Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 22/2/44
- TSLt Ronald J Smith RNVR 151st ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth Commanding Officer HDML 1410 31/1/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy Commanding Officer HDML 1476 3/8/44 TLt 19/8/44
- TSLt Sydney E Downer RNVR TSLt 1/4/44 151st ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth First Lieutenant HDML 1410 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy First Lieutenant HDML 1476 3/8/44
- PO Eng Robert Alfred McCarron LT/KX156101 HMS Duke Sto2 1/7/42, HMS Victory 4/8/42, HMS Europa (RNPS) 21/8/42, HMS Brinmaric. Based at HMS Bee 27/9/42 HDML 1410 at HMS St Christopher 12/2/44, Based at HMS Aggressive (Newhaven) 15/5/44, HDML 1476 at HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) 1/12/44, based HMS Pembroke 1/10/45, based HMS Eskimo16/6/46. Transferred to HMS Pembroke and released 26/10/45
Robert Alfred McCarron
- 151st ML Flotilla
Based on Portsmouth
Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
- 8/44 Damaged by a mine at Arromanches and paid off for refit
Memory from PO Eng Robert Alfred McCarron…
“As you know, she was built at Bideford, Devon, and we commissioned her in January ’44 – I joined her as P.O. Engineman – After undergoing her sea-trials we sailed down to Portsmouth, ostensibly to prepare for our ultimate destination, Freetown, West Africa. (we had already been issued with full tropical kit). A few weeks later we were told that the Freetown trip had been cancelled, a decision that we were pleased about because none of us fancied going there.
Little did we know, of course, that the invasion of Normandy was imminent (it seems we had been kept kept back for this).
We were then moved along the coast to Newhaven.
Late in the evening of 5th June we, and the other 5 boats of the flotilla headed out of the harbour up the Channel towards Bouloigne. The weather was really bad with squally rain and blowing a gale and pitch black. We patrolled up and down about 2 miles off the coast, which we could see at times, in spite of the weather. We kept this up for about 4 or 5 hours, expecting to be blown out of the water any minute, and then headed for home. It seems we had taken part in a diversionary exercise as part of Operation Neptune to make the Germans think we were going to make a landing in that area.
The C.O. had informed us before we set out that our chances of returning safely were not very good so you can imagine our feelings of relief !
From then on we carried on with the work we were built for, namely, Harbour Defence.
A couple of months later, whilst running at “full ahead” inside Mulberry Harbour, off Arromanches we passed over an acoustic mine which exploded, the force of which lifted the boat a couple of feet out of the water. I was lifted up and my head made contact with a wooden beam on the deckhead. I was k.o.’d for a few seconds and I came to to the sound of the engine-room telegraph urgently ringing for “full-astern”, an order which I obeyed with alacrity! (apparantly the steering had jammed and we were heading straight towards a large merchant ship !) The 2 main engines were wobbling all over the place – all the holding down bolts had broken. We managed to limp to the jetty and then had the job of stopping the water pouring in via a few broken sea-water intakes.
Fortunately, apart from my head wound, which required 4 stitches, we came through without any injuries.
The powers-that-be decided that we were no longer of any use so a few days later we were towed back to the U.K. by tug to a small boatyard at Shoreham – on – sea (I think) and the last we saw of HDML 1410 she had been pulled out of the water onto the slips . We were then sent up to Dunoon in Scotland to commission a brand new HDML 1476”.
Post War History
- Air Safety Launch = – ASL10
- 8/46 For Disposal
Bought by Mrs Victor Bruce
Converted to a yacht at Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company. A large deck saloon replaced the charthouse and the bridge was partially covered by a cover that could be removed for canal trips. A bathroom was added aft and a study replaced the wardroom. There was a small cabin aft for the maid. A cabin was fitted for Mrs Bruce between the study and the engineroom.
- 1948 Sold
- 1950 Bought by Mr Vernon Motion
- 1951 Moved to the Mediterranean and used for charter work
- 1973 Sold
- Yacht = Fantasia
- 1988 Returned to the United Kingdom and based in Brighton Maina
- 1994 (With HDML 1387) Attended the D Day 50th Anniversary Commemorations. Acted as escort for HMY Britannia for passage from Netley to Portsmouth. Present at both Omaha and Juno Beaches on 6/6/94.
- 2002 Based in Ireland
- 2006 Broken up. Some fittings transferred to HDML 1387