On which Lawrence Mackie served from July 1941 to March 1944
The photograph is of a sister motor launch, HMS ML 303, during the invasion of Normandy on D Day. Hampton, J A (Lt) Royal Navy official photographer- Imperial War Museum Collections Search A 23877
The Fairmile B motor launch was a type of motor launch built by British boatbuilder Fairmile Marine during the Second World War for the Royal Navy for coastal operations.
HMS ML 305 was built by Johnson & Jago at Leigh on Sea and commissioned in September 1941
ML 305 spent a lot of time on anti-submarine and convoy escort duties off the west coast of Africa and is mentioned in the Admiralty War Diaries of Word War 2. The following transcription of the West Africa Command, Freetown from January to April 1943 is at http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWD-WAfrica1943a.htm. There is good correspondence between Lawrence’s letters and one particular incident he records in a letter dated 16th March 1943 in which he writes “This morning we returned from a rather uncomfortable three days trip”. The Admiralty diary casts a small additional light with the entry for the same date, “H.M.M.L.s 256 and 305 returned to Takoradi from A/S search”.