Allied Warships

HMS Oswald (N 58)

Submarine of the O class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassO 
PennantN 58 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Dec 1926 
Laid down30 May 1927 
Launched19 Jun 1928 
Commissioned1 May 1929 
Lost1 Aug 1940 
Loss position37° 46'N, 16° 16'E
History

HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. David Alexander Fraser, RN) was rammed and sunk about 15 nautical miles south-east of Cap Spartivento, Italy in position 37º46'N, 16º16'E by the Italian destroyer Vivaldi on 1 August 1940. 3 dead, 52 survivors.

On 30 July 1940 Oswald had attacked an Italian convoy, missing, then sent a contact report about Italian naval units transiting the Straits of Messina and moved to the Ionian Sea. By now, all Italian ASW forces in the area were aklerted to her presence and were on the lookout.

On 1 August she was spotted while running surfaced, 12 nm south of Capo Spartivento Calabro, a scant 2500 m away by an Italian Destroyer Division consisting of Ugolino Vivaldi, Nicoloso da Recco, Antonio da Noli and Antoniotto Usodimare: Vivaldi was closest and came about immediately, impacting the boat at 2305 hrs and sinking her. There were 3 dead and 52 survivors rescued by the destroyers. 

Commands listed for HMS Oswald (N 58)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Geoffrey Mainwaring Sladen, RN2 Aug 1939Feb 1940
2Lt.Cdr. David Alexander Fraser, RNFeb 19401 Aug 1940

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Notable events involving Oswald include:


The page for this submarine is currently (July 2015 and onwards) being updated.

28 Aug 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) made a short stop at Gibraltar before she continued her passage to Malta. (1)

1 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) arrived at Malta from the U.K. (2)

2 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (2)

4 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (2)

7 Sep 1939
During 7 and 8 September 1939, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted exercises off Malta. These included night exercises. (2)

13 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (2)

14 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Ouse. (2)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (2)

26 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. R. Sheridan-Patterson, RN). (2)

27 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. R. Sheridan-Patterson, RN). (2)

28 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). (2)

29 Sep 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). (2)

5 Oct 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Porpoise (Cdr. G.W.G. Simpson, RN) and HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN). (3)

7 Oct 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) was docked at Malta for a short refit. (3)

20 Oct 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) was undocked. (3)

24 Oct 1939
During 24 and 25 October 1939, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted exercises off Malta. These included night exercises. A practice attack was made on HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) and several more on HMS Ouse. (3)

30 Oct 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (3)

2 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN). (4)

4 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. These included a practice attack on HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, DSO, RN). (4)

7 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (4)

14 Nov 1939
During 14 and 15 November 1939, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted exercises off Malta. These included night exercises. Practice attacks were made on HMS Ouse. (4)

17 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN). (4)

20 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). (4)

23 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (4)

28 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. During these exercises she also made a practice attack on HMS Barham (Capt. Sir H.T.C. Walker, RN). (4)

29 Nov 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN). (4)

6 Dec 1939
During 6 and 7 December 1939, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) and HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN). These included night exercises. (5)

9 Dec 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) departed Malta for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Patras, Greece. (5)

24 Dec 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Malta. (5)

31 Dec 1939
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN). (5)

7 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN). (6)

10 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN). (6)

16 Jan 1940
During 16 and 17 January 1940, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted exercises off Malta. During these exercises a practice attack was made on HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D'Oyly-Hughes, DSO, DSC, RN) that was escorted by two destroyers. These exercises also included night exercises. (6)

20 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Wolsey (Cdr. C.A.N. Chatwin, RN). (6)

22 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (6)

23 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Lowestoft (Cdr. A.M. Knapp, RN). (6)

24 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (6)

26 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). (6)

27 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). (6)

31 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMAS Vampire (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN). (6)

3 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. J.R.G. Harvey, RN (retired)). (7)

15 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) departed Malta for Alexandria. (7)

19 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (7)

24 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria together with HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. J.R.G. Harvey, RN (retired)). (7)

25 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria togther with HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and later together with HMS Kingston Crystal (Lt.Cdr. G.H.P. James, RNR) and HMS Sindonis (Ch.Skr. G. Rawding, RNR). (7)

27 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (7)

28 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria together with HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN). (7)

29 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria together with HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN). (7)

30 May 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria together with HMS HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and later on the day together with HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN). (7)

3 Jun 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (8)

11 Jun 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) departed Alexandria for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Karpathou Strait. Later patrol area was shifted to the Dardanelles. (8)

7 Jul 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Alexandria. (9)

20 Jul 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) departed Alexandria for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the east coast of Sicily. (10)

30 Jul 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN) made an unsuccesful attack on a large Italian convoy. The Italian destroyer Grecale which was near the merchant vessel Col di Lana reported being missed.

The convoy attacked by Oswald was made up of the Italian merchant vessels Maria Eugenia (4702 GRT, built 1928), Gloriastella (5490 GRT, built 1922), Mauly (5942 GRT, built 1925), Bainsizza (7933 GRT, built 1930), Col di Lana (5891 GRT, built 1926), Francesco Barbaro (6343 GRT, built 1940) and Citta di Bari (3220 GRT, built 1927). They had departed Naples, escorted by the torpedo boats Procione, Orione, Orsa and Pegaso. From Catania, Sicily the destroyers Maestrale, Libeccio, Grecale and Scirocco joined the convoy.

Oswald reported this convoy by radio.

1 Aug 1940
ON 1 August 1940, HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Fraser, RN), sent her last signal reporting enemy cruisers proceeding northwards through the Straits of Messina. (10)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15860
  2. ADM 173/15861
  3. ADM 173/15862
  4. ADM 173/15863
  5. ADM 173/15864
  6. ADM 173/16373
  7. ADM 173/16374
  8. ADM 173/16375
  9. ADM 199/2564
  10. ADM 199/1115

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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