World War II motorboats restored

  peter99co 10:45 09 Feb 2010
Locked

click here

Hard work to restore but what a result.

  oldbeefer2 11:14 09 Feb 2010

And what a wonderful sound - seem to remember they were fitted with detuned Merlins.

  morddwyd 11:22 09 Feb 2010

Did quite a few trips on the RAF version, not as crew but for torpedo drops/recovery, servicing the weapons (they used `to have an aircraft type gun turret) and dumping munitions at sea.

Not to mention actually catching one to work when I was on flying boats.

  Woolwell 11:31 09 Feb 2010

Been to sea on RAF rescue craft from Bridlington - great fun.
Main HQ was RAF Mount Batten at Plymouth, where Lawrence of Arabia as Aircraftsman Shaw was based. Closed several years ago.

You may be interested in this site click here
Been out in a Dark class too at around 40 kts and a very bumpy ride.

  morddwyd 11:37 09 Feb 2010

"RAF Mount Batten at Plymouth"

Where my wife used to be stationed.

She also is a Marine Craft veteran.

  peter99co 11:43 09 Feb 2010

Good link, thank you.

  Diemmess 11:52 09 Feb 2010

Had a ride on one from RAF Fowey during Nat Service. At the time they were dropping and recovering sonar buoys while a Wellington tracked us at low speed pretending to be a U-boat.

From memory I think that boat had twin Napier Lion? engines.
There was a corporal engineer who seemed unaffected by the awesome noise in his engine room. No ear defenders.

The Skipper held the rank of Flight Lt. He was a Civilian Substitution Officer. Under the skin he was a Cornish fisherman, rosy cheeks and heavy accent included.

  dagbladet 12:24 09 Feb 2010

I was periodically hurled off the back of one of these at Mount Batten for the dreaded Sea Survival drills. In an effort to replicate the confusion of a helicopter ditching, the engines would be wound up to create a huge frothy plume at the stern, into which I was required to jump, without of course letting go of the dinghy (which strangely never had a serviceable Gas canister during training).

  Bingalau 12:26 09 Feb 2010

I had a good friend (sadly now passed away) who had served on this type of craft during the war. He was awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for rescuing downed allied airmen from France via the French resistance movement. CPO Billy Webb DSO, RN. was a one off type of bloke who also spent a lot of his time as a prison warder and was appalled at the way the prison service was going. He was of the old school and thought that criminals should be punished for their activities. In the end he was glad when retirement time came and he left the prison service. He then threw himself into running our branch of the RN Association. It was a sad day when Billy died. He was a real character and was invited to the USA every year by the "Downed Airmen's Association" of that country. They miss him too. Oh yes, he also used to join me on trips to Germany every year and we were great pals of the German Naval Association, they loved "Der Billy" too. He was that kind of man... Just remembered, Billy sent his DSO to be re-ribboned through a reputable Liverpool firm. The medal was lost in the post and Billy had to make do with a replica afterwards. Obviously some low life had nicked the medal in the post. He said it wasn't the same afterwards because he had been presented with the medal by King George VI. I keep looking on E-bay to see if someone is selling Billy's medal. I also wonder if reputable medal dealers check up on sellers.

  ella33 12:32 09 Feb 2010

What a wonderful news item, thanks for the
links peter99co and Woolwell.

  I am Spartacus 13:42 09 Feb 2010

Good autobiography of a crewman on a WWII RAF Rescue boat click here

Another one from an officer of an MGB click here

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