HM MGB 118

See comment on Guestbook page Nov 2015

The photo right is of the crew of MGB 118, she was part of the 9th MGB Flotilla. The S.O. was Lt "Roger King" of the Free French Navy.

 

The photo was taken on Sunday 25th July after a successful action against E Boats. The term E Boat was a loose term used and only signified "enemy boat". Most German torpedo boats were called S Boats (in the link click on S Boats at the top of the page), the S standing for "Schnell". The S Boat sunk in action on the night of 24th was the Ostend based S 77  (Oblt zS Ludwig).

 

During Rod's stay on MGB 118 he was involved in 31 separate operations. He left 118 on 23rd Sept 1943.

 

MGB 118 was a "Seventy One Foot Six" BPB (British Power Boat) MGB. Her length is self explanatory within her type name, she had a beam of 20ft 6ins. She displaced 37 tons and was powered by three Packhard petrol engines producing a total of 4050 BHP. Depending upon weather conditions she could attain a maximum speed of between 36 and 42 knots. Her armament consisted of 1 x 2pdr forward, 1 x twin 20mm, 2 x twin 303 in machine guns. In the photo above Ronald "Ginger" Ashcroft (Leading Stoker) is wearing the white jersey with HM MGB 118 on the front. In the photo below "Ginger" is pictured in the back row on the far right. Ginger's son Terry contacted me in May 2020 with up-to-date information about the photo. AB Brian Oliver Barker is in the front row 2nd from the left in photo below.

 

 

The Schnellboot or S Boat (often called E Boat) was one of the MGB

and MTB's main adversaries. The S 100 series Schnellboots were larger and faster

than most of the MTB's and MGB's.

 

Although the photo left is of the crew of MGB 118 and the list below is of the crew members I have limited knowledge of most individuals names. The CO S/Lt Michael Forsyth-Grant is sitting centre middle row. S/Lt Rod Timms is sitting to the right (as we look at the photo) of him. The other side of the CO I think is S/Lt Ian Galbraith the 1st Lt. I believe Ian Galbraith was later killed in action. One of the PO's sitting on the outside of both ends of the middle row is  Coxn PO Hill. L/Stoker Ronald "Ginger" Ashcroft is at the back far right.

 

Other names are

AB Joe Currie O/Tel,

AB Carrington Oerlikon power turret gunner,

AB Bill Archer Pom Pom loader,

AB Kane Oerlikon manual gunner,

AB Roy Todd Starboard Lewis gunner,

AB Connelly,

AB Wakeham Chef,

AB Brian Oliver Barker, see Guest Book page entry 45.

AB Hanks,

L/Stoker Ronald "Ginger" Ashcroft,

AB Charlie Burford Pom Pom gunner.

 

 

 

 

"Sat 24th July - slipped Ramsgate 2200 navigated to V bouy with MGB 116 - received plot of 2 E boats doing 40 knots off Dunkirk - vectored on to them - flat calm - discovered their bow wave - running fight at 42 knots - one blew up other got away - 4 survivors - escorted MAASBI 42 back to harbour 0500."

"Sun 25th July - Sleep - Press photographers came down to MGB 118 to take photos of "Victorious Crew" - turned in early" Photos above at top of page.

 

Below is a copy of an "Action Report" from Kalle Scheuch's website. He has kindly given permission for this to be published on this page. Use the link to view the excellent site which provides a huge amount of information about "S Boats" (these boats were often referred to a "E Boats" by the British, (E for ememy).

 

The link to the relevant page is: http://www.s-boot.net/englisch/sboats-km-channel43.html

 

July 1943

 

Boats S 68 (Oblt.z.S . Helmut Moritzen) and S 77 (Oblt.z.S. Josef Ludwig †) left Boulogne en route to Ostend. North of Dunkirk they ran into a MGB/MTB patrol. During the developing dog-fight S 77 was lost while S 68 escaped.

 

Shortly after midnight the F.d.S. received a message from the 2. Sicherungs-Division which reported a fire at sea, at 00.27 a big explosion had been observed and there was a possibility that a boat was blown up. The CO of S 68 reported upon entering Ostend that S 77 was lost out of sight during the battle and was possibly lost in action.

 

A search for the boat with five boats was without result. At 03.55 the B-Dienst (Observation-Service) decoded that MGB 40 and MGB 42 had picked up four survivors of the German S-Boat among them two lightly wounded.

 

A German surveillance aircraft sighted the sinking position of S 77 marked by floating wreckage but no survivors were found. A telephone-call by Flakgruppe  Dunkirk (Anti-Air-Gun-Group) reported that about 7 km off the coast a rubber-boat had been sighted. Around lunchtime the Search- and Rescue-Service rescued 12 men from this rubber-boat.

 

They reported that S 77 had been seriously damaged by the British MGBs. The CO of the boat had therefore scuttled the boat in position 51o12’N, 02o21’E. The British had rescued four men. The CO and 10 men were missed in action. Since the CO of S 68 had not fired back and had not reported about the battle, the F.d.S. accused Oblt.z.S. Moritzen to if not had caused but not tried to make the situation more favourable for OBlt.z.S. Ludwig. A case of court-martial was raised against Oblt.z.S. Moritzen.

 

 

 

 

 

I believe these names to be correct, if you know of any mistakes I would welcome your corrections.