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Naval history of the Torpedo Boat Destroyers including HMS Sturgeon, HMS Daring, HMS Ardent and the unique Torpedo Boat Depot Ship HMS Vulcan.

Click below to view galleries:

Vulcan ] HMS Sturgeon ] HMS Polyphemus ]

Many of the Torpedo Boat destroyers listed below are also listed under  destroyers as the early years they were classed the same 
Ships Name Launch Date Fate
1st Class Torpedo Boats
 
HMS Lightning (TB1) 1876 Broken up 1896

TB1 HMS Lightning, 1877.

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TB2 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
TB3 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
TB4 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
TB5 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
TB6 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
TB7 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906 at Gibraltar
TB8 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906 at Hong Kong
TB9 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906 at Hong Kong
TB10 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906 at Hong Kong
TB11 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906 at Hong Kong
TB12 1878 - 79 Sold for breaking 1894 - 1906
 
TB13 1878 Broken up 1896
 
TB14 1878-9 Broken up 1904
 
TB15 1879 Hull became a retaining wall in 1903.
 
TB17 1878 Originally built for Russia, but outbreak of Russo-Turkish War resulted in boat being purchased by the Admiralty. Sold in Malta, 1907.
TB18 1878 Originally built for Russia, but outbreak of Russo-Turkish War resulted in boat being purchased by the Admiralty. Sold in Gibraltar, 1902.

Crew member of TB18.

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TB19 1878 Discarded 1886, broken up 1899.
 
TB20 1880 Sold for scrapping in Hong Kong, 1903.
 
TB21 1884-5 Sold Malta, 1907
TB22 1884-5 Sold Malta, 1907
 
TB23 1884-6 Sold 1905

TB23, 1901.

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TB24 1884-6 Sold 1904
 
TB25 1885-6 Broken up after 1918.
 
TB26 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20

TB26, 1886.

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TB27 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB28 1885-6 Stranded and sunk as target at Cape Town, 1898.
TB29 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
 
TB30 1885-7 Broken up before 1914
TB31 1885-7 Broken up before 1914
TB32 1885-7 Broken up before 1914
TB33 1885-7 Broken up 1919-23
 
TB34 1885-7 Broken up 1919
TB35 1885-7 Broken up 1919
TB36 1885-7 Broken up 1919
TB37 1885-7 Broken up 1919
TB38 1886 Broken up 1919

HMTB38.

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Torpedo Boat 38 at Hong Kong, c.1910.

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TB39 1886-7 Built for Chile, purchased by UK in 1885 during the Russian War scare and sent to Canada. Sold for scrap 1905.
TB40 1886-7 Built for Chile, purchased by UK in 1885 during the Russian War scare and sent to Canada. Sold for scrap 1905.
 
TB41 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB42 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB43 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB44 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB45 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB46 1885-6 Sank in tow 1915, raised. Scrapped 1919-20
TB47 1885-6 Scrapped 1905-13
TB48 1885-6 Scrapped 1905-13
TB49 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB50 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB51 1885-6 Scrapped 1905-13
TB52 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB53 1885-6 Scrapped 1905-13
TB54 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB55 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB56 1885-6 Sunk 1906
TB57 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
TB58 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20

TB58, 1886.

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TB59 1885-6 Scrapped 1905-13

TB59, 1886.

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TB60 1885-6 Scrapped 1919-20
 
TB61 1885-7 Scrapped before 1914
TB62 1885-7 Scrapped before 1914
TB63 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB64 1885-7 Wrecked 1915
TB65 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23

TB65, 1886.

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TB66 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23

TB66, 1886.

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TB67 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB68 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB69 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB70 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB71 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB72 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23

HMTB No.72

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TB73 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB74 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB75 1885-7 Lost in collision 1892.

TB75.

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TB76 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB77 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
TB78 1885-7 Scrapped 1919-23
 
TB79 1886 Broken up 1919
 
TB80 1886-7 Broken up 1921
 
TB81 HMS Swift 1884-7 Broken up 1921
 
TB82 1884 Broken up 1919-21
TB83 1884 Broken up 1919-21

Torpedo Boat No.83 pictured pre 1896.

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TB84 1884 Sunk in collision with HMS Ardent, 1906.
TB85 1884 Broken up 1919-21

HMTB85.

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TB86 1884 Broken up 1919-21
TB87 1884 Broken up 1919-21
 
TB88 1892-4 Broken up 1919
TB89 1892-4 Broken up 1919
 
TB90 1892-5 Capsized off Gibraltar, 1918.
 
TB91 1892-4 Broken up 1919-20
TB92 1892-4 Broken up 1919-20

TB92, 1893.

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TB93 1892-4 Sold for scrap 1919

TB93, 1893.

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TB94 1892-5 Scrapped 1919
TB95 1892-5 Scrapped 1919

Torpedo Boat 95 alongside HMS Hebe, the latter having run aground.

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TB96 1892-5 Sunk in collision, 1915.

TB96, 1893.

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TB97 1892-4 Sold 1920 at Gibraltar.
 
TB98 1900-01 Broken up 1920

TB98, 1900.

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TB98, 1900.

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TB99 1900-01 Sunk 1907. Raised and finally scrapped 1920.
 
TB100 (RIM No.1 Baluchi) 1887-8 Scrapped 1909.
 
TB101 (RIM N0.7 Gurkha) 1887-8 Scrapped 1920
 
TB102 (RIM No.2 Karen) 1887-8 Broken up 1909
TB103 (RIM No.3 Pathan) 1887-8 Broken up 1909
 
TB104 (RIM No.4 Mahratta) 1889 Scrapped 1920
TB105 (RIM No.5 Sikh) 1889 Scrapped 1920
TB106 (RIM No.6 Rajput) 1889 Scrapped 1910
 
TB107 1900-01 Scrapped 1920

TB107, 1900.

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TB108 1900-01 Scrapped 1920
 
TB109 1901-03 Scrapped 1919-20
TB110 1901-03 Scrapped 1919-20

Torpedo Boat No.110 

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Crew of HMTB110.

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TB111 1901-03 Scrapped 1919-20
TB112 1901-03 Scrapped 1919-20
TB113 1901-03 Scrapped 1919-20

TB113, 1902.

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TB114 1902-05 Scrapped 1919-21
TB115 1902-05 Scrapped 1919-21
TB116 1902-05 Scrapped 1919-21

TB116, 1903.

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TB117 1902-05 Sunk in collision 1917

1st Class Torpedo Boat.

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2nd Class Torpedo Boats
PS: Due to these boats having the same numbers as the first class boats, the backgrounds have been greyed out to indicate the different class.
TB1 1883 -
TB2 1883 -
TB3 1883 -
TB4 1883 -
TB5 1883 -
TB6 1883 -
TB7 1883 -
TB8 1883 -
TB9 1883 -
TB10 1887 -
TB11 1887 -
TB12 1888 -
 
TB39 1889 -
TB40 1889 -
TB41 1889 -
TB42 1889 -
TB43 1889 -
TB44 1889 -
TB45 1889 -
TB46 1889 -
TB47 1889 -
TB48 1889 -
 
TB49 1888 -
TB50 1888 -
 
TB51 1878-9 -

TB51.

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TB52 1878-9 -
TB53 1878-9 -
TB54 1878-9 -
TB55 1878-9 -
TB56 1878-9 -
TB57 1878-9 -
TB58 1878-9 -
TB59 1878-9 -
TB60 1878-9 -
TB61 1878-9 -
TB62 1878-9 -
 
TB63 1878 Only ever used experimentally.
 
TB64 1880-1 -
TB65 1880-1 -
TB66 1880-1 -
TB67 1880-1 -
TB68 1880-1 Transferred to Newfoundland.
TB69 1880-1 -
TB70 1880-1 -
TB71 1880-1 -
TB72 1880-1 -
TB73 1880-1 -
 
TB74 1881-3 -
TB75 1881-3 -
 
TB76 1880-3 -
TB77 1880-3 -
TB78 1880-3 -
TB79 1880-3 -
TB80 1880-3 -
TB81 1880-3 -
TB82 1880-3 -
TB83 1880-3 -
TB84 1880-3 -
TB85 1880-3 -
TB86 1880-3 -
TB87 1880-3 -
TB88 1880-3 -
TB89 1880-3 -
TB90 1880-3 -
TB91 1880-3 -
TB92 1880-3 -
TB93 1880-3 -
TB94 1880-3 -
TB95 1880-3 -
 
TB96 1881-3 -
TB97 1881-3 -
 
TB98 1880-83 -
Colonial Torpedo Boats
Australia
New South Wales
Acheron 1879 -
Avernus 1879 -
Victoria
Nepean 1884 Broken up 1906
Lonsdale 1884 Broken up 1906
 
Childers 1882-4 -
 
Countess of Hopetown 1890 Broken up 1924
Tasmania
(unnamed, unnumbered vessel) 1884 No longer in service 1900.

The unnamed, unnumbered Tasmanian 2nd Class Torpedo Boat, 1884.

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New Zealand
No.1 1883 -
No.2 1883 -
No.3 1883 -
No.4 1883 -
Torpedo Boats / Destroyers
HMS Havock 12th August 1893  Sold 1911 and Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hornet 23rd December 1893 Broken up in 1909.

Daring Class.   Built by Thornycroft,             View Class

HMS Daring 25th November 1893 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Decoy 2nd February 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1904.

Ardent Class  Built by Thornycroft                 View Class

HMS Ardent 16th October 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Boxer 28th November 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1918.
HMS Bruiser 27th February 1895 Broken up in 1914.

Charger Class                         View Class

HMS Charger 15th September 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Dasher 28th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hasty 16th June 1894 Broken up in 1912.

Haughty Class               View Class

HMS Hardy 16th December 1895 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Haughty 18th September 1895 Broken up in 1911.

Janus Class

HMS Janus 12th March 1895 Broken up in 1914.
HMS Lightning 10th April 1895 Mined in 1915.
HMS Porcupine 19th September 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Snapper Class
HMS Salmon 15th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Snapper 30th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
Banshee Class                 View Class
HMS Banshee 17th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Contest 1st December 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Dragon 15th December 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Ferret  1893 Sold and Broken up 1911
HMS Lynz 1894 Sold and Broken up 1912
Fervent Class                 View Class
HMS Fervent 20th March 1895 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Zephyr 10th May 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Conflict Class                       View Class
HMS Conflict 13th December 1894 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Teazer 9th February 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Wizard 26th February 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Cricket Class Coastal Destroyers
HMS Cricket 23rd January 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Dragonfly 11th March 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Firefly 1st September 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Sandfly 30th October 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

             

Two photos of a beached torpedo boat, suspected to be HMS Sandfly.  

HMS Spider 15th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Gadfly 24th June 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

HMS Gadfly, 1906.

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HMS Gadfly, 1906.

Contributed by Trevor Piper.  © Vosper Thornycroft. Click here for details of new book on the history of Vosper Thornycroft and their ships

Torpedo Boat 6 (HMS Gadfly)

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HMS Glowworm 20th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

HMS Glowworm, 1906.

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HMS Gnat 1st December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

HMS Gnat, 1906.

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HMS Grasshopper 18th March 1907 Sunk in a collision with another vessel.

HMS Grasshopper - Name History

The sixth “Grasshopper” was a turbine coastel destroyer, launched at Thorneycroft’s Yard in 1907.  She was of 215 tons, 3750 horse- power, and 26 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 166ft., 17ft., and 6ft.  Before completion this vessel was given a number, and called torpedo boat No.9.

HMS Greenfly 15th February 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
HMS Mayfly 29th January 1907 Mined and dunk on 7th March 19016.

HMS Mayfly, 1907.

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HMS Moth 15th March 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
TB13 10th July 1907 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 26th January 1916.
TB14 26th September 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

TB14, October 1951.

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TB15 19th November 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

TB15, 1907.

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TB16 23rd December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

Crew of HMTB 16, pre 1910.

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TB17 21st December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1919.

TB17, 1907.

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TB18 15th February 1908 Paid off in Gibraltar and sold in 1920. She ended her days as a boat running eggs between Morocco and Gibraltar. (Information from Mike Reeve)

TB18, 1908.

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My grandfather Arthur Reeve was an Engine Room artificer on TB18 'sub hunting in the Adriatic'. I know that she was at the fire in Salonica as my grandfather says the engineers went ashore to help restore services. He was present when LZ85 was destroyed and had a piece of it as a souvenir. He claimed it had been brought down by TB18's guns but that HMS Agammenon signalled to hold back on the claim and effectively took the credit. I'd like to find out more about this. After she was sold off, the crew got home on a leaky tug which was in great danger of sinking. If you know about the LZ85 story contact me at reeve.mjr@lineone.net 

Thanks to Mike Reeve for this story.

TB19 7th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB20 21st January 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo Boat 20.  Submitted by email

TB21 20th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

TB21 and TB22, 1907.

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TB22 1st February 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB23 5th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo boat No.23 in 1902. She measured 113 ft in length with a displacement of 67 tons and a speed of 19 knots.

TB23, 1907.

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TB24 19th March 1908 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 28th January 1917.
TB25 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

TB25, 1908.

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TB26 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB27 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB28 29th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB29 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB30 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.

TB30, 1908.

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TB30, 1908.

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TB31 10th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB32 23rd November 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB33 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB34 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.

Crew of Torpedo Boat TB34.

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TB34, 1909.

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TB35 19th April 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB36 6th May 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
 

HMS Turbinia.

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HMS Turbinia built by C A Parsons she was a prototype of the torpedo boat destroyers. She is pictured on the Seine in front of the building which was devoted to the the Land and Sea Armaments of the Paris Exhibition c.1900.

A second-class torpedo boat such as was carried by the large ships of the Royal Navy in the early 1900's.

Crew of a Torpedo Boat

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Torpedo Boats on the Thames.  Sent in by Alan Loose

A torpedo boat destroyer in the early 1900's.

Torpedo Boat c. 1904. 

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PL198 -  A Royal Navy Motor Launch numbered PL198.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX296

HMS Kestrel a torpedo boat in Vancouver Harbour, British Columbia.  

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX300

HMS Albacore.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX494

 

Naval Historians, Crew & Family Noticeboard

Notice Board for naval enthusiasts and ex ships company and families of royal naval torpedo boats listed above. This website is not part of any governmental body or official websites of the Royal Navy MTBs.

Photographs and information on historical events about MTB's requested for this new website. If you have any information you would like to send us including photographs of crew members serving on these corvettes and also photographs of the ships pleaseUSE OUR MESSAGE FORM 

MESSAGES

HMS SPIDER 

Looks like my deceased uncle Leslie Tomlinson served on HMS Spider During a tour of the far east he wrote letter to my mother (b. 5th May 1919 d. 2002.).   There is a mismatch of some information in that Les's letter thanks Mum for hers -  - and she was very young even at the time HMS Spider was scrapped - unless the scrap date was later?   As I understand it is written on Japanese wood paper.   I also have photos of my uncle during later service, he also served on HMS Ajax, but I think this was before the Battle of the River Plate.  He left the navy after the war.    Barry Faith   contact here

HMT849..    I am inquiring on someone to assist in getting any information on HMT 849.  My Great Uncle was a ship builder at Smith's Dock in Teeside, some years ago in his retirement he built a museum quility scale replica of this ship.  However he has since past on this last year and I am in possession of this replica and live just outside of Houston, Texas, USA.  We have no name, sevice history or anything on this ship and would like to build a display of this ship with some history on it.  If you have any suggestions it would be appreciated.  Kindest regards, Simon Wright   Jmw2@sbcglobal.net

TB33..  I am trying to find out some information about HM Torpedo Boat 33. I recently bought a tea cup, saucer and plate [from a collectors fair] with a picture of HMTB 33 and the flags of UK, Russia, France and Belgium (?). Any info would be welcome.

Also, I used to live on a Polish Torpedo Boat S-8 (ex- HMTB 427) as a houseboat ('Whimsical Macgoffley') in Southampton. She was originally on the River Hamble as 'Houseboat Hippocampus' - any info. would be helpful. I have quite a lot of history of the boat but always welcome anything else!   Thanks. email here

MTB29..  Any information regarding  Lt. FELIX  TATTERSFIELD,   C.O.  HM MTB 29.(4th MTB Flotilla, HMS Beehive -Felixstowe)  Felix was KIA when MTB 29 sunk after a collision with an E-boat on the night of 6/7 October 1942. Does anybody remember him???? or can anyone provide details of that action. Family would appreciate any information.   Greg Firth  Greg.firth@orica.com 

MTB630..  we are trying to find some photos and any information on the royal navy motor torpedo boat 630 our grandfather was serving on this boat in 1944 if you can help please email  ian.woodeson@ntlworld.com

MTB494.. CHARLES AUGUSTUS HOLLAND.. My cousin Gus served on HMMTB494 during WW2. The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register. "In memory of Charles Augustus Holland, Able Seaman P/JX 262015, HMMTB494, Royal Navy who died on Saturday 7 April 1945 age 23." I would like to hear from anyone who served on this boat. Contact Patrick at lambeth@it.net.au 

MGB616 or MTB616. My father served on this boat. If anyone can supply any info of MTB616 and any photos of the boat and crew Please contact me at michelle@stones7428.fsnet.co.uk 

TB18.. ARTHUR REEVE.. I would like to hear from anyone who was related to any of the crew on TB18. I'd particularly like to get any photographs of TB18 or the crew. Contact me at reeve.mjr@lineone.net 

J H  HELLIWELL...I am looking for information on J H Helliwell who served on HMTB115. I am not related but I have a 1914 Christmas presentation inscribed J H Helliwell MTB115. If anyone has information please contact Ian at Ian@image-distribution.com 

MTB647.   CAN YOU HELP>  I am trying to find information on MTB647 and any photos of the Torpedo Boat or its crew. Please contact Barbara Izzard at r_bm_izzard@compuserve.com 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE USE OUR MESSAGE FORM