A Short History of HMS St Christopher

The Boats

At one time there were as many as 36 boats, many of which were Thornycroft Fairmile Motor Launches (B Class M.L.'s). The resource comprised 19 M.L.s, eight Motor Torpedo Boats (M.T.B.s) and nine Motor Gun Boats (M.G.B.s).  At other times there were also several smaller Harbour Defence Motor Launches (H.D.M.L.s) and two or three high speed Motor Anti-Submarine Boats (M.A.S.B.s).

Later in the life of the base some of the ML's were experimentally fitted with torpedo tubes to increase their potency. One of them, ML 158, received two torpedo tubes from HMS CAMPBELTOWN which was being prepared at Portsmouth for the famous raid on St Nazaire. A complete list of the boats stationed at St CHRISTOPHER is given at the end of this piece.

The vital statistics of these boats were as follows:

At the Aluminium Works (Dive Centre) pier could be found an armed training boat which was used for gunnery training. It may be that at different times in the life of the establishment two different boats may have been used for this role; the 'TIERCEL' and the 'ABERDONIAN' of which we know nothing, at present.

AFD 22 was also part of the base and was used as a repair facility. Having a crew of some 32 fitters, turners, joiners, wireless operators, seamen and stokers, she also provided considerable employment for the local people of Corpach. However, in 1944 she was towed to Tricomalee, Sri-Lanka where she replaced the vast 50,000-ton AFD 23 which had been damaged beyond repair in an accident.

More boats

List of boats at HMS St Christopher

HMS St Christopher through WWII

History of HMS St Christopher