The Medusa Trust

HDML Boats 1300-1349

HDML_1300  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 20/1/43

Known Crew
TLt            T G Edwards RNVR (Commanding Officer 21/12/42)

TASLt       A H Shields RNVR 17/4/44

Skipper     W R Durrant RNR (Commanding Officer 8/11/44)

TSkipper   L C Evison RNR 5/1/45


Wartime Activities

                   Protection of Weymouth Anchorage during the build up to Operation Neptune


Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 64

6/48            Sold

                   = Vincent

2003           Based in Carrickfergus




HDML_1301  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 6/4/43

London Gazette 5/9/44 - For Operation Brassard of the landings on Elba 17/6/44

DSC    Lt         Peter William Spencer
During the landing on the South Coast of Elba, Lt Peter William Spencer in HDML 1301 was responsible for finding Louise Green Beach and for landing 9 LCA carrying the French Battalion de Choc at 0100 on 17 June 1944 .
After releasing the craft for the last position of their run in, HDML 1301 was attacked by a German F-Lighter. In the action which followed, the Commanding Officer of HDML1301 was killed and the First Lt wounded. Lt Spencer took charge and brought the HDML back to SNO(L) in LC(H) 315, 4miles from the beach in time to lead in the US landing craft in the main assault on Kodak Green Beach at 0400. This officer displayed outstanding gallantry, initiative and determination of purpose.[Errol C L Turner, Captain RN, CO].
This recommendation is strongly concurred in. The successful manner in which the US landing craft were manoeuvred and brought in for the assault under heavy fire after the damage and casualties sustained by HDML 1301 in her encounter with the enemy 3 hours previously, was a splendid example of resolution and fighting spirit. [Rear Admiral Trowbridge].

Alan John Godfrey, Temporary Sub-Lt RNVR, awarded Mention in Dispatches. At about 0100 on 17 June 1944, HDML 1301 in which he was First Lt, had a close engagement with a German F-Lighter off the coast of Elba. He was wounded many times by shrapnel in the chest and back, and in spite of this he went aft to superintend the making of smoke. By doing so, he set a fine example to those around him, many of whom were wounded. [Errol C L Turner, Captain RN, CO].


London Gazette 11/12/45 - Wind up of the war in Europe

MID           POEng       Lawrence Lamb LT/KX125465

MID           LSea          Ralph Pritchard P/J42257


Known Crew

Lt  Frank Leslie Carter

Lt                Frank Leslie Carter Who died of wounds during the landings on Elba on Saturday 17 June 1944 in M.L. 1301. Son of Frederick Gordon and Jessie Lilian Carter; husband of Kathleen May Carter, of Wood Green, Middlesex. Buried in Biguglia War CemeteryCorsica    Served in HMS Letitia ( AMC ) as a rating.  ML 231 as  First Lieutenant in 1942 at Scapa Flow . Born 26/3/14 in Edmonton, Middlesex.

Lt                Peter William Spencer

Lt                J T K Paisley RN (Commanding Officer 5/45) Surveyor 2nd Class

TSLt           A J Godfrey RNVR 30/4/43

POEng        Lawrence Lamb LT/KX125465

LSea           Ralph Pritchard P/J42257



Wartime Activities


10/7/43        Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily

9/9/43         Operation Avalanche - Salerno Landings

17/6/44        Operation Brassard - Invasion of Elba

HDML 1301 is to take station 200 yards, 335o from LC (H) 315 ready for LCAs to form up. He is to show a steady red light towards the group. Craft are to be manned and formed up as quickly as possible in accordance with the diagram below. Lt P W Spencer will be embarked on LCI (L) 303 with the Commander of Battalion de Choc and is to transfer to HDML 1301 as LCAs are forming up.

At H–2.45hrs HDML1301 is to lead off to position 211, Marina di Capo light 25.5 cables, marked by PT 211 who will flash Z’s. HDML 1301 is to pass him at H–2.10hrs and steer to arrive at the inner release position 236, Marina di Capo light 21.5 cables at H–1.95hrs. This course is in line with Mt Caponne, the highest point on the island.

The Folboat in position 248, Marina di Capo light 17.2 cables, will be flashing L’s to seaward from H–2.25hrs until passed by the LCAs. Don’t worry if the light not sighted – the light may not have made it. As soon as the HDML 1301 stops, the Flotilla Officer is to reduce speed and turn his flotilla to starboard and make straight for the beach.

On clearing the beech craft are to return to HDML 1301 at slow speed, on no account rev up engines unless fired on by enemy. Form up in original order except both LCS (M) on starboard side ready to return to waiting area. When Lt Spencer in HDML 1301 has collected his group, he is to steer at slow speed to waiting area C for 10 minutes. After this, he is to check compasses with Flotilla Officer.

During the Main Assault Lt Spencer in HDML1301 will wait at (R). When the group arrives, he is to take up a position 100 yards east of LST 4. LCV (P) are to form up as follows: As each LST completes loading her 5 craft, they are to form up and close HDML 1301 which will be stationed 100 yards east of LST4. At H–85, HDML 1301 will lead off to join up astern of main assault flight which will be marked by HDML 1246 showing a red light toward convoy.
Assault on Kodak Green Beach. On reaching position 093o Marina di Capo light 10 cables, HDML 1301 is to lead the 14 LCV(P) round to starboard until heading for the beach, when he is to stop. LCV(P) Flotilla Officer is to proceed on in and to touch down in two waves, first at H–10. Both waves must beach on either side of the rock in the centre, the fist wave clearing outwards to allow the second to come in.
On clearing the beach, LCV (P) are to rejoin HDML1301 who is to lead them out in line ahead on a reciprocal course keeping as close to the coast as possible. Major LCs will be entering at some time but it is the responsibility of the minor LCs to keep out of their way. HDML1301 will lead them back to (R) proceeding on a track ½ mile east of approach course. Lt Spencer in HDML 1301 is to proceed at full speed to (T) as soon as LCV(P) have found parent LSTs. On arrival he is to take up position as "Return Convoy Controller" where he will be joined by LCI(L)316 and transfer to it.
On the South Coast one or two F-Lighters thought to have been evacuating Pianosa Garrison, possibly accompanied by an E-boat were sighted at 0030 by the PT boats. … Short engagement, both PT boats damaged, one man killed. One of the F-Lighters then encountered ML1301 which had just released the 9 MCAs making the most westerly landing. ML1301 came under heavy cannon and machine-gun fore to which she replied. The Captain was killed, First Lt and 5 ratings injured. F-Lighter then passed into Golfo di Campo without sighting the landing craft. The F-Lighter appears to have rounded Elba to the west after encounter with PT Boats.
During all this time ML 1301 and her 9 LCAs and 2 LCS (M) for Louise Green were not having such an easy time. They led off from position (R) at 2350 hours and the approach to this dispersal point was not entirely to plan. The only exception was PT 211 who was well over to eastward but as the details of the land were clearly visible this caused no difficulty. The Folboat was in the correct position.
At 0055 ML 1301 was lying pointing roughly North-West having released the LCAs at 0040 in position 9 cables 198o centre of Louise Green, when a vessel was sighted off the Port Bow steaming South-East about 2 cables distant. It looked like an F-Lighter and this was confirmed a second or two later when German voices were heard. Guns were trained on the enemy but it was hoped they would not see us.
The enemy opened fire about 10 seconds after we first sighted him with intense 20mm and machine gun fire. At the same time, fire was returned and many of the ship’s company reported hearing screams as Orlikon bursts found their marks. The enemy disengaged and when last seen was steaming for Golfo di Campo. At 0105 hours, course was set for position (R) as I considered it paramount import to report presence of the enemy and secure medical assistance.
All casualties were transformed to LC (H) 315 and Sub Lt Rossiter, one of SNO (L)’s staff and one signalman lent to him. ML 1301 then proceeded to the LST to gather up the 14 LCV (P)s he was to lead to Kodak Green Beach


Post War Fate

1945           Enployed on port surveys in the Mediterranean

1946           Mediterranean Survey Unit 2

                   Survey work off Pantelleria, the Adriatic, Greek Islands , Piraeus , Cyprus and Beirut

1947           Survey work off Tobruk, Cyrenaica , Cyprus and Malta

                   Survey Motor Launch = SML 352

1948           Survey work off Zuara, Tripoli and Cyprus

Returned to the United Kingdom to replace HMS Gulnare

1949           Renamed HMS Meda and employed on survey duties in the approaches to Portsmouth , the Solent, Portland and off the Channel Islands .

1950           Survey work off Portsmouth and in the Solent

1951           Survey work off Portsmouth and in the Solent

1952           Survey work off Portsmouth and in the Solent

1953           Survey work off Portsmouth , Chichester and in the Solent

1954           Survey work off Portsmouth , Plymouth , Bembridge Harbour and Chichester Harbour

1955           Survey work off Portsmouth , Plymouth , Dartmouth and the Beaulieu River

1956           Survey work off Portsmouth , in the Solent , the Needles Passage and Devonport.
(Renamed HMS Meda before this point)

1957           Survey work off Portsmouth , Shoreham, Portland and in Swanage Bay .

1958           Survey work off Portsmouth , Rye Bay , Swanage Bay and the approaches to Par and Charlestown

1959           Survey work off Portsmouth , Cowes, Alderney and Braye.


25/6/66        Sold

2002           = Gibel Tarik Based in Gibraltar



2008 Sold and moved to Ijmuiden


ML 3001


ML 1301 entering Ijmuiden

ML 3001


HDML_1302  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 19/4/43

Known Crew
TSLt          J S Veitch RNVR 27/6/43


Wartime Activities

Post War Fate

11/46          Sold

                   =Santa Katerina

1996           Sunk at Malta


HDML_1303  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 15/6/43

London Gazette 10/7/45 - For operations off the coast of Arakan from November 1944 to March 1945

DSC          TSLt          John Lyon Taylor RNVR


London Gazette 11/9/45 - For operations off the coast of Arakan from November 1944 to March 1945

MID           Sea                        Peter Hartley LT/JX436831


Known Crew

TLt C M Page RANVR (Commanding Officer 26/7/43)
TSLt John Lyon Taylor RNVR 24/5/43
TSLt M A Renton SANF(V) 17/5/45

Sea            Peter Hartley LT/JX436831

Sea            Samuel Ernest Leggett LT/JX 167084 died by drowning on Sunday 18 July 1943 Age 24. Son of Harry Victor and Alice Maud Leggett, of Gorleston, Great Yarmouth . Buried in Great Yarmouth (Gorleston) Cemetery  


Wartime Activities

11-24/12/44       Task Force 64 (Capt. Bush) with the destroyers Napier and Nepal, sweepers, landing boats and. Coastal protection flotillas 55 and 56 with HDML 1275, HDML 1303, ML 438, ML 439, ML 440, ML 441, ML 447, ML 847 and ML 855, fire in support for 13 days of the sea-flank of the XV. British Corps at the coast of Arakan


10/44-4/45  Operations off the coast of Arakan

12/44          Bombardment of Arakan , Burma


Post War Fate

5/46            Cannibalised in India


HDML_1304  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 20/4/43

Known Crew
TLt          J S Brown RNVR (Commanding Officer 29/3/43)
TSLt        R Owen RNVR 1/11/43
TSLt        J L Taylor RNVR (Commanding Officer
TSLt        R S Arnold RNVR
TSLt        K W Ashton RNVR


Wartime Activities

2/5/45            Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon


Post War Fate

8/45            Burma RNVR

1/48            Gift to Burma

                   Burmese Navy = MGB 1304

HDML_1305  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 5/43

Known Crew
TLt               I G McEwan RNVR (Commanding Officer 10/5/43)
TSLt             D C T Thomas RNVR (Commanding Officer
TSLt            A L Cooper RNVR
TSLt            D R Journay RNVR 10/5/43
TMid           E Lanbley RNVR 3/2/44


Wartime Activities


Post War Fate

1947           Sold

                   Yacht = Lewina

2001           Based in Medway Bridge Marina



HDML_1306  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 13/8/43

Known Crew
TLt         P Gillet RNVR (Commanding Officer 2/8/43)
TSLt       J P H Allon RNVR 9/8/43


Wartime Activities


Post War Fate

8/45            Burma RNVR

1/48            Gift to Burma

Burmese Navy = MGB 1306


HDML_1307  Sussex Woods, Potter Heigham, Norfolk 20/9/43

Known Crew
TSLt         R Hylton RNVR (Commanding Officer 12/9/43)
TASLt      S H R Musgrave RNVR 10/3/44
TSLt        W D J Newman RNVR (Commanding Officer)
TASLt      M V D Champness RNVR 12/9/43


Wartime Activities


Post War Fate

11/45          On loan to Greece = Karia

1961           For disposal

HDML_1308  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 4/9/43

Known Crew
TLt          J F Ferrall RNVR (Commanding Officer 8/43)
TSLt        C H R Croot RNVR (Commanding Officer
TASLt     H Banks RNVR 8/43


Wartime Activities


Post War Fate

5/46            Sold at Gibraltar


ML 1308


HDML_1309  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 4/2/43


Known Crew

TSLt          C W Court RNVR (Commanding Officer 25/1/44)

TMid         D C Kearney RNVR 25/1/44


Wartime Activities

6/44            Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
149th ML Flotilla

                   ML1295, ML1309, ML1383, ML1387, ML1389, ML1391, ML1392, ML1393, ML1407, ML1409, ML1421. ML1422

5-6/6/44      Marking a turning point for the American airborne divisions on the eve of D-Day


Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 75

14/4/48        Sold

2002                      “Morning Wings” under restoration at Upton on Severn


HDML_1310  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 5/5/44

London Gazette 5/12/44 - For a series of actions in the Channel

DSC          TLt             Ralph Herbert Tigg RNVR


London Gazette 5/12/44 - For good service distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy

MID           POEng       Wilfred Gamble LT/KX157249


Known Crew

TLt             Ralph Herbert Tigg RNVR

TLt             C M Risk RNVR (Commanding Officer 22/11/44)

TSLt           D A Lunn RNVR 6/2/45

POEng       Wilfred Gamble LT/KX157249


Wartime Activities

                   Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy

                   Distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy

                   A series of actions in the Channel (Gazette Date - 5/12/44)

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 79

1947           Sold

                   Yacht = The Bee



Post War Fate




Post War Fate



Post War Fate




Post War Fate



HDML_1315  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 15/5/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 40

1946                      For disposal  


HDML_1316  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 30/5/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 41

1946           For disposal


HDML_1317  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 19/6/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 42

1946                      For disposal


HDML_1318  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 30/6/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 43

1945           War Department

1946           For disposal  

HDML_1319  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 8/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 44

1946                      For disposal


HDML_1320  Pehara, Alexandria , Egypt 31/7/45

Post War Fate

                   Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 45

1946           For disposal


HDML_1321  Purdon & Featherstone, Hobart , Tasmania 11/11/43

Known Crew

Lt               Norman Grieve RANVR (Commanding Officer 8/43)

SLt             Ambrose Ernie Palmer RANVR (First Lieutenant 8/43 then Commanding Officer) He was the son of a British District Commissioner in the Solomon Islands and was fluent in native languages.

SLt            Russel F Smith RANVR (First Lieutenant) Joined the navy in 1942 as an ordinary seaman and later commissioned as an officer. Served in ML 821 as a third officer on convoy duty in the Tasman Sea. Joined HDML 1321 in New Guinea. Later promoted to Lt and demobilised in early 1946.

TSLt          A E Palmer RANVR     

LSea          A B Clayton

AB             G Aitken

Sto             Jack Sevenoaks

Tel             Ron Reynolds

Sapper (Spr) Edgar Thomas 'Mick' Dennis, Z Special Unit, the only survivor of the ill fated raid on Muschu Island with HDML 1321 in May 1945


Wartime Activities

11/9/43       Commissioned in Royal Australian Navy
Deployed to New Guinea Lt Norman Grieve transfers to HDML 1074 in command. SLt Ambrose E Palmer takes command and SLt Russel Smith joins as First Lieutenant.
Under control of Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB) for clandestine operations based at Milne Bay.
Vessel is armed with one 40mm Bofors Gun, one 20mm Oerlikon Gun, four .303 MGs, two 37mm automatic cannons and four .5 heavy machine guns. Vessel normally runs at night and hides under thick foliage which grows down to the shore which is generally steep. The foliage is normally tied down to the guardrails.
”HDML #1321, weather permitting, is to carry out the special W/T Intelligence searches in accordance with the instructions contained in SIONEA’s letter 972 of 8th February 1944.  This search is to receive priority over other operations, but can be combined with, (a) the transport of personnel to bases on the search route: (b) operational searches etc. required by NOIC New Guinea .”

                   Operation Ferdinand – a roving commission supporting coastwatchers.


HDML 1321


11/4/44        Operation Copper – To land the following personnel on Japanese held Muschu for a reconnaissance and to take a prisoner.
Lt A Gubbay
Sgt M Weber
Cpl S Walklate
Spr E ‘Mick’ Dennis
Pte R Eagleton
Pte M Hagger
Pte J Chandler
They boarded in Aitepe and were landed on Muschu in four folboats during the night.  Three boats hit a submerged reef and overturned with gear being lost.  At first light they moved inland and set up a base.
Several unmanned Japanese positions were found and machine guns were dismantled and thrown into the sea.
They captured a prisoner who was drowsing on the edge of a camp.
Returning to the beach they encountered an enemy patrol and took cover whilst they passed.  The prisoner managed to slip his gag and shouted before being shot.  The patrol attacked and the Australians retreated into the jungle.
Returning to their boats they found a Japanese ambush party

12/04/44      They built a raft and headed for the mainland but struck a reef where the raft broke up
Barnes, Gubbay, Walklate and Eagleton set out on individual logs but were not heard of again.  The remainder set out for Cape Samein for a rendezvous with ML1321 which did not happen then back to their base camp to retrieve a radio where they were ambushed.  Dennis reached the western end of the island alone and used a plank to reach the mainland and reached friendly forces having escaped three more patrols.  Weber, Hagger and Chandler were captured, tortured and beheaded.


Post War Fate

7/71            Sold



1972            Appears in Janes' Fighting Ships


HDML_1322  Purdon & Featherstone, Hobart, Tasmania 17/1/44


ML 1322


Known Crew

Lt                       E R Trickett RANR Ret 31/12/43

SLt                     Thomas Clifton Wilkinson RANR

First Lieutenant   HDML 1322 First Lieutenant HDML 1347 2/45
SLt                     M D Berntsen RANR 5/5/45
SLt                     K G Wilson RANR 10/12/44
AB                     Patrick Fielding Previously served in ML 823

                          Alan Miley


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin
HDMLs 1322, 1323 and 1326 are based at Merauke in Dutch New Guinea with two in service whilst the third is serviced and repaired at Thursday Island

HDMLs 1322, 1323 and 1326 are based at Merauke in Dutch New Guinea with two in service whilst the third is serviced and repaired at Thursday Island

8/45            Surrender of Timor


Post War Fate

1951           SDML 1322 (In reserve at Sydney, New South Wales)

1958           Philipines Navy

1953           Stricken from Australian Navy


ML 1322


HDML_1323  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 21/1/44

London Gazette 23/3/54 - Good service when attacked by Chinese pirates in the Pearl river 9th September 1953

BEM          LSea          Gordon Richard Cleaver P/SSX857298

Comm        StoM         Eric Milner P/ SKX 841644

Comm         AB              Ralph Shearman D/JX842871 (Post)


Known Crew

Lt               S L Stevens RANVR 8/12/43
ASLt          M M Sim RANVR 9/43

                  Hamilton Cooper

Hong Kong Flotilla

                   Rodney Berger (Commanding Officer)

                   David Conrad Jenkin. CB (Commanding Officer)

Lt                G Merriman RN (Killed in action 9/9/53 )

Capt            Frank Gower (Hong Kong Defence Force) (Killed in action 9/9/53 )

LSea           Gordon Richard Cleaver P/SSX857298

StoM          Eric Milner P/ SKX 841644

AB              Ralph Shearman D/JX842871 (Killed in action 9/9/53 )

Sea             John Fleming P/SSX 858438


Wartime Activities
Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin
HDMLs 1322, 1323 and 1326 are based at Merauke in Dutch New Guinea with two in service whilst the third is serviced and repaired at Thursday
HDMLs 1322, 1323 and 1326 are based at Merauke in Dutch New Guinea with two in service whilst the third is serviced and repaired at Thursday IslandArriving at Merauke on 1 August 1944. She remained in Netherlands New Guinea waters operating on reconnaissance and patrol duties until December 1944, when she proceeded to Townsville and then Brisbane for refit and paying off into Reserve.


Post War Fate

1946           SDB 1323 was brought back into sea-going service

5/46            20th Minesweeping Flotilla serving in New Britain and Solomon Islands waters between June and November.
She then served in Australian waters until October 1947. On 6 November 1947 she arrived in Sydney from Queensland where she remained until she again paid off on 10 September 1948.

1950           On loan to the Royal Navy for service in the Far East, based in Hong Kong
= SDML 1323

9/9/53         ML 1323 stops to search a junk on the western side of Hong Kong and a Chinese landing craft approaches from the direction of Canton. ML 1323 steers towards the landing craft to take photographs and the landing craft orders ML 1323 to stop. This was ignored and the landing craft opened fire. Seven men were killed aboard ML 1323 and the remainder were wounded.


HDML 1223




ML1323 ML1323



ML1323 required extensive repairs but was eventually returned to service. As economic assistance for South East Asia
Treaty Organisation (SEATO) defence, ML1323 and her sister ships 1326, 1328 and 1329 were later presented as gifts to the Philippines Navy in 1958. On 13 August 1958 USS Oak Hill departed Hong Kong for Manila with SDB 1323 on board.
1959         Philippines Navy
SDB 1323 was finally withdrawn from service in 1964



Gordon Richard Cleaver

In what became known as the Pearl River Incident of September 9, 1953, Gordon Cleaver’s courage and resource was recognised by the award of the British Empire Medal. Since 1946 Hong Kong had been policing its waters with a force of small craft. Relations with the People’s Republic of China were precarious, with each party touchy about infringements of sovereignty within their national waters.

Motor Launch 1323, commanded by Lieutenant G. C. X. Merriman, was patrolling in Deep Bay, the south shore of which was British and the north Chinese, when he spotted a Chinese warship coming down the Pearl River from Canton. He altered course to intercept, in contravention of orders which forbade closing communist craft for the sole purpose of identification and required British warships to keep well clear of Chinese territorial waters. It was shown at the subsequent inquiry that ML1323 was only a mile from an ill-defined Chinese border line.

The Chinese vessel, a landing craft, signalled to ML1323 to stop, following up with small-arms fire, and then hitting her with a burst of machinegun fire. The Chinese then opened up with a 75mm gun, the first shell penetrating the engine room without exploding.

Merriman ordered Leading Seaman Cleaver to check for injuries and all hands to take cover. Cleaver entered the engine room and found the unexploded shell, picking it up and dropping it over the side.

Meanwhile another shell hit the bridge, where Merriman was taking photographs. It severed both his legs above the knee, smashing his right arm and blowing off the hand. Other shells detonated the Oerlikon gun’s ammunition, disabled the six-pounder gun, and wrecked the wheelhouse, killing five of the six sheltering there. The survivor, Able Seaman Shearman, steered the vessel amid this carnage until also killed as the steering gear was wrecked. Altogether, ML1323 was hit by ten 75mm shells.

Merriman was asking for morphine, but Cleaver was unable to locate it. Cleaver helped two others to put out a raging fire in the engine room, then organised the fitting of the cumbersome emergency steering, which involved unscrewing a deck plate, disconnecting the primary gear and fitting a metal tiller to the rudder post.

Above, two RAF Hornet aircraft were exercising and saw the gunfire and smoke. Although unarmed, they repeatedly dived on the Chinese warship and drove it off.

Cleaver and Stoker Clark, a surviving engine room rating, cut away the mast, which was hanging over the side. Under Cleaver’s command, ML1323, in a sinking condition in a rising wind and sea, limped back to Hong Kong.

Merriman died on the way back. Of the 11 people on board, seven were killed, one was severely wounded and two less seriously so.

The Chinese rejected Britain’s diplomatic protest, saying that the ML was flying no flag and was thought to be a pirate. Condemnation was world-wide; it was subsequently alleged that the Chinese had tried and executed the captain of their ship.

The British board of enquiry found that Lieutenant Merriman had a reputation for “commie baiting” close to boundaries and “regretfully had to record that this fearless young officer who had given his life and died a most painful death and cannot therefore speak in his defence did not adequately comply with his instructions, of which he was well aware”.

Cleaver was highly commended for assuming his sudden responsibility so coolly amid such bloodshed.

Gordon Cleaver joined the Navy as a boy seaman in 1948. In retirement he worked in engineering management. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Hong Kong Flotilla Association.

He is survived by his wife Jean. There were no children.

Leading Seaman Gordon Cleaver, BEM, was born on March 20, 1933. He died on October 28, aged 75


Gordon Cleaver (right) with Able Seaman A. C. Knight who was killed

Leading Seaman Gordon Cleaver (on the right) with A C Knight who was killed in the 1953 action

HDML_1324  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 12/6/44


ML 1324

Known Crew

Lt               R G Evans RANR 12/6/44
SLt             K W Adcock 12/6/44


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin

8/45            Surrender of Timor


Post War Fate

1951    SDML 1324 (In reserve at Sydney, New South Wales)

1972   Appears in Janes Fighting Ships


HDML_1325  E A Jack, Launceston , Tasmania 4/11/43

Known Crew

Lt         Jonathan Stephens (First Commanding Officer)

Lt         Paul Burns (Commanding Officer joined at Sydney as a survey specialist 8/12/43)

Lt         M B Reid (Commanding Officer 3/45)

Lt         R D Nancarron (First Lieutenant 3/45)

SLt       Victor E Clarke (Original First Lieutenant 9/43)

PO        Johnson (Coxswain)

PO        Norm Hastings (ERA)

Sto       Parker

Tel       Joe O’Byrne






Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
Tasmania to Sydney with leaking scuttles resulting in flooding
Echo sounders replaced the ASDIC equipment
On passage northward and south of Solitary Island a bracket holding the port fuel line broke off and that engine had to be stopped.  In Coffs Harbour , a garage mechanic made a replacement so that the boat could make Brisbane where the bracket was replaced.

24/12/43      Departed Brisbane for Milne Bay
Surveys near Buna, Lae and Langemak Bay
Working around Seeadler Harbour where they rescued an American officer who had been swept out to sea whilst swimming
Struck an underwater coral pinnacle damaging the starboard propeller and shaft and ripping off the rudder.  A jury rudder and tiller were fitted allowing the boat to reach Milne Bay for repairs.

Post War Fate

                  SDB 1325

1951          SDML 1325 (In reserve at Sydney, New South Wales)

1956          Tender to HMAS Melville in Darwin

9/56           Transferred to HMAS Leeuwin in Fremantle as a naval reserve training vessel

7/4/59         Stolen and taken to sea by an individual who was captured when the boat ran out of fuel and was towed in by the minesweeper HMAS Freemantle

1972          Appears in Janes fighting ships

1992          Sank at her mooring and was broken up


HDML 1325


HDML_1326  E A Jack, Launceston , Tasmania 19/1/44

Known Crew

Lt               E M Sodersteen RANVR 31/12/43

                  Colin Gillespie (Previously served in ML 818 and First Lieutenant of ML 1359 12/44)

TLt            L C Thornton RANVR

AB             Keith Lester White S6907 Who died on 09/11/1944 Age: 19 cause unknown. Son of Henry and Bessie Ann White, of Ashfield , New South Wales Buried in Townsville

Hong Kong Flotilla

                  John Torr OBE (Commanding Officer)

Sea            Peter Churn P/SSX 858049

Sea            Nobby Clark P/SSX. 854278

Sea            Dick Dunsmore P/JX 830593

Sea            Colin Watson P/SSX 882763

Sea            W C (Tug) Wilson P/JX912284 

Tel             Rodney Carpenter C/JX936525

Tel             Graham Dance D/SSX 871086


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin

                   HDMLs 1322, 1323 and 1326 are based at Merauke in Dutch New Guinea with two in service whilst the third is serviced and repaired at Thursday Island


Post War Fate

1950           Loaned to the Royal Navy
                   Hong Kong Flotilla = SDML 1326

1958           Philippines Navy


HDML_1327  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 29/5/44

Known Crew

Lt E B                         Hopkins Commanding Officer HDML 1327

Lt Reg                         Evans previously a coast watcher responsible for rescuing future president John Kennedy after PT 109 was lost.
                                    First Lieutenant HDML 1327

Lt James                      P Morrison RANVR SLt ML 815 Lt HDML 1327 4/44

Commanding Officer    HDML 1329

Mid                             D R Watson RANR 4/44

Tel                               Murray Stewart


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
On passage from Melbourne to Sydney the telegraphist is lost overboard in heavy weather but is recovered
Allied Intelligence Bureau – working in the Solomon Islands


ML 1327


                   Recollection of E B Hopkins The voyage of 1327 from Hobart was going to be a rough one from the start and when I got my sailing orders from NOIC Hobart, the weather was so bad that it was blowing trees out of the ground at Launceston, with gale warnings in Bass Strait. I had the sense to get a weather report from the RAAF in Hobart and then went to see the NOIC to defer sailing until better weather. Captain Farquhar-Smith, the NOIC told me that in all his naval career, weather did not stop him from sailing. I pointed out that he had served in cruisers and I was sailing an 80 foot HDML. He blew his top and told me to get aboard my ship and sail. You remember that we had a rough trip up the east coast and sheltered in the Bay of Fires, and because of the water coming in over the generator, I sent a signal that I was returning to Hobart. NOIC was furious as I made sure the signal was repeated to ACNB Melbourne. Our return was vindicated when Purdon and Featherstone, the builders, found that the sea water entered the engine room through leaks in the wheelhouse plates.

                   When we arrived in Sydney after that rough and very eventful voyage from Melbourne, I put 1327 alongside at Rushcutter and went home. When I came aboard on Monday morning, I was met by Reg Evans (the First Lieutenant) who was in a bit of a state. He had been given a blast by the Depot First Lieutenant for having washing strung out on the forecastle drying on Sunday against Depot Standing Orders… the First Lieutenant of the depot requested my presence as soon as I came aboard. This I did and he proceeded to tear a strip off me for firstly putting 1327 alongside bows-in instead of stern-first and then carried on about the washing. I lost my block and informed him in no uncertain manner that we had lost a man overboard, had a bloody rough trip from Melbourne, that the crew had been wet through and there was a foot of water in the messdeck and as far as I was concerned I couldn’t care less about how the boat should be berthed as I arrived at night and I was only too pleased to secure it and the crew alongside safely. Before a court martial could be arranged, the captain of the base, Captain Newcombe came up. He knew me pretty well when I was at the A/S School and remarked “Hello Hoppy, I understand you had a rough trip. Commodore – Garden Island has your report on the man overboard and voyage and asked me to commend you on your search plan and good seamanship in rescuing him”.

                   Never had any more trouble from the First Lieutenant of Rushcutter


Post War Fate

1951           SDML 1327 (In reserve at Sydney, New South Wales)

1958           Philippines Navy

HDML_1328  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 16/1/45

Known Crew


SLt             Lealand Ponton RANR (Commanding Officer) (RAN 7/46 as a Lieutenant)

SLt             Murray Fowler RANR (First Lieutenant) (RAN 7/46 as a Lieutenant) Became Commanding Officer late 1946.

SLt             John Paradice (First Lieutenant 1946)

MtrMch     Doug Carr

AB             Mason

Hong Kong Flotilla

Ian Atkinson (Commanding Officer)

Sea            Gordon Andrews P/SSX883814

Sea            Norman Hancock C/SSX 837540

Sea            Michael Kutch C/SSX 961590

Sea            John Metherell P/SSX 856937

Sea            Ron Renshaw P/SSX 864821 Also served in ML 1329

Sea            Stuart Robertson P/JX905047 Also served in ML 3513

Sea            Keith Russell C/SSX 661787

Sea            Douglas Smith D/JX900869

Tel             Geoff Moore P/SSX 838818

Tel             Brian Smart P/SSX. 801288


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin


Post War Fate

After VJ Day – Converted to a minesweeper with forward gun and depth charges removed, a winch fitted aft and sweeping equipment fitted on deck.

3/46           Part of 20th Minesweeping Flotilla working in Rabaul clearing Simpson Harbour
Cleared three mines in Greet Harbour
Swept to Kawieng, New Ireland
Easter in Rabaul
Sweeping Makada Harbour, Duke of York Islands clearing seven mines, one of which brushed down the starboard side without exploding.

7/46           West coast of Bouganville – Empress Augusta Bay
Stoker suffering from Cerebral Malaria is transferred.  The replacement has abscesses on both legs and a doctor in Sohana operated on him assisted by the commanding officer.

11/46         Returned to Australia
Minesweeping around the Great Barrier Reef until 1948.  Struck a reef damaging shaft propeller and gearbox and was retired from service

1950          Loaned to the Royal Navy
Hong Kong Flotilla = SDML 1328

1958          Philippines Navy






HDML_1329  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 14/6/44

Known Crew


Lt               James P Morrison RANVR SLt ML 815 Lt HDML 1327 4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1329

Mid            David Watson RANR (First Lieutenant)

POMtrMch Aub Heynen

LSea          Sidney Dodge

AB             Bruce Little

AB             Ken Mackay

Ord            Jack Watt

Ord            Peter Lipscombe

Sto             Ken North (Left after promotion)

Tel             Arthur Ainsworth

Hong Kong Flotilla

                  Paul Gifford (Commanding Officer)

Sea            Richard Davies C/JX 661329

Sea            Patrick O’donnell D/SSX 854839

Sea            Ron Renshaw P/SSX 864821 Also served in ML 1328

Sea            Don Rowlands C/JX. 858032

Sea            Eric Watts C/SSX. 850319

ME            John Marlow P/ SKX 847199


Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy
129th Flotilla – Based on Darwin
Boom patrols and pilot service.

8/45            Surrender of Timor


Post War Fate

1950           Loaned to the Royal Navy                  
Hong Kong
= SDML 1329

1958           Philippines Navy




HDML_1330  Nichol, Durban , South Africa 23/6/44

Wartime Activities

                   South African Navy 1944


Post War Fate

                    South African Navy = ML 1330

30/7/45        Laid up


HDML_1331  Nichol, Durban , South Africa 28/6/44

Wartime Activities

                   South African Navy 1944


Post War Fate

                    South African Navy = ML 1331

8/3/46          Laid up


HDML_1332  Nichol, Durban , South Africa 25/6/44

Wartime Activities

                   South African Navy 1944


Post War Fate

                    South African Navy = ML 1332

28/7/45        Laid up

HDML_1333  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 15/9/44

London Gazette 22/4/47 - For patrols off Sumatra after the Japanese surrender

DSC          TSLt          Geoffrey Donald Luton RNVR

MID           TSLt          John Alexander Mackenzie Pitcairn

MID           AB             L G Hewitson

MID           Sea            A E Essery LT/JX355760


Known Crew

TLt             T G Edmunds RNVR (Commanding Officer 11/44)
TSLt           G D Luton RNVR 11/44

TSLt           Geoffrey Donald Luton RNVR

TSLt           John Alexander Mackenzie Pitcairn

AB              L G Hewitson

Sea             A E Essery LT/JX355760

Post War

StoM          Alan Skelton C/ SKX 816132

                   On arrival at Singapore on 4th September 1948 I was told "as you are spare you are being put in made up crew for Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1333". The crew made up from HMS London was 1 stoker, 8 seamen, 1 petty officer and a 19 year old midshipman as Captain. We spent the next 10/12 weeks traversing the East Coast of Malaya. We spent our time going up rivers and checking off shore islands for gun runners to the Malaysian Terrorists, mostly coming from Siam . We were kept at sea during this period and were supplied by HMS Surprise and given information by Army Spotter planes.

Hong Kong Flotilla

Sea             Ken Greenway P/JX. 873233

Sea             Ivan Jones P/JX923093


Wartime Activities

9/9/45         Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya at Morib Beachhead.

                   Patrols off Sumatra after the Japanese surrender


Post War Fate

                   ML 3505

                   Hong Kong Flotilla

17/5/58       Malayan = Sri Pahang

1965           Deactivated


HDML_1334  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 16/10/44

Known Crew
TLt             L W Davies RNVR (Commanding Officer 11/44)
TSLt           A H Shields RNVR 11/44


Wartime Activities

9/9/45         Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya.


Post War Fate

                   ML 3506

9/50            Malayan = Sri Negri Sembilan

1965           Deactivated


ML 1334



HDML_1335  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 2/1/45

Known Crew
TLt           R H Maythorne RNVR (Commanding Officer 12/44)
TSLt         P Cowan RNVR 11/44

Wartime Activities
9/9/45      Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya.

Post War Fate
ML 3507
4/3/54      Malayan = Sri Perak
1966        Deactivated


HDML_1336  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 30/9/44

Known Crew

Lt           Jones RNVR
TLt        J J Gibson RNR (Commanding Officer 12/12/44)
TSLt      C P A Garnett RNVR 11/44
PO         Ruben Burgin (Coxswain)

Sea        Maurice Guylee Webb LT/JX 253526 Who died of drowning on Tuesday 20 March 1945 Age: 30. 
              Son of Frank and Florence Webb; husband of Betty Webb, of London Colney, Hertfordshire


M G Webb M G Webb Newspaper Report


Tel       Alan Leathley LT/JX549741 who died of drowning on Tuesday 20 March 1945 in ML 1336 and was buried in Diego Suarez, Madagascar


Wartime Activities
9/9/45      Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya at Morib Beachhead.
                Singapore for re-occupation of Palembang. Patrols and liaison with occupying forces

Post War Fate
7/47         To Malaya
1949        Sri Selangor
1961        Deactivated


ML 1336


HDML_1337  Nichol, Durban, South Africa 16/10/44

Known Crew

TLt            L A Allen RNVR (Commanding Officer 12/44)
TSLt          O W Green RNVR 14/11/44

Wartime Activities
9/9/45        Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya.

Post War Fate
1946-49     to Holland
                  Royal Netherlands Navy
                  = Jakhals
1962          For disposal


HDML_1338  Leek, New Jersey, USA 31/5/44

Known Crew

                 Royal Australian Navy
                 127th Flotilla – Based in New Guinea

Post War Fate
1949         Sold


HDML_1339  Leek, New Jersey, USA 15/6/44

Known Crew

Known Crew
Lt                S J Davis (Commanding Officer)
SLt             G P Russell (First Lieutenant)
POMtrMch J Liley
AB             M Frew (Coxswain)
AB             R Simpson
AB             J F Burt
AB             E W Ebb
AB             C H Waine
Sto              C E Clark
Tel              E B Robertson

Wartime Activities
5/5/44          Landed from a tanker in Milne Bay
15/6/44        Commissioned at Milne Bay
                    Royal Australian Navy
                    127th Flotilla – Based in New Guinea
22-7/6/44     Milne Bay
28-9/6/44     Search for missing steamer Matafele
6-10/7/44     Slipped at Balasana
27-9/7/44     To Madang – damaged log and propeller
19-20/8/44   In US dock at Madang
9-12/9/44     To Milne Bay via Saidor, Finschhafen, Langemak and Tufi
17-20/9/44   In US dock at Milne Bay
14-5/11/44   Slipped at Balasana
17-8/11/44   Milne Bay to Langemak
19-20/11/44 To Madang
16-8/12/44  To Hollandia
13-5/2/45     US dock at Hollandia
2-3/45          Relief crew joined (Vasey, Penney, Little, Hammond, Sheppard, Ellis, Blanch, Wood and Baker)
13-5/4/45    Towed by Bingera to Madang
24-6/4/45    Towed by Wilcannia to Milne Bay
27-8/4/45    To Port Moresby
2-3/5/45      Towed by USS Amy Lovell to Cooktown
6/5/45         To Cairns
9-10/5/45    To Townsville
11-4/5/45    To Brisbane via Gladstone

Post War Fate
1946           Sold



Known Crew

                    Royal Australian Navy
                    Based on Freemantle

Post War Fate
1949           Sold



Wartime Activities

Royal Australian Navy

25/12/44     ML 822, ML 823, HDML 1341 at Jervis Bay and ML 810 at Eden are ordered to a point 85 miles south of Jervis Bay where liberty ship Robert J Walker had been torpedoed by U 862 and was sinking.

19/5/45       HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Brisbane for New Guinea

21/5/45       HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 visit Gladstone 1/6/45 HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Townsville for Thursday Island

2/6/45         HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Lizard Island 3/6/45 HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Stanley Island 4/6/45 HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Portland Roads HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Lizard Island

11/6/45       HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Thursday Island for New Guinea. At Bramble Cay, HDML 1341 and HDML 1354 escort Karina westward. HDML 1347 and HDML head east.Based on Merauke

Post War Fate



Known Crew

Lt              Keith L Englert RANR (Commanding Officer – 13/11/44)
SLt            J M P McLoughlin RANR 3/45

Wartime Activities
                 Royal Australian Navy
127th Flotilla – Based in New GuineaEscorted three landing craft to the Sepik river where one craft struck a mine, became disabled and drifted in the strong current. ML 1342 and the other two craft towed the disabled craft.

Post War Fate

1949        Sold



Known Crew

Lt               W J Watts RANVR 3/10/44
SLt             W H Raper RANR 11/44

Wartime Activities
                   Royal Australian Navy
                   Far Eastern Liaison Office
8/45            Surrender of Sandakan

Post War Fate
1946          Sold


HDML_1344  Sussex Thorsen, Elsworth, Maine, USA 9/45

Known Crew

                  Wartime Activities
                  Royal Australian Navy (Not Commissioned)

Post War Fate
1949          Sold


HDML_1345  Sussex Thorsen, Elsworth, Maine, USA 5/45

Known Crew

Lt              C M Page RANVR

Wartime Activities
                 Royal Australian Navy (Not Commissioned)

Post War Fate
1949         Sold


HDML_1346  Sussex Thorsen, Elsworth, Maine, USA 6/1/45

Known Crew

SLt           C R Lockhart RANR 19/2/45
SLt           J Joynton-Smith 6/45

Wartime Activities
                Royal Australian Navy
                127th Flotilla – Based in New Guinea

Post War Fate
1949         Sold


HDML_1347  Sussex Thorsen, Elsworth, Maine, USA 31/12/44

Known Crew

TSLt           Marsden Carr Hordern RANVR TSLt HMAS Rushcutter 5/6/42 HMAS Cerberus 30/6/42 HMAS Rushcutter 25/7/42 HMAS Penguin 14/12/42 HMAS Abraham Crijnssen 1/1/43ML 814 19/2/43 First Lieutenant ML 814 9/43 Transferred to hospital with Beri Beri 1/44. HMAS Rushcutter 3/44 First Lieutenant ML 823 First Lieutenant ML 817 28/10/44 HMAS Penguin II 12/12/44 TLt 5/12/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1347 1/1/45 HMAS Rushcutter 29/4/46 Lt. RANR 23/6/52 Hilton Hordern (fine art print gallery), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, proprietor, 1958-96. Member of board of directors, Hodgsons Holdings Ltd. and Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath.
Published: Mariners are warned! John Lort Stokes and H.M.S. Beagle in Australia 1837-1843 (1989); King of the Australian coast : the work of Phillip Parker King in the Mermaid and Bathurst 1817-1822 (1997); A merciful journey : recollections of a World War II patrol boat man (2005; memoir) Born in Sydney, NSW 26/3/22)

SLt              T C Wilkinson RANR 1/45

SLt              Clem McMahon ML 817 SLt First Lieutenant HDML 1347  Departed due to tropical illness 2/45

SLt              Thomas Clifton Wilkinson RANR First Lieutenant HDML 1322 First Lieutenant HDML 1347 2/45

POMtrMch  John Archibald Page 26046 RAN ML 427 HDML 1347  In ML 427, he was awarded a BEM for rescuing two men from an engine room fire and putting out the fire

LSea           Leonard W Clarkson Coxswain HDML 1347

AB              L W Clarkson

AB              E T Barry

AB              S Edwards

AB              Richard M Jeffs

AB              C Wallace

AB              Norman Whithurst

Sto              K Akers

Tel               K Sharpe

Wartime Activities

                    Royal Australian Navy

31/12/44      Unloaded from a liberty ship in Sydney

1/1/45         Commissioned

28/1/45       First sea trials Both anchors break off due to faults Anti submarine boom patrol duties in Sydney

21/2/45       Ordered to rescue a yacht but nothing is found

2/3/45         Immunisation against Tetanus, Cholera and Smallpox

4/3/45         HDML 1347 departs Sydney for Brisbane HDML 1347 has problems with the super charger chainswhich have been stretched to the maximum amount but are still slack. HDML 1347 is ordered to carry out day cruises for 100 engine hours in Moreton Bay varying the tensions and reporting results. ASDIC dome is temporarily removed to prevent damage. They take female base staff for day cruises. An aquaplane is produced for recreational purposes

19/5/45      HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Brisbane for New Guinea

21/5/45      HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 visit Gladstone

1/6/45        HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Townsville for Thursday Island

2/6/45        HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Lizard Island

3/6/45        HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Stanley Island

4/6/45        HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Portland Roads HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 reach Lizard Island

7/6/45        HDML 1347 and HDML 1354 are refuelled at Engineers Wharf, Thursday Island. A tug passes at high speed and her bow wave sequentially raises both boats by three feet. In HDML 1347 all fenders are torn away, some guardrails are smashed, the deck split open and two depth charges torn from their racks. She is held back for three days for repairs.

11/6/45       HDML 1341, HDML 1347, HDML 1354 and HDML 1355 depart Thursday Island for New Guinea. At Bramble Cay, HDML 1341 and HDML 1354 escort Karina westward. HDML 1347 and HDML 1356 head east. HDML 1347 anchors in 12 metres of water off Cocoanut Island and HDML 1355 secures alongside

13/6/45      HDML 1347 and HDML 1355 sight the Owen Stanley mountains on New Guinea. And, at 1400, they secure alongside in Port Moresby having run 248 miles from Brisbane.127th Flotilla – Based in New Guinea Commanding Officer buys a Norton motorcycle captured from the Japanese who had acquired it in Singapore. This is stowed aboard

05/07/45     Departed Milne Bay for Hollandia During the night, a large ship was encountered close and head on and had to veer to starboard to avoid.

26/12/45     Encountered a floating mine between Cape Tribulation and Snapper Island and engaged it with small arms fire without detonating it.

Post War Fate
1949 Sold


HDML_1348  Ackerman, Azusa, California, USA 3/44

Known Crew

TLt N M Smith RNZNVR 4/3/44
TSLt H V Peake RNZNVR 22/5/44

Wartime Activities

6/47            Withdrawn from sale and assigned to the Christchurch Division of the RNZNVR

1950           P 3563

1956          Pegasus

8/11/67       Commissioned as HMNZS Kuparu and reassigned to the Christchurch Division

1969           Reassigned to Auckland and grounded heavily on the reef at Motuihe Island. She was temporarily patched and towed to Auckland by HMNZS Mako. The bow section was rebuilt and she returned to service in 1970

1972           Kuparu was reassigned to the Fishery Protection Squadron

6/75            Returned to duties at Dunedin

1976-83     Christchurch
At the end of the pier in Lyttelton 1977

1984           Six months at Wellington and then at the Auckland Division for a short time. During this time she collided heavily with Admiralty Steps at Auckland and once again had the bow replaced

1985           Overhauled and attached to HMNZS Tamaki for training duties until she retired from service on 1 February 1989, the last of the class. She was initially mothballed for museum use but this did not progress.

2002          Sold to a private buyer in the Kaipara Harbour.

Post War Fate

1956         Pegasus
1967         Kuparu
1968         Toroa


ML 1348


HDML_1349  Ackerman, Azusa, California, USA 3/44

Known Crew

TLt          A J Gillon RNZNVR 4/3/44
TSLt        J McAnally RNZNVR 22/5/44

Wartime Activities

Post War Fate

1956        Wakefield
1/64         Haku


ML 1349