HDML 1381

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 11/43

HDML 1381 with Major General Wagner, Commander of German forces in the Dodecanese, and two of his staff officers coming alongside the destroyer HMS KIMBERLEY

Known Crew

  • TLt G F Young RNVR TSLt HMS Attack (Portland) for small craft 29/9/42 TLt 2/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1381 8/11/43

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 26/8/44 HDML 1381 took 5 Greek commandos to Scapanto, an island near Rhodes and dropped them off at 02.00 to return in three nights time, with the signal to pick up being P. As they pulled away they heard a loud explosion and the signal P was flashed, only for them to find when they returned that the Greeks had run into a land mine, one had been killed and the others injured. The delay meant that we would have to pass Rhodes in daylight to return to base in Turkish waters, so they went to a very small island named Syrina that is near an island named Stampalia, and covered the HDML up with camouflage nets. This had just been completed when they saw two German E boats passing. This was reported to the Commander (Bates) and he decided to make a run for it. Unfortunately the camouflage net had been left hanging over the aft end and as the skipper put her into reverse, the net wound around the propeller, and the E boats then spotted HDML 1381and opened fire it left no alternative but to surrender. All the crew were taken as P.O.W s to Leros and then to Athens ending up in Kaiser Steinbrough in Vienna. When the Germans searched HDML 1381 they found two rolls of un- developed film and had them developed, and via the German researcher they sent them to me, they show the crew sitting on the gun and eating watermelon!, some wearing Fez’s!.
  • HDML 1381 was based in Rhodes and in the last months of the war the bows were filled with concrete and then used to ram caiques (small wooden boats). One night the crew rammed a British caique (LS43) in Turkish waters and took the crew to Rhodes as prisoners. It transpired that the German officers there were desperate for accurate news of the war. They heard the German official version and the Allied broadcasts, some believed one some the other. They hoped that by interrogating their prisoners they could decide what to believe.
  • HDML 1381 did make some runs to Turkey to obtain some sheep etc as food supplies became more and more difficult and then she was used for the surrender of Rhodes.”

HDML1381 Crew

This is believed to be part of the German crew (German forage cap and forward gun)

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