Allied Warships

HMS Rorqual (N 74)

Submarine of the Porpoise class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassPorpoise 
PennantN 74 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered1 May 1935 
Laid down1 May 1935 
Launched21 Jul 1936 
Commissioned10 Feb 1937 
End service 
History

Upon returning from her Far East deployment HMS Rorqual went into reserve on 28 July 1945. Sold to be broken up for scrap on 19 December 1945. Scrapped at Newport on 17 March 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Rorqual (N 74)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Ronald Hugh Dewhurst, RN25 Aug 19391 Jun 1941
2Lt. Lennox William Napier, RN1 Jun 194119 Jan 1942
3Lt. Alan Hamilton Barnett Anderson, DSC, RNR19 Jan 194216 Apr 1942
4Lt. Lennox William Napier, RN16 Apr 19421 Dec 1943
5Lt. Guy Stewart Chetwode Clarabut, DSO, RN1 Dec 194327 Mar 1944
6Lt. John Philip Holroyde Oakley, DSC, RN27 Mar 194428 Jul 1945

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Noteable events involving Rorqual include:


The page for this submarine is currently (September 2014 and onwards) being updated.

6 Sep 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore.

7 Sep 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN).

13 Sep 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Singapore for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Sabang.

2 Oct 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Singapore.

14 Oct 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Singapore for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Sunda Strait.

25 Oct 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Singapore.

2 Nov 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore.

3 Nov 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore.

7 Nov 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Singapore for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Sabang.

26 Nov 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Singapore.

5 Dec 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN).

6 Dec 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN).

7 Dec 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN).

12 Dec 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN).

20 Dec 1939
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) started a refit at Singapore.

13 Apr 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her refit at the Singapore Navy Yard.

25 Apr 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted trials of Singapore.

26 Apr 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted trials of Singapore.

27 Apr 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted trials of Singapore.

28 Apr 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Singapore for Colombo. Rorqual was to proceed to the Mediterranean.

3 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Colombo. She departed for Aden later the same day.

10 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Aden. She departed for Port Said later the same day.

15 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Port Said. She departed for Alexandria later the same day.

16 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

20 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

22 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta.

27 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. A practice minefield was laid.

30 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN) and HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN).

31 May 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) conducted exercises off Malta.

4 Jun 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was to take up a defensive position off Malta.

10 Jun 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She had been recalled to change her mine outfit for mines fitted with the latest modifications.

Information was then received that Italy had declared war. Rorqual sailed for her 5th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at 2307 hours (zone -2). She was ordered to take up a defensive position off Malta. At 0151/11 a signal was received ordering her to patrol the Straits of Otranto and to lay a minefield of Brindisi.

14 Jun 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) laid a minefield (50 mines) off Brindisi, Italy. The minefield was laid from 1027 to 1055 hours (time zone -2). During the lay the minelaying gear failed but it could be repaired. It was then decided to lay all 50 mines in this location (approximately 40°39'N, 18°10'E).

15 Jun 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) makes an unsuccessful torpedo attack on the Italian submarine Anfitrite in the Strait of Otranto.

(All times are zone -2)
0120 hours - Sighted a submarine proceeding on a course of 340°. Started attack.

0124 hours - Made the challenge but received no reply. Three torpedoes were then fired but they all missed.

[No further details are known, the patrol report refers to a separate report regarding the attack but it is not attached to the patrol report. Therefore the exact position of the attack is not known to us at the moment possibly approximately 40°40'N, 18°50'E.]

18 Jun 1940
At 2230 hours (zone -2) HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) received a signal recalling her from patrol. She was ordered to proceed to Alexandria.

24 Jun 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

3 Jul 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for her 6th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of the Straits of Messina.

8 Jul 1940
In the evening HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) receives a signal ordering her to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto.

9 Jul 1940
In the evening HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) receives a signal ordering her to proceed to her original patrol area (South of the Strait of Messina).

16 Jul 1940
In the early moring hours HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) received a signal ordering her to proceed to Malta.

17 Jul 1940
At 0615 hours (zone -2) HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) entered Grand Harbour, Malta. In the afternoon Rorqual was half docked down for repairs to No.5 mine compensating tank. She was undocked after a few hours.

18 Jul 1940
At 0558 hours (zone -2) HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Grand harbour to resume her patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield of Tulmaythah, Libya.

21 Jul 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) hit the Italian merchant Andrea Gritti (6338 GRT, built 1939) with a torpedo off Tulmaythah, Libya. Unfortunately it's a dud.

During reloading the torpedo tubes following this attack a torpedo had a hot run inside the tube it had just been loaded in. It had to be jettisoned. It exploded shortly afterwards.

Between 1200 and 1232 hours Rorqual laid a minefield of 50 mines near position 32°45'5"N, 20°57'E.

(All times are zone -2)
0943 hours - Sighted a large Italian merchant ship near Tulmaythah lighthouse. No escort was seen. Started attack.

0955 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 900 yards. No explosions were heard but the merchant vessel changed course making for the coast. She then stopped but continued on her original course after about 5 minutes. It is thought a torpedo hit had been obtained but that it was a dud.

1006 hours - Fired another torpedo from 3500 yards. It missed.

1016 hours - Set course towards the minelaying position.

1056 hours - When the reload torpedo was placed in no.3 tube it had a hot run. It had to be jettisoned.

1200 hours - Commenced minelaying in position 32°45'5"N, 20°57'E.

1234 hours - Completed minelaying.

24 Jul 1940
The Italian merchant Celio (3872 GRT, built 1908) is sunk off Tulmaythah, Libya in position 32°39'N 21°03'E after hitting a mine laid on 21 July 1940 by HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN).

25 Jul 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

4 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

11 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta where she embarked 50 mines.

12 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to lay another minefield near Tulmaythah, Libya.

13 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) is ordered by signal to take up a patrol position about half way between Malta and Benghazi on the main route between Messina and Benghazi.

14 Aug 1940
The Italian merchant Leopardi (3298 GRT, built 1915) is sunk off Tulmaythah, Libya in position 32°39'N, 21°03'E in a minefield laid on 21 July 1940 by HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN).

15 Aug 1940
At 2345 hours HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) set course towards Tulmaythah in accordance with her original orders.

17 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) laid a minefield (50 mines) off Tulmaythah, Libya between 1103 and 1134 hours (zone -2). Approximate position was 32°40'N, 20°32'E.

20 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) attacked the Italian merchant Monte Gargano (1976 GRT, built 1931) with two torpedoes north-west of Ras al Hilal, Libya. no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -2)
0806 hours - In position 32°58'N, 22°02'E sighted a large passenger ship, presumably a troop transport. Range was about 5 nautical miles. Started attack.

0809 hours - Sighted a destroyer that was escorting the target about a mile, 60° on the port bow of the target which was hugging the coast closely.

0814 hours - The screening destroyer turned towards Rorqual when at a range of 700 yards forcing her to go deep. An attempt was made to complete the attack firing by hydrophone effect but the D.A. was missed owning to the noise of the destroyer passing overhead. Turned to port and came to periscope depth.

0825 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 3500 yards. No hits were obtained. Rorqual meanwhile went deep again.

21 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) attacked an Italian convoy missing the Italian merchants Verace (1219 GRT, built 1884) and Doris Ursino (891 GRT, built 1886) with torpedoes about 5 nautical miles north of Ras Hilal, Libya in position 33°08'N, 22°10'E. Following this failed attack Rorqual was depth charged by the Italian torpedo boat Generale Achille Papa.

(All times are zone -2)
1330 hours - Sighted three ships on a westerly course. These were later identified as a torpedo-boat of the Generali-class and two merchant ships, one of about 5000 tons and one of 3000 tons. Decided to attack all three targets.

1358 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the escort, range 3000 yards, followed by two torpedoes at the leading merchant from 2800 yards and finally two torpedoes at the second merchant from 2500 yards. The torpedo-boat coombed the torpedo tracks toward Rorqual which had meanwhile turned 90 degrees to port, had gone deep and went full ahead for 3 minutes. The torpedo-boat started dropping depth charges causing some minor damage. It is thought both merchant vessels had been hit and sunk [but this was not the case]. (1)

27 Aug 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

11 Sep 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

17 Sep 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta.

19 Sep 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) was docked at Malta.

22 Sep 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) was undocked.

25 Sep 1940
The Italian pilot vessel F 34 / Rina Croce (569 GRT, built 1889) sank off Brindisi, Italy in a minefield laid by HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN). The mine was laid on 14 June 1940.

25 Sep 1940
After embarking 50 mines HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to lay a minefield to the north-west of Benghazi, Libya and also to patrol of that port.

26 Sep 1940
A serious leak occured on board HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) (leaking muffler valve). Repairs could not be affected at sea and course was set to return to Malta.

27 Sep 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta for repairs.

1 Oct 1940
With the repairs completed HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Malta to continue her patrol.

4 Oct 1940
From 2340 to 2354 hours (zone -2) HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) laid a minefield (50 mines) north-west of Benghazi, Libya near position 32°45'N, 20°00'E.

17 Oct 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

21 Oct 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) collided 'lightly' with HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) inside Alexandria harbour. Rorqual was not damaged.

29 Oct 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

3 Nov 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta where she embarked 50 mines. She departed Malta for her 9th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) later the same day. She was ordered to lay a minefield off Misrata, Libya.

5 Nov 1940
From 1058 to 1128 hours (zone -2), HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) lays a minefield (50 mines) east of Misrata, Libya near position 32°25'N, 15°21'E.

Course was then set towards Malta to embark new mines.

7 Nov 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) arrived at Malta where she embarked 50 new mines. She departed at 1800 hours (zone -2) to resume her patrol. Another minefield had to be laid off Misrata, Libya.

9 Nov 1940
From 0841 to 0911 hours (zone -2), HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) lays a minefield (50 mines) east of Misrata, Libya near position 32°40'N, 15°00'E.

Course was then set to return to Alexandria.

15 Nov 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

29 Nov 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) departed Alexandria for her 10th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte.

5 Dec 1940
The Italian torpedo boat Calipso (679 tons, built 1938) sank about 6 nautical miles north-west of Cape Misurata, Libya after hitting a mine laid by HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) on 9 November 1940.

17 Dec 1940
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. The patrol had been uneventful.

23 Dec 1940
The Italian torpedo boat Fratelli Cairoli (625 tons, built 1915) sank off Misrata, Libya after hitting a mine laid by HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, RN) on 9 November 1940.

2 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said where she was to dock.

3 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said.

4 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) was docked at Port Said.

10 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) was undocked.

11 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria.

12 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

14 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

20 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta. Her after casing had been damaged in severe weather conditions.

21 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) proceeded to the Malta Dockyard for repairs to her after casing. The damage was made good for the most part but repairs to the mine casing doors would take to long and Cdr. Dewurst decided to remove them altogether.

22 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 11th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Adriatic and to lay her mines in positions at Cdr. Dewhurst's discretion on the routes used by Italian shipping.

28 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) laid a minefield of 29 mines off Sansego Island (now Susak Island, Croatia) and later the same day laid another minefield of 21 miles near Ancona, Italy.

(All times are zone -2)
0257 hours - Commenced laying a minefield of 29 mines, 300 feet apart, from a position 160°, Sansego Island lighthouse, 11.3 nautical miles (approximately 44°20'N, 14°23'E), in a direction of 225° for 1,8 nautical miles.

0307 hours - Completed minelaying. Set course for Ancona.

-----------------------------------------

1055 hours - Commenced minelaying. 21 mines were laid from a position 081°, Ancona high light, 9.2 nautical miles in a direction 142° for 1.1 nautical miles.

1107 hours - Completed minelaying.

30 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) attacked but missed the Italian merchant Rinucci (1217 GRT, built 1914) off Bar, Yugoslavia.

(All times are zone -2)
1646 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 1800 yards against a 4000 tons Italian merchant ship. No hits were obtained as the torpedoes passed ahead of the ship. The torpedoes exploded on the shore after a run of 4.5 minutes.

31 Jan 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) destroys the tug Ursus and damaged a floating battery in the Adriatic north of Sansego Island in position 42°50'N, 16°30'E. Ursus was beached and declared a total loss. The floating battery was towed to Dubrovknik.

(All times are zone -2)
1250 hours - Heard H.E. bearing Red 30. Shortly afterwards the masts of a ship were sighted and an attack was started. The ship was later seen to be an Italian armed tug with two guns. She was towing a vessel of about 120 feet long with a very big beam. She was of shallow draught. It was fitted with two 4" or 5" guns and a smaller H.A. gun. It had a mast of about 40 feet high, with a look out position and a big rangefinder at the top. Decided for gun action.

1333 hours - Rorqual surfaced 500 yards abaft the beam of the floating battery and about 1200 yards on the quarter of the tug, closing at full speed. After Rorqual had fired four or five rounds the tug opened fire with both her guns. By now Rorqual started hitting the tug and in a short period five hits were obtained and the tugs after gun was put out of action. After about 20 rounds it was thought that the tug was out of action so fire was shifted to the floating battery. The first round hit her amidships and started a fire. It was now seen that the tug had re-opened fire with her forward gun so fire was shifted back to her and four or five more hits were obtained forward putting her forward gun also out of action.

1340 hours - By now both guns on board the floating battery had opened fire on Rorqual at under 500 yards range. Broke off the action and dived. The tug was seen to be heavily on fire. After a while it was decided to fire a torpedo set at 2 feet at the floating battery.

1427 hours - Fired this torpedo but it had a gyro failure forcing Rorqual to go deep.

1546 hours - Aircraft now arrived in the area and Rorqual went deep again.

1802 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

31 Jan 1941
The Italian torpedo boat Francesco Stocco broke in two when she hits a mine of Sansego Island. The mine was laid on 28 January 1941 by the British submarine HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN).

Both parts of the Stocco were towed to Fiume. The ship was repaired and returned to service.

7 Feb 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

25 Feb 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for her 12th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to perform two beach reconnaissances at Crete (details to follow).

27 Feb 1941
The Italian merchant Ischia (5101 GRT, built 1907) is damaged when she hits a mine of Ancona, Italy. The mine was laid on 28 January 1941 by the British submarine HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN).

7 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

17 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

18 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

22 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta. After embarking 50 mines she departed for her 13th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to lay mines near Palermo and patrol to the North of Sicily.

25 Mar 1941
Between 1110 - 1119 hours, HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) lays a minefield some 5 miles north-east of Capo Gallo, Sicily, Italy. The minefield started from a position 041° - Cape Gallo - 3.7 nautical miles, a line 4.5 cables long (300 feet apart) in a direction of 280°. A total of 10 mines were laid in this position.

In the morning of 28 March 1941 the Italian torpedo boat Generale Antonio Chinotto (697 tons, built 1921) sank in this minefield. She was returning from a night A/S patrol.

26 Mar 1941
Between 0940 - 0956 hours, HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) laid a minefield of 19 mines starting from a position 022° - Asinelli Rock Light - 2.2 nautical miles, a line 9 cables long (300 feet apart) in a direction of 290°.

Rorqual then laid her last mines (21 in total) from 1048 to 1103 hours, starting from a position 308° - Asinelli Rock Light - 1.5 nautical miles, a line 1 mile long (300 feet apart) in a direction 29°. The same day an Italian convoy ran into this minefield losing the Italian water tankers Ticino (1470 GRT, built 1924) and Verde (1432 GRT, built 1923).

At 1622 hours Ticino hit a mine laid and sank north of Trapani in position 38°06'N, 12°31'E. Verde rescued her crew and then resumed her course, but at 1725 hours she also detonated a mine laid and sank in less than one minute (23 dead).

30 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Laura Corrado (3645 GRT, built 1899) north-east of Capo Gallo, Sicily, Italy in position 38°45'N, 12°20'E.

(All times are zone -2)
0124 hours - In position 38°49'N, 12°30'E sighted a ship on the starboard bow. Closed to investigate and attack.

0223 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 1000 yards. Both missed as the range was underestimated. The ship, now identified as a fully laden tanker, continued on her course.

A second attack was now started.

0245 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 600 yards. One hit was obtained. The tanker settled rapidly by the stern with a heavy list to starboard where she remained for some time.

0256 hours - Fired five rounds of H.E. into the damaged part of the ship from 400 yards. She then started to settle further.

0300 hours - Only the bow of the tanker was now above the water. Rorqual now retirned to the north-west.

At 0403 hours Rorqual received a signal ordering her to patrol to the north of the Straits of Messina to try to catch the damaged Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto.

31 Mar 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Pier Capponi (770 tons, buit 1929) south of Stromboli, Italy in position 38°32N, 15°19'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1337 hours - In position 38°32N, 15°19'E heard HE bearing 140°.

1339 hours - Sighted something on the the horizon. This was later seen to be an Italian submarine. Started attack.

1402 hours - Fired 5 torpedoes from 1000 yards. Two hits were obtained and the submarine sank rapidly.

4 Apr 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

7 Apr 1941
After some repairs by Malta Dockyard, HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Malta for Alexandria.

12 Apr 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

26 Apr 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) was docked at Alexandria.

30 Apr 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) was undocked.

3 May 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said.

4 May 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said. She then proceeded up the Suez Canal to embark mines at the Great Bitter Lakes.

5 May 1941
After embarking 50 mines HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) departed the Great Bitter Lakes for Port Said. After a very short stay at Port Said she departed for her 14th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean Sea. She was also to lay her mines there.

11 May 1941
Between 0530 and 0608 hours (zone -3) HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) lays 50 mines in the Gulf of Saloniki off Panomi Point.

12 May 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire off Lemnos, Greece. The first sailing vessel sunk was the caique KAV 382 / Osia Paraskevi.

(All times are zone -3)
1059 hours - Sighted a sailing vessel proceeding from Lemnos to the north-west. Closed to investigate. A large red flag was seen thought to be Turkish.

1200 hours - The flag was seen to be the Nazi flag.

1218 hours - Surfaced and opened fire from 1200 yards. After a few rounds, that missed, she stopped her engine and hoisted a white flag. Rorqual went alongside and it was seen that there were six Greeks on board. They were ordered to abandon ship in their small boat. A round of H.E. was then fired into the caique from 50 yards. A big explosion followed and the caique disintegrated. The bow remained above the surface for about 30 seconds and a dozen or so German soldiers in uniform were seen rushing up the hatch. After a few minutes no German survivors were seen in the water.

-------------------------------------------

23 May 1941
HMS Rorqual (Cdr R.H. Dewhurst, DSO, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

3 Jun 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta for her 1st storage trip.

Rorqual had on board:
2 officers
21 other ranks
1 Maltese civilian

147 bags of mail
2 tons of naval stores including medical stores
1478 cases of aviation spirit
15 tons of bulk aviation spirit
45 tons of bulk kerosine
2 coils of wire

12 Jun 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta.

14 Jun 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for Alexandria.

Rorqual had on board:
2 officers
3 dockyard officials
12 other ranks

46 cases of QF 4" HE shells
100 cases of 4" shrapnel shells
130 bags of mail
30 seaman's bags
2.5 tons of naval stores
Several parts of machinery

21 Jun 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Alexandria ending her 1st storage trip.

25 Jun 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta for her 2nd storage trip.

Rorqual had on board:
3 army officers
18 army and RAF other ranks

50 tons of aviation spirit in cans
14 tons of aviation spirit in bulk
11700 gallons of kerosine in bulk

7 tons of stores made up of:
90 bags of mail
foamite refills
Hoses
Army clothing
2 U-class submarine propellors

2 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta. Rorqual arrived at Malta with several defects.

4 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) was docked at Malta.

5 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) was docked at Malta.

10 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) was undocked. She then conducted some trials / exercises off Malta.

12 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for Alexandria. On this return trip from her 2nd storage trip she was ordered to patrol along the coast of North Africa making this her 15th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean).

Rorqual also had stores on board:
3 naval officers
15 naval and army ratings

1 trawler propellor
40 boxes of 4.5" ammunition
1 machinery piece for HMS Coventry
40 bags of mail
48 cases of N.S.O. stores
60 magazines for RAF guns

19 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

31 Jul 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta for her 3rd storage trip.

Rorqual had on board:
1 naval officer
1 army officer
18 other ranks

1500 cases of aviation spirit
4680 gallons of aviation spirit in bulk
17285 gallons of kerosine in bulk
1 ton of junction boxes
2 tons of mail
6 tons of stores

4 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) is ordered to take up a patrol position about 200 nautical miles to the east-south-east of Malta to intercept an expected southbound enemy tanker.

Rorqual's 3rd storage trip now became her 16th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean).

6 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) is ordered to continue her passage to Malta.

12 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta with several days delay, 3 days due to her being ordered to patrol for 3 days and 3 days due to defects to her starboard engine air compressor.

21 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) embarked 50 mines.

22 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for her 17th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Greece and to lay a minefield.

25 Aug 1941
HBetween 0936 and 1015 hours (zone -3) HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 50 mines off Cape Skinari, Greece (275°, Cape Skinari, 8 nautical miles).

28 Aug 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Cilicia (2747 GRT, built 1928) about 40 nautical miles south-south-west of Schiza Island in position 36°25'N, 21°01'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1843 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 220°. Altered course to close. The smoke was soon afterwards seen to come from one large merchant vessel and one moderate large merchant vessel. No escort was seen.

1853 hours - Started attack on the largest vessel.

1938 hours - Fired three torpedoes at the leading ship from 1100 yards. It is thought that three hits were obtained.

1940 hours - The leading ship was seen to be hidden by yellowish-brown smoke.
Fired three torpedoes at the second ship. She was now very close.

1941 hours - Went deep.

1942 hours - Rorqual was rammed. The enemy struck the periscope standards. Both periscopes were damaged. Rorqual remained deep until 2145 hours. With all periscope now damaged and all torpedoes expended course was now set of Alexandria.

[The convoy attacked was made up of the above mentioned Cilicia as well as the Italian merchant Alfredo Oriani (4307 GRT, built 1942). They were escorted by the Italian torpedo-boat Antares.]

2 Sep 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 17th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

29 Sep 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

1 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Alexandria for the Great Bitter Lakes where she was to embark a full outfit of 50 mines.

Before course was set to the east exercises were carried out with HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN).

This is Rorqual's 18th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean). After embaring the mines she was to patrol in the Southern Aegean and lay a minefield in the Gulf of Athens. Upon completion of this patrol she was to proceed to Malta. Rorqual was due for refit and was to proceed to the U.K.

2 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Port Said. She embarked a pilot and the proceeded through the Suez Canal to the Great Bitter Lakes where 50 mines were embarked.

8 Oct 1941
Between 1129 and 1212 hours (zone -3) HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 50 mines in the Gulf of Athens near position 37°29 N, 23°53'E. The mines were laid from the above position in a direction of 330° for 2.7 nauticasl miles. They were laid at a depth of 8 feet with a spacing of 300 feet.

In the morning hours a convoy had been sighted but it was not attacked as it passed within a mile from the position where the minefield had to be laid.

12 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 18th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

17 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for her 19th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to lay mines off Cape Ferrato, Sardinia and off Cavoli Island. Upon completion of this patrol she was to proceed to Gibraltar.

In the evening Rorqual returned to Malta with a fractured pipe in the turning gear of the forward hydroplanes.

18 Oct 1941
After repairs HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta to resume her 19th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean).

19 Oct 1941
In the early evening the Italian torpedo-boat Altair ran into a minefield laid by Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) on 8 October 1941 in the Gulf of Athens. Altair sank the next morning while in tow.

Altair was part of the escort of a convoy when she was mined.

20 Oct 1941
The Italian torpedo-boat Aldebaran ran into a minefield and sank in the Gulf of Athens. The minefield was laid by Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) on 8 October 1941.

21 Oct 1941
Between 1702 and 1716 hours (zone -1), HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 10 mines off Cavoli Island, off south-east Sardinia. The mines were laid from a position 129°, Cavoli Island light, 1.8 nautical miles. The minefield was a mile long and laid in a direction of 227°. The mines were laid at 8 feet at 600 feet spacing.

22 Oct 1941
Between 1611 and 1642 hours (zone -1), HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 40 mines off Cape Ferrato, Sardinia. The mines were laid from a position 144°, Cape Ferrato light, 1.1 nautical miles. The minefield was two miles long and laid in a direction of 115°. The mines were laid at 8 feet at 300 feet spacing.

In the moring a convoy was sighted near the position the minefield was to be laid therefore the convoy was not attacked. HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 40 mines off Capo Ferrato, south-east Sardinia.

26 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 19th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

28 Oct 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Gibraltar for Holy Loch.

3 Nov 1941
In the morning HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) made rendez-vous off Trevose Head with her escort HMS La Capricieuse (former French) (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

4 Nov 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

14 Nov 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 20th war patrol. She is ordered to lay two minefields to the West of La Rochelle, France. Rorqual was escorted south through the Irish Sea by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN) until 2000/15.

It had been decided to sent Rorqual on a minelaying mission (F.D. 34) in the Bay of Biscay as there was some delay in her being excepted at a dockyard for her refit.

18 Nov 1941
Between 2303 and 2326 hours (zone -1), HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 29 mines in 5 groups of 5 and one group of 4 within a circle of one mile radius from position 46°05'5"N, 01°57'5"W.

19 Nov 1941
Between 0051 and 0105 hours (zone -1), HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) laid 21 mines in three groups of 5 and one group of 6 within a circle of one mile radius from position 45°56'5"N, 01°47'5"W.

Shortly afterwards two torpedoes were seen approaching. These could be evaded. As no enemy submarine was in the area the 'torpedoes' sighted were most likely porpoises.

22 Nov 1941
At 0830 hours (zone -1), HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) made rendez-vous with HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN) off Wolf Rock. Cutty Sark was however unable to proceed northwards owning to the weather conditions. It was decided that Rorqual would proceed alone and that Cutty Sark would catch up later which was done at 1730 hours near Trevose Head.

24 Nov 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 20th war patrol at Holy Loch.

28 Nov 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Holy Loch for Plymouth. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN).

30 Nov 1941
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Plymouth where she was to refit at the Devonport Dockyard.

9 Feb 1942
The Italian merchant Salpi (2715 GRT, built 1920) hits a mine and sank 2 nautical miles bearing 100° of Cape Ferrato, Sardinia, Italy. The mine was laid on 22 October 1941 by HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN).

8 Jun 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth.

9 Jun 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth.

10 Jun 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. These included night exercises during the night of 10 and 11 June 1942.

27 Jun 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth.

3 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth.

6 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN).

8 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a work-up period.

21 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Holy Loch for Plymouth. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN).

23 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth.

27 Jul 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. She was escorted by HMS Lord Stonehaven (Skr. A.F.S. Jenner, RNR) until 0015/28.

5 Aug 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

14 Aug 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

23 Aug 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta.

26 Aug 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for her 21th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to lay a minefield off Corfu and then to proceed to Beirut where she was to join the 1st Submarine flotilla.

30 Aug 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) laid a minefield of 15 mines south-east of Corfu. 50 mines were intended but the minelaying gear malfunctioned and 35 mines got stuck.

Rorqual also torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Monstella (5311 GRT, built 1918) in the Ionian Sea South of Corfu in position 39°15'N, 20°21'E.

(All times are zone -2)
0450 hours - Dived in position 120°, Anti Paxos lighthouse, 8.5 nautical miles and continued toward the minelaying position.

1108 hours - Arrived in the position for the lay but fouled by fishing vessels. Carried out a fresh approach.

1253 hours - Laid the first mine in position 39°17'N, 20°18'E.

1326 hours - Completed the lay. As the lay was finished a loud noise was heard overhead and shuddering and a heavy strain was felt on the minelaying unit. It was now suspected for the first time that the lay might not have been successful but no confirmation could be uptained until after surfacing. At 2015 hours Rorqual surfaced and it was found that 25 mines were still inside the casing due to a malfunction.

1520 hours - Heard H.E. and shorty afterwards sighted a convoy made up of a modern merchant vessel of about 3000 tons followed by two 1000 tons merchant vessels. A 4000 tons merchant made up the rear of the line. Air escort was present but no surface escort could be seen. It was decided to attack the rear ship. This was an old fashioned tramp of 4000 tons, lightly laden.

1534 hours - In position 39°15'N, 20°21'E fired two torpedoes from 3500 yards. One certain and probably a second hit was heard.

1545 hours - A counter attack was started in which 16 depth charges were dropped. Rorqual meanwhile retired to the southward at 80 feet. It now seems to look like that the first ship in the line was an Armed Merchant Cruiser.

1615 hours - No further depth charges were heard. Returned to periscope depth.

1622 hours - Sighted the target stopped and low in the water on an even keel. The A.M.C. was also stopped and between Rorqual and the target. The aircraft was circling overhead. Went to 80 feet again.

1730 hours - Came to periscope depth. The target was now seen to be sinking. She was down by the stern with the poop deck awash. The A.M.C. and aircraft were still standing by.

1900 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The target could no longer be seen.

7 Sep 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 21th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

24 Sep 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. This was her 4th storage trip to Malta.

The main items of her cargo were:
45 tons of aviation spirit
11 Mark VIII torpedoes
8 18" aircraft torpedoes
5 tons of dehydrated vegetables
1,5 tons of carbide
Tinned provisions, special RAF stores and mail

2 Oct 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta.

4 Oct 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for Beirut.

6 Oct 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) encountered an enemy destroyer or possibly a submarine. She managed to evade the enemy.

(All times are zone -3)
2212 hours -In position 34°58'N, 19°21'E, Rorqual sighted a flashing light on the port quarter. No ship was visible. It was thought this might be HMS Parthian. Turned stern on.

2213 hours - Made challenge GIL - D. Reply M received (this was the first letter of the correct reply).

2218 hours - Single letter M repeated.

2220 hours - It is thought a single depth charge was dropped, but is is possible that it was a torpedo exploding.

2224 hours - It is thought that a destroyer was seen to be approaching from right astern, range 3000 yards.

2225 hours - Dived. The enemy did not start a hunt and was not even heard to stop in the vicinity. Maybee it was a submarine.

2330 hours - Surfaced and proceeded.

12 Oct 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Beirut.

24 Oct 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. This was her 5th storage trip to Malta.

The main items of her cargo were:
50 tons of aviation spirit
20 tons of oil fuel
12 Mark VIII torpedoes
8 18" aircraft torpedoes
10 tons of dehydrated vegetables
Leather, carbide and RAF stores

1 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. Rorqual had left all her torpedoes at Malta where there was a shortage of torpedoes.

8 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Port Said.

10 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) was docked at Port Said.

13 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) was undocked.

14 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Port Said for Beirut.

16 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Beirut.

24 Nov 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. She was temporary detached to the 10th Submarine flotilla.

2 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) arrived at Malta.

6 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) departed Malta for her 22th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to lay mines off the Cani Rocks.

8 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 33 mines off Bizerte, Tunisia.

13 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 11 mines off Isola d'Ischia near Naples, Italy.

18 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Piero Foscari (3423 GRT) in the Gulf of Gaeta, Italy north-east of Ischia island in position 40°53'N, 13°39'E. The damaged Italian vessel is towed to port.

21 Dec 1942
The Italian auxiliary minesweeper AS 99 / Zani sank off La Golette on a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN).

23 Dec 1942
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) ended her 22th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

18 Jan 1943
The German troop transport Ankara (4768 GRT) sank about 5 nautical miles north-east of Cani Island on a mine laid the same day by the British submarine Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN). Rorqual laid 48 mines that day.

24 Feb 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 50 mines off Isola Marettimo, to the west of Sicily, Italy.

22 Mar 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 50 mines off Trapani, Sicily, Italy.

4 Apr 1943
The (brand-new) Italian merchant Carbonello A. (1593 GRT) is damaged when she hits a mine off Trapani, Sicily, Italy. The mine was laid by HMS Rorqual.

22 Apr 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 50 mines off Isola Favignana west of Sicily, Italy.

30 Apr 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 50 mines off Isola Marettimo, to the west of Sicily, Italy.

15 May 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, RN) lays 50 mines off Punta Stilo, Calabria, Italy.

2 Jul 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays 29 mines off the Gulf of Kassandra, Greece.

At 1057 hours (time zone -3) Rorqual laid the first mine in position 196°,Kassandra Point, 2.0 nautical miles. 29 mines were laid in direction 140° for 0.8 nautical mile, thence 270° for 0.8 nautical mile. Depth setting was 10 feet, spacing 300 feet.

3 Jul 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays her remaining 21 mines in the Skiathos Channel.

At 0957 hours (time zone -3) Rorqual laid the first mine in position 349°, Cape Sepias, 5.1 nautical miles. 21 mines were laid in direction 100°, over a total length of 1.2 nautical miles. The lay was completed at 1012 hours.

7 Jul 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the German tanker Wilhemsburg (7020 GRT, former Greece Petrakis Nomikou) about 5 nautical miles west of Tenedos Island, Greece in position 39°55'N, 25°50'E.

At 0510 hours (time zone -3), while Rorqual was in position 310° Ponente light (Tenedos) 13 nautical miles, two destroyers were sighted 4 nautical miles away slowly proceeding towards the Dardanelles. Lt.Cdr. Napier judged that this must be the escort for the expected convoy. At 0703 hours smoke was seen coming from the straits and the destroyers made off to close the straits.

At 0802 hours the convoy was seen to form up. It consisted of a large tanker, the two destroyers sighted earlier, a corvette with three aircraft overhead.

At 0859 hours four torpedoes were fired. Two hits were obtained. Immediately after the attack 16 depth charges were dropped. They were near enough to do some light damage such as to lights and some minor fittings.

At 1025 another 10 depth charges were dropped but these were not at all close. At 1050 hours Rorqual came to periscope depth. The corvette was seen hunting about two nautical miles away. Nothing else was in sight.

5 Aug 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays 29 mines off the Gulf of Saloniki, Greece.

6 Aug 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays her remaining 21 mines off Lemnos, Greece.

7 Aug 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the French merchant (in German service) Nantaise (1798 GRT) in the Aegean Sea in position 38°05'N, 25°48'E.

7 Sep 1943
The French merchant (in German service) P.L.M. 24 (5391 GRT) sank in the Aegean some 10 nautical miles north of Skiathos Island, Greece in position 39°22'N, 23°25'E on a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN).

9 Sep 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays 15 mines off Trikeri, Greece.

10 Sep 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays another 15 mines in the Skiathos Channel.

11 Sep 1943
HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) lays her remaining 20 mines off Lemnos, Greece.

3 Jan 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) lays 50 mines (minefield ML 022) off Phuket, Siam.

4 Jan 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) lays another 10 mines (minefield ML 023) off Phuket, Siam. These mines were laid from the torpedo tubes.

22 Jan 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) lays 50 mines (minefield ML 026) off the Ritchies Archipelago to the east of Andaman Island.

23 Jan 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) lays 12 mines from her torpedo tubes (minefield ML 027) off the Andaman Islands.

25 Mar 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) sank a Japanese sailing vessel with gunfire west of Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies.

27 Mar 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) sank two Japanese coasters and damaged a third with gunfire west of Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies.

2 Apr 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) sank two Japanese sailing vessels with gunfire west of Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies.

10 May 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) lays a minefield off Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies.

11 May 1945
HMS Rorqual (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) sank a Japanese coaster with gunfire in the western part of the Java Sea.

Media links


Diary of a Submariner

de Majnik, John

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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