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MTB 679

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: Coastal Forces
Forum Description: Discussion about Coastal Forces
URL: http://www.bmpt.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=496
Printed Date: 03 December 2020 at 10:07am


Topic: MTB 679
Posted By: fergi
Subject: MTB 679
Date Posted: 05 February 2008 at 9:40pm

Hi

Not entirely sure what to write here but met an enchanting old guy called Bob who was telling me stories about his time on MTB 679. Well ever since I was a kid  I've liked MTB's probably because they are fast and noisy and have guns on , funny how you never grow out of things isn't it !!  Thing is I'd love to find out a bit about the boat for him as a surprise  , so any offers would be very much appreciated.

Thanks very much keep up the good work it makes fascinating reading!




Replies:
Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 05 February 2008 at 10:10pm

Welcome aboard 'fergi', enjoy your trip.

MTB 679 was a Fairmile 'D' (or 'Dog Boat') She was built by AM Dickie and Sons Bangor Nth Wales. Completed in July 1943 she was attached to the 52nd MTB Flotilla (at one stage during her RN career being 'near missed' by a Glider Bomb while Mine Laying off Brest). In June 1945 she was transferred to the RAF and became LRRC 027 (Long Range Rescue Craft)

(Sources: 'Dog Boats at War' L C Reynolds and 'Allied Coastal Forces of WW2 - Volume 1' J. Lambert & Al Ross)



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: fergi
Date Posted: 05 February 2008 at 10:13pm
You absolute star  thank you very much  I'll pursue the LRRC 027 thing as well then. Thanks again


Posted By: Nigel Allen
Date Posted: 15 August 2008 at 10:58am
Hi Fergi,

I was very interested to read that you have spoken to an old crew member (Bob) of MTB 679.
My Father Percy (William) Allen was a gunner on this boat between 1944 and 1945 when he transferred to the 5010. Do you think that Bob would have any details of my Father the crew or the boat , possibly photos.  I am trying to get as much info of my Father's war service as possible. Sadly, I did not think of this before he died some 14 years ago.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards

Nigel


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Nigel


Posted By: fergi
Date Posted: 15 August 2008 at 1:35pm
Hi Nigel
 
I went and saw Bob today ! He boarded 679 in Kingswear Devon in '44 as the youngest member of the crew at 19 years old. Robert Soder is his full name . He cant  remember  all of the crew (cos as he says its a b****y long time ago! But these are the guys he does:
Lt John Hodder (skipper)
Lt Jimmy Knight
Sub Lt White
Claude ????? (cox)
L.S Stevenson
Taffy Jones ( for'ard loader)
Billy Stead
 
The flotilla leader was Lt Cartwright.
 
The skipper was made up to Lt Commander after they went and blew up a destroyer on the northern French coast . 679 was the second boat in with Cartwrights in first. The destroyer was beached and the RAF couldn't get near it  because of the armour on the ground.  For this 679's crew got three medals , Hodder got the D.S.O, and they also had three mentions in dispatches. Bob said that they pulled the names out of a hat !!!
 
Anyway from Devon she went to Ramsgate,Dover and then Oostende then on VE day went to Gt Yarmouth.
She sailed on the 5th , day before D-day to act as markers for air drops , Bob says they had no idea what was going on till they were given a piece of paper saying "This is the invasion of Europe" !
 
After that the crew picked up 5010 from Bangor in Wales and went to Lowestoft at the end of the war . They were sent to escort 2 E- boats into harbour and Bob has a picture of some of the crew holding a swastika , he is going to dig it out and I'll try and send you a copy.
 
Bob would like to know where your dad was from  he reckons it might jog his memory a bit and what if he had one was his nickname.
 
I'm sure you know this, but 679 had a 6 pounder fore and aft,a pair of twin Vickers on the bridge and an Oerlikon midships ( Bobs toy) ! She had 3 crew on forard gun , 3 officers,2 Vickers gunners,2 on the bridge signals etc,2 on Oerlikon,3 aft gun , 4 stokers and the chief motor mac as he calls it !! Oh and not enough women !!! sorry forgot that bit !!!
 
Well so far thats all I have  for  you, but I will try that picture its from the Daily Sketch apparently  he is trying to find it for Monday
 
Hope its useful ,to be honest Bob is so funny its a shame you cant talk to him yourself !
 
Cheers
 
 Fergi
 
 
 


Posted By: Nigel Allen
Date Posted: 16 August 2008 at 1:10pm
Hi Fergi,

Thank you for getting back so quickly. My Father came from a small village near Tavistock in  Devon called Middlemoor. As far as I know he did not have a nickname. He was always called Percy at  home although he was actually called William. His full name was William Percival Allen.I have attached an image of him which has other sailors in the picture, I have no information on them. He is on the far right. You can just make out the gunner able seaman badge on his arm. I have another image of him on his own showing a single stripe on his left arm. He also was in the crew which picked up the 5010 at Bangor.  Thanks for your help.
Best regards
Nigel









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Nigel


Posted By: fergi
Date Posted: 18 August 2008 at 5:13pm
Nigel
 
Good news !Believe or not the man on the left is my mate Bob ! In the middle is "Washboard"!! and your Dad was known as Monty from the west country. He recognised him straight away but I hadn't told him at that stage any thing you had sent in your mail. One thing that stuck in Bobs mind was that because he didn't smoke he sold his cigarette coupons ! Thrifty fellow eh? I have some photos to send you as soon as I can
 
Cheers
 
Fergi


Posted By: Nigel Allen
Date Posted: 18 August 2008 at 7:58pm
Hi Fergi,

That's fantastic news. I will see if I have any more photos, that Bob might know.

All the best

Nigel


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Nigel


Posted By: Nigel Allen
Date Posted: 18 August 2008 at 8:06pm
Hi Fergi,

Could you ask Bob if he remembers a Jock Wallace who I believe was the radio operator.
He emigrated to Australia  and I received in April 2006 an email from him. I have not had any contact since, so believe he may have passed away.

I will forward his email (when I can find it) to you for Bob to see.

All the best

Nigel


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Nigel


Posted By: GodDaughter
Date Posted: 29 April 2015 at 2:12pm
Robert Soder passed away in 2012 - he was my Godfather and is very much missed. I'm so glad to see that he had friends who enjoyed listening to his stories and reminiscences! He never talked about his wartime experiences when I was young, I think he saw things he would rather forget, but his memories of those days never faded and it's lovely to know that he got to share them one last time. He left his medals to me in his will and I have had them professionally framed and they take pride of place in my home.


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 29 April 2015 at 2:43pm
Robert Soder was also a member of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association (CFVA), having the relatively low membership number of 749. Although that organisation officially disbanded in 2007, there are three Branches still functioning.
Robert served on MTB's 678 - 679 and 5010, holding the Rate of A/B AA3.

Regards

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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: Phantome
Date Posted: 04 January 2020 at 11:35am
i am both pleased and amazed to read the posts on MTB 679. I have been trying to find out about the history of the retired MTB my father purchased back in 1951 and that I lived on for a while when I was very very young. The purchase document showed it as MTB 027. Only in the last few days did I realise that the object behind my father in the attached photo was a crows nest. I am deducing that it was in fact the LRRC 027 and previously MTB 679, and probably the very same MTB in your discussions.

If this is the case, it was purchased from Mr Frank May or Colchester  in April 1951 and was name "The Phamtome" houseboat, and was moored at Empire Wharf, Chatham. My parent wanted to call it the Snow Goose, but because there was no white paint available - only blue - it was painted and called the Blue Goose. I do not know what happened in the end, but after we moved it became the change rooms for the chorus line at the Empire Theatre.

If this really is MTB 679, I am so grateful for you filling in some more of its past. I started on a model of it as an MTB - I am now unsure whether to convert that to a LRRC or not. Looking at the little bit of history you have provided, I am tempted to stay with the MTB configuration.

I have a couple of other photos of the inside with my father and elder brother, and a newspaper cutting from 1952 with my mother, 2 boys and 12 barkless basenjis. Sadly they are no longer around to find out more from our time on the boat. uploads/1942/BGVsmall.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1942/BGVsmall.zip









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