HDML Boats 1251 to 1300

HDML 1251

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 25/1/43

Known Crew

  • TLt T K Yates RNVR TSLt MASB 24 6/4/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1251 14/12/42 TLt 1/1/43

Post War Fate

  • 26/2/46 To Italy

HDML 1252

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 19/2/43

London Gazette 1/1/45 – New Year Honours 1945

  • MID Sea Roland Wynne LT/JX400499

Known Crew

  • TLt L Saunders RNVR TLt 31/7/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1252 19/6/43 ML 360 HMS Empire Spearhead (Transport) 1945
  • TLt H E Creasy RNZNVR TSLt 16/10/42 HDML 1247 12/4/43 TLt 19/1/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1252 3/9/44
  • TLt C A G Dyer RNVR TLt 13/5/44 HMS Razorbill (Algiers) Commanding Officer HDML 1252 14/5/45
  • TSLt S A M Frost RNVR TSLt 4/6/43 HDML 1252 19/6/43 43rd ML Flotila Based at Alexandria ML 348 11/9/43 HMS Orlando (Greenock)
  • TSLt Robin Adam Barr RNVR TSLt 14/5/42 ML 356 17/11/42 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) For operations in the Northern Aegean 1944 MID 1944 HDML 1252 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings Commanding Officer ML 842 16/9/44 TLt 14/11/44
  • Sea Roland Wynne LT/JX400499 HDML 1252 New Year Honours 1945 MID

Wartime Activities

  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings
    Aegean
  • 8/1/44 Captured two German merchant vessels
  • Captured several caiques and small schooners south of Mitylene

Post War History

  • 9/11/45 Loaned to Greece
  • Greek Navy = Farsala
  • 1962 Sold

HDML 1253

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 5/4/43

London Gazette 21/12/43 – For Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily

  • MID TLt Frank Donald Fletcher RNVR

Known Crew

  • TLt Frank Donald Fletcher RNVR HMS Iron Duke (Scapa Flow) for MLs 2/3/42 TLt 8/1/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1253 4/5/43 For Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily MID
  • TSLt S B De C Baker RNVR TASLt 18/12/42 HDML 1253 22/3/43 TSLt 18/6/43 Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings 31st ML Flotilla ML 555 5/11/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1128 7/3/45
  • TSLt G L Vincent RNVR 24th ML Flotilla ML 456 19/4/43 TSLt 15/7/43 HMS Beaver II (Immingham) Commanding Officer HDML 1253 15/5/45
  • TSLt D C A King RNVR TSLt 14/4/44 HMS Midge (Great Yarmouth) HDML 1253 10/5/45
  • TSLt C Swan RNVR HDML 1253 26/10/44 TSLt 2/12/44 ML 577 7/5/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 10/7/43 Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily
  • 8/9/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings

Post War History

  • 11/46 Sold

HDML 1254

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 15/4/43

London Gazette 21/12/43 – For Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily

  • MID Sea William Arthur Bird LT/JX172928

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

  • BEM PO Douglas Kenneth Tucker C/SSX32715
  • MID LtCdr Henry John Cortlandt Stokes
  • MID POEng Edwin Ernest Fryer LT/KX113551

Known Crew

  • LtCdr Henry John Cortland Stokes Commanding Officer HDML 1254 and i/c survey 24/8/44 Wind up of the war in Europe MID
  • LtCdr C P W Marshall RN Commanding Officer HDML 1254 5/45 – 47) In charge of survey. He was awarded a DSC in HMS Teviot Bank (Minelayer) in 1941.
  • TLt F B Beard RNVR TLt 14/8/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1254 12/4/43 Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings 3rd ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 134 24/9/44
  • TLt J E Dixon RNVR TSLt 12/3/43 HDML 1254 26/3/45 – End
  • TSLt E R Dodge RNVR TASLt 8/1/43 HMS St Christopher HDML 1254 12/4/43 TSLt 8/7/43 HMS Gregale (Malta) 1944 First Lieutenant ML 839 26/4/45
  • TSLt A W H Bush RNVR TASLt 25/12/42 HMS St Christopher HDML 1242 31/3/43 TSLt 25/6/43 Operation Avalanche -Salerno Landings HDML 1254 31/1/44 25th ML Flotilla ML 238 12/8/44
  • TASLt W Cowley RNVR TASLt 8/1/43 HDML 1254 12/4/43 TSLt 8/7/43 HDML 1271 8/7/43 HMS Gregale 1944 ML 559 7/3/45
  • PO Douglas Kenneth Tucker C/SSX32715 Wind up of the war in Europe BEM
  • POEng Edwin Ernest Fryer LT/KX113551 HDML 1254 Wind up of the war in Europe MID
  • AB George A. Miles P/JX 388307 HDML 1254 who died on Friday 10 December 1943 Age 32 cause unknown. Son of George and Ellen Miles; husband of Edith May Miles, of Portsdown, Hampshire. Buried in Naples War Cemetery
  • Sea William Arthur Bird LT/JX172928 HDML 1254 For Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily MID

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean 10/7/43 – Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily
  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings
    Patrols from Naples and Anzio
    Operation Dragoon – Invasion of Southern France
    Opening of Marseilles
    Charting the River Rhone up to Arles and Avignon

Post War History

  • 1945 Employed on port surveys in the Mediterranean
  • 1946 Mediterranean Survey Unit 1
    Survey work off Pantelleria, the Adriatic, Greek Islands, Piraeus, Cyprus and Beirut
  • 9/47 Sold

Cdr Henry John Cortlandt Stokes was a specialist survey officer:

  • 1928 HMS Kellett in the Thames Estuary
  • 1929-30 HMS Herald off Borneo and Hong Kong
  • 1931 HMS Fitzroy in home waters
  • 1933-35 HMS Ormonde in the Persian Gulf and off Cyprus
  • 1935-36 HMS Aberdare, minesweeper, in command. Briefly Assistant King’s Harbourmaster at Singapore.
  • 1937-39 HMS Endeavour in New Zealand waters before paying off at Singapore on the outbreak of war
  • 1940 HMS Franklin in the Thames Estuary and east coast convoy routes
  • 1941 HMS Challenger in Scottish and West African waters
  • 5/7/41 Rescued 823 survivors from the troopship Anselm torpedoed by U96 in position 44 25N 28 35 W
  • 1942 HMS Franklin in command surveying the sites for the Maunsell Forts in the Thames Estuary, sweeping wrecks and sounding alternative convoy routes up to the Tyne.
  • 1944 On detached service surveying the Sherbro River in Sierra Leone
  • 1944 ML 1254 in command
  • 1945 Staff Hydrographic Officer Levant
  • 1946-50 Hydrographic Department as an assist in the Notices to Mariners Branch
  • 1950 Retired as a commander and settled in Tasmania

Lt Cdr C P W Marshall RN was a specialist survey officer:

  • 1932 HMS Kellett off the east coast of England as a Midshipman
  • 1933-35 HMS Ormonde in the Persian Gulf and off Cyprus as a Lieutenant
  • 1935 HMS Kellett off the east and south coasts of England
  • 1936-38 HMS Stork off Thailand and Ceylon
  • 1939 Briefly in HMS Erebus
  • 1939-42 HMS Teviot Bank, a minelayer, in which he was awarded a DSC in 1941
  • 1943 In July, he was placed in charge of the South Coast of England Survey
  • 1945 HMS Gulnare in command
  • 1945 ML 1254 in command for survey duties in the Mediterranean
  • 1947-55 Hydrographic Department as an assistant in the Tidal Branch before retiring
  • Emigrated to Australia where he worked for the Adelaide Harbour Board
  • He died in 1962

BBC People at War (Arthur Martin)…

“The one that I joined was HMML 1254 and had been built around the River Amble commissioned and sailed with her crew in convoy to Malta ready for the invasion into Italy. For this purpose she had been especially fitted with radar and submarine detection equipment, with the purpose of acting as a navigational aid for the invasion fleets. Before my joining her she had been part of the force into Sicily and then in to Naples and Anzio.

Operating out of Naples there were about seven or eight HDML’s performing various light duties. Evening patrols in the bay were performed on a rota base during which small charges were dropped overboard randomly to deter frogmen and midget submarines. On one of these patrols enemy aircraft had dropped circling torpedoes. These were smaller than those launched from a ship, battery operated they were designed to circle until their batteries were exhausted and then to float on the surface, virtually acting as a floating mine. With only a small portion of their body breaking water they were very difficult to deal with. A Polish destroyer anchored in the bay tried to pot one with her 4.7 gun but found difficulty in getting enough depression. A signal from the shore stopped her antics as her shells, ricocheting off the surface of the water, were landing in Naples!
Another duty shared out amongst the HDML’s entailed a fortnight in Anzio, patrolling the anchorage and running messages with sailing orders and such like to the liberty ships and others delivering supplies. Reporting to the shore base the skipper took me along to carry some of his bits and pieces. On the way back to the ship a detour was made to an army dug-out manned by the Royal Warwickshire regiment.

We had gone equipped with books and magazines which were very welcome. The beach-head was very compact and it was difficult for enemy bombing and shelling not to find a target. Pyrotechnic displays were common as petrol and ammunition dumps exploded.

However, returning to Naples an even more splendid display was to be seen as Vesuvius erupted. The locals, ever inclined to be more than a little jittery, were convinced that they would soon share the fate of Pompeii.

Occasional excursions were made to other harbours and islands in the area for unknown reasons, including a trip to Capri with time to take in the Blue Grotto. The island was very much in favour with the Americans whose population probably exceeded that of the the natives. The British had taken over the neighbouring island of Ischia as their Coastal force base, very much the same size as Capri and renowned for its thermal spas dating back to the time of the Caesars.

The Americans were very much in evidence in Italy. The one thing that their sailors envied was our rum ration, for their ships were “dry” even in the wardroom. Coca cola was a poor substitute It was not unusual when delivering orders to an American vessel for the skipper to extend a little hospitality to his American opposite number to be followed by an offer to augment our meagre, and monotonous, rations from their abundant stores.

Cooking on these small vessels was carried out in the galley, occupying a small section of the mess deck, on a standard issue coal burning stove, with a number of Primus stoves as a reserve or relief. Food was very often tinned — it was amazing what came inside them. Beans and corned beef were not new-comers but tinned bacon, sausages and steak and kidney pudding were something different. Powdered potato had now come on the scene but was still in an almost inedible development stage. The same applied to powdered egg, and there was also something else called oleo-margarine, designed for use in hot climes. Probably a by-product from the engine room. Bartering with the Italians was active and fresh eggs made a welcome change to the diet. The locals did well for they were only too happy to take away anything left over — “any gash, Johnny?” had quickly become part of their language.

If the engines had to be shut down, or small repairs had to be undertaken, this was usually carried out at Ischia, sometimes necessitating the crew being boarded out to the locals. Or a longer spell of leave there was a holiday camp in Sardinia serving all the armed services, with hutted accommodation, comfortable beds and edible food, free from any chores. A Triumph motor bike from my home town, adapted as a three-wheel trailer provided transport into the nearby town for whatever entertainment was available. The trailer was about six foot by four and the record for personnel carried stood at seventeen, most standing with a few holding grimly on to the boarded sides for stability. The vehicle driven by a lieutenant from the Australian navy provided an excursion to be remembered.
Along with a build-up of shipping, rumours became rife that something was under way. Forces were gathered and the island of Elba became the target. Close inshore, doing whatever we were supposed to be doing on a bright summer’s day we came to the attention of some German with a mortar gun, requiring a burst of speed to take us out of range. That trouble over we moved into a bay and moored alongside a small pier where we were soon joined by a small landing craft. Securing herself, someone did something wrong, detonating an explosive charge, destroying vessel and crew.

Ascertaining nothing could be done we found a safer berth. The navy meanwhile was providing a barrage, including some salvoes from the 15inch guns of the monitor, Erebus and the island was quickly taken over.

Back to Naples and rumours were rife again, but now centred on ML 1254 itself.
The crew, who had initially brought the vessel out from England were drafted back home after sailing to Malta whilst alterations were made to the ship. All the armament was removed, a large chart table installed in the wheelhouse and a few other conversions made for a change of use into a surveying vessel. A new crew joined the ship and we awaited the arrival of a new officer, a specialist in naval survey work.

The officer in charge of the Fleet Hydrographic office in Naples took temporary command and we sailed to Corsica to join the invasion force sailing to Southern France. Detached from the main force we moored off St. Tropez awaiting a rendezvous and further orders. The dinghy was lowered and small party became the first to officially land in Southern France. A destroyer arrived with orders to proceed to Marseille. We passed the Chateau d‘If where a small boat containing the commander of the German garrison offered his surrender but our officer sent him elsewhere whilst we moved inshore. The dinghy was lowered again, the commander donned his revolver and a landing was made just off the entrance to the old port. Resistance was virtually over in the town and the following day we moved into the Vieux Port, carefully negotiating the transporter bridge across the entrance which had been partly demolished by the Germans.

The next day our new officer arrived and our task in France began. This was to perform an up-to-date survey of the main port, especially with details of sunken vessels, providing information for the berthing of supply ships. Stores of all descriptions were badly needed for the forces in Northern France and all means possible were being considered to augment their supplies.

Daily reports of clear berths had to be supplied to the American officer in charge of the port and for this purpose our officer was allotted a French car complete with chauffeur. On completion of each day’s survey the chart would be brought up-to-date, a blue-print made and a copy taken to the American office. After a couple days of Henri.s driving the skipper handed that job over to me.

Purely apart from his driving Monsieur Henri had another French trait — time and its ability to stand still. I would be despatched on some errand with the request to return by 11.30. At 11.00 Henri would consult his watch and announce the arrival of aperitif time, seemingly well-known wherever we went. We would eventually arrive back at the ship to find the skipper had departed on foot.

After a couple of weeks negotiating in and out of the harbour we were assigned a temporary change of job. In an effort to get supplies to the forces in Northern France supplies every possible way was being contemplated and we were assigned to chart the River Rhone. We set out, our officer assisted by an American army officer, to see how far the river was navigable. We sailed up for three days, mooring at night in Arles and (after stepping the mast to pass beneath the bridge renowned in song) the following night at Avignon. Beyond was not up to expectations and, helped by the current, the journey back was made in the day. The trip afforded us to see the Camargue and its horses and flamingos.

Back to the Vieux Porte, which was now providing anchorage for the occasional small landing craft. One of which made an error of judgement in negotiating the derelict transporter bridge, setting off a charge resulting in damage and loss of life.

The crew made friends with the locals during our stay and were sorry that the job came to an end after about three months. It was onwards to a different venue — Athens and a small port called Preveza, in the Gulf of Arta. We spent several weeks there, surveying the large gulf, mooring alongside at night and moving up to Corfu for the weekend. Then it was on to Athens itself and also Salonika. Our services always seemed to be in demand and we wandered quite a bit, confining our services to the north of the Med, whilst a sister ship, based in Alexandria did the south.

Meanwhile the war was entering its final stages. VE Day found us overnight on passage in the main port of Leghorn, where we seemed to be the only people around.

Then came the complete end with VJ Day where we managed a celebration of sorts in old haunts at Ischia.”

HDML 1255

Berthon Boat, Lymington 11/12/42

Known Crew

  • TLt J W Ballinger RNZNVR TSLt 10/7/41 HMS St Christopher for MLs 30/7/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1255 7/12/42 HMS Melampus (Bathurst, Gambia) TLt 10/1/44
  • TSLt K S Rodwell RNVR TSLt 1/4/44 27th ML Flotilla ML 296 Commanding Officer HDML 1255 24/7/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1379 4/45
  • TSLt T J Drury RNVR TSLt 17/7/44 13th ML Flotilla ML 303 Commanding Officer HDML 1255 17/2/45

Post War History

  • 1/46 Sold at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1256

Berthon Boat, Lymington 18/1/43

Wartime Activities

  • ML 1124, ML 1135, ML 1153, ML 1243, ML 1245, ML 1256, ML 1282, ML 1294 and ML 1296 are all transferred to the Turkish Navy. ML 1153 lost on passage to Turkey
  • 7/8/43 To Turkey = LM3

HDML 1257

Berthon Boat, Lymington 18/2/43

Known Crew

  • TLt F H Curd RNVR TSLt HMS Iron Duke (Scapa Flow) for MLs 9/2/42 TLt 13/11/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1257 26/1/43
  • TSLt F S G Gruber RNVR TSLt 27/5/43 32nd MTB Flotilla MTB 633 1/8/43 HDML 1257 27/12/43 ML 218 8/10/44
  • TSLt D W F Clark RNVR TSLt 23/10/42 HMS St Christopher HDML 1257 25/1/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily Commanding Officer HDML 1145 4/2/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1297 5/4/45
  • TASLt G C De Whalley RNVR TMid 2/4/43 TASLt 1/9/43 HDML 1257 TSLt 1/3/44 ML 633?

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 10/7/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily

Post War History

  • Sold 5/46
  • 1948 Yacht = Marica
  • 2002 Based in Hartlepool

HDML1257

HDML 1258

Berthon Boat, Lymington 1/4/43

Known Crew

  • TLt T D Groves RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 20/4/42 TLt 26/12/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1258 9/3/43 Commanding Officer ML 299 6/12/44
  • TLt Stanley Norman Braithwaite RNZNVR Ord 7/41 HMS Edinburgh (Cruiser) TSLt 9/10/42 HMS Beaver (Immingham) ML 451 15/3/42 TLt 9/10/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1258 17/11/44 Died 8/5/71
  • TSLt D C T Hepworth First Lieutenant HDML 1258 26/4/43
  • TSLt P D Allan RNVR TMid TASLt 26/3/43 11th MTB Flotilla Based at Felixstowe MTB 350 17/4/43 TSLt 26/9/43 15th MGB Flotilla MGB 502 19/10/43 50th MTB Flotilla MGB 605 Commanding Officer HDML 1258 28/5/45
  • TSLt J F Gahan RNVR HDML 1258 1/6/44TSLt 24/6/44 ML 841 2/6/45
  • TSLt K Simpson RNVR TASLt 24/7/44 TSLt 24/1/45 HDML 1258 2/6/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings

Post War History

  • 3/47 Sold

HDML 1259

Berthon Boat, Lymington 28/4/43

Known Crew

  • TLt R G A Parvin RNVR HMS St Christopher for MLs 8/9/41 18th ML Flotilla (HMS Mentor II, Stornoway) ML 234 6/9/41 TSLt 1/11/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1259 12/4/43 TLt 24/1/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1222 24/12/44 HMS Gregale (Malta)
  • TSLt J D Wilson RANVR TSLt 12/3/43 HDML 1259 12/7/43 NID 1944

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 31/10/44 Paid off due to hull damage caused by gunfire from German shore batteries, South of France

HDML 1260

Berthon Boat, Lymington 28/6/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt D T Plews RNVR TSLt 3/7/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1260 20/6/43 136th ML Flotilla but normally operated alone Commanding Officer HDML 1377 11/44 TLt 3/1/45
  • TSLt W N R Dawe RNVR TASLt 16/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1260 1/11/43 TSLt 16/1/44
  • TMid F D James RNVR TASLt 18/8/44 HDML 1260 16/11/44 TSLt 18/2/45
  • TASLt A G Williamson RNVR HDML 1260 12/44

Post War History

  • 1946 To Holland
  • Royal Netherlands Navy
  • = Lynx

HDML1260

HDML 1261

Bombay Dockyard 18/11/45

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 137th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Royal Pakistan Navy
  • 1951 SDML 3517

HDML 1262

Bombay Dockyard 11/45

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 137th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Royal Pakistan Navy
  • 1951 SDML 3518

HDML 1263

Bombay Dockyard 16/1/45

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 137th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Royal Pakistan Navy
  • 1951 SDML 3519

HDML 1264

Bombay Dockyard

Post War History

  • Cancelled

HDML 1265

Mchatta, Karachi 28/9/44

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 136th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Sold

HDML 1266

Mchatta, Karachi 7/11/44

Known Crew

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 136th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Royal Pakistan Navy
  • 1951 SDML 3520

HDML 1267

Mchatta, Karachi 11/3/44

Known Crew

  • TLt A K Y Kazi RINVR TSLt 55th ML Flotilla ML 439 TLt 136th ML Flotilla HDML 1267
  • TLt G K Parulekar, RINVR TSLt 136th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1267 19/1/44 TLt 25/4/44 HMS Cheetah (Bombay)
  • TSLt D R Grant RINVR TSLt 8/7/43 121st ML Flotilla HDML 1109 14/1/44 120th ML Flotilla HDML 1148 136th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1267 1945
  • TSLt D N Shivastava, RINVR 136th ML Flotilla First Lieutenant HDML 1267 3/12/43
  • TSLt D A Gee RINVR Mid MTB 306 TSLt 2/5/44 136th ML Flotilla First Lieutenant HDML 1267 7/12/44 HMS Adyar (Madras)
  • Mid J T T Lang RINVR 136th ML Flotilla HDML 1267

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
    136th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Sold

HDML 1268

Scindia, Bombay 29/1/45

Wartime Activities

  • Royal Indian Navy
  • 136th ML Flotilla

Post War History

  • 1947 Sold

HDML 1269

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 7/1/43

London Gazette 21/11/44 – For a series of actions in the Channel over two years

  • MID POEng John Wood Mair LT/KX131040

Known Crew

  • TLt G K Billson RNVR TLt 1/4/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1269 12/42 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) 1944
  • TSLt John Winning Watson 1st Lt HDML 1269 07/12/42 – 11/07/43
  • TSLt R W Burlton RNVR TASLt 23/4/43 TSLt 23/10/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1269 17/4/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone) Commanding Officer HDML 1077 1/1/45
  • Skipper E C George RNR Skipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1269 7/11/44
  • Skipper J J Horne RNR Skipper 23/6/43 HDML 1269 7/11/44
  • POEng John Wood Nair LT/KX131040

Wartime Activities

  • A series of actions in the Channel over two years
  • Protection of Weymouth Anchorage during the build up to Operation Neptune

Post War History

  • 8/46 Sold

HDML 1270

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 1/4/43

Known Crew

  • TLt R W B Carter RNVR TLt 6/11/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1270 20/2/43 Commanding Officer ML 336 8/1/45
  • TASLt I C MacDonald RNVR HDML 1270 14/2/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily Operation Avalanche Salerno Landings TSLt 25/9/43 31st ML Flotilla ML 560 5/6/44 Operation Dragoon – Landings in Southern France Commanding Officer HDML 1224 16/5/45
  • TSLt V W J Tattersall RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1270 15/2/44 TSLt 24/3/44 HMS Gregale (Malta)
  • TLt E E Rayner RNVR TSLt 29/5/42 ML 460 12/42 Lt 14/11/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1270 31/12/44
  • TSLt A A Bendall RNVR Mid 22/9/44 TASLt 19/2/45 HDML 1270 25/4/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 10/7/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily
  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche Salerno Landings

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold

HDML 1271

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 22/4/43

HDML1271

Courtesy of Ian Burns –Son of Tel Burns (In dark jersey and white shirt) standing next to AB Harkness.
Believed to be taken in Ischia.

Known Crew

  • TLt R A Wright RNVR TLt 4/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1271 5/6/43 Commanding Officer ML 575 27/5/45
  • TSLt W Cowley RNVR TASLt 8/1/43 HDML 1254 12/4/43 TSLt 8/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1271 8/7/43 HMS Gregale (Malta) 1944 ML 559 7/3/45
  • TSLt C G Bridgens RNVR TASLt 20/11/42 HMS St Christopher TSLt 20/5/43 31st ML Flotilla ML 556 20/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1271 27/5/45
  • TASLt E N Cholerton RNVR Mid 7/4/44 HDML 1271 27/10/44 TASLt 20/3/45
  • AB AB Kenneth Harkness HDML 1271 (From Reading) Operation Avalanche Salerno Landings
  • Tel Leslie Burns HDML 1271 1943-45 (From Poynton, Cheshire) Operation Avalanche Salerno Landings

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche Salerno Landings

Post War History

  • 5/46 Sold
  • = Madonna Ta Pompeii
  • 2003 Based in Marssaxlokk

HDML 1272

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 5/7/43

Known Crew

  • TLt I C James RNVR TLt 15/1/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1272 17/1/43
  • TSLt C Turnbull RNVR HDML 1272 14/6/43 TSLt 5/9/43 110th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1080 12/44
  • CPO David Maine (Buirghead)
    Alan Griffths (Gunner)
  • Sto Rowsell (Bridgewater)

Wartime Activities

  • Indian Ocean
  • 2/5/45 Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon

Post War History

  • 8/45 Loaned to Burma
  • 1/48 Sold to Burma
  • Burmese Navy = MGB1272

HDML 1273

Anderson Rigden & Perkins, Whitstable 6/3/43

London Gazette 11/7/44 – For good service during the air attack on Bari 2/12/43

  • MID TLt John King RNVR

Known Crew

  • TLt John King RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 2/2/42 TLt 6/11/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1273 11/6/43 For good service during the air attack on Bari 2/12/43 MID Commanding Officer ML 459 16/5/45
  • TSLt Alan Victor Coulson RNVR TSLt 2/4/43 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1273 8/11/44 TLt 2/4/45 ML 558 1/2/45? Minesweeping in the Adriatic from Porto Corsini to Trieste 3/45 DSC
  • TSLt A H Stevens RNVR TASLt 10/10/44 HMS Gregale (Malta) HDML 1273 27/1/45 TSLt 10/4/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
    2/12/43 Service during the air attack on Bari

Post War History

  • 1946 French Navy VP 82

HDML 1274

Anderson Rigden & Perkins, Whitstable 23/1/43

London Gazette 21/11/44 – Series of actions in the Channel over two years

  • MID Ck Percy William Stone LT/MX84873

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 J B H Lewis RNVR TASLt 8/10/43 HDML 1049 TSLt 8/4/44 HDML 1274 17/4/44 ML 524 6/44
  • TSkipper T Goodman RNR TSkipper 1/5/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1274 8/11/44
  • TSkipper L C Evison RNR TSkipper 7/8/43 HDML 1043 12/43 HDML 1274 8/11/44 HDML 1300 5/1/45TSkipper A J H Clarke RNR TSkipper 1/2/43 HDML 1300 8/11/44 HDML 1274 5/1/45 – End
  • Ck Percy William Stone LT/MX84873 HDML 1274

Wartime Activities

  • A series of actions in the Channel over two years
  • Protection of Weymouth Anchorage during the build up to Operation Neptune

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 62
  • 14/6/48 Sold

HDML 1275

Anderson Rigden & Perkins, Whitstable 21/6/43

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

  • DSC MIDTLt Leslie Thomas Millard RNVR
  • MID POEng Samuel Sutherland LT/KX124810

Known Crew

  • TLt Leslie Thomas Millard RNVR TSLt HMS Skirmisher II for MLs 11/5/42 TLt 9/11/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1275 14/1/43
  • TSLt W A Boyle RNVR HDML 1275 14/1/43 TASLt 5/3/43 TSLt 12/9/43 HDML 1299
  • POEng Samuel Sutherland LT/KX124810 HDML 1275 For operations off the coast of Arakan from November 1944 to March 1945 MID

Wartime Activities

  • 11/44-3/45 Operations off the coast of Arakan
  • 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.

Post War History

  • 1947 For disposal at Singapore

HDML 1276

Moody, Swanwick Shore, Southampton 21/1/43

Known Crew

  • Skipper Richard Blundell Rhimes RNR Skipper 1/5/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1276 8/11/44 – 7/45 Previousy commanded HMS Spene (A/S Trawler) 5/7/42 – 6/44 and served in HMS Lord Plender (A/S Trawler) 1941 Born 6/11/08 and died 28/1/59
  • TSLt P Cowan RNVR HDML 1276 17/4/44 TSLt 17/4/44 HDML 1335 11/44
  • TSkipper J H Gamble act RNR TSkipper 1/7/44 HDML 1276 8/11/44
  • TSLt J W Fulton RNVR TSLt 2/10/42 HDML 1276 4/1/43 ML 193 21/8/43

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 63
  • 7/47 Sold

HDML 1277

Moody, Swanwick Shore, Southampton 20/3/43

London Gazette 30/1/45 – For mine disposal

  • BEM Sea Norman David Harper LT/JX382495

Known Crew

  • TLt H S Latimer RNZNVR TLt 29/1/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1277 11/3/43
  • TLt L H Nixon RNVR TSLt 10/7/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 12/10/42 ML 554 TLt 1/4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1277 10/9/44 Commanding Officer ML 338 31/5/45
  • TLt D H Wilkinson RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1277 31/5/45
  • TSLt John Brenton Hinchcliffe RNVR TASLt 23/6/44 TSLt 23/12/44 57th MTB/MGB Flotilla Based at Bastia, Brindisi, Komiza and Ancona MGB 662 8/1/45 – 7/45 HDML 1277 1946
  • TSLt H Rayner RNVR TSLt 13/5/43 HDML 1277 1/6/43 TLt 13/5/45 HDML 1146 13/5/45
  • Tmid R Cocking RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1277 15/2/44 HDML 1237 9/5/44 TASLt 5/9/44 TSLt ML 283 30/5/45
  • Sea Norman David Harper LT/JX382495 HDML 1277 For mine disposal BEM

Post War History

  • 1946 Palestine
  • Used on patrols to stop illegal immigration

HDML 1278

Moody, Swanwick Shore, Southampton 20/5/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt L White RNVR TSLt 27/11/41 18th ML Flotilla Based at HMS Mentor II, Stornoway ML 215 26/2/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1278 11/5/43 Lt 27/5/44

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold 1946
  • Yacht = Lady Walrus

HDML 1279

Bute Slip, Clyde, Scotland 24/11/43

Known Crew

  • TLt J G Edwards RNVR TSLt 65th ML Flotilla Based at HMS Mentor II (Stornoway) ML 539 9/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1279 9/11/43 TLt 27/11/43
  • TSLt P T Appel RNVR TASLt 19/3/43 HMS King Alfred TSLt 19/9/43 HDML 1279 9/11/43 HMS Philoctetes II 1944
  • TSLt J T Ramage RNVR TASLt 7/1/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1279 23/4/44 TSLt 7/7/44 HMS Nabob (Escort Carrier CTL 22/8/44 by U boat torpedo off North Cape) HMS Sainfoin
  • TSLt G S Wright RNVR TSLt 29/8/44 150th ML Flotilla First Lieutenant HDML 1279 31/8/44 ML 248
  • TSLt F H Jenner RNVR TSLt 26/11/44 HDML 1279 24/3/45

Wartime Activities

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

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB70
  • ML3511
  • 1948 Sold = Islandu

HDML 1280

Bute Slip, Clyde, Scotland 25/4/44

HDML1280

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

  • MID LSea George Williams LT/JX217711

Known Crew

  • TSLt L G Hopwood RNVR TASLt 8/10/44 TSLt HDML 1280 8/4/45
  • LSea George Williams LT/JX217711 HDML 1280 For good service distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy MID
  • TSLt C A Caudle RNVR TASLt 8/10/43 Commanding Officer ML 858 7/2/44 TSLt 8/4/44 transferred to RN 18/3/47 HMS Redpole HMS Redpole HMS Ausonia Commanding Officer, SDML 3503 3/50 HMS Tamar 11/50 Lt Cdr 18/3/52HMS Warrior 24/2/53 Born in 1921 Royston district, Oxfordshire and died 21/1/57 in
    Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital (Anglesea Road Wing), Ipswich, Suffolk

ML1280 Crew

Hong Kong Flotilla:

  • David Duffy (Commanding Officer)
  • Ronnie Graham-Clarke (Commanding Officer)
  • Sea George Fieldstone J820186 Also served in ML 3512
  • Sea Ben Goodman P/JX. 889757
  • Sea William Treacher P/SSX. 882617
  • ME Rex Cowper P/SKX816088
  • ME Colin Scrivner C/SKX. 772005

Wartime Activities

  • Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
  • Distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings

Post War History

  • Hong Kong Flotilla
  • ML 3503
  • 1958 Sold = Lady Ellen

ML1280 Officer

HDML 1281

Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 19/5/43

Known Crew

  • TLt A J Sweeney RNVR HMS St Christopher for MLs 31/10/42 TLt 26/3/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1281 27/8/43
  • TSLt K S Nicol RANVR TSLt 5/2/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1281 10/5/43 ML 569 1944 TLt 21/12/44
  • TSLt F J (P?) Murphy RNVR TSLt 9/10/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1281 8/6/44 ML 134 9/4/45

Post War History

  • 13/10/49 Sold

HDML 1282

Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 26/7/43

HDML 1282

Imperial War Museum

Known Crew

  • TSLt W L Rogers RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1282 5/7/43 Delivery to Turkey TLt 1/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1131 16/1/44
  • TASLt L Schofield RNVR HDML 1282 26/7/43

Wartime Activities

  • ML 1124, ML 1135, ML 1153, ML 1243, ML 1245, ML 1256, ML 1282, ML 1294 and ML 1296 are all transferred to the Turkish Navy. ML 1153 lost on passage to Turkey
  • 11/10/43 ML 1245, ML 1282 and ML 1294 at Alexandria on passage to Turkey.
  • 26/10/43 ML 1245 and ML 1282 and ML 1294 arrived Iskenderon, from Beirut, for delivery to the Turks. Had been in convoy KMS 27. (ML 1243 was still to follow.)
  • 26/10/43 To Turkey = LM 6

HDML 1283

Thornycroft, Hampton 25/3/43

London Gazette 14/8/45 – For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece

  • DSC Lt Frank Norris Coulter SANF(V)

Known Crew

  • TLt L M Taylor RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 3/9/42 TLt 9/4/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1283 9/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1028 17/1/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1146 5/12/44 HMS Mosquito Commanding Officer ML 175 11/5/45
  • Lt Frank Norris Coulter SANF(V) SLt 23/10/41 Lt 23/10/43 HDML 1028 Commanding Officer HDML 1283 13/1/44 For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece DSC HMS Mosquito (Alexandria)
  • TLt J P Cooke RNVR HMS Beaver II 24th ML Flotilla 26/10/42 ML 478 4/1/43 TSLt 24/1/43 TLt 24/1/45 Commanding Officer HDML 1283 15/5/45
  • TSLt R G H Jenkins RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1283 13/1/44 TASLt 9/12/44
  • TSLt P K Gadbury RNVR TSLt 6/11/42 HDML 1283 15/3/43 ML 299 20/11/43 ML 456 15/5/45
  • AB Leslie Sudbury HDML 1283

Wartime Activities

  • Services in clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece
  • Bound for Kiervasili, HDML 1283 took shelter from bad weather for 36 hours in a cove near Marmarice Harbour, around 80 miles from Casteloriso. The following morning they reached Sertchi harbour and remained for the day, observing occupied Rhodes. They set sail around Cape Alupo and down the Gulf of Doris to Kiervasili.
  • Approaching in the dark, they overshot the entrance and run aground on a sandy beach. They went astern and most of the crew went overboard to push. Two Turkish soldiers appeared and attempts were made to convince them that HDML 1283 was friendly.
  • HDML 1283 broke free and went astern 100 yards, leaving 6 or 7 ratings on the beach. One rating shouted, “Will you come back and pick us up soon, please, sir? These Turks probably think we are Mr Bernard Shaw’s bloody commandos come to invade them!” HDML 1283 returned, picked them up and entered Kiervasili.

Post War History

  • 1946 War Department
  • 1948 Sold = Amanda Mary

HDML 1284

Thornycroft, Hampton 3/4/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt L A Jiminez RNVR TSLt 5/6/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 3/10/42 HDML 1284 20/10/43 TLt 1/7/44

Post War History

  • 11/46 Sold
  • Yacht = Nejm

HDML 1285

Thornycroft, Hampton 27/4/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt F Andrews RANVR TSLt 18/9/42 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1285 18/4/43 TLt 18/9/43 17th MTB Flotilla Commanding Officer MTB 294
  • TSLt Graham W H Woodman RNVR TASLt 16/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1285 1/11/43 TSLt 16/1/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1304 5/45 HMS Lanka (RN base, Colombo, Ceylon)
  • TSLt Alan John Bowden RNVR TSLt 21/8/41 HMS St Christopher Commanding Officer HDML 1285 12/43 HDML 1230 TLt 21/2/45 HMS Braganza
  • TSLt Raymond E E Bassett RNVR TSLt 28/7/44 13th ML Flotilla ML 594 First Lieutenant HDML 1285 6/5/45
  • L/Sea John Lonsdale RNPS Coxswain HDML 1285
  • A/LSea Harry Ainsworth HDML 1285AB Anderson HDML 1285
  • AB Ashfield HDML 1285
  • AB French HDML 1285
  • AB Mills HDML 1285
  • Sto1 John Flowers RNPS HDML 1285Sto2 Draper HDML 1285
  • Tel Rowland HDML 1285
  • Cook McVeigh HDML 1285

Wartime Activities

  • 9/9/45 Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya for survey duties.

Memoir of Alan John Bowden…

“December 1943 found me in Bombay looking for a ship. Having reached Mombasa by various means, it was found that the MLs we were intended for had still to arrive. Request for an A/S Course in Durban was denied but we were offered a comparable Course in Bombay, plus some local leave in Kenya. Leave enjoyed, Course passed, then what? Pestering found me a shore job, of sorts, which led me to Sub Lieut Frank Andrews RANVR who had just arrived from UK as CO of HDML 1285 and was keen to find some sort of job in Bombay which might assist his peacetime career as an artist. I was then given command of an MTB, one of a Flotilla which had been hanging around Bombay for ages, and an answer to both our problems seemed possible. We would swap our commands! This was very quickly approved and I was off to a one time RAF flying boat station to find my new command. Thana is North East of Bombay, on a river of the same name. The base, at that was an arm of beach pebble from which ran a number of wooden piers. Problem was that the piers were across the main stream of the river so that they moved with the tides. The pier length was little more than that of an HDML. Consequently, leaving a berth, or coming alongside, could be complicated by the state of the tide. I watched, and learned.

At this stage my principle activity was to get to know my new crew who had become used to the casual Australian ways of Andrews which, in some aspects, were very different to the Royal Navy practice that had been drummed into me. Also, there was no 1st Lieutenant , and as he would be responsible for the daily running of the Upper Deck, it seemed wise to wait until one was available before setting up a ship’s routine. A few days before Christmas came news that 1st Lieuts for HDMLs 1285 and 1286 were expected to arrive in Bombay Harbour and would need collecting. I lost the toss and went to collect them, getting my first experience of leaving a pier. All went well, the new officers were collected, I picked the one I wanted, and we set off back to Thana. Then came the matter of getting back alongside – and it went perfectly. It was much later that I discovered that, purely by luck, I had chosen to come alongside during the twenty minutes when the tide was turning and our pier was still. Both new 1st Lieut , crew and most of those aboard HDML 1286 were suitably impressed, and believed thereafter that I was a ship handler!

We had a quiet Christmas and New Year in Thana and, as January progressed, we began to wonder whether we had been forgotten. The quiet time was however welcome as an opportunity for the crew and their new officers to get organised, so it was not wasted. Then, at the end of January 1944, the ship went into Mazagon Dockyard at Bombay for a refit, and the opportunity was taken to have a few additions made. Coal stoves went from Mess Deck and Wardroom, the stove in the galley was replaced, a splinter mat went up across the back of the bridge, whilst the folding bridge seat was replaced by a solid permanent high seat with storage below. An excellent medical cupboard was added in the Port side of the Wardroom Heads, with a bookshelf in the W/T cabin. All of which gave us a little more space, more comfort for the bridge watch keeper, and proper stowage for books, binoculars and bits and pieces which otherwise would only have slid about with a HDML’s movement.

Naturally, shoreside decided, in the midst of all this refurbishment, that we were required to leave Bombay forthwith or sooner. So, on about the 13th February 1944 we sailed for Colombo, which we seem to have reached – after one night in Cochin – by about 20th February, in company with HDML 1286 and one other HDML, details now forgotten.

Unfortunately, within the hour we were at sea again having clashed with a retired Lieut Commander RN who felt it essential that we patrol off the port notwithstanding that our ship’s company was more than a bit weary, we had no local charts and no dynamite charges. So, we spent the next four days on slow ahead one engine to absolutely no purpose . When we were finally allowed back into Colombo Harbour it was to discover that we were to be based there, instead of going on to some unknown base, which had been the intention when we left Bombay.

Fortunately, relief was at hand, and by the end of March 1944 we were assisting the civil power from Jaffna, in the North West of Ceylon, attempting to prevent illegal immigration from India as well as arms smuggling.. The voyage up the West coast of Ceylon, then through Adams Bridge with some restricted navigation, to Jaffna which had a pier with just enough water to berth a HDML, was our first independent cruise under the new management, and it went well. There was also a RNO – a very elderly, but delightful, retired Commander RN based in three tents in a private garden, who depended on the local express train from Colombo for any signals of any importance. We opened the ship for a Navy Day to the local schools and after some preliminary language problems we reckoned that we had a great success. . To our regret we were back in Colombo by the 5th April, only to be moved to Trincomalee, where we arrived on the 16th April.

Coastal Forces Trincomalee were entirely HDMLs and had a small base in Cod Bay which was, inevitably, the last dropping off point for the evening picket boat service which connected Comic Trincomalee with offices, cinema, canteen and Wrens , to the East Indies Fleet at anchor, and the various private seagoing units , tucked away in outlying bays. There were some Cajun huts ashore to provide offices and living quarters for shore staff, a pier which could take two trots of three HDMLs at its head, and a slipway which could lift an HDML out of the water but did little else. For recreation one swam over the side or sailed the MLs 10ft. Dinghy. Otherwise, in all our time there, we had one lorry trip to a real beach outside Trinco Harbour, and one very poor concert party which was largely taken over by the shore base staff. For the rest of the time, there was ship’s business to be done, letters home to be written, and of an evening, much talk of the world we had left and of the one we hoped to see when the War was over. In between, one slept! But there was to be some improvement!

The object of our existence was to defend the Fleet in Trinco Harbour from underwater attack. To do this we ran three patrols. Inner was along the boom defences at the entrance to the Naval Base; Middle was anywhere away from the Boom out into Trinco Bay: Local craft were boarded and searched, and there was room for variation. Outer was a straight line run between the headlands at the entrance to Trincomalee Bay and was inclined to be open to rolling seas coming in across the Indian Ocean. An HDML went out through the Boom every day at 1800 and secured to a buoy just clear of the Boom Gate where it acted as stand by for any of the three patrols needing back up. At 0800 next morning the Stand By ML took over Inner Patrol for 24 hours, Inner Patrol moved to Middle Patrol; Middle moved to Outer, and Outer returned to harbour to replenish fuel and stores before returning to Cod Bay. One night of rest alongside Cod Bay jetty, and then the round started again. On all patrols dynamite was dropped – four one and a quarter pound sticks and one five pound bundle went over the stern every hour to discourage any enemy in the water. None are known to have been so discouraged but we maintained a good supply of fresh fish! For Middle and Outer Patrols Asdic was operated but the only time that we nearly let go a pattern of depth charges, the echo turned out to be yet more fish.

During the Summer of 1944 someone in authority recognised that this sort of life in isolation from the rest of the Fleet was not a good thing and it was decreed that each HDML was to be allocated to a major warship in a sort of “buddy” system. It was officially supposed to help the HDMLs smarten up, but my own belief is that someone appreciated that something more than four days out and one in, week after week ,was not good for morale. HDML 1285’s crew responded to the idea and on the Saturday we were due to berth on HMS Nigeria at Noon I had never seen either the ship or the crew looking smarter. Fortunately, our arrival alongside did not let them down. From then on, whenever both 1285 and HMS Nigeria were in port, we lay alongside Nigeria’s starboard quarter with miles of deck to walk, canteens, cinemas, showers and dhoby facilities. In return, 1285 took young officers from Nigeria out on our patrols, and on one glorious occasion took a platoon of Royal Marines plus bugler, to a rifle range. The bugler was the quid pro quo for that operation. We bugled a “still” as we passed every capital ship, causing panic on the capital ship’s quarter deck as they looked for the sort of vessel that normally carried a bugler. By the time they found HDML 1285 with a platoon of Royal Marines fallen in in the bows, and a bugler standing on the bull ring, we had had our ensign at the dip for rather a long time.

In October 1944 HDML 1285 was one of four HDMLs selected to go to the Arakan to take part in the Ramree Island landing that was planned. Taut Wire Measuring Gear was fitted aft and we sailed for Madras and then on to Vizagapatam. From Vizag we headed for Chittagong but about half way there my Stoker I ,Acting Chief Engineer ,told me that we were using oil so fast that we would not make Chittagong. So, a conference was called in the middle of the Indian Ocean and it was decided that we would make our way to Calcutta whilst the other three went on to Chittagong. We were given a good point of departure and, in due course we were off the lightship at the mouth of the Ganges, from where a pilot took us up to Takta Gut where we secured to buoys, head and stern. There we stayed for months as stores around the globe were searched for the fuel pump part we needed. It just happened to be made by Bosch!

Just before Christmas 1944 I discovered a 3pdr saluting gun in a Naval Store and persuaded the authorities that we really could use a slightly bigger gun than our 2pdr when we eventually got to Arakan. A swap was made and HDML 1285 had a gun which looked like a gun on its f’csle. Many years later, when I was long out of the Navy and a civilian again, someone in Admiralty started to enquire after the 2pdr. All I could do was to explain the swap but offer no help as to the subsequent fate of our 2pdr cannon.

Finally, from whence I know not, a suitable fuel pump spare was found and available in Calcutta. Soon we were free of the buoys, landing our pilot at the lightship and off to Vizagapatam. After a short stay we were running down the East coast of India, passed Madras and back to Cod Bay in Trincomalee – and Boom Patrols once more.

It was on one such routine patrol that we lost our Port propeller shaft which simply slid away from the Port engine shaft. The shore staff at Cod Bay soon appreciated that they could find no sign that the two shafts had ever been secured one to the other by a locking pin. A quick slipping, push the two shafts together and secure properly this time with a locking pin in place. My request to have the Starboard shaft checked whilst the ship was on the slip was turned down – “This sort of thing could not happen twice”!. – so we duly set out for our next patrol. Within sight of Cod Bay base the Starboard prop fell off.

Sometime after this I was returning to Cod Bay in the evening picket boat after an evening’s escape with a member of Commodore’s staff, when we were passed by HDML 1285 proceeding at full speed in the opposite direction. Arriving at the Coastal Force Base I found that a signal had been received requiring all small craft to stand by the Floating Dock which had started to sink with HMS Valiant in it. As the picket boat had to go back that way I was given a lift back to the Floating Dock which by then had “Valiant’s “ Quarter Deck under water, and was able to rejoin my ML. We watched “Valiant” burst out of the dock, with the Dock touching the sea bed, at which stage it was decided that there was no more danger, so would everyone please go home.

Soon after this my First Lieutenant was given a pier head jump to his own command. In a chaotic eight hours he took over his new command, HDML 1304, and had sailed for the Arakan. His last signal to me “ Now I know why you have been getting two bob a day Command Money”.. He subsequently got a Mention in Dispatches for an action on the Bassein River as what was left of the Japanese Army attempted a crossing.

In due course a replacement arrived and the routine patrols continued. On 9th May 1945, whilst Europe and most of the Fleet in Trincomalee celebrated, HDML 1285 was on Outer Patrol , with the additional job of running surface attacks on one of our submarines just off on patrol. They had had a nasty scare on their previous operation being caught on the surface by small Japanese patrol craft. We were required to give the subs ship’s company some idea of what such an attack could be like. After four runs they had had enough, being apprehensive that we were getting too close and not appreciating how much of the sub’s hull was under water. Come the morning we returned to find Cod Bay in inebriated slumber.

Sometime after this we found ourselves some hundreds of miles away from Ceylon, out in the Indian Ocean, doing a solitary square search pattern around an agreed point. We were one of a number of ships sent out to provide a known safe point for aircraft bombing Japanese positions in Indonesia and Malaya and then needing to return to Ceylon. Fortunately, none of our aircraft needed to take advantage of our service, so we returned to Cod Bay. I must admit to having felt very small alone in a vast ocean

By July 1945 we needed slipping so went to a small facility at Mandapam in Southern India, which offered nothing but a slip, so we were content to get that over as quickly as possible and then go to Jaffna again for more patrolling off the Northern coast of Ceylon. Then back to Colombo where, on the 17th August 1945, I handed over command of HDML 1285 to a Lieutenant RN who took the ship over for Hydrographic Survey duties. Thanks to the Atom Bomb my association with HDML 1285 had lasted until the war was over, and won.

As a Survey Vessel the ship went first to Djakarta and then to Hong Kong where she was eventually sold to the Government of Singapore. I have been unable to trace what has happened to her since.”

Post War History

  • 16/7/46 Singapore Government

HDML 1286

Thornycroft, Hampton 22/4/43

Known Crew

  • TLt F S D Sims RNVR HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown, Sierra Leone) for MLs 9/41 TLt 18/10/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1286 27/6/43 HMS Cumberland (Cruiser)
  • TASLt Geoffrey Wilby RNVR TASLt 2/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1286 1/11/43 TSLt 2/1/44
  • TSLt B E Bollingbroke RNVR TASLt 16/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1287 1/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1286 12/44.
  • TSLt John Ross Cobban RNVR TSLt 12/8/43 HDML 1286 1945 – 46
  • TSLt Ronald Redfern RNVR TSLt 12/3/42 HMS Razorbill (Algiers) Commanding Officer HDML 1286 until 7/44 TLt 12/9/44 HMS Caradoc (Cruiser)
  • TSLt D R Rose RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1288 24/5/43 TSLt 19/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1286 7/44
  • TMid E Leighton RNVR TMid 3/3/44 HDML 1286 15/11/44

Post War History

  • 2/4/46 To Burma

HDML 1287

Thornycroft, Hampton 25/6/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt F W Collins RNVR TASLt 18/12/42 HMS Racer (Larne, N I) TSLt 18/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1287 16/8/43
  • TSLt B E Bollingbroke RNVR TASLt 16/7/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1287 1/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1286 12/44
  • TASLt W G Rankin RNVR TSLt 21/3/43 HDML 1286 1/45
  • POEngmn Clyde C Rothery HDML 1287

Wartime Activities

  • Far East

Post War History

  • 6/7/46 Singapore Customs

HDML 1288

Thornycroft, Hampton 26/5/43

Known Crew

  • TLt H Downes RNVR TLt 12/6/42 HMS St Christopher HDML 1082 Commanding Officer HDML 1288 19/5/43
  • TSLt D R Rose RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1288 24/5/43 TSLt 19/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1286 7/44
  • TLt K J Dunbar RNVR TSLt 29/5/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 10/8/42 ML 367 1/10/42 TLt 29/11/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1288 12/44 HMS Orlando (Greenock)
  • TSLt A S Thomson RNVR TSLt 8/4/44 HDML 1288

Wartime Activities

  • 9/9/45 Operation Zipper – Invasion of Malaya for survey duties.

Post War History

  • 1946 Penang Pilots

HDML 1289

Thornycroft, Hampton 2/7/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt W C Lord RNVR HDML 1289 17/6/43

Wartime Activities

  • 25/11/43 Lost on passage abroad

HDML 1290

Thornycroft, Hampton 23/7/43

Known Crew

  • TLt A D Ashcroft RNVR TSLt 11th ML Flotilla 6/4/42 TLt 29/1/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1290 19/7/43 Commanding Officer ML 463 17/1/45
  • L C NisbetTSLt L C Nisbet (pictured) RNZNVR HDML 1290 19/1/43 TSLt 26/5/43 149th ML Flotilla HDML 1409 14/12/43 For good service distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy MID TLt 1/10/44 Commanding Officer ML 463 17/1/45 HMNZS Cook (depot & training establishment, Wellington, NZ)
  • TSLt D H Russell RNVR TSLt 23/3/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1290 17/1/45
  • TASLt J H J Fanning RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1290 13/12/43 ML 578 13/3/44 TSLt 17/4/44

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold

HDML 1291

Thornycroft, Hampton 28/8/43

Known Crew

  • TLt T C Pond RNVR TLt 14/9/42 First Lieutenant and Commanding Officer HDML 1293 7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1291 3/5/45
  • TLt J P A Blue RNVR TLt 25/12/41 HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) for MLs 2/3/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1376 19/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1291 12/44 HMS Mayina (Colombo)
  • TLt W G Taylor RNVR TSLt MASB 32 1/10/41 TLt 2/12/42 HDML 1291 36th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 847 12/44
  • TSLt E F Hill-Snook RNVR TSLt 19/8/43 HDML 1291 8/43
  • TSLt J P H Allon RNVR TSLt 1/12/41 HDML 1306 9/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1298 HDML 1291 15/11/44
  • TASLt H G Richmond RNR TASLt 17/7/44 HDML 1291 27/12/44

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold

HDML 1292

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 8/6/43

Known Crew

  • TLt J L Gaelic RNZNVR TSLt Commanding Officer HDML 1292 20/4/43 TLt 9/10/43 HMNZS Cook 1944
  • TSLt M T Goodworth RNVR TSLt 28/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1292 18/9/44
  • TSLt S A Lagden RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1292 3/5/43 TSLt 15/7/43 ML 337 29/3/44

Post War History

  • 4/9/45 On loan to Greece
  • Greek Navy = Distraton
  • 1952 Sold

HDML 1293

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 1/6/43

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

  • MID LSea John Crighton LT/JX183180
  • MID AB Sidney John Jourdain LT/JX241532

Known Crew

  • TLt T C Pond RNVR TLt 14/9/42 First Lieutenant and Commanding Officer HDML 1293 7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1291 3/5/45
  • TLt R L Kelly RNVR TLt 10/10/43 HMS Afrikander (Simonstown) 1944 Commanding Officer HDML 1293 1/5/45
  • TSLt S Katz RNVR HDML 1293 7/43 TSLt 5/8/43
  • TMid W D Duncan SANF(V) Mid 28/12/42 HDML 1293 19/5/45
  • LSea John Crighton LT/JX183180 HDML 1293 For operations off the coast of Arakan from November 1944 to March 1945 MID
  • AB Sidney John Jourdain LT/JX241532 HDML 1293 For operations off the coast of Arakan from November 1944 to March 1945 MID

Wartime Activities

  • Operations off the coast of Arakan 11/44-3/45

Post War History

  • 1/7/46 Sold to France for service in Indo China
  • French Navy = VP 82

HDML 1294

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 20/7/43

HDML 1294

Known Crew

  • TSLt M S Osmond RANVR TSLt 30/10/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1294 6/9/43 TLt 28/9/43 TLt 28/9/43 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria, Egypt) Commanding Officer HDML 1130 15/1/44
  • TASLt G C De Whalley HDML 1294 12/7/43

Wartime Activities

  • ML 1124, ML 1135, ML 1153, ML 1243, ML 1245, ML 1256, ML 1282, ML 1294 and ML 1296 transferred to the Turkish Navy. ML 1153 lost on passage to Turkey
  • 11/10/43 ML 1245, ML 1282 and ML 1294 at Alexandria on passage to Turkey.
  • 26/10/43 ML 1245 and ML 1282 and ML 1294 arrived Iskenderon, from Beirut, for delivery to the Turks. Had been in convoy KMS 27. (ML 1243 was still to follow.)
  • 26/10/43 To Turkey = LM 5

HDML 1295

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 12/11/43

Known Crew

  • TLt D H Brownridge RNVR TSLt 21/5/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 21/8/42 TLt 21/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1295 27/9/43
  • TASLt M E Borrett RNVR TMid 26/3/43 HMS King Alfred TASLt 1/9/43 HDML 1295 28/9/43 TSLt 1/3/44

Hong Kong Flotilla:

  • Peter Coulson (Commanding Officer)
  • Ninian Stewart (Commanding Officer)
  • C.E.M Thorneycroft. MBE BA Commanding Officer)
  • Sea George Fieldstone J820186 Also served in ML 3503
  • Sea Derek Knowles P/SSX 864548
  • Sea Ronald Walsh P/JX. 912933
  • ME Ernest Hodgkins P/SKX. 870228
  • ME Ron Pillinger D/SKX 872176
  • Tel Stanley Cobb (MBE) P/JX899272

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 History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 74
  • ML3512
  • Hong Kong Flotilla
  • 17/11/58 Sold

HDML 1296

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 29/1/43

Wartime Activities

  • ML 1124, ML 1135, ML 1153, ML 1243, ML 1245, ML 1256, ML 1282, ML 1294 and ML 1296 are all transferred to the Turkish Navy. ML 1153 is lost on passage to Turkey
  • 7/8/43 To Turkey = LM 4

HDML 1297

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 10/4/43

Known Crew

  • TLt Basil Francis James Knight RNVR TLt 19/2/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1157 Commanding Officer HDML 1297 7/8/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings HMS Gregale (Malta) 5/4/45 Born 31/1/14 and died 5/1996 in Sutton district, Surrey
  • TSLt W Leslie RNVR HDML 1380 3/9/43 TSLt 7/11/43 HDML 1297 1944 ML 561 9/3/45
  • TSLt L P Macey RNVR TSLt 25/6/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1297 4/10/43 28th MTB Flotilla MTB 405 3/11/44 For an attack on an enemy convoy off Tagliamento 17/3/45 MID 28th MTB Flotilla Commanding Officer MTB 410 4/5/45
  • TSLt D W F Clarke RNVR TSLt 23/10/42 HMS St Christopher RNVR HDML 1257 25/1/43 Operation Husky Invasion of Sicily Commanding Officer HDML 1145 4/2/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1297 5/4/45
  • TASLt E P B White RNVR TASLt 25/8/44 HMS Gregale (Malta) TSLt 25/2/45 HDML 1297 26/2/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 9/9/43 Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold

HDML 1298

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 17/6/43

Known Crew

  • TSLt D W Stevens RNVR TSLt 9/4/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1298 9/6/43 TLt 9/10/44 HMS Braganza (Bombay)
  • TSLt J P H Allon RNVR HDML 1306 9/8/43 TSLt 1/12/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1298 1/1/45HDML 1291 15/11/44
  • TSLt H T Jackson RNVR TASLt 1/9/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1298 1/11/43 TSLt 1/3/44

Post War History

  • 2/4/46 Burma Government

HDML 1299

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 5/8/43

Known Crew

  • TLt L T Rice act RNZNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1299 28/7/43 TLt 23/9/43
  • TSLt B M Wisdom RNVR TASLt HMS Attack small craft 6/9/42 ML 346 6/9/42 TSLt 19/12/42 ML 597 Commanding Officer HDML 1414 17/4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1299 9/4/45 Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon
  • TSLt W A Boyle RNVR HDML 1275 14/1/43 TASLt 5/3/43 TSLt 12/9/43 HDML 1299
  • TASLt C M Ockleford RNVR TASLt 1/9/43 HDML 1299 26/7/43 TSLt 1/3/45 HDML 1376 27/4/45
  • TASLt K W McBurney RNZNVR TASLt 7/7/44 HMS Braganza (Bombay) HDML 1299 6/1/45 TSLt 7/1/45
  • Sto1 David Kenneth Burgess LT/KX 154495 Who died on Saturday 7 October 1944 in HDML 1299 cause unknown. Son of Harold Greville Burgess and Elizabeth Bloy Burgess, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Buried in Madras War Cemetery, Chennai 6. C. 8

Wartime Activities

  • India
  • 2/5/45 Operation Dracula – Assault on Rangoon

Post War History

  • 8/45 Burma RNVR
  • 1946 Sold to Burma
  • Burmese Navy = MGB1299

HDML 1300

Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 20/1/43

HDML 1300

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 History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 64
  • 6/48 Sold
  • = Vincent
  • 2003 Based in Carrickfergus

HDML 1300

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