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Historic vessel makes Dunkirk return

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 01 July 2010

She was the admiral's flagship in one of the most extraordinary rescues in British military history.

She was the admiral's flagship in one of the most extraordinary rescues in British military history.

From May 27, 1940, naval and civilian boats of all shapes and sizes made their way across the English Channel to Dunkirk, determined to bring home allied troops stranded between the sea and enemy forces.

The improvised flotilla was told to head for the sound of guns and the column of smoke over Dunkirk in a pivotal mission that saw the evacuation of more than 300,000 soldiers.

The MTB 102 motor torpedo boat, now based at Lowestoft, made several trips to Dunkirk and in the final days of Operation Dynamo, she was Admiral Sir Frederic Wake-Walker's flagship.

Yesterday, the former Royal Navy vessel began her journey to Ramsgate to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the evacuation, which ended on June 4, 1940.

On Thursday, she will be part of a commemorative flotilla making its way to the French coast.

Skipper Richard Basey, chairman of the MTB 102 Trust, said: “This boat was very critical to the whole operation because she was, for the last three days, effectively in command of the evacuation.

“She's never been out of use and she hasn't been restored as such - she has been continually repaired and maintained.”

For more information, go to www.newson.co.uk or call Mr Wood on 01502 574902.

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