Hi steve, I think they maybe Xcraft crews and charioteers, the X craft were 4 man crews and two charioteers (Human Torpedo's). Do You remember Above Us the Waves. Sink the Tirpitz.
looking at the date on the pics 1944, perhaps this has something to do with D day as Midget Submarines were used to reconoitre the beaches prior to the landings, not sure about Human Torpedo's though.
I have also posted some pictures of HMS Bonaventure and Roymuir has added a comprehensive history of the ship. She was involved with x-craft and maybe these pictures are from that time and possibly released later. I remember my dad saying that he was involved with midget subs during the war. I also seem to remember him saying they were based on a Scottish loch in the middle of nowhere . Unfortunately I can't ask him as he died some years ago.
Very brave men they were too. Just the thought of going down under in one of those things is enough to make Me shiver. Have You watched "Above Us the Waves" Trev. Perhaps Your Father was involved in the Tirpitz raid ?. But that was a bit earlier than 1944. Perhaps someone will know exactly when. That raid left from Scotland.
As far as I know my dad was not actually involved in the Tupitz raid We watched "Above Us the Waves" on several occasions and if I remember rightly he said spent some time in Scotland at the base where the craft were developed and the crews trained.
Now I am getting to the age when I wish I has taken a bit more notice of what he said but I think that applies to most generations.
I have been looking further into this - could this be some sort of Royal inspection of either the crews who mined the Japanes cruiser Takao at Singapore - operation struggle, this was XE1 and XE3 towed by HM subs Stygian and Spark, this set off from the Phillipines - Subic Bay, and was from Maidatone in July 1945, at the same time at least two more missions were carried out to cut submarine telephone cables off Hong Kong using X-craft
Steve You may well be right but the only thing that may dispute that theory is the date stamp of 1944 on the back of the pics. Unless they were taken prior to sailing to the far east. I must say though, an awful lot went into that operation for the sinking of one Jap cruiser unless others were targeted but not sunk?.