Daily Event for April 18, 2013

On April 18, 1944 HM MTB-707 was operating with the Free French frigate L'Escarmouche K-267 when the two ships were in collision off Ireland. MTB-707, being far smaller, lost the battle and sank with the loss of four of the crew. I was unable to find any details of what they were doing or what caused the collision. Those things would be worth knowing, but it is more important to remember the men who were lost.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honour
In memory of those who lost their lives in
HM MTB-707
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Atkinson, James H.
Able Seaman
Nichols, Harry J.
Leading Motor Mechanic
Travers, Albert
Leading Stoker
Wyatt, Harry
Able Seaman

Jan. 11, 2016

I am the daughter of Robert Johnston who was Chief Petty Officer (Motor Mechanic) on board MTB -707 at the time of the collision with the French frigate. My father said they had been on training exercises and the collision occurred due what would appear to be human error when the MTB passed in front of the frigate and was struck amidships. The MTB was more or less cut in two and sank. The crew who died are buried in Larne Graveyard, Co Antrim.

Kind regards,
Elinor Johnston
Nov. 2, 2022

I have been doing some research into the life of my uncle, George Wheatley, who served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Most of his time was spent in MTB's and Gun Boats. In particular, he was serving in MTB 707 when it was in collision with a French Frigate in the Irish Sea. He was one of the fortunate survivors His account to me was that they were in a smoke screen and on exiting from the screen were confronted by the French Frigate and had no opportunity to avoid the collision. He was in the engine room and went down with the boat but was able to extricate himself and get to the surface He only spoke about this experience on one occasion but it had obviously left its mark on him what led me to do this research was an MTB 707 Christmas card he sent to his parents. - see attached. You will note that he has signed himself "Geordie" - his birthplace being in the Northeast (Durham) and this was a nickname given to him by his comrades. In the latter part of the war, he served on Motor Launch 117 in the Mediterranean Sadly, he passed away in 2002 I hope this is of interest to you and please feel free to contact me if you would like any further information.

With kind regards,
Ken Gurr
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