The National Museum of the Royal Navy is trying to raise funds to buy and preserve CMB 331 - the last surviving Thornycroft 55-foot Coastal Motor Boat from the Second World War

There are just days left to save the last surviving Thornycroft 55-foot Coastal Motor Boat from World War Two.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £6,000 so it can buy and preserve CMB 331.

So far, more than £4,500 has been raised.

The Thornycroft 55-foot Coastal Motor Boat was designed during the First World War by John Thorneycroft and built all over the country, including at Camper and Nicholson’s Yard in Gosport.

It came following a suggestion by three junior officers that small, fast torpedo-carrying craft might be able to pass over German minefields and attack the High Seas Fleet at its base in Wilhelmshaven.

One of the last surviving Coastal Motor Boat from WW2

The boat was built at Thornycroft’s yard at Woolston, near Southampton

Initially, 40-foot boats were designed and built before Thornycroft designed a much larger 55-foot model which could carry two torpedoes.

These larger boats, which had a top speed of 41 knots, saw action in the Baltic and Caspian Seas in 1919.

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These remarkable boats remained current technology right up to the Second World War.

CMB 331 was one of the last to be built, and was part of an order for the Government of the Philippines which were requisitioned for the Royal Navy in 1941.

It was built at Thornycroft’s yard at Woolston, near Southampton, commissioned in November 1941, and based at HMS Hornet, the Coastal Forces Base at Haslar in Gosport.

A second world war boat

The boat originally carried two torpedoes

The last Thornycroft 55-foot Coastal Motor Boat was decommissioned for disposal in 1945.

Currently, CMB 331 is housed in Oxfordshire, but its current owner is looking to sell the boat.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy said if the Coastal Motor Boat is acquired, the vessel will be brought back to Gosport.

It will be housed next to Explosion The Museum of Naval Fire Power and conserved by a team of experts.

The museum has run previous successful crowdfunding campaigns, including raising £9,236 to help preserve the First World War ship HMS M.33, the only remaining Royal Navy survivor of the Gallipoli Campaign.