all the branches of men in the Forces, there is none which shows more devotion
and faces grimmer perils than the submariner.
Great deeds are done in the air and on the land; nevertheless, nothing surpasses your exploits." Winston Churchill.
"Only in attack does a submarine reveal herself, before creeping away to the concealment of the deep"
HM Submarine Safari: L-R: Lt Ward; Commissioning
Engr Harris; Cmdr Bryant; Lt Devlin; Sub Lt Blackburn
S Class engine room
Loading a "Fish" onto Token
Johnny Blackman - Token
Italian Cruiser Muzio Attendolo in port after a
single torpedo hit from HM Sub Unbroken. Autumn 1942.
Unbroken 1943. Wardroom on arrival at
I recently asked if these following two images could be identified. Here is an answer from Arthur Dyson:
The photo with civilian workmen on deck" is without doubt one of the later group 3 'S' class which were fitted with a 4 inch deck gun and its surrounding breastwork. Owing to the additional weight of the 4inch gun the external stern torpedo tube was not fitted in these later boats. All the earlier 'S' class boats were fitted with a 3 inch gun and most of the group were fitted with the external stern torpedo tube. The photo shows the submarine in the fitting out basin at Cammell Lairds. There were seventeen 'S' class fitted with the 4 inch gun, five were built at Scott's of Greenock and twelve were built at Cammell Lairds. The last photo is correctly identified as an 'S' class. She is in fact one of the early group 1 'S' class, either "Starfish" or "Seahorse".
HMS Exmouth with HMS Tuna alongside at Scapa Flow. Captain David Barnes sent me this. Image is owned by HMS Worcester Archives. He added in his email: "one thing we are very short of is details of the HMS Exmouth at Scapa Flo as depot ship to submarines and Minesweepers.....she was ex training ship Exmouth and destined to become HMS Worcester in 1946 when she returned from Scapa Flo. The attached photo shows HMS Tuna alongside her. We would be delighted if anyone who was aboard HMS Exmouth, a sub or minesweeper or knows where she was moored up there could contact me please." If you have information for David, please contact him on d.barnes -at- xtra.co.nz - remove the -at- and insert @ for his email address. He then goes on:
Then we move on to HMS Oswald .... lost in action after being rammed by an Italian destroyer in the straits of Messina or thereabouts. Our Chief Executive Officer on Worcester was in commend of her. "Frosty" was much admired by us all, he commanded our utmost respect, always the twinkle in his eyes as he dressed you down and we only ever knew him seriously annoyed once when someone chucked a cadet overboard in stupid circumstances .... phew he spat cool hard fire !!! We are looking for anyone who was in the PoW camp from which Frosty tried several escapes one disguised as a pregnant woman pushing a pram.... he was caught at the border.!!
Another image from Captain David Barnes, property of HMS Worcester Archives:
From David: We had a visit during my time of one of the midget subs ... HMS Sprat .... I have searched everywhere for a photo of her and recently one of the Old Worcesters came up with one as she came alongside ..... you can see one of our racing gigs on a mooring top right. A rare image of a midget submarine.
and following, also from David, is HMS Sea Scout alongside HMS Worcester (property of HMS Worcester Archives).
Following an international competition the MoD, together with partner nations France and Norway, has placed a £47m contract with Rolls Royce for a new high-tech rescue system to help crews escape from sunken submarines. The project – The NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) - will be based around a 10-metre, 27-tonne submersible, operated by a crew of three, which can dive down to a stricken submarine and dock with it, bringing the crew up to the surface in batches. As well as a rescue submarine the contract will provide for an unmanned craft which will locate the sunken submarine, decompression chambers, medical facilities and other support equipment. The contract also covers support and operation of the system for the first ten years of its life. The new system will replace the current rescue submarine based on the LR5 submersible, which is reaching the end of her design life. The project will help sustain around 85 jobs across the country. Minister for Defence Procurement Lord Bach said: “This system will give us and our partners the most effective submarine rescue system available. Our submarines are painstakingly designed with safety in mind and their safety record is impeccable, but they operate in the harshest of environments and it is vital we have an effective rescue capability for our submariners. “This project is a fine example of how working with partner nations can bring great benefits by sharing both cost and expertise.” The NSRS will be based in HM Naval Base on the Clyde, where it will be able to respond to emergencies anywhere in the world within 72 hours. The new system is scheduled to enter service at the end of 2006 and will have a life of 25 years.
May 30th 2007: I received an email from a Ron Thomas who is researching the work of a Czech civilian who was taken by the Nazi's to the South of France to undertake work there for them. He was contacted by the French Resistance who took him on a fishing trip off the coast of Brittany from which he was collected by a British sub and taken to Scotland, possibly Woodhouselee POW Camp. He recalled that the journey took about an hour from coast to camp. Ron is desperately trying to find out the name of the submarine that collected this gent?
Ron can be contacted at ElCrthomas at aol.com - replace at with @ to use email address.
Sub Memorial at Carlingford, suburb of Sydney Australia. Image: Bob Appleton
HMS Maidstone British Submarine Tender. North Africa 1943
Maidstone was built by John Browns at Clydebank, launched 21st October 1937 and completed 5th May 1938. This is a ship that deserves a website all of her own to do her justice! During the war Maidstone served initially at Rosyth with 3rd Flotilla from May 1940 to Sept 1940. In March 1941 she took up residence at Gibraltar with the 8th Flotilla, then, after taking part in Op. Torch (invasion of North Africa) from Nov 1942 to Nov 1943 worked at Algiers. In March 1944 she set up shop at Trincomalee and in September 1944 moved on to Fremantle. From May 1945 to Sept 1945 she was at Subic Bay in the Philippines and then went to Hong Kong. After her return to the UK she later became the Flagship of C-in-C, Home Fleet from 1956 to 1958. Reconstructed 1958-1962. Based at Faslane with refits at Rosyth until August 1968 when she joined the Reserve Fleet at Rosyth before returning to Portsmouth. 1969 to 1977 used as Army accommodation ship and then prison ship at Belfast. 23rd May 1978, after forty years service, arrived at Inverkeithing to be broken up.
Sunk Italian s/m Medusa 30-Jan-1942 in Gulf of Venice. Attacked a tanker off southwest Crete 6-Aug-42. On the 14th April encountered the Italian torpedo boat, Pegaso, escorting the steamer/tanker Istria 30 miles from Gavdos(Gaudhos) Island off SW Crete. At 1230 an escorting aircraft was seen to machine-gun the surface of the sea and Pegaso moved in to investigate. Four minutes after the aircraft attack, Pegaso picked up a contact and carried out seven attacks after which contact was lost. There is also a possibility that she was later lost on mines off Tobruk, Libya.
Serving aboard HMS Thorn was this young man, (below) the late Wilkin Nuttall. He went down with the sub. Thanks to Andrew Summerscales, House of Lords, Westminster, for this image.
Electrical Propulsion Room HMS Sportsman.
Dave Whitehead's (pic above) father served on board
HMS Sportsman. In 1943 they were attacked and bombed by 2 USAAF (surprise
HMS Token & HMS Worcester (Thames Nautical Training
College) in 1946
He also sent me the following image of Thermopylae & Token alongside in 1948
A little known submarine that served with HM Submarines in WW2
These two images were sent to me from Ken Nickson and they show his father, Leading Telegrapher, serving on board this submarine. Ken remarks: I remember my father telling me that this sub had got stuck on the sea bed and prior to her eventually freeing off, some of the Yugoslav crew went berserk and committed suicide! He and his Officer had to barricade themselves off.
I spotted this reference on a BBC web site: On 13th January 1943, transferred to Yugoslav submarine Nebojsa, which had been built at Hawthorn Leslie shipyard, on the Tyne at Hebburn, in 1926. She was manned by a mixed Royal Navy and Yugoslav crew. It had been hoped to make her operational but the boat was unpredictable that when she dived she would go down steeply by either the bows or stern. She was more dangerous to her crew than she would ever be to the enemy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/76/a8795776.shtml
Its bad enough to lose a sub, but to lose one to your own side is heartbreaking. I wonder if the relatives of those lost on HMS Unbeaten ever found out that it was 'blue on blue' fire that killed their loved ones. Here she is:
I have read a report on one site that states her pennant number was N33? http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-12SS-09U-Unbeaten.htm
"Her loss may have been caused by depth charges from an RAF WELLINGTON aircraft which reported an attack on a submarine on 12th November. This has never been fully established. The Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Commander EA Woodward RN"
RIP: LSIG Charlie Coyne, died in Toronto on
Saturday December 19th 2009. He was 90.
Hello, my name is Kip Marshall. I have been going through my dad’s old records to find out more about his life aboard the ships and submarines that he served on during World War 2. I have found much information on the net. However I would love to ask someone about some of the subs that he served on. So here goes; My father – James Burke served on or went on Dolphin 1943 ; which I believed was a training sub, Cyclops 1944, Sportsman ’44, Saker ’44, (can’t find anything on) Sportsman ’45, Forth Venture ’45 (which I can’t find anything on) Dolphin again ’47 , Token ’48 and 49 Which has Maidenstone next to the name. Can you give me any information ??? He also served on battle ships before he was on the subs. I am so looking forwards to your reply. If you can help Kip, please email him directly on the following email address: kipted - at - xtra.co.nz Replacing -at- with @.
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/other_navies.htm Yugoslavian sub as well as other items
http://www.uboat.net/index.html Best site on U Boats - all listed
My first ever book - order it here