Allied Warships

HMS Taku (N 38)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantN 38 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered20 Jul 1937 
Laid down18 Nov 1937 
Launched20 May 1939 
Commissioned3 Jan 1940 
End service 
HistorySold to be broken up for scrap in November 1946 and scrapped at Llanelly.

For an account on life aboard Taku see this website (offsite link).

 

Commands listed for HMS Taku (N 38)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Walter Selby Hall, RN19 Jun 193924 Feb 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Voltelin James Howard Van der Byl, RN24 Feb 19408 Oct 1940
3Lt. Hugh Bentley Turner, RN8 Oct 194017 Oct 1940
4Lt. John Frederick Beaufoy Brown, RN17 Oct 194022 Apr 1941
5Lt.Cdr. Edward Christian Frederic Nicolay, RN22 Apr 19415 Aug 1941
6Lt.Cdr. Peter Joseph Howell Bartlett, RN5 Aug 194125 Oct 1941
7Lt. William Warner Dennis, RN25 Oct 1941Nov 1941
8Lt. David Roger Oakeley Mott, DSC, RNNov 19418 Dec 1941
9Lt.Cdr. Jack Gethin Hopkins, RN8 Dec 194111 Oct 1942
10Lt. Arthur John Wright Pitt, RN11 Oct 19426 May 1944
11T/Lt. Percy Samuel Parmenter, RNR6 May 194428 Oct 1944
12Lt. George Edward Hunt, DSO, DSC, RN28 Oct 1944Mar/Apr 45
13Lt. John Peter Angell, RNMar/Apr 4525 May 1945
14Lt. William Hedley Kett, DSC, RNR25 May 194518 Jun 1945

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Noteable events involving Taku include:


The history of HMS Taku as compiled on this page is extracted from Taku's patrol reports and logbooks. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

11 Apr 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) departed from the Clyde area for her 1st war patrol. She is to patrol off Norway.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below


HMS Taku 1st war patrolclick here for bigger map

17 Apr 1940
While searching for 5 German destroyers reported to be in her area HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) fires 4 torpedoes against the British destroyer HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN). Luckily all torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone 0) Taku had received information that 5 German destroyers had been sighted off Stavanger at 1900 hours the previous day. They were steering Northwards at 25 knots. It was estimated that these would pass close to Taku's position between 0330 - 0400 hours this day.

0335 hours - Sighted a ship bearing 240° steering 060° at high speed, distance was about 4 miles. Turned towards and commenced a surface attack. The ships silhouette was very similar to that of a German destroyer. In view of the previous report there was no doubt that this was an enemy destroyer.

0342 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 3000 yards. One torpedo was seen to break surface. Taku dived immediately after firing. It was now rapidly getting lighter and immediately after firing the first salvo the destroyer changed course. Taku manoeuvred into position to fire a second salvo. The destroyer now turned directly towards and while doing so it was observed to have a tripod mast and twin gun mountings and it was identified as friendly. Taku went deep and the order was given to fire a yellow smoke candle and to transmit identity letter on S.S/T. When at 60 feet a pattern of depth charges exploded about 100 yards on the starboard bow. Taku now surfaced and established her identity by lamp. The destroyer was HMS Ashanti. Only minor damage was caused by the depth charges.

20 Apr 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth.

2 May 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She is to patrol of Southern Norway.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 2nd war patrolclick here for bigger map

8 May 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) attacked a German convoy with ten torpedoes and torpedoed and damaged the German torpedo boat Mowe (900 tons) east of Denmark in position 56°45'N, 06°12'E. After the attack Taku was depth charged and hunted for over 6 hours.

The convoy attacked was made up of the German transports Palime (2863 GRT, built 1937) and Pelikan (3264 GRT, built 1935) escorted by torpedo boats Mowe and Kondor.

Mowe was damaged in the stern and towed to Wilhelmshaven by Kondor. Mowe was under repair for almost three years until April 1943.

(All times are zone 0)
1715 hours - Sighted two camouflaged merchant ships about 8000 tons each escorted by two torpedo boats and two aircraft. Bearing 175°, range 8000 yards. All ships were zig-zagging independently. Commenced attack. It was intended to fire five torpedoes at each of the merchant ships from outside the screen.

1736 hours - Fired at the leading transport from 2000 yards. After the last torpedo was fired Taku went to 100 feet. One minute after firing three distinct explosions were heard. These were followed by an avalanche of depth charges. Taku meanwhile lost trim and bottomed at 150 feet. All motors were stopped. Taku was now hunted and depth charged until late in the evening.

2350 hours - Left bottom after the hunters HE had ceased.

0150 hours (9th) - Surfaced. Nothing in sight except some fishing vessels to the South and East. Proceeded to the North-West while charging.

15 May 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth.

27 May 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map

12 Jun 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth.

28 Jun 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She is to patrol of central Norway.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 4th war patrolclick here for bigger map

12 Jul 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth.

27 Jul 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 5th war patrol. She is to patrol off Norway.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 5th war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Aug 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth.

2 Sep 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) departed from Rothesay for her 6th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Bay of Biscay off the Gironde estuary.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 6th war patrolclick here for bigger map

20 Sep 1940
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. V.J.H. Van der Byl, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Falmouth.

18 Oct 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 7th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Bay of Biscay of Lorient / St. Nazaire.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 7th war patrolclick here for bigger map

2 Nov 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) hit the German tanker Gedania (8923 GRT) in the Bay of Biscay about 35 nautical miles south-west of Belle-Ile island in position 46°54'N, 03°50'W with a dud torpedo.

6 Nov 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Holy Loch.

21 Nov 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 8th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Bay of Biscay off the Gironde estuary.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 8th war patrolclick here for bigger map

12 Dec 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Holy Loch.

27 Dec 1940
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) is docked at Troon for a short refit.

3 Jan 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) left dock.

9 Jan 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) is docked again at Troon for some more repairs to her torpedo tubes.

11 Jan 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) left dock.

13 Jan 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 9th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Bay of Biscay off Brest and Lorient.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 9th war patrolclick here for bigger map

3 Feb 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Holy Loch.

24 Feb 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Halifax, Canada.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this passage see the map below.


HMS Taku (aborted) passage to Halifax (Canada)click here for bigger map

27 Feb 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) has to abandon the passage to Halifax as she is damaged in heavy weather. The after Hydroplanes are 'locked' in a vertical position rendering the ship un-maneuverable. A signal was made requesting assistance.

3 Mar 1941
At 0045 hours (zone +1) HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) is joined by the British sloop HMS Enchantress. At 1130 hours the British corvette HMS Gladiolus and the British rescue tug HMRT Salvonia also joined. Attempts were now undertaken to take Taku in tow but these failed. A connection between Salvonia and Taku was established only at 0808 hours the following morning. Taku was now towed to Londonderry. During passage the tow parted once.

10 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) arrived at Londonderry under tow.

12 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Londonderry under tow bound for Holy Loch.

13 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) arrived at Holy Loch under tow.

16 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) is docked at Ardrossan for repairs to her after hydroplanes.

21 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) left dock.

22 Mar 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 10th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Bay of Biscay. She is to proceed to Gibraltar afterwards.


HMS Taku 10th war patrolclick here for bigger map

13 Apr 1941
HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Gibraltar.

26 Apr 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 11th war patrol. This is her 1st Mediterranean war patrol. She is to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea and to proceed to Alexandria afterwards.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 11th war patrolclick here for bigger map

4 May 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) attacks the Italian merchant Goggiam (1994 GRT, built 1922) ship in position 350°Cape Vaticano 6 nautical miles. Two torpedoes were fired but both missed.

(All times are zone -3)
1234 hours - Sighted a small merchant ship of about 1100 tons bearing 166°, range 6900 yards, speed 9 knots. Commenced attack.

1251 hours - In position 350° Cape Vaticano 6 nautical miles fired two torpedoes from 3000 yards. Both missed. The target altered course away and closed the coast.

6 May 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Cagliari (2322 GRT, built 1907) in the Tyrrhenian Sea off San Lucido, Calabria, Italy in position 39°18'N, 15°59'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1929 hours - In position 39°18'N, 15°59'E sighted a merchant ship (thought to be Belvedere, 7166 tons, built 1913). Started attack.

1944 hours - Fired three torpedoes. The ship was sunk. (No further details in patrol report and log).

17 May 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) ended her 11th war patrol at Alexandria.

1 Jun 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 12th war patrol. This is her 2nd Mediterranean war patrol. She is to patrol in Gulf of Sirte.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 12th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Jun 1941
While on patrol off Az-Zuwaytinah, Libya HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) intercepts a small convoy made up of one schooner, one tug towing a leighter and one A/S trawler as escort. She attacked with gunfire but after the first round the gun misfired. As the gun continued to misfire she has to abort the attack. The A/S trawler dropped six depth charges but these did no damage. (The vessels attacked were the Italian schooners Elisa and Nadia escorted by the Italian gunboat Mario Bianco.)

During the night of 7-8 June 1941 the folbot party was landed on Gharah Island. The island was found to be uninhabited.

8 Jun 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) lands a folbot party at Al Burayqah, Libya. The folbot party made a landing and investigated the old ford. It was found to be ruined and deserted. Then another landing was made but the folbot party was detected and had to leave the beach under a hail of bullets. Fortunately no one was hit. The shore battery at Al Burayqah was bombarded by Taku after the folbot party was recovered. 7 Rounds were fired for one hit and one possible hit.

11 Jun 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) torpedoed and sank the German munitions transport Tilly L.M. Russ (1600 GRT, built 1926) at Bengasi, Libya. Several smaller vessels were also sunk or damaged.

(All times are zone -3)
2140 hours - In position 1 nautical mile bearing 270° from the Bengasi breakwater light, fires one torpedo against a supply ship in the harbour. The torpedo hit the target and started a large fire. Three minutes later Taku proceeded up the Bengasi swept channel back out to sea.

Italian sources give the following info: When the ammunition ship Tilly L.M. Russ blew up 15 men were missing including all her AA gunners, the auxiliary schooners Giorgina (253 GRT, raised in July 1941) and Nadia (243 GRT) were sunk by the blast and the steamer Ninfea (607 GRT, built 1918) and the schooners Rosina (244 GRT), [also reported as damaged by aircraft on 9 June] and Luigi (? GRT) were set afire, the water tanker Elisa (216 GRT) was also damaged.

12 Jun 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) intercepts a convoy and torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Silvio Scaroni (1367 GRT, built 1921) in the Gulf of Syrte 70 nautical miles bearing 283° off Benghazi, Libya in position 32°27'N, 18°42'E.

(All times are zone -3)
0435 hours - In position 32°20'N, 18°49'E, HMS Taku sighted a convoy. The convoy is identified as an Italian Orione class torpedo boat, an Italian MAS boat and three merchant ships of 1500, 2600 and 2500 tons respectively.

0503 hours - Two torpedoes were fired against the last ship in line. One of these torpedoes was seen to hit just abaft the foremast. The ship sank.

0505 hours - The torpedo boat was seen heading straight for Taku so Lt.Cdr. Nicolay went deep.

22 Jun 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) ended her 12th war patrol at Alexandria.

1 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) is docked at Alexandria for repairs to her Asdic dome and some other small repairs.

5 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) left dock.

8 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 13th war patrol. This is her 3rd Mediterranean war patrol. She is to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 13th war patrolclick here for bigger map

13 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian passenger / cargo ship Caldea (2703 GRT, built 1928) 10 nautical miles bearing 312 of the Bengasi lighthouse, Libya.

(All times are zone -3)
0956 hours - Taku sighted the target about 7000 yards away. The target was escorted by three A/S trawlers. Taku closed for a torpedo attack.

1014 hours - Fired four torpedoes. The first torpedo missed the target but the remaining three all hit. The ship sank and there was no counter attack on Taku.

15 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary minesweeper Vincenzo P. (270 GRT, built 1918) and damaged the tug Nettuno (406 GRT, built 1921) in position 30°41'N, 18°19'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1430 hours - An armed tug and a schooner were sighted in position 30°56'N, 17°56'E. Weather conditions were unfavourable for gunnery action. Taku shadowed the ships.

2126 hours - The ships were at anchor close inshore in position 30°41'N, 18°19'E. Taku surfaced to launch a folbot party. The folbot however broke in a wave and the idea of a folbot attack was abandoned. (A folbot is a folding kayak).

2314 hours - The armed tug was engaged with gunfire from 300 yards. A lighter was sighted laying astern of the tug. The lighter was slipped and drifted ashore. The tug was hit, the crew slipped the anchor cable and beached itself. Taku now shifted fire to the schooner. 12 rounds were fired from 150 yards. The schooner was then boarded. Charts, books, etc. were captured. The schooner was the Vincenzo P. and was loaded with provisions. The schooner was then sunk by gunfire. (Italian sources give the tug as Italian tug Nettuno. She was badly damaged and beached, The crew was saved and the tug was later salvaged.)

21 Jul 1941
In the early morning HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) lands a folbot party of 2 off Benghazi. They were to attack a ship in the harbour. Several explosions were observed in the harbour 40 minutes after launching the folbot party. The folbot party did not show up on the rendezvous point. They were obviously captured.

28 Jul 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) ended her 13th war patrol at Alexandria. This was the last patrol of Taku. She is now sent back to the U.K. for a refit due to engine problems.

13 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) departed from Alexandria bound for the U.K. where she is to refit. The first leg of the trip is to Malta. Taku has loaded 25000 gallons of kerosene the RAF at Malta.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this passage see the map below.


HMS Taku passage Alexandria - U.K.click here for bigger map

21 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) arrived at Malta. The kerosene is unloaded.

22 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) is docked at Malta for repairs to her Asdic cage.

23 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) left dock.

24 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) is docked again.

25 Aug 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) left dock.

Later HMS Taku departed Malta bound for Gibraltar.

1 Sep 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

4 Sep 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for the U.K.

13 Sep 1941
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) arrived at Rothesay.

16 Oct 1941
After for short period being used in A/S training HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) commences her refit at Chatham Dockyard.

19 Feb 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) ended her refit at Chatham Dockyard.

20 Mar 1942
After a short work-up and trial period in Scottish waters HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Gibraltar.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this passage see the map below.


HMS Taku passage Holy Loch - Gibraltarclick here for bigger map

27 Mar 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

2 Apr 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 14th war patrol. This is a work-up patrol to the East of Gibraltar.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 14th war patrolclick here for bigger map

3 Apr 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) is recalled to Gibraltar.

6 Apr 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Gibraltar to resume her 14th war patrol.

13 Apr 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) ended her 14th war patrol at Gibraltar.

22 Apr 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Gibraltar for passage to Alexandria.

8 May 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

22 May 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 15th war patrol. She is to patrol the approaches to Benghazi. Later she is used to give cover for operation Vigorous with several other submarines.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 15th war patrolclick here for bigger map

31 May 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) attacked a convoy and claims to have hit a merchant ship with a torpedo. Italian sources however makes no mention of this.

(All times are zone -3)
0425 hours - In position 33°34'N, 18°30'E sighted one destroyer and one large merchant ship bearing 230°, distance 5 nautical miles. The destroyer was zig-zagging widely across the bow of the merchant ship about 1 to 2 nautical miles ahead. Closed at full speed to attack.

0440 hours - Dived and proceeded at full speed.

0443 hours - Fired three torpedoes (four was intended but there was a problem with the firing valve of Nr. 6 torpedo tube) from 6000 yards (Taku was unable to get closed due to the destroyer).

0451 hours - On loud explosion was heard. Taku went deep as the destroyer had turned back. Upon coming to periscope depth sighted sparks and a small amount of flame bearing 130, the approximate bearing of the ship when the torpedoes were fired. Nothing further was seen through the periscope but very shortly after seeing these spars there was a terrific explosion that sounded very close. Though nothing had been seen of the destroyer it was felt that this might have been a depth charge. Taku went deep for 15 minutes.

0550 hours - Came to periscope depth. There was nothing in sight. Kept diving patrol towards Benghazi.

(It is not known for sure which ships were sighted and attacked by Taku but most likely it was the brand-new Italian transport Rosolino Pilo (8326 GR, built 1942) escorted by the destroyer Nicoloso da Recco).

20 Jun 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) ended her 15th war patrol at Alexandria.

30 Jun 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 16th war patrol. She is to patrol along the coast of Cyrenaica, Libya.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 16th war patrolclick here for bigger map

11 Jul 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) ended her 16th war patrol at Haifa.

31 Jul 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Haifa for her 17th war patrol. She is to patrol along the coast of Cyrenaica, Libya.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 17th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Aug 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) intends to attack a schooner with gunfire of Ras-el-Tin. The attack is spoiled at the last possible moment by patrolling aircraft.

(All times are zone -3)
0550 hours - Dived for patrol of Ras-el-Tin.

0920 hours - In position 32°21'N, 23°16'E sighted a two masted schooner in ballast close inshore. Decided to close and attack with the gun.

0945 hours - When just about to surface in a favourable position, sighted two aircraft patrolling along the coast. Reluctantly abandoned the idea of sinking the schooner with gunfire.

13 Aug 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) attacks an enemy convoy. The attack fails as Taku is detected.

(All times are zone -3)
1230 hours - In position 32°30'N, 20°08'E sighted what is thought to be a Crotone-class sloop escorting 2 medium seized motor vessels with three aircraft overhead. Started an attack.

1251 hours - Fired three torpedoed at the rear ship. Sighted one of the aircraft coming straight toward. About 2 minutes after firing three bombs were dropped that were very close. All three navigation lights were broken. No hits were heard and it seems likely that the torpedoed could be avoided.

1320 hours - Came to periscope depth, nothing in sight. Resumed dived patrol to the Westward.

According to Italian sources the ships attacked were Italian merchants Sibilla (1077 GRT, built 1900) and Albachiara (1245 GRT, built 1904) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Sagittario and submarine chaser Selve.

15 Aug 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) attacked the German merchant Menes (5609 GRT, built 1926) with 4 torpedoed about 90 nautical miles north-east of Benghazi, Libya in position 33°16'N, 21°16'E. All 4 torpedoed fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
0729 hours - Sighted one merchant vessel, about 5000 tons, escorted by two Spica class torpedo boats (one ahead and one astern of the merchant) and one aircraft overhead bearing 185°, range 7 nautical miles. Went to 70 feet and closed at speed for 15 minutes.

0807 hours - Fired the first torpedo of a salvo of four. Immediately after firing this first torpedo the target changed course. Hold fire.

0810 hours - Fired three torpedoes. No hits. Taku went deep.

0833 hours - Depth charging commenced in patterns of six. All were astern and not close.

0915 hours - The last pattern of depth charges was dropped.

0930 hours - No HE was heard, came to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Resumed dived patrol Eastwards.

21 Aug 1942
Shortly before arriving at Beirut, where she ended her 17th war patrol, HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) is depth charged in error by a British Wellington aircraft.

(All times are zone -3)
0510 hours - In position 33°59'N, 34°48'E sighted a Wellington aircraft. The light by then was good and the aircraft flew close on both sides until 0555 hours when it approached from the starboard quarter and released two depth charges which dropped 15 feet and 20 yards on the port bean and bow respectively. The first narrowly missed the periscope standards. None the less Taku suffered no damage.

2 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Beirut for Port Said.

4 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) arrived at Port Said.

5 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) is docked at Port Said.

7 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) left dock.

9 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) departed from Port Said for her 18th war patrol. She is to patrol along the coast of Cyrenaica, Libya.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 18th war patrolclick here for bigger map

14 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) tries to land a party of four by folbots off Tobruk. The attempt is aborted due to the unfavourable weather conditions. This special operation was in conjunction with 'Operation Agreement'.

18 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) attacks an enemy convoy in position 32°29'N, 23°34'E. Four torpedoes were fired and a sinking is claimed.

(All times are zone -3)
0303 hours - Sighted a darkened ship bearing 036°, distance 3 nautical miles. Identified as a destroyer.

0308 hours - Sighted two merchant ships bearing 030°, distance 3 nautical miles. Closed at speed to attack.

0320 hours - In position 32°29'N, 23°34'E fired four torpedoes at the leading ship. Dived.

0327 hours - Heard a loud explosion.

0336 hours - Heard another loud and prolonged explosion.

0345 hours - Periscope depth, nothing in sight.

0415 hours - Surfaced. Sighted a dark object in the vicinity of the attacking position and closed on main motors. The object was identified as a destroyer that was thought to be picking up survivors. Thought one ship to be hit and sunk.

0430 hours - Retired to the North.

20 Sep 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) attacks an enemy convoy in position 33°30'N, 21°10'E. Three torpedoes were fired without result.

(All times are zone -3)
0900 hours - Sighted a convoy made up of two merchants and two destroyers with a whole lot of aircraft overhead. It's likely there were more ships but the periscope could only be put up for very brief moments. Commenced attack.

0925 hours - In position 33°30'N, 21°10'E fired three torpedoes at the port wing ship from 1500 yards. Went deep after firing as one of the destroyers was very close.

0930 hours - Heard one explosion, most likely a depth charge.

0932 hours - Heard two explosions, most likely depth charges.

1025 hours - Came to periscope depth, nothing in sight.

Italian sources give the following info regarding this attack: The convoy was made up of the Italian merchants Apuaniowa (7948 GRT, built 1942) and Monginevro (5324 GRT, built 1940) escorted by destroyer Freccia. Apuania reported missed by one torpedo and Monginevro missed by two.

1 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) ended her 18th war patrol at Beirut.

12 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Beirut for Port Said.

14 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) arrived at Port Said where she is docked.

19 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) left dock.

21 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Port Said for her 19th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Aegean.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 19th war patrolclick here for bigger map

24 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) damaged a caique with gunfire west of Kos, Greece in position 220° Kandeliusa Light 7 nautical miles.

(All times are zone -3)
1046 hours - Sighted masts of a caique bearing 120°, distance about 4 nautical miles through the periscope. Altered course to investigate.

1129 hours - Range was now 2500 yards. Saw that the caique was about 50 tons. Decided to attack with the gun.

1137 hours - Surfaced on the starboard quarter of the caique crossing his stern at 1600 yards. The third shot brought down her foresail. As the smoke from the gun was clouding the caique ceased fire and shifted to her port bow and reopened fire. It was then observed that the crew had not abandoned ship. Ceased fire to allow them to do so but the crew did not do so. They were ordered to abandon ship which they started to do except for 'Granpa'. Meanwhile they held up the mangled remains of one of the crew. Lt. Pitt considered that in name of humanity to let them go.

1152 hours - Dived in position 220° Kandeliusa Light 7 nautical miles.

The sailing vessel in question was the Italian Tutti Santi of 30 tons registered in Calino (Dodecanese, also known as Kalymnos). She was most likely the former Greek sailing vessel Panagia.

25 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) attacks the Italian tanker Arca (2238 GRT, built 1885) off Chios, Greece. The torpedoes fired however missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
2304 hours - In position 38°48'N, 25°46'E sighted tanker and escort (This was the Italian destroyer Quintino Sella) bearing 285°, 8 nautical miles. Closed at speed to attack.

2328 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 4000 yards. Dived. No hits were obtained.

2331 hours - First two of eleven depth charges were dropped. These were not close.

0015 hours (26th) - Came to periscope depth, northing in sight. Surfaced and set off in pursuit.

26 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Arca (2238 GRT) south-west of Chios, Greece in position 38°04'N, 25°27'E.

(All times are zone -3)
0740 hours - In position 38°04'N, 25°27'E sighted escort vessel (This was the Italian destroyer Quintino Sella) through the periscope.

0750 hours - Sighted the tanker well inshore of the escort and difficult to distinguish against the land.

0804 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 4000 yards. Went to 70 feet. 3min28sec after firing the first torpedo heard one explosion. Followed by two more explosions thought to be depth charges.

0814 hours - Came to periscope depth and saw that the tanker had been hit forward and that the foremast had fallen. She was down by the bows. Her boats were away and the escort vessel had gone off to the South. Started to get in position to put a 2nd torpedo into the target if needed.

0839 hours - While at 50 feet heard breaking up noises and on return to periscope depth it was noted that she indeed had sunk.

0846 hours - An aircraft arrived at the scene so went to 70 feet. Set course to the East to clear the area.

27 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) chases the small Greek merchant ship Sifnos (315 GRT, built 1891) and fires at it with the deck gun, the ship however manages to escape. Following this chase Taku sank the Greek Caique Lora (121 GRT) with gunfire off the Gulf of Kassandra, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1645 hours - Sighted a small merchant vessel of about 200 tons coming out of the Gulf of Kassandra course 110°. Decided to attack with the gun but had to wait until he rounded Cape Drepano.

1727 hours - Surfaced when the target rounded the Cape and opened fire from 6000 yards. A chase followed and the small merchant was very well handled. In the end she managed to escape without being hit. About a mile to starboard a caique had lowered it sails and no doubt by staying very still hoped to be forgotten in the general excitement. Attention was now paid to this vessel. The caique was quickly sunk with gunfire.

Dived to 80 feet and cleared the area.

31 Oct 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) fires three torpedoes against the Italian tanker Cerere (1267 GRT, built 1915) about 10 nautical miles south of Cape Sounio, Greece in position 37°30'N, 24°03'E. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
0940 hours - Smoke sighted bearing 335° and soon after saw two aircraft on the same bearing.

1011 hours - Masts appearing above the horizon. The convoy we had been warned about turned out to be one 5000 ton MV, one 3500 ton MV and one 1500 ton MV. They were escorted by a destroyer and two other escort vessels. Astern of the convoy was a hospital ship. Manouvered into attack position

1056 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 6500 yards. It was intended to fire four torpedoes but Taku lost trim and went deep. At 5min13sec after firing the first torpedo a loud explosion was heard which was correct for a running range of 6500 yards. Five depth charges were dropped, all distant but HE was heard fairly close so Lt. Pitt ordered Taku to 150 feet.

1155 hours - Came to periscope depth and could see no trace of the target.

1205 hours - Sighted the convoy again mines the largest MV and the hospital ship. They were hull down and Lt. Pitt decided to ran in for 10 minutes at full speed for another shot. During these 10 minutes the crew managed to reload one of the torpedo tubes.

1237 hours - Fired two torpedoes (three was indented but there was a miscommunication). Four minutes after firing three depth charges were heard followed by five patters of two depth charges. The third pattern was rather close and shook Taku but no damage was done. HE was kept astern as Taku crept away slowly.

According to Italian sources this convoy was made up of the following ships: Italian Galiola (1357 GRT, built 1917) and tanker Cerere (1267 GRT, built 1915) with German merchant Ardena (1092 GRT, built 1915) escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Lira, Calatafimi and Solferino.

12 Nov 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 19th war patrol at Port Said.

13 Nov 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) is docked.

17 Nov 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) left dock.

24 Nov 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Port Said for Beirut.

26 Nov 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) arrived at Beirut.

9 Dec 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Beirut for her 20th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean. She is also to perform a special operation.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 20th war patrolclick here for bigger map

14 Dec 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Delfin (5322 GRT, built 1918) in the Aegean Sea about 5 nautical miles north of Macrosini island, Greece in position 37°52'N, 24°06'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1115 hours - Sighted an aircraft patrolling to the South.

1140 hours - In position 37°50'N, 24°07'E sighted smoke of two ships to the South. Commenced attack.

The convoy turned out to be a 5000 ton MV that was escorted by steam yacht of about 300 tons. This yacht was about 700 yards ahead of the MV. Two aircraft were escorting the convoy.

1226 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 750 yards. 33 seconds after firing a loud torpedo explosion was heard. The HE of the ship continued for about 15sec. but then it stopped and was followed by breaking up noises. A minute and a half after firing a depth charge was dropped.

1242 hours - Asdic transmissions were heard.

1245 hours - The escort dropped the first of eleven depth charges in a line with three second intervals. These depth charges were unpleasantly close. Taku was shaken considerably but only light damage was done. Five more depth charges were dropped but these were not as close as the first eleven.

1337 hours - Another eleven depth charges were dropped. These were as close as the first eleven dropped at 1245 hours. After these one other depth charge was dropped. This was the last one. Taku now managed to slip away although it took the rest of the day.

German sources however mentions that Delfin was not escorted and that the auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-2102 was sent to the area to hunt the submarine after Delfin was sunk.

20 Dec 1942
At 2340 hours HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) lands three Greek agents 200 yards from Nisia Rocks (near position 38°40'N, 23°54'E). One was captured and talked because the Germans learned the identity of the submarine (Abwehr files make reference to it).

22 Dec 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) heavily damaged the Greek caique (in German service) Niki (150 GRT) with gunfire in the Potidea Channel in position 40°13'N, 23°19'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1200 hours - A two-masted caique of about 150 tons was seen leaving the canal. Closed to attack.

1257 hours - Surfaced 1800 yards on the port quarter and opened direct fire. The second shot hit and the occupants jumped overboard (these included German soldiers). 21 rounds were fired for 15 hits. The caique was now on fire.

1303 hours - Dived and withdrew to the South-West.

According to German sources Niki was damaged and abandoned, of the 10 German soldiers on board 2 were killed and the other 8 wounded. The wreck was later found drifting and was towed to Salonica.

23 Dec 1942
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) bombards the harbour of Kymi, Greece. 26 rounds were fired. A warehouse and several ships were hit.

Italian sources give the following: Agios Nikolaos / Volos 150 was sunk, Evangelistria / Piraeus 860 was heavily damaged, the Agios Nicolaus / Syros 552 was slightly damaged. One Italian soldier was wounded.

26 Dec 1942
At 0602 hours (zone -3) HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) carried out a special reconnaissance of Cape Skyli, this was actually for Operation 'Locksmith' (blocking the Corinth Canal).

More information on the attempts to block the Corinth Canal will be found in the book "Target Corinth Canal 1940-1944" by Platon Alexiades (this book will be published in 2015).

27 Dec 1942
While on patrol of the Zea Channel, HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) fires five torpedoes against a 1500 ton ship in position 37°32'N, 24°14'E. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
0450 hours - In position 37°32'N, 24°14'E sighted a small MV. Started attack and closed at speed on the motors.

0512 hours - Three torpedoes out of a salvo of four were fired. Before firing the fourth torpedo Lt. Pitt realised that the ship was much closer then he thought. Now the fourth torpedo was fired but this one also missed as had the first three.

0515 hours - Fired the stern torpedo but this one also missed, passing close to the targets port side.

0518 hours - proceeded on both engines to pursue the ship and gun her. The ship was seen to be of 1500 tons, 2 masts and one funnel with the bridge in front of it and having two holds.

0530 hours - The ship opened fire with her stern gun. As there was only half an hour to go before Taku had to submerge for the day and it was impossible to overtake the ship before that the action had to be broken off.

According to Italian sources this was the Italian merchant Bucintoro (1326 GRT, built 1909)

1 Jan 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 20th war patrol at Beirut.

17 Jan 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Beirut for Malta. Taku is to return to the U.K. for refit and repairs to the engines that continued to give problems during the last two war patrols.


HMS Taku passage Beirut - Gibraltarclick here for bigger map

24 Jan 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) arrived at Malta.

6 Feb 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Malta for Algiers.

11 Feb 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) arrived at Algiers.

12 Feb 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Algiers for Gibraltar.

15 Feb 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

17 Feb 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for the U.K. Enroute she is to patrol for a few days in the Bay of Biscay making this her 21th war patrol.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 21st war patrolclick here for bigger map

2 Mar 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 21th war patrol at Plymouth.

3 Mar 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Plymouth for Portsmouth. Due to the bad weather the passage is abandoned and Taku and her escort put into Dartmouth.

4 Mar 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Dartmouth to continue her passage to Portsmouth where she arrived later this day.

18 May 1943
Because there is no dockyard capacity available for refit Taku is used for training and exercises out of Portsmouth and Plymouth. On 18 May 1943 HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) finally arrived at Troon, Scotland to begin her refit.

1 Oct 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her refit at Troon. She departed from for Holy Loch, where she arrived later this day, to begin a period of trials and exercises.

2 Jan 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 22th war patrol. She is to make a anti-U-boat patrol in the Norwegian Sea.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 22st war patrolclick here for bigger map

15 Jan 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 22th war patrol at Lerwick.

2 Feb 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 23th war patrol. She is to patrol off Norway near Stavanger.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 23th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Feb 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Rheinhausen (6298 GRT, built 1912) in position 59°07'N, 05°37'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1010 hours - Sighted a Northbound convoy. Went to full submerged speed for 8 minutes to get into a firing position.

1024 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 3500 yards and went to 80 feet. 40 Seconds after firing the first torpedo an explosion was heard, most likely a premature. 2 Minutes and 24 seconds after firing the first torpedo another explosion was heard. 15 Depth charges were dropped by the escort but these were not close and Taku was never detected.

1124 hours - Came to periscope depth. Two trawlers and one aircraft were seen about two mile away. The target was seen to be stopped and on fire and with her boats away. Ten minutes later it was seen that the bow rose high out of the water. Five minutes later she had sunk and breaking up noises were heard. It was now seen that the convoy was made up of a 6000 ton ship (that was sunk), a 4000 ton ship, four 3000 tonners. Two escorts were seen but there were probably more. Taku reloaded and withdraw to the seaward.

According to German sources the Rheinhausen was carrying 9000 tons of coal, the other vessels in convoy were the German merchants Isle Fritzen (5099 GRT, built 1922) and Wachtel (992 GRT, built 1924), the Norwegian merchants Maurita (1569 GRT, built 1925), Roald Jarl (1404 GRT, built 1913) and the Swedish merchant Vega (1073 GRT, built 1913). They were escorted by NS-22, NS-09, NS-24 and V-5110. The whole crew of the Rheinhausen (including two wounded) was saved by NS-22.

12 Feb 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) torpedoed and heavily damaged the German merchant Harm Fritzen (4818 GRT, built 1915) off the B?mmelfjord (Now called B?mlafjord). The ship was run aground to prevent it from sinking. The ship was later salvaged.

(All times are zone -1)
1125 hours - Sighted a merchant of about 3000 tons and one escort Northbound in the direction of Haugesund. The escort was astern.

1154 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1200 yards and went to 80 feet. 1min2sec After firing the first torpedo heard and explosion followed very shortly by loud and pronounced breaking up noises. Three depth charges were dropped but these were not close and Taku was not detected.

13 Feb 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Hans Bornhofen (2130 GRT, built 1905) in the Boknafjorden, 8 nautical miles south of Skudeneshavn, Norway in position 59°08'N, 05°24'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1624 hours - Sighted a Southbound convoy of two 3000 ton merchants, two 1500 ton merchants and four escorts coming down Karm Sund towards Stavanger. Started attack.

1703 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the leading 3000 ton merchant ship from 1500 yards and went to 80 feet. About 70-75 seconds after firing the first torpedo three explosions were heard. Taku meanwhile retired to the seaward.

1737 hours - Came to periscope depth. Three trawlers and one aircraft were seen close by. Went deep again.

According to German sources this convoy was made up of the German merchants Hans Bornhofen (2130 GRT, built 1905) and Uhlenhorst (3741 GRT, built 1909) and the small Danish merchant Gottfred Hansen (394 GRT, built 1931). They were escorted by NS-21 and V-5108.

18 Feb 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 23th war patrol at Lerwick.

16 Mar 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 24th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Norway in the Trondheim area. She is to intercept the German battleship Tirpitz that is possibly leaving Norway for repairs in Germany. Taku was part of 'Operstion Foremost'in which a whole lot of Allied submarines were placed along the coast of Norway to intercept the Tirpitz if she came South. As of 2300 hours on the 20th she is also to attack enemy shipping as Tirpitz was not going to Germany after all.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 24th war patrolclick here for bigger map

24 Mar 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) fires 5 torpedoes against a tanker in a German convoy about 25 nautical miles west of Namsos, Norway in position 64?33'N 10?37'E. The German merchant Moshill (2959 GRT, former Norwegian) was missed in this attack.

(All times are zone -1)
0630 hours - Sighted 2 aircraft circling bearing 190° and very distant. Obviously escorting a convoy. Started attack.

0826 hours - Finally saw the target, a large tanker of about 10000 tons.

0833 hours - Fired the first of six torpedoes from 3500 yards and went to 80 feet.

0836 hours - One torpedo hit was heard. Also a depth charge exploded very close by causing minor damage through which Taku ended up at 280 feet. This depth charge was most likely dropped by one of the escorting aircraft. No more depth charges were dropped after this single one.

1000 hours - No HE was heard so came to periscope depth. Nothing in sight except a few fishing vessel. Withdrew to the Westward and reloaded the torpedo tubes.

According to German sources Moshill was escorted by the minesweeper M-132.

30 Mar 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 24th war patrol at Lerwick.

10 Apr 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 25th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Skagerrak.

For HMS Taku's daily positions during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Taku 25th war patrolclick here for bigger map

13 Apr 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) is damaged when a mine explodes overhead. The patrol has to be abandoned.

(All times are zone -1)
0248 hours - Dived in position 57°30'N, 07°20'E to pass under the Skagerrak mine barrier at 220 feet.

0754 hours - In position 57°34'N, 07°42'E a very loud explosion occurred overhead. Quite some damage was done and Lt. Pitt eventually decided to abandon patrol and proceed back to Lerwick.

16 Apr 1944
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) ended her 25th war patrol prematurely at Lerwick. The damaged Taku is assigned to training duties after repairs/refit.

19 Oct 1944
HMS Taku (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) departed from Blyth to pick up a pilot from a crashed aircraft who has parachuted in the sea. This airman was successfully recovered at 1010 hours in position 55°02.6'N, 01°20.4'E.

Media links


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


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