Allied Warships

HMS Sleuth (P 261)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 261 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered17 Nov 1942 
Laid down30 Jun 1943 
Launched6 Jul 1944 
Commissioned8 Oct 1944 
End service 
History

Scrapped at Charlestown on 15 September 1958.

 

Commands listed for HMS Sleuth (P 261)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Kenneth Henry Martin, RNSep 194411 May 1945
2T/Lt. Herbert Shaw, RNR11 May 194513 May 1945
3Lt. John Chaloner Ogle, DSC, RN13 May 194525 May 1945
4T/Lt. Herbert Shaw, RNR25 May 194511 Jun 1945
5Lt. Kenneth Henry Martin, RN11 Jun 194521 Nov 1945

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.

Notable events involving Sleuth include:


5 Oct 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. (1)

6 Oct 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

17 Dec 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Loch Ranza for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS Sidon (Lt. H.C. Gowan, RN). They were escorted by HMS Hastings (A/Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN). (2)

18 Dec 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participe in attack and A/S exercises. This and her work-up patrol were later cancelled. (2)

21 Dec 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Loch Ewe. (2)

22 Dec 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Loch Ewe for Holy Loch. (2)

23 Dec 1944
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (2)

1 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) is docked at Holy Loch. (3)

5 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) is undocked. (3)

11 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Holy Loch for passage to Gibraltar. She made the passage in convoy OS 104 / KMS 78.

This was the first leg of the trip to the Far East.

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


HMS Sleuth passage Holy Loch - Fremantle click here for bigger map

19 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (3)

23 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. She made the passage together with HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN). (3)

27 Jan 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Malta. (3)

6 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. (4)

9 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Port Said. (4)

11 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) transited the Suez Canal Southbound and arrived at Suez. (4)

12 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Suez for Aden. (4)

16 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Aden. (4)

20 Feb 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Aden for Trincomalee. (4)

3 Mar 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (5)

7 Mar 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Trincomalee for Fremantle, Australia. (5)

21 Mar 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Fremantle. (5)

28 Mar 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) is put on the slipway at Fremantle for a propeller change. (5)

29 Mar 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) is put back in the water. (5)

8 Apr 1945
During 8 to 10 April 1945 HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee.

The exercises in 9 and 10 April 1945 were together with HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN). (6)

11 Apr 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) carried out practice attacks off Fremantle on HMS Adamant (Capt. H.M.C. Ionides, RN). (6)

14 Apr 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Fremantle for her 1st war patrol (1st in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) in the Eastern Java Sea.

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


HMS Sleuth 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (7)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrive at Exmouth Bay to fuel. Both submarines departed in company for their patrol area later the same day. (7)

21 Apr 1945
During the night of 21/22 April 1945 HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) passed Lombok Strait Northbound. (7)

26 Apr 1945
The British submarines HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sink the Japanese auxiliary minesweeper Wa 3 (215 tons) with gunfire in the Java Sea west of Kalambau Island in position 04°50'S, 115°40'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1830 hours - Solent reported two ships. Altered course towards. Shortly afterwards Solent reported the contact as a coaster and a seatruck.

1856 hours - 5 Depth charges were heard to explode near Solent.

1940 hours - Ordered by Solent to surface and trail. Could not do so at one as the enemy was only 2 nautical miles away in bright moonlight.

2030 hours - Surfaced and closed Solent. Took station on her port beam and together set off at full speed to get into a position down moon.

2148 hours - The enemy turned and made for Kalambau Island. Turned to close.

2213 hours - Solent opened fire.

2215 hours - Sleuth now also opened fire. Range was 3600 yards. Both ships fired at the largest ship which turned out to be an escort. The escort returned fire.

2235 hours - Ceased firing.

2238 hours - The escort was on fire aft and stopped.

2242 hours - The escort blew up with a violent explosion. Started to look for the second ship. Fired starshell to aid in the search.

2304 hours - The escort was seen to sink.

2347 hours - Sighted the second vessel thought to be a large lugger and opened fire. The first round hit. The enemy returned fire with a 25mm machine gun but Sleuth was not hit. Four hits were obtained. The next morning the target was seen broken up on the beach.

2353 hours - Altered course away and joined Solent. (7)

29 Apr 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) together sank a seatruck with gunfire in position 04°33'S, 116°03'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1412 hours - Sighted a two-masted ship bearing 065 degrees. Passed report to Solent and commenced attack.

1435 hours - The ship was alone and a coaster of about 300 tons. Decided to surface and engage with the 4" gun. Informed Solent of my intentions.

1603 hours - Surfaced and engaged the enemy from 3200 yards. Solent also surfaced and opened fire.

1615 hours - The target fired a few rounds with a machine gun.

1619 hours - The target was on fire but still going ahead at 7 knots. The crew and passengers were seen to be abandoning ship.

1637 hours - Commenced rescuing the survivors. They had be now be seen to be civilians with their families. Rescued a total of 51 including 9 women and 6 babies.

1827 hours - Dived for an aircraft seen by Solent. Unfortunately one seriously injured survivor had to be left on the after casing. He had been already given a strong dose of morphia.

2002 hours - Surfaced and proceeded to the nearest Island hoping to find fishing vessels to put the survivors on.

2200 hours - Sighted a small fishing vessel. The skipper said there were no Japanese on the islands and that there was plenty of rice and water available. He was willing to take the survivors to the shore.

2230 hours - Towed the fishing vessel closer to the shore and filled it with half of the survivors.

0048 hours (30th) / The second half of the survivors left for the island. Kept on board 3 volunteers and 1 Sino-Javanese collaborator. Then set course to re-join Solent who was landing her survivors some distance away. (7)

2 May 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) sank an enemy seatruck with gunfire. She was assisted by HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) which also obtained one hit on the target. Position was 04°33'S, 115°31'E

(All times are zone -9)
0706 hours - Sighted ship bearing 070°. The ship was a large 300 tons seatruck. No escort was seen. Warned Solent of gun action.

0810 hours - Surfaced and opened fire from 2600 yards. The first round hit. Solent joined in later after having closed the range first.

0820 hours - The target was on fire and sinking. The crew was abandoning ship in a small boat.

0831 hours - Dived and cleared the area. (7)

8 May 1945
During the night of 8/9 May 1945 HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) passed Lombok Strait Southbound. (7)

11 May 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) both arrive at Exmouth Gulf.

Lt. K.H. Martin left Sleuth there with a fever. The 1st Lt. temporary took command until Lt. J.C. Ogle took over on the 13th for the passage to Subic Bay. (7)

13 May 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) both depart Exmouth Gulf to return to their patrol area in the Eastern Java Sea.

They were to patrol there for a week and then proceed to Subic Bay, Philippines. This patrol was later cancelled and they were both ordered to proceed to Subic Bay directly. (7)

16 May 1945
During the evening HMS Sleuth (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) passed Lombok Strait Northbound. (7)

25 May 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol (1st in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (7)

13 Jun 1945
During 13 and 14 June 1945 HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) both conducted exercises off Subic Bay. These included night exercises. (8)

17 Jun 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Subic Bay for her 2nd war patrol (2nd in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) off Banka Strait and to the East of Singapore.

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


HMS Sleuth 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (9)

6 Jul 1945
At 0413 hours (zone -9) HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) attacked an enemy submarine to the East of Singapore. 6 Torpedoes were fired from 5000 yards but no hits were obtained.

This must have been the Japanese submarine I-351 (offsite link) that arrived at Singapore on this day. Details of this attack are not known as there is no log or patrol report of HMS Sleuth for this period. (9)

13 Jul 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (2nd in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (9)

27 Jul 1945
During 27 and 28 July 1945 HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) and HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) both conducted exercises off Subic Bay. These included night exercises. (10)

31 Jul 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Subic Bay for her 3rd war patrol (3rd in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) in the Gulf of Siam.

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


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

6 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) sank 3 junks with gunfire and demolition charges in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1911 hours - Surfaced in position 06°53'N, 101°47'E and closed 5 junks about 10 nautical miles from the shore. All crew abandoned ship at once.

1934 hours - Sank a 90 tons junk with gunfire. She was Northbound with a cargo of oil in drums, kapok and crated cargo. 7 Rounds were used. Then 2 medium seized junks were sunk with demolition charges. Both were of about 50 tons and the cargo for both was rice. USS Bugara (Cdr. A.F. Schade, RN) meanwhile had also surfaced and sank the other 2 junks. (7)

13 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) is bombed by a Japanese aircraft in the Gulf of Siam. No damage was caused to Sleuth.

(All times are zone -9)
1150 hours - In position 11°53'N, 100°03'E obtained radar contact on an aircraft. Sighted a Val dive bombers attacking. Dived.

1153 hours - The Val dropped two bombs in our wake. No damage was caused by them. (7)

15 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) sank 3 junks with demolition charges in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
0150 hours - Investigated a medium seized Southbound junk loaded with rice. Sank her with demolition charges in position 11°55'N, 100°04'E.

0450 hours - Investigated a large 90 tons Southbound junk with a cargo of rice. Sankher with demolition charges in position 11°55'N, 100°02'E.

0635 hourds - Investigated and sank a medium seized junk with demolition charges in position 11°57'N, 100°02'E.

0740 hours - Set course to intercept another junk. Shortly afterwards received a signal about the surrender of Japan. This junk was saved by the bell. (7)

21 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (3rd in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (7)

27 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Subic Bay for Hong Kong. (11)

30 Aug 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrived at Hong Kong. (11)

12 Sep 1945
HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) departed Hong Kong for passage to the U.K. She arrived back in the U.K. on 2 November 1945 when she arrved at Portsmouth. She was paid off into reserve on 21 November 1945. (11)

13 Jun 1952
HMS Sleuth collided with the destroyer HMS Zephyr while leaving Portland harbour. She put her stern through the side of Zephyr as she reversed out of her berth.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18764
  2. ADM 173/18766
  3. ADM 173/19663
  4. ADM 173/19664
  5. ADM 173/19665
  6. ADM 173/19666
  7. ADM 199/1876
  8. ADM 173/19676
  9. ADM 199/1919
  10. ADM 173/19677
  11. ADM 199/2570

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


Return to the Allied Warships section