Allied Warships

HMS Seraph (P 219)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 219 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Apr 1940 
Laid down16 Aug 1940 
Launched25 Oct 1941 
Commissioned10 Jun 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped at Briton Ferry, Wales on 20 December 1965.

 
Former nameP 69

Commands listed for HMS Seraph (P 219)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Norman Limbury Auchinleck Jewell, RN28 Feb 194211 Mar 1944
2Lt. Trevor Russell-Walling, RN12 Mar 19445 Aug 1945
3Lt. John Munro Crosland Fenton, DSC, RN5 Aug 194518 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Seraph include:


The history of HMS P 219 / Seraph as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) are kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

This page was last updated in January 2015.

8 Jun 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (former French) (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (1)

9 Jun 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Troon where she was docked. (1)

1 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) was undocked. She then returned to Holy Loch to resume her training period. (2)

13 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (2)

15 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Lerwick. She departed for her 1st war patrol later the same day. She was ordered to proceed to Seidisfjord, Iceland. Iceland to act as ocean escort to convoy PQ 18.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

17 Jul 1942
Convoy PQ 18 is postponed and HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) is ordered to proceed off the Norwegian coast for an Anti-Submarine patrol between 64°50'N and 65°30'N and 03°00'E and 06°00'E. (3)

24 Jul 1942
At 0835 hours HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) a torpedo was fired at a contact at a range of 600 yards. Position was 65°18'N, 05°38'E. No hits were obtained. It was then seen that Seraph was surrounded by at least seven whales. (3)

27 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) is ordered to return to Lerwick. (3)

29 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. She departed for Holy Loch later the same day. She made the passage together with HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN), HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) and HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (2)

31 Jul 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (2)

12 Aug 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. Passage through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) and HrMs O 21 (Lt.Cdr. J.F. van Dulm, RNN). They were escorted by HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN).

For the daily positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(4)

19 Aug 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) is ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay to search for a German tanker sighted by aircraft. The passage to Gibraltar now became her 2nd war patrol.

Later on the same day P 219 is bombed by an aircraft (thought to be a Hudson) in position 43°44'N, 11°41'W.

It was actually Whitley ‘X’ of Bomber Command O.T.U. which dropped four 250 lb A/S depth charges but they missed. (3)

25 Aug 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Gibraltar. (3)

31 Aug 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (4)

3 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

7 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol in the Alboran Sea.

For the daily positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

15 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

22 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

23 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

29 Sep 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to perform special operation 'Koodoo' of Algiers.(reconnoitre landing beaches).

No map of this patrol can be displayed as the ships log does nog list daily positions. (3)

1 Oct 1942
At 1930 hours, HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) surfaced just west of Algiers and launched a folbot with a COPP party (according to Terence Roberston in his book 'The Ship with Two Captains', it was led by Lt. Cdr. Herbert Nigel Clogstoun Wilmott RN) for a beach reconnaissance. This was successful and the party was re-embarked without difficulty.

8 Oct 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

19 Oct 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to perform special operation 'Flagpole'. (Land several Allied officers at Cherchel, Algeria for negotiations with the Vichy-French, details to follow).

No map of this patrol can be displayed as the ships log does nog list daily positions. (3)

21 Oct 1942
At 2130 hours HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) surfaces in 36°39.5'N, 01°59.5'E. At 2350 hours, about 50 miles west of Algiers, HMS P 219 lands Lieutenant General Clark, Brigadier General Lemnitzer, Colonel Holmes, and Colonel Hamblen (US Army), Captain Wright (US Navy) as well as Colonel Livingstone, Captain Courtney and Lieutenant Foot of the SBS to make contact with pro-allies French officers.

23 Oct 1942
Between 0525-0540 hours HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) picks up General Clark and his party.

24 Oct 1942
At 1520 hours HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) transferred her passengers to a Catalina aircraft.

25 Oct 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

27 Oct 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) and special operation 'Minerva'. She was to pick up French General Giraud (code name KINGPIN) from the coast of Southern France.

For the daily positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

6 Nov 1942
At 0115 hours, at Lavendou (43°08'15"N, 06°22'15"E) special operation 'Minerva' was carried out by HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN). General Henri Giraud, Captain André Beaufre (inf.), Lieutenant de vaisseau Hubert Viret (Navy) and Aspirant Bernard Giraud (son of the General) were picked up.

7 Nov 1942
At 1045 hours, HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) transferred General Giraud’s party to a Catalina aircraft in 40°04'N, 02°37'E.

10 Nov 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

20 Nov 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) was docked at Gibraltar. (6)

23 Nov 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) was undocked. (6)

24 Nov 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol between Sicily and Tunisia.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

29 Nov 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) fires 4 torpedoes against a convoy about 30 nautical miles west of Marettimo Island, Italy missing the Italian passenger/cargo ship Città di Tunisi (5419 GRT, built 1930). Città di Tunisi was en-route from Bizerta to La Spezia. She was escorted by the Armed Merchant Cruiser Brindisi, (and initially by the torpedo boat Climene and MS 34 but they left the escort at 1800/29).

(All times are zone -1)
2053 hours - Sighted two darkened ships bearing 080°. Altered course to close to attack. The leading ship was thought to be of 2000 tons, the second 3000 tons. No escorts were seen.

2149 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 5000 yards. Approximate position was 38°00'N, 10°00'E.

2153 hours - It was thought a hit was obtained on the leading ship (this was not the case).

2154 hours - Dived. Shortly afterwards it was thought another torpedo hit was obtained. No counter attack followed.

[Two torpedo tracks were observed by the Italian ships followed by two underwater explosions. Brindisi dropped three depth charges but did not see any result.] (3)

2 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) attacked an Italian convoy with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained. The convoy was made up of the Italian merchants Aventino (3794 GRT, built 1907), Puccini (2422 GRT, built 1928), the Italian ferry Aspromonte (976 GRT, built 1922) and the German transport KT 1 (850 GRT, built 1942). Escort was provided by the Italian destroyers Nicoloso da Recco, Camicia Nera, Folgore and the Italian torpedo boats Procione and Clio. The convoy was en-route from Palermo from Brindisi.

(All times are zone -1)
1 December 1942
2155 hours - Made contact with the reported convoy.

2339 hours - Flared were dropped continuously by Allied aircraft but now a flare was dropped behind P 219. Shortly afterwards one of the escorts of the convoy came towards at speed. Looks like we were sighted.

2343 hours - Dived. One destroyer passed down each side but then left to re-join the convoy.

2 December 1942

0000 hours - Surfaced.

0007 hours - Fired three torpedoes at the leading transport from 5000 yards. It had been intended to fire a full salvo of six torpedoes but the first two torpedoes did not appear to run straight so no further torpedoes were fired after the 3rd. A heavy explosion was heard after 1 minute and 35 seconds. On the first explosion an escort was seen to turn towards so dived. Two destroyer started hunting P 219. These were shortly afterwards relieved by two smaller escorts. One remained stopped while the other attacked. Six depth charges were dropped close but they caused no damage. When P 219 returned to periscope depth a ship was seen to be heavily on fire and was breaking up in position 37°42'N, 11°03'E. Lt. Jewell was, at that time, not aware of the fact that British surface forces (Force Q, light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. Sir W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.B.W. Brooking, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, RN) had attacked the convoy.

No hits were obtained by P 219 during this attack.

[The Italian ships heard two underwater explosions and a few minutes later Aspromonte signalled she had been hit by a bomb then corrected that she had been involved in a collision with Puccini but could resume course. Shortly after the convoy was decimated by Force Q.] (3)

4 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) attacked the German transport ship Ankara (4768 GRT, built 1937) about 20 nautical miles west of Marettimo Island, Italy in position 37°59'N, 11°35'E. No hits were obtained. Ankara was escorted by the Italian destroyers Alpino, Granatiere, Saetta and the Italian torpedo boats Partenope and Perseo.

In the afternoon P 219 attacked another convoy. These were transports Honestas (4932 GRT, built 1920) and Sant’Antioco (4994 GRT, built 1919) escorted by the torpedo boats Groppo and Orione.

(All times are zone -1)
0757 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 030°. Altered course to intercept.

0813 hours - Sighted a seaplane and two bombers patrolling ahead of the smoke.

0845 hours - Sighted a hospital ship steering 220°. The convoy itself was steering 250° and was made up of a supply ship of 5000 tons escorted by two destroyers. The speed of the convoy was about 15 knots. Range was about 3000 yards.

0918 hours - Fired a full salvo of six torpedoes. It is thought the one hit was obtained but this was not the case. When P 219 returned to periscope depth after a while only the seaplane was in sight.

[Italian fighters escorting the convoy sighted the torpedo tracks and gave the alarm. The destroyer Granatiere was narrowly missed 15 metres ahead by a torpedo and 10 metres astern by another, Ankara was missed by a third torpedo.]

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

1453 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 240°.

1511 hours - Sighted two supply ships of 5000 tons escorted by a destroyer, two E-boats with a floatplane patrolling overhead. Enemy course was 050 degrees, speed 10 knots. P 219 had only the stern torpedo remaining so set up an attack to fire this last torpedo.

1545 hours - When about to open fire depth control was lost and P 219 almost broke surface. A new attack had now to be set up.

1707 hours - In position 38°13'N, 11°44'E fired the stern torpedo from 3400 yards at the 2nd ship. It missed. No counter attack followed.

[Sant’Antioco reported missed by a torpedo, there was no reaction from the escorts.] (3)

8 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (3)

21 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Algiers for her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was to perform a special operation. Operation 'Peashooter', a reconnaissance of Galita Island.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 219 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

23 Dec 1942
From 0616 to 1420 hours HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) carried out a periscope reconnaissance of Galita Island. At 1420 hours a shore gun opened fire at the periscope. P 219 went to 60 feet and withdrew.

At 2055 hours P 219 tries to ram (and sink) an unidentified submarine about 40 nautical miles north-east of Bone, Algeria in position 37°17'N, 08°27'E. (Although two Italian submarines were in the area (Alagi and Mocenigo), none reported any collision.)

(All times are zone -1)
2055 hours - Sighted a submarine 25 degrees on the starboard bow, pointing directly towards. Turned towards and dived in position 37°17'N, 08°27'E. While coming up from 120 feet a collision occurred forwards at 60 feet. Three heavy bumps were felt. Surfaced. Two periscopes were sighted 100 yards on the starboard beam. Dived and turned towards the H.E. in the hope of carrying out a submerged attack.

2105 hours - Lost contact with the H.E. and gave up the attack.

2153 hours - Surfaced. (3)

24 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) again encountered the Italian submarine Mocenigo. Three torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
1953 hours - Sighted a submarine close on the starboard side on an opposite course. Turned towards to attack.

1956 hours - In position 37°26'N, 08°02'E fired three torpedoes. The enemy altered course away on firing the first torpedo. The first torpedo ran straight all the way to the conning tower and never looked like missing. As three torpedo tubes were damaged due to yesterday’s collision, only three torpedoes from the undamaged tubes could be fired.

1958 hours - Went to gun actions but the target meanwhile had dived.

2002 hours - Dived.

2202 hours - Surfaced in position 37°29'N, 08°00'E.

2227 hours - Sighted two bright flashes about 6000 yards bearing 300°. Splashes were seen 200 yards off the port side.

2228 hours - Dived to 120 feet. Heard no H.E. Nothing was further sighted or heard.

[The Italian submarine had observed the British submarine which was described as of the Oberon-class and reported that the enemy had fired one round at her (although this is not confirmed in Seraph’s patrol report). Mocenigo turned away just in time and a torpedo was seen missing her by only 2-3 metres on the port side. She then fired back a single torpedo from a stern tube but the smoke of her diesel engines obscured the vision. The Italian submarine dived and could not regain contact.] (3)

25 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Bone. (7)

26 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Bone for Algiers. (7)

28 Dec 1942
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (7)

8 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She was to return to the U.K. for repairs to the damage sustained during the action of 23 December 1942. Her bow was bent and the starboard torpedo tubes were damaged.

For the daily positions of HMS P 219 during this passage see the map below.

(8)

11 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (8)

13 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K. (8)

21 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Falmouth. (8)

22 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Falmouth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (9)

23 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (8)

25 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) departed Holy Loch for Blyth. She was escorted HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR) until 0730/27 when HMS Preston North End (Lt. K.A. Vasey, MBE, RNR) took over the escort. (9)

28 Jan 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) arrived at Blyth to effect repairs and the fitting of radar. (8)

2 Feb 1943
HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) was docked at Blyth. (10)

25 Mar 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) was undocked at Blyth. (11)

2 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth. (12)

3 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth. (12)

6 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth. (12)

7 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Blyth for Holy Loch. (12)

10 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a short period of exercises. (12)

19 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. During the passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HNoMS Acanthus.

This was Seraph's 9th war patrol. En-route to Gibraltar she was to perform a special operation off Huelva, Spain. Operation Mincemeat (offsite link).

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

(3)

29 Apr 1943
During the night of 29/30 April 1943 HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) carried out Operation Mincemeat. (3)

30 Apr 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Gibraltar. (3)

4 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers.

For the daily positions of HMS Seraph during this passage see the map below.

(13)

8 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Algiers. (13)

21 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for her 10th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Seraph during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

27 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) attacked a small merchant vessel or large trawler with three torpedoes east-north-east of La Maddalena. No hits were obtained.

This was Capitaine Luigi (former French, 3176 GRT, built 1922) escorted by the torpedo-boat Libra and later joined by the corvette Folaga.

(All times are zone -1)
2011 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 115°. Closed.

2100 hours - Light was fading now but a small merchant vessel and a submarine were sighted. Another ship was most likely also present as more smoke was sighted to starboard. [there were no Axis submarine in the area.]

2110 hours - Started to attack the submarine but as darkness was now rapidly coming down the target was lost at 2136 hours.

2200 hours - Surfaced and picked up the targets with radar.

2229 hours - The nearest vessel, a small merchant vessel or large trawler could be seen. Decided to attack this vessel and fired three torpedoes from 1800 yards in position 41°02'N, 10°07'E. The ship started to turn towards as the second torpedo was fired so all missed.

2230 hours - Dived.

2254 hours - A pattern of four depth charges was dropped to starboard but caused no damage.

2255 hours - Another pattern of four depth charges was dropped to starboard but also caused no damage.

2354 hours - Two depth charges were dropped a long way astern. Nothing further was heard or seen.

[The Italian ships observed two torpedo tracks and Libra dropped two depth charges for intimidation purposes. She was joined by Folaga but no submarine contact was obtained before 0159/28 when a pattern of depth charges was dropped but it was not very convincing and the convoy resumed its passage to La Maddalena.] (3)

30 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) attacked an Armed Merchant Cruiser with one torpedo North-East of La Maddalena. The torpedo missed. [The tanker Tirso (2175 GRT, built 1906) was in the area at that time but did not fit the description.]

(All times are zone -1)
1615 hours - Sighted smoke due north.

1618 hours - Top of mast and funnel visible. Seraph was dead ahead.

1634 hours - The enemy altered course 30° to starboard. Closed at full speed but a good attack position could not be reached as the enemy was doing about 20 knots.

1640 hours - In position 41°28'N, 09°45'E fired one torpedo from 6000 yards although it was thought to be unlikely that it could hit the target before the end of her run.

1648 hours - The torpedo exploded. The enemy briefly turned towards but after about 5 minutes resumed her original course. It is thought the target was an Armed Mechhant Cruiser. (3)

31 May 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) attacked an enemy convoy with two torpedoes west of Civitavecchia. No hits were obtained. These were Elbano Gasperi (742 GRT, built 1928) and Andrea Sgarallino (731 GRT, 1930) escorted by the torpedo-boat Giacinto Carini, on passage from Portoferraio to La Maddalena.

(All times are zone -1)
0850 hours - In position 41°35'N, 09°42'E sighted two 3000 tons merchant vessel escorted by an older type torpedo-boat. An aircraft was patrolling overhead. Started attack.

0933 hours - On opening the bow caps most likely air escaped. It seems likely Seraph was spotted from the air as both merchant vessels turned away.

0936 hours - Fired a torpedo up stern from the merchant furthest away. Range was 3500 yards.

0937 hours - Fired a torpedo up stern from the closest merchant. Range was 1200 yards.

No hits were obtained although one of the torpedoes was heard to explode. Following the attack several depth charges were dropped but these caused no damage to Seraph.

[Elbano Gasperi first sighted the torpedoes and gave the alarm, one of them missing by only 20 metres. She fired 22 rounds with her 76mm gun and 33 machine gun rounds at the submarine. Carini arrived on the scene and dropped a few depth charges.] (3)

10 Jun 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (3)

22 Jun 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for Oran. (14)

23 Jun 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Oran to participate in exercises. (14)

26 Jun 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Oran for Algiers where she arrived later the same day. (14)

30 Jun 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for her 11th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to aid in the Allied Landings on Sicily. She was to act as a beacon during the landings at Scoglitti.

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

(3)

9 Jul 1943
During the evening she conducted her duties as beacon submarine off Scoglitti during the Allied landing on Sicily. She successfully made contact with the US destroyer USS Cowie (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Whiting, USN). (3)

10 Jul 1943
In the early morning hours HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN made contact with USS SC 1029 which was to escort her to Malta where they arrived later in the morning ending Seraph's 11th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). (3)

15 Jul 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Malta for her 12th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North-East of Sardinia / East of Corsica.

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

(3)

1 Aug 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. No targets had been sighted. (3)

27 Aug 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for her 13th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was to conduct a special operation. Afterwards she was to patrol East of Corsica.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Seraph during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

31 Aug 1943
During the night of 31 August / 1 September 1943 HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) carried out special operation 'Burrow' near Portofino, Italy. Stores were landed in Cala Dell-Oro on the Portofino Peninsula. (3)

2 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) attacked an enemy convoy west-south-west of Gorgona Island. This convoy consisted of the merchantmen Melfi (4866 GRT, built 1929, former French President Dal Piaz) and Altamura (3200 GRT, built 1932, former French Pascal Paoli) escorted by the torpedo-boats Orsa and Ardimentoso on passage from Bastia to La Spezia. One torpedo was fired which missed.

(All times are zone -1)
1335 hours - While on patrol west of Gorgona sighted smoke which turned out to be a convoy of two merchant vessel of about 6000 tons with escorts. Started attack.

As the convoy was heavily zig-zagging the setup failed and only one torpedo was fired at one of the merchant ships from 1900 yards. It missed. Position of the attack was 43°20'N, 09°30'E.

[A torpedo track was seen by one of the merchantman who alerted Ardimentoso but no action was taken.] (3)

3 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) attacked an enemy convoy with four torpedoes south-east of Bastia, Corsica, France. No hits were obtained. This convoy consisted of Tigrai (1302 GRT, built 1918) and Tellaro (2234 GRT, built 1920) escorted by the torpedo-boats Impetuoso and Generale Achille Papa and had sailed from Bastia to La Maddalena.

(All times are zone -1)
0827 hours - Sighted smoke. Closed to attack. The smoke was soon seen to come from two 3000 tons merchant vessels escorted by an Italian older type torpedo-boat and another escort vessel.

In position 42°36'N, 09°33'E fired four torpedoes at the two overlapping merchant vessels and the torpedo boat. Range was between 3000 to 5000 yards. One of the torpedoes exploded 12 seconds after firing. The other torpedoes exploded after 3 to 4 minutes but the results could not be observed.

Following the firing of the torpedoes depth control was lost and Seraph hit the bottom at 110 feet. A counter attack now followed. The first stick of depth charges was some way off but then another escort joined the attack and two accurate attacks were then carried out causing some minor damage.

[The two Italian torpedo boats depth charged the submarine but did not observe any result.] (3)

9 Sep 1943
After the Italian armistice HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) boarded the small Italian coaster Janus near Civitavecchia. As she had received no instructions what to do after the armistice they were given instructions. She was then allowed to proceed. (3)

10 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) destroyed four small craft with gunfire South-East of Piombino, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
0719 hours - Sighted two German 'R'-boats, one in tow of the other.

0728 hours - Surfaced in position 42°45'N, 10°45'E for gun action. Five aircraft, FW 187's according to the patrol report but more likely they were ME Bf 110's, forced Seraph to break off the action after only six rounds.

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

1028 hours - Sighted two tank landing craft, again one towing the other. Surfaced in position 42°48'N, 10°43'E to engage with gunfire. After three rounds had been fired the enemy also opened fire and soon found the range. Fortunately the second landing craft caught fire shortly afterwards. The crew was seen to jump overboard. Fire could now be concentrated on the first landing craft which soon also caught fire. Both burnt furiously for about one hour. Eight further tank landing craft escorted by two 'R'-boats then appeared forcing Seraph to dive. Several more of these 'convoys' were seen during the day. [These appear to be the German barges Eva and Margot.]

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

1645 hours - Sighted two armed barges. Surfaced in approximate position 42°48'N, 10°42'E and engaged with gunfire. Both were hit before Seraph was forced to dive when aircraft approached. When these had passed Seraph surfaced again and continued the action. After several more hits the crew of the leading barge abandoned ship. The second barge was then engaged and after two hits ran herself ashore. The crew rapidly abandoned ship. Seraph closed to 1000 yards and obtained two more hits after which she started to burn. She blew up violently a few minutes later. Seraph then set course for the first barge and the last three rounds of 3" (star shell) were fired into her with apparently no success. Seraph then closed with the intention to board and place a demolition charge. When she came alongside smoke was seen coming from the hold and with the second barge fate in mind Seraph cast off and set off at high speed. This barge was seen to explode at 1855 hours. (3)

11 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) twice attacked enemy transports during this day north-west of Argentario. It appears that in the second attack a torpedo hit was obtained and that the target might have been damaged.

(All times are zone -1)
0710 hours - In positions 42°31'N, 11°01'E sighted a German 'KT'-transport ship escorted by two 'E'-boats. Started attack in which three torpedoes were fired from 1500 yards. Two torpedoes were heard to explode at the correct interval but when Seraph returned to periscope depth smoke was sighted rounding Argentario. It was thought this was coming from the target and that the torpedoes had missed. [The target appears to have been KT-14 (834 GRT, built 1943).]

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

1125 hours - In position 42°24'N, 11°03'E sighted a small merchant vessel escorted by an 'E'-boat. Started attack in which two torpedoes were fired from 5000 yards. One torpedo was heard to explode after six minutes, this was about the running range. The vessel stopped and appeared to list heavily to port but she continued after 10 minutes and a second attack had to be broken off. (3)

15 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (3)

21 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) was docked at Algiers. (15)

26 Sep 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) was undocked. (15)

2 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Seraph during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

4 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) was taken under fire by German submarine U-593 returning to Toulon after a patrol off Salerno. At 2303 hours (zone -1), in position 41°59'N, 06°40'E, gun flashes were sighted. Seraph turned towards. At 2308 hours a U-Boat was sighted at a range of 2800 yards. The tubes were brought to the ready but the U-Boat dived before Lt. Jewell could engage.

Seraph was by now on the way back to Algiers as she had received a signal recalling her from patrol as she was to be sent to the Levant station (Eastern Mediterranean). (3)

6 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (3)

10 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for Beirut together with HMS Shakespeare (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN). They made part of the passage in convoy KMS 28.

For the daily positions of HMS Seraph during this passage see the map below.

(16)

18 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Beirut where she joined the 1st submarine flotilla. (16)

20 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Beirut for her 15th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Seraph during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

27 Oct 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel Agios Vasilios / SYR 739 (7 GRT ???) with gunfire north of Paros.

Later the same day she attacked but missed the German patrol vessel GA 01 with two torpedoes north of Naxos. The torpedoes missed astern as GA 01 turned hard to port. She was in company with GA 54. Both German patrol vessels then counter attacked but Seraph was not damaged.

(All times are zone -3)
0812 hours - Sighted the sails of a caique. Closed.

1011 hours - Surfaced in position 37°14'N, 25°14'E and fired one round of 3". The crew of two abandoned ship and pulled towards Seraph. After it was established that the cargo was wine for Mykonis the caique was hit with four rounds of 3" but it did not sink. A hand grenade was then dropped into the bilge but this also did not sink her. The caique was then set on fire.

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

1212 hours - On closing Cape Stauro the upper works of two vessels were sighted. After closing at full submerged speed for 15 minutes it was seen that the nearest one had large numbers of men on the upper deck and appeared to be some kind of small transport.

In position 37°13'N, 25°25'E fired two torpedoes from 2000 yards. The torpedo tracks were sighted and evaded. The ship then turned towards and it was now seen that this attack was a bad error as it was not a transport but both vessels were now seen to be patrol vessels and both started to hunt the submarine. During the counter attack 58 depth charges in all were dropped but none was nearer then a mile away. As they were not near Seraph remained at periscope depth throughout the hunt. (3)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel Miltiades / SAM 33 (150 GRT) with gunfire off the Kaso Strait east of Crete, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
2318 hours - Sighted a vessel down moon and closed.

2328 hours - Identified the target as a large caique.

2337 hours - Fired one round across its bows. The caique hove to but as no further action was taken a second round was fired. The Greek crew now abandoned ship. Ordered their small boat to close. Closed the caique and sent a boarding party over. A German officer and 13 ratings / soldiers were discovered on board. The caique was also armed with a gun and had cargo on board for the Germans at Scarpanto. The Germans were taken off and the caique was sunk with gunfire and ramming in position 35°21'N, 26°42'E. (3)

6 Nov 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel Narkyssos / KAL 88 with gunfire at Karpathos, Greece. Also warehouses were damaged as was a German aircraft (if not destroyed).

(All times are zone -3)
0545 hours - Dived in position 35°33'2"N, 27°20'E and closed the coast where we arrived around 1000 hours. Periscope reconnaissance was then carried out. A headquarters building could be made out with a shore battery. A large caique flying the Nazi ensign was alongside the jetty. A smaller caique was at anchor further off. An Arado seaplane was anchored off the jetty with warehouses behind.

1725 hours - Fired one torpedo from 1600 yards at the large caique alongside the jetty. It was a hit and after the smoke had cleared the caique could no longer be seen anymore. Seraph then surfaced for gun action. The seaplane was the first target and was soon on fire. The warehouses were the next target. Smoke coming from them was soon sighted. The enemy meanwhile had opened fire on Seraph and their rounds were getting close.

1745 hours - Dived as to not overstay our welcome and retired from the area.

(3)

8 Nov 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut. At that time she was one of five submarines selected to operate in the Black Sea but the operation depended on the good will of the Turkish government and the operation was cancelled. (3)

23 Nov 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Beirut for her 16th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the southern Aegean and to proceed to Malta upon completion of this short patrol.

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

(3)

3 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. The patrol had been uneventful. (3)

7 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. She made the passage in convoy MKS-33.

Seraph was to return to the U.K. to refit.

For the daily positions of HMS Seraph during this passage see the map below.

(17)

13 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (17)

15 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth.

For the daily positions of HMS Seraph during this passage see the map below.

(17)

21 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at Falmouth. (17)

22 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Falmouth for Portland. She was escorted by FFS Chasseur 41. (17)

23 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Portland for Portsmouth where she arrived later the same day. She was escorted by FFS Chasseur 41. (17)

27 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) departed Portsmouth for Chatham Dockyard where she was to refit. (17)

28 Dec 1943
HMS Seraph (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, OBE, RN) arrived at the Chatham Dockyard. (17)

15 Apr 1944
With her refit completed HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) shifted from Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (18)

18 Apr 1944
After a few days of trials off Sheerness HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) departed that port for Portland. She was escorted by HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR) until 0915/19 when HMS En Avant (T/Skr. W. Bradshaw, RNR) took over the escort. (18)

19 Apr 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) arrived at Portland. (18)

20 Apr 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) shifted from Portland to Plymouth.

At Plymouth she conducted exercises. (18)

8 May 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) departed Plymouth for her 17th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol to the South of Ireland in position 50°42'N, 10°01'W. The purpose of this patrol is (for the moment) not known to us although it appears special (night) exercises were carried out with RAF aircraft.

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

(19)

11 May 1944
At 2120 hours (zone -2) HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) lost depth control as 'A' tank suddenly flooded, and hit bottom at 498 feet. Damage was severe, there were several leaks, her main motors were flooded and she was unable to dive. It took almost four hours to effect repairs and several attempts were undertaken before Seraph finally surfaced. Contact with Coastal Command aircraft was established at 0500/12 and a message was passed to her to relay as Seraph's own W/T set was out of action.

At 2020/12 contact was made with a USAAF Liberator and another message was passed to this aircraft requesting assistance and an escort.

As of the early morning hours of the 13th aircraft remained with Seraph until the 3rd Escort Group arrived with the frigates HMS Domett (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S. Gordon, RNVR) and HMS Berry (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.S. Pirie, RNVR). The 3rd Escort Group however left after about 1 hour but later returned. The trawler HMS Neave (T/Lt. T. Ross, RNVR) and and tug HMS Abeille IV arrived during the day and relieved the two frigates. (19)

15 May 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) ended her 17th war patrol at Plymouth.

Damage to Seraph was severe and it was even thought the pressure hull was distorted but this proved not to be the case.

In early June it was decided that repairs could be undertaken at the Devonport Dockyards. It had also been decided to convert Seraph to a high speed A/S target during her repair period. The hull was streamlined, the deck gun removed and the torpedo tubes plated over and a high power battery was installed all to give her greater underwater speed. (19)

12 Sep 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) ended her refit and repair period at the Devonport Dockyard. (20)

17 Sep 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) conducted trials of Plymouth. (20)

18 Sep 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) conducted trials of Plymouth. (20)

19 Sep 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by Holy Loch for Lerwick. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Lt. H.J. Bartlett, DSC, RN). (20)

21 Sep 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. Seraph was now assigned to training duties often out of Holyhead. (20)

19 Mar 1945
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) was docked at Ardrossan. (21)

23 Mar 1945
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) was undocked after which she proceeded to Rothesay. (21)

13 Sep 1945
HMS Seraph (Lt. J.M.C. Fenton, DSC, RN) was docked at Holy Loch. (22)

17 Sep 1945
HMS Seraph (Lt. J.M.C. Fenton, DSC, RN) was undocked. (22)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17451
  2. ADM 173/17452
  3. ADM 199/1841
  4. ADM 173/17453
  5. ADM 173/17454
  6. ADM 173/17456
  7. ADM 173/17457
  8. ADM 199/2570
  9. ADM 199/627
  10. ADM 173/18036
  11. ADM 173/18037
  12. ADM 173/18038
  13. ADM 173/18039
  14. ADM 173/18040
  15. ADM 173/18043
  16. ADM 173/18044
  17. ADM 173/18045
  18. ADM 173/18697
  19. ADM 173/18698
  20. ADM 173/18701
  21. ADM 173/19627
  22. ADM 173/19633

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


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