Torpedo Boat 136 and D-Day off Sword Beach

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Drew5233, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Out of curiosity anyone got any info on her? I met a veteran that served on her the other night during D-Day.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    There were no MTBs numbered in the 100 series except a handful of experimental types. ML 136 is very likely. A considerable number were used as navigation leaders on D Day. I will check later, Just tidied my files and cannot find anything.

  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    There was a MGB 136 which was converted to MTB and renumbered.

  5. graeme

    graeme Senior Member


    I have

    "Home waters MTBs and MGBs at war 1939 to 1945" by Reynolds.

    No mention at all,


  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Andy - you should carry a wad of service record request forms with you...
    Drew5233 likes this.
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    ML 136 was present on D Day, on Gold. It was navigation leader for a group of LCTs carrying self propelled artillery.

    A quote from the excellent Trux thread on Gold Beach. 'ML 150 and 136 led the LCT divisions carrying SP artillery'.

    Rather tenuous but since 136 is mentioned second it should have been on the left (east) and therefore on Gold/King. 150 should be on the right and this one was delayed with engine trouble.

  8. There were three SP regiments bound for GOLD: 147, 90 and 86 Fd Regt RA (SP), in that order (from right to left). 147 & 90 were to land on JIG GREEN (half of each on the East and West sides respectively) and 86 on KING GREEN.

    ML 136 of 7 ML Flotilla was LTIN 2135 whose role was to lead and control the LCT carrying 90 Fd Regt RA (SP). She carried a party of four (from this same regiment) which was to be ferried ashore to JIG GREEN East at approximately H+60.

    ML 150 (LTIN 2132) led 147 Fd Regt RA (SP) while ML 248 (2542) led 86 Fd Regt RA (SP). Each also carried a party of four (some sources say only three in ML 248) from the respective regiments, to be ferried ashore around H+60 to JIG GREEN East and KING GREEN respectively.

    Here's a photo of ML 136:
    HMML 136.jpg

    Drew5233 likes this.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I think ML 136 is it !

    As with all the vets I meet time is normally quite crucial and I only have the odd small time windows to fire off a couple questions here and there. I find with most vets, they describe things to me in very general terms, thinking I know little about WW2, which to be fair is reasonably accurate as I don't meet any BEF vets these days. So the MTB bit I took it to mean a small boat.

    What I do know he said to me was as they drew closer to the beach (he told me Sword) was they saw a man walking on water and as they drew closer they could see him leaning against a pole. They thought they were imagining things and then realised it was a very small (2 man submarine). The had some form on conversation as they passed and discovered the submarine had been involved in clearing the beach before the landings took place.

    The chap I spoke to was a gunner in the Royal Navy and told me he was on the Oerlikon Cannon at the front so I'm assuming that fits with Michels picture?
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The other piece of info that I've just remember was it had a new radar mast fitted at some point prior to the invasion that was meant to be a secret. Their officer told them that if anyone asked what it was to tell them it was a new shower for the officers.
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The 'officers shower' fits with a ML navigation leader. They were fitted with a variety of radars and navigation devices. I am sure that Michel will be correct but I cannot look it up at the moment. One mystery though. The X craft miniature submarines were used on Sword and Juno but not on Gold.

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    He was adamant he was on Sword as was his daughter and I don't believe he was mistaken about Sword. Maybe he served on 136 earlier in the war and he's got the ships name wrong.
  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Here we are. I think the answer may be below.

    After the Assault.
    Sword MLs. Senior Officer 13 ML Flotilla is to assign four MLs to report to HMS Largs and three to report to HMS Goathland for smoke duties. One ML from Force ‘G’ will join the latter group about noon on D day.

    So 136 could have arrived off Gold with the field artillery and then transferred to Sword.

  14. Force G ORDERS FOR SHIPS AND CRAFT AFTER THE ASSAULT (ONEAST/G.SIX) of 20th May, 1944 include the following:

    136. A/S Patrol (ONEAST/G. NINE Part 3).
    150. Close H.M.S. BULOLO. M.L. 150 will be transferred

    to Force "S".
    248. A/S Patrol (ONEAST/G. NINE Part 3).

    ONEAST/S.9. - CONDUCT OF SHIPS AND CRAFT AFTER THE ASSAULT of 21.5.44 further state that:

    24.(a) The Senior Officer, 13th M.L. Flotilla is to detail
    four M.L. to report to H.M.S. LARGS,and three to report to H.M.S. GOATHLAND
    for smoke duties, until required for A/S Patrol (See ONEAST/S.9B).

    (b) M.L. 150 from 7th Flotilla (Force 'G'), on arrival at about
    noon on D Day, will join those with H.M.S. GOATHLAND (O.N.9, paragraph 18).

    It was therefore ML 150 which was to be transferred to SWORD Area, not ML 136. However, if ML 150 had engine trouble, she might have been replaced by ML 136. Alternately, ML 136's A/S duties might have led her to SWORD Area?

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  15. Seagulls76

    Seagulls76 New Member

    Force G Ships for Operation Neptune.

    My grand-father served aboard ML 182 which was a Navigation Leader at Gold Beach for D-Day.
    It seems she was layed a cable length off of SS Empire Lance.

    I know a couple of days after D-Day she was with HMS Frobisher and near HMS Roberts.

    Any help about movements, and especially photos would be good.

    Thank You
    Drew5233 likes this.
  16. For Operation NEPTUNE, ML 182 was commanded by Temporary Lieutenant Ernest Selby JONES RNVR (seniority 28.8.43) and was part of Group Ten, Assault Group "G" Two (GG2, KING Sector):

    Group. Sub-Group Composition ..... Pre-Sailing Berth. Remarks
    10. .. a. ...... H.M.S. KINGSMILL. Area 5 A.7
    ...... b. ...... EMPIRE MACE ..... Area 5 A.8
    ................ EMPIRE LANCE .... Area 5 A.9
    ................ EMPIRE HALBERD .. Area 5 A.10
    ................ EMPIRE RAPIER ... Area 5 A.11
    ...... c. ...... M.L. 154, 182 ... Area 5 A.7 ....... Alongside KINGSMILL
    ...... d. ...... R.R.B. 2, 3 ..... Area 5 A.7 ....... Alongside KINGSMILL
    ...... e. ...... 2 Rescue Craft
    Escort ......... H.M.S. URSA ..... Area 3(N) A.4
    ................ H.M.S. UNDAUNTED. Area 3(N) A.5

    Notes: the locations of the above Pre-Sailing Berths can be found on the Berthing Plan here: LST 368 - A Sailor's Tale

    Senior Officer (= SOAG): Captain Group G2 (Captain Frank Arthur BALLANCE RN, seniority 30.6.43) in HMS KINGSMILL. In addition to this Naval Assault Group Commander, also in KINGSMILL was the Military Assault Group Commander Brigadier Fergus Y Carson KNOX, DSO (20532), Commanding 69th Infantry Brigade.

    For Group 10 the Programme for Leaving Harbour stated that
    Ships and/or craft must slip and proceed as requisite to be in station on their senior officers
    by the times called “Senior Officer Goes Ahead”. The planned timetable for Group 10 may be summarised as follows:

    June 5th-6th
    1835 – Senior Officer goes ahead – speed 12 knots to CC then 8 knots
    1840 – Hamstead Boom – where Escorts join the Group
    1935 – Needles – where C.G.C.s [Coast Guard Cutters = the two Rescue Craft listed in Sub-group 10e] join the Group
    1910 – M.Three Buoy
    2145 – AA
    2350 – CC
    0455 – Lowering Position – “Destroyers are to anchor on arrival at Lowering position so as to prolong the line of L.S.I. northward.

    In case the Needles Channel was mined, an Alternative Programme for Leaving Harbour specified:
    June 5th, 1944
    1725 – Senior Officer goes ahead
    1800 – Prince Consort Buoy – where Escorts and C.G.C.s join the Group
    1850 – Spithead Gate

    ML 182 was to be the forming-up craft for the second flight of LCA, carrying the Reserve Companies from the four EMPIRE Class LSsI(L), planned to touch down at H + 20 minutes in KING Sector.

    The second flight of L.C.A. carrying the Reserve companies, is to be lowered 20 minutes after the first. They are to form up one cable inshore of EMPIRE LANCE on M.L. 182.

    According to the Landing Table amended as of 15 May 44, transcribed here:
    D-Day : Normandy 1944 - GOLD BEACH : British Troops
    and the Group G2 Assault Landing Table dated 20 May 44, this flight consisted of the following craft (listed in planned order of landing from right to left):

    KING GREEN Beach
    Reserve Coy 6 Green Howards carried on
    5x LCA LTIN 2458-2462 off EMPIRE MACE – ‘C’ Company
    5x LCA LTIN 2463-2467 off EMPIRE LANCE – ‘B’ Company
    1x LCH 187 LTIN 2468
    1x LCM(1) LTIN 2457 off EMPIRE MACE (Bn HQ)​
    RN Commando ‘T’ carried on
    1x LCA LTIN 2485 off EMPIRE HALBERD​

    KING RED Beach
    Reserve Coy 5 E Yorks carried on
    1x LCM(1) LTIN 2480 off EMPIRE RAPIER (Bn HQ)
    1x LCH 275 LTIN 2469
    5x LCA LTIN 2470-2474 off EMPIRE HALBERD – ‘C’ Company
    5x LCA LTIN 2475-2479 off EMPIRE RAPIER – ‘B’ Company​
    RN Commando ‘T’ carried on
    1x LCA LTIN 2486 off EMPIRE HALBERD​

    Note: some sources give that the planned landing time for the two Beach Commando (RN Commando ‘T’) LCA (LTIN 2485 & 2486) as not H+20 but H+5, i.e. together with the Assault Companies, in which case they would obviously not have been part of the flight led by ML 182.

    LCM(1) LTIN 2457 (off EMPIRE MACE) & LCM(1) LTIN 2480 (off EMPIRE RAPIER) were to report by H hour to LCH 187 & LCH 275 respectively in order to embark the remaining of their loads (LTIN 2468 & 2469 resp.), before joining the rest of the flight for the run in.

    The Orders for Ships and Craft after the Assault (ONEAST/G.SIX) further stipulated:
    L.C.A. in Group G.2.
    .... 9. . After unbeaching, L.C.A. carrying reserve companies in the
    second assault wave are to lie one mile off shore to disembark troops
    from returning L.C.T.(3). They are then to return to their parent
    L.S.I. and be hoisted, except for the following:-
    ............. 2 craft from 539 Flotilla [HALBERD] to join P.B.M.
    ............. 1 craft from 540 Flotilla [LANCE] and 1 from 541 Flotilla [MACE]
    ................... ....... ............. to join D.S.O.A.G. KING GREEN.
    ............. 2 craft from 542 Flotilla [RAPIER] to join D.S.O.A.G. KING RED.
    ... 10. . After these movements, the allotment of L.C.A. will be :-
    ............. S.O.A.G.......................2
    ............. D.S.O.A.G. KING GREEN.........4
    ............. D.S.O.A.G. KING RED...........4
    ............. P.B.M.........................2
    ........ 182. .Close L.C.I.(L) 255 and transfer "U" L.C.T. – then
    .............. S.O.BLUESKY 43 (see Appendix "A" to this order).

    Appendix "A" states that BLUESKY 43 is to be made up of "U" Squadron LCT plus LCI(L) LTIN 2805, 2806, 2807 & 2808, to depart at H + 4¾ hours to destination CALSHOT with A/S Trawler VICTRIX as escort. Senior Officer is to be "U" LCT in ML 182.

    1. Who was the SO for "U" LCT Squadron?
    Since LCI(L) 255 carried the following Reserve Group Commanders:
    Naval – Lieutenant Commander Thomas ELLIS RN (seniority 15.5.28)
    Military – Brigadier Ernest Cecil PEPPER MBE (18155), Commanding 56th Infantry Brigade.​
    it might be that this Senior Officer of "U" L.C.T. Squadron, who was to be transferred from LCI(L) 255 to ML 182 and to take command of BLUESKY 43 was precisely Lieut Cmdr T. ELLIS?​

    2. Might LCI(L) 255 be one of the four LTINs 2805-2808 mentioned?

    3. What are RRB 2 and RRB 3 (Sub-group 10d)? Does RRB stand for RAF Rescue Boat?

    4. Who were the two USCG Cutters (the Rescue Craft in Sub-group 10e)?

    Last edited: May 3, 2017
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  17. Seagulls76

    Seagulls76 New Member

    Thank you for this information Michel

    Very helpful
  18. Just found out the answer to Question 1:D:

    Yes, "U" LCT Squadron's Senior Officer was indeed Lieutenant Commander Thomas ELLIS RN, who was thus to be taken aboard ML 182 for the return journey to CALSHOT.

    But still no clue about the remaining 3 questions...

    A small addendum though, about the USCG Cutters after the crossing, again from ONEAST/G.SIX:

    ... 36. . These craft will be ordered to report to Naval Commander,
    Eastern Task Force on their arrival at the Lowering Positions.

    There were apparently thirty such craft, numbered USCG 31-60, allocated to the Eastern Task Force, so supposedly ten for each Assault Area, but I cannot find which ones were for GOLD Area, let alone the two in Group 10.

    Some potential candidates:
    USCG 41, 475 LCT(3), GOOSEBERRY 577 - COLOUR - 65675075871_001978_3.jpg USCG 50, LCP(L) 298, 308 (706 Flotilla), FY948 off GOLD, 6 Jun 44 - Lt JA Hampton - A_023875.jpg USCG 53.jpg USCG 54 - ResFlot1_4077.jpg USCG 57 - 3 - 01S005.jpg USCG 59, 10 COLOUR - 65675075871_001863_3.jpg USCG 60 COLOUR - 65675058885_002093_3.jpg

    Last edited: May 3, 2017
    A-58 likes this.
  19. Another answer, to Question 2 this time: LCI(L) 255 was LTIN 2909.

    Substitute Question 2a: what were the Hull Numbers for LTIN 2805 to 2808 (and 2800-2804 while we're at it)?
    They came from US LCI(L) Group 31, as stated here:

    My guess is:

    LTIN – US LCI(L)
    2800 – 502?
    2801 – 506?
    2802 – 508?
    2803 – 500 (confirmed by photo)
    2804 – 512?
    2805 – 499?
    2806 – 507?
    2807 – 501?
    2808 – 509?

    but I would appreciate some (any) kind of confirmation either way.

    Last edited: May 4, 2017

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