Allied Warships

HMS Statesman (P 246)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 246 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered20 Dec 1941 
Laid down2 Nov 1942 
Launched14 Sep 1943 
Commissioned13 Dec 1943 
End service 
History

Lent to France in 1952 and renamed Sultane. Returned on 5 November 1959. Sold to be broken up for scrap on 3 Janaury 1961.  

Commands listed for HMS Statesman (P 246)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Robert George Pierson Bulkeley, RN12 Oct 194322 May 1945
2Lt. Ronald Max Seaburne-May, DSC, RN22 May 1945Jul 1945
3Lt. Robert George Pierson Bulkeley, RNJul 19455 Dec 1945

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Noteable events involving Statesman include:


11 Dec 1943
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Sardonyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR). (1)

12 Dec 1943
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

1 Feb 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was docked at Holy Loch. (2)

2 Feb 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was undocked. (2)

14 Feb 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Holy Loch to return to her builders yard to make good several defects. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark. (2)

15 Feb 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Liverpool. (2)

7 Apr 1944
With the repairs completed HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Liverpool for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Kingston Onyx (Skr. H.L. Gladwell, RNR). (3)

8 Apr 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to continue her training period. (3)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark. (3)

20 Apr 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

Later she departed for her 1st war patrol after only a short time in port. She was ordered to patrol in the Norwegian Sea on an anti-uboat patrol.

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


HMS Statesman 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (3)

4 May 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

Later the same day she departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Strongbow (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) and HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Sardonyx (A/Lt.Cdr. T.A. Easton, RNVR). (4)

6 May 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (4)

11 May 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was docked at Rothesay. (4)

13 May 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was undocked. (4)

18 May 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. This was the first leg of her passage to the Far East.

The passage South through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN). They were escorted until Round Island by the Free French corvette FFL Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves.

Statesman carried out a short patrol off North-West Spain making this passage her 2nd war patrol.

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


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

2 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (5)

6 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. She made the passage in convoy ??? together with HMS Tudor (Lt. S.A. Porter, DSC, RN), HMS Thorough (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) and HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN). (5)

11 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Malta. (5)

19 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. (5)

24 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Port Said. (5)

26 Jun 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Port Said for Aden. (5)

2 Jul 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Aden. (6)

3 Jul 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Aden for Colombo. (6)

6 Jul 1944
Two crewmembers on board HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) developed serious medical problems. She was ordered to proceed to the nearest Allied port, Karachi. (6)

9 Jul 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Karachi where the two sick crew members were hospitalised. (6)

11 Jul 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Karachi for Trincomalee. (6)

19 Jul 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (6)

14 Aug 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (7)

15 Aug 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

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


HMS Statesman 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (7)

22 Aug 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Sugi Maru No.5 (1983 GRT, former Panamanian flagged, Norwegian owned Gran) off Port Blair, Andaman Islands in position 11°40'N, 92°46'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1500 hours - Sighted smoke to the South-Eastward. This developed in a merchant ship escorted by two torpedoboats and two Motor Launches. Aircraft were also patrolling the area. Started attack.

1620 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 3400 yards. One hit was obtained.

1623 hours - A counter attack now followed and the first pattern of depth charges was dropped.

1642 hours - Heard breaking up noises.

1740 hours - All HE faded so returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. A total of 37 depth charged had been dropped but none was really close. (8)

5 Sep 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (9)

20 Sep 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was docked at Trincomalee. (9)

22 Sep 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was undocked. (9)

25 Sep 1944
During 25 and 26 September 1944 HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. (9)

27 Sep 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the Megui Archipaligo.

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


HMS Statesman 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (9)

30 Sep 1944
The First Lieutenant of HMS Statesman, T/Lt. R.F.N. Strouts, RNVR developed symptoms of appendicitis during the previous 24 hours. HMS Statesman set course to return to Trincomalee and sent a signal informing Capt. S 2 of this. (8)

2 Oct 1944
At 0530 hours HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) started the transfer of her sick First Lieutenant to the Australian destroyer HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC, RAN). The transfer took a little more than one hour in very bad weather. Immediate surgery was performed on board Quickmatch and this saved T/Lt. Strouts life. (8)

6 Oct 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire of the Mergui Archipelago, Burma.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0538 hours - Dived in position 09°33'N, 98°15'E.

0730 hours - Sighted a 150 tons coaster to the South Eastward, making North along the 10 fathom line.

0748 hours - Surfaced in position 09°36'N, 98°20'E for gun action from 2400 yards. Hit with the 3rd round and continued to hit the target while closing from astern.

0751 hours - Sighted another coaster about 4 nautical miles away to the Southward.

0756 hours - After having fired 64 rounds at the first coaster for 35 hits the target burst into flames. Altered course to close the 2nd coaster which tried to hide behind an island.

0801 hours - Opened fire on the 2nd coaster from 4400 yards. Hit with the 4th round. The crew of the coaster now abandoned ship and swam to the island. Closed to 400 yards to sink the target. After firing 38 rounds for 15 hits the target burst into flames. Now returned to the first target to pick up the survivors. Collected 3 Japanese and 6 Javanese, that was all that was left of a crew of 7 Japanese and 13 Javanese. The survivors had made no effort to collect together and it took more than an hour to pick up the scattered survivors. The Japanese refused to take the heaving line and had to be fetched.

0825 hours - The first target was seen to sink. Cleared the area on the surface.

(8)

18 Oct 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (10)

2 Nov 1944
During 2 and 3 November 1944 HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. (11)

6 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off Sabang and the North-East coast of Sumatra.

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


HMS Statesman 5th war patrol click here for bigger map (11)

8 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) returned to Trincomalee with defects. (11)

10 Nov 1944
After repairs HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee to resume her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off Sabang and the North-East coast of Sumatra. Later patrol was shifted to the Port Blair area. (11)

16 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was twice bombed from the air. Some minor damage was inflicted by the 2nd attack.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1004 hours - Sighted masts of a small coaster on the Starboard bow. Altered course to close.

1010 hours - Closed up the gun's crew.

1022 hours - Opened fire from 9000 yards but no hits were obtained with 12 shots.

1030 hours - it was seen that the coaster was a small junk at anchor. Her crew was abandoning ship so ceased fire. Called away the boaring party.

1038 hours - The junks small boat was now alongside. It was secured and towed back to the junk.

1045 hours - As Statesman stopped near the junk the radar reported an aircraft at 8000 yards and closing rapidly. Crash dived but the First Lieutenant and one Able Seaman had remained behind in the junks small boat in the hury. Also the voice pipes had remained open. When Statesman passed 60 feet 6 bombs were dropped. All were close but not very close. Went to 150 feet and went away from the scene of the crime.

1110 hours - Returned to periscope depth to find the aircrat still circling the junk. Retired to 60 feet.

1127 hours - Had another look. No aircraft in sight so closed the junk. When close alongside the First Lieutenant gave a thumbs up sign to the periscope so at ...

1154 hours - Surfaced and recovered the two crew members. The First Lieutenant reported that the junk was only a fishing vessel so she was left unmolested. His report was borne out by two stinking fish he brought with him. These were ditched as soon as Statesman was ' a conveniently polite distance away '.

1246 hours - An aircraft was first heard and then sighted (the radar was now defective), so crash dived in position 04°56'N, 98°30'E. Two bombs were dropped fairly close as Statesman passed 40 feet. Another one exploded when Statesman was at 80 feet. Minor damage was sustained. (8)

20 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) is ordered to patrol off Port Blair, Andaman Islands. (8)

25 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) is ordered to perform air/sea rescue duties. (8)

27 Nov 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) is ordered to return to Trincomalee.

1 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (12)

15 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) is docked at Trincomalee. (12)

20 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was undocked. (12)

22 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (12)

23 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the North-East coast of Sumatra.

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


HMS Statesman 6th war patrol click here for bigger map (12)

29 Dec 1944
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire north-east of Sumatra.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1118 hours - Sighted a junk approaching from the Westward. Went to gun stations.

1158 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 05°20'N, 97°31'E. The junk was of the Chinese 'Twakow' type and of about 30 tons.

1209 hours - After 49 rounds for 22 hits the junk was left in a sinking position.

1210 hours - The junk sank. (8)

8 Jan 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank four small vessels with gunfire off the North coast of Sumatra. Later the same day another small vessel was damaged but the action had to be broken off due to a shore battery opening fire on Statesman.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0710 hours - Sighted 4 ships approaching the coast in line ahead. These soon turned out to be large motor lighters of about 100 tons each. Went to gun action stations.

0740 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 05°17'N, 96°43'E from a range of 800 yards. The first round however misfired and then jammed in the breech. When the gun was cleared all 4 lighters were on their way to the beach. The 3" gun gave continues problems. The enemy meanwhile returned an accurate fire but this became less after the enemy was engaged with the Oerlikon. One of the lighters was set on fire and the other 3 were beached. The gun now no longer jammed and all 3 beached lighters were also set on fire. In all 65 rounds were fired for 24 hits.

0810 hours - Dived in position 05°18'N, 96°47'E and cleared the area.

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

1420 hours - Sighted 2 small motor lighters of about 25 tons each running very close to the beach. Went to gun action stations.

1429 hours - Surfaced in position 05°19'N, 96°58'E and opened fire from 3500 yards. Both lighters immediately made for the beach. only one hit was observed on one of them. When about to shift target to the other one at .....

1437 hours - A gun opened fire from the shore. Their first round landed 200 yards astern. Their second round only 50 yards astern. As the targets were very small Lt. Bulkeley decided they were not worth the risk.

1440 hours - Dived in position 05°17'N, 96°58'E. (8)

14 Jan 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (13)

29 Jan 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (13)

31 Jan 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Strait.

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


HMS Statesman 7th war patrol click here for bigger map (13)

6 Feb 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Malakka Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
Sighted a junk coming out of a rainsquall on the port quarter in position 05°25'N, 99°25'E. Altered course towards and went to gun action stations.

1625 hours - Opened fire from 8000 yards. 8 Rounds were fired but no hits were obtained although all rounds fell close to the target. The crew were then observed to have lowered sail and to be abandoning ship. Checked fire.

1642 hours - Ran alongside the junk and put the boarding party aboard. The junk was about 30 tons, with one mast. The boarding officer reported that she was loaded with empty oil drums so he was ordered by Lt. Bulkeley to sink her.

1729 hours - The junk blew up. Proceeded to pick up the crew that turned out to be 3 Chinese. None of them spoke English. The junk was still floating so she was rammed but she still refused to sink. Proceeded to clear the area.

1810 hours - Sighted another junk on the Port bow in position 05°17'N, 99°37'E. Altered course to close.

1825 hours - Went to gun action stations but the range was still very long and the light was fading rapidly. Another junk was reported on the Starboard bow.

1830 hours - Opened fire from 8000 yards. 6 Rounds were fired and all fell close but none hit. The gunlayer reported he could no longer see the target so checked fire. These 6 rounds had however been enough to make the crew abandon ship and they could be seen pulling away in a small sampan when Statesman approached.

1840 hours - By now it was very dark. Closed the junk to 300 yards and opened fire. The junk was seen to be about 50 tons and was fully laden.

1854 hours - After 46 rounds for 10 hits the junk sank. Proceeded towards the junk seen earlier but when we got closer it was seen to be a small fishing vessel so it was left alone. (8)

17 Feb 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) destroyed the Japanese trawler Matsujima Maru No.3 and the Japanese coasters Nippon Maru No.19, Nanyo Maru No. 17, Nippon Maru No.14 as well as damaged two others with gunfire in the Malakka Strait near position 04°26'N, 98°16'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1643 hours - Sighted a convoy of 5 coasters escorted by a trawler approaching from the Southward. Went to gun action stations. The 5 coasters were in line ahead. The leading coaster was of 500 tons followed by a 300 tons, a 500 tons and 300 tons roped together and finally a 300 tons bringing up the rear. The armed trawler, 150 tons, was ranging up and down on the seaward side.

1752 hours - The trawler was now abreast the leading coaster so surfaced for gun action in position 04°39'N, 98°17'E. The trawler was now fired at from 2500 yards. She was hit with the second round. The coasters opened up a very ineffective machine gun fire. The trawler turned towards and opened fire with a 12pdr. gun. By the time she got off her first round she had been hit 6 times and soon afterwards fell off until broadside off and stopped. The gun never fired again. After 2 more hits she was left sinking so shifted fire to the leading coaster. Fired at each of the coasters in turn and after a while the situation was a follows; four of them had reached the beach and one was drifting. Of the coasters on the beach no.1 was smashed with a small fire amidships, no.2 smashed but not buring, no.3 hardly touched, no.4 on fire and burning up well. Lt. Bulkeley decided to fire a torpedo at no.3 to finish it off. The torpedo ran well until close inshore when it was carried off by the current. It missed 20 yards astern and ran up the beach without exploding.

1852 hours - Called away the boarding party to go aboard the drifting coaster.

1900 hours - Coaster no.4 now was buring so furiously that she lit up no.3 so called the gun crew to fire on no.3. A few hits soon set it on fire so ceased fire.

1920 hours - Shouts were heard in the water and one Chinese survivor swam up and hauled himself aboard via the after hydroplane guards.

1925 hours - Collected the boarding party from the drifting coaster.

1935 hours - The demolition charge went off and she was later seen to break in two. No.3 and 4 on the beach were considered to be a total loss. In all 190 rounds had been fired for about 90 hits. (8)

20 Feb 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a small Japanese tanker with gunfire in the Malacca Strait. A coaster was damaged.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0920 hours - Sighted a convoy of 2 ships and one trawler coming up the coast from the Southward. Decided to attack with torpedoes as there was not much ammo left for the 3" gun.

0924 hours - The convoy was now seen to be made up of a 1200 tons tanker, a coaster of 900 tons and a 350 tons coaster first thought to be a trawler.

1022 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 3000 yards.

1023 hours - The ships were observed to be altering away. All torpedoes missed ahead.

1026 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 03°28'N, 99°23'E. Range was 4500 yards. Engaged the tanker. The enemy replied with ineffective machine gunfire. The tanker was set on fire after 30 rounds for 12 hits. Target was now shifted to the large coaster now well inshore. Only 24 rounds were now left besides some starshell. All rounds now fired including the starshell but this resulted only in a small fire at the break of the poop but even this went out shortly afterwards.

During the gun action it became apparent that the tanker was only 900 tons, the large coaster 500 tons and the small one 200 tons. During the action a 50 tons tug and two small motor lighters were observed further up the coast. These beached themselves.

1104 hours - Set course to clear the area on the surface leaving the tanker burning furiously, the large coaster damaged, drifting and abandoned. The small coaster was on the beach and was unhurt. (8)

25 Feb 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (5th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (14)

24 Mar 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was docked at Trincomalee. (15)

28 Mar 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was undocked. (15)

31 Mar 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 8th war patrol (6th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Strait.

Before proceeding on patrol exercises were carried out with HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN) and HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN).

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


HMS Statesman 8th war patrol click here for bigger map (15)

5 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a convoy of 7 Japanese landing craft with gunfire and demolition charges in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
In position 03°58'N, 99°43'E sighted a junk sail on the Port bow. Altered course to investigate.

1258 hours - Sighted several small objects on the Starboard bow. Altered course to investigate these.

1302 hours - The objects were seen to be an unescorted convoy of 7 Type A landing craft. Went to gun action stations.

1311 hours - Opened fire on the leading landing craft from 5000 yards. Immediately an inaccurate return fire was opened up by all the landing craft with heavy machine guns. Closed to 3000 yards. By this time the return fire was becoming unpleasently accurate and bullets were hitting the bridge so changed course so that the Oerlikon was able to fire on the enemy as well. After only two pans of Oerlikon the enemy fire stopped and was never re-opened. Proceeded to 'clean up' the convoy.

1412 hours - Ceased firing. 195 Rounds had been fired for about 48 hits on various landing craft. 6 Of them were sunk and the 7th was stopped and drifting 2 to 3 nautical miles away. Steamed slowly through the wreckage of the last two to sink. All the survivors swam away not wanting to be picked up so left them in the water to drown. Set course towards the drifting landing craft. Went alongside and put the boarding party on board. They brought back several items including a gas operated .5" machine gun with some ammunition. They also brought back some chickens which later made a very fine dinner.

1455 hours - Placed demolition charges and withdrew.

1505 hours - The demolition charge exploded and the landing craft sank. Now proceeded in chase of the junk sighted earlier but this turned out to be a fishing vessel and was left unmolested. (8)

6 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank 5 sailing vessels with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1145 hours - Sighted 4 junks close inshore. 2 of 50 tons and 2 of 30 tons.

1152 hours - Went to gun action stations.

1203 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 02°57'N, 100°04'E

1208 hours - One of the 50 tons junks was sunk.

1209 hours - Dived for an aircraft reported by a lookout.

1222 hours - Surfaced to renew gun action and soon all junks had been sunk for the expense of 55 rounds for 18 hits.

1240 hours - Dived in position 02°58'N, 100°03'E.

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

1530 hours - Sighted 2 junks of about 50 tons. Went to gun action stations.

1547 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 03°00'N, 100°03'E.

1605 hours - Sank one of the junks with gunfire.

1620 hours - After being enable to close the range to the 2nd junk abandoned the attack and retired.

1626 hours - Position was now 02°59'N, 100°03'E. Proceeded to seaward. 97 Rounds had been expended in the last action. (8)

7 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire in the the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1800 hours - Sighted a junk in deeper water. Went to boarding stations.

1813 hours - Surfaced in position 03°44'N, 100°46'E. Put two bursts of Oerlikon over the junk which swung around and came sailing towards. Put two bursts into it to try to make the crew lower their sails, but with no effect.

1826 hours - Went alongside and put the boarding party on board. They found the vessel deserted. Apparently the crew had jumped overboard as soon as we opened fire.

1856 hours - Recovered the boarding party and proceeded to clear the area. The junk was a large one of about 80 tons having two cabins as well as the normal living space for the crew. It was loaded with oil in drums and rice. She was sunk with demolition charges.

8 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1515 hours - Sighted a 50 tons junk proceeding from close inshore to seaward.

1532 hours - Went to boarding stations.

1540 hours - Surfaced in position 03°29'N, 99°20'E. Put a burst of Oerlikon fire over the junk. The crew then abandoned ship. Went alongside and placed the boarding party on board. As Statesman was now in very shallow water she retired to seaward and ordered the boarding party to sail the junk out to seaward.

1625 hours - Recovered the boarding party after they had placed demolition charges.

1635 hours - The junk blew up and sank. (8)

10 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1010 hours - Sighted a junk standing down the coast inside the minefield. Decided to shadow it and attack it when it became clear of the end.

1155 hours - Sighted the masts of 3 junks at anchor on the port beam. Decided to deal with them after we dealt with the one we were shadowing.

1412 hours - Went to gun action stations.

1428 hours - Surfaced and closed the junk, a 50 tons one. Sighted several more junks tat anchor to the South.

1445 hours - Boarded the junk and took the crew prisoner.

1503 hours - Recovered the boarding party. Meanwhile found out by taking a sight that we were much further to the South than our DR position and were getting into very shallow water. Gave up the idea of attacking the junks to the Southward and went after the junks sighted at 1155 hours.

1515 hours - The junk exploded and sank.

1544 hours - The 3 junks were seen to be 1 large schooner of about 300 tons at anchor. Closed up the guns crew.

1548 hours - In position 02°32'N, 100°32'E opened fire from 5000 yards.

1556 hours - The schooner sank after having fired 26 rounds for 5 hits.

1605 hours - Picked up 12 Chinese survivors, 1 of these was wounded and was given first aid. Sighted a small junk in the distance, decided to put all prisoners / survivors on board this junk.

1630 hours - Transferred the prisoners / survivors to a small sampan which became very crowded. Set course to clear the area and for the Aroa Islands. (8)

11 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank three Japanese motor lighters with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0840 hours - Sighted several motor lighters close inshore. Went to gun action stations.

0853 hours - Surfaced in position 03°28'N, 99°21'E. Opened fire from 4500 yards. Closed the range to 3500 yards. They could not be closed further due to shallow water. The small targets, 5 lighters of 70 tons, were very difficult to hit.

0925 hours - Ceased firing. 105 rounds had been fired for 20 hits. Two lighters were sunk, one was burning furiously. The other two were beached but unhurt. Proceeded to clear the area.

0936 hours - Dived in position 03°27'N, 99°20'E and resumed patrol dived. (8)

15 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0350 hours - In position 04°24'N, 99°37'E sighted a dark object on the Starboard bow. Altered course to investigate.

0401 hours - The object was identified as a large 3 masted tonkang of about 120 tons. Went to gun action stations.

0414 hours - Opened fire from 1500 yards.

0417 hours - Ceased fire when the crew began to abandon ship. 15 Rounds had been fired for 5 hits.

0421 hours - Ran close by the tonkang. She did not appear to be sinking so called away the boarding party and placed them on board.

0508 hours - Recovered the boarding party who reported that the tonkang was holed below the waterline in 3 places and was sinking fast.

0509 hours - The tonkang sank. (8)

19 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (6th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (16)

25 Apr 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 9th war patrol (7th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Strait.

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


HMS Statesman 9th war patrol click here for bigger map (16)

5 May 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1630 hours - Sighted two junks on the horizon at opposite points, both closing slowly.

It became apparent that by 1830 hours, our normal surfacing time, both junks would be within a mile of our navigational buoy. As we were to surface to search for the buoy in half light they were bound to see us so decided they had to be destroyed and their crews taken prisoner.

1731 hours - Surfaced and closed one of the junks. It turned out to be a small fishing sampan. Took the crew prisoner and but a boarding party on board with orders to sail towards the buoy.

1803 hours - Closed the buoy in position 03°24'N, 100°50'E and hang the lantern on it before proceeding towards the 2nd junk.

1836 hours - Closed the second junk. This was also a small fishing sampan. Took the crew prisoner and placed a demolition charge.

1855 hours - The charge exploded and the sampan sank.

1925 hours - Recovered the boarding party on the first sampan. They had also placed a demolition charge.

1935 hours - The charge exploded and the sampan sank.

1940 hours - Arrived off our buoy and patrolled round it on one motor with the Asdic watch set. The prisoners were put onto another fishing sampan 4 days later. (8)

9 May 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with demolition charges in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0510 hours - Closed buoy and recovered our lantern. Then sank the buoy with machine gun fire as we would not be needing it any longer.

0535 hours - After the buoy had sank 3 sails were sighted to the South-West. Closed to investigate. They were soon seen to be 3 sampans.

0615 hours - Went alongside the nearest sampan and put off the 7 Chinese captured on May 5th.

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

1128 hours - Sighted sail to the Northward. Altered course to investigate.

1210 hours - it was now seen to be a 50 tons junk. Her crew abandoned ship when they sighted us.

1225 hours - Put the boarding party on board the junk in position 03°44'N, 99°45'E.

1245 hours - Recovered the boarding party and proceeded. Left the crew of the junk in their small boat as there was a fishing sampan about 5 nautical miles away.

1257 hours - The junk exploded and sank.

10 May 1945
At 1747 hours (zone -6.5) HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) sighted the tops of a large Japanese warship thought to be a heavy cruiser in position 03°24'N, 100°48'E. She reported this by W/T. (8)

12 May 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) tried to attack the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro but she could not do so due to the cruiser passing out of range. She then tried to attack her escort, the Japanese destroyer Kamikaze (both offsite links) but was unable to fire torpedoes against this target either.

In the early evening Statesman was ordered to proceed carry out a special operation.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0642 hours - Sighted the upperworks of a Japanese cruiser. Closed to attack.

0706 hours - The cruiser was seen to alter towards. Changed course to intercept.

0715 hours - The cruiser altered back to her original course. Changed own course again to intercept. It was thought the cruiser had altered course to avoid an attack by HMS Subtle (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN). A destroyer was seen to drop astern and to start depth charging.

0725 hours - Unable to close the range to attack the cruiser. Decided to attack the destroyer instead and come to the aid of HMS Subtle.

0815 hours - Getting close to the destroyer now. Our periscope observations were considerably hampered by the aircraft that were patrolling the area.

0830 - 0945 hours - Played ' Chase-me-Charlie' with the destroyer. It was useless to fire torpedoes at a range greater then 1000 yards due to the constant course and speed changes of the destroyer. She altered course twice towards forcing Statesman deep and she passed quite close but never gained contact.

0945 hours - Decided to break off the game. All the time the destoyer had been dropping depth charges at random but none was close.

0955 hours - Three more 'destroyers' appeared on the scene.We had just cleared the 'search' area in time. (8)

13 May 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) carried out a special operation off the Sembilan Islands (details hopefully to follow later). (8)

16 May 1945
On 9 May 1945 the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro and the Japanese destroyer Kamikaze (both offsite links) left Singapore for a transport run to the Andaman Islands. They were sighted the next day in Malakka Strait by the British submarines HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) and HMS Subtle (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN). To intercept the Japanese ships a task force made up of 2 battleships, 1 heavy cruiser, 2 light cruisers, 4 escort carriers and 8 destroyers left Trincomalee. Aircraft from the escort carriers attacked the Nicobar Islands on the 11th, forcing Haguro and Kamikaze to head back to Singapore.

On the 14th the Japanese ships again depart from Singapore for the Andaman Islands. They were spotted the next day north-east of Sabang by aircraft the British escort carrier HMS Shah (Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN). A few hours later they were attacked by aircraft from the British escort carrier HMS Emperor (Capt. Sir C. Madden, RN) causing light damaged to Haguro. In the meantime Japanese aircraft have sighted Allied destroyers closing in on Haguro and once again the Japanese ships reverse course.

In anticipation on the Japanese reversal of course the commander of the British 26th DF, Capt. M.L. Power, CBE, DSO with Bar, RN on board HMS Saumarez and the other British destroyers HMS Venus (Cdr. H.G.D. De Chair, DSC with Bar, RN), HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, DSC, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, DSC, RN) and HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, DSC, RN) plotted a course to intercept the Japanese ships which they did shortly before midnight on the 15th. After careful manoeuvring the destroyers began attacking the Japanese ships from all sides shortly after one o'clock on the 16th. The Haguro was hit by torpedoed and gunfire and sank around 0230hours in position 04°49'N, 99°42'E but not before she hit the Saumarez with gunfire. The escorting Japanese destroyer Kamikaze escapes with only minor damage.

19 May 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (7th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (17)

17 Jun 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 10th war patrol (8th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the North coast of Sumatra.

No log is available for this period and the patrol report does not mention daily positions so therefore no map can be displayed. (8)

24 Jun 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) engaged a Japanese vessel with gunfire off Ulee Lhoe, Northern Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies. Two hits were obtained but the action had to be broken off. The target has so far not been identified.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1418 hours - Sighted the funnel and superstructure of a small vessel moving up and down the coast to the West of Ulee Lhoe. Closed to attack.

1442 hours - Surfaced and opened fire at a range of 6000 yards. The target was of about 800 to 1000 tons and was thought to be the submarine tender Komahashi (this was not correct as this ship was stationed in Japanese home waters during the entire war). 10 Rounds were fired for 2 hits before the target slipped from sight behind Lompat Island. 2 More rounds were fired at a couple of landing craft before these too disappeared.

1455 hours - The Port lookout reported an MTB closing.

1456 hours - Dived. The MTB remained in the area for some time and dropped several small depth charges but none were close.

1532 hours - The MTB made off through Cedar passage to re-join the other ship.

1615 hours - Set course for Cedar passage with the object of surfacing and to chase.

1815 hours - Surfaced in position 05.36'N, 95.13'E and set off to chase the enemy but they were not sighted again.

26 Jun 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire off Diamond Point in position 05°19'N, 97°34'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0102 hours - Altered course to investigate two objects approaching from the West.

0140 hours - The objects were identified as two small junks of about 20 tons.

0145 hours - The leading junk was sunk with 8 rounds from a range of 2200 yards. The second junk beached herself and could not be engaged against the dark background of the trees. No further action was taken and course was set towards deeper water. (8)

5 Jul 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) attacked a beached coaster with one torpedo off Ulee Lhoe, Northern Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies. The torpedoes missed and exploded on the beach.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1700 hours - Decided to finally detroy the grounded coaster seen on July 1st (but not molested earlier in the hope of better game showing up). The coaster was about 120 feet long and about 100 tons. She was laying beached about 1 mile to the West of Ulee Lhoe.

1749 hours - Fired a torpedo at the coaster from 3800 yards. The torpedo was later seen to explode on the beach having passed close astern of the target.

1755 hours - Retired to seaward as gun action was not thought wise due to the shore batteries in this area. (8)

6 Jul 1945
During the afternoon HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) was detected and briefly depth charges while trying to reconnoiter Sabang harbour. No damage was inflicted to HMS Statesman but she wisely retired from the area. (8)

11 Jul 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (8th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (8)

9 Aug 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 11th war patrol (9th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Strait together with HMS Spur (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN).

It had been intended to sail Statesman together with HMS Spur but defects needed to be repaired first so Statesman was delayed for 6 days.

No log is available for this period and the patrol report does not mention daily positions so therefore no map can be displayed. (8)

14 Aug 1945
In the early morning hours HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) made rendezvous with HMS Spur (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) off Pulau Jarak.

Both submarines then made a sweep through the area. During this sweep HMS Statesman sank 5 sailing vessels with demolition charges and gunfire.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0545 hours - In rendezvous position, 282°, Pulau Jarak, 6 nautical miles.

0626 hours - Sighted HMS Spur, altered course towards.

0635 hours - HMS Spur challenged. Passed identification. HMS Spur altered course towards.

0645 hours - Formed up with HMS Spur and proceeded in line ahead towards Pulau Jarak.

0800 hours - Stationed HMS Spur 5 nautical miles on the Starboard bow of HMS Statesman for a sweep down the middle of the Straits for junks.

0912 hours - Sighted a sail and altered course to investigate. At the same time HMS Spur went off to investigate another sail.

0950 hours - Our sail was nothing more than a fishing sampan and it was left alone. Set course to rejoin HMS Spur after seeing sink her junk. Carried on with the sweep.

1145 hours - Sighted a sail. Altered course to investigate.

1230 hours - Boarded a 30 tons junk in position 03°41'N, 100°30'E. She was carrying rice and salt. Took of the crew and placed demolition charges.

1244 hours - Withdrew to give chase to another sail.

1257 hours - The junk blew up and sank.

1312 hours - Gave up the chase of the last sail sighted as it appeared to be on the other side of a known minefield. Altered course to the Southward to chase another sail.

1329 hours - HMS Spur was seen to be taking care of the one we were now also chasing. Returned to the one seen on the other side of the minefield as it looked like a big one. Made an end around the minefield.

1525 hours - Boarded an 80 tons 3-masted junk in position 03°45'N, 100°45'E. It was found to be full of raw rubber and some very fine teak. Demolition charges were placed and the junk blew up. Then went after a junk trying to sneak up the river.

1545 hours - In position 03°49'N, 100°47'E sank a 50 tons junk with gunfire. 42 Rounds were used for 15 hits.

1555 hours - Closed a sampan and placed on board all survivors of the junks sunk so far. HMS Spur was seen approaching from the South. She shot up 2 junks off the South bank of the river.

1600 hours - Set course to the South-East to clear the area.

1707 hours - Sighted 3 sails on the Port bow. Closed to investigate.

1730 hours - In position 03°33'N, 100°54'E boarded a 20 tons junk loaded with copra and a 10 tons junk loaded with copra and coconut oil. Took off the crews and placed demolition charges. HMS Spur meanwhile took care of the 3rd junk.

1755 hours - Set of in chase of a junk on the horizon to get rid of the prisoners.

1757 hours - The 10 tons junk blew up and sank.

1806 hours - The 20 tons junk blew up and sank.

1856 hours - In position 03°33'N, 100°43'E went alongside the junk to transfer the prisoners.

1915 hours - Slipped the junk and lay off. HMS Spur then went alongside it to transfer her prisoners. (8)

18 Aug 1945
At 1552 hours (zone -6.5) HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) torpedoed and sank a derelict wreck drifting in the Straits of Malacca, described as probably a coaster. Earlier attempts to sink it with demolition charges had failed. (8)

25 Aug 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (8th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. (8)

4 Sep 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Trincomalee for Port Said. She was to proceed back to the U.K. (18)

20 Sep 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Port Said. She departed for Alexandria later the same day. (18)

21 Sep 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (18)

27 Sep 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Alexandria for Gibraltar. (18)

4 Oct 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (18)

5 Oct 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth. (18)

10 Oct 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (18)

5 Dec 1945
HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) was placed in reserve at Portsmouth. (18)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18110
  2. ADM 173/18816
  3. ADM 173/18818
  4. ADM 173/18819
  5. ADM 173/18820
  6. ADM 173/18821
  7. ADM 173/18822
  8. ADM 199/1875
  9. ADM 173/18823
  10. ADM 173/18824
  11. ADM 173/18825
  12. ADM 173/18826
  13. ADM 173/19727
  14. ADM 173/19728
  15. ADM 173/19729
  16. ADM 173/19730
  17. ADM 173/19731
  18. ADM 199/2571

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


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