Allied Warships

HMS Swordfish (N 61)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantN 61 
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Jul 1930 
Laid down1 Dec 1930 
Launched10 Nov 1931 
Commissioned28 Nov 1932 
Lost7 Nov 1940 
Loss position50° 24'N, 1° 21'W

HMS Swordfish (Lt. Michael Armitage Langley, DSC, RN) sailed from Portsmouth for a patrol off Brest on 7 November 1940. Swordfish failed to signal back to base as sheduled on the 15th and the 16th, and was not heard from again. At the time she was declared overdue she was believed sunk in the Bay of Biscay either on German mines or at the hands of German destroyers. Her wreck was discovered in July 1983 a few miles south of St. Catherine's Point off the Isle of Wight. She had been mined with the loss of all hands, most likely on the day she left base for her patrol.
The wreck lies in 46 meters of water in position 50º24'30"N, 01º21'00"W.


Commands listed for HMS Swordfish (N 61)

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1Lt. Cecil Bernard Crouch, RN24 Jul 193910 Feb 1940
2Lt. Patrick James Cowell, RN10 Feb 194014 Oct 1940
3Lt. Michael Armitage Langley, RN14 Oct 19407 Nov 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Swordfish include:

14 Sep 1939
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. G.D.A. Gregory, RN) fires three torpedoes against the British submarine HMS Swordfish (Lt. C.B. Crouch, RN) in the North Sea about 50 nautical miles east-south-east of Aberdeen, Scotland in position 56°22'N, 01°28'E. Fortunately all three torpedoes missed.

20 Apr 1940
HMS Swordfish (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) fires 6 torpedoes against the German merchant Santos (5943 GRT) about 17 nautical miles south-south-east of Larvik, Norway in position 58°48'N, 10°19'E. All torpedoes fired however missed their target.

28 Jul 1940
HMS Swordfish (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) comes across the Norwegian yacht Maski in the North Sea in position 55°33'N, 01°31'E. The four Norwegians aboard the yacht were trying to flee to the United Kingdom. After the Norwegians were taken aboard the Maski was sunk with gunfire.

1 Oct 1940
HMS Swordfish (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) attacked the German torpedo boats Falke and Kondor with torpedoes in the English Channel about 12 nautical miles north-east of Cherbourg, France in position 49°48'N, 01°24'W. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

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