Fairmile B force

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    invisible officer

    For some time I planned some B in my collection, then  Warlord launched some resin ones.   But I love scrach building so I gjust bought the RML, my local shop had them had a price below Webstore.

    Now I finished them.  For example I wanted two in the 1940 TT configuration against Seelöwe.   Most got re-converted but 4 took part in St. Nazaire raid. just one came back home.

    Two are Minesweepers and one a ground mine layer.

    invisible officer

    From the start it was clear that I wanted a model of  RA 9, the former ML 306. The only Fairmile B used by the Germans.

    It was one of the 18 Fairmile B  in the St. Nazaire raid. The petrol engine was the reason for the loss of many. Prone to fire 13 launches  are destroyed by coastal guns. The large 2300 litres extra tanks on deck fitted for the raid increased the risk enormously.

    Not half of the embarked Commandos made it on land. Many of them and the crews found a horrible death in the flaming hell. A lot of the water surface was covered with burning petrol.


    ML 306  carried Lieutenant Ronnie Swayne’s 9-man Demolition party, whose targets were the lock gates and bridge (‘B’) at the southern end of the New Entrance – close to target group ‘Z’. Lieutenant John Vanderwerve led a  5-man Protection team for the engineers.

    306  failed to come ashore at the Old Mole, and retreated damaged  to the open sea where she encountered the German Torpedoboot  Jaguar.

    The men  fought on. Commando Sergeant Thomas Frank Durrant from RE  fired with the aft Lewis Gun on the Torpedoboats bridge.

    He was wounded twice  but remained at his gun until the ML was boarded. Durrant died of his wounds. The recommendation for a VC  came from  Jaguar’s commander!

    June 45 he got the VC. “For great gallantry, skill and devotion to duty when in charge of a Lewis gun in H.M. Motor Launch ML 306 in the St. Nazaire raid”

    The launch became RA 9 , converted to German Räumboot standard but still petrol engines. The Räumboote had much safer Diesel ones, giving same or better speed. So the shape was changed with added effect to avoid friedly fire.

    It survived until June 44, sunk in the big air raid on Le Havre

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