4Mobile Air Torpedo Maintenance Unit

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by jainso31, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    My father an RNR rating (1925-39) was mobilised in Aug 1939 and after sea duty in HMS Chitral,Mercury and Anemone;volunteered into the newly
    formating MATMU organisation in July 1942-these units were the forerunner of the MONAB organisation which was created in 1944.He served thereafter in the UK until drafted overseas with 4MATMU to RNAS stations on Ceylon until Aug 1945 when he was rotated home aged 42yrs.
    I am a retired Mining Engineerhavig worked in the deep mining industry for 40 yrs-my main interest is Military Research which at aged 79 still holds a strong fascination for me. I sincerely hope that i have done this correctly?!
    My Regards to all
  2. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    As I have already said in my "intro",my hobby is military research. My main objective currently is to find out as much as is possible about my father's far east war service ,for which he was awarded a Pacific Star.His rating was ABST,his work was ostensibly the servicing of ordnance carried by carrier borne aircraft BUT WHAT ELSE!?
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I will speak with a veteran friend of mine that was a Torpedo specialist in WW2 and attached to the Fleet Air Arm for quite a while and was a survivor of HMS Eagle when she was sunk.

    I will see what he can recall as he too ended up in the Pacific, mostly on mine clearance at the end og the war.

    I will hopefully be seeing him on wednesday.

    Not sure on the ABST, but more than likely Able Seaman Specialist Technician.

    Regards Tom
  4. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Hi Smudger Jnr
    Many thanks for yr speedy post-do hope yr friend has some gen or knows someone who has-will look forward to hearing from you soon.
    ABST-Able Bodied Seaman Torpedoman and yes Dad too was on a minesweeper HMS
    Mercury of the 11th Flotilla who were in support of the Dunkirk evacuations.
    Regards Jim
    Always on the lookout
  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I now have a couple of questions for him and will get back to you by PM.

  6. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    You probably have already seen this website:

    Which has quite a bit of information about MObile Naval Air Bases and their constituent parts - MSRs. MSs, MATMUs etc

  7. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Thanks Noel
    I have been to the MONAB website some time back and this was where I found out that 4MATMU was not attached to a MONAB, but operated independantly in the Trincomalee area. my question is -did it or any part of it ;carry out any "off station" activity?
  8. JackW

    JackW Member


    The name of the Royal Naval Air Station in Ceylon at that time was
    HMS Ukussa.

    This from 'wiki' :

    SLAF Katukurunda (ICAO: VCCN) is a Sri Lanka Air Force base located near the town of Kalutara in Sri Lanka. Originally established as a Royal Naval Air Station HMS Ukussa it was reactivated in 1984 by the Sri Lanka Air Force. It is the venue for many motor races conduct in association with the Air Force Sports Board and with the with Sports Ministry approval.
    Established in 1944 by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy at its peek it was the largest Royal Naval Air Stations of the time staffed by 300 Officers, 3000 sailors and 100 WENs. It serviced more than 100 aircraft at any given time whilst maintaining at aircraft repair yard.

    The ships listed in #1
    HMS Chitral (F57) Armed Merchant Cruiser.
    HMS Anemone (K48) Flower Class Corvette.
    HMS Mercury...Stone Frigate (Shore Base) (Communications School) so not at Dunkirk.

    If you have your fathers certificate of service, it will list ALL of his ships/shore bases that he served on.

  9. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    My thanks to you Jack
    A couple of points that I would like clear up ie.
    1.father served as an ABST at HMS BAMBARA (Trincomalee area)before transferring to HMS UKUSSA
    2.HMS MERCURY J102 was a paddle minesweeeper of the 11th Minesweeping Flotilla which was in support(.minesweeping during daytime and carrying out observation patrols at night) ;of the Dunkirk evacuations, before moving west to Portland to provide similar support to the 2nd BEF evacuations from the Cherburg areas.Mercury was bombed in Portland Harbour and all her 12pdr gun crew killed.An unlucky ship she sank under tow on Xmas Day 1940.my father spent some time in Deal Marine Infirmary as aresult of strafing in Weymouth Bay-leg wound. From Deal he was drafted to HMS ANEMONE
    PS. I do have his Form S457
  10. JackW

    JackW Member

    Thanks Jim....this is turning out to be a venture for myself too!!

    I did my communications training at HMS Mercury 65 - 66, and I never knew that there was a 20th Century ship of the same name, there was no mention at all in the Bases History that I have read.
    That has now been resolved with the help of this site :

    </title> <style> </style> </head> <body style="text-align: center"> <p align="center"> <font size="4"> <marquee id="scroller" scrollAmount="2" direction="up" width="500" height="150" style="border: 1px solid black; background-color: #FF0000; text-dec
    There is a photo of Mercurys sister ship Caladonia on that site, but nothing of Mercury herself.

    In the war diaries 39 -45 (Naval-History.net) covering the evacuation from Dunkirk, neither Mercury nor 11th Minesweeping Flotilla are mentioned at all. A BIG mistake there I would say!

    ABST, this could refer to your father having his rate of AB as being Substantiated, which would mean being qualified in that Rate.

    I have not come across HMS Bambara yet, but will continue to delve into her.

    When I went to do my initial Naval Interview it was at RMB Deal, so I am familiar with the Barracks (that were!) also l live not so far away today!


    Edit: tested link, it works!
  11. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Hi Jack-excuse pun
    If you Google "paddle minesweepers in WW2 "the 1st entry on the page is a BBC People's War entry about a man who "went to war in a paddle steamer" and the 7th entry will give you a complete history of the two ie WW1&WW2 HMS Mercury complete with photographs and oodles of history incl. Dunkirk,etc.
    HMS BAMBARA is an RNAS near Trinco-China Bay is a satellite of Bamara
    Able Bodied Seaman Torpedoman=ABST
    Kind Regards Jim
  12. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    PS you must use Google!
  13. JackW

    JackW Member

    Thanks again Jim.

  14. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    HMS BAMBARA was a RNAS at Trincomalee commissioned on 1st Jan 1944
    jim for jack
  15. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Formed in 1942 by volunteers from RN and RM. RN personnel trained in Torpedo hanfling,etc. RM contingent became vehicle drivers. All told the unit comprised of 35 ie CO=Lt RN 2CPO's 4PO's and28 ratings and marines.Following trade training, all had to undergo a mini Commando type training incl jungle warfare,self preservation and defence-this took 10 wks.
    My father was allocated to No4 ;which "cut it's teeth" on various outlandish ex RAF stations now RNAS;such as HMS OWL ,north of the Dornock Firth ;which had no running water! I think No 5 went early doors to Ceylon and HMS UKUSSA-which they prepared.
    The MONAB organisation followed in 1944 using the MATMU experience.
    4MATMU went to Ceylon in July44 arriving Sept44-10wks!
  16. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Would the Far East service warrant the award of the PACIFIC STAR?
  17. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Take a look at this thread.

    I have spoken to Sydney and forwarded the thread directly to look at himself.

  18. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    thanks Tom
    I assume you will get to me ?

  19. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  20. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    sorry Tom interesting though it was-I just don't what it had to do with me-please don't think me rude- maybe my brain is out of gear! I am specifically looking for how my father qualified for the PACIFIC STAR


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