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HMS SGB4 Grey Fox.

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Jenn View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 February 2008 at 12:43am
I'm researching my grandfathers ship and have stumbled across your forum so I wondered if anyone had any information.
I'm interested in what Grey Fox did during the war especially during 1944 as my grandad was mentioned in despatches but he would never tell what for.
He used to tell me many tales of his life at sea but never about the gritty bits.
Thank you in advance
Jennie 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 9:10am

Hello Jen,

 

Welcome aboard the forum, have not heard of Grey Fox only Grey Goose which was Sir Peter Scots vessel, now on the River Medway, converted to a houseboat for the owner of the yard. You have come to the right place I hope for info, more knowledgable people I am sure will help when they see your post, best of luck,

JohnK

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Jenn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jenn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 9:45am
Thanks for your response.
There were 7 SGB. I think Sir Peter Scott was in charge of the flotilla and he named the boats after wild life,
There was Grey:, seal, fox, owl shark wolf and goose. SGB 7 was lost before the naming took place.

Jen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 10:03am

Hello ‘jenn’

Yes indeed - Welcome aboard.

Not knowing your grandfathers name I can only guess that he may be Lt Peter Edward Mason DSC MiD?

 

This Gentleman was Commanding Officer of HMS Grey Fox and awarded the DSC for action in the Channel (1943) and it would appear that the M i D award was made during ‘Operation Neptune’ (the Naval constituent of ‘Overlord’ – the D Day landings).

SGB 4 (Grey Fox) is mentioned several times in Peter Scott’s book ‘The Battle of the Narrow Sea’s’

The Executive Officer at that time (jimmy the one) is listed as being

(Lt SANF(V)). (Bob) Gaunt DSC – (later Commander RN).

 

This gentleman (Cdr Gaunt DSC) has been the subject of a recorded interview - a copy of which may still be available from the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust (see links page).

Running for (140 mins) – it gives a story of his childhood in South Africa – (RNVR SA  Seaman) - gunner Winchester Castle - UK Officer training - - temporary CO MTB 254 - convoy action off Le Havre - XO Grey Fox – sweeping oyster mines off French coast - subsequent RN career, culminating as CO HMS Leopard.

This recording was priced at £15.00 but may well be a little dearer now – (if still available).

An interesting story is based around the un-named SGB. I shall try and find the 'link' but it was to have been 'Grey Cat' (owing to the ships mascot) but the cat was  'lost overboard' - a Seaman almost drowning in a vain bid to rescue it - and of course the boat was to eventually to be lost.

I shall try and dig out a little more.

Rgds



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Jenn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jenn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 10:23am
Thanks for your response,
My grandfather was an able seaman. He was a gunner on grey fox.

Thank you for your info about Peter Scott's book, I'll ave to look into that.
I also can across the story of 'Grey Cat' in my googling.
I do appreciate all the replies as this is no way my area of expertise - naval history.
Thanks again
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Christian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 12:06pm

Hi Jenn

Grey Fox bristled with armament; she had a 2-pdr Pom-Pom right on the bow instead of the more usual single 20mm Oerlikon, in addition to another 2-pdr on the foredeck and a 3" gun aft, plus 20mm Oerlikons aft of the funnel and right aft, 2 twin 0.5" Vickers abreast of the wheelhouse, 2 twin .303" Vickers abreast of the bridge and 2 21" torpedo tubes. I'll bet that lot kept your grandad busy!

Photo and info courtesy of "Untold stories of small boats at war" ISBN 1-85821-176-X. No mention of her in texts however. Recommend "The Battle Of The Narrow Seas" as advised by Pioneer.      

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 12:10pm

This is the link for the tale of the mascot on SGB 7 (Grey Cat?)

http://www.messybeast.com/moggycat/warcat.htm

Lovely shot Christian, 'Jenn's Grandad just may have been on board.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 2:04pm

Indeed cracking shot of Grey Fox, Grey Goose much changed now, but very prominent on the Medway shoreline, although I believe owner not keen on visitors to it!

 

Johnk

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jenn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 9:46pm
Hi,

Thanks for the great picture of Grey Fox!

I've been looking through some of my Grandad's papers today and found a clipping that gave details of an event.
July 10th 1942.
In a furious night encounter, off Etaples, Grey Fox and Grey Wolf engaged 6 German minesweepers. They sank 2 but a 3rd collided with Grey Fox with such force that everyone on her bridge was thrown on their faces and a huge hole was driven in her hull. Grey Fox struggled home, with her bows almost awash. (Taken from Ron Ashby's obituary)

My grandfather had added ;
Confirmed that the minesweeper that rammed Grey Fox was sunk by Grey Fox's gun fire.

Having checked his service history he was on Grey Fox at that time and probably would have been on his gun during that encounter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2008 at 8:45am

This text is from wlb-Stuttgart website, Translation is by Google;

26 - 27.9.1943
Channel
Brit. Attack on a German convoy with the freighter Madali (3019 GRT), from Le Havre to Dunkirk marches. Geleitsicherung through M 507 / From the Groeben 534 and M / Jungingen, mine finder M 82, M 84 and V boat outpost 1507. While the British MGB 108, MGB 117 MGB 118 and try to secure additional 15 vehicles Vp.-Flotilla (Lt.Cdr Rall), V1501, V1509, V1511, V1512, and the 2 M-Flotilla (Lt.Cdr Pinkepang) by the sea her attack, targeting the niederl. MTB 202, MTB 204 and MTB 231 (Lt. Larive) and the British SGB4 / Grey Fox (Lt. Scott), and 3 more SGB before Fécamp and Bercq-sur-Mer from the coast and sink to 1501 V / Wiking 7 , the freighter Madali and the accompanying 534 M / Jungingen. -- At L'Abervrach minesweepers, the 4616 boat M / Maurice Jacqueline by stranding of lost.
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