'Special Boat Section'

Brief History
The first ever special boat section was raised in July 1940 under the command of Major Roger Courtney and was known as the Folbot Troop of No. 8 Commando. In February 1941 the Folbot Troop sailed for the Middle East as part of Layforce. It was after their arrival that the Folbot Troop acquired the name Special Boat Section. They trained at Kabrit on the Great Bitter Lake and were then attached to the 1st Submarine Flotilla. The Section operated from bases in Malta and Alexandria primarily in train wrecking and beach reconnaissance against targets in Italy and Sicily and raids along the Libyan and Cyrenaican coasts. 
 
In December 1941 Major Roger Courtney returned to the UK. The success of the Special Boat Section had resulted in a decision to form a second Section in the UK and the first choice for selection of suitable candidates was obvious. 101 Troop of No. 6 Commando had been formed in April and had been tried and tested in operations on the French coast under the command of Captain G.C.S. Montanaro, D.S.O.
 
Special Boat Section (Home) later designated as 2 Special Boat Section was duly formed, their HQ on the 2nd April 1942 being at Ardrossan/Saltcoates in Ayrshire. Their commander was Major R.J. Courtney, later joined by Captain Montanaro D.S.O., of 101 Troop [more....]. Capt. Montanaro was the Chief Instructor in the early days until detached to command the Mobile Flotation Unit, being granted a commission as Lt. Commander in the Royal Navy and left the S.B.S.  After 3 months training the Section was declared operational and moved to Titchfield in September 1942 .
 
No.1 Special Boat Section continued to operate in the same theatre of war but lost its independence when absorbed in November 1942 within the Special Air Service Regiment.  The SAS itself was reorganised into the Special Raiding Squadron in 1943 with its new leader Paddy Maine, and included the now redesignated Special Boat Squadron under Lord Jellicoe comprising  L, M, and S detachments
 
No. 2 Specal Boat Section training in the UK in 1942 were destined to take part in Operation Torch in North Africa, and later in raids and reconnaissance along the Mediterannean coast. 
 
During 1944/5 No.2 Special Boat Section consisted of 'A', B', and 'C' groups operating primarily in the Far East under the command of Majors Kealy, Sidders and Livingstone respectively, with Major Kealy as the Senior Military Officer, and 'Z' SBS who had been recalled from the Far East to continue operations in the Mediterranean under the command of Major G.B. Courtney, M.B.E., M.C.
 
Source
Special Boat Section memorandum - Formation to February 1944.
British Special Forces, author William Seymour
 
 

A timeline of the Special Boat Section (Home)

Type: Official Letters
Author: Lt Henry S. Quigley, Admin Officer 2SBS
Year of Publishing: 2010
Keywords: sbs, horner

7 pages of a Special Boat Section memorandum about 2 SBS from its formation through to February 1944. An official memorandum by Lieut. Henry S. Quigley, Admin. officer 2 SBS dated February 1944. The last page details equipment used by 2 SBS. This document is from the collection of Arthur Horner who was attached to No.1 Commando and 2 SBS, provided to the CVA in 2010 courtesy of his son Ashton Horner. 

2 SBS establishment Feb.1944.

In February 1944 the following Officers were shown serving in the War Establishment.
 
'A' Group
Major M.R.B. Kealy
Capt. H.V. Holden-White
 
'B' Group
Major D.S. Sidders
2/Lieut. E. Wesley
 
'Z' SBS
Major G.B. Courtney
Capt. E.J. Lunn
Capt. N.G. Kennard
Capt. W.G. Davis
 
Headquarters No. 2 Special Boat Section Feb. 1944.
Commanding Officer     
Major R.J. Courtney, M.C.
2nd in Command           
Major R.P. Livngstone, M.B.E.
Chief Instructor             
Captain B.N. Eckhard.
Technical Officer           
Captain R. Davy.
Navigational Officer       
Lieut. W.W. Armstrong.
Admin. Officer                
Lieut. H.S. Quigley.
Operational Officers      
Capt. J.P. Foot, M.B.E.
Lieut. D.S. Smee.
Lieut. J.B. Sherwood, M.M.
 
Source
Special Boat Section timeline memorandum - Formation to February 1944.
 

2SBS Partial Nominal Roll

Some names of those who served in 2 SBS:
 
Major R. J Courtney MC*
Major G.B. Courtney*
Major M.R.B. Kealy*
Major D.S. Sidders*
Captain P.A. Ayton*
Captain Davidson*
Captain R. Davy*
Captain B.N. Eckhard*
Captain J.P.Foot MBE*
Captain H.V.Holden-White*
Captain N.G. Kennard*
Captain Langston*
Captain R.P. Livingstone MBE*
Captain Lunn*
Captain McClair*
Captain G.C.S Montanaro DSO*
Captain J.C.C. Pagnam*
Captain Pate*
Flight Lt. Roy Thompson (MO)
Captain R. Wilson DSO*
Lt. Barnes MM and bar*
Lt. Best
Lt. Colville*
Lt W.G. Davis*
Lt. S.B. Durnford*
Lt.K.S. Kerr*
Lt. Peters*
Lt.H.S. Quigley*
Lt. J.B. Sherwood MM*
Lt. D.S. Smee*
Lt. Stobie*
Lt Van Houten*
Lt. E.A.W. Wesley MC*
2/Lt. W. W. Armstrong*
CSM Embelin*
CSM Galloway*
CSM Jones*
CSM Weatherall MBE*
Sgt Austin*
Sgt Bates*
Sgt Blewett*
Sgt Booth DCM*
Sgt Ellis*
Sgt Gilmour*
Sgt. Hawkins*
Sgt Hutchison*
Sgt. Newsome
Sgt Parks*
Sgt Penn*
Sgt Preece DCM*
Sgt. Salisbury*
Sgt Sidlow*
Sgt Smith*
Sgt Thompson MM*
Sgt. Williams MM
Sgt. Wood
Cpl. Burns
Cpl Carver*
Cpl Didcott*
Cpl. Evans*
Cpl Gain*
Cpl. Hart*
Cpl Hook*
Cpl. Loasby*
Cpl. Palmer
Cpl Roberts*
Cpl Smithson*
Cpl Somers*
Cpl Swain*
Cpl Toogood*
L/Cpl Horner*
Pte Boyes*
Pte Darlington MM*
Pte Lovell*
Pte McKenzie*
Pte Miles*
Pte Miller*
Pte Massey*
Pte Watson*
Pte. Wheeler*
Pte Williams*
Pte Wright*
 
Source:
* Special Boat Section memorandum about 2 SBS
CVA SBS  gallery