Allied Warships

HMS Torbay (N 79)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantN 79 
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.) 
Ordered15 Jun 1938 
Laid down21 Nov 1938 
Launched9 Apr 1940 
Commissioned14 Jan 1941 
End service29 Oct 1945 
History

Decommissioned to reserve on 29 October 1945. Sold to be broken up for scrap on 19 December 1945. Scrapped at Briton Ferry, Wales in March 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Torbay (N 79)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, RN12 Nov 194028 Oct 1942
2Lt. Robert Julian Clutterbuck, RN28 Oct 19422 May 1944
3Lt. Compton Patrick Norman, DSO, RN2 May 194429 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Torbay include:


The history of HMS Torbay as compiled on this page is extracted from Torbay'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.

3 Feb 1941
While working up HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) collides with the British tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928) in Loch Long. No serious damage was caused.

6 Mar 1941
With her training completed HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Halifax, Canada.

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


HMS Torbay passage Holy Loch - Halifaxclick here for bigger map

11 Mar 1941
While on passage to Halifax HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) was ordered to return to the U.K.

18 Mar 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) returns to Holy Loch.

22 Mar 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Holy Loch for patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Torbay left for patrol on very short notice. Half the crew was on leave and was replaced by members of the spare crew of the depot ship. The reason for this was that the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had arrived at Brest. So a patrol had to be established around this French port.

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


HMS Torbay 1st war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from her patrol area bound for Gibraltar.

13 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

14 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Malta. Early on the 15th however she was ordered to return to Gibraltar. She entered Gibraltar harbour late on the 15th.

23 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the east coast of Sardinia and then off the North-West coast of Sicily. Afterwards she is to proceed to Alexandria to join the 1st Submarine Flotilla.

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


HMS Torbay 2nd war patrolclick here for bigger map

27 Apr 1941
While on submerged patrol off Cape Ferrato HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a two-masted single-funnelled merchant ship of about 4000 tons with two torpedoes. These both missed. It was the intention of Lt.Cdr. Miers to surface and attack with the deck gun when an aircraft was sighted. Lt.Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep.

13 May 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Alexandria.

28 May 1941
At 1230 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 2nd Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 3rd war patrolclick here for bigger map

1 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a fully laden Greek (German controlled) caique with gunfire in the Doro Channel, Greece.

The vessel was sighted at 0745 hours (time zone -3). At 0936 hours it was noticed that the vessel was wearing the German flag so Torbay surfaced and sank the vessel with five rounds of gunfire 17 nautical miles bearing 87° from Cape Doro.
The 2nd round of gunfire was a hit aft and was followed by a violent explosion which blew the stern off and a cloud of yellow smoke enveloped the target.
At 0943 hours Torbay dived and resumed patrol.

The Caique was most likely the Pi 2104 / Agios Nikolaos

3 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a well laden caique with gunfire off Mitylene, Lesbos, Greece. This was the Greek Menelaos / Le 135.

The vessel was sighted at 1600 hours (time zone -3). At 1643 hours Torbay surfaced and sank the vessel with gunfire 21.5 nautical miles bearing 305° Sigri Island. Torbay submerged at 1651 hours and resumed patrol.

6 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Vichy French tanker Alberta (3357 GRT, built 1938) off Cape Hellas.

At 1242 hours (time zone -3) a 3000 ton merchant was sighted. Torbay struggled with the strong current to get into an attack position but at 1415 hours a torpedo was fired, in position 3.5 nautical miles bearing 229° Cape Hellas, that hit the target aft. The ship appeared to be sinking so Torbay left the area to the North-West.

Later Torbay closed in again to finish off the ship. At 1545 hours another torpedo was fired. The target was again hit aft but as the ship was already flooded in that part not much more damage was done. After firing this torpedo Torbay once again left the area to the North-West.

At 1558 hours, Torbay sighted a 1500 ton merchant approaching the Dardanelles from the North, Torbay turned to intercept but the target was later identified as Turkish.

Torbay then turned to the west as battery power was running low. At 2115 hours Torbay surfaced in position 8 nautical miles, bearing 152 Avlaka Point (Imbros) and started to charge her depleted battery's.

See 7 June 1941.

7 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 6 June 1941

At 0448 hours (time zone -3) Torbay submerged and closed the entrance to the Dardanelles once again from the west.

At 0600 hours Alberta was sighted still afloat and at anchor. The ship was just within Turkish territorial waters and not aground.

At 0751 hours Torbay spotted a merchant of about 1500 tons coming from the entrance of the Dardanelles and gave chase. The ship was later identified as Turkish so it was not attacked.

At 1130 hours Torbay was back at the position where Alberta was anchored. The ship appeared deserted. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided not to fire another torpedo but to board the ship after dark to search for valuable documents and to scuttle the ship.

At 1515 hours a small Turkish coaster emerged from the Dardanelles and went alongside Alberta but soon continued on to the south.

At 1600 hours a merchant of about 4000 tons was sighted approaching the Dardanelles from the south. The ship was identified as the Turkish Refah (3805 GRT, built 1901) so it was not attacked.

At 2145 hours Torbay surfaced in position 4.7 nautical miles bearing 222°, Cape Hellas.

At 2305 hours Torbay secured alongside Alberta. It proved however impossible to scuttle the ship as the engine room was completely flooded.

At 2344 hours Torbay slipped and proceeded back out to sea.

At 2359 an explosion was observed aboard Alberta but this failed to sink the ship.

see 8 June 1941. (1)

8 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 7 June 1941

At 0050 hours (time zone -3) Torbay stopped in position 10.6 nautical miles bearing 120° Avlaka Point (Imbros) to charge her battery's.

At 0450 hours Torbay submerged in position 7.8 nautical miles bearing 261°, Cape Hellas.

At 0545 hours Alberta was observed chattered by fire and aground on the shoal to the North of Rabbit Island. It was decided to leave the ship there in the hope that she would break up in the next gale.

At 1920 hours, Torbay sighted a Turkish merchant ship of about 1500 tons entering the Dardanelles. As bad weather was closing in it was decided to retreat to the northward.

See 9 June 1941

9 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 8 June 1941

At 0130 hours (time zone -3), Torbay, in position 6 nautical miles bearing 326° Cape Hellas, sighted a large merchant ships approaching the Dardanelles from the south. Torbay closed to the limit of the territorial waters to identify the target. At 0153 hours the target was identified as Turkish. At 0157 hours Torbay submerged in position 4.8 nautical miles bearing 322° Cape Hellas.

At 0900 hours a 3000 tons merchant was sighted coming out of the Dardanelles. The ship was identified as the Turkish Tirhan (3085 GRT, built 1938). The ship proceeded towards the Alberta and attempted to tow her off.

At 1230 hours a 1500 tons merchant was sighted coming out of the straits. Once again the ship was identified as the Turkish, this time the Trak (1500 GRT, built 1938).

At 1700 hours it was observed that the Tirhan had succeeded in towing off the Alberta and was heading towards the strait with the Alberta in tow. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided that Alberta was not allowed to escape and that he had to attack again.

At 1742 hours, in position 2.3 nautical miles bearing 236° Cape Hellas, Torbay fired a torpedo that missed the target. The Turks slipped the tow and the Tirhan fled at high speed into the straits.

At 1815 hours Torbay sighted a merchant ship resembling the German Salzburg. (Torbay was warned that the German Salzburg was about the leave the Dardanelles). The ship turned towards the south and did not leave Turkish territorial waters. No positive identification could be made and Torbay did not manage the get into attack position.

At 1830 hours, as Lt.Cdr. Miers intended to surface to finish off Alberta with gunfire when an Italian torpedo boat of the Spica class was sighted only 2.5 nautical miles away. Torbay went deep and retreated to the North towards Lemnos.

At 2237 hours Torbay surfaced in position 12.5 nautical miles bearing 127° Avlaka Point (Imbros).

See 10 June 1941.

10 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) finally finishes off the Alberta (see 6 June 1941). Torbay also torpedoed the Italian tanker Utilitas (5342 GRT, built 1918) and / or the Romanian merchant Alba Julia (5708 GRT, built 1922). Unfortunately the torpedo(es) failed to explode. Later she torpedoed and sank Italian tanker Giuseppina Ghirardi (3319 GRT, built 1892).

Continuation of the events of 9 June 1941.

At 0242 hours (time zone -3) Torbay fired 40 rounds and Alberta was left ablaze and in a sinking condition 17 nautical miles east of Lemnos.

At 0450 hours, Torbay submerged in position 9.7 nautical miles bearing 270° Cape Hellas.

At 0940 hours, while in position 4.8 nautical miles bearing 259? Cape Hellas a convoy of 6 ships escorted by two Italian torpedo boats was sighted bearing 280°, distance 5 nautical miles and course 080°. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to attack and put Torbay into attack position. This was however frustrated by the movements of the enemy.

At 1043 hours, Lt.Cdr. Miers finally managed to fire three torpedoes against one of the merchant ships in the convoy. After firing the torpedoes Torbay went deep. Two explosions were heard that were linked with a torpedo hitting the target. At 1049 hours five depth charges were dropped. At 1055 hours a full pattern of depth charges exploded fairly close. Between 1100 and 1125 hours more depth charges were dropped but the were not close.

At 1140 hours Torbay came to periscope depth. At 1150 hours, while Torbay was in position 6.1 nautical miles bearing 251? Cape Hellas. One of the Italian escorts was sighted patrolling off the entrance to the Dardanelles.

At 1208 hours the Italian tanker Giuseppina Ghirardi (3319 GRT, built 1892) was sighted coming out of the straits. The Italian torpedo boat patrolled a mile ahead (This was the Monzambano. Lt.Cdr. Miers at once turned to attack.

At 1259 hours, in position 8.3 nautical miles bearing 255° Cape Hellas, Torbay fired three torpedoes at a range of 700 yards at the tanker. Two torpedoes hit the target. Torbay went deep and increased to full speed to evade the counter attack. The torpedo boat only dropped two depth charges.

At 1335 hours Torbay came to periscope depth and at 1045 hours, while in position 10.6 nautical miles bearing 250° Cape Helles, sighted the enemy torpedo boat stopped bout two nautical miles to the eastward in the approximate position where the tanker was sunk. Also two MAS boats were seen approaching at high speed from the westward. Torbay went deep again and proceeded on homeward passage in accordance with her orders to leave her patrol area at 2400 hours on the 10th.

At 2200 hours Torbay surfaced in position 21.5 nautical miles bearing 356° Sigri Island (Mytilene) and proceeded south.

11 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) rams and sank the Greek caique Poseidon about 15 nautical miles south of Mitylene, Lesbos, Greece.

At 0030 hours (time zone -3) Torbay, while in position 15.3 nautical miles bearing 328° Sigri Island (Mytilene), sighted a caique making for Mitylene from the west. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to destroy the vessel by ramming as he did not want to use his gun while he was escaping the area of his previous sinkings.

At 0104 hours Torbay rammed the caique and allowed the Greek crew to abandon ship before completing the destruction.

12 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the Italian schooner Gesu E Maria (238 GRT) with gunfire off Skyros, Greece in position 39°10'N, 25°20'E.

At 1115 hours (time zone -3) Torbay sighted a large schooner about three miles away.

At 1218 hours, Lt.Cdr. Miers surfaced and gave chase.

At 1239 hours, Torbay, in position 19 nautical miles bearing 137° Strati Island, opened fire and sank the enemy ship with 25 rounds of gunfire.

At 1252 hours Torbay dived and proceeded to the south.

16 Jun 1941
At 0800 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

28 Jun 1941
At 1600 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 3rd Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 4th war patrolclick here for bigger map

30 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a caique with gunfire off Cape Malea, Greece. This was the Greek Issodia Theotokou / Pi 492 (20 tons).

At 1810 hours (time zone -3) a laden caique of about 50 tons was spotted. The target was chased.

At 2054 hours Torbay surfaced and sank the caique with gunfire in position 264° Phalconera Island, 6 nautical miles.

2 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Citta di Tripoli (2933 GRT, built 1915) in the Zea Channel, Greece in position 37°41'N, 24°15'E.

Around 0630 hours (time zone -3), while in position 295° Pt. St.Nikolo (Zea Island) 4.9 nautical miles, two merchants escorted by an Italian torpedo boats of the Libra class was sighted. Overhead of the convoy an aircraft was circling. Torbay took action to get into attack position. (This convoy was made up of the Citta di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930) and Citta di Tripoli (2933 GRT, built 1915) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Libra and from 0600 (Italian official time) a German aircraft. They were on the way back from Vathi (Samos) where they had landed troops).

At 0722 hours, while in position 304° St. Nokolo 4.5 nautical miles, three torpedoes were fired at the leading merchant from 3300 yards.

At 0724 hours three torpedoes were fired at the rear ship.

At 0725 hours the leading ship was struck by one torpedo.

From 0730 to 0840 hours the escorting Italian torpedo boat dropped 18 single depth charges but none were very close.

(The escorting German aircraft sighted the torpedo tracks and signalled the ships, Citta di Tripoli attempted coming about but was not quick enough and was hit at 0623 hrs (Italian official time). Citta di Savona rescued 48 survivors, there were 11 dead).

4 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Doro Channel.

At 0615 hours (time zone -3) Torbay sighted a large caique of about 100 tons on a direct course from the Doro Channel from Lemnos. The caique was well filled with troops and stores.

At 0659 hours Torbay surfaced in position 084° Doro Island 8.5 nautical miles and engaged the caique with gunfire. The caique finally sank at 0943 hours.

At 1425 hours, while Torbay was in position 159° Doro Island 6.4 nautical miles, a schooner flying the Nazi colours and approaching the Doro Channel from the north-east was sighted. The schooner was of about 60 tons and well loaded with troops and stores. Torbay surfaced at 1450 hours and engaged the schooner with gunfire from both Lewis guns.

5 Jul 1941
The Italian submarine Jantina (599 tons, built 1933) was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean south of Mykonos, Greece in position 37°21'N, 25°20'E by the British submarine HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN).

At 1946 hours (time zone -3), while Torbay was in position 240° Stapodia Island 11.5 nautical miles, a submarine was sighted bearing 080° 4 nautical miles away. Torbay at once turned to engage the target.

At 2016 hours 6 torpedoes were fired from 1500 yards. One minute later an explosion was heard followed by a tremendous double explosion 10 seconds later. The explosion shook Torbay violently causing some light damage. When Lt.Cdr. Miers took a look through the periscope an aircraft was seen approaching so he took Torbay deep.

8 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the German sailing vessel L XIV with gunfire east off Kythera, Greece.

At 0928 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay, while in position 059° Cape Malea 7 nautical miles sights an auxiliary schooner of about 200 tons bearing 317° distance 5 nautical miles course 160°.

At 1122 hours Torbay surfaced in position 164° Cape Malea 7 nautical miles. The schooner was seen to be full of troops and stores and was wearing the German flag. After firing some rounds with the Lewis gun but before fire with the 4" gun could be opened an aircraft was spotted so Torbay dived.

The schooner now proceeded westward to flee to Kythera Island. At 1142 hours Torbay surfaced again and resumed the action. The schooner was sunk with 4" gunfire.

9 Jul 1941
Around 0220 hours HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the German sailing vessels L V and L VI, with gunfire and scuttling charges about 10 nautical miles north of Antikythera, Greece.

At 0220 hours, while Torbay was in position 100° Cape Malea 24 nautical miles a caique was seen on the horizon in very good visibility. Torbay turned to close. While doing so three more caiques were seen about 2 nautical miles apart all steering the same course. As Torbay had not much ammo left for the deck gun it was decided that they were to be stopped with one well aimed round of the deck gun, then clear the decks with the Lewis gun and then scuttle them with demolition charges.

At 0320 hours, while in position 126° Cape Malea 22 nautical miles, fire was opened on the first caique with the Lewis gun and the 4" gun. Such a blazing fire was started in the caique that it was not possible to go alongside. Lewis gunfire was continued with until all the occupants were either killed or forced to abandon ship. The caique of about 100 tons was left to burn (This must have been L VI)

At 0327 hours Torbay set course to engage the 2nd caique. At 0357 hours fire was opened on the second caique. Most of the crew took to the water and those who remained on board made signals as if to surrender shouting 'captain is Greek'. The submarine came alongside and the caique was boarded. A German soldier tried to throw a grenade but he was shot before he could do so. The whole crew turned out to be Germans and they were forced to launch their rubber boat and jump into it. Another German was shot by Torbay's navigating officer when he tried to shoot this officer with a rifle from point blank range. The caique was of about 100 tons, was carrying troop, ammo and petrol. She had L V painted on her side. This caique was fitted with demolition charges. The German soldiers in the rubber boat were shot by the Lewis gun to prevent them from returning to their ship. At 0435 hours the demolition charges exploded and the caique was sunk.

Around 0530 hours HMS Torbay sank the German sailing vessel L XII with gunfire and scuttling charges about 10 nautical miles north of Anti-Kythera, Greece.

At 0445 hours a third sailing vessel was sighted, a large auxiliary schooner of about 300 tons making for Anti-Kythera. Torbay chased at full speed but as the target was making a good 10 knots it was not until 0530 that Torbay was close to the target. By that time it was daylight and boarding was out of the question.

At 0530 hours, while Torbay was in position 068° Pori Island 11.5 nautical miles, fire was opened. The schooner was filled with petrol and explosives and was quickly ablaze from stem to stern. Torbay dived soon after. This schooner was seen to sink at 0900 hours. The fourth caique escaped due to the arrival of an aircraft.

10 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian oiler Strombo (5232 GRT, built 1923) in the Zea Channel in position 37°30'N, 24°16'E.

At 1355 hours (zone -3), while Torbay was in position 325° Cape Tamelos (Zea Island) 6.4 nautical miles, an Arado 95 aircraft was sighted. This aircraft appeared to be an escort for the Italian tanker Strombo that was expected to arrive in this position shortly. At 1430 hours smoke was sighted in the direction of the aircraft.

At 1446 hours the Strombo was sighted and an attack was commenced. The Strombo was escorted by the above aircraft and an Italian torpedo boat of the Curtatone class that was zig-zagging about half a mile ahead of the target (this was the Calatafimi, indeed a torpedo boats of the Curtatone class).

At 1552 hours, while Torbay was in position 269° Pt. St.Nikolo 6.6 nautical miles, four torpedoes were fired from 1200 yards. Two hits were obtained.

From 1555 to 1620 hours Torbay was counter attacked by the escort with 13 single depth charges some of which were extremely close. At 1630 hours Torbay came to periscope depth and saw that the tanker had sunk and that the aircraft and escorting torpedo boat were searching to the northward. Torbay went deep again. (According to Italian official history the tanker did not sink, she was taken in tow to Salamis by the Monzambano, there were two dead among the crew).

At 1700 hours a fairly loud explosion was heard, which might have been a bomb, Torbay went still deeper.

At 1750 hours Torbay returned to periscope depth and saw two 'destroyers' coming towards her. (this was Calatafimi now joined by the Climene). From 1800 to 1920 hours Torbay was hunted. 25 Depth charges were dropped but none were very close.

As Torbay was now out of torpedoes and had only 19 rounds for her deck gun left, Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to proceed to Alexandria.

15 Jul 1941
At 0800 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

2 Aug 1941
At 1930 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte. (This is HMS Torbay's 4th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 5th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Aug 1941
An Albacore torpedo-bomber of 826 Squadron took off from Maa'ten Bagush airfield at 2200 hours on 6 August 1941 and attacked a submarine of the "ARGO" class in position 070 degrees Tobruk 40 nautical miles. The aircraft dropped a torpedo but it apparently sank after a run of about 100 yds. This was lucky as the submarine was HMS Torbay which sighted a biplane at 0032hours / 7 August and very prudently dived. Cdr. Miers does not appear to have been aware that a torpedo had been dropped by the aircraft. 826 Squadron was only informed the following morning of the presence of a British submarine in the area.

12 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked an Italian convoy in position 286? Benghazi Lighthouse 4.6 nautical miles. The four torpedoed fired against the Italian merchants Bosforo (3648 GRT, built 1929) and Iseo (2366 GRT, built 1918) all miss their targets and Torbay is hunted following this attack by the Italian torpedo boat Partenope.

(All times are zone -3)
1145 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 010? at extreme visibility. Altered course to intercept ships heading for Benghazi.

1200 hours - Identified the enemy as two merchant ships of about 3000 tons escorted by an Italian torpedo boat of the Spica class, a large MAS boat and an Italian aircraft overhead.

1248 hours - Fired four torpedoed against the rear merchant ship. Torbay went deep upon firing. Five minutes later a very loud explosion was heard that was thought to be a hit. Torbay returned to periscope depth. The periscope was raised just in time to see the last torpedo explode on the rocks North of Benghazi. Also the aircraft was seen to dive towards the submarine. Torbay went deep again. It was also observed that the target was still afloat and was still heading towards the harbour entrance.

1308 hours - The aircraft dropped a bomb fairly close. Information from Italian archive give that Torbay was attacked by a CANT Z 501 (pilot S.T.V. Ugo De Biaggi) of 196 Squadriglia which dropped two depth-charges set at a depth of 30 and 50 meters respectively and claimed the submarine sunk.

1315 to 1345 hours - Hunted by the escort. She was very close at moments, but fortunately she dropped no depth charges at these moments. Torbay managed to escape undamaged.

16 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the sailing vessel Evangelista (28 GRT) with scuttling charges in position 106? Cape Matapan 1.3 nautical miles.

(All times are zone -3)
2025 hours - In position 149° Cape Matapan 5.3 nautical miles sighted a schooner rounding Cape Matapan heading East.

2047 hours - Surfaced to catch up with the schooner.

2107 hours - Fired at the schooner from point blank range. Gunnery was ineffective so ceased fire after 18 rounds.

2140 hours - Went alongside the schooner to place a TNT charge.

2200 hours - Proceeded to the South-East.

18 Aug 1941
During the nights of 18-19 and 19-20 August 1941 HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) picked up a total of 130 Allied troops and Greeks from a beach on the coast of Southern Crete.

22 Aug 1941
At 1100 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

26 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) departed from Alexandria bound for Port Said for a period in dock. She arrived at Port Said the next morning.

3 Sep 1941
After a short refit in dock at Port Said HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) returns to Alexandria where she arrived the next morning. (It is possible that Lt.Cdr. Miers rejoined Torbay at Port Said but Torbay's log does not mention the day he re-joined his ship).

6 Sep 1941
At 1930 hours (time zone -2) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 5th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 6th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) encounters the Italian submarine Dagabur. She is however unable to inflict damage on the enemy.

(All times are zone -2)
1310 hours - In position 32°29'N, 29°07'E sighted an Italian submarine. Altered course to attack.

1329 hours - The attack setup does not go as planned so at 1332 hours Torbay surfaces for gun action from 1500 yards. Torbay's first round however misfired but luckily the enemy dived and did not engage Torbay.

1337 hours - Torbay dived but contact was lost soon afterwards.

10 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German merchant Norburg (2392 GRT, built 1922) inside Candia (Iraklion) harbour, Crete. The damaged German merchant settles on the bottom of the harbour but is later salvaged. She never saw service again.

(All times are zone -2)
0605 hours - Dived in position 073°, Cape Drepano, 7 nautical miles and closed the entrance to Suda Bay.

0750 hours - Sighted smoke behind Suda Island and a little later two merchant ships of about 3000 tons each escorted by a torpedo boat. Also a flying boat circled over this convoy. Commenced attack.
(These were the German merchants Santa Fe (4627 GRT, built 1921) and Norburg (2392 GRT, built 1922) escorted by the German auxiliary patrol vessel 12 V 4 (former British minesweeper Widnes).

0842 hours - After difficulty getting into a favourable firing position three torpedoes were fired in position 048° Cape Drepano 1.2 nautical miles. Range was 1500 yards. The convoy was able to evade the torpedoes.

0850 hours - Torbay was hunted and depth charged by the escort. The convoy made off to the east with Torbay in pursuit at full submerged speed hoping to catch up on the surface during the night.

1335 hours - Surfaced and tried to catch up with the convoy, crash diving each time aircraft were sighted.

1635 hours - As the enemy was not in sight it was realised that they must have put into Candia. Decided to close the harbour of Candia.

1717 hours - Dived in position 050° Candia breakwater 5 nautical miles. Sighted the convoy in the harbour. There were three merchants present. It was noticed that the stern of one of the merchants could be hit with a torpedo through the harbour entrance.

2003 hours - Fired a torpedo from 3000 yards through the harbour entrance resulting in hit. A large splash was seen followed by smoke and fire.

18 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a full laden merchant of about 2000 tons. Two torpedoed were fired but these both missed. This was probably the Italian Marconi (1191 GRT, built 1919).

(All times are zone -2)

1245 hours - In position 018° St. Georgio 6.8 nautical miles sighted a well laden merchant ship of about 2000 tons. Closed to attack.

1304 hours - In position 017° St. Georgio 7.7 nautical miles fired two torpedoes but these both missed. Possibly the speed was not estimated correctly.

19 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a convoy of 3 merchant ships escorted by two destroyers and aircraft. Four torpedoes were fired but these all missed. Torbay is depth charged by the escorts but not damaged.

The attack was actually against the following convoy; Citta di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930) and Citta di Marsala (2480 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Barletta (1975 GRT, built 1931) and the destroyers Francesco Crispi and Quintino Sella. Crispi sighted three torpedo tracks at 1515 hours in position 37°45'N, 23°50'E. The alert was actually given by a German escorting aircraft from Group 126, giving the position as LQ 3846 (37°37.5'N, 23°55'E). They were on passage Suda Bay to Piraeus where they arrived at 1750.

(All times are zone -2)
1430 hours - In position 020° St. Georgio 9.3 nautical miles sighted a convoy of three merchant ships (one was thought to be an Armed merchant cruiser) escorted by two destroyers and aircraft. Closed at full speed to intercept.

1510 hours - While in position 003° St. Georgio 9.6 nautical miles fired four torpedoes from a range of about 4000 yards. Obtained one possible hit. Torbay was counter-attacked by the escorts with in all 14 depth-charges. Torbay was able to slip away.

21 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked a merchant ships escorted by three A/S vessels and aircraft. Two torpedoes were fired but these both missed. Torbay is depth charged by the escorts but not damaged.

(All times are zone -2)
0930 hours - In position 358° St. Georgio 7.7 nautical miles sighted a merchant ship of about 2000 tons escorted by aircraft and three A/S vessels. Commenced attack.

1030 hours - In position 015° St. Georgio 10.4 nautical miles fired two torpedoes from very close range and went deep. The target was seen to be the Rumanian Virginia wearing the German colours. No hits were obtained as both torpedoes ran under the target. Torbay was now counter attacked by the escorts with depth charges but these caused no damage.

Virginia was escorted by the German escorts 12 V 1, 12 V 4 and 12 V 5 and by the Italian Motor torpedo Boat MAS 534. This last one left the escort near Chalkis.

23 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked a merchant ship that was towing a lighter escorted by a destroyer and aircraft. Two torpedoes were fired but these both missed. Torbay is counter attacked by the destroyer but managed to escape. The target was the Italian salvage vessel Cyclops (447 GRT, built 1905) escorted by the Italian destroyer Francesco Crispi.

(All times are zone -2)
1500 hours - In position 350° St. Georgio 10 nautical miles sighted two aircraft patrolling. Soon afterwards sighted smoke. The smoke came from a merchant ship escorted by a destroyer.

1640 hours - The enemy altered course to pass to the West of St. Georgio on a direct course towards Suda Bay. It was now seen that the target was rather small, 1000 tons but that it was also towing a large lighter. Commenced attack.

1715 hours - In position 340° St. Georgio 11.4 nautical miles fired two torpedoes. These missed. Torbay went deep and was hunted and counter attacked by the destroyer.

1911 hours - Surfaced in position 322° St. Georgio 5.7 nautical miles and gave chase at full speed in the hope of finding the target unescorted during the night.

2005 hours - In position 197° St. Georgio 9.6 nautical miles sighted the target but the destroyer was still present. The attack was broken off and Torbay set a course for base.

28 Sep 1941
At 1130 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

7 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special mission and afterwards to patrol off the Gulf of Sirte. (This is HMS Torbay's 6th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 7th war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) lands Army Captain John Edward Haselden behind enemy lines on the coast of Libya. Capt. Haselden was to reconnoitre for a possible operation in conjunction with local Arabs.

15 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) carries out a brief bombardment of Apollonia before withdrawing due to shore batteries fire.

18 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 6th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria.

10 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special mission. (This is HMS Torbay's 7th Mediterranean War Patrol)

The nature of the special mission was to land party of commando troops was to be landed behind enemy lines to kill the commander of the German Africa corps. HMS Talisman also participated in this operation called 'Flipper'. For more information on Operation Flipper see this article on Wikipedia.

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


HMS Torbay 8th war patrolclick here for bigger map

14 Nov 1941
On the night of 14/15 November the commandos from Torbay were landed some 250 miles behind enemy lines.

21 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) carries out a brief bombardment of Ras Aamer claiming to have damaged an aircraft.

24 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 7th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria.

9 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol of the west coast of Greece, the approaches to Navarin Bay. (This is HMS Torbay's 8th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 9th war patrolclick here for bigger map

12 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel P III with gunfire north-west of Suda Bay, Crete.

(All times are zone -2)
0622 hours - Dived in position 090° Suda Island 7.5 nautical miles.

0730 hours - In position 090° Suda Island 4.2 nautical miles sighted a 50 tons schooner (marked P 3) leaving Suda Bay on an easterly course. Torbay altered course to the eastward to intercept this schooner should she round Cape Drepano.

0814 hours - In position 080° Cape Drepano 0.8 nautical miles surfaced about 1500 yards on the port quarter of the enemy and set the schooner on fire with gunfire.

0823 hours - In position 126° Cape Drepano 1.9 nautical miles dived and set course for the harbour entrance to see what is inside.

15 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank three Greek sailing vessels with gunfire off Cape Methoni. These were the:
Agios Georgios / Kal 208 (25tons)
Maria / Kal 185 (45 tons)
Kyriakula / Kal 220 (15 tons)

Torbay also torpedoed the grounded and wrecked Italian passenger / cargo ship Sebastiano Venier (6311 GRT, built 1940) off Cape Methoni.

(All times are zone -2)
0800 hours - While in position 280° Cape Methoni 1.4 nautical miles spotted three sailing vessels approaching through the Methoni Channel. They all seemed well laden.

0839 hours - The sailing vessels were now well through the channel and in deep water. Surfaced in position 292° Cape Methoni 1.0 nautical miles and sank the three sailing vessels (estimated as two of 30 tons and one of 15 tons) with gunfire (31 rounds used). All three sank very quickly without catching fire.

0851 hours - Dived and retired to the southwest. An Italian Mas boat was seen coming down the channel. It later picked up the survivors.

0936 hours - Manouvered to get into position to torpedo (and destroy) the grounded wreck of the merchant ship that was torpedoed by HMS Porpoise 6 days previously.

1031 hours - Fired a torpedo from 1800 yards at the grounded wreck. The torpedo went slightly off course and hit the rocks.

1038 hours - Fired a second torpedo from 1200 yards. It hit the wreck. The ship now seemed beyond salvage and would most likely break up in the next gale.

16 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) launches a folbot (sort of folding kayak) to attack shipping in Navarin Bay. The attempt fails as they were sighted and fired at. They were able to escape and were picked up by Torbay outside the bay.

20 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) attacked the Italian destroyer Vincenzo Gioberti, that is moored inside Navarin Bay with one torpedo. The torpedo had a gyro failure and so missed the target.

(All times are zone -2)
1650 hours - Fired a torpedo into the bay (through a gap between Sphacteria Island and the rocks to the south of it) against the Italian destroyer. The torpedo had a gyro failure and was seen to swerve to the right. The periscope was immediately lowered and Torbay was taken deep and away to the firing position at high speed. The torpedo passed overhead and made three complete circles round Torbay but fortunately did not explode.

21 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) again launches a folbot to attack shipping in Navarin Bay. Again the attempt fails as the swell was too heavy and the folbot could not be manned.

22 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank the Greek caique Maria / Kalamos 185 (45 GRT) with gunfire off Cape Methoni.

Later that day the folbot was launched again to attack shipping inside Navarin Bay. Once again the attempt fails. After recovering the Folbot party Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to try to torpedo the target from outside the harbour.

(All times are zone -2)
1020 hours - While trying to attack the Italian destroyers Strale and Scirocco that had left Navarin Bay a schooner was seen to come down the Methoni Channel. The attack on the destroyers failed due to a sudden change of course by both destroyers. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to close the schooner to engage it with gunfire but had to wait till the destroyers were out of sight.

1040 hours - Surfaced in position 176° Pylos Light 5.5 nautical miles and sank the schooner with gunfire.

1044 hours - Dived and resumed patrol.

2215 hours - Launched the folbot again to attack shipping inside Navarin Bay. Due to the very calm weather it proved impossible to approach the target without being spotted. The folbot was recovered around 0240 hours the next day.

23 Dec 1941
It is often stated that on this day HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) torpedoed and further damaged the Italian destroyer Aviere (1645 tons) at Navarino harbour. It is stated that Aviere was already grounded after being damaged on 19 November 1941 by the Polish submarine ORP Sokol.

Torbay attacked on this day what Lt.Cdr. Miers identified as an Clio-class (Spica-class) torpedo boat that was anchored in Navarino harbour. The target was however the destroyer Granatiere (a sister ship of the Aviere) that was not damaged in the attack as the torpedo hit the boom).

Later this day another torpedo was fired into the bay. The target was a merchant ship. The torpedo was heard to explode to soon. It most likely also hit the harbour defences.

(All times are zone -2)
0645 hours - Dived in position 220° Pylos Light 6 nautical miles.

1022 hours - In position 247° Pylos Light 2.0 nautical miles fired a torpedo. 6 minutes later the torpedo hit the target that was later observed with a hole in it's bow. (this was not the case).

1708 hours - In position 246° Pylos Light 2.3 nautical miles fired a torpedo. The torpedo was heard to explode 4 minutes later and most likely hit the harbour defences.

27 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 8th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria.

8 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special operation on the south coast of Crete. After completing the special mission she was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto. (This is HMS Torbay's 9th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 10th war patrolclick here for bigger map

12 Jan 1942
During the nights of 12/13 and 13/14 January 1942 HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) lands 8 men and stores on a beach on the south coast of Crete.

22 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) fires 6 torpedoes from 8000 yards against a force of three Italian cruisers escorted by 6 destroyers. All torpedoes missed their targets.

These were most likely the Italian cruisers Duca d'Aosta, Attendolo and Montecuccoli escorted by 4 destroyers, the Alpino, Bersagliere, Carabiniere and Fuciliere.

31 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 9th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria.

20 Feb 1942
After a short period in a floating dock at Port Said HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol off the west coast of Greece. (This is HMS Torbay's 10th Mediterranean War Patrol). At the end of this patrol she was diverted to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto, then to Southern end of the Straits of Messina. She returned to Alexandria by the North coast of Libya.

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


HMS Torbay 11th war patrolclick here for bigger map

27 Feb 1942
While on patrol off Cape Dukato in heavy weather HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) attacked but misses the Italian tanker Proserpina (4870 GRT, built 1926) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Antonio Mosto. Torbay was counter attacked by the escort with depth charges.

Later this day Torbay heavily damaged the Italian merchant Lido (1243 GRT, built 1889) with gunfire about 15 nautical miles south of Antipaxe, Korfu, Greece. The Lido was grounded to prevent her from sinking. She was later declared a total loss.

(All times are zone -2)
0200 hours - Sighted the enemy tanker (that was reported earlier so was expected) bearing 275° heading for the channel. Turned towards to attack. Torbay was on the targets port bow.

0207 hours - Sighted a torpedo boat about a mile on the port bow of the tanker. The torpedo boat was identified as Curtatone-class (this was not a correct identification) and was zig-zagging with a mean line of advance direct towards Torbay.

As the rain had now ceased and the moon, which was high, kept coming it was considered to be suicidal to press on across the escorts bows. It was far too late to cross over to the targets starboard side, where possibly another escort may be, and yet not clear and calm enough to make a submerged periscope attack. Cdr. Miers had to decide to fire from deep by Asdic or to follow the target and attack later on the surface from the quarter. In view of the slow speed of the target Cdr. Miers decided for the latter.

0218 hours - Dived in position 282° Cape Dukato 2.4 nautical miles.

0232 hours - Surfaced and pursued the enemy through the channel at full speed on both engines keeping to the starboard side of the target to avoid detection by the torpedo boat that was now seen to be the only escort. As the tanker was closed the varying visibility made it very hard to judge the range and in the end both engines had to be stopped as the submarine, despite reducing speed, ran right up the starboard quarter of the target (to close to fire torpedoes).

0308 hours - In position 144° Cape Dukato 2.4 nautical miles, a torpedo was fired from 400 yards. In the heavy swell the bow of Torbay yawed to port at the moment of firing and so the torpedo missed about 5 yards astern of the target. The enemy must have seen the torpedo wake as it started signalling to the escort and kept beam on to Torbay making it impossible to fire another torpedo without gaining bearing.

0312 hours - The destroyer turned to port and crossed to bow of the tanker. Torbay also turned to port to keep end on but could not turn fast enough and 4 minutes later the escort spotted the submarine and turned towards. Torbay dived at full helm. While diving Cdr. Miers was unable to shut the upper conning tower hatch despite the most vigorous efforts to do so. There was off course no time to sort out the problem so only the lower hatch could be closed. Some circuits shortened out resulting in the klaxon and the alarm to go off so that the fuses had to be withdrawn.

0320 to 0400 hours - Torbay was counter attacked by the torpedo boat that dropped 11 depth charges in all. Only the first few were close.

0448 hours - Surfaced in position 232° Cape Dukato 4.3 nautical miles. The bridge was reached by the gun platform. It was now found out that the hatch could not be closed due to the fact that is blocked by the pillow that was used by Cdr. Miers to sleep when he was on the bridge. It was brought out to soon and had not been used so it was forgotten during the dive. It was decided to proceed to the North to investigate the Corfu to Levkas route. After the conning tower was drained repairs were made to the fuses.

1340 hours - In position 39°05'N, 20°30'E sighted a small coaster of about 1200 tons three miles inshore steering 150° (it obviously came out of Corfu). Torbay closed at full speed and it was seen that the ship was followed by a somewhat smaller vessel (800 - 1000 tons) and a small trawler (unarmed). Neither of the ships was worth more than one torpedo.

1437 hours - Surfaced in position 359° Cape Dukato 30 nautical miles and engaged the second ship with the deck gun. All three ships initially turned towards the shore. Later the trawler turned towards Corfu and the first ship steered to the South at high speed. The progress of the second ship towards the shore was arrested by the crew abandoning ship. Despite many direct hits the ship refused to sink. Cdr. Miers decided to fire a torpedo but just as he was about to do so a large fire broke out on the ship. The ship was left blazing, with her steering gear shot away and with about 50 holes in her side.

1500 hours - Gave chase at full speed after the first ship that was now heading at full speed for Prevenza. Torbay had to abandon the chase when shore batteries opened fire with remarkable accuracy.

1524 hours - Dived in position 011° Cape Dukato 27 nautical miles and abandoned the chase.

1 Mar 1942
While on patrol off Cape Dukato HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) is detected and depth charged. No damage is caused.

(All times are zone -2)
0139 hours - In position 279° Cape Dukato 3.6 nautical miles a Clio class torpedo boat was sighted about a mile away. Torbay was turned end-on but too late to avoid being sighted. The torpedo boat was seen to turn towards at high speed.

0141 hours - Dived and went deep.

0143 to 0240 hours - Hunted and attacked by the enemy. Later a second vessel joined the hunt. In all seven depth charges were dropped but only the first few were close. The enemy was eventually shaken off and Torbay vacated the area.

So far no record of this attack has been found in Italian archives.

2 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) tries to attack the Italian torpedo boat San Martino off Cape Dukato, Greece. Torbay is detected and depth charged.

(All times are zone -2)
In position 279° Cape Dukato 5 nautical miles sighted a Curtatone class torpedo boat 7 nautical miles to the South steering directly towards. Decided to attack with torpedoes as the destroyer was not zig-zagging.

1807 hours - In position 286° Cape Dukato 4.8 nautical miles when Torbay was manoeuvring into a firing position it was seen that the enemy turned towards and headed straight for Torbay. Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep as it was obvious she had been detected.

1815 hours - The enemy passed overhead and dropped a pattern of 6 depth charges. At 1823 hours another pattern was dropped but this was not so close as the first one.

1823 to 2013 hours - Torbay crept away to the South-West and later to the West. In all 18 depth charges were dropped by the enemy.

2107 hours - Contact with the enemy was lost.

2146 hours - Surfaced in position 260° Cape Ducato 11 nautical miles and proceeded Northwards.

5 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Maddalena G. (5212 GRT) inside Korfu roads, Greece.

All times are zone -2)
4 March 1942 0925 hours - In position 330° Cape Dukato 27.2 nautical miles sighted a Northbound convoy made up of 4 large troopships escorted by 3 destroyers and 2 aircraft. Torbay was not able to get into an attack position as she was not in the selected patrol position due to an earlier pursuit of a small convoy. Cdr. Miers was disgusted about this that he decided to make up for, what he thought was an error of his and follow the convoy into Corfu roads. This convoy was made up of the Italian transports Galilea (8040 GRT, built 1918), Francesco Crispi (7600 GRT, built 1926), Viminale (8657 GRT, built 1925) and Piemonte (15209 GRT, built 1918). The were escorted by the destroyer Turbine and the torpedo boats Generale Carlo Montanari and Antonio Mosto and were travelling from Patras to Bari and stopped in Corfu. They were carrying Italian troops being withdrawn from Greece.

1330 hours - In position 116° Novara Point (Anti-Paxos) 3.5 nautical miles set course to the South channel that leads to Corfu roads.

1942 hours - Surfaced in position 234° Sivota Island 1.4 nautical miles and proceeded on the main motors past Sivola Light and then proceeded on one engine (and used the other one for charging the batteries)

2018 hours - In position 316° Sivota Island 3.8 nautical miles sighted a small merchant (or large trawler) close to the starboard quarter overhauling the submarine so dived and altered course to avoid. Apparently Torbay was not sighted. The enemy's speed was 15 knots.

2044 hours - After the enemy HE (hydrophone effect) had faded out in the direction of Corfu, surfaced and resumed passage, still charging with one engine.

2158 hours - Reached position 086° Cape Sidero 5 nautical miles. Stopped, trimmed right down and charged with both engines keeping the stern on the moon.

5 March 1942
0050 hours - Heard and immediately sighted a patrol vessel approaching from Corfu. Broke charge and dived to periscope depth. The moon was now right overhead and it was feared that the submarine had been seen as the small trawler had been clearly visible and could now be seen through the periscope laying stopped less than a mile away. The Battery was now fairly well up and it was decided to remain submerged for the remainder of the operation. Set course to close the harbour.

0116 hours - The patrol vessel got under way to the South and was lost to both sight and sound by 0135 hours.

0204 hours - The lights at the Northern entrance to Corfu harbour were seen to be switched on and a merchant ship could be seen entering the harbour from that direction. In addition to her reciprocating engines the rapid revolutions of a motor launch could be heard.

0217 hours - The motor launch heard earlier approached and lay stopped about a mile to the North.

0235 hours - In position 000° Cape Sidero 0.5 nautical miles altered course to port and steered 120°. The rest of the night was a fairly harassing experience endeavouring to remain in position and at the same time being continually on the lookout to avoid being rammed by the trawlers and motor launches which were on patrol.

0346 hours - a reciprocating engine was heard and the lights at the Northern entrance were on again so it appeared another merchant had entered the harbour.

0640 hours - The approach at high speed of a patrol vessel forced Cdr. Miers to turn away to avoid being rammed just when Torbay was approaching the harbour on the firing course. This delay meant that the attack now had to be made in broad daylight in a glassy calm sea, probably with an air patrol overhead and certainly surrounded by small craft. It was also now that it was seen, to the intense disappointment to all that the convoy was not in the harbour and had probably gone straight through without spending the night in Corfu. Instead a small destroyer or torpedo boat and two supply vessels (estimated at 8000 and 5000 tons respectively). Both ships were seen to be heading South between Vido Island and Cape Sidero. It was hoped that the hour was still too early for aircraft as no watch for them could be kept since the periscope could only be raised for very short moments and the rapid movements of the patrol vessels demanded all attention. Across the Northern entrance to the harbour a line of buoys could be seen which were being hauled across by a large auxiliary schooner.

0731 hours - In position 051° Cape Sidero 1.2 nautical miles two torpedoes were fired at the most northerly merchant ship (5000 tons). One of the torpedoes appeared to run on the surface.

0733 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the second merchant ship (8000 tons).

0734 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the destroyer / torpedo boat which unfortunately ran under. At this moment one torpedo struck the first ship fired at. Torbay went deep and turned at full speed to 145°. This was the direct course for the South channel. Cdr. Miers thought it was now time to get out and not to overstay their 'welcome'.

0735 hours - A second explosion was heard which was undoubtedly the other merchant being hit although this was not actually seen.

0740 hours - Reduced speed to 5 knots.

0800 hours - Came to periscope depth in position 115° Cape Sidero 2.2 nautical miles to observe the pursuers. Small craft could be seen searching the firing position.

0825 hours - Came to periscope depth in position 131° Cape Sidero 4.6 nautical miles and fixed the ships position. A destroyer was now seen astern and an aircraft overhead.

0826 to 1003 hours - About 40 depth charges were dropped but none were close.

0837 hours - In position 133° Cape Sidero 5.8 nautical miles, heard a patrol vessel approaching from the South. Torbay continued at 6 knots to the South. The patrol vessel passed close down the port side on an opposite course.

0930 hours - In position 012° Lefkimo Point 1.4 nautical miles came to periscope depth to check the ships position before entering the narrow entrance.

1020 hours - In position 291° Sivota Island 3.4 nautical miles heard a patrol vessel approach from the South-East on an opposite course. Continued at 6 knots and also this enemy passed close down the port side on an opposite course to the North-West.

1030 hours - In position 279° Sivota Island 2.4 nautical miles came to periscope depth for a fix to clear Bianco Shoal. Observed the two patrol vessels on the port quarter heading for Corfu.

1033 hours - Sighted a large schooner which was trying to pull across the entrance but as there was no wind it was obvious that Torbay would pass him before he could succeed in doing so.

1120 hours - In position 170° Sivota Island 3.2 nautical miles resumed patrol at periscope depth, set course to the southward and reduced speed to 3 knots.

1130 hours - In position 166° Sivota Island 3.9 nautical miles sighted a A/S trawler towing a motor launch towards Corfu. No attack was made as there so few amps remaining that another high speed dash would have placed Torbay in jeopardy with eight hours of daylight still to go before dark.

1250 hours - In position 184° Sivota Island 7.5 nautical miles sighted a schooner of about 40 tons heading for Paxos Island. Altered course to head him off but at the critical moment, just before surfacing, an aircraft saved the fate of this schooner.

1918 hours - Surfaced in position 322° Cape Dukato 31.5 nautical miles and set course to return to Alexandria. Also charged the almost exhausted battery.

18 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 10th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria.

2 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol off the West coast of Greece. (This is HMS Torbay's 11th Mediterranean War Patrol)

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


HMS Torbay 12th war patrolclick here for bigger map

8 Apr 1942
While on patrol near Cape Dukato HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) is bombed and slightly damaged by two CA.311 of 31 Squadriglia which dropped four and two bombs respectively. A Cant Z.501 also bombed her later but was wide of the mark.

9 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel R 113 / Avanguardista (34 GRT) with gunfire off Anti-Paxos, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1120 hours - In position 094° Anti-Paxos 8 nautical miles, sighted two Northbound minesweepers carrying out a magnetic sweep of the Southern Channel to Corfu. The leading sweeper was of the RD-1 class (armed with a machine gun), the rear one was a converted schooner of about 250 tons. As they were bound to approach within one mile of Torbay's position Cdr. Miers decided to attack.

1200 hours - When about to surface close to the rear minesweeper, three more small craft were observed inshore. One of these was a trawler which might have been armed. The prospect of being engaged by both sweepers and this trawler from different angles made Cdr. Miers hesitate.

1221 hours - Surfaced in position 080° Anti-Paxos 7.8 nautical miles and engaged the rear minesweeper which soon abandoned it's gear, turned away and made for the shore. The leading sweeper turned towards and opened fire with the machine gun. But as soon as her consort began to receive hits she also made for shallow water. The range, about a mile, and the fact that the target turned end on made hitting it difficult so closed the range.

1222 to 1230 hours - Fired 54 rounds resulting in many hits. The schooner was dismasted and completely wrecked before sinking at 1230 hours in position 087° Anti-Paxos 9 nautical miles. Cdr. Miers took Torbay into deeper water again and dived at 1243 hours in position 064° Anti-Paxos 8.5 nautical miles and withdrew to the South-West.

11 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the Italian sailing vessel Gesu Crocifisso (137 GRT) with gunfire north-west of Corfu.

(all times are zone -3)
1640 hours - In position 032° Fani Island 14.7 nautical miles sighted to the Northward two small sailing vessels which were keeping close inshore in line abreast making for Corfu. Course was set to close and make and attack from close range.

1712 hours - When just about to surface sighted two larger schooners approaching from the Northward and one smaller sailing vessel approaching from the South. The attack was therefore broken off as the schooners were far more profitable targets.

1750 hours - Surfaced in position 039° Fano Island 16.5 nautical miles to engage the nearest schooner that was flying the Italian flag and was fully laden. As it took quite some rounds and time to sink this schooner, she sank at 1807 hours after almost 50 rounds, the other schooner managed to escape. (As per Italian records; the other schooner was the Natalina (39 GRT, built 1900) that beached herself and was a total loss.)

1820 hours - Dived in position 036° Fano Island 16.3 nautical miles and retired to the Westward.

18 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) torpedoed and sank the German army cargo ship Bellona (1297 GRT, built 1929) in the Ionian Sea about 50 nautical miles east-south-east of Capo Colonna, Italy in position 38°52'N, 18°15'E.

(All times are zone -3)
0556 hours - In position 38°58'N, 18°17'E sighted a darkened ship on a Southerly course about a mile to the North-Eastward. Alarm was sounded and during the next 20 minutes the contacts identity could not be established. The officer of the watch and the yeoman of signals thought it to be a submarine while Cdr. Miers thought, after considerable doubt, it was a small destroyer / torpedo boat. (It was actually the Italian destroyer Strale) No H.E. could be heard and its speed was dead slow which was very puzzling.

0818 hours - Dived as it will soon be getting light.

0858 hours - Sighted the enemy bearing and steering South-East. It was due to the bad visibility still not possible to identify the contact.

0751 hours - In position 38°58'N, 18°17'E H.E. was heard fine on the port bow (the contact had been to starboard) and a fully laden merchant ship was seen to be crossing the bow from port to starboard on a south-westerly course at a range of about 3000 yards. At the same time the original contact came round to a similar course and could at last be identified as a single-funnelled destroyer. Thus it appeared that Torboy had stumbled upon a rendezvous of a merchant ship from the Adriatic with its escort from Taranto so the slow speed of the latter was accounted for. Torbay followed the enemy.

0825 hours - In position 38°46N, 18°17E fired two torpedoes at the merchant ship. Both torpedoes hit their target after 3,5 minutes. It was now also sighted that two aircraft were present at the scene. Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep and set course for Souda Bay, Crete.

21 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the German auxiliary submarine chaser 13 V 2 / Delpa II (170 GRT) with gunfire north of Crete in position 36°36'N, 24°15'E.

(all times are zone -3)
1045 hours - In position 032° Cape Drepano sighted to the south-eastward what was thought to be a small tanker steering north-westward. Closed. Later it was seen to be a naval auxiliary.

1236 hours - Surfaced in position 012° Cape Drepano 10 nautical miles on the starboard quarter of the enemy and closed at full speed on the motors. The first round of the deck gun misfired. In the meantime the enemy also opened fire but the shooting on both sides was not accurate, all rounds fired went over. Cdr. Miers fired two torpedoes at the enemy ship but one missed and one was a circler due to a gyro failure. The excellent shooting with the Bren gun prevented the enemy from manning its foremost gun. Later it also took out the crew of one of the enemy's amidships gun before this gun was knocked over the side by a direct hit from Torbay's deck gun. Further hits followed immediately and the ships cargo of petrol caught fire. The enemy started to abandon ship.

1245 hours - The enemy was now on fire from end to end and was obviously a total loss. Torbay was now taken under fire from the shore so Cdr. Miers dived in position 012° Cape Drepano 9 nautical miles. In all 23 rounds with the deck gun were fired, many of these being hits. Torbay retired to the East but was hunted by two German Motor Torpedo Boats. Course was later set to the North-East to shake them off which was successfully done.

24 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) ended her 11th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. This was the last Mediterranean patrol of her first commission. She is now sent back to the U.K. for a refit.

12 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Alexandria bound for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the U.K. for refitting.

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


HMS Torbay Passage Alexandria-U.K.click here for bigger map

27 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

29 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for the U.K.

8 Jun 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

26 Jun 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Portsmouth bound for the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth where she is to refit. She arrived at Devonport the next day.

28 Nov 1942
With her refit completed HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from the Devonport Dockyard bound for Holy Loch. She is to undergo a work-up and trials period in that area.

13 Dec 1942
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 13th war patrol. This is the 1st war patrol of her 2nd commission after her refit. She is to patrol off the coast of North Norway during the passage of convoy JW 51A.

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


HMS Torbay 13th war patrolclick here for bigger map

4 Jan 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 13th war patrol at Holy Loch.

19 Jan 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Gibraltar.

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


HMS Torbay passage U.K. - Gibraltarclick here for bigger map

29 Jan 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

5 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 14th war patrol. This is the first Mediterranean patrol of her 2nd commission. She is to perform a work-up patrol off Valencia.

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


HMS Torbay 14th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) fired two rounds at the Spanish submarine General Sanjuro, one hit the forward hydroplane causing slight damage, the two submarines later collided, Torbay getting a small dent.

All times are zone -1)
1345 hours - While dived sighted a 1500 ton Spanish ship at 2000 yards coming straight towards. Went to 80 feet until she passed Torbay.

1405 hours - Returned to periscope depth 38°18'N, 00°06'E. The ship was sighted to the South-West and on the same bearing a submarine was sighted steering 180° at 4000 yards. It was first thought that the submarine was escorted by the merchant vessel. Examination of Janes Fighting ships (1940 edition) showed no Spanish submarine resembling the one sighted, which could be seen to have two guns and large periscope standards and resemble the Italian Archimede class. There was no report of a Spanish submarine in this area just an intelligence report of the General Sanjuro that was on passage from Almeria to presumably Cartagena escorted by Torpedo Boat nr. 7. None of these conditions were fulfilled and when it was seen that the submarines course was diverting from the merchant vessel it was decided (at 1420 hours) to give chase on the surface.

1600 hours - Torbay now had the range closed to 6000 yards and it was intended to open fire as Lt. Clutterbuck was confident it was an Italian submarine unable to dive. This belief was strengthened by the fact she appeared to be listing to port and was down by the stern. This was afterwards found to be an optical delusion. It was a mystery why she had not opened fire with her after gun and this was thought to be because morale on the Italian submarine to be very low. Lt. Clutterbuck ordered to submarine to stop by Aldis lamp but this had no effect. At 1610 hours the submarine set course to 310° without decreasing speed. Lt. Clutterbuck took this as an effort to place her in the sun and bring both guns to bear. On Torbay the tubes were brought to the ready and at 1615 hours the order open fire was given. The first round fired hit her the hydroplanes but then the gun malfunctioned. The second round was not fired until one and a half minute later and went over. It was then seen that a large number of men were on the bridge of the submarine which enhanced Lt. Clutterbuck's belief that it was an Italian submarine about to surrender so fire was ceased. Torbay closed and prepared to board. It was then seen that Spanish colours were painted on the conning tower so the sub was asked (by Aldis lamp) for her name. No good form of communication could be established so Torbay continued to close end on. The submarines were now very close and the Spanish submarine now drifted towards Torbay hitting Torbay's bow with her after casing but no damage was done other than a small dent. The identity of the submarine was now established.

1615 hours - Torbay now proceeded to the eastward to clear the area.

11 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the Danish merchant (in German service) Grete (1563 GRT, built 1931) off Cape Oropesa, Spain.

All times are zone -1)
0815 hours - While on patrol near Cape Oropesa in position 39°58'N, 00°11'E sighted a very deep laden merchant ship bearing 270° steering 040°, range was 8000 yards. The vessel appeared to be the Danish Grete. National markings were seen on the bow and quarter but these did not appear to be Spanish. As her plotted course and position was outside territorial waters started an attack.

0850 hours - As the identity of the ship was by now established fired 2 torpedoes from 3000 yards. One torpedo hit the target that was seen to sink at 0920 hours. Torbay retired to the Southward.

13 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 14th war patrol at Algiers.

22 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Algiers for her 15th war patrol (this is the 2nd Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

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


HMS Torbay 15th war patrolclick here for bigger map

25 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) damaged the Italian auxiliary minesweeper Monte Argentario (80 GRT) with gunfire off Ajaccio, Corsica, France.

(All times are zone -1)
0900 hours - A wooden motor vessel, about 80 feet long, painted grey and flying the Italian colours came out of Ajaccio and headed seaward. She was towing a small target with red sails. The wooden motor vessel had a small gun forward. Decided to let the target go in the hope of a better target.

1000 hours - Nothing of interest was visible in Ajaccio harbour.

1150 hours - The vessel sighted earlier was seen returning and as there was nothing bigger in Ajaccio and Torbay would leave this area the next night Lt. Clutterbuck decided to attack it after all. Surfaced about 1500 yards away, fired 17 rounds for only two hits. The ship was driven ashore by it's crew. The action was broken off when Torbay was fired upon by a shore battery.

26 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the German merchant Mariaeck (1327 GRT, former French Oasis, built 1938) with gunfire about 30 nautical miles south of Cape Mele, Italy in position 43°27'N, 08°08'E.

Torbay also torpedoed and sank the Spanish merchant Juan de Astigarraga (3561 GRT, built 1929) in position 180° Cape Mele 1.5 nautical miles.

Both ships were under German control.

(all times are zone -1)
0250 hours - In position 43°27'N, 08°08'E sighted a darkened ship to the Eastward.

0300 hours - The ship was identified as the French Oasis.

0310 hours - 3 Torpedoes were fired from 1000 yards, all missed or ran under.

0314 hours - Engaged the target with the deck gun.

0320 hours - Fired a fourth torpedo which also missed. After firing 66 rounds the ship was left well ablaze.

.....

1410 hours - Sighted a deeply laden merchant ship 5000 yards to the westward staring 044°. Spanish markings could be seen on the bow. The vessel is estimated at around 4000 tons. Closed at speed.

1430 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 1600 yards resulting in two hits. Shortly after firing two explosions were heard nearby resulting in slight damage to Torbay. After coming to periscope depth it was seen that the ship was escorted by two aircraft. The bow of the target was just above the water, the rest was below the waves. Torbay retired to the seaward.

27 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel V 276 / Baicin (173 GRT) with demolition charges and Oerlikon fire about 35 nautical miles south-west of La Spezia, Italy in position 43°37'N, 09°25'E.

Off the entrance to Bastia harbour Torbay also attacked and missed the Italian transport Rossini (2424 GRT, built 1928) who was in convoy with the transport Francesco Crispi escorted by the auxiliary Filippo /Grimani, the torpedo-boat Giuseppe La Masa and the Motor Torpedo Boat MAS 558

(All times are zone -1)
0130 hours - In position 47°37'N, 09°25'E sighted a darkened ship to the Eastward. The target was identified as an A/S schooner. The ship was stopped and no sails were set. Crept closer to 100 yards on the motors without stirring up any signs of life on board.

0150 hours - Opened fire with the Vickers gun and the 4" gun. the 4" gunfire was extremely inaccurate, 10 rounds being fired for only one hit. The crew of the schooner wasted no time in abandoning their ship. The schooner was boarded and a sack of books weighted and ready for dumping overboard was recovered. The vessel was inspected and was found to be a brigantine of about 80 tons had a new looking engine and a sound detector on the forecastle. The machine guns were not in their mountings. A demolition charge was set under the engine and fire was set in several places. Several rounds of Oerlikon fire were also fired in the schooner.

0240 hours - Torbay proceeded southward. The vessel was later soon to blow up.

.....

1155 hours - An aircraft flew over Bastia from coming from seaward. This was thought to be an escort of a convoy whose smoke could now be seen to the Eastward. The smoke was soon seen to come from a 200 ton coaster escorted by an ex-French sloop of the Elan class serving under Italian colours. Lt. Clutterbuck decided to let them pass hoping for bigger prey.

1400 hours - Manouvered in a position to take a look in Bastia harbour.

1519 hours - While examining the possibility of firing a torpedo into the harbour another convoy was seen approaching Bastia. This consisted of a two-funnelled ship and two merchant ships in ballast escorted by a torpedo boat and a MAS boat. Range was 15000 yards. An aircraft was seen overhead but this soon left.

1545 hours - The two-funnelled ship, that had been selected as the target, zigged at a range of 5000 yards putting Torbay right ahead. Torbay manoeuvred into an attack position. During the attack four torpedoes were fired (first one, then two and then one) all missed their target.

Torbay was depth charged after the attack but received no damage. 14 Depth charges in all were dropped. Torbay retired to the East.

28 Feb 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Ischia (5101 GRT, built 1907) off Portofino, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
1220 hours - Heard H.E. to the North and sighted a merchant vessel of about 5000 ton approach. The vessel was painted grey and had a gun on the poop. She was steering 290° to pass close to Portofino. Range was 16000 yards. An attack was started.

1255 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the ship (one other torpedo was fired in error) from 1000 yards. Both torpedoes hit the target that sunk. Torbay retired from the scene.

1 Mar 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) bombards oil storage tanks at the Italian city of Imperia.

(All times are zone -1)
1815 hours - Surfaced to bombard oil storage tanks at the Italian city of Imperia. There were some problems with the deck gun and after firing only 5 rounds Torbay was taken under fire by shore batteries. Torbay submerged after only being on the surface of three minutes. The Italians reported damage to the city of Imperia as well as to the railway station but make no mention of oil storage tanks.

2 Mar 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) attacked a convoy of Bastia, Corsica in position 42°50'N, 09°37'E. One torpedo is fired that missed it's target.

(All times are zone -1)
0845 hours - In position 42°50'N, 09°37'E sighted a convoy to the South-West. It had come out of Bastia and was steering 020°. Started an attack.

0930 hours - Fired the one remaining bow torpedo at the convoy but it did not found it's target.

7 Mar 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 15th war patrol at Algiers.

20 Mar 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Algiers for her 16th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhanian Sea to the North of Sicily.

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


HMS Torbay 16th war patrolclick here for bigger map

28 Mar 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the French merchant (in German control) Lillois (3680 GRT, built 1910) off Cape Scalea, Italy in position 39°48'N, 15°43'E (230° Cape Scalea 3 nautical miles).

(All times are zone -1)
0950 hours - Sighted a convoy of two 1500 - 2000 tons merchant ships. Distance was 9 nautical miles steering 140° towards Cape Scalea. The escort was a torpedo boat that was zig-zagging between 2000 and 4000 yards on the seaward beam of the merchant ships which were in line ahead one mile apart. They were coast crawling. Started an attack. (The other ship in this convoy was the French Nantaise (1798 GRT, built 1920), this ship was also in German control. The torpedo boat was the Italian Sirio)

1038 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2600 yards against the rear merchant ship. Two hits were heard. The torpedo boat carried out an ineffective counter attack. 6 depth charges were dropped but these were not very close.

1 Apr 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) unsuccessfully attacked an unidentified merchant in position 160° Licosa Point 7 nautical miles.

Later this day Torbay sank the Italian fishing vessel Madonna di Porto Salvo (21 GRT) with gunfire 8 nautical miles bearing 170 of Punta Licosa, Italy in position 40°15'N, 14°54'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0616 hours - Heard H.E. to the South-East. Sighted a 1200 ton merchant vessel steering 310°, range 4000 yards, speed 7 knots. Torbay was perfectly placed for an attack. An escorting E-boat was on the targets seaward beam so caused no problem.

0636 hours - Fired three torpedoes. All torpedoes ran straight but none hit. The e-boat, and another one not previously sighted, counter-attacked. Nine depth charges were dropped but none of these was close.

0800 hours - Sighted three fishing boats.

1000 hours - Surfaced and sank a fishing boat with gunfire.

1020 hours - Set course to the South-West on the surface.

1040 hours - Dived for three approaching aircraft.

8 Apr 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 16th war patrol at Algiers.

18 Apr 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) is damaged by an enemy air raid on Algiers harbour. A bomb landed 15 feet to the starboard side of the conning tower. Damage was severe; 148 battery cells were cracked, the starboard saddle tanks were bent and leaking, the gyro compass was broken, several electrical defects, several defects to the high pressure air system, defects to the telemotor system and several there were many smaller defects.

21 Apr 1943
After patching up the damage sustained in the air raid on the 18th HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Algiers for Gibraltar where she will be repaired.

23 Apr 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Gibraltar for repairs.

26 Jun 1943
With repairs completed HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Algiers.

1 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Algiers.

11 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Algiers for her 17th war patrol (this is the 4th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). She is to patrol in the Northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea near Civitavecchia.

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


HMS Torbay 17th war patrolclick here for bigger map

17 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Italian sailing vessel Pozzalo (127 GRT) bearing 250° Cape Linaro 9 nautical miles. (5 nautical miles bearing 270° from Torre Chiaruccia according to Italian sources)

(All times are zone -2)
1838 hours - Surfaced in position bearing 250° Cape Linaro 9 nautical miles and sank schooner with gunfire. 44 rounds were required. Torbay was fired upon by shore batteries so she dived. The schooner was seen to sink through the periscope.

18 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel V 90/San Girolamo (109 GRT) with gunfire in position 41°34'N, 12°05'E.

(all times are zone -2)
2100 hours - Sighted a schooner to the southward.

2120 hours - Surfaced and set off in pursuit of the schooner that was no longer visible.

2230 hours - Found the schooner again and sank it with 28 rounds of the 4" gun and 2 pans of Oerlikon.

19 Jul 1943
While on patrol near Civitavecchia HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) fires four torpedoes at the French merchant (in Axis service) San Pedro (5947 GRT, built 1931) escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Pegaso and Nicola Fabrizi but all torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -2)
0827 hours - Sighted a camouflaged 5000 ton merchant ship at 7000 yards steering 315° at 10 knots. The ship was in ballast. Two torpedo boats were escorting the merchant. Closed for attack.

0933 hours - In position 115° Giannutri Island lighthouse 9 nautical miles fired four torpedoes from 3500 yards. All torpedoes missed but one of the escorting torpedo boats came towards at high speed. No depth charges were dropped and no hunt materialised.

23 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian Aderno (2609 BRT, built 1912, former British Ardeola) off Civitavecchia, Italy in position 42°04'N, 11°47'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1820 hours - Sighted smoke and air escort to the South-East. This was soon identified as a convoy consisting of one passenger/cargo ship of about 8000 tons and one 2000 ton merchant ship. They were escorted by one A/S trawler and two torpedo boats. Two aircraft were seen overhead. The largest ship was selected as target and an attack was started.

1940 hours - In position 275° Linaro Point 2.2 nautical miles fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 1000 yards. Three hits were heard nearly a minute after firing. Torbay went to 250 feet and retired to the Southward.

The composition of this convoy was besides the above mentioned Aderno the German merchant Colleville (2012 GRT, built 1922, former French) escorted by the German torpedo boat TA-11, the German auxiliary A/S vessels UJ-2203 and UJ-2208 and Italian torpedo boat Aliseo (this was the escort leader).

31 Jul 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 17th war patrol at Algiers.

21 Aug 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Algiers bound for Malta. She makes the passage in convoy KMS-23.

24 Aug 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Malta.

25 Aug 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Malta for her for her 18th war patrol (this is the 5th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). She is to patrol in the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 18th war patrolclick here for bigger map

31 Aug 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Italian sailing vessel Columbo (15 GRT) with gunfire 15 nautical miles west of Kos, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
0600 hours - Dived 5 nautical miles South-West of Krikelo Point, Kos and steered Northward. A 40 ton schooner under Italian colours was soon sighted steering under sail and power towards Stampalia. Course was altered to intercept.

1200 hours - In position 290° Krikelo Point 15 nautical miles surfaced and sank it with 21 rounds of gunfire.

2 Sep 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the small Italian merchant Versilia (591 GRT, built 1880) off Patmos Island, Greece in position 240° Saraki Rock (Vrachonis?da Sar?ki, Lipso Channel) 2 nautical miles.

(All times are zone -3)
0440 hours - Radar detected an echo at 2500 yards in position 270° Cape Yenupa (Patmos) 6 nautical miles. Soon 4 small ships were seen. Stopped the engines and sniffed around a bit on the motors. They were at first thought to be E-boats as no HE could be heard and the bearings did not seem to change. After a time they were identified as 4 small steam ships steering 125° at 7 knots. Set a course as to be ahead of them at dawn.

0609 hours - It was getting rather light and the convoy could no longer be seen against Patmos when Torbay dived 3,5 nautical miles ahead of it for what was thought to be an e-boat but what later turned out to be a small sailing vessel.

0631 hours - The convoy came into sight again. The ships were at first thought to be too small to be torpedo targets and as the leader looked a torpedo boat it was feared that no attack would be possible. As it grew lighter however the ships turned out to be two 700 tons steamers and one of about 1000 tons. They were all laden. There was an escort ahead. Started an attack. (The convoy was made up besides the Versilia of the Sylva, the auxiliary Pola, the escort was a German UJ-boat).

0656 hours - In position 240° Saraki Rock (Vrachonis?da Sar?ki, Lipso Channel) 2 nautical miles, fired four torpedoes at the 1000 ton ship. A fifth torpedo was fired at one of the other ships. The results were two hits on the 1000 ton ship. Torbay now went deep.

0720 hours - During the next 10 minutes 6 random depth charges were dropped but these were not close. Torbay retired from the area.

7 Sep 1943
From 1825 to 1845 hours (zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) fires 93 rounds at a bauxite loading station on Amorgos.

11 Sep 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 18th war patrol at Beirut.

In the early morning hours she finds and tries to sink a derelict dismasted schooner. This is most likely the wreck of this schooner attacked 4 days before by German U-boat U-596.

(All times are zone -3)
0845 hours - Found derelict dismasted schooner of the usual Egyptian type No. D.169, completely waterlogged and damaged by fire in position 34°05'N, 34°22'E. Considered it a danger to navigation so fired a 25lb demolition charge in the poop well. This seemed to do little damage beyond scattering debris although it reduced buoyancy aft considerably. The cargo of oil drums held her up.

1630 hours - Arrived at Beirut.

21 Sep 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut bound for Port Said to dock.

22 Sep 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Port Said for a short period in dock.

5 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Port Said bound for Beirut.

6 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived back at Beirut.

10 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut for her 19th war patrol (this is the 6th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). She is to patrol in the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 19th war patrolclick here for bigger map

15 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Greek (German controlled) caique Poseidon / Pir 130 with gunfire east of Leros, Greece.

Following this sinking Torbay had an encounter with the German Q-ship GA 45. Torbay's periscope was sighted first by GA 45 which dropped 5 depth-charges very close. Later Torbay surfaced intending to dispose of GA 45 with her gun but the German vessel was very alert and opened an accurate fire as soon as the submarine surfaced and forced her to break off the action. She did not drop any further depth-charges which led Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck of Torbay to conclude that she was out of depth-charges. The submarine was not damaged during this encounter.

(All times are zone -3)
1345 hours - A caique, flying the Nazi flag, of about 50 tons appeared round Asipa Point from the Southward apparently bound for Palaio.

1400 hours - Surfaced and engaged the target at a range of 2500 yards. After 30 rounds she was on fire from fore to aft and aground. Torbay was now taken under fire so Lt. Clutterbuck dived and withdrew.

A short while later three landing craft were seen approaching from the direction of Kos. A schooner joined them from the South of Kalymnos. Torbay's periscope was sighted by a crewmember of the schooner which quickly turned towards. She dropped 5 depth charges that were very close. This force was later seen to return to Kos. Lt. Clutterbuck decided to engage the schooner with the deck gun but as soon as Torbay surfaced she was taken under a very accurate fire from the schooner by a concealed gun of about 12 pounder size. Now also a shore battery joined in so Torbay dived again and retired to the North-East.

16 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the German troopship Kari (1925 GRT, built 1920, former French Ste. Colette, former Norwegian Kari, offsite link) east of Naxos, Greece in position 36°59'N, 26°10'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1225 hours - Sighted a convoy consisting of two merchant ships of about 1000 tons each, half loaded and escorted by what looked like an Albatros class torpedo boat to starboard and an UJ type escort to port, Also two aircraft were seen overhead. The ships were in line abreast steering 105° for the Kinaros channel at 7 knots.

1258 hours - In position 36°59'N, 26°10'E fired four torpedoes from 1400 yards at one of the merchant ships. Torbay went deep as to dive under the convoy. Two hits were heard. One of the aircraft dropped a bomb at the firing position followed by 17 depth charges from the UJ-boat. The first few were fairly close but no damage was done.

This convoy was made up of the above mentioned Kari. The other merchant was the Trapani (1855 GRT, built 1926). The were escorted by UJ-2109, UJ-2110 and R-211.

28 Oct 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 19th war patrol at Beirut.

15 Nov 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut for her 20th war patrol (this is the 7th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). Once again she is to patrol in the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 20th war patrolclick here for bigger map

21 Nov 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank the Greek caique Panagia / Chios 87 (29 GRT) with gunfire west of Psathoura Island, Greece in position 39°30'N, 24°10'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1015 hours - Surfaced and fired 14 round of 4" at a 50 ton auxiliary schooner rigged as a caique. The crew abandoned ship soon after. The caique was boarded in the hope to retrieve charts and other documents but the boarding party was just aboard when the vessel sank like a stone so they had to get back to Torbay in a hurry.

22 Nov 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank a German floating dock north of Skiathos Island, Greece in position 39°24'N, 23°24'E.

(all times are zone -3)
1230 hours - Saw smoke in the Skiatos channel and turned towards.

Identified the target a 300-400 foot floating dock towed by three tugs (so far unidentified) with six escorts. (These were GA-74, MAL-12, R-139, GM-64, GM-65 and GM-69)

In position 004° Cape Sepia 9 nautical miles fired two torpedoes at the three tugs that formed a long continuous target and three torpedoes at the floating dock. This resulted in no hits. Most likely all torpedoes ran under as the range was only 1500 yards. The torpedoes had been set to 8 feet. The attack was not noticed by the enemy.

1633 hours - Fired another two torpedoes at the floating dock from 1000 yards . These torpedoes were set to 0 feet. This resulted in two hits. No counter attack followed. Most likely they thought the dock was mined.

26 Nov 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) fires three torpedoes against the German merchant Salomea (751 GRT, former Greek Evangelos Nomikos, built 1897) off Lemnos island, Greece. All three torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
0645 hours - Sighted a 1000 ton merchant ship to the South-West steering course 340°, distance 6 nautical miles. Started an attack.

0700 hours - Dived and continued to run in at high speed.

0825 hours - Fired the stern tube from 1100 yards. No hit.

0908 hours - In position 135° Cape Irene 6 nautical miles fired two bow torpedoes from 800 yards, one again no hits. The attack was now abandoned as the battery was now very low.

27 Nov 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) torpedoed and sank the German troop transport Palma (2609 GRT, former Italian Polcevera, built 1920) off Karlovassi, Samos, Greece in position 37°47'N, 26°38'E. Palma had been escorted by the German UJ-2110 and R-210.

(All times are zone -3)
0700 hours - Saw an empty 1000 ton merchant ship anchored off the harbour and steered towards.

0717 hours - The ship was no under way so waited to see which way she would go. She turned on a course of 260 and later 240 and worked up to 8 knots. Ran in at speed on a course of 210°, later fining up to 195°. A small escort vessel, perhaps a corvette, transmitting on 15kcs, took station ahead. There was another diesel powered escort astern but this was never seen.

0800 hours - In position 270° Kalovasi 5 nautical miles fired two torpedoes set to two feet aimed at the two masts from 1000 yards. Both torpedoes were heard to hit after running for 50 seconds.

0805 to 0840 hours - Counter attacked by 4, 7 and 9 depth charges. The after periscope flooded and some leaks started. Torbay touched bottom at about 240 feet while making off.

1100 hours - The A/S craft seemed to have lost contact and on returning to periscope depth the 'corvette' was seen 5 nautical miles astern with three Arado seaplanes searching. Made off to the North-West and then to the West.

3 Dec 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 20th war patrol at Beirut.

17 Dec 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut for her 21th war patrol (this is the 8th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). Once again she is to patrol in the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 21th war patrolclick here for bigger map

25 Dec 1943
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) damaged the Greek caique Ioannis Kutufaris / Samos 19 with gunfire off Cape Stavros, Crete, Greece. The caique was hit by two shells but they failed to explode.

(All times are zone -3)
1600 hours - Surfaced in position bearing 315° Candia Light 5 nautical miles and fired 19 rounds at an Eastbound schooner rigged caique. Torbay was taken under fire from about four guns from the shore. This fire was very accurate. The caique also fired with a machine gun. The action was broken off and Torbay dived.

5 Jan 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 21th war patrol at Beirut.

20 Jan 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut for her 22th war patrol (this is the 9th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). Patrol area is once again the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 22th war patrolclick here for bigger map

26 Jan 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) fires 5 torpedoes against the German merchant Leda (4572 GRT, former Italian Leopardi, built 1943) south of Amorgos Island, Greece. All torpedoes fired missed their target. Leda was escorted at that time by the German destroyer TA-14, the German torpedo boats TA-16 and TA-17 and the German minesweeper R-195.

(All times are zone -3)
0220 hours - Heard A/S impulses to the North-West.

0230 hours - Heard HE on the same bearing. Radar soon picked up echoes at 10000 yards.

0240 hours - Sighted one ship and two destroyers ahead, course about 270°, to pass South of Cape Papas. The ship could be seen to be a medium seized motor vessel with the funnel amidships.

0252 hours - In position 215° Cape Papas 4,5 nautical miles, range 3500 yards fired 5 torpedoes. Dived. No hits. There was no counter attack.

31 Jan 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sank a Greek sailing vessel with gunfire south of Lemnos Island, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
2100 hours - Saw two 18ft caiques in position 155° Cape Irene 9 nautical miles. One had an engine and was towing the other. The cargo consisted of empty drums and fuel cans. Put the crew in the motor less one and destroyed the other with the motor by fire. It was not considered worth it destroying the other one as the five Greeks would have to be taken aboard.

7 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 22th war patrol at Beirut.

10 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Beirut bound for Port Said.

11 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Port Said. She is docked the next day.

12 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) is docked at Port Said.

16 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) left dock.

24 Feb 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Port Said for her 23th war patrol (this is the 10th Mediterranean war patrol of her 2nd commission). Patrol area is once again the Aegean.

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


HMS Torbay 23th war patrolclick here for bigger map

3 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) ended her 23th war patrol, that was blank, at Malta.

6 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Malta bound for Gibraltar. She is to return to the U.K. for a refit. She joined convoy MKS-42 for the passage to Gibraltar.

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


HMS Torbay passage Malta to U.K.click here for bigger map

12 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

20 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for the U.K.

30 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Devonport (Plymouth).

31 Mar 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Devonport (Plymouth)for Portsmouth where she arrived later this day.

1 Apr 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Portsmouth bound for Sheerness.

2 Apr 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) arrived at Sheerness.

3 Apr 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) departed from Sheerness for Chatham Dockyard where she is to refit. She arrived there after one hour.

15 Aug 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her refit at Chatham Dockyard. Now a period of trials and exercises begins.

16 Nov 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 24th war patrol (This is the 1st war patrol of her 3rd commission). She is to patrol in the Northern part of the North Sea.

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


HMS Torbay 24th war patrolclick here for bigger map

20 Nov 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 24th war patrol at Holy Loch.

12 Dec 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her passage to Ceylon. The first leg of the trip is to Gibraltar.

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


HMS Torbay passage U.K. to Ceylonclick here for bigger map

20 Dec 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

26 Dec 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Malta.

30 Dec 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta.

4 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Malta bound for Port Said.

8 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said.

10 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) transits the Suez Canal. After passage course is set towards Aden.

15 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Aden.

15 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Aden bound for Colombo.

27 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Colombo

29 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Colombo bound for Trincomalee.

31 Jan 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Trincomalee.

3 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 25th war patrol (This is the 2nd war patrol of her 3rd commission and her 1st in Far Eastern waters). She is to perform a special mission in the Phuket area.

The special mission is called 'operation Baboon'. Three canoes with a total of 7 people (two canoes with two and one with three) were to be landed on the coast on March 8th from position 08°07'N, 98°14'E.

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


HMS Torbay 25th war patrolclick here for bigger map

8 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) lands the agents as ordered for 'operation baboon'.

1930 hours - Torbay surfaced five nautical miles of the beach and after getting the canoes up on the casing ran in to the release position 2,5 nautical miles from the shore where the canoes were released. Canoe nr.3 with three people on board fell astern of the other two and was not seen again. Nothing further was heard of the people inside it (all three of them are listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website as being killed on 9 March 1945, no further details are known to us at this moment).

0230 hours - Both the other canoes returned to Torbay.

9 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) returns to the drop off position of last night. Something must have gone wrong ashore as there was now a total black-out unlike the previous day. Also Asdic impulses were heard. As a result of this the landings for this night were aborted.

10 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) returns to the drop off position of two nights before. No.1 and 2. canoes were launched for a beach race. Nothing was seen of canoe No.3. It was found that enemy patrols were more frequent. For the next two nights Torbay returned to the R/V position but nothing was sighted.

16 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) destroys a Japanese coaster with gunfire of the west coast of Siam. She also damaged a junk with gunfire.

(All times are zone -6,5) 1100 hours - In position 08°42'N, 98°10'E sighted smoke to the Northward and a junk to the Southward.

1145 hours - The smoke was identified as a small passenger steamer of 200 to 300 tons.

1200 hours - Surfaced and opened fire with the 4" deck gun. Range was 3500 yards.

1205 hours - The steamer turned towards the beach.

1215 hours - By now 50 rounds had been fired for 4 to 5 hits. The steamer was now aground and burning in position 08°44'N, 98°15'E.

1217 hours - Altered course to the Southward to engage the junk.

1220 hours - Fired a warning shot but no signs of surrender came from the junk.

1224 to 1230 hours - Fired 20 rounds at the junk from 3000 yards resulting in 4 hits.

1230 hours - Sighted a fighter bomber coming in for attack. Dived to 35 feet.

1241 hours - One distant bomb explosion.

1258 hours - One bomb explosion quite close. Lt.Cdr. Norman set course to seaward and decided to call it a day.

18 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) returns to the drop off position of March 8th. No.1 and 2. canoes were launched to search for the missing party but nothing was sighted.

23 Mar 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 25th war patrol at Trincomalee.

7 Apr 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 26th war patrol (This is the 3rd war patrol of her 3rd commission and her 2nd in Far Eastern waters). She is to perform two special missions (No details available as of yet).


HMS Torbay 26th war patrolclick here for bigger map

21 Apr 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 26th war patrol at Trincomalee.

8 May 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 27th war patrol (This is the 4th war patrol of her 3rd commission and her 3rd in Far Eastern waters). She is to perform a special operation (No details available as of yet).

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


HMS Torbay 27th war patrolclick here for bigger map

11 May 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) suffers an serious engine failure. The patrol has to be abandoned and course is set to return to Trincomalee.

16 May 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 27th war patrol at Trincomalee.

19 Jun 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 28th war patrol (This is the 5th war patrol of her 3rd commission and her 4th in Far Eastern waters). She is to patrol in the Straits of Malacca.

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


HMS Torbay 28th war patrolclick here for bigger map

25 Jun 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) sank a tongkang by demolition charge in position 02°38'N, 100°28'E.

(All times are zone -7,5)
1450 hours - Surfaced in position 02°38'N, 100°28'E and sank a 17 ton tongkang by demolition charge. It was loaded with 17 tons of sulphur and 2 tons of tobacco and bound for Klang. The crew of 3 and 1 Chinese was embarked in the submarine.

Dived, Several tongkangs were seen during the afternoon but all in to shallow water to be closed.

26 Jun 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) sank a Japanese coaster with gunfire off Sabang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies.

(All times are zone -7,5)
1100 hours - The mast and funnel of a coaster was sighted at 10000 yards. Torbay manoeuvred to get ahead of the target. At 1250 hours range was still 8000 to 9000 yards. At 1300 Torbay surfaced and gave chase on the surface. At 1306 hours the enemy turned towards the nearest shore zig-zagging wildly.

1314 hours - Torbay opened fire with the deck gun from 6000 yards. At 1329 hours fire was ceased as the target was now on fire from amidships to aft. In all 58 rounds were fired.

1335 hours - Torbay dived in position 02°57'N, 100°04'E. At 1350 hours the target was seen to blow up and sink.

28 Jun 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) sank a Japanese sailing vessel with a demolition charge in the Strait of Malacca.

(All times are zone -7,5)
1915 hours - Torbay surfaced in position 03°24'N, 99°42'E. a 10 ton tongkang was boarded. The cargo was made up of solid rubber tyres. The tongkang was sunk by a demolition charge.

11 Jul 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 28th war patrol at Trincomalee.

7 Aug 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 29th war patrol (This is the 6th war patrol of her 3rd commission and her 5th in Far Eastern waters). She is to perform a special operation (No details available as of yet).

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


HMS Torbay 29th war patrolclick here for bigger map

24 Aug 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) ended her 29th war patrol at Trincomalee.

10 Sep 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for Port Said. She is to return to the U.K.

25 Sep 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said.

28 Sep 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Port Said bound for Malta.

2 Oct 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta.

13 Oct 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Malta bound for Gibraltar.

17 Oct 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

18 Oct 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Portsmouth.

22 Oct 1945
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

Media links


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


Submarine Torbay

Chapman, Paul

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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