From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
There were a number of Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve forces in the Far East that operated small but useful patrol craft. Most famous of these were the five HDML operated by the Burma RNVR in the defense of Rangoon and (later) the Burmese and Indian coasts. There was also four very similar vessels operated by the Straits Settlements RNVR. These operated in the Georgetown area on the west coast of Malaya and the three survivors moved to Rangoon to operate with the Burma RNVR before joining the other five vessels in their withdrawal to Arakan and eventually India.
Fairmile Harbour Defense Motor Launch
These were small patrol boats that belied their designation. With excellent sea keeping capabilities and a 2000 mile range, they served with coastal forces world wide. Like the larger Fairmile B series Motor Launches, units were ordered in Commonwealth shipyards world wide.
ML 1000-1004 were ordered in Rangoon specifically for service with the Burma RNVR and all were completed by the beginning of the war (June-October, 1941). These vessels were very active during the defense of Rangoon and are frequently mentioned in history books covering the campaign.
Large numbers were ordered in Singapore but only the first two were actually completed. ML 1062 and 1063 were completed in January, 1942 and subsequently evacuated to Dutch ports, where both were lost. ML 1096-1097, 1167-1170, and 1213-1220 were never completed (and many never even begun).
Others were ordered in India, Ceylon, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, both before and after the start of the war. Many of these were completed and saw action, most notably in India/Burma but also in New Guinea and the Solomons.
72 Foot Overall
Twin diesel engines
Max speed 12.5 knots
Cruising speed 10 knots
Fuel: 1500 Gallons Diesel
Range: 1000 nautical miles at 12 knots, 2000 at 10 knots (more with auxiliary fuel)
Standard Armament (1941):
1 3-pdr Mk I (alternate 2-pdr Mk IX)
2 .303 Lewis MG
8 Depth Charges
Thornycroft Harbour Defense Motor Launch
Four HDML were built in 1939 by Thornycroft in Singapore specifically for the Burmese (edit) Straits Settlement RNVR. These were outside the normal Royal Navy numbering system for HDML and received names instead: Pahalwan, Panglima, Pennigat, Panji. Pennigat was lost late in the Singapore campaign. The rest joined the Burma RNVR and survived the war.
76 Foot Overall
Max Speed 16 Knots
No cruising speed or endurance data available (can anyone help?)
1 3-pdr, 1 .303 MG (no reference for ASW weapons)
< Message edited by Don Bowen -- 11/11/2008 1:06:32 PM >