Lost and Found

Out of the 486 HDMLs built during 1939-45, 47 were lost by enemy action or by accident during the war years.

  • Post war, many were transferred to overseas navies including Greece, India, Pakistan to form part of their post war navy
  • Vessels in the Far east continued to serve with the New Zealand and Australian Navies
  • Some were operated by France in Vietnam
  • Many were scrapped to recover their engines which were unobtainable post war
  • The Australian-built HDMLs were built slightly longer at 80 feet and some of these formed the Hong Kong Flotilla of the 1950s
  • The last two HDMLs in service with the British Navy were ML1387 (HMS Medusa) and ML1301 (HMS Meda), finally paid off in 1965

Present Day Survivors

There are currently believed to be around 20 HDML hulls still surviving around the world, many as houseboats (and another 6 possibles that have not been sighted for a long while). For vessels built to last 5 years this is a credit to the shipwrights who did their best with sometimes inferior materials. Time is taking its toll and the list of survivors is diminishing rapidly.

The list below is all we are aware of. We are always keen to receive updates and photos of these and any others that turn up. The known history of each vessel is shown in ‘HDML Boats‘ section within our archive. The year shown below is when we received the last update.

Shown by Number, Present Name and Latest Information

UK Waters

  • 1085 – Etive Shearwater – Tyne, hull only, afloat, 2021
  • 1257 – Marica – Hartlepool, houseboat, 2021
  • 1309 – Morning Wings – Upon on Severn, afloat, 2015
  • 1379 – Abri – Castleview Wharf, Medway, 2017, houseboat
  • 1387 – Medusa – Haslar Marina, Gosport, operational, 2021
  • 1392 – Sarinda – Heswall, being restored, 2021

Europe & Mediterranean

  • 1051 – Rodos – Port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, July 2014, houseboat
  • 1301 – Gibel Tarik – Dronten Museum, Holland ashore, 2020 
  • 1414 – Aisha – Sardinia, ashore, 2006
  • 1494 – Woodpecker – Sicily, October 2017

Australia, New Zealand & South Africa

  • 1183 – Mako – Geelong, Melbourne, Australia, 2017, pleasure craft
  • 1184 – Paea – Whangarei, NZ, operational and restored, 2021
  • 1188 – Takapu – Fiordland, NZ, 2017, new owner, now a private vessel, 2021
  • 1189 – Alert – Kopu, Thames, NZ,  ashore in restoration, 2021
  • 1190 – Parore – Marlborough Sound, NZ, 2017, afloat
  • 1193 – Tamure – Kopu, Thames, ashore 2020, ashore, poor condition, 2021
  • 1200 – Venture II – Cape Town, South Africa Dec 2005
  • 1321 – Rushcutter – Gove, Northern Territory, Australia, 2017, ashore
  • 1348 – Kuparu – Whangarei, NZ, afloat and operational, 2021
  • 1350 – Koura – Kopu, NZ, ashore, probably beyond saving, 2021

No recent sighting

  • 1024 – Mavala I – Cannes Jan 1995
  • 1129 – Vagabond – Melbourne Australia, 2003
  • 1224 – Anna B – 2002
  • 1324 – Nepean – Melbourne , Australia, possibly scrapped
  • Unknown – Octopus 70 – St Malo 1980’s
  • Unknown – Nikita – Guernsey 2002
  • Unknown – Prince Caraibe – France Nov 2004
  • Unknown – Trotter – Benalmádena 1998
  • Unknown – Monte Cristo – French Riviera 2006

Recently lost or broken up

  • 1349 – Haku (Black Watch) – Sunk and then broken up, Auckland NZ, 2018
  • 1185 – Manga – Broken up Helensville Nov 2008
  • 1186 – Wings afloat – Australia, no record since 1950s, believed lost
  • 1187 – Tarapunga – Sunk in deep water after fire 7.3.2014
  • 1191 – Kahawi – Kopu, Thames, destroyed by fire 1997
  • 1271 – Madonna-Ta-Pompei – Sunk and broken up, Malta, May 2008
  • 1300 – Vincent – Wreck, Dundrum, 2018
  • 1305 – Lewina – Broken up Summer 2007
  • 1351 – Pakatoa  – burnt 2016 NZ
  • 1396 – Pride of the Dart – Broken up Torbay 2009
  • 1410 – Fantasia – Broken up 2005 at Arklow
  • 1130 – Devon Princess – Beached and burned at Topsham 1996
  • 1302 – Santa Katerina – Sunk Malta 1996
  • 1001 – Floatstreet – Sunk Caribbean 2002
  • Unknown – Adsum – Broken, Duquesa 1999
  • Unknown – Gavilan Azul – Sunk Mar de Alboran 2000
  • 1020 – Lalage – Sunk Holy Loch June 1999
  • 1337 – Ana Capri – Broken Up Acle, Norfolk Broads, 1997
  • Unknown – Typhoon – Broken Up Estapona, 1993
  • 1305 – Leuwina – Sunk and broken up 1992
  • 1422 – T.S.R – Birkenhead, sunk at mooring, 2008

War Losses

The following is a list of those that did not come home. We have details of the circumstances and actions in which they were engaged together with casualties and decorations.  See the individual boat record in the archive section for more details.

  • 1003 – Lost in transit in North Atlantic 20/4/41
  • 1011 – Bombed by German aircraft off Crete 10/5/41
  • 1015 – Wrecked near Alexandria 10/43
  • 1019 – Damaged by fire off Freetown 7/44
  • 1030 – Lost between Suda Bay and Alexandria 28/5/41
  • 1037 – Lost in transit in the North Atlantic 20/4/41
  • 1038 – Captured at Tobruk 23/6/42
  • 1054 – Wrecked off Hartlepool 23/10/43
  • 1057 – Lost by explosion off Kilindini
  • 1060 – Lost by explosion at Poole 7/8/44
  • 1062 – Sunk by Japanese surface craft, Banka Sts 16/2/42
  • 1063 – Sunk by Japanese surface craft Tanjong Priok 1/3/42
  • 1069 – Lost by Tobruk 23/6/42
  • 1083 – Wrecked in the Gulf of Kos 20/2/44
  • 1090 – Lost in transit from UK 11/7/42
  • 1092 – Bombed by German aircraft while building at Belfast 1941
  • 1093 – Bombed by German aircraft while building at Belfast 1941
  • 1094 – Bombed by German aircraft while building at Belfast 1941
  • 1095 – Bombed by German aircraft while building at Belfast 1941
  • 1096 – Lost on stocks in Singapore 2/42
  • 1100 – Scuttled in Naaf River, Burma 4/42
  • 1101 – Scuttled in Naaf River, Burma 4/42
  • 1102 – Destroyed incomplete at Rangoon 4/42
  • 1103 – Destroyed incomplete at Rangoon 4/42
  • 1104 – Destroyed incomplete at Rangoon 4/42
  • 1119 – Lost in Indian Waters 7/10/44
  • 1121 – Foundered off Pantellaria 31/12/43
  • 1147 – Lost by fire at Freetown 7/44
  • 1153 – Lost in transit from UK to Med 9/42
  • 1154 – Mined at Bizerta 14/5/43
  • 1157 – Lost in transit from the UK 4/43
  • 1163 – Torpedoed by German surface craft in Adriatic 5/1/45
  • 1167 – Lost on stocks at Singapore 2/42
  • 1168 – Lost on stocks at Singapore 2/42
  • 1169 – Lost on stocks at Singapore 2/42
  • 1170 – Lost on stocks at Singapore 2/42
  • 1179 – Foundered North of Jamaica 21/8/44
  • 1212 – Lost in transit from the UK 4/43
  • 1226 – Mined off Alexandropolis 4/10/45
  • 1227 – Sunk by German surface craft off Piraeus 5/10/44
  • 1244 – Lost in transit from the UK 11/11/43
  • 1259 – Damaged by German shore battery, S France 31/10/44
  • 1289 – Lost in transit from the UK 11/11/43
  • 1380 – Foundered in the Aegean 1/5/44
  • 1381 – Captured at Sirina 26/8/44
  • 1388 – Wrecked off Hartlepool 24/12/43
  • 1417 – Mined off Flushing 15/2/45

Thanks to Philip Simons, Christian Sheppard and Bob McDougall for the source data for this list. We are always keen to receive updates on HDMLs. See entries in the HDML archive on this website for individual boat histories.

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