Able Seaman JOSEPH DIXON CURRIE (P/JX 343320)

(1923 - 2011)


Joseph Dixon Currie (Joe) was born in Motherwell in 1923.  Although in a ‘reserved occupation’, Joe (a proud Scot) volunteered to join the Royal Navy on 3 March 1942.  After initial training, Joe qualified as an Ordinary Telegraphist (O/Tel) and was posted to HMS Wasp on 18 March 1943 to serve with Coastal Forces on MGB 118.


As a very proficient morse operator, Joe was easily identifiable by other operators for his clear keying even under enemy action - recommended for accelerated advancement, he qualified to Telegraphist on 14 July 1943. After conversion of many MGBs to MTBs, Joe served on MTB 437 (and briefly on MTB 435) from 1 October 1943 until 4 April 1944.


Prior to his military service, Joe was active in the Boys Brigade and through this was proficient in first aid - unfortunately, a skill he had to use on many occasions whilst serving on MGBs/MTBs to aid and comfort his comrades during the many engagements with the enemy.


For his service, Joe was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence Medal and the War Medal with Oak Leaf (Mentioned In Despatches). Joe was twice Mentioned for his actions - first, on 3 August 1943 (The London Gazette No 36118) - ‘For skill and daring in a successful encounter with superior enemy forces in enemy coastal waters while serving in Light Coastal Craft’ and second, on 21 March 1944 (The London Gazette No 36433) - For skill and daring in Light Coastal Craft in a sharp engagement with the enemy’.


Joe was released from Naval Service on 22 May 1946.  Joe and his wife Susan were ‘Ten Pound Poms’ migrating to Australia under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1949 - living in Melbourne until his death in 2011. Joe and Susan are survived by their daughters Sandra and Helen, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.


The model of MGB 118 (pictures below) was commissioned by his daughter Helen to honour her father and commemorate his service, and takes pride of place in her home.  The model was made by her husband - Group Captain (Rtd) Ronald Derlagen Royal Australian Air Force.


Joe and Rod were involved in over 30 missions together during 1943 in MGB 118, Joe continued to serve in her after she was reclassified as MTB 437 in September 1943. HMS Wasp was based at Ramsgate in Kent.

My grateful thanks to Helen (Joe's daughter) and Ron (Helen's husband) for allowing me to use the photos and text. When you read this remember what Joe did for us all those years ago.