired a caique in Budrum where they had been taken by the Turkish coastguard. They sail the caique back to base. Ramsey Wilson is given command of LS 9 in the Levant Schooner Flotilla.

 

HDML_1084  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 19/1/42

Known Crew

Lt                Grant Commanding Officer HDML 1084
TLt H H Stewart RINVR TLt 8/9/42 120th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1084 13/7/43 – 12/43 ML 892 HMS Patunga (Chittagong)

TSLt           Y Amin RINVR TSLt 18/1/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

TSLt           P T Jenkins RINVR TSLt 22/7/43 120th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1084 19/1/44 – 6/44

TSLt           J R B Harper RINVR TSLt 10/8/42 17th MTB Flotilla MTB 302 14/6/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

ASLt          I J L Lang RINR ASLt 13/5/44 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

TSLt          H J Rodricks RINVR TSLt 11/6/43 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

TASLt       J M Storrow RINVR TMid 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1061 TASLt 13/5/44 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084

Mid            T C Pavledis RINVR 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1084 4/6/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
(Destined for East Indies )
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

                   Royal Indian Navy 2/4/42 – 1946

120th ML Flotilla

ML 1061, ML 1073, ML 1079, ML 1084, ML 1087

 

Post War Fate

1947           Sold

 


HDML_1085  Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 16/9/41

London Gazette 14/6/45 - Birthday Honours 1945

DSC          TLtCdr       Harry Mannix Nees RNZNVR 3/45

MID           TLt             Kenneth Metcalfe Banks RNVR (Commanding Officer 8/1/43)

TSLt          E T Melly RNVR 11/44

MID           POEng        Jack Jacob Cotton LT/KX160104

 

Known Crew

TLtCdr       Harry Mannix Nees RNZNVR TLt, 31/1/41 11th ML Flotilla 22/9/41 (230?) 24th ML Flotilla 3/43 ML 230 MID 1942

TLtCdr       ML 1085 3/45 DSC 1945

TLt            Kenneth Metcalfe Banks RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 25/8/41 TLt 8/10/42 HMS Iron Duke for MLs 11/42 Commanding Officer ML 1085 8/1/43 Birthday Honours 1945 MID

TSLt          E T Melly RNVR TSLt 26/8/43 150th ML Flotilla ML 1085 11/44

POEng       Jack Jacob Cotton LT/KX160104 HDML 1085 Birthday Honours 1945 MID

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        190th ML Flotilla
Based at Scapa Flow
ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085

1/42            At Scapa Flow

6/44            Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

 

Post War Fate

1945           Survey Motor Launch = SML 4

8-9/45         With HMS Franklin and SML 4, surveyed the Weser Estuary and the approaches to Bremen

1949           SML 324

9/6/59         Sold

1973           = Shearwater Operated by Arisaig Marine as a ferry serving the Isles of Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna or even Soay or Skye

2002           Transferred to new owners in Inverness


ML 1085

HDML_1086  Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 4/11/41

Known Crew

TSLt            W Lockhead RNVR 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1086 from build

TLt             N L McGawley RNVR 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1086 13/3/43 TLt 23/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1404 29/5/44 HMS Hornet Commanding Officer ML 113 7/2/45

TSLt           G D Petrie SANF(V) ) TSLt 1/3/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1086 4/44 HMS Paladin (Destroyer)

TASLt        P W Griffin RNR 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1086 10/42 TSLt 15/11/43 HMS Victorious (Aircraft Carrier)

TSLt           D H Thomas RNVR TSLt 9/3/43 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1086 1944

TSLt           R A J Webb RNVR HDML 1376 14/6/43 TSLt 12/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1086 7/2/45

TASLt        P D Catlow RNVR TMid 10/3/44 108th ML Flotilla (Freetown, Sierra Leone) HDML 1066 12/44 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1086 18/12/44 TASLt 18/12/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
(Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion
Transported to South Africa
110th ML Flotilla
HDMLs 1057, 1080, 1086, 1098

10/2/42       HDMLs 1086 and 1098 depart Durban for Kilindini, Kenya and are tasked to escort two boom defence vessels to Addu Attol in the Maldives. Six days later, at Port Victoria in the Seychelles, HDML 1098 is tasked to recover US personnel from Coetivy Island 160 miles south of Mahe before rejoining at Addu Attol.
Anti submarine patrols at Addu Attol
After twelve days, HDMLs 1086 and 1098, with a corvette, are tasked to escort a water carrier to Colombo. The distance to Colombo is 600 miles but the required route to avoid contact with Japanese forces doubles that an HDML 1098 arrives in Colombo with 20 gallons left in her tanks.
Patrols at Trincomelee and Colombo

9/9/45         Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya diverted to Penang.

 

Post War Fate

10/46          For disposal

 

HDML_1087  Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 3/1/42

Known Crew

TSLt           K P Nair RINVR TSLt Commanding Officer HDML 1087 3/7/43 TLt 121st ML Flotilla HDML 1118

TMid          M F Barclay RINVR TMid 6/10/41 HMS Hindustan (Sloop) HDML 1087 15/6/43 55th ML Flotilla ML 440 TASLt 13/5/44 HMS Adyar (Madras)

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
(Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

Royal Indian Navy 2/4/42 - 1944

120th ML Flotilla
ML 1061, ML 1073, ML 1079, ML 1084, ML 1087

 

Post War Fate

1947           Sold

 

HDML_1088  McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 24/11/41

Known Crew

TLt             R H Tigg RNVR TLt 7/9/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1088 29/3/43 HDML 1310 Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy DSC ML 534 1944

TLt             C W Robinson RNZNVR TLt 21/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1088 1/2/44

SLt             F J Marks RNR SLt 24/5/43 HDML 1088

TMid          N J S Carr RNVR 110th ML Flotilla HDML 1088 5/8/42 TSLt 18/12/43 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1057 25/3/44

 

Wartime Activities

1/1/42        At Ardrisaig for training duties temporarily attached from 110th Motor Launch Flotilla

1/1/42         110th ML Flotilla
(Destined for East Indies)
ML 1057 and ML 1080 are at Hamble awaiting freighting.  ML 1072, ML 1082, ML 1084, ML 1086, ML 1087 and ML 1088 are to be freighted upon completion

 

Post War Fate

1946           Sold at Kilindini, Kenya

 

HDML_1089  McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 29/5/42

Known Crew

TLt            C B Baugh RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 2/3/42 HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown, Sierra Leone) for MLs 8/42 TLt 30/10/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1089 25/3/43 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) ML 530 1944

TSLt           H E Munn RNVR TSLt 29/9/43 HDML 1403 Commanding Officer HDML 1089 1/3/44

TSLt           W N Anderson RNVR TASLt 19/2/43 TSL 14/8/43 ML 125 23/11/43? Commanding Officer HDML 1089 20/4/45

TSLt          J P M Sugden RNVR TSLt 26/5/44 ML 274 Commanding Officer HDML 1089 5/1/45

 

Wartime Activities

4/9/42        ML 1209 and ML 1089 joined West Africa Command from U.K. by freight

28/12/42    ML 1076, ML 1077, ML 1160, and ML 1089 sailed from Freetown to carry out an A/S Sweep

26/1/43      HMS Arran arrived in Bathurst with ML 1089 and ML 1160

3/2/43        HMS Arran and ML 1160 and ML 1089 arrived in Freetown from Bathurst escorting 2 merchant ships

3/4/43        ML 1231 and ML 1089 sailed from Freetown to meet and escort stragglers from Convoy SL 127 and return with them to Freetown

5/4/43        ML 1231 and ML 1089 returned to Freetown having been unable to meet the stragglers from Convoy SL 127, which arrived in Freetown independently

 

Post War Fate

1/46            Sold at Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

HDML_1090  Ranalagh Yacht Yard, Wooton, Isle of Wight 22/1/42

Wartime Activities

6/42            Royal New Zealand Navy

 

Post War Fate

11/7/42       Lost in transport

 

HDML_1091  Ranalagh Yacht Yard, Wooton, Isle of Wight 16/7/42

London Gazette 14/6/45 - Birthday Honours 1945

MID     PO       Henry William Lucas LT/JX189944

 

Known Crew

Ch Skipper  R J Quinton RNR Skipper 1/9/39 109th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1054 23/9/42 AChSkipper Commanding Officer HDML 1091 12/43 ChSkipper 6/1/44 150th ML Flotilla Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy Operation Big Drum

Lt                D L Gordon RN (Commanding Officer HDML 1091 6/45) Assistant Surveyor 2nd Class

TLt              J G Rawson RNVR HMS St Christopher for MLs 29/12/41 TLt 20/3/42 HDML 1091 HMS Benbow

Skipper        A S Ellington RNR Skipper 24/6/43 HDML 1091 15/7/44

CPO           Thomas McKinnel

CPO           Joe Bradley HDML 1091

PO              Henry William Lucas LT/JX189944

AB              John Tyler

 

Wartime Activities

11/42          Operation Torch - Invasion of Algeria

6/44            Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy
150th ML Flotilla

                   ML1055, ML1056, ML1060, ML1081, ML1085, ML1091, ML1279, ML1382, ML1390

6/6/44         Operation Big Drum
ML1081, ML1091, ML1417, ML1419 are jamming German Radar on the Cotentin peninsula on D-Day. Operating around 6 miles east of Cap Barfleur from 0230 to 0440.
Carry RAF Type 660 and 662 Jammers plus operators

 

Serving on HDML’s in WWII

From Able Seaman Cook John Tyler

 

I received my call up papers for the Royal Navy on December24th 1942 at the age of 21 and was instructed to report to Royal Arthur Skegness on December 30th. Not being too best pleased at this I began a few days of visiting pubs, especially over the Christmas period. I eventually arrived on the said date and set about my induction and basic training for about a 4-week period after which I was moved to the Royal Navy School of Cooking at HMS Europa in Lowestoft. I took the 5-6 weeks cookery course qualifying as an assistant cook.

I was then billeted out with a local family for another 2 weeks before being posted to Granton Dock in Edinburgh where I joined ML1054. The skipper was Sub/Lt. Quinton RNVR who was a trawler skipper and wanted to return to this life as soon as he could.

The Chief engineer was C.P.O. Tommy Mckinnel and seamen Stokes and John Miller were also crewmembers. My sea experience on ML’s began there with regular patrols of 2 boats patrolling from the Forth Bridge to Bass Rock. We would patrol for 2 days and nights and as we came back in to Granton, 2 more of our flotilla’s boats would go out. When out we would sometimes anchor in the lee of Bass Rock overnight to rest and listen. We were patrolling for enemy submarines and E-boats.

ML1054 had Glenifer engines, which proved to be at best unreliable and sometimes unworkable. We would have done better with paddles. Around June or July the entire crew and skipper transferred to ML 1091, which was fitted with Gardener engines and had no crew. ML1054 remained un-crewed at the dockside. After a short while we got a new coxswain C.P.O. Joe Brady who came from Wembly.

After about 5 months with this boat ML1091 and 3 other boats were ordered alongside and fitted with 2 x 20 foot masts either side of the wheel-house with a cross-bar above the bridge, not unlike rugby posts. A large plate type structure was fitted to them which we were told had something to do with radar. A hole was cut in the deck behind the wheelhouse and a generator was lowered in to position in the P.O.s mess. The hole was plated over again once installed. This was all part of the new equipment to upset German radar. We then commenced sea trials to test the stability of the ML in all weathers. I remember being told off by the skipper when he overheard me say that I thought it all looked a bit dodgy to me. The test proved the stability of the boats and the Flotilla was ordered south, destination Newhaven. On the way we called at Grimsby and Lowestoft so our skipper could renew acquaintances from his trawling days and the crews could have a run ashore. In the Thames estuary ML1091 and 3 other boats split from the Flotilla and proceeded up river to Isleworth where we had some more electronic equipment fitted. Each boat got another crewmember posted in to operate this equipment ours being a young New Zealander who came from Rotarua. After calibration and tests the 4 boats proceeded to Newhaven to join our other Flotilla members. These other boats had been fitted with big loudspeakers and powerful amplifiers. We did some exercises locally noticing a massive armada building up around us finally getting our orders for D-Day.

On the 5th June in the small hours we put to sea but were called back due to bad weather. On the 6th June we set off again this time it was on despite the weather being worse than the day before. We escorted the American ships and craft and at dawn, we were off the Omaha beach area. We tried hard to maintain station, bow on to the shore jamming Enemy coastal radar, dodging our craft, warships, landing craft, enemy gunfire etc. I had never seen so many ships and craft in my whole life. We were 2 – 4 miles off the coast until around mid-day when we were ordered back to Newhaven escorting returning ships. The 4 other boats of the Flotilla had been ordered to a quiet part of the French coast and were broadcasting sounds of an invasion there to confuse the enemy. During this action no one was allowed below decks for safety in case we got hit. As cook I made sandwiches, flasks of hot soup, cocoa and tea which was stored behind the wheelhouse for everyone to use during the day. My job when not cooking was as number 2 on the 2-pounder gun mounted aft. I remember lots of bodies in the water but we were ordered not to pick them up in case the enemy had booby-trapped them.

Back in Newhaven the ML’s were fitted with big canisters astern to make smoke when required. We returned to the French coast and were ordered between the capital ships like Warspite, Renown and Rodney and the shoreline. We moved back and forth making dense smoke screens to shield them from enemy gunners. Our shells screamed over our heads towards the enemy and the enemy shells screamed back occasionally falling very close to us as we operated.


As the allies moved up through France, Belgium and Holland we were off the coast eventually being ordered to the Walcheren Island. Again we jammed the enemy coastal radar as out invasion craft went in. I remember as we did our bit, the skipper of ML1081 got a roasting because as we operating he was seen with nets behind his boat trawling up the stunned fish. Waste not – want not.

After the attack on Walcheren we returned to Newhaven again this time we were ordered to patrol up to the Isle of White and occasionally as far as Dover. We were ordered to look for British mines that had come free and gotten in to the shipping lanes. When we found them the Orlikon gunner would sink them with cannon fire or as was more usual, explode them.

On one of these patrols the ML’s were in Poole harbour for a rest. ML1081 was tied up with our boat ML1091 tied up alongside. The crew of 1081 was going on leave so their boat was having its ammunition taken off. It was believed that someone dropped a case of 20mm Orlikon ammunition and it exploded killing 2 men and setting fire to the stern. I was below emptying a teapot in to the heads when it happened. The result was I ended up headfirst in the heads covered in wet cold tealeaves. We used axes to cut our moorings and pulled away from the burning 1081. She was later beached to save her sinking.

A few weeks later as the European war was ending ML1091 was renamed SML5 (Survey Motor Launch) and we got a new skipper. Sub/Lt Quinton had at long last been relieved to return to the trawlers. The Flotilla leader, Lt/Cmdr. Gordon became our new skipper and we crossed the Channel again to Ostende, up the river Maas and in to Rotterdam. As the war in Europe finished we were ordered to survey the river Rhine and find a navigable passage for the river traffic. Our days were spent zigzagging up the river looking for obstacles and wrecks. When we found them we would mark them with a buoy, plot them and find away round them. Other teams would remove them. When we had worked our way up river we moved to Neimegen then to Wessel, Duseburg, Dusseldorf and finally Cologne. Every day as the sun went down we would return to our base as we were not allowed to go ashore or tie-up anywhere else. On one particular day our skipper took us up river to see Bad Gottesberg where Chamberlain met Hitler at the start of it all.

We were back in Ostende on V-J Night and were allowed to go ashore to celebrate. As none of the crew had any money we took our spare boots with us. A deal had been struck with a café owner. He would get the boots and we would get beer all night. Unfortunately the café owner reneged and after a couple of beers he refused to give us any more. Well, being slightly miffed, this resulted in WWIII breaking out with bodies, chairs, tables and blood going all over the place. We managed to escape, with our boots, without being arrested and returned to our boat to sleep it off. The next morning we were ordered to parade on the key-side. The Café owner and police were there and began to pick us out. We had the option, pay for the damage or go to jail. We had no money so things looked bad for us but Lt/Cmdr. Gordon needed his crew so he paid for us, God bless him. In fact I think I still owe him 15 shillings.

We again returned to Newhaven where we tied up again for what was to be the last time. I was finally relieved and sent back up to HMS Europa where I was de-mobbed in 1946.

 

We were shot at a few times during my war service but never fired at anything other than a few errant mines. We hunted submarines but never found one. We did drop a 200lb depth charge once during a practice and we used most of our 4lb scare charges to stun fish and trawl them in. We never lowered our ensign once in fact, it was there from the day I boarded my first ML until the day I left them. 

As the boats cook I operated in a tiny galley with a coal fired stove, which continually sooted up. The flue for this came out near the wheelhouse and I knew when it was time to clean it when the skipper would appear covered in black spots or with a complete black face. We normally had potatoes, onions, carrots and fresh veg. but most meat was canned. I invented 20 different ways to serve up Spam. All fruit was canned save for the occasional apple. That’s why the fresh fish was very welcome when we could get it.

They were great days with good shipmates’ all serving together on fantastic little boats that worked and worked their socks off continually. God bless them all.

 

Post War Fate

1945           Survey Motor Launch = SML 5

1949           SML 325

22/7/58       Sold

 

HDML_1092  Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Wartime Activities

4-5/5/41      ML 1092, ML 1093, ML 1094 and ML 1095 are destroyed on the stocks by an air raid whilst building at Harland & Wolff, Belfast

 

HDML_1093  Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Wartime Activities

4-5/5/41      ML 1092, ML 1093, ML 1094 and ML 1095 are destroyed on the stocks by an air raid whilst building at Harland & Wolff, Belfast

 

HDML_1094  Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Wartime Activities

4-5/5/41      ML 1092, ML 1093, ML 1094 and ML 1095 are destroyed on the stocks by an air raid whilst building at Harland & Wolff, Belfast

 

HDML _1095 Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Wartime Activities

4-5/5/41      ML 1092, ML 1093, ML 1094 and ML 1095 are destroyed on the stocks by an air raid whilst building at Harland & Wolff, Belfast

 

HDML_1096  Thornycroft, Singapore (Launched 1/6/41)

Wartime Activities

1/42            Lost at the fall of Singapore

 

HDML_1097  Thornycroft, Singapore (Launched 10/6/41)

Wartime Activities

1/42            Lost at the fall of Singapore

 

HDML_1098  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 2/42

Known Crew

LtCdr          E L Bingham SANF(V) LtCdr 19/9/39 HMS Kongoni (Durban) HDML 1098 1942 (On commissioning) HMS Amzari (Vizigapatam)

Lt               G C M Brown SANF(V) Lt 1/11/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1098 14/6/43 HMS Assegai (Durban)

TSLt          S H Lane RNVR TSLt 21/11/43 HDML 1098 ML 464 9/4/45

Wartime Activities

Unofficially named “Insizwa”

13/12/41    Commissioned
19/12/41    Sailed for Simonstown. Next day forced into East London by a gale and spends three days repairing storm damage.
                  Trials at Simonstown then returned to Durban and ordered to Ceylon.
                  Transported to South Africa
                  110th ML Flotilla
                  HDMLs 1057, 1080, 1086, 1098
10/2/42      HDMLs 1086 and 1098 depart Durban for Kilindini, Kenya and are tasked to escort two boom defence vessels
                  to Addu Attol in the Maldives. Six days later, at Port Victoria in the Seychelles, HDML 1098 is tasked to recover
                  US personnel from Coetivy Island 160 miles south of Mahe before rejoining at Addu Attol.
                  Anti submarine patrols at Addu Attol
                  HDML 1098 is tasked to bury casualties from HMS Cornwall and Dorsetshire who had died there.
                  After twelve days, HDMLs 1086 and 1098, with a corvette, are tasked to escort a water carrier to Colombo.
                  The distance to Colombo is 600 miles but the required route to avoid contact with Japanese forces doubles
                  that an HDML 1098 arrives in Colombo with 20 gallons left in her tanks.
                  Patrols at Trincomelee and Colombo
9/9/45        Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya diverted to Penang.

Wartime Activities

 

Post War Fate

1/47            For disposal at Hong Kong

 

HDML_1099  Nichol, Durban, South Africa /42

Known Crew

Lt              J Ellis-Browm SANF Lt 22/3/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1099 from build HMS Kimberley (Destroyer)

TSLt         D G P Strike RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1099 10/5/43

TSLt         P S E M Dickens RNR TSLt 1/7/43 HDML 1099 1/2/44 HMS Wolfhound (Destroyer)

TSLt         A L Stuart RNVR HDML 1099 1/1/45

 

Wartime Activities

               Unofficially named “Inkosana”
3/42        Commissioned
5/42        Departed for Kilindini and employed there on patrol and local duties until the end of the war.

 

Post War Fate

1/46        For disposal at Trincomalee