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Whites - Cowes

Year Built:


Number Built:





48 ft


13' 8"






3 x Perkins 6354

Max Speed:


Sold to Mr Rawlins April 2004
temporarily berthed at Marchwood

The 48' Derby Winners Class triple screw Fast Launch HYPERION was ordered in 1940. She was built by J S Whites as yard no. 5102 in mahogany and was completed on 8 February 1943. She became part of the Royal Army Service Corps. She had a complement of 7, commanded by a LtRN, and her armament comprised two Bren light machine guns, or similar.

HYPERION was transferred to 624 Company (Motor Boat) on 11 April 1944. After taking part in various pre-invasion exercises, she was moved from West Mersea to the Isle of Wight to be based at Yarmouth on 24/25 May 1944. On 5 June 1944 HYPERION, along with the Bird Class Fast Launch SWALLOW, joined up in the Solent with the invasion fleet convoys on their way to Normandy. Both SWALLOW and HYPERION arrived at Normandy in the early hours of 6 June 1944 and HYPERION became the smallest craft to reach Normandy on D-Day under her own power. Shortly after arrival at Normandy and during the subsequent build-up after the landings, the two craft were given a ‘free rein’ in controlling DUKWs between the beaches and the supply ships.

HYPERION later became involved in ferrying senior officers and giving VIPs sight-seeing tours around the assault area. Most notably, her logbook records that on 19 August 1944 she was ordered to stand by for a party of VIPs. At 1515 hrs, HYPERION picked up His Royal Highness King George VI and Mr Anthony Eden, then Foreign Secretary, and gave them and their party a grand tour of the Mulberry harbours and the anchorages.

HYPERION was transferred to 571 Company (Motor Boat) on 4 January 1945 and then absorbed into Force 135, which was set up for the liberation of the Channel Islands. As part of this operation in June 1945, HYPERION, along with sister craft GRAND PARADE and HUMORIST, were involved in the transportation of German officers from Alderney to Guernsey, after the surrender of the Germans in the Channel Islands. The craft operated there for some time, with a mixture of civilian and service crew, regularly making the passage between the islands at 20 knots.

In the mid to late sixties, HYPERION was transferred to the civilian fleet of RCT and then operated out of Weymouth along with sister craft CAPTAIN CUTTLE and ISINGLASS on range clearance duties for the Lulworth firing area until 1971. She has been restored substantially in private ownership since 1991. She is now powered by three Perkins 6354 diesels, each rated at 130 BHP. She retains her original layout and many of the original fittings.

The first HYPERION was built in 1807 for the Royal Navy. The second, a destroyer, was built in 1936 but sunk in 1940 after enemy action. In all, four HYPERIONs have been built for the services. The origin of Hyperion is as one of the Titans: the Sun God before Apollo. The motto is ‘Fulget Virtus in Arduis’ - ‘Virtue Shines in Difficulties’. The famous colt Hyperion won the Derby in 1933. Hyperion is also one of the 18 moons of Saturn, discovered in 1848, and the title of a Keates poem.


visitors since 15th February 2004