For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

MTB 748

MTB 748

From the collection of Fred Bray

Courtesy of Paul Bray

Click on the above photo to view a larger image

 

Launched: 

Transferred to the RCN: 19 Feb 1944

Removed from service: 23 May 1945

Returned to RN: 23 May 1945

Fate: Unknown

 

While she flew the White Ensign, she was not commissioned into the RCN but instead was listed as a tender to HMCS Stadacona (tenders were not commissioned vessels). MTB 748 was returned to the RN on 23 May 1945. MTB-748 took part in the D-Day landings on 06 Jun 1944.

 

Photos and Documents

 

Commanding Officers

LCdr James Ralph Hilborn Kirkpatrick, DSC, RCNVR - 19 Feb 1944 - 23 May 1945

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

CALVERLEY, William Ernest

AB, V56792, RCNVR

killed - 05 Aug 1944 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

C-D

Davidson, Ian J.

____-2007

 

 

 

 

K-L

Kirkpatrick, James Ralph Hilborn

____-1997

Drafted to MTB-748 on 19 Feb 1944

 

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Perrin, Dennis Boyd, Slt, RCNVR - Jan 1944 (Stand by) / 19 Feb 1944

Wilson, David Bryce, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944 (Stand by) / 19 Feb 1944

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

 

Christmas Card from Ian J. Davidson to his grandmother in 1944.  Ian Davidson graduated from Royal Roads as a Midshipman in 1944. He served in MTB 748 until after VE-Day

Courtesy of Jim Davidson

From the Memoirs of Ian J. Davidson

 

In July of 1944 I graduated from the naval college with a first class certificate, became a midshipman in the Royal Canadian Navy Voluntary Reserve (RCNVR). (Click here to view Ian's Royal Roads photo - Ian is in the back row, 1st on left) I took the train to Halifax and went overseas in the old Aquitania (click here to view a photo of RMS Aquitania) and landed in Scotland prepared to go to a small aircraft carrier that was unfortunately sunk just before our arrival. There were for of us midshipmen and now came the problem of what to do with us! Nobody had ever seen such lowly officers before and were quite puzzled about what we were capable of doing. A week or two later, three of us were sent to a motor torpedo flotilla based in Great Yarmouth on the east coast of Norfolk. To belong to this flotilla was one of the most sought after positions in the navy. Everyone was a volunteer - the flotilla was seen as exciting, dangerous and rather glamorous. They too had never seen a midshipman before and we were assigned on as navigation officers. We were the only non-volunteer officers in the whole flotilla! I landed the job as navigator to the senior officer of the flotilla - a man that did not know anything about navigation and had certainly never seen a midshipman before. He regarded me - still a teenager - as some sort of new toy to be given all the dirty jobs that no one else wanted. The motor torpedo boats were about 110 feet long, had a crew of about 15, carried 4 torpedoes, an assortment of guns and was capable of speeds of up to about 40 knots. They were made of wood and were powered by powerful Packard engines. There were 4 officers including Lieut. Commander James Kirkpatrick who was in charge of the whole flotilla. He was a highly decorated officer, a graduate of RMC, funny, courageous, unreasonable and 28 years old. I was very intimidated by him for the first few months. He usually referred to me as 'you christly tit Davidson' when anything went wrong. No matter how good or bad my navigation skills were, he was never satisfied. He loved to play jokes on me - often humiliating and embarrassing such as doling out condoms when at that time I don't think I had ever even seen one! He liked to get me to drink too much as a time when my idea of a drink was a glass of sherry at home on special occasions. My naval college training in navigation served me well. I became a very skilled navigator and won the respect of the crew. We went on patrol only at night to positions off the Dutch or Belgian coast. We were there to protect merchant ships delivering supplies to Europe. The navigating was done by dead reckoning (radar was still very primitive). The North Sea is very shallow, with huge waves and ferocious storms and is littered with shipwrecks and sandbars and fast moving tides. I was very seasick at first. Somehow I was able to navigate under these conditions and locate unlit buoys in the darkness - my first time in Europe.

 

Kirkpatric was quite a famous character, though he treated me like a toy. He could make me do anything he wanted - snipping the ribbons of the crew, handing out condoms. Midshipman - order a case of Sherry.

 

Late fall of 1944 our Flotilla was transferred to Ostend in Belgium. We would go out on night patrol and every now and again we would have the odd battles with the Germans. Our jobs was to protect the supply route to Antwerp. Fat and furious actions. I was kept so busy in the navigation hole - keeping track of our movements that I did not thin of the dangers. I was having to navigate with no navigation aids. In a sea of total darkness I had to keep our location on the chart by dead reckoning. We would arrive back into port at dawn. Kirkpatric would insist on a game of back gammon in which he would always win. Kirkpatric would go to sleep and I would face my daily chores. He would dream up things to make my life difficult. One of my duties was to make up a daily menu which I thought quite ridiculous because we only had 5 major staples - tea, potatoes, cabbage, powdered eggs and bread. I was also responsible for training any new recruits. Every now and then reporters would come along for a ride so I would be responsible for keeping them busy.

 

Courtesy of Jim Davidson

 

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