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MTB 459 of the 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla

MTB 459 of the 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla

These pages contain a treasure trove of history and crew photos of Canadian Motor Torpedo Boat flotillas that existed in the later stages of World War II.

Most of this information was collected and published in an excellent book by Jim Borthwick, an MTB veteran and a former active museum member. 

If you are interested, Jim’s book is still available in the Musum bookstore.

Forward by Jim Borthwick

Mention an “M.T.B.” to the average Canadian, and you get a blank look.

Mention a “P.T.” boat, and you get a big smile. Because of President John Kennedy, everyone knows of “P.T. 109.” Or how about McHale’s Navy and “P.T. 73”.

The United States Navy called their torpedo boats “P.T.” The Royal Navy, subsequently the Royal Canadian Navy, called their torpedo boats “M.T.B.’s” (Motor Torpedo Boats).

These coastal forces boats were built for fighting in, not for living on. They were, therefore, a wartime requirement only, and were operational only in war zones. Out of sight, out of mind.

The story of these battle craft and their crews should not, however, be forgotten. The Canadian Coastal Forces played a significant part in the historic story of Canada’s contribution to the Second World War and it is important that we have documentation of certain parts of the Coastal Forces’ role that have not been published previously.

For this reason I have donated my manuscript to the Winnipeg Naval Museum, to compliment its M.T.B. Memorial Unit containing the names of 483 Canadians who served with these Forces.

James Bell Borthwick

About James Bell Borthwick



Served on HMCS Quatsino Bangor Minesweeper, QO-090 Fairmile; HMS Malaya British Battleship; Royal Navy Gunboats, Motor Torpedo boats shorts, D boats; 29th Canadian, M.T.B. Flotilla, M.T.B. 459, HMCS Antigonish, frigate, HMCS Ontario, Cruiser, HMCS Quebec. Cruiser, HMCS Oshawa, Algerine HMCS Oriole, sailing ship HMCS Margaree, destroyer.

His other accomplishments: Gunnery Instructor at HMCS Cornwallis, HMCS Stadacona, HMCS Naden, was a member of the Coronation Contingent, 1953 and the Manitoba Centennial Caravan, 1967.

Jim retired October 1969 with the Blues as a CPO1 at HMCS CHIPPAWA.Jim served for many years as a Director of the Naval Museum of Manitoba. Sadly Chief Jim Borthwick passed away in 2000. We miss him dearly.