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MTB 102

MTB 102

Photographed off Deal by Andy Watson, the preserved vessel 102

Notes taken from the interesting site

MTB 102 was designed (under the designation Vosper Private Venture Boat) by Commander Peter Du Cane CBE, Managing Director of Vosper Ltd., in 1936. She was completed and launched in 1937, and ran trials on the Solent.

When she was bought by the Admiralty and brought into service she was called MTB 102 (the 100 prefix denoting a prototype vessel, making her the first MTB of the modern era.) She was crewed by two officers and eight men, and during 1939 and 1940 she saw active service mainly in the English Channel.

During 'Operation Dynamo', the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and Allies from Dunkirk, she crossed the channel eight times. When the Destroyer HMS Keith was disabled by a bomb from a Stuka, Rear Admiral Wake-Walker transferred to MTB 102, using her as his flagship for the last two nights of the operation directing the incoming and outgoing vessels at Dunkirk from the bridge. As she carried no Rear Admirals flag, one was created with an Admiralty dishcloth and some red paint, allowing her to fly the appropriate flag. MTB 102 was the third to last vessel to leave Dunkirk, ending her crucial and distinguished service during the evacuation under the command of Lt. Christopher Dreyer.

In 1943, she was transferred to 615 Water Transport Co. RASC, and renamed 'Vimy'.

In 1944 she carried Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower on their review of the ships assembled on the south coast for the D-Day landings, thus seeing the desperate evacuation of troops from Europe and their determined return.

At the end of the war, like most other small naval craft, she was sold off and converted to a private motor cruiser, fitted with two Perkins P.6 Diesels and used around the North Sea.

©Andy Watson
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