The Coastal Forces Heritage Trust

Preserving the History of the Royal Navy’s Coastal Forces

Coastal Forces was typified by young men, all volunteers, who took the war to the enemy in Britain’s darkest hour. The boats were small, frail craft armed with torpedoes and loaded with high octane petrol. They went into enemy waters to seek and destroy at close range and at night. Achieving remarkable success totally disproportionate to the numbers and size of the vessels, they were called “the Spitfires of the Seas”. By 1946, over 2000 vessels and 30,000 personnel formed Coastal forces.

The Coastal Forces Heritage Trust is a small charity with all funding received from donations. Visit the ‘Help Us‘ page to see how you can support the charity with donations and artefacts.

Achievements of Coastal Forces

Coastal forces made an enormous contribution to WW2 in every theatre of war:

  • 900 actions resulting in 400 enemy vessels sunk
  • More torpedoes fired than the submarine service with a greater proportion of hits
  • Vital intelligence gathered for D-Day
  • Landing and retrieving agents on enemy coastlines
  • 3000 decorations won including 4 Victoria Crosses

Achievements of the Trust

The work of the trust has helped keep the memory alive through:

  • A new Coastal Forces Museum in Gosport
  • Memorial plaques at each Coastal forces base
  • A film archive of interviews with veterans
  • A DVD including wartime footage and interviews
  • A collection of historic material, photographs, letters, models and memorabilia
  • A memorial room and annual Remembrance Service at HMS Hornet, Gosport
  • A regular newsletter

NEW Coastal Forces Museum

The Night Hunters: the Royal Navy’s Coastal Forces at War

Opened in October 2021, there are a wealth of exciting stories to tell and our new museum in Gosport includes two wartime vessels, photos and exhibits. We owe it to veterans, families and the public to tell the story. Find out more and view the introductory video for an insight into the design, history and story of the historical museum.

Achieving our Aims

If you would like to help and become involved, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please email:

A commentary from Lieutenant Commander Peter Scott RNVR

“I’d like to tell you a little about the light coastal forces, the small, fast ships…”

» Listen