The Medusa Trust

HDML Boats 1300-1349

HDML_1300  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 20/1/43

Known Crew

TLt             T G Edmunds RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1300 21/12/42 TLt 5/6/43 ML 854 Commanding Officer HDML 1333 11/44

TLt             T G Edwards RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1300 21/12/42

TASLt        A H Shields RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1300 17/4/44 TSLt 24/6/44 HDML 1334 11/44

ChSkipper  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 Ch Skipper 25/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1300 8/11/44

TSkipper    A J H Clarke RNR TSkipper 1/2/43 HDML 1300 8/11/44 HDML 1274 5/1/45 - End

TSkipper    L C Evison RNR TSkipper 7/8/43 HDML 1043 12/43 HDML 1274 8/11/44 HDML 1300 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

 

ML1300

 

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 RNVR TSLt 23/10/41 HMS Iron Duke for MLs 29/12/41 15th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow First Lieutenant ML 231 1942 TLt 23/10/42 Commanding Officer HMS St Christopher HDML 1301 1/2/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily Operation Avalanche -Salerno Landings Operation Brassard - Invasion of Elba 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 Cemetery, Corsica Served in HMS Letitia (AMC) as a rating. Born 26/3/14 in Edmonton, Middlesex

Lt                Peter William Spencer

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

A J Godfrey

TSLt A J Godfrey RNVR TSLt 30/4/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1301 30/4/43 MID HMS Gregale 18/6/44 HMS Orlando (RN base, TLt 1/1/45 Greenock) (for staff duties) 10/45 Born in Chertsey and died in Cambridge

POEng        Lawrence Lamb LT/KX125465

LSea           Ralph Pritchard P/J42257

 

ML1301

 

Wartime Activities

                   Mediterranean

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 fire 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.

ML1301
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.

ML1301

25/6/66        Sold

2002           = Gibel Tarik Based in Gibraltar

ML1301

 

2008 Sold and moved to Ijmuiden

 

ML 3001

(BMPBT)

ML 1301 entering Ijmuiden

ML 3001

 


HDML_1302  Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 19/4/43

Known Crew
TSLt         J S Veitch RNVR TSLt 12/3/42 ML 239 19/5/42 HDML 1302 27/6/43 TLt 12/9/44

 

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 TSLt 6th MGB Flotilla MGB 65 13/10/41 1st MGB Flotilla 6/7/42 TLt 28/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1303 26/7/43 HMS Gregale 18/6/44 HMS Orlando (RN base, Greenock) (for staff duties) 10/45 HDML 1345 HMAS Rushcutter

TSLt          John Lyon Taylor RNVR HDML 1303 24/5/43 TSLt 19/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1304 4/45

TSLt          M A Renton SANF(V) Mid 21/4/44 HDML 1303 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 TLt 21/8/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1304 29/3/43 HMS Highflyer (Ceylon)

TSLt          W D Griffiths RNR TSLt 17/10/44 HDML 1304 11/1/45 HMS Lucia (Depot Ship)

TSLt          R Owen RNVR TASLt 11/8/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1304 1/11/43 TSLt 11/2/44

TSLt          John Lyon Taylor RNVR HDML 1303 24/5/43 TSLt 19/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1304 4/45

TSLt          R S Arnold RNVR TASLt 16/7/44 Bugloss TSLt 16/1/45 HDML 1304 4/45 Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon

TSLt          K M Ashton RNVR TSLt 6/11/44 HDML 1304 2/4/45 Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon

 

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 TLt 31/10/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 2/11/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1305 10/5/43 Commanding Officer ML 174 27/5/45

TSLt          D C T Thomas RNVR TSLt 18/6/43 HMS St Christopher ML 841 26/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1305 27/5/45

TSLt          A L Cooper RNVR TASLt 23/7/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1305 2/6/44 TSLt 23/1/45

TSLt          D R Journay RNVR HDML 1305 10/5/43

TMid         E Lambley RNVR TMid HDML 1305 3/2/44 ML 566 17/7/44 TASLt 18/7/44 TSLt 18/1/45

 

Wartime Activities

 

Post War Fate

1947           Sold

                   Yacht = Lewina

2001           Based in Medway Bridge Marina

ML1305

 

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

Known Crew

TLt         P Gillett RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1306 2/8/43 TLt 20/8/43

TSLt       J P H Allon RNVR HDML 1306 9/8/43 TSLt 1/12/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1298 HDML 1291 15/11/44

TSLt       K S Jones RNVR TSLt 1/7/43 HDML 1306

TASLt    C D Roseway RNVR TASLt 18/10/44 HDML 1306 15/11/44 TSLt 18/4/45 HMS Nigeria (Cruiser)

 

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 TSLt 29/5/42 HMS Attack small craft 24/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1307 12/9/43 HMS Mosquito TLt 20/1/44 DSC 1945 Commanding Officer ML 360 28/5/45

TASLt       S H R Musgrave RNVR TASLt 19/11/43 HMS Nile HDML 1307 16/3/44 TSLt 19/5/44 First Lieutenant ML 862 29/5/45 First Lieutenant ML 196 17/12/45 Died 1982 in Richmond, Surrey

TSLt           W D J Newman RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1398 28/6/43 TSLt 5/9/43 ML 354 11/9/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1307 23/5/45

TASLt        M V D Champness RNVR TSLt 28/11/43 HDML 1307 12/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1176 15/9/44

TASLt       T B Greenwood RNVR TMid 11/8/44 HMS Gregale (Malta) TASLt 13/2/45 HDML 1307

 

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 TLt 5/3/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1308 8/43 ML 468 1945 Born 30/12/13 in Edmonton district, Essex / Hertfordshire / Middlesex and died 06/2000 in Cheltenham district, Gloucestershire

TLt             C H R Croot RNVR TASLt 19/2/43 TSLt 19/8/43 HDML 1243 24/5/43 TLt 1/12/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1246 20/1/44 ML 283 9/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1308 31/5/45

TSLt           J B L Elliott RNVR TSLt 21/7/44 HDML 1308

TASLt        H Banks RNVR TMid 23/4/43 TASLt HDML 1308 8/43 TSLt 1/3/44 56th MGB/MTB Flotilla Based at Bastia, Brindisi, Komiza and Ancona MGB 642 15/5/44

Wartime Activities

 

Post War Fate

5/46            Sold at Gibraltar

 

ML 1308

 

HDML_1309  Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 4/2/43


ML1309

Known Crew

TSLt          C W Court RNVR TSLt 5/6/42 HMS Mentor II (Stornoway) 65th ML Flotilla ML 527 17/8/42 149th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1309 25/1/44 Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy TLt 5/12/44

TSLt          D C Kearney RNVR TMid HDML 1309 25/1/44 TSLt 6/7/44

 

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

TLt            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          F Smith RNVR TSLt 27/8/44 HDML 1310 HDML 1444 2/45

TSLt          D A Lunn RNVR TSLt 20/2/44 HDML 1310 6/2/45

POEng      Wilfred Gamble LT/KX157249 HDML 1310 For good service distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy MID

 

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

 

HDML_1311

Post War Fate

Cancelled

 

HDML_1312

Post War Fate

Cancelled  


HDML_1313

Post War Fate

Canceled

 

HDML_1314

Post War Fate

Cancelled

 

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 Lt 7/4/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1074 1942 Commanding Officer HDML 1321 8/43 HMAS Rushcutter

Lt               R B Nancarrow RANVR Lt 14/11/42 HDML 1321 HMAS Moreton 1944

Lt               Ambrose Ernie Palmer RANVR Lt(Sp Br) 14/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1321 8/43 then Commanding Officer He was the son of a British District Commissioner in the Solomon Islands and was fluent in native languages.

Lt               M B Reid RANVR Lt 9/10/42 HDML 1321 Commanding Officer HDML 1325 3/45

SLt             Russel F Smith RANVR 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. First Lieutenant HDML 1321 in New Guinea 1/45. Later promoted to Lt and demobilised in early 1946.

LSea          A B Clayton HDML 1321

AB            G Aitken HDML 1321

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

 

Russell Smith, former First Lieutenant, HDML 1321, Thomas Dennis and Ron Reynolds in 2010

Russell Smith, former First Lieutenant, HDML 1321, Thomas Dennis and Ron Reynolds in 2010

 

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.

Sapper (Spr) Edgar Thomas 'Mick' Dennis, Z Special Unit

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

 

Post War Fate

7/71            Sold

1972          Appears in Janes' Fighting Ships

ML1321

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

 

ML 1322

 

Known Crew

Lt                E R Trickett RANR Ret Commanding Officer HDML 1322 31/12/43

Lt J             A Dennis RANR SLt 22/8/41 ML 817 Lt 12/10/43 HDML 1322 11/44 - End

SLt             Hamilton G Cooper RANR SLt 25/5/44 HDML 1322 10/44 HDML 1323 ML 809 4/45

SLt             Thomas Clifton Wilkinson RANR ASLt 11/11/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1322 First Lieutenant HDML 1347 2/45

SLt             M O Berntsein RANR TASLt 18/12/42 ML 430 6/43 ML 805 11/44 TSLt HDML 1322 5/5/45

SLt             K G Wilson RANR Mid ML 424 6/43 ASLt 11/10/43 SLt ML 425 26/7/44 HDML 1322 10/12/44

AB             Patrick Fielding ML 823 HDML 1322
Alan Miley

 

Wartime Activities

                   Royal Australian Navy

12/42          Laid down
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

8/45            Surrender of Timor

 

Post War Fate

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

1953           Stricken from Australian Navy

1958           Philipines 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                J S L Stevens RANVR Lt 24/12/40 HDML 1125 9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1323 8/12/43 HDML 1342

Lt                A B Clough RANR HDML 1161 1/43 HDML 1343 6/44 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin HDML 1323 9/44 ML 824 12/44

SLt             G E Tassicker RANVR SLt 1/8/41 ML 803 6/43 HDML 1323 Lt 1/2/44 HMS Rushcutter

SLt             G S Grace RANVR SLt 5/6/42 HDML 1161 1/43 ML 813 2/43 ML 811 First Lieutenant HDML 1323 7/44

SLt             R F Smith RANR SLt 1/10/44 HDML 1323

ASLt          M M Sim RANVR 9/43

SLt             Hamilton G Cooper RANR SLt 25/5/44 HDML 1322 10/44 HDML 1323 ML 809 4/45

 

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

 

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

 

Obituary

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

ML1324

ML 1324

Known Crew

Lt               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             K W Adcock RANR Mid ML 807 8/43 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin First Lieutenant HDML 1324 12/6/44 SLt 26/8/44

 

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 1324

 

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

 

HDML 1325

Known Crew

Lt           Jonathan Stephens (First Commanding Officer)

Lt           Paul Burns RANVR SLt 25/10/38 Lt Commanding Officer joined at Sydney as a survey specialist 8/12/43

Lt           M B Reid RANVR Lt 9/10/42 HDML 1321 Commanding Officer HDML 1325 3/45

Lt           R B Nancarrow (First Lieutenant 3/45)

SLt        Victor E Clarke RANR First Lieutenant HDML 1325 9/43 Lt 4/11/43

PO        Johnson (Coxswain)

PO        Norm Hastings (ERA)

Sto        Parker

Tel        Joe O’Byrne

             Milne

             Peterson

             Bill HDML 1325

             Wilson

 

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 1325

 


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

Known Crew

Lt                Eric M Sodersteen RANVR Lt 9/5/42 HDML 1326 31/12/43 HMAS Moreton (Brisbane) HDML 1359 7/44 Commanding Officer ML 823 10/44

SLt              Colin J Gillespie RANR ML 818 SLt 28/10/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1353 7/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1359 12/44 HDML 1326

TLt              L C Thornton RANVR TLt 4/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1326 5/7/44 HMAS Rushcutter

SLt              P G Crooks RANVR 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin First Lieutenant HDML 1326 7/44

SLt              K S T Egan RANR SLt 2/1/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1326 7/44 128th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1358 10/44

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 RANVR Lt 28/3/43 ML 817 8/43 ML 424 Commanding Officer HDML 1327 5/44 Air Watch

Lt                A R ‘Reg’ Evans RANVR previously a coast watcher responsible for rescuing future president John Kennedy after PT 109 was lost. First Lieutenant HDML 1327 5/44

Lt                James P Morrison RANVR SLt ML 815 13/2/43 Lt 23/11/43 HDML 1327 4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1329 14/6/44

Lt                Douglas John Browne RANVR HDML 1128 22/6/42 For Operation Husky - Invasion of Sicily MID TLt 28/8/42 HMS St Christopher HDML 1327 8/44

Mid             D R Watson RANR Mid 2/7/43 HDML 1327 4/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1329 16/6/44 ASLt

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

 

                   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

 

ML 1327

 

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

Wartime

SLt             Lealand N Ponton RANR Commanding Officer HDML 1328 1/45 (RAN 7/46 as a Lieutenant)

SLt             Murray H Fowler RANR TASLt 8/12/43 ML 426 7/44 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin First Lieutenant HDML 1328 16/1/45 (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

 

ML1328

   

ML1328

ML1328  

HDML_1329  MacFarland, Adelaide , Australia 14/6/44

Known Crew

Wartime

Lt               James P Morrison RANVR SLt ML 815 13/2/43 Lt 23/11/43 HDML 1327 4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1329 14/6/44

Mid              David R Watson RANR Mid 2/7/43 HDML 1327 4/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1329 16/6/44 ASLt

POMtrMch Aub Heynen

LSea          Sidney Dodge HDML 1329

AB             Bruce Little

AB             Ken Mackay

Ord            Jack Watt

Ord            Peter Lipscombe

Sto             Ken North (Left after promotion)

Tel             Arthur Ainsworth HDML 1329

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
Flotilla
= SDML 1329

1958           Philippines Navy

HDML 1329

ML1329

 

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

Known Crew

SLt             V W Nanni

 

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

Known Crew

Lt               J G Robertson SANF(V) SLt 2/1/42 HDML 1331 Lt 1/1/45
Mid            K M Quarmby SANF(V) Mid 1/12/42 HDML 1201 HDML 1331

 

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

Known Crew

SLt              D D Marais SANF(V) SLt 1/3/44 HDML 1332

 

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 HDML 1300 21/12/42 TLt 5/6/43 ML 854 Commanding Officer HDML 1333 11/44

TSLt           Geoffrey Donald Luton RNVR TASLt 1/8/44 HDML 1333 11/44 TSLt 1/2/45

TSLt           John Alexander Mackenzie Pitcairn RNVR Mid 31/3/44 HMS Midge TASLt 21/1/45 MTB 738 1/2/45 HDML 1333

AB             L G Hewitson

Sea             A E Essery LT/JX355760 HDML 1333 For patrols off Sumatra after the Japanese surrender MID

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              I W Davies RNVR TLt 18/12/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1334 11/44
TSLt           A H Shields RNVR HDML 1300 17/4/44 TSLt 24/6/44 HDML 1334 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 HDML 1274 4/1/43 TLt 2/4/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1335 12/44
TSLt        P Cowan RNVR HDML 1276 TSLt 17/4/44 24/6/44 HDML 1335 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 TLt 16/4/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1336 12/12/44

TSLt           C P A Garnett RNVR 149th ML Flotilla HDML 1422 10/4/44 Operation Neptune - Invasion of Normandy TSLt 22/11/44 HDML 1336 11/44

PO              Ruben Burgin (Coxswain) HDML 1336

M G Webb

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 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 TSLt 30/3/42 ML 519 13/7/42 TLt 30/4/43 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1337 12/44

TSLt           O W Green RNVR TMid 31/12/43 MGB 93 8/5/44 TASLt 14/11/44 HDML 1337 14/11/44 TSLt 14/5/45


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

Lt                D H McDonald RANR SLt 9/11/42 ML 801 5/43 127th Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1338 5/44 ML 1161 3/45

Lt                S J Davis RANVR Lt 10/5/41 HMS St Christopher for MLs 8/12/41 ML 512 22/5/42 60th RML Flotilla HMS Beaver II 27/5/42 (Immingham) HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1338 5/44 HMAS Leeuwin (Freemantle) Commanding Officer HDML 1339 ML 815 3/45

SLt             G D Russell RANR HDML 1338 5/44

ASLt          T R Vascy RANR Mid ML 819 6/43 HDML 1338 11/44 SLt HDML 1339 11/44

 

Wartime Activities
Royal Australian Navy
127th Flotilla
HDML 1338, HDML 1339
Based in New Guinea


Post War Fate
1949         Sold

 

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

Known Crew

Lt                C R G Penny RANVR Lt 21/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1339 15/6/44 HMAS Rushcutter

Lt                S J Davis RANVR Lt 10/5/41 HMS St Christopher for MLs 8/12/41 ML 512 22/5/42 60th RML Flotilla HMS Beaver II 27/5/42 (Immingham) HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1338 5/44 HMAS Leeuwin (Freemantle) Commanding Officer HDML 1339 ML 815 3/45

SLt             F J Digwood RANR Mid ML 806 8/43 ASLt 1/10/43 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea First Lieutenant HDML 1339 15/6/44

SLt             G P Russell (First Lieutenant)

SLt             T R Vasey RANR Mid ML 819 6/43 ASLt HDML 1338 11/44 SLt HDML 1339 11/44

SLt             G P Russell (First Lieutenant)

POMtrMch J Liley

AB             M Frew 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1339 (Coxswain)

AB             R Simpson

AB             J F Burt 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1339

AB             E W Ebb 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1339

AB             C H Waine

Sto              C E Clark 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1339

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 –
 HDML 1338, HDML 1339
 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

 

HDML_1340 

Known Crew

Lt               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             A R Chapman RANR Mid ML 804 6/43 TASLt 1/10/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1340 12/5/44

 

Wartime Activities

                    Royal Australian Navy
                    Based on Freemantle


Post War Fate
1949           Sold

 

HDML_1341 

Known Crew

SLt             C F Sturm RANR HDML 1441 24/7/44

SLt             J Joynton-Smith RANVR HDML 1441 11/44

SLt             C B Snelgrove RANVR HDML 1441 5/45    

 

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
                  Sold

 

HDML_1342

Known Crew

Lt                Keith L Englert RANR Commanding Officer HDML 1342 13/11/44

Lt                J M F McLoughlin RANR HDML 1342 3/45

Lt                J S L Stevens RANVR Lt 24/12/40 HDML 1125 9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1323 8/12/43 HDML 1342 13/10/44

SLt              C R Lockhart RANR SLt 15/9/43 HDML 1342 24/7/44 HDML 1346 19/2/45

SLt              Osmond M May RANVR SLt 5/6/42 ML 425 22/12/42 ML 428 18/3/43 HDML 1342 6/44 HMAS Rushcutter


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

 

From a monthly report by Lt Keith L Englert

While the conduct and discipline have been good, the officers and ship’s company have all regarded with disfavour that Coastal Craft pay, for this type of ship, has been discontinued with the introduction of ‘Climate Pay’. Most of the personnel of this ship have served in the tropics in ‘B’ Type MLs for long periods and the conditions for work in HDML ships cannot compare with those in the ‘B’ Type ML, yet personnel in those ships are still being paid Coastal Forces pay.

Due to the intense heat in the galley of this ship, it is impossible to cook for more than six hours in the day. It is also impossible for the six hands to sleep in the messdeck at night due to the intense heat and poor ventilation system. The entire personnel of the ship sleep on the upper deck at night time. It is also impossible to wash dirty clothes except in cold water and bathing facilities are inadequate for normal requirements.

On passage at sea, there is no comparison, as regards comfort with any other type of ship in the RAN. For this reason it is my personal preference when appointed to this ship on 13 November 1944, to decline from accepting the appointment and remain serving as Executive Officer in ‘B’ Type MLs but my request was refused by Commanding Officer HMAS Rushcutter.

Due to this and many other reasons, it is difficult for officers of the ship to convince themselves, and ratings of the ship, that they are not entitled to Coastal Craft pay, equivalent of Hard Lying money.

[The allowance was reinstated in 1946]

 

HDML_1343 

Known Crew

Lt                W J Watts RANVR Lt 26/3/44 HDML 1343 3/10/44

SLt              A B Clough RANR HDML 1161 1/43 HDML 1343 6/44 129th Flotilla Based on Darwin HDML 1323 9/44 ML 824 12/44

SLt              E N Littlewood RANR HDML 1343 7/44 SLt 4/11/44 HDML 1356 20/12/44

SLt              W H Raper RANR ML 810 2/44 SLt 7/10/44 HDML 1343 11/44

ASLt          K S Gilbert RANR ASLt 10/9/43 HDML 1343 3/10/44 HDML 1129 5/45 SLt


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

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 TSLt 6th MGB Flotilla MGB 65 13/10/41 1st MGB Flotilla 6/7/42 TLt 28/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1303 26/7/43 HMS Gregale 18/6/44 HMS Orlando (RN base, Greenock) (for staff duties) 10/45 HDML 1345 HMAS Rushcutter


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              R V Fenwick RANVR TSLt 1/1/42 ML 371 8/4/42 Lt 1/7/44 HMAS Cerberus 127th Flotilla Based in New Guinea HDML 1346 1/45 HMAS Rushcutter

SLt             C R Lockhart RANR SLt 15/9/43 HDML 1342 24/7/44 HDML 1346 19/2/45

SLt             T O Kelly RANR SLt 15/6/44 ML 823 10/44 HDML 1346 6/1/45

SLt             J Joynton-Smith RANVR Mid 6/12/43 HDML 1441 11/44 HMAS Rushcutter SLt 28/2/45 HDML 1346 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

Marsden Carr Hordern

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

SLt              Thomas Clifton Wilkinson RANR ASLt 11/11/43 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 HDML 1347

AB              S Edwards HDML 1347

AB              Richard M Jeffs

AB              C Wallace

AB              Norman Whithurst

Sto              K Akers HDML 1347

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 HMS Cormorant for MLs 10/12/41 TLt 1/6/43 HMS Philomel HDML 1348 4/3/44

TSLt          H V Peake RNZNVR TASLt 22/4/44 HDML 1348 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

HDML 1348

At the end of the pier in Lyttelton 1977


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

                 2563
1956         Pegasus
1967         Kuparu
1968         Toroa

 

ML 1348

 

HDML_1349  Ackerman, Azusa, California, USA 3/44

Known Crew

TLt             A J Gillon RNZNVR TSLt HMS Forte IV (Falmouth) for MLs 20/7/42 TLt 1/8/43 HDML 1349 4/3/44 HMNZS Philomel

TSLt          J McAnally RNZNVR TASLt 22/4/44 HDML 1349 22/5/44


Wartime Activities


Post War Fate

                3565
1956        Wakefield
1/64         Haku
                BlackWatch

 

ML 1349