The 2nd MTB Flotilla was formed in 1938 under the command of Lt-Cmdr D G (Knobby) Clark RN the senior officer of the flotilla until 1st Nov 1940 when Lt-Cmdr Boldero RN took command until he lost an arm in an accident in May 41 when Lt-Cmdr Gandy RN took over the flotilla until it was scuttled at Nanao in Mirs Bay in the early hours of 26th December 1941. On the outbreak of war the flotilla was the only effective naval presence in Hong Kong. When the Japanese army invaded Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, the flotilla tore into the fray on full throttle in what is arguably the most daring daylight MTB raid of all time. MTB 07 led the attack coming under heavy fire from land, sea, & air, losing MTBs 12 & 26 in the action which was dubbed "The Balaclava of the Sea". MTB 08 was lost three days earlier on the slip at Aberdeen, hit by a bomb splinter. When Hong Kong surrendered the flotilla was ordered to get the Kuomintang Chinese Military Mission led by Admiral Chan Chak, along with fleeing Staff Officers from the Battle HQ to Free China. This the flotilla accomplished in the most dramatic circumstances on Christmas Day 1941.
2 nd Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla MTB.07 [ex 13] (comp 31 Aug 1938) MTB.08 (3 Sep 1937) MTB.09 (8 Oct 1937) MTB.10 (11 Jul 1938) MTB.11 (26Jul 1938) MTB.12 (3 Aug 1938) MTB. 26 ex Kuomintang Chinese navy 55’ Thornycroft CMB (Kuai 19) MTB. 27 ex Kuomintang Chinese navy 55’ Thornycroft CMB (Kuai 20)
MTBs 07 & 09 under camouflage in Telegraph Bay on Christmas Day 1941 just hours prior to the escape that evening. Lt R. R. W. Ashby Lt R. R. W. Ashby & crew on patrol MTB 07
MTB 09 Lt A Kennedy R.N.V.R. Arrived in Hong Kong on 6 th October 1939 as Acting Sub-Lt. He was allocated as 1st Officer to Lt -Cdr D. G. (Knobby) Clark RN [MTB 10] who was the Flotilla's Senior Officer since its formation in 1938. Lt Kennedy took command of MTB 09 early in 1940. He kept a diary and in 1946 wrote it up as “Hong Kong Full Circle 1939 –1945” with 500 copies self published in 1960. Right: MTB 09 with Lt Kennedy and L/Tel Harold Hill on the bridge
MTB 11 MTB 11 was commanded by Lt Cuthbert J Collingwood RN Caudae Spiculum Caveo (Beware the sting in the tail)
MTB 12 On the 19 th December 1941 MTB 12 received a direct hit killing Lt Colls H.K.R.N.V.R., and Sub - Lt G. McGill H.K.R.N.V.R. MTB 12 was last seen crashing into the sea wall on the Kowloon side. Only two known survivors, A/B Bartlett & Tel P.O. Alf Hunt G3CHU both interned in Argyle Street POW camp. Alf later survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru.
Loading a torpedo into MTB 11 The 60 foot Scott-Paine boats carried two 18 inch torpedo's stored in the engine room on overhead rails, with two hinged lattice transoms stowed on deck which swung over the stern to form a continuation of the engine room overhead rails. The torpedo's fired forward from astern of the boat, and it took great skill in aiming the boat at the target, firing, then turning sharply away to avoid the torpedo.. MTB 01 during sea trials in 1937 British Power Boat Company British Power Boat Company, Hampshire, UK] MTB 01-12, 14-19 [launched 1936-39 Built: 1936-1939 Length: 60 feet 4 inches [18.39m] LOA x 13 feet 10 inches [4.22m] x 2 feet 10 inches [0.86m] Weight: 18 Tons [Standard] 22 Tons Gross Fuel: Petrol. Capacity: 960 Gallons [imperial] Engines: 3 x W12 Napier. Sea Lion XI ;24 Litre, Engines: 3 x W12 Napier. Sea Lion XI ;24 Litre, 1500 HP @2,300 RPM = 35.3-38 Knots in trials [1800 HP Max] BSA.303 Lewis Machine Guns: MTB's 01-12 = 1 pair fore, 1 pair aft mounted centre line Torpedo Racks: 2 Stern 18 inch, 6 Depth Charge Compliment: 9 MTB 01 was ex 07, 07 was ex 13 and 19 was ex 01 The first R.N. MTBs since the First World War. 10 were lost 1939-41 and the others became motor attendant craft or target service boats. The planing hull design of the British Power Boats evolved from the High Speed Rescue launch designed by T E Lawrence CB DSO for air crew rescue while working with the BPB company. Every fast motor yacht, and all of the modern breed of lifeboats, owe a design debt to these boats.
MTBs 26 & 27 of the 2 nd MTB Flotilla MTBs 26 & 27 completed 10 th September 1938 were ex Kuomintang CMBs (Kuai 19 and 20) purchased from the Chinese Navy in 1939 for the Flotilla as MTBs 26 and 27. They were 55 foot Thornyecroft ‘s and did not have any sleeping quarters onboard, the crews berthed onboard HMS Robin. MTB 27 was known as the silent boat. Displacement = 14 tons standard Unlike the BPB MTB’s, these were an early form of high speed hull of "semi-displacement" based on the theory that long length and narrow beam gave high speed. They had a step in the bottom about half way along which helped them lift out of the water without actually "planing". This design became known as a "hydroplane" hull - as opposed to a hydrofoil, which is totally different - and these are still raced as outboard speedboats on Oulton Broad in Suffolk. Scott- Paine changed all this with his new "hard chine" planing hull, of which 07 was one. Vaughan Ashby, son of Lt Ashby HKRNVR
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