(Department of National Defence photograph)
On the night of July 2nd, 1944 returning from patrol with MTB 465, MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) 460 struck a mine and exploded. 6 crew were rescued and 10 were killed. My uncle Peter Thompson (R.C.N.V.R. O.N. V-11965 Telegraphist) was one of the crew killed.
When I started looking into my family history I knew I had an uncle that died in the war but really nothing beyond that. My father showed me this photo of the MTB 460 and I became intrigued. There isn't a lot said about these boats but they were vitally important to coastal defence and by any account I have read were pretty exciting to serve on.
The stories I read have these young men charging about the English channel tackling German E-Boats and challenging destroyers, tracer bullets flying in in the night sky and the smell of cordite in the sea air. When I look at the photo above I like to think maybe that was my uncle on the flying bridge enjoying the moment riding the waves with the salty wind in his face.
My Dad thought maybe Uncle Peter had a couple beers when he had this photo taken. His hat was tilted back which wasn't regulation but his smile was brilliant. He was a fun loving man popular with the girls. One afternoon while we sat at talked about him my Dad started crying, remembering and mourning his big brother, nearly 50 years after the war.