Anthony McQueen - Escape from Hong Kong

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Anthony McQueen MTB 27 of the 2nd MTB Flotilla, Coastal Forces Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

Tel Tony McQueen P/SSX30501 [MTB 27] (New Romney, Kent)

Photo from Buddy Hide's collection © 30th December 1941

Click here to return to the Waichow Photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flotilla had taken a beating during the battle for Hong Kong.
When the Japanese started to invade Hong Kong Island, the 2nd MTB Flotilla was ordered to attack and shoot up everything in sight, and to expend all ammunition in the process. Unbeknown to the flotilla, the Japanese had already established a beach head on the Island west of the Sugar Refinery at North Point. Lt Ronnie Ashby whose motto was "Be Just and Fear Naught" led the flotilla in MTB 07, pressing home the attack under withering fire from land, sea, and air, suffering heavy losses in the process. Only three MTB's survived to limp back to base in Aberdeen. Lt Kennedy on MTB "09" towed the stricken "07" back to base.The attack was arguably the most daring daylight MTB attack of all time, and was referred to as The Balaclava of the Sea.by 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]

After 3000 miles traveling overland through China and Burma he arrived in a deserted Rangoon.

Tony returned to Akyab in Burma on the Heinrich Jessen along with the other Telegraphists with Collingwood and Kennedy.

Anthony along with the eight other remaining ratings in Akyab eventually left Bombay on 14th April and arrived back in the UK 1st June 1942.[82]

Lt Collingwood stayed onboard the Danish ship "Heinrich Jessen" and proceeded to Akyab, eventually flying out from Chittagong to Calcutta on the 18th April. From there he went on to Ceylon before returning to the UK.

The remaining nine ratings in Akyab eventually left Bombay on 14th April and arrived back in the UK 1st June1942.

Lieutenant Commander Gandy R. N. (Rtrd) had prevailed against all the odds, and triumphed over adversity to deliver his people back to the UK without loss of life or serious injury after evading capture and escaping from Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941.

PO Prest: "We travelled by cycles, lorries, junks, and donkeys, but mostly we walked. It was a case of march or die"

Buddy Hide: "On the whole, the moral, spirits, and courage of the party was magnificent. I think it was the shear thoughts of beating the Jap's, and the prospects of getting home after three years, some of us four years from home, that made us carry on."

It is unprecedented in the annuls of Royal Navy history, that an entire Flotilla company evaded capture to escape across an entire continent to fight another day.

 

 

 

MTB 27, ex Kuamintong CMB Kuai 20 leaving harbour for exercises in March 1940 with Lt Kilbeee as her CO.

Photo from the Hide collection ©









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27, Thornycroft 55 foot ex Kuamintong CMB Kuai 20 completed 10th September 1938 loaded with depth charges and torpedo's getting an XDO inspection in February 1940 with Lt Kilbeee as her C/O.

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 


















MTB 27 underway with Lt Kilbee in command in March 1940

Photo from the Hide collection ©









 

 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27 alongside HMS Robin in Mirs Bay

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 










 

 

MTB 27 alongside HMS Robin Photo from the Hide collection ©


 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27 loaded with depth charges in lieu of torpedo's alongside HMS Robin.

Photo from the Hide collection ©



















An MTB similar to MTB's 26 &27 on the River Thames in London 1939






 

 

MTB 27 on patrol

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

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, a book published, with a movie drama and a documentary in the making.

© Hong Kong Escape.org Web Master 1997 

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