Allied Warships

HMS Sickle (P 224)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 224 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Sep 1940 
Laid down8 May 1941 
Launched27 Aug 1942 
Commissioned1 Dec 1942 
Lost18 Jun 1944 
History

HMS Sickle (Lt. James Ralph Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was sunk, probably by mines in the Antikithera Channel, Greece on or around this date.  

Former nameP 74

Commands listed for HMS Sickle (P 224)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. James Ralph Drummond, DSC, RN5 Oct 194218 Jun 1944 (+)

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Noteable events involving Sickle include:


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

28 Nov 1942
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Birkenhead for Holy Loch.

29 Nov 1942
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of trials and training.

9 Jan 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Trident and HMS Tactician. They were escorted by HMS Qualicum.

11 Jan 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick. Later the same day she departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Norwegian coast (Trondheim area).

21 Jan 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) is ordered to a new patrol position off Northern Norway.

26 Jan 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) is ordered to return to Lerwick.

31 Jan 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

8 Feb 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for Rosyth. She made the passage South together with HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN), FFL Junon (Cdr. J. Querville, RN) and ORP Sokol (Lt.Cdr. J. Koziolkowski). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

10 Feb 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

14 Feb 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Chatham where she was to be fitted with R.D.F. (radar) before being sent to the Mediterranean.

16 Feb 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at the Chatham Dockyard.

15 Mar 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed the Chatham Dockyard for Portsmouth.

16 Mar 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

4 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for Portland where she arrived later the same day. She made the passage together with HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) and HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Turquoise (Ch.Skr. H.E. Dodd, RNR).

5 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Portland together with HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) and HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Turquoise (Ch.Skr. H.E. Dodd, RNR).

After a few hours they were ordered to return to Portland due to suspected enemy mining of Lyme Bay.

6 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Portland together with HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) and HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Turquoise (Ch.Skr. H.E. Dodd, RNR).

Tuna and Ursula were to proceed to Plymouth. Sickle was to proceed to Gibraltar to join the 8th Submarine Flotilla at Algiers.

10 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) is ordered to intercept the Italian blockade breaker Himalaya that had left Bordeaux, France for passage to Japan. Her orders to intercept were cancelled later the same day when it became clear the the Italian ship had set course to return to Bordeaux.

13 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

18 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to perform a work up patrol off Valencia, Spain and to proceed to Algiers afterwards.

23 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) fires two torpedoes against the Italian merchant Mauro Croce (1049 GRT, built 1898) off Valencia, Spain. The torpedoes ran under the target and Sickle then surfaced and fired 19 rounds with her deck gun scoring several hits. The action had to be broken off when the gun jammed and could not be cleared.

(All times are zone -1)
0704 hours - Received a signal that the Italian merchant Mauro Groce was to leave Valencia at 0700 hours this morning.

0832 hours - Sighted the Mauro Groce leaving the harbour. Started attack just outside territorial waters.

0910 hours - In position 39°31'N, 00°14'20"E fired two torpedoes from 400 yards. Both ran under. Most likely the range was too close and the torpedoes had not yet gained the correct depth.

0917 hours - Surfaced for gun action. Opened fire with the 3" gun and the Oerlikon. Hits were obtained immediately.

0920 hours - The enemy altered course to reach Spanish territorial waters.

0922 hours - The gun jammed and could not be cleared so the action had to be broken off. 19 Rounds had been fired for 15 hits.

0930 hours - Dived.

27 Apr 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

10 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Southern France.

15 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-2213/L'Heureux (1116 GRT) south of Nice, southern France in position 43°25'N, 07°25'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1114 hours - sighted a very assorted collection of ships rounding Cape Ferrat. The leading ship was a small tanker of about 1500 tons. She had a small funnel aft and was painted blue/grey (UJ-2213/L'Heureux looked like a tanker). An A/S trawler was on her starboard quarter. Another ship was on her port quarter but this ship could not be identified. Four small motor torpedo boats were also nearby. Started attack on the tanker.

1138 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 1500 yards. One hit was heard followed by breaking up noises. Sickle had gone to 100 feet upon firing.

1159 hours - An enemy escort appeared to be in contact.

1214 hours - When directly overhead the enemy dropped a pattern of 8 depth charges which were very close causing minor damage. Sickle then went to 350 feet.

1241 hours - The enemy abandoned the hunt.

1346 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

20 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) attacked the German U-boat U-755 in position 42°50'N, 06°00'E but her torpedoes missed the target.

(All times are zone -1)
2150 hours - In position 42°50'N, 06°00'E sighted a German u-boat bearing 110°. The Officer of the Watch that made the sighting altered course towards.

2155 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 4500 yards. Went deep on firing. A loud explosion was heard followed by breaking up noises. It was thought the uboat had sunk but this was not the case.

21 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank German U-boat U-303 south of Toulon, France in position 43°00'N, 05°59'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1456 hours - Sighted a German u-boat leaving Toulon. Started attack.

1510 hours - Fired two torpedoes from about 3000 yards.

1512 hours - Saw one torpedo hit about 30 feet abaft the conning tower. An enormous column of water and smoke was thrown up. She sank in about half a minute. Sickle then went deep and retired to seaward.

25 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

30 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Oran.

31 May 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) arrived at Oran.

2 Jun 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) was docked at Oran.

4 Jun 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) was undocked. She immediately departed Oran for Algiers.

6 Jun 1943
During 6 and 7 Jume 1943 HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Algiers. These included night exercises.

15 Jun 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa and off the East coast of Corsica.

18 Jun 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) attacked an enemy submarine with a salvo of 6 torpedoes. No hits were obtained. The submarine was most likely Italian. We have been unable to place a German submarine in that position at that time.

(All times are zone -2)
1640 hours - In position 41°09'N, 07°03'E sighted an enemy submarine. Range was 4000 yards. Started attack.

1654 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 4000 yards. All torpedoes missed.

1 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

13 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa and off the East coast of Corsica.

17 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) attacked an enemy merchant ship in an escorted convoy 3 nautical miles East of Bastia, Corsica, France. 3 Torpedoes were fired but all missed.

(All times are zone -2)
1730 hours - Sighted masts of ships approaching Bsstia from the East.

1740 hours - Started an attack on the leading ship of the convoy which consisted of three small merchant ships, all were between 2000 and 3000 tons. The convoy was escorted by what appeared to be a corvette and an E-boat. A seaplane was flying up and down ahead of the convoy.

1808 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes from 500 yards. All missed. The first torpedo most likely missed ahead but Lt. Drummond could find no reason for the other two to miss, possibly the ran under.

1809 hours - Sickle broke surface. She immediately went deep afterwards.

1825 hours - A pattern of 7 depth charges was dropped, rather close.

1848 hours - 18 depth charges were dropped in 18 seconds but fortunately about 2 miles away.

18 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary minesweepers No. 61/ Costante Neri (100 GRT) and No. 164/ Rosa Madre (39 GRT) with gunfire 7 miles East of the island of Gorgona, Italy.

(All times are zone -2)
1150 hours - In position 43°24'N, 10°03'E sighted masts. Closed submerged at speed.

1205 hours - The enemy ships turned out to be a small steam tug or trawler and two motor schooners. Enemy course was 180°.

1235 hours - The tug and one schooner altered course 20° towards. The other schooner altered away towards the coast.

1253 hours - Surfaced and engaged the steam tug with the gun. The schooner altered course to the North and made off at full speed.

1302 hours - The tug sank after being hit 35 times. Altered course and set off in pursuit of the schooner that was now 3 nautical miles to the North.

1310 hours - Opened fire on the schooner. The crew immediately abandoned ship.

1318 hours - The schooner sank after about 20 hits. In all 116 rounds had been fired at both targets.

19 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary minesweeper V 131/Amgiola Maria C. (65 GRT) with gunfire off Porto Vecchio, Italy.

(All times are zone -2)
0835 hours - A schooner approached from the East. It remained in the vicinity for three hours. She appeared to follow Sickle around and was most likely an A/S vessel.

1135 hours - A second schooner approached from the East. The first schooner closed her and and 1225 hours she made off to the South-West.

1308 hours - Closed the second schooner to 400 yards. After inspection decided for gun action.

1314 hours - Unfortunately the periscope was sighted by one of the schooners crew. This did not result in the Italians taking offensive action but in them abandoning ship !!!

1319 hours - Surfaced.

1327 hours - Secured alongside. A boarding party removed as much as possible that could be of any use.

1344 hours - The schooner was set on fire. An explosive charge had also been placed in the bilges.

1352 hours - Dived.

1405 hours - The schooner blew up and sank.

21 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Oriani (4307 GRT, built 1942) 8 nautical miles West-North-West of Elba.

(All times are zone -2)
1016 hours - Sighted a modern looking merchant ship of about 6000 tons escorted by a destroyer approaching to the West. The destroyer was later seen to be a torpedo boat of the Climene-class [actually it was Calliope]. Started attack.

1028 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 1400 yards. One hit was obtained.

1044 hours - A pattern of 12 depth charges was dropped fairly close.

1105 hours - Another pattern of 12 depth charges was dropped.

1130 hours - Another pattern of depth charges was dropped.

1205 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The merchant ship was stopped four nautical miles to the North and the torpedo boat was circling her. Sickle then commenced reloading the torpedo tubes while closing at speed. The torpedo boat soon took the damaged merchant ship in tow.

1338 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the merchant vessel while she was under tow. Range was 2500 yards. Both missed.

1341 hours - Fired another torpedo which hit.

1344 hours - Went deep.

1502 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Was amazed to find the merchant still afloat. A tug had taken her in tow and no less then 4 torpedo boats were now patrolling the area.

1508 hours - The enemy was now being attacked by Allied aircraft but as one of the torpedo boat came nearer went deep again as to not overstay out welcome. This was a very disappointing conclusion having failed to sink this important ship with no less then 7 torpedoes.

22 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) attacked a large enemy merchant vessel to the North-East of Bastia, Corsica, France.

(All times are zone -2)
1400 hours - In position 42°54'N, 09°48'E sighted two ships steering South six nautical miles from the Corsican coast.

1405 hours - The ships were identified as a 8000 tons merchant ship in ballast with a 1000 tons ship weaving ahead of her. Started attack.

1425 hours - Fired 2 torpedoes from 1600 yards. A few seconds after firing the target altered course so the torpedoes missed. No counter attack followed. Due to the choppy sea the torpedo tracks were most likely not even seen.

28 Jul 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

5 Aug 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was docked at Algiers.

6 Aug 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked.

17 Aug 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the East coast of Corsica.

28 Aug 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German escort vessel SG-10/Felix Henri (2526 GRT, built 1933) east of Corsica, France in position 42°24'N, 09°41'E.

The former fruit transport ship Felix Henri was modified into an auxiliary cruiser by the French in 1940. She was captured by German troops on 14 December 1942 in Marseilles, modified into the fast escort vessel SG-10, commissioned on 1 May 1943 and attached to the 3rd escort flotilla.

(All times are zone -2)
0623 hours - In position 42.23'N, 09.52'E sighted a convoy. This consisted of a 3000 tons camouflaged armed merchant ship, an old 1500 tons merchant ship and a smaller ship astern of her. There were also two escort vessels.

0657 hours - Fired four torpedoes (three were intended) from 800 yards at the armed merchant vessel. Two torpedoes hit the target that sank in less then a minute.

Following this attack in all 35 depth charges were dropped over the net two hours of which the first 5 were fairly close. (1)

5 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

11 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was docked at Algiers.

13 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked.

19 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Algiers.

22 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa and to perform a special operation.

28 Sep 1943
In the eveneing HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) landed a party of two Italians near Sestri Levante, Italy (about 20 miles East of Genua).

30 Sep 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) attacked a small coaster with 3 torpedoes near Portofino, Italy. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
0740 hours - Sighted a small coaster followed by an E-boat. Started attack.

0818 hours - In position 165°, Portofino Light, 1,5 nautical miles, fired 3 torpedoes from 2500 yards. 2 Explosions followed but as the enemy was seen to be afloat there were most likely torpedoes hitting the shore. The E-boat dropped two depth charges so Sickle went deep. Soon 6 more depth charges were dropped and these were rather close.

3 Oct 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) fires three torpedoes against the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2208 off Sestri Levante, Italy. All torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
1302 hours - Sighted a large and well armed UJ boat. Started attack.

1329 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 800 yards. Shortly before firing the enemy appeared to be in contact. Most likely the torpedoes were evaded. Sickle went deep after firing.

1334 hours - 4 Depth charges were dropped fairly close.

1342 hours - A pattern of 10 depth charged was dropped again fairly close.

1355 hours - Bottomed at 300 feet.

1500 hours - Came off the bottom.

1534 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted the enemy about 5 nautical miles away steering South.

1542 hours - The enemy changed course 180° and returned towards Sickle.

1545 hours - Went deep again.

1550 hours - 2 Depth charges were dropped but these were at least 3 miles away.

1632 hours - A pattern of 7 depth charges was dropped, again 3 miles away.

1810 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

10 Oct 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

25 Oct 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Beirut.

1 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Beirut.

9 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Beirut for Haifa.

10 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Haifa where she was immediately docked.

11 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked. Sickle immediately departed Haifa for her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean.

17 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the Greek caique Maria (MY 153) with gunfire West of Amorgos island, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1655 hours - When 3 nautical miles South of Drima sighted a caique approaching from the East. She was close inshore to Amorgos.

1716 hours - Surfaced at a range of 1000 yards and commenced gun action. After a few hits with the Oerlikon the crew abandoned ship. After 13 hits with the 3" gun had not done enough damage to sink her she was closed to 30 yards and 2 more rounds were put into her which set her ablaze. Now it was seen that 2 of the crew (Greeks) had remained on board. One of them had half his foot shot away. They were recovered from the sea after they had jumped overboard. A small boat was now closed in which was 1 Greek and 1 German. The German was taken prisoner and the 2 Greeks picked up shortly before were put in this boat but not before the injured mans foot was dressed and he got a shot of morphine. The other small boat that got away with 3 Greeks and 4 Germans was left alone. It was not considered wise to take the other 4 Germans prisoner so early in the patrol.

19 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant (in German service) Giovanni Boccaccio (3160 GRT, built 1919) off Monemvasia, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1550 hours - Rounded Cape Monemvasia. Sighted a medium-seized merchant vessel of about 3500 tons at anchor very close inshore in the South-West corner of the Bay. Two patrol vessels were at anchor a few cables away from the merchant vessel. Started attack.

1645 hours - The periscope was sighted by the merchant ship that opened fire with machine guns and a 3pdr gun. The sea was glassy calm.

1646 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1200 yards. The first two torpedoes hit . The third was not heard to run.

1650 hours - The ship was seen to be over on its side and sinking. The two patrol vessels were closing at speed. Went deep. During the next hour Sickle was hunted but no depth charges were dropped.

25 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire near Milos island, Greece in position 37°22'N, 24°15'E.

(All times are zone -3)
0925 hours - Sighted two North bound caiques. They were two-masted and of about 50 tons each with sails fully rigged.

1001 hours - Surfaced at a range of about 900 yards and sank both by gunfire. 36 Rounds in all were fired for 16 hits.

1012 hours - Sighted a seaplane approaching from the West. Dived.

29 Nov 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

13 Dec 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Beirut for her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean and to carry out a special operation.

20 Dec 1943
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) attacked a German convoy of one F-lighter and two armed caiques with three torpedoes to the North of Samos, Greece. The 2nd torpedo malfunctioned and the attack was spoiled. When Sickle tried to attack with gunfire she was taken under fire by the enemy and had to retire.

(All times are zone -3)
1706 hours - In position 250°, Kalovasi, 6 nautical miles sighted masts aproaching from the East. Closed at full submerged speed to attack before it would be to dark.

1728 hours - The enemy was seen to be two armed caiques and one F-class landing craft. One of the caiques was about 100 tons, the other one was much smaller only about 20 tons.

1730 hours - A torpedo attack could not be carried out. It was decided to attack with gunfire after dark.

1818 hours - Surfaced and set off in pursuit of the enemy.

1930 hours - The enemy was seen to be grouped well together so it was decided to attack with torpedoes after all.

1944 hours - Near position 37°49'N, 26°34'E fired 4 torpedoes from 1000-1500 yards. One second after firing the 3rd torpedo there was a colossal explosion about 300 yards ahead of Sickle. A column of spray and smoke arose at least 100 feet above the water. Small bits of explosive began raining down on the bridge. This was caused by a premature explosion of the 2nd torpedo. It undaubtedly effected the running of the 3rd torpedo.

1945 hours - Both caiques opened fire. On board Sickle the gun crews were closed up but as the enemy's gunfire was very accurate from the start it was decided to withdraw. Several hits were obtained by the enemy.

1952 hours - The enemy ceased fire.

1956 hours - Lost sight of the enemy.

21 Dec 1943
In the afternoon, when investigating the harbour of Karlovasi through the periscope HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) observed the German destroyers TA 14 (former Italian Turbine) and TA 15 (former Italian Francesco Crispi) leaving the harbour. A little later Sickle was detected and depth charged. She only sustained minor damage despite some of the depth charges being close.

23 Dec 1943
In the early evening HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) carried out a special operation (Operation Headsman). A party was landed at Kalomos Bay, Euboea, Greece. (More details to follow).

26 Dec 1943
In the evening (1850 and 2230 hours) HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank two small Greek sailing vessel with ramming and gunfire east of Mykonos Island, Greece. The crew of both vessels were taken on board.

2 Jan 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

14 Jan 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. She was to proceed to Gibraltar for repairs to her main motors.

19 Jan 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta.

21 Jan 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. She made the passage in convoy GUS 28.

26 Jan 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar for repairs to her main motors.

26 Feb 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was docked at Gibraltar.

5 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked.

14 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted trials inside Gibraltar harbour.

16 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Gibraltar. The exercises included an A/S exercise with HMS Jervis (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, DSC, RN).

17 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Gibraltar. The exercises included an A/S exercise with HMS Hart (Cdr.(retired) M.B. Sherwood, DSO and Bar, RN) and her escort group.

18 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. She made the passage East in convoy UGS 38 together with HMS Spirit (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) and HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN).

23 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta.

28 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta.

29 Apr 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean.

8 May 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank three sailing vessels, with gunfire scuttling charges and ramming, in the Doro Channel (between Euboea Island and Andros Island).

(All times are zone -3)
1700 hours - Surfaced and engaged a 50 tons caique west of Cape Phara. After four rounds the gun jammed and could not be cleared. Sickle now came alongside and it was found that she was full with oranges and lemons. A thousend of these were removed and proved to be a welcome addition to the crews diet. She had sailed from Khios on May 6th. She was flying the Greek flag with the German control pendant underneath. She was holed and sunk. Sickle then dived.

1859 hours - Surfaced and closed a 40 tons caique which also approached from the North-East. The crew immediately abandoned ship. Went alongside hoping to find more loot. However the cargo consisted of empty oil drums. An explosive charge was fitted but before the fuse could be properly laid an aircaft was spotted nearby.

1928 hours - Dived.

1935 hours - Surfaced and went alongside again to lit the fuse.

1948 hours - The caique blew up and sank.

2345 hours - Sighted a caique in position 38°02'N, 24°36'E.

2355 hours - Rammed the caique which was about 20 tons in size and was flying the German control pendant. The three crew were taken on board.

11 May 1944
At 1800 hours (zone -3) HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) bombarded an enemy radar station off Chersonisis, Crete, Greece. At 1804 hours the enemy returned fire and soon three of the bridge crew of Sickle were wounded including the commanding officer so at 1811 the action was broken off and Sickle dived. A large column of smoke was rising from the radar station and it had been hit about 17 times. Some damage must have been done.

13 May 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the German (former Italian) sailing vessel Fratelli Corrao / EMP 518 with gunfire in position 35°55'N, 25°02'E.

(All times are zone -3)
12 May 1944
In position 35°55'N, 25°02'E sighted a ship fine on the Port bow. Altered course away and came round astern to obtain enemy's course and speed from the radar plot.

2400 hours - enemy course was 020°. It was thought to be an F-class lighter or a small coaster.

13 May 1944
0034 hours - Opened fire at a range of 3000 yards. The first round hit. The third and fourth round also hit and as the range closed the target was hit continuously.

0038 hours - Ceased fire. Closed a small boat which only contained Greeks. The German crew members of the crew had either been killed or were in the water.

0048 hours - Closed the target to 40 yards. She was flying the Nazi-flag and was armed. Opened fire again and set her ablaze. Altogether 62 rounds were fired for 45 hits.

15 May 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

31 May 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 11th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the North Aegean.

4 Jun 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) reported (in her 2336/4) having lost overboard one Able Seaman and that another Able Seaman was killed and two other ratings were wounded during a gun action of Mitilene, Lesbos, Greece.

The gun action was with the German auxiliary patrol vessels GA 75 and GA 91.

5 Jun 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol the Eastern approaches to the Doro Channel.

6 Jun 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) reported in her 1956/06 that she had torpedoed and sunk the German merchant Orion in the Doro Channel. A 400 tons ship had been in company as well as 6 EMS craft, 2 E-boats and 4 A/S caiques. Sickle considered the target sunk and that a possible hit was obtained on one of the other vessels. Sickle also reported she was proceeding to the Kassandra area.

It was later known that she sank the German merchant Reaumur (549 GRT, Former Spanish Tercio de Montejurra, built 1919) in the Doro Channel in position 38°00'N, 24°35'E. She had been in convoy with tanker Dresden and tug Pinguin. They were escorted by R 178, GA 91 and GA 76. Also present were Neckar, Saar, Isar, Lech and Inn. These were possibly pilot cutters from the Black Sea.

9 Jun 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) reported, in her 0749/09, that she had attacked a 1500 tons ship but had missed.

This was the German transport Lola (1139 GRT, built 1920) to the North of Lemnos, Greece and that at 0632 hours on the 9th the enemy's position was 39°40'N, 24°36'E, course was 145 degrees, speed 8 knots and that she was escorted by 2 motor launches and 3 aircraft. Sickle stated that she was proceeding with despatch to intercept the enemy in the Doro Channel.

Capt. S.1 then ordered Sickle to proceed to intercept the enemy before it could enter the Trikiri Channel as he thought the were making for that location instead of proceeding through the Doro Channel.

Later Capt. S.1, in his 1458/9 ordered Sickle to patrol to the East of the Steno Pass by daylight of June 10th.

12 Jun 1944
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) reported, in her 1255/12, that she had sighted a convoy of 4 merchant ships, 3 destroyers and 2 E-boats in position 37°41'N, 25°04'E. She made no mention of an attack so it was thought that the convoy had passed out of range. This convoy was made up of Anita (1165 GRT, built 1899), Agathe (1579 GRT, built 1922), Carola (1359 GRT, built 1906) and Celsius (344 GRT, built 1899) escorted by three destroyers / torpedo-boats TA 14, TA 17 and TA 19 and R-boats R 178 and R 195. They had which sailed from Piraeus 2115/11 June and arrived at Leros (Porto Lago) at 0630/13 June.

Capt. S.1 then gave Sickle freedom of action to the North of 38°N (his 1725/12).

14 Jun 1944
At 1600 hours a submarine bombarded the Potamos shipyard at Mitilene destroying two large and two small caiques that were under construction there. This must have been HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN). Sickle had been recalled back to Malta in Capt. S.1's 1748/12. She was to have passed 38°N at dusk on the 14th and it appears she was a bit late to comply with that order and it is thought she might not have received that signal. The signal also ordered Sickle to pass to the East of Levitha, West of Stampalia and then through the Anti-Kithera Channel to arrive in position 35°41'N, 23°16'E at 2100 hours on the 16th.

In Capt. S.1's 0902/14 Sickle was ordered to meet her escort into Malta in position 35°49'N, 15°18'E at 0900 on the 18th. She failed to show up and is thought she was mined on her way back to Malta.

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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