Author Topic: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review  (Read 8893 times)

frank

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Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« on: February 20, 2006, 11:39:54 AM »
Article on the Torpedo Boats of the Philippine Commonwealth Army  Off Shore Patrol.

The Q-boats.




Attached article images for article  In search of "Q"!
 
Photos from MacArthur Memorial Museum and Library,  Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Information Captions:
Q1. -  Thorneycroft Coastal Motor Boat delivered to the Philippines on high speed run passes US Asiatic Fleet Submarine S-41.  designation Q1 to be changed to Q-112 Abra later on.
 
Q2.  Port View of  Q1 (Q112 Abra) taken from an aircraft above Manila Bay.
 

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Title: In Search of the "Q".
By Franz Tinio-Lopez

In the study of military history in the Philippines, much emphasis has been placed on land warfare and the role of the Army. The Army defended Bataan, the US Army landed on Leyte, etc.

But the role of seapower and the Navy is overlooked or ignored. The Army needed supplies to continue the fight on Bataan. The Armies that landed on Leyte and Lingayen came on ships.

Airpower on the other hand has been acknowledged as a necessity for success on the ground and control of the sea. But with great distances of the Pacific Ocean, most aircraft had to be transported on ships to get to the theater of operations. In fact Naval Aviation has become defined as airpower projected from the sea, with no requirements for permission for overflights of national territory or airbase useage at another country's cooperation.

But I am getting ahead of myself. There is much maritime history, it just has to be made interesting for the desired audience. Let me try by presenting the story of the Q-boat. The term "Q" may already bring recollections of "Q" branch of her Majesty's Secret Service and the gadgets provided for Ian Flemmings' hero, Royal Navy Commander James Bond. The new actor portraying 007 will be arriving on the scene courtesy of the Royal Marines in the upcomming movie.
 
I first heard of the existence of the "Q" boats, when I was working on an exhibit with University of the Philippines Professor of History, Rico Jose. The topic of the moment was what were the torpedo boats that General Douglas MacArthur had in defense of the Philippines. Which he later used to escape from Corregidor? After the discussion as to the type of "PT" boat manufactured by..., three engines, running on avaition gasoline, hull numbers.., etc. Rico added, "did you know that the Philippine's had some torpedo boats also that time? This came as a supprise as we had not ever come accross this fact from our readings of popular history books available then. (Ballentines, etc.)

There were a few paragraphs mentioning the "Q-boats" of the Off Shore Patrol in the Philippine Navy history book released in the late 70s.

All we had to go on was that the designation Q was applied for auxilliary craft or vessels. These ships or boats for survielance, patrol, and deception. Inconspicous craft that were not recognized to be combatant vessels were used for special missions to infiltrate target coastlines and seaways. Taking soundings and measurments. Observing merchant and naval traffic while possing as a fishing vessel. Definetly a cloak and dagger theme it would seem.

In fact the the current Q-boat designation in the Philippine Navy at the time included a large fishing boat with outriggers, a small motor yacht, and some other vessels that may have been "Kumpit"s that plied the seas between the Philippines and Borneo.

A second Philippine Navy history book was released later. Though these were never sold in the bookstores, you could obtain these through friends in the Naval service. There were some photographs, but the quality was bad if not worse than those circulated of secret soviet and communist vessels.

Only when the book "Tides of Change" was released for public purchase during the Navy's Centenial celebration in 1998 were some clear photos of the "Q-boat" seen. We already had some clues over the years. These torpedo boats were manufactured by a British company "Thorneycroft". We recognized this was the same manufacturer who built the WW2 Motor Torpedo Boats of the Royal Navy from our readings back in the 70s.

Thankful for the advent of the world wide web. It made a search possible of published articles that were posted on cyberspace that were growing in number every day. Searching on Q boats gave the same results for auxiliaries utillzed in covert operations and deceptions against U-boat by possing as un-armed merchantmen. When the unsuspecting U-boat surfaced to inspect and board the "unarmed" merchant ship. Hidden 3" and 5" guns would fire on the enemy submarine. Concealed machine guns would also be fired to prevent the submarine crew from utilizing their deck gun. Some Q ships even attempted to ram the Uboats to sink them.

Searching on "Thorneycroft" and "Torpedo Boats" brought us closer to the goal of discovering the origins of the Philippine Off Shore Patrol Q boats.
Thorneycroft had manufactured torpedo boats for the Royal Navy during World War 1. and had continued in smaller numbers up to WW2. When war broke out they started manufacturing Motor Torpedo Boats and Motor Gun Boats with a "hard chine" hull. This description of the hull shape would be a further clue.

During this time however I had the privilege of meeting Rear Admiral Ramon A. Alcaraz, Philippine Navy (Retired) for research on the history of the Philippine Marines. "Ka Monching" as he would be called by his friends was one of the Q-boat officers during WW2. He was the Commanding Officer of Q-112, Abra from the begining of the war till he had to scuttle the torpedo boat when they attempted to escape from Bataan.

Armed with more specific information, we found out that the Thorneycrofft company had manufactured Torpedo boats that had a "step" planing hull.
The torpedoes were launched from the stern of the boat. These were designed to engage the "Dreadnaught" type battleships that had become the epitome of seapower at the turn of the century. The percived threat from these fast (45 knots) small and agile boats were serious enough that a class of warship was developed to counter them and protect the battleships. These were the torpedo boat destroyers, that eventually became the ships we know as "Destroyers".

To conceal the purpose of these Torpedo boats, the Royal Navy designated them as "Coastal Motor Boats" (CMB) to disguise their purpose from enemy intelligence, similarly as describing the tracked armored machinegun carrying vehicle as a "tank" ( as its armor was fabricated like a water tank).

Now searching for Coastal Motor Boats, we found 3 in museums, some scale models and drawings. But nothing closer to the Philippines' Q-boats.
With this information in hand we returned to see "Commodore Alcaraz" another title of Ka Monching when he was in Command of the Philippine Fleet. He was pleasantly supprised about our discovery. But we were more in awe at Ka Monchings' detailed recollection about the Off Shore Patrol.

The 1935 National Defense Act that was "signed off" by the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth of the Philippines General Douglas MacArthur. Stipulated a fleet of "mosquito boats" a nickname for the torpedo boats from the sound of their engines when running at speed. These were ordered from England as there were no torpedo boats being manufactured in the US at the time. The first boat that was delivered was a 55ft. vessel. The second was a 65ft. version both were powered by two Thorneycofft V12 engines. And a "cruising engine" was also provided that allowed the boats to travel at 15 knots in scielence. (Early stealth technology?). But since England declared war with Germany, no further boats would be sent to the Philippines even if these had been paid for.
Instead there was an attempt to fabricate the 55ft. CMB in the Philippines using locally available lumber. The first and only attempt was Q 113, which performed much better than it English built sister. The designation "Q" according to Ka Monching was possibly a means of MacArthur to flatter his "Kumpare" President of the Philippine Commonwealth Manuel Quezon.
"Q" for Quezon.

But another supprise was yet to appear. Our search led to the British Military Powerboat Trust, in South Hampton, England. Among the boats in their care was CMB 331. Rescued from being a derlict houseboat and a planned restoration with one of the Thorneycrofft descendants, CMB 331 was originally manufactured for the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. When WW2 started the Royal Navy took possesion of all the boats for export to use them in defense against the likely German invasion. CMB 331 is the only surviving example of its type. The Imperial War Museum has the examples of the 40 foot and 65 foot CMBs of WW1. With our continued correspondence with the British Military Powerboat Trust(BMPT), Ka Monching was invited to attend their Annual General Meeting in September 2003. He was asked to present his experience as a Commanding Officer of a sistership of the Trust's CMB.
This also helped the BMPT raise interest in their efforts to begin the restoration of CMB 331 to operational status. They later recieved a Heritage Lottery Grant to help in this project.

Fast forward to present day. We have recieved copies of photographs of Q-112 from the collection of the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virgina. And we followed a lead to obtain a copy of Life Magazine issue 9 February 1942, that featured an article and photographs of Carl Mydans. The story was about the success of US Navy PT Boat Commanding Officers, Lt. Bulkely, and LTJG. Cox. But the photographs of the PT boats are that of the Philippine Army Off Shore Patrol "Q-boats".

And as usual "Ka Monching" pulls another gem from his files; "Carl Mydans the Life Magazine photographer, was on my boat, Q-112 taking photographs while were running around Manila Bay." He passed away last year(2004), but his son Seth Mydans may still have access to the photos that he took of the Q-boats," Ka Monching said. "I belive there are more pictures than these we see in this issue of Life Magazine." he added.

We shall pursue this new lead on the Q-boats. We looked again at those poor quality photographs I mentioned in the early Philippine Navy history books. They were the same ones taken by Carl Mydans, and several more...perhaps they still exist in the negative files.

END.
By Franz Tinio-Lopez

http://www.reocities.com/pmcmssr
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 10:24:25 PM by frank »

Adroth

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 10:24:47 AM »
link to searchpage

philippines search



Motor torpedo boat of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol on training maneuvers while American pilots in Navy fighter planes watch over them just prior to US involvement in WWII.



Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol being readied for training maneuvers on the repair docks of Engineer Island just prior to US involvement in WWII.




Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol on maneuvers.





Pair of motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol being overhauled on the repair yard docks of Engineer Island before heading out for training maneuvers just prior to US involvement in WWII.
The campaign to establish a Philippine equivalent to DARPA / DAPA / DSTA: http://adroth.ph/srdp_roadmap_darpa/

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Adroth

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 08:02:41 PM »
Thanks guys.   :beer:

more pics. check out those torpedoes  :shock:


Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol being loaded for training maneuvers just prior to US involvement in WWII.



Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol on training maneuvers just prior to US involvement in WWII


Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol being readied for training maneuvers just prior to US involvement in WWII.


Filipino Major Jose V. Audrada, Chief of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol, shortly before war with Japan

The campaign to establish a Philippine equivalent to DARPA / DAPA / DSTA: http://adroth.ph/srdp_roadmap_darpa/

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Shipwreck

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 02:08:36 AM »
wow so Q.113 is locally made. Its also nice to see how they name their boats back then.

Q.112 - Abra
Q.113 - Agusan

frank

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 01:12:51 PM »
Can someone who likes researching look up any charts or mapa that show Engineer Island or "Muelle del Codo". (South Harbor area)
 This was where the Q-boats were based and were several other boats were being built.  These where destroyed when Manila was declared an Open City so they could not be used by the Japanese forces.

The larger 65' foot CMB is the Q111- Luzon,  it had a fully enclosed pilot house and two forward launching torpedo tubes abreast of the pilot house.

Sabra

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…The Filipino, it seems, has lost his soul, his dignity, and his courage. We have come upon a phase of our history when ideals are only a veneer for greed and power, (in public and private affairs) when devotion to duty and dedication to a public trust are to be weighted at all times against private advantages and personal gain, and when loyalties can be traded. …Our government is in the iron grip of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service is slothful and indifferent, its armed forces demoralized and its councils sterile., We are in crisis...

President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos

"Taking into account the disadvantages they have to fight against in terms of arms, equipment and military discipline, without artillery, short of ammunition, powder inferior, shells reloaded until they are defective, they are the bravest men I have ever seen...

General Henry W. Lawton on the Filipino Soldier

"Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it"

irrelevant

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 05:47:55 PM »
Can someone who likes researching look up any charts or mapa that show Engineer Island or "Muelle del Codo". (South Harbor area)
 This was where the Q-boats were based and were several other boats were being built.  These where destroyed when Manila was declared an Open City so they could not be used by the Japanese forces.

The larger 65' foot CMB is the Q111- Luzon,  it had a fully enclosed pilot house and two forward launching torpedo tubes abreast of the pilot house.

A marker has already been placed at the present Muelle de Codo by the PN with appropriate ceremonies years ago.  Its at the mouth of Manila Bay at the tip of the South harbor area.... :shock:

Adroth

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 09:48:33 PM »
And as usual "Ka Monching" pulls another gem from his files; "Carl Mydans the Life Magazine photographer, was on my boat, Q-112 taking photographs while were running around Manila Bay." He passed away last year(2004), but his son Seth Mydans may still have access to the photos that he took of the Q-boats," Ka Monching said. "I belive there are more pictures than these we see in this issue of Life Magazine." he added.

We shall pursue this new lead on the Q-boats. We looked again at those poor quality photographs I mentioned in the early Philippine Navy history books. They were the same ones taken by Carl Mydans, and several more...perhaps they still exist in the negative files.

Were additional photographs ever found?

=== ~~~ ===

It appears that the British entity that was handling restoration, the British Military Powerboat Trust . . . is facing difficult times.  :(

http://www.bmpt.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=621
The campaign to establish a Philippine equivalent to DARPA / DAPA / DSTA: http://adroth.ph/srdp_roadmap_darpa/

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frank

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 07:59:55 PM »
http://www.bmpt.org.uk/boats/MTB-331/index.htm
CMB 331 is now located in Scotland with a different organization.

It is not undergoing any active refurbishment at present.  But am in contact with them.

Frank

Adroth

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 08:29:26 PM »
http://www.bmpt.org.uk/boats/MTB-331/index.htm
CMB 331 is now located in Scotland with a different organization.

It is not undergoing any active refurbishment at present.  But am in contact with them.

Frank

Hmm . . . if RADM Alcaraz already spoke at a BMT function . . . why is it that their write up states that they don't know much about this boat prior to 1951?

No information regarding the post war history has come to light, and nothing is known of MTB 331's history prior to May 1951 when MTB 331 was registered at Teignmouth, as the JONREY, Official No. 183954, and was listed in Lloyd's Yachts from 1953 until 1973. During this period she had 4 registered owners, the last being Mr Bowmen of Bristol. There is evidence from around 1972 which shows the JONREY in the Cumberland Basin at Bristol with a caption which indicated that she was to be restored to her wartime appearance. By 1980, if not earlier, Mr Robert G Morley of Bristol became the owner of JONREY, and remained so until she was acquired by Hampshire County Council (HCC), about ten years later.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 08:30:59 PM by Adroth »
The campaign to establish a Philippine equivalent to DARPA / DAPA / DSTA: http://adroth.ph/srdp_roadmap_darpa/

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frank

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2009, 08:41:56 PM »
We visited BMPT in 2003.  CMB 331 was not delivered to the Philippines.  It was embargoed, and put into service with the Royal Navy.  What happened to it after was sold as surplus is it went into private hands.  The records of registration, like that of a car could not be found of who owned it, where it was docked, etc. if it was not registered as an operational craft.  It seems if you live in a boat, it does not get taxed like a house...

Adroth

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2009, 08:49:20 PM »
We visited BMPT in 2003.  CMB 331 was not delivered to the Philippines.  It was embargoed, and put into service with the Royal Navy.  What happened to it after was sold as surplus is it went into private hands.  The records of registration, like that of a car could not be found of who owned it, where it was docked, etc. if it was not registered as an operational craft.  It seems if you live in a boat, it does not get taxed like a house...

That much is clear. It said so in your article at the start of the thread.

My question is . . . why do they not know the boat's history when you've been corresponding with both them and the BMT, and even brought RADM Alcaraz there?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 08:54:55 PM by Adroth »
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Sabra

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Re: Q-boat article in Philippine Maritime Review
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 04:13:50 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIc4wn7K-a8

After 1918 there was no further Admiralty order for Thornycroft "CMB Type" MTBs, however between September 1939 and August 1941, fourteen 55 foot boats of this type, originally ordered for foreign navies, were requisitioned by the Admiralty. MTB 327 to 331, ordered on 12 June 1940 for the Philippines, were replacements for MTB 213-217, requisitioned by the Admiralty earlier that month. Taken over in August 1941, while still under construction, they were completed between June and October 1941. They commissioned on 3 November 1941 and with MTB 345 formed the 12th MTB Flotilla. They arrived at HMS Hornet, Portsmouth on 11th November 1941, were still there on the 24 November, but were at Dartmouth by 4 December where they commenced working up. After only a few weeks in commission, on 10 January 1942, they were instructed to pay of and lay up in Gunboat Yard, Haslar at one months notice. MTB 330 and 331 both recommissioned at HMS Hornet in August 1944 and paid off early the following month. It is assumed they were brought forward from Reserve to replace CMB 103 and MTB 344, which both paid off in July 1944, following service off the Normandy beaches during the Allied landings. Apart from MTB 330 and 331 recommissioning for these short periods in 1944, MTB 327 - 331 remained in Reserve in the sheds at Gunboat Yard, Haslar. In May 1945 all five were placed on the Disposal List and later sold by DSCD. (http://www.bmpt.org.uk/other_boats_history/MTB-331/index.htm)
…The Filipino, it seems, has lost his soul, his dignity, and his courage. We have come upon a phase of our history when ideals are only a veneer for greed and power, (in public and private affairs) when devotion to duty and dedication to a public trust are to be weighted at all times against private advantages and personal gain, and when loyalties can be traded. …Our government is in the iron grip of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service is slothful and indifferent, its armed forces demoralized and its councils sterile., We are in crisis...

President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos

"Taking into account the disadvantages they have to fight against in terms of arms, equipment and military discipline, without artillery, short of ammunition, powder inferior, shells reloaded until they are defective, they are the bravest men I have ever seen...

General Henry W. Lawton on the Filipino Soldier

"Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it"


frank

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Re: Q-boat article in Life Magazine
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 10:21:07 PM »
Philippine Q Boats from LIFE

http://www.life.com/image/53373266
NOVEMBER 1941: Motor torpedo boat of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol on maneuvers just prior to war with Japan.

http://www.life.com/image/53373226
NOVEMBER 1941: Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol on maneuvers.

http://www.life.com/image/53373166
NOVEMBER 1944: Motor torpedo boats of the Philippine Army Offshore Patrol being readied for training maneuvers just prior to US involvement in WWII.

NOTE: THE SUPER STRUCTURE, BRIDGE, MACHINE GUN PLACEMENT OF THE Q BOATS VARY FROM EACH OTHER

http://www.life.com/image/53373162

http://www.life.com/image/53373264

http://www.life.com/image/53373172










http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=philippine+source:life&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dphilippine%2Bsource:life%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26ndsp%3D20%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D569%26tbs%3Disch:1&imgurl=0f48160ceef5cdfe














« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 11:30:16 PM by frank »