February 15 (Thurs) 1945, The Dodecanese, Greece [Part 2]

feb-15-1945-route-to-greeceWe stayed in harbour that night & slipped for Symi [Greece] early next morning. The weather was good & the sea slight. During the forenoon, the armament was tested. Despite the recent overhaul, the only efficient piece was the oerlikon. Just after we had passed Rhodes, the captain took the boat into a little harbour, almost landlocked, which he said they used to lie in during waiting periods before Symi was taken over. That was just before Xmas. The locals are still living there at Symi & the place is practically undamaged, though only 25 miles from Rhodes, which is still in enemy hands. We made Symi harbour and were secured alongside just after five PM.

As there were two HDs making tracks for Alexandria at about 1900 that night, it was decided that we would go on them as opportunities for getting back in the future might be few and far between. The night passage to Cas [Kastellorizo] was made without incident. I was in the leading craft, HDML 1386. We stopped at Cas for breakfast & at 8 o’clock carried on to Alexandria. The weather and sea were good for the whole trip, & we made excellent progress, sighting Alexandria about 1300, and being secured alongside at [HMS] “Mosquito”, soon after 1500. We were in many ways sorry to leave our temporary home & the friendly, easy-going atmosphere of Coastal Forces to return to the accustomed existence on board one of His Majesty’s Light cruisers, though our sorrows were, to a certain extent, alleviated by the prospects of a bath and good grub.

Lying in Harbour when we arrived was a strange looking warship flying the “Stars and Stripes”.  This was the USS “Savannah” of 9,500 tons (15-6″, 8-5″) and rumour has it that Mr Roosevelt is around somewhere, & Mr Churchill is probably with him.

Seven other Midshipmen are away on MLs [Motor Launches]. They left yesterday morning, some for the Dodecanese & others for Crete. Attempts to get them away have been made every morning since Saturday but the weather has not been suitable. A certain amount of repair work has been done on the damage to the port tubes & surroundings, but the actual tubes have not yet been replaced.

 

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