Allied Warships

HMS Solent (P 262)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 262 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered17 Nov 1942 
Laid down7 May 1943 
Launched8 Jun 1944 
Commissioned7 Sep 1944 
End service 
History

Scrapped on 28 August 1961.

 

Commands listed for HMS Solent (P 262)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. John Dennis Martin, DSC, RNJul 194421 Nov 1945

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Noteable events involving Solent include:


5 Sep 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. (1)

6 Sep 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

3 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Rothesay for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by HMS Shikari (Lt. E.H.U. Cautley, RNVR). (2)

6 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participe in attack and A/S exercises. (2)

8 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted attack exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Trusty (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN). (2)

9 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Volage (Cdr. L.G. Durlacher, OBE, RN) and HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN). (2)

10 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

11 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

12 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

13 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

14 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

15 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Sardonyx (A/Lt.Cdr. T.A. Easton, RNVR). (2)

16 Oct 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (2)

25 Nov 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She was made the passage North through the Miches together with HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) and HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. P.J.S. de Jong, RNN). They were escorted by escorted by HMS Sardonyx (A/Lt.Cdr. T.A. Easton, RNVR).

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


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

26 Nov 1944
At 2000 hours (zone -1) HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) parted with her escort and proceeded to her patrol area midway between the Orkney Islands and the Norwegian coast. (3)

6 Dec 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (4)

9 Dec 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Hastings (A/Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN). (4)

10 Dec 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Holy Loch. (4)

11 Dec 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) is docked at Holy Loch. (4)

17 Dec 1944
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) is undocked. (4)

2 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for passage to Gibraltar. She made the passage in convoy OS 102 / KMS 76.

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

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


HMS Solent passage Holy Loch - Fremantle click here for bigger map (5)

11 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (5)

14 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. (5)

17 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (5)

22 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. (5)

26 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said. (5)

31 Jan 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) transited the Suez Canal Southbound and arrived at Suez. (5)

10 Feb 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Suez for Aden. (6)

15 Feb 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden. (6)

16 Feb 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Aden for Trincomalee. This was later changed to Colombo. (6)

25 Feb 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) made a short stop at Colombo to take on board fuel. She departed for Trincomalee later the same day. (6)

27 Feb 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (7)

3 Mar 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for Fremantle, Australia. (8)

17 Mar 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Fremantle. (8)

5 Apr 1945
During 5 to 7 April 1945 HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Fremantle. (9)

9 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN). (9)

11 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) carried out practice attacks off Fremantle on HMS Adamant (Capt. H.M.C. Ionides, RN). (9)

14 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Fremantle for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) in the Eastern Java Sea.

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


HMS Solent 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (10)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) arrive at Exmouth Bay to fuel. Both submarines departed in company for their patrol area later the same day. (10)

23 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank a small Japanese merchant vessel or large coaster with a torpedo to the South of Bali, Netherlands East Indies in position 08°53'S, 115°04'E.

(All times are zone -9)
0824 hours - Sighted a landen merchant vessel thought to be of about 1300 tons escorted by a large fast looking whaler type escort vessel approaching from the Eastward. Started attack.

0857 hours - Fired a salvo of 5 torpedoes from 2000 yards. Went deep on firing. One loud explosion was heard. This was followed by four more explosions which were most likely the other torpedoes hitting the shore. One of the torpedoes circled overhead twice.

0906 hours - The escort commenced a counter attack which laster for just over one hour. 24 Depth charges were dropped and these were fairly close at first.

1019 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Only saw the escort 5000 yards astern. The target was not sighted. Also one aircraft was seen to be patrolling the area. Went deep again to reload and retired from the area. (10)

24 Apr 1945
During the night of 24/25 April 1945 HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) passed Lombok Strait Northbound. (10)

26 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, 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)
1818 hours - Sighted smoke on the horizon bearing 150°.

1829 hours - Sighted masts and funnels.

1857 hours - Incorrectly judged the ships to be a coaster and a seatruck. Passed this information by SS/T to Sleuth.

1900 hours - Passed to Sleuth 'stand by for gun action'. It was the intention to let the vessels get halfway between both submarines and the engage the larger one together. As it was thought no escort was present there were no restrictions on the use of SS/T.

1918 hours - Went deep to allow the ships to pass overhead. Sent to Sleuth 'enemy is passing me now' The larger vessel now turned out to be an escort vessel and must have head the transmission which was on full power.

1922 hours - A total of 7 depth charges was dropped fairly close in about 10 minutes. Solent went deep as the enemy appeared to be in contact.

1954 hours - The enemy escort had left the scene and as it was dark sent to Sleuth 'surface and close'.

1957 hours - Surfaced and commenced trailing the enemy.

2030 hours - Sleuth joined company and took station 400 yards on Solents port beam. Spent the next two hours manouvering in a position down moon from the enemy and then opened fire with the 4" gun. Fall of shit was difficult to observe as Sleuth was also firing. The enemy replied with 3" and Oerlikon gunfire. After about 15 minutes the escort was hit about 10 times by Solent en Sleuth and ceased firing. She turned towards at speed and was seen to be on fire aft. The enemy passed down Solent's port side at a range of 100 yards when she was riddled with Oerlikon fire at point blank range. Solent then set off in chase of the landing barge that was escorted by this ship. The barge made for Kalambau Island and was soon lost in the shadow of this island. Solent then returned to the escort which was still afloat. Fire was then opened again with the Oerlikon at the centre and fore part.

2245 hours - The escort blew up with a tremendous explosion and a shower of debris landed on Solent. A search was then started to find the landing barge off Kalambau Island.

2252 hours - When Solent was about 900 yards from the shore and was searching the area with her Aldis light she was straddled by a fierce burst of machine gun fire. The barge however could not be seen.

2355 hours - Sighted a ship approaching from the North-East. Sleuth engaged this ship with her 4" gun. Very shortly afterwards Solent was straddled with 3" and Oerlikon gunfire. As the capabilities of this newcomer were unknown it was decided to retire from the scene. Ordered Sleuth to disengage and join Solent.

Continued on 27 April 1945. (10)

27 Apr 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a landing barge of Kalambau Island.

(All times are zone -9)
Continuation of the events of 27 April 1945

0121 hours - Sleuth reported that she had obtained 4 hits on the target. Decided to re-engage and both submarines turned round. Searched the North coast of the island and the sea about 5 nautical miles beyond but no sign of her was found. Decided to patrol off the Island during the night to prevent the landing barge from leaving.

0647 hours - Both submarines dived and closed the island to search for the landing barge.

0721 hours - Sighted the landing barge close inshore. Surfaced and closed to 300 yards. Sank the landing barge with 7 rounds of 4" and a pan of Oerlikon. Whilst withdrawing and about 400 yards from the shore sighted a Japanese swimming in the water hanging on to wreckage. Closed and he gratefully scrambled on board. He was a survivor of the escort sunk the day before and he had been in the water for about 10 hours. (10)

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

(All times are zone -9)
1500 hours - Sighted masts bearing 081°.

1520 hours - Identified the target as a seatruck. Told Sleuth by SS/T to stand by for gun action.

1601 hours - Signalled to Sleuth 'surface and engage'.

1602 hours - Surfaced. Range that was thought to be 2000 yards turned out to be about 4000 yards. The target increased to full speed and started zig-zagging. A hit from Sleuth destroyed her rear machine gun. The forward machine gun of the target could not be brought to bear. This machine gun was soon also knocked out by gunfire.

1620 hours - The target was well on fire but was still proceeding at about 8 knots. Sleuth then closed and fired 4" shells into her waterline but she still would not sink. A lot of men were seen to jump overboard thought to be Japanese soldiers. Upon passing one of them it was seen that he was Malay and soon it was seen that there was a grat number of them including women and children. Both submarines then started to pick up the survivors.

1824 hours - An aircraft was seen to be approaching so both submarines dived. By this time about 90 survivors had been picked up, several were wounded.

1956 hours - Surfaced and proceeded towards the Laurot Islands in the hope of finding a native fishing vessel to get rid of most of the survivors. A prau was sighted and it took off the survivors from Sleuth. Another prau was then sighted and this one took off the survivors from Solent. 4 Trips to the island were needed. By 0130 hours next morning all survivors were landed except 4 Malays who volunteered to remain on board. Many more also would have liked to do so but there was no room for them. (10)

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)
0740 hours - Sleuth reported enemy in sight bearing 020°.

0745 hours - The enemy was sighted by Solent, it was a deeply laden coaster of about 300 tons. Both submarines closed at speed. As Sleuth was closer she was ordered to assume tactical command.

0809 hours - Surfaced but as Solent was still 7000 yards from the target did not open fire. Sleuth was much closed and after having fired 4 rounds she hit the target forward starting a small fire which started spreading as other rounds hit. Solent then opened fire from 5500 yards. 3 Rounds were fired for 1 hit but by this time the target was fully on fire. The vessel was seen to burn until 1600 hours when she sank. (10)

8 May 1945
During the night of 8/9 May 1945 HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) passed Lombok Strait Southbound. (10)

11 May 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) both arrive at Exmouth Gulf. (10)

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

At Exmouth Gulf fuel was taken on board as well as provisions. The prisoner and survivors were landed. Minor repairs were also carried out.

The jounger of the Martin brothers, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sleuth arrived at Exmouth Gulf with a fever. He was relieved temporary by the spare Commanding Officer of the flotilla, Lt. Ogle.

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. (10)

16 May 1945
During the night of 16/17 May 1945 HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) passed Lombok Strait Northbound. (10)

25 May 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (10)

13 Jun 1945
During 13 and 14 June 1945 HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) both conducted exercises off Subic Bay. These included night exercises. (11)

17 Jun 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Subic Bay for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) off Banka Strait and to the East of Singapore.

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


HMS Solent 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (12)

28 Jun 1945
At 0112 hours (zone -9) HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a Japanese landing craft and damaged another with gunfire to the north of Banka Strait near position 01°24'S, 105°36'E. (12)

6 Jul 1945
At 0506 hours (zone -9) HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN), near position 01°33'N, 104°58'E, fired 6 torpedoes from 1200 yards against an enemy patrol vessel to the East of Singapore. No hits were obtained. No further details of this attack are known as there is no patrol report of HMS Sleuth for this patrol. (12)

13 Jul 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (12)

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

31 Jul 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Subic Bay for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the South-East Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol together with HMS Sleuth (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) in the Gulf of Siam.

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


HMS Solent 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (10)

6 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a junk with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
0812 hours - Surfaced in position 06°40'N, 101°58'E and sank by gunfire a medium seized Southbound junk loaded with rive. The crew abandoned ship and made for the shore in their sampan.
(10)

9 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a junk with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1037 hours - Boarded a medium seized junk laden with rice in position 08°50N, 100°07'E. The crew took to their sampan. Sank the junk with gunfire, 5 rounds being used.
(10)

10 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank 3 junks with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1215 hours - Observed 3 heavily laden large junks at anchor in position 09°40'N, 99°59'E and sank them with gunfire.

1245 hours - All junks had been sunk. 46 Rounds had been used. (10)

11 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a junk with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1518 hours - Surfaced in position 10°18'N, 99°19'E and destroyed a medium seized junk with gunfire (7 rounds being used). She was heavily laden with a cargo of rice. The crew pulled ashore in their sampan.
(10)

13 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank two junks with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1615 hours - In position 12°34'N, 101°01E closed two large and two medium seized junks. They were all laden. Sank the two large junks with gunfire. Cargo was rice, oil in drums and crated goods, probably machinery. 29 Rounds had been used. Whilst searching for the medium seized junks an aircraft approached and Solent retired from the scene.
(10)

15 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) sank a Japanese patrol vessel and a junk with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam.

(All times are zone -9)
1110 hours - Sighted a large junk escorted by a small patrol vessel of about 100 tons. After clearing the gap between Ko Chuang and the mainland both vessels turned to Port to hug the coastline of the bay putting Solent broad on the bow.

1130 hours - Surfaced in position 12°35'N, 101°01'E and engaged the patrol vessel from a range 2500 yards. The third round hit amidships and the crew was seen to abandon ship. 29 Rounds were fired and the vessel was seen to be sinking. Fire was then shifted to the junk. This vessel which was heavily laden was hit by the first two rounds and sank immediately.

1144 hours - Dived as an aircraft was seen approaching. Withdrew to seaward when the aircraft was seen to search this area. (10)

21 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the South-East Pacific area) at Subic Bay. (10)

27 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Subic Bay for Hong Kong. (13)

30 Aug 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) arrived at Hong Kong. (13)

12 Sep 1945
HMS Solent (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Martin, DSC, 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. (13)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18767
  2. ADM 173/18768
  3. ADM 173/18769
  4. ADM 173/18770
  5. ADM 173/19671
  6. ADM 173/19672
  7. Personal communication
  8. ADM 173/19673
  9. ADM 173/19674
  10. ADM 199/1876
  11. ADM 173/19676
  12. ADM 199/1919
  13. ADM 199/2570

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


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