Allied Warships

HMS Stratagem (P 234)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 234 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered3 Aug 1941 
Laid down15 Apr 1942 
Launched21 Jun 1943 
Commissioned9 Oct 1943 
Lost22 Nov 1944 
History

HMS Stratagem (Lt. Clifford Raymond Pelly, DSC, RN) sailed from Trincomalee, Ceylon on 10 November 1944 for a patrol in the vicinity of Malacca.

She was lost on 22 November 1944, off south west Malaya in the Malacca Straits. She was damaged by depth charges from the Japanese submarine chaser CH-35 (offsite link) after being detected by aircraft. The crew scuttled the boat. Ten of her crew were taken prisoner, of which only three survived captivity. 

Commands listed for HMS Stratagem (P 234)

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

CommanderFromTo
1T/Lt. Reginald Lewis Willoughby, RNR15 Jul 194327 Mar 1944
2Lt. Clifford Raymond Pelly, DSC, RN27 Mar 194425 Aug 1944
3Lt. Robert Henry Hugh Brunner, RN25 Aug 194429 Aug 1944
4Lt. Anthony Robert Profit, DSC, RN29 Aug 19446 Oct 1944
5Lt. Clifford Raymond Pelly, DSC, RN6 Oct 194422 Nov 1944 (+)

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Noteable events involving Stratagem include:


24 Sep 1943
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. (1)

25 Sep 1943
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

30 Dec 1943
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Unswerving (Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR). They were escorted by HMS Arcturus (T/Lt. H.R. Grief, RNR). (2)

1 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Lerwick. (3)

3 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Norwegian Sea (anti-uboat patrol).

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


HMS Strategem 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

15 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (4)

16 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Lerwick for Dundee. (3)

17 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Dundee. (3)

18 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) shifted from Dundee to Methil. (3)

21 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Methil for Sheerness. (3)

22 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Harwich.

23 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) shifted from Harwich to Sheerness where at the Sheerness Royal Dockyard the battery was changed. (3)

27 Jan 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) was docked at Sheerness. (3)

22 Feb 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) was undocked. (5)

23 Feb 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth. (5)

24 Feb 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Portsmouth. (5)

25 Feb 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (5)

29 Feb 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (5)

2 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (6)

3 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (6)

5 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) was docked at Portsmouth. (6)

24 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) was undocked. (6)

29 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Yarmouth (Isle of Wight). (6)

30 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) shifted from Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) to Plymouth. (6)

31 Mar 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for passage to Gibraltar. En-route she was ordered to take up a patrol position in a 10 nautical mile radius from position 40°50'N, 12°00'W making this passage her 2nd war patrol.

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


HMS Strategem 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

14 Apr 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Gibraltar. (4)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

She made the passage together with HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) and HMS Spirit (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN). The submarines made the passage to Malta in convoy USG 38.

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


HMS Stratagem passage Gibraltar - Trincomalee click here for bigger map   (7)

2 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN) and HMS Brocklesby (Lt. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN). (8)

5 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Albacore (Lt. Lt. K.H. Higson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN). (8)

11 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. (8)

16 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said. (8)

19 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for Aden. (8)

25 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden. (8)

27 May 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Aden for Trincomalee. (8)

10 Jun 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (9)

24 Jun 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) conducted attack and A/S exercises off Trincomalee together with HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN) and HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN). (9)

25 Jun 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (9)

27 Jun 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the Andaman Island.

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


HMS Stratagem 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

1 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) attacked an escorted Japanese merchant vessel off Port Blair with 4 torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1330 hours - In position 11°36'N, 92°50'E sighted the top of a funnel and smoke bearing 043°, range 8 nautical miles. Enemy course was thought to be 270°. Ran in at speed.

1343 hours - Targets course was now seen to be 247°. Range was now 12000 yards. The target was thought to be a merchant vessel of about 1100 tons. Started attack.

1346 hours - Three escorts were seen, 2 were thought to be torpedo boats and the other was an A/S trawler.

1406 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 5100 yards.

1410 hours - An explosion was heard and it was thought to be a possible hit on the target (this was not the case).

1411 hours - A counter attack was commenced by the torpedo boats in which 6 depth charges were dropped. 4 Of these were close but caused no damage.

1426 hours - All HE ceased.

1436 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Only the two 'torpedo boats' were seen roughly in our firing position. Cleared the area to the South-East. (4)

2 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) attacked an escorted Japanese merchant vessel leaving Port Blair. 6 Torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1303 hours - In position 11°37'N, 92°54'E sighted a 2000 tons merchant vessel escorted by two submarine chasers emerging from Port Blair's Southern entrance on a course of 120°. Range was 14000 yards. Started attack.

1329 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes at the merchant vessel.

1334 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw that the whole convoy had altered course 90 degrees to port and that the submarine chasers began making a lot of smoke to speed up and were soon proceeding in our direction.

1338 hours - Heard 6 torpedoes hit the land.

1400 hours - Observed both submarine chasers hunting astern 3000 to 4000 yards away. The merchant vessel was now escorted by an A/S trawler and was 7000 yards away proceeding on a course of 140°.

1615 hours - Lost sight of the target. Wanted to surface and chase but the submarine chasers were still in sight behind us.

1630 hours - The chasers set off to rejoin the merchant ship and A/S trawler. They passed at a range of 2000 yards.

1728 hours - Surfaced in position 11°29'N, 92°58'E and gave chase.

1750 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 165°.

1805 hours - Sighted the masts and funnel of the merchant vessel.

1853 hours - The port wing escort fired two white rockets. Maybee we were sighted.

1915 hours - One of the submarine chasers parted company and proceeded at speed in a Northerly direction.

2018 hours - It was now completely dark. started to close the enemy's track.

2200 hours - Thought to be 5 nautical miles ahead of the enemy. Turned to make contact again but sighted nothing. Set a course for the most likely track of the enemy with the hope to catch him tomorrow. (4)

4 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) attacked the same escorted merchant vessel as 2 days ago but now to the South of Car Nicobar Island. The last 2 bow torpedoes were fired and a hit was claimed but could not be observed. The Japanese do not report a loss on this day.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0526 hours - Dived in position 09°22'N, 92°40E and closed Car Nicobar where our merchant vessel we had attacked two days ago most likely was. Closed Sawi Bay, the place where she most likely would be.

0924 hours - By now it had become clear that she was not in Sawi Bay. Set course to the South of Car Nicobar.

1638 hours - Sighted the masts and funnel of our by now well known merchant bearing 115 degrees, range 7 nautical miles. Enemy course was 220°. Position 09°06'N, 92°45'E.

1705 hours - Heavy rain reduced visibility to 2 nautical miles.

1709 hours - Surfaced in position 09°02'N, 92°44'E.

1714 hours - Visibility increased and sighted a submarine chaser ahead of the target, range was 5 nautical miles. Dived.

1744 hours - Sighted the target alter course away to 185°. The starboard wing escort was flying two pendants and altered course towards Stratagem. Remained at periscope depth to watch proceedings.

1822 hours - All escorts were now with the target again who now altered course to 230° and the attack was resumed.

1839 hours - In position 08°59'N, 92°46'E fired the 2 remaining torpedoes.

1846 hours - Heard one torpedo explosion thought to be a hit. The results could not be observed. No counter attack followed. (4)

7 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (4)

22 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) was docked at Trincomalee. (10)

24 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) was undocked. (10)

25 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) was docked again at Trincomalee. (10)

27 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) was undocked. (10)

28 Jul 1944
During 28 and 29 July 1944 HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. (10)

31 Jul 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Siam.

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


HMS Stratagem 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

22 Aug 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (4)

12 Sep 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Trincomalee. (11)

13 Sep 1944
During 13 and 14 September 1944 HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. (11)

16 Sep 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the Andaman Islands.

Lt. Profit was temporary in command of HMS Stratagem as Lt. Pelly was on leave.

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


HMS Stratagem 5th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

30 Sep 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) bombarded buildings and warehouses on Great Coco Island.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1729 hours - Surfaced off Ford Bay, Great Coco Island and bombarded targets on the shore.

1735 hours - Dived and retired to seawards. (4)

5 Oct 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (4)

10 Nov 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Strait. (4)

19 Nov 1944
HMS Stratagem (Lt. C.R. Pelly, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Nichinan Maru (1945 GRT, built 1943) in the Malacca Strait in position 01°36'N, 102°53'E.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18126
  2. ADM 173/18129
  3. ADM 173/18840
  4. ADM 199/1874
  5. ADM 173/18841
  6. ADM 173/18842
  7. ADM 173/18843
  8. ADM 173/18844
  9. ADM 173/18845
  10. ADM 173/18846
  11. ADM 173/18848

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


Return to the Allied Warships section