Allied Warships

HMS Saracen (P 247)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 247 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Jan 1940 
Laid down16 Jul 1940 
Launched16 Feb 1942 
Commissioned27 Jun 1942 
Lost14 Aug 1943 
Loss position42.45N, 09.30E
History

On 14 August 1943 HMS Saracen (Lt. Michael Geoffrey Rawson Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) was forced to the surface north-east of Bastia on the north-east coast of the island of Corsica, France by depth charges from the Italian corvettes Minerva and Euterpe. Her crew abandoned ship and scuttled the boat in position 42º45'N, 09º30'E.  

Former nameP 63

Commands listed for HMS Saracen (P 247)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Michael Geoffrey Rawson Lumby, RN21 Apr 194214 Aug 1943

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Noteable events involving Saracen include:


The page for this submarine is currently (July 2013 and onwards) being updated.

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) departed Liverpool for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

25 Jun 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training.

27 Jul 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS P 51 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN). The submarines were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack).

29 Jul 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) arrived at Lerwick. After taking on board fuel and fresh provivisons she proceeded on her 1st war patrol. This was a work-up patrol in the Norwegian Sea.

3 Aug 1942
While on her first patrol HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) torpedoed and sank German U-boat U-335 (built 1941) in the North Sea north-east of the Faeroes in position 62°48N, 00°12W. There was one survivor out of a crew off 44.

(All times are zone -2)
2128 hours - In position 62°48N, 00°12W sighted a 500 tons uboat surfacing fine on the Starboard bow. Enemy course was 310°, speed 7 knots. Started attack.

2131 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 2500 yards.

2133 hours - A torpedo stuck the uboat abaft the conning tower. She vanished immediately.

2137 hours - Surfaced and closed the spot of the sinking.

2150 hours - Embarked 1 survivor. The 2nd survivor declined to be rescued and drowned almost immediately afterwards.

2155 hours - Withdrew to the South.

9 Aug 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. She departed for Holy Loch after a few hours in port. During the passage to Holy Loch she was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (former French) (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

11 Aug 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

24 Aug 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar where she was to join the 8th submarine flotilla that was based there.

She was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN) until 2230 hours.

31 Aug 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) was ordered to take up a patrol position off Cape Finisterre, Spain to intercept a suspected German blockade breaker.

The passage to Gibraltar now became her 2nd war patrol.

1 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) was ordered to continue her passage to Gibraltar.

4 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Gibraltar.

13 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar.

14 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, RN).

17 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Valencia, Spain.

27 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Gibraltar.

30 Sep 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, RN) was docked at Gibraltar. No log for October 1942 is available therefore it is not known when she was undocked.

9 Oct 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for passage to Malta. At Malta she was to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla based there.

10 Oct 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) twice encountered the German uboat U-605. P 247 attacked with six torpedoes but missed. Later the Germans attacked P 247 with four torpedoes but also missed.

(All times are zone -1)
0950 hours - In position 36°20'N, 02°35'W sighted a 500 tons German uboat, enemy course 080°, range 1,5 nautical miles. Closed to attack.

0954 hours - Fired six torpedoes from 2000 yards. No hits were obtained as the sea was flat calm and the uboat sighted and combed the tracks.

1005 hours - Surfaced for gun action. After three rounds of HE were fired the uboat dived.

1007 hours - Dived and patrolled the area.

1100 hours - Surfaced to pass an enemy report however failed to do so.

1108 hours - Dived.

1230 hours - Surfaced to sent another signal.

1233 hours - Sighted a periscope moving at high speed on the starboard beam at 500 yards range. At this time P 247 was attacked with four torpedoes by the Germans this was however not noticed.

1245 hours - Dived. Reloaded no.1 and no.2 torpedo tubes. This was not done earlier due to the quantity of cargo for Malta in the torpedo compartment.

1315 hours - Received orders to clear the area to the North to allow aircraft and destroyers to hunt the enemy submarine.

1948 hours - Surfaced in position 36°28'N, 02°26'W and set course to return to Gibraltar keeping within 4 nautical miles of the Spanish coast.

11 Oct 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) returned to Gibraltar and departed again for Malta later the same day after having embarked six new torpedoes.

19 Oct 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta.

3 Nov 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Capo San Vito, Sicily, Italy in a patrol line with HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) and HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN). This patrol line was formed to give cover during the landings in North-Africa (Operation Torch).

Later she was ordered to patrol in the Sicilian Channel between Sicily and Tunisia.

The three submarines departed Malta together escorted by the British minesweeper HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN). They were attacked by German Me-109 fighters. HMS P 247 sustained some damage to her main aerial.

9 Nov 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Granito (630 tons, built 1942) near Capo San Vito, Sicily, Italy in position 38°34'N, 12°09'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1539 hours - In position 38°34'N, 12°09'E sighted an Italian submarine bearing 115°, enemy course 270°, enemy speed 9 knots, range 2200 yards. Started attack.

1544 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 800 yards. Three loud explosions were heard one minute later. HE stopped immediately.

1546 hours - No sign of the enemy submarine.

1552 hours - Passed through an area of oil and wreckage.

16 Nov 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel off the Gulf of Tunis. Three torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
0855 hours - In position 37°30'N, 10°40'E sighted a merchant vessel of 4000 to 5000 tons escorted by one destroyer bearing 110°. Enemy course was 240°. Speed 9 knots. Range was 2500 yards. Started attack.

0907 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1500 yards. No hits were obtained. During the attack the periscope was machine gunned by an aircraft. The torpedoes were most likely evaded. A short counter attack with 9 depth charges followed but no damage was caused by these.

The convoy attacked was made up of convoy made up of the small Italian tanker Labor (510 GRT, built 1930) and the German merchant Menes (5609 GRT, built 1926). They were escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Calliope and Climene.

24 Nov 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

7 Dec 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Naples. Later she was ordered to patrol off Tunisia.

17 Dec 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) fired four torpedoes against the German transport ship Ankara (4768 GRT, built 1937) and her escort the Italian destroyer Camicia Nera north of Bizerte, Tunisia. All torpedoes fired missed their targets.

(All times are zone -1) 1154 hours - In position 37°43'N, 09°55'E sighted a merchant vessel of about 3500 tons escorted by one destroyer. Six Ju-88 aircraft were also seen patrolling the area. The merchant ship was steering 180° and was about 5 nautical miles away. Started attack.

1208 hours - The enemy altered course to 233°.

1213 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 6500 yards.

1221 hours - Heard one loud explosion followed by a dozen smaller ones resembling bombs. There was nou counter attack by the destroyer and its HE was never heard again. It is though possible that the loud explosion was a torpedo hit on this destroyer.

1300 hours - Returned to periscope depth. No ships in sight. Six Ju-88's were circling the area of the attack.

25 Dec 1942
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. Here she re-joined the 8th Submarine Flotilla.

10 Jan 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea near Naples.

20 Jan 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser V 3 / Maria Angelette (214 GRT) with gunfire about 30 nautical miles south of Isola di Capri, Italy in position 40°14'N, 14°10'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0053 hours - When in position 40°14'N, 14°10'E sighted a darkened vessel bearing 010° 3.5 nautical miles. Dived to attack. When the range was under a miles the target was identified as a schooner lying stopped. It was assumed it was an A/S schooner and therefore a worthwile target. 0300 hours - Surfaced on the Port quarter of the schooner and opened fire from 400 yards. The crew immediately abandoned ship, offering no resistance at all. 20 rounds were fired but the schooner still refused to sink.

0310 hours - Proceeded alongside and sent over a boarding party. No documents could be retrieved as a shell had wrecked the captains cabin and the officers quarters. A demolition charge was now set.

0320 hours - Proceeded Northwards at speed.

0327 hours - The charge exploded. The schooner sank immediately.

22 Jan 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) attacked what was thought to be a small tanker with four torpedoes near Capri, Italy. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
0410 hours - In position 40°15'N, 14°05'E sighted one large and two small merchant vessels bearing 240°, range 3 nautical miles.

0425 hours - Dived right ahead of the enemy and started an attack on the large vessel. At a range of 1500 yards it became clear that this was a naval auxiliary so target was shifted to the 2nd vessel, a small tanker.

0454 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1500 yards. No hits were obtained. It was thought the torpedoes ran under

27 Jan 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

7 Feb 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa. En-route she was also to csrry out a special operation off the West coast of Corsica.

11 Feb 1943
In the early morning hours HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) landed a party of three agents to the South of Ajaccio, Corsica, France.

12 Feb 1943
HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) sank the French tugs Provincale II (124 GRT) and Marseillaise V (138 GRT) with gunfire off Cape Sardineaux, southern France.

(All times are zone -1)
1710 hours - Sighted two columns of smoke approaching from the South.

1800 hours - Identified the ships as a 350 tons seagoing tug and a 650 tons oceangoing tug flying the nazi ensign. Enemy course was 050°, speed 6 knots.

1824 hours - Surfaced in position 43°20N, 06°48'E. Engaged the leading tug with gunfire from 1000 yards.

1828 hours - Left the leading tug in a sinking condition. Chased the second tug which meanwhile had made off for shallow water.

1832 hours - The first tug sank. Opened fire on the second tug from 1500 yards.

1840 hours -The second tug was now in a sinking condition and on fire forward. Retired to the South-East. In all 50 rounds had been fired.

15 Feb 1943

HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) was now named HMS Saracen.

HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) torpedoed and damaged the French (in German service) tanker Marguerite Finaly (12309 GRT, built 1933) in the Capo di Noli / Capo di Vado area (south-west of Genoa, Italy).

(All times are zone -1)
0818 hours - In position 44°08'N, 08°28'E sighted a large tanker (6000 to 8000 tons) bearing 280°. She was in ballast and escorted by a highly camouflaged armed yacht of about 800 tons. Enemy course was 045°, speed was 8 knots. Range was about5 nautical miles. Started attack.

0840 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 500 yards.

0845 hours - Heard one loud explosion.

0858 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted the tanker laying stopped and pointing inshore. The armed yacht was proceeding towards the firing position.

0955 hours - The yacht withdrew to the North-East.

1050 hours - Considered that the hunt was now abandoned. Set course towards the last known position of the tanker but it was not seen again.

19 Feb 1943
At 1735 hours (zone -1) HMS Saracen (Lt. M. Lumby, DSC, RN) bombarded a small shipyard at Cervo, Liguria, Italy. Two schooners under construction were damaged.

22 Feb 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

25 Feb 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Malta where she was to dock.

2 Mar 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M. Lumby, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta.

3 Mar 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) was docked at Malta.

11 Mar 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) was undocked.

15 Mar 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta.

16 Mar 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily.

1 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

13 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 9th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

19 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) intercepts and Italian convoy and torpedoed and sank the Italian passenger/cargo ship Francesco Crispi (7600 GRT, built 1926) about 18 nautical miles west of Elba island, Italy in position 42°46'N, 09°42'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1250 hours - Heard HE bearing 080°.

1258 hours - Sighted an enemy convoy made up of one Armed Merchant Cruiser, one two-funnel liner, one merhant ship and one three-funnel destroyer. Enemy course was 220°, speed 9 knots, range 12000 yards. Started attack on the liner.

1317 hours - The convoy altered course towards.

1325 hours - In position 42°46'N, 09°42'E fires six torpedoes from 5000 yards. The liner and the merchant ship were both targeted as they formed one continues line. Four explosions were heard which are thought to be torpedoes hitting both targets. During the next three-quarters of an hour 46 depth charges were dropped which did no damage.

1448 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The destroyer and the AMC were just visible to the East. In the position of the attack a ship was seen to be sinking.

The Francesco Crispi was in convoy with the italian merchant Rossini (2424 GRT, built 1928). They were escorted by the Italian Armed Merchant Cruiser Caralis and the Italian torpedo boat Giuseppe La Masa.

22 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Tagliamento (5448 GRT, built 1922) about 35 nautical miles south (bearing 197) of Pianosa, Italy in position 42°03'N, 09°48'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0005 hours - In position 42°10'N, 09°51'E sighted two 6000 tons merchant ships escorted by a Crotone-class minelayer. Enemy course was 180°, speed 7 knots. Range was only 2000 yards owning to a rainsquall. When about to fire the escort turned towards so dived. Evidently Saracen was not sighted as he just started a circular tour of his convoy.

0020 hours - Surfaced and gave chase.

0102 hours - In position 42°03'N, 09°48'E fired three torpedoes at the second merchant ship from 2000 yards. Two of the torpedoes were seen to run under the first one missed ahead.

0106 hours - Fired another three torpedoes from 1200 yards. Again the first one missed ahead but the second one hit just abaft the funnel. A tremendous explosion followed. A sheet of orange flame went up hundreds of feet into the air and burning debris hurtled in all directions. As Saracen was diving the bridge of the merchant vessel sailed overhead. Saracen was Lucky to escape undamaged from the falling debris. The escort meanwhile dropped six depth charges but these were way off.

[The convoy attacked was made up of the above mentioned Tagliamento (with a cargo of ammunition) as well as the Italian merchant Ercole (4982 GRT, built 1904) and the French merchant (in German service) Ste Marguerite (5155 GRT, built 1902, former Norwegian Ringulv. Escort was provided by auxiliary Cattaro .They were on passage from Leghorn to La Maddalena.]

27 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

9 May 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 10th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the North-East coast of Sardinia.

25 May 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

19 Jun 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Algiers.

20 Jun 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Algiers with HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN).

27 Jun 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 11th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the East coast of Corsica to provide cover during Operation Husky (the landings in Sicily).

She was also to perform a special operation.

1 Jul 1943
At 2350 hours (zone -2) HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) landed a party of six agents off Cape Palmeri, Sardinia (Operation Hyachinth).

6 Jul 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Tripoli (1166 GRT, built 1922) about 15 nautical miles south of Capraia, Italy.

(All times are zone -2)
0900 hours - In position 42°45'N, 09°51'E sighted a merchant ship with two small escorts and an aircraft overhead. Enemy course was 265°, speed 8 knots, range 9000 yards. Started attack.

0926 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 750 yards at the merchant vessel which was thought to be about 3500 tons. Obtained two hits. The ship sank in less then a minute.

10 Jul 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) was detected and depth charged by an enemy destroyer about 15 nautical miles East of Bastia, Corsica, France. Some damage was caused.

(All times are zone -2)
0525 hours - In position 42°44'N, 09°48'E sighted a destroyer coming towards out of the dark sector to the West. Range was 3000 yards. At a range of 2000 yards the destroyer stopped and appeared to be in firm contact with Asdic.

0540 hours - After going round Saracen several times and over the top twice the destroyer then carried out his only attack. Saracen was then at 300 feet. The destroyer passed right overhead at 20 knots and dropped a pattern of 27 depth charges al set deep. This was an extremely accurate attack. Saracen had altered course after the destroyer had made her second run overhead. This was done as it appeared the destroyer was trying to establish the submarines course and then drop the giant pattern of depth charges along the full lenght of the submarine. Instead it now fell across the submarine. A certain amount of serious damage and a considerable amount of minor damage was done. Saracen ended up at 430 feet.

0630 hours - Returned to 220 feet.

0800 hours - Came to periscope depth. Two aircraft were in sight. Went to 120 feet.

1200 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

11 Jul 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Tell (1349 GRT, built 1938) about 25 nautical miles east of Corsica.

Following this attack Saracen was depth charged by the escort. Some damage was caused.

(All times are zone -2)
1040 hours - In position 42°12'N, 09°57'E sighted a 2000 tons merchant vessel escorted by a small Armed Merchant Cruiser bearing 330°, range 6 nautical miles, enemy course 180°, speed 8 knots. Started attack.

1118 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1600 yards. Obtained one hit.

1122 hours - Heard the ship breaking up. The escort meanwhile dropped 12 depth charges quite close.

1300 hours - Returned to periscope depth after having heard nothing for quite a while. Sighted the escort 600 yards away and coming straight towards. Went deep quickly. 8 Depth charges were dropped when Saracen passed 120 feet causing considerable damage. Remained deep until 1700 hours. Another 24 depth charges were dropped during this time but no more damage was inflicted.

1700 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

21 Jul 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

25 Jul 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) was docked at Algiers to inspect for damage from the recent depth charging and periodical docking.

As there is no log available for August it is not known when she was undocked but this must have been on one of the fist days of August.

7 Aug 1943
HMS Saracen (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 12th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol East of Corsica, France.


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