Admiral Chan Chak in Kukong   
  Click here to read more © MTB 07 in Hong Kong Photos from the Ashby & Ross collections © Admiral Chan Chak and party arriving in Waichow   
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  Photo from Admiral Chan Chak's collection ©

Tom Duckworth MTB 07 of the 2nd MTB Flotilla, Battle for Hong Kong

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Tom Greenwood Duckworth MTB 07 of the 2nd MTB Flotilla, Coastal Forces Hong Kong

Tel Tom Duckworth P/JX.202851 [Golders Green, Middlesex

??/??/1918 - 19/12/1941 ]

Tom Greenwood Duckworth  
    Photo from Lt Ron Ashby's collection ©Telegraphist Tom Duckworth was killed in action on 19th December 1941 when MTB 07, with orders to expend all ammunition, was raked across the stern with cannon fire from IJA aircraft while leading what is arguably the most daring daylight MTB raid of all time, dubbed The Balaclava of the Sea. Duckworth had been sent to the engine-room to administer first aid to Leading Stoker Reg Barker who suffered the same fate and both died of their wounds with all three engines were knocked out.

Tom received a posthumous Mention in Despaches for his action on the 19th December 1941

Remembered with Honour

MTB 07 with Lt R R W Ashby HKRNVR



Lt Ron Ashby HKRNVR with the crew of MTB 07

Photo from Lt Ron Ashby's collection ©




The crew of MTB 07 in Kowloon 1940

MTB 07 crew in Kowloon 1941
      Run the curser over to identify individuals
      Photo from Budyy Hide's collection ©

Photo from the Hide collection ©







MTB 07, with PO's John Prest and Buddy Hide at the controls, under fire.  
	Photo from Hong Kong 1941-45 published by Osprey Publishing. 
	Illustration by Giuseppe Rava. 
	Click here for more informationThe flotilla took a beating during the battle for Hong Kong.
When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong Island, the 2nd MTB Flotilla was ordered to attack and expend all ammunition shooting up everything in sight. Unbeknown to the flotilla, the Japanese had already established a beach head on the Island west of the Sugar Refinery at North Point.
Guns to the left, guns to the right, guns to the front and cannon from above, on they sped into the fiery jaws of the oriental dragon itself. This was the maritime equivalent of the charge of the light brigade in the Crimea.
Lt Ronnie Ashby whose family motto was "Be Just and Fear Naught" led the flotilla with Jix Prest & Buddy Hide at the controls of MTB 07. Pressing home the attack under withering fire from land, sea, and air, they suffered heavy losses in the process. Only three MTB's survived to limp back and come alongside HMS Robin in Aberdeen. Lt Kennedy on MTB "09" towed the stricken "07", peppered with 97 holes and two dead bodies in the engine room, back to base. The flotilla had lost 40% of its attacking force. The attack was arguably the most daring daylight MTB attack of all time, and was referred to as The Balaclava of the Coastal Forces world wide. They were hailed "The bravest of the brave."

Lt Kennedy RNVR: "MTB 11 returned alone from the harbour with her coxswain wounded. There was a long silent pause as we strained our ears to catch the sound of distant engines, but none came. It was a dark day for the flotilla, and for the whole island." [9]

Remembered with Honour

Research and web publication by Buddy Hide Jnr ©

The contents of this web site led to a considerable number of escapee families contacting me and now each other, and remains the principle source of contact and private information for the spin off projects that have followed. The personal accounts enabled me to record the complete and true account of this remarkable episode of Sino-British war time co-operation. The information compiled here has directly resulted in a museum exhibition in Hong Kong, a re-enactment of the escape in Hong Kong and China, with a movie drama and documentary in the making.

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