Allied Warships

HMS Starfish (19 S)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
Pennant19 S 
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.) 
Ordered16 Mar 1931 
Laid down29 Sep 1931 
Launched14 Mar 1933 
Commissioned27 Oct 1933 
Lost9 Jan 1940 
Loss position55° 00'N, 7° 10'E
History

On 5 January 1940 HMS Starfish (Lt. Thomas Anthony Turner, RN) sailed for patrol in the Heligoland Bight from Blyth. On 9 January 1940 she attacked a German minesweeper off the German North Sea coast in the Heligoland Bight in position 55°00'N, 07°10'E. However this attack failed because, due to drill error, the torpedoes were not fired and remained in the tubes(!).
She returned for second attack but the hydroplanes jammed and the CO decided to bottom for the remainder of day to carry out repairs in about 27 metres of water. The German minesweeper M-7 meanwhile had located her and dropped 2 depth charges which did no damage, but at 1050 hours one of the crew asked for permission to restart one of the Sperry motors to prevent the gyro from wandering, it was granted and, no sooner the motor had been started, 4 depth charges were dropped right on top of the boat, fairly close aboard, causing widespread damage.
At 1440 another depth charge attack was carried out, 20 of these falling fairly close to the hull, shearing rivets and hull plates which began leaking. by 1800 hours the situation inside was serious, the engine room crankcases and starboard main motor bearings were flooded, the torpedo trenches and bilges were full, water was pouring through the starboard engine clutch and lapping the starboard main motor casing.
Starfish laid on the bottom until the Commanding Officer, having formed the opinion the enemy was not likely to leave the vicinity in the near future, at 1820 hours gave the order to surface. In order to accomplish this, the sub was forced to drop the ballast keel, barely making it due to loss of HP air and water in the hull, coming up at a 45° angle. She sank very shortly with no loss among the crew, which was picked up by the waiting ships and taken as POW's. 

Commands listed for HMS Starfish (19 S)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Thomas Anthony Turner, RN15 Apr 19399 Jan 1940

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Notable events involving Starfish include:


The history of HMS Starfish as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of HMS Starfish.

This page was last updated in December 2014.

24 Aug 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Dundee to take up a patrol position to the south-west of Stavanger, Norway. When the war with Germany commenced this became her 1st war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Starfish during this patrol see the map below.

(1)

1 Sep 1939
On board HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) a rating was badly injured to his head. Lt. Turner decided to return to base. (1)

3 Sep 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Dundee. (1)

11 Sep 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Dundee for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol to the south-west of Stavanger, Norway.

For the daily positions of HMS Starfish during this patrol see the map below.

(1)

21 Sep 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Dundee. (1)

4 Oct 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Dundee for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol to the north-west of Bergen, Norway.

For the daily positions of HMS Starfish during this patrol see the map below.

(1)

17 Oct 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth. (1)

28 Oct 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Dogger Bank area in the North Sea.

For the daily positions of HMS Starfish during this patrol see the map below.

(2)

7 Nov 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Blyth. (2)

23 Nov 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Blyth for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off south-west Norway. Later she was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Denmark.

For the daily positions of HMS Starfish during this patrol see the map below.

(1)

8 Dec 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

12 Dec 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) was docked at Blyth. (3)

23 Dec 1939
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) was undocked. (3)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Starfish (Lt. T.A. Turner, RN) departed Blyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Heligoland Bight. (1)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1843
  2. ADM 199/373
  3. ADM 173/16129

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


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