Allied Warships

HMS Taurus (P 339)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantP 339 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Sep 1940 
Laid down30 Sep 1941 
Launched27 Jun 1942 
Commissioned3 Nov 1942 
End service 
History

Loaned to the Royal Netherlands Navy on 4 June 1948 and commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy as Dolfijn (offsite link) the same day. Decommissioned and returned to the Royal Navy on 7 December 1953. Recommissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Taurus on 8 December 1953. Scrapped at Dunston-on-Tyne in April 1960.

 
Former nameP 93

Commands listed for HMS Taurus (P 339)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Mervyn Robert George Wingfield, RNSep 19424 Sep 1944
2Lt. Peter Edward Newstead, DSC, RN4 Sep 194411 Nov 1946

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Notable events involving Taurus include:


The history of HMS Taurus as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of Taurus. 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.

1 Nov 1942
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN) departed from her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch.

2 Nov 1942
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of trials and training.

13 Dec 1942
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Lerwick.

15 Dec 1942
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

16 Dec 1942
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Northern Norway. She is part of a cover force for a convoy to Russia.

No log for December 1942 is available so no map can be displayed.

1 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

2 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Lerwick for Holy Loch.

4 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

14 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) is docked in a floating dry-dock at Kames Bay, Cumbrae Island.

15 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) left dock and returns to Holy Loch.

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Gibraltar. She is to join the Mediterranean Fleet.

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


HMS Taurus passage Holy Loch - Gibraltar click here for bigger map

29 Jan 1943
HMS P 339 (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

6 Feb 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). This is a working up patrol off Alicante, Spain. Afterwards she is to proceed to Algiers.

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


HMS Taurus 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map

15 Feb 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

27 Feb 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Algiers for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol off Southern France.

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


HMS Taurus 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map

2 Mar 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the French fishing vessel Clairette (150 GRT) with gunfire off Cape Ferrat, southern France.

(All times are zone -1)
1450 hours - In position 200°, Cape Ferrat, 1.5 nautical miles sighted a small sailing vessel.

1501 hours - Surfaced and opened fire with the 4" gun, the Oerlikon and one Vickers gun.

1503 hours - A shore battery opened fire.

1504 hours - The target appeared to be sinking. Shortly afterwards the 3rd round of the shore battery fell close. Dived and proceeded to seaward.

6 Mar 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Spanish merchant Bartolo (3120 GRT, built 1918) about 25 nautical miles West of Marseille, southern France.

(All times are zone -1)
0743 hours - Sighted a Westbound merchant vessel in ballast about 6 nautical miles away. Started attack.

0814 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 3000 yards. All missed.

0838 hours - Surfaced and chased the merchant vessel now identified as the Spanish Bartolo.

0948 hours - Opened fire with the 4" gun from 5000 yards. Fired 34 rounds. The ship eventually stopped after many hits. There was no sign that she was being abandoned.

0958 hours - Fired another 10 rounds from 1000 yards. There was still no sign of sinking and she started to make SOS signals by W/T.

1005 hours - Fired 1 torpedo from 600 yards. It missed so another torpedo was fired. This one hit just abaft the funnel. The ship sank and the stern hit the bottom at 9 fathoms. The bow remained above the water. 6 rounds were now fired into the bow. The ships Master and one other survivor was picked up. The rest was left in the water as there were numerous fishing boats in the area.

1032 hours - Set course to clear the coast.

1034 hours - The Bartolo was seen to sink in position 43°19'N, 04°36'E.

10 Mar 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Derna (1769 GRT, built 1912) about 15 nautical miles East of Sete, southern France.

(All times are zone -1)
1630 hours - Sighted a Westbound merchant ship, carried out a torpedo attack with the stern tubes. The target was thought to be the Italian Derna, so it was identified correctly by Lt.Cdr. Wingfield. One hit was obtained just before the bridge. The crew was seen to be abandoning ship.

1713 hours - Surfaced and fired 9 rounds of 4" into the target to speed up the sinking.

1721 hours - The target sank in position 43°25'N, 04°11'E.

13 Mar 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the French tug Ghrib (82 GRT) and the lighter Labillon with gunfire off Cassis, southern France.

(All times are zone -1)
0850 hours - Near position 43°09'N, 05°26'E sighted a tug towing an empty lighter proceeding Westbound. Closed to attack.

0928 hours - Surfaced and opened fire with the 4" gun from 500 yards.

0932 hours - The tug sank, followed 5 minutes later by the lighter.

18 Mar 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

1 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Algiers for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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


HMS Taurus 4th war patrol click here for bigger map

13 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the Portuguese Santa Irene (520 GRT, built 1921) with gunfire about 30 nautical miles south-east of Bastia, Corsica, France in position 42°19'N, 09°53'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0001 hours - Sighted the navigation lights of a distant ship. Closed. Thought this might be a hospital ship.

While closing noted that both sides of the ship were illuminated making it even more likely that it was a hospital ship.

When even closer Lt.Cdr. Wingfield was surprised to see the Italian flag painted on the ships sides. Fire was immediately opened from 1000 yards with the 4" gun as a submarine trap was suspected. The ship was soon on fire and stopped as the first round was a hit in the engine room.

One torpedo was fired from 500 yards but it just missed astern as the ship still had some headway. Re-opened fire with the 4" gun while getting into position to fire another torpedo.

0039 hours - Fired a torpedo from 750 yards that hit the ships stern after 30 seconds. The ship was seen to be sinking by the stern shortly afterwards near position 42°18'5"N, 09°52'5"E. Taurus retired to the South at full speed.

The ship later turned out to be Portuguese, In the dark the Portuguese flag was mistaken for the Italian one. Also the ship was in a sink at sight area and was not reported to be in that area to the British.

There was only one survivor from the Santa Irene, he was picked up by the Italian hospital ship Epomeo.

14 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the small Italian tanker Alcione C. (521 GRT, built 1915) with gunfire off the east coast of Corsica, France in position 42°16'N, 09°36'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1340 hours - Sighted a small, Northbound merchant ship, range 10000 yards. Closed at full speed submerged for 30 minutes.

1414 hours - Surfaced on the targets Starboard quarter and opened fire from 3000 yards.

1422 hours - After 54 rounds the target sank in position 42°16'N, 09°36'E.

1437 hours - Dived for an approaching aircraft.

According to Italian sources the Alcione C. was on passage from La Maddalena to Bastia. There were 13 survivors (including three wounded), 2 of the crew were missing and presumed killed.

15 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian sailing vessel Luigi (433 GRT) 52 nautical miles south-west of Civitavecchia in position 41°32'N, 10°47'E.

(All times are zone -1)
2150 hours - Sighted a darkened ship about 4000 yards away. Shortly afterwards the target was seen to be a large four masted sailing vessel under power with no sails set.

2204 hours - Fired one torpedo from 800 yards. It was seen to pass just ahead.

2205 hours - Fired another torpedo. This was seen to hit about amidships and the target blew up with a great explosion.

According to Italian sources Luigi was on passage from Civitavecchia to Albia.

20 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

24 Apr 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) is docked at Algiers.

15 May 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) left dock.

19 May 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Algiers for Malta.

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


HMS Taurus passage Algiers - Malta click here for bigger map

25 May 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta.

27 May 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Malta for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol in the Aegean. Afterwards she is to proceed towards Beirut.

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


HMS Taurus 5th war patrol click here for bigger map

3 Jun 1943
While operating in the Aegean Sea, East of Euboea Island HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessels Syr 674 / Aris (58 GRT) with gunfire in position 38°28'N, 24°17'E.

About one hour later she sank the Greek sailing vessel Chi 100 / Panagia (110 GRT) with gunfire in position 39°12'N, 23°21'E.

The first target (a laden caique of about 60 tons) was spotted at 1220 hours (All times zone -3). At 1248 hours Taurus surfaced and engaged with the gun. 31 rounds were expended before the target sank in position 38°28N, 24°14'E.

While the above action was in progress a second vessel was sighted. This ship was identified as a schooner of about 120 tons sailing northwards. As soon as the first target was sunk Taurus submerged again (at 1257 hours) and an attack on the second target was commenced. At 1352 hours Lt.Cdr. Wingfield surfaced about 2000 yards on the beam of the target. 17 rounds were expended before the target sank in position 38°28N, 24°14'E.

After the attacks Taurus proceeded northwards.

5 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank two Greek caiques with gunfire off Skiathos. One of these ships was the Agios Georgios / Vol 29, the other is so far unidentified.

(All times zone -3)
1830 hours - Two southbound caiques, of 50 tons each, were sighted and an attack commenced.

1912 hours - Taurus surfaced and opened fire at 3000 yards. 6 rounds were fired at one of the caiques which then commenced to settle. The crew abandoned ship instantly.

Fire was now shifted to the other caique that was about a mile away. 6 rounds were fired, with no hits, before an aircraft was seen approaching from the east. Taurus dived immediately.

With the aircraft gone Taurus surfaced at 1937 hours and re-started the attack on the caique that had not been hit. At 1943 hours this caique was sunk in position 39°25'N, 23°15'E.

Fire was now shifted to the first caique attacked and this one burst into flames before sinking at 1948 hours a mile north of the other one.

6 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank the Greek caique Panagia / Hyd 146 with gunfire west of Mitylene, Greece in position 39°15'N, 25°45'E.

(All times zone -3)
1526 hours - Taurus surfaced and sank a 50 tons caique with gunfire. Soon after the first rounds were fired the caiques crew hoisted a white flag, so Lt.Cdr. Wingfield allowed the crew to abandon their ship with a dinghy.

1830 hours - Just as Lt.Cdr. Wingfield wanted to surface to sink another caique, an aircraft was sighted that continued to patrol the area. This attack eventually had to be abandoned.

9 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) has an encounter with two German decoy vessels to the North of Cape Doro. She manages to escape without damage.

(All times are zone -3)
0600 hours - Two caiques were sighted Northbound under power from the Doro Channel. Position 6 nautical miles North of Cape Doro. Started attack.

0618 hours - Surfaced and opened fire on the leading caique. Lt.Cdr. Wingfield had underestimated the range, thinking that the caiques were much smaller then they turned out to be. Both caiques soon opened fire. Their fire was very accurate and unpleasantly close. It was either 3" or 12pdr gunfire as well as machine gun fire.

Taurus scored a hit on the leading caique but her Oerlikon was out of action early in the engagement. After seven rounds of 4" Taurus dived at 0622 hours.

0740 hours - The caiques started dropping depth charges but the were way off as the caiques had gone to the East while Taurus went to the North-West after Taurus had dived. In all they dropped 32 depth charges.

According to German sources these were the German GA 41 and GA 43. GA 41 fired back 15 rounds of 8.8 cm, 54 of 3.7 cm and 150 of 2 cm and claimed a hit on the submarine but this was not the case.

10 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) attacks the Italian submarine Galatea with six torpedoed 10 nautical miles South-East of Stampalia in position 36°33'N, 26°38'E. All torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -3)
2014 hours - When about 10 nautical miles South-East of Stampalia an enemy submarine escorted by a small ship and an aircraft was sighted coming from the direction of Leros, steering to pass South of Stampalia. Range was about 10000 yards. Taurus was not in a favourable attack position and there were also problems with the high power periscope. No accurate plot could be made.

2041 hours - In position 36°33'N, 26°38'E fired six torpedoes from 4000 yards. All missed. The enemy submarine was heard to dive before the end of run detonations of the torpedoes were heard.

According to Italian sources Galatea (T.V. Tenente di Vascello Carlo Gladstone Cruciani) had just sailed from Leros at 1620 hours/10 June (Rome time) when at 1950 hours she was shaken by one loud explosion followed by two more as intense but probably more distant. She had sailed for a patrol south of Crete, escorted by a MAS boat and a CANT Z 501 aircraft.

11 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank two caiques with gunfire off Piscopi, Greece. These caiques were the Rhodes 1433 / San Giovanni (35 GRT) and Rhodes 1084 / Nuova Fortuna (7 GRT).

(All times are zone -3)
1600 hours - Sighted a medium sized caique of 40 tons to the north-west near Piscopi Island (Now called Tilos). Taurus surfaced and chased the target and opened fire with the deck gun at 2000 yards. The target sank at 1730 hours in position 36°26'N, 27°32'E.

Another caique was sighted inshore so Taurus closed to sink this one as well. 7 rounds were enough to sink this caique of 25 tons in position 36°26'N, 27°27'E. This 2nd caique was flying the Italian flag.

The San Giovanni was on passage from Rhodes to Patmos with 30 tons of provisions, the three crewmembers were saved.

The Nouva Fortuna was on passage from Rhodes to Nisiris with 12 tons of provisions, there were two survivors, one was missing.

15 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

29 Jun 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Beirut for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol in the Aegean.

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


HMS Taurus 6th war patrol click here for bigger map

8 Jul 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German merchant Konstantinos Louloudis (Former Greek, renamed Luneburg only a few days after this attack, 4697 GRT, built 1922) at the Mouth of the Trikeri Channel, Greece.

Taurus also sank the Greek sailing vessels Pi 2540 / Georgios through ramming and Mimis with a demolition charge off Skiathos, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
0525 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel with two escorts, one ahead and one astern. Started attack.

0538 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1000 yards. 42 Seconds after firing a torpedo hit was heard. 5 Seconds after this first hit a second hit was heard. When Lt.Cdr. Wingfield was about to fire a fifth torpedo one of the others was seen to hit the target in the bow. No further torpedoes were fired and Taurus was taken deep. No counter attack followed.

The escorts were with the minelayer Bulgaria and the Auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2105. Initially Konstantinos Louloudis was believed to have been mined but eyewitnesses had seen torpedo tracks. She was first towed to Oreos Bay and later towed by the tug Titan to Saloniki.

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

2045 hours - Surfaced in position 38°57'N, 24°00'E and closed a small caique. A boarding party searched the ship but found nothing of interest. The crew had already abandoned ship. The caique was sunk by ramming.

2205 hours - Sighted another caique. Boarded and took the ships papers. As there was no dinghy the crew was taken on board and the caique was sunk with a demolition charge.

9 Jul 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank three sailing vessels (2 Greek and one Bulgarian) with two torpedoes and gunfire at Kastron harbour, Lemnos, Greece. Two Greek sailing vessels were damaged in the attack.

(All times are zone -3)
2114 hours - Just before dark two torpedoes were fired into the harbour. Taurus surfaced three minutes later and proceeded to bombard the inside of the harbour. The two torpedoes were seen to explode, one amongst several caiques. A warehouse was set on fire, other buildings were slightly damaged and several shots were dropped on the Italian headquarters.

The sailing vessels sunk were the:
Alx 22 / Nikolaos Kampanas
Pi 518 / Katina
Russe (This was a Bulgarian caique)

The sailing vessels damaged were the:
Chi 128 / Katherina
Chi 129 / Themes

According to 'enemy' sources four Greeks were killed and two soldiers slightly wounded. All the targets were hit by gunfire. Actually none of the torpedoes caused any damage. The first torpedo "hit" was actually on a rock.

11 Jul 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) sank a whole bunch of small Greek sailing vessels as well as the small tug Romano (59 GRT) with gunfire at Nea Playia and Nea Moudania.

(All times are zone -3)
Closed the coast to attack shipping at Nea Playia as ordered.

2054 hours - Fired one torpedo at the pier from 1500 yards. It seemed impossible that the torpedo would not hit anything but this was exactly what it did and it could be heard running on the beach. It was considered very likely that this torpedo had fallen into enemy hands intact.

Surfaced and opened fire with the 4" gun. Sank three caiques and a big warehouse was shelled. Several hits were scored before the placed became obscured with smoke. Finally the pier was shelled. In all 52 rounds were fired. Taurus now increased to full speed and proceeded to the South-East to attack shipping of Nea Moudania that had been sighted earlier.

2116 hours - Opened fire on a large warehouse. Later fire was shifted to shipping. A steam tug was sunk and at least eight caiques were destroyed. Nothing but some small boats were left afloat. Meanwhile several machine guns had opened fire on Taurus. One of the crew was wounded in the foot and some minor damage was caused to the conning tower. Fire was now shifted to a second warehouse and when this was obscured by smoke the action was broken off. 52 Rounds were fired, just like in the previous action. Taurus now retired from the scene.

Shipping sunk or damaged is believed to have been the following ships.
at Nea Playia;
Hyd 585 / Evangelistria (sunk),
Sal 254 / Agia Sotira (sunk),
My 194 / Agia Paraskevi (damaged)

At Nea Moudania:
Italian tug Romano (59 GRT) (sunk),
My 101 / Evangelistria (sunk),
My 552 / Charilaos (sunk),
Sal 457 / Filipaki (sunk),
Sal 80 / Agios Konstantinos (sunk),
Sal 112 / Agia Ekaterina (sunk),
Syr 320 / Evangelistria (sunk),
Naf 28 / Agios Nikolaos (sunk),
Kav 347 / Agia Kyriaki (damaged).

There is some confusion as to where the caiques were hit, a total of 12 caiques and a tug (Romano) were confirmed by the Germans as sunk. Romano was actually hit by four shells and supposedly repairable in 4 to 5 weeks, and two of the caiques sunk at Nea Playia were reported raised on 21 July.

22 Jul 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

9 Aug 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Beirut for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol in the Aegean and also to carry out two special operations.

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


HMS Taurus 7th war patrol click here for bigger map

14 Aug 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) carries out special operation Brinscall. A party of three agents was landed on Rhodos near Grea-Nisi.

16 Aug 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) carries out special operation Settler. Two agents were landed on Euboea.

23 Aug 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) is rammed during an attack on an enemy convoy of the Dardanelles. The periscopes and periscope shears are damaged.

(All times are zone -3)
1600 hours - Sighted a seaplane patrolling to the South.

1730 hours - The seaplane was joined by a second one. Looks like a convoy was approaching from the South.

1819 hours - Sighted masts of the convoy, distance 7 nautical miles.

1831 hours - The convoy changed course and was seen to be made up of two merchant ships of 2000 and 3000 tons. 5 escorts were seen as well as 5 aircraft. Also two E-boats were seen. Started attack.

In the closing stages of the attack Taurus came very close to the target and due to the strong currents off the Dardanelles she collided with the target at 1936 hours in position 39?58'N, 25?57'E. The target was thought to be the Italian tanker Celeno (Lt.Cdr. Wingfield was correct in this). No counter attack followed. Set course to the South.

2100 hours - Surfaced. Found both periscope badly damaged. Set course to return to base.

This convoy was made up of the Italian tanker Celeno (3741 GRT, built 1899) and the German merchant Thisbe (1782 GRT, built 1925, former French). They were escorted by the German torpedo boat TA-10 and the German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ-2101, UJ-2104, UJ-2109 and 4 R-boats.

This 'event' is often listed as happened the day before. This is also listed as such in the patrol report of Taurus. The log of Taurus however gives 23 August as the correct date. This is also the date this convoy arrived off the Dardanelles, therefore the correct date for this (failed) attack is 23 August 1943.

27 Aug 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

A few hours before arriving (0737 hours) she is attacked by German U-boat U-407 with 2 torpedoes, both missed and the attack was not observed on board Taurus. Position given by the Germans was grid CP 5635.

15 Sep 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Beirut for Port Said. She is to proceed to Colombo to join the Eastern Fleet.

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


HMS Taurus passage Beirut - Colombo click here for bigger map

16 Sep 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said.

22 Sep 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) transits the Suez Canal and arrived at Suez.

23 Sep 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Suez for Aden.

28 Sep 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Aden.

2 Oct 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) departed from Aden bound for Colombo.

12 Oct 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Colombo.

21 Oct 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) carries out attack exercises off Colombo on HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN).

6 Nov 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Colombo for her 8th war patrol (1st in the Far East). She is to patrol in the Malacca Straits and in the Andaman Sea.

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


HMS Taurus 8th war patrol click here for bigger map

13 Nov 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese submarine I-34 (offsite link) West of Penang, Malaya in position 05°18'N, 100°05'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0454 hours - The officer of the Watch sighted what later turned out to be a large submarine. Started attack.

0504 hours - Fired six torpedoes. Nearly four minutes after firing the last torpedo an explosion was heard. Due to the bad weather conditions Lt.Cdr. Wingfield had been unable to estimate the range to the target. Given the running range of the torpedo it must have been somewhere between 5800 and 6600 yards. Nothing further was heard or seen of the enemy submarine that was identified as a large Japanese submarine.

I-34 was hit on the Starboard side just below the conning tower. About 20 men are able to escape from the forward part of the submarine. 14 Of these were picked up by a small sailing vessel and arrived at Penang the same evening. The Japanese sent out a submarine chaser to hunt the enemy submarine (see 14 November 1943).

14 Nov 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) is detected and depth charged by the Japanese submarine chaser CH-20 (offsite link). A gun battle followed in which CH-20 was heavily damaged.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0344 hours - A dark shape was seen to follow Taurus. Lt.Cdr. Wingfield gave order to increase to full speed. The 'shape' closed from about 8 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles and could not be shaken off.

0402 hours - Dived in position 04°16'N, 100°23'E. Depth control could not be hold and Taurus bottomed at 150 feet. The pursuing ship could now be heard coming in. Lt.Cdr. Wingfield decided that it was best for the moment to stay on the bottom.

0413 hours - One depth charge was dropped.

0414 hours - Another depth charge was dropped. They were close, but not very close. Some lamps were broken, fuses were blown and some cork came off. Lt.Cdr. Wingfield decided for the moment to stay on the bottom but as the hunting vessel knew roughly where the submarine was and would undoubtedly call up reinforcements. He decided to wait until the enemy moved a bit further off so that he could get off the bottom undetected and so to slip away. When this was not possible Taurus had to surface and fight it out before his 'friends' arrived.

0600 hours - By now it seemed unwise to wait any longer as more A/S vessels were to be expected shortly. When Taurus made efforts to get off the bottom the enemy was heard to come in again to attack. Taurus was still on the bottom but the first depth charge lifted her off. Five more depth charges were dropped, each one a little closer then the last. Telemotor pressure now failed, putting the hydroplanes, steering and periscopes out of action. All depth gauges, including the ones shut off, were affected. The crew now had no longer any idea of the submarines depth. There was also much minor damage.

Telemotor pressure was soon restored. Steering of the after hydroplanes was however still out of action. By using the fore planes periscope depth was reached. Lt.Cdr. Wingfield now could see the enemy. It was a submarine chaser. It was decided to surface and take him on.

0622 hours - Surfaced for gun action. The enemy was 1000 yards off and fired with a machine gun. When fire was opened with the 4" gun the enemy also opened fire with his gun (a 3" or 12pdr gun). Meanwhile Taurus had opened fire with the Oerlikon but it jammed after firing just on pan of ammunition.

Range had now increased to 2000 yards and both ships were running on parallel courses. All the enemy's rounds fell over although some were quite close. Taurus now scored her first hit on the enemy's forecastle. His gun crew immediately retired below decks but came up soon afterwards and were seen to attempt to bring the gun back into action. In this they did not succeed and only machine gun fire came from the enemy from now. A hit was now scored on the enemy's bridge and the enemy now turned away. Two more hits were scored into the hull stopping her engines. After eight hits an aircraft was seen to approach.

0635 hours - Dived to 60 feet. Taurus was now under full control, all defects had been made good by now. The aircraft dropped three depth charges.

0650 hours - Came to periscope depth. Found the submarine chaser still stopped in the same position. Taurus now retired from the scene.

22 Nov 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) sights the Japanese transport Kiyokawa Maru escorted by the Japanese torpedo boat Kari (both offsite links) off the Mergui Archipelago in position 12°27'N, 97°35'E. Taurus is not able to attack as the range is to great.

27 Nov 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (1st in the Far East) at Colombo.

2 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) is docked at Colombo.

9 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) left dock and departed from Colombo for Trincomalee.

12 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee.

15 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Colombo for her 9th war patrol (2nd in the Far East). She is to carry out a special operation and to patrol of Car Nicobar and Sabang.

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


HMS Taurus 9th war patrol click here for bigger map

18 Dec 1943
Between 18 and 22 December 1943 HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) carries out a special operation (details to follow).

25 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) unsuccessfully attacks an escorted Japanese merchant vessel with six torpedoes off Pulau Weh, Northern Sumatra. Due to a wrong plot made by the ships navigation officer the targets speed was over estimated and all torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0630 hours - In position 3 nautical miles South-West of the North-East tip of Pulau Weh (approx. 05°50'N, 95°09'E) sighted the masts of a merchant ship and escort due North. They were steering 115°, distance was about 8 nautical miles. Started attack. The enemy as proceeding towards Sabang.

0701 hours - Fired six torpedoes from 3500 yards. All missed due to an error in the plot. Speed was estimated at 17 knots where as this should have been 10 knots.

0721 hours - The escort, possibly an Otori-class torpedo boat (if this was the case then it must have been Kari (offsite link)), dropped one depth charge. Meanwhile Taurus retired to the West.

28 Dec 1943
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (2nd in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

19 Jan 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 10th war patrol (3rd in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off the South-West coast of Sumatra.

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


HMS Taurus 10th war patrol click here for bigger map

21 Jan 1944
Between 21 and 25 January 1944 HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC, RN) carries out a special operation (details to follow).

6 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) sank a tug and a schooner with gunfire south-west of Sumatra.

(All times are zone -7)
1645 hours - Sighted a tug (80 tons) towing a schooner (50 tons) leaving Sibolga.

1710 hours - Surfaced in position 01°42'N, 98°41'E and opened fire with the 4" gun from 1600 yards. The third round hit the tug and soon more hits followed. When the tug seemed sufficiently damaged fire was shifted to the schooner. The first round set her on fire.

1720 hours - After some more hits on the tug it was seen to sink. The schooner went down soon after. Taurus cleared the area to the West.

12 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (3rd in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

16 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Trincomalee for Colombo.

18 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Colombo.

25 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) is docked at Colombo.

26 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) left dock and departed from Colombo for Trincomalee.

28 Feb 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Trincomalee.

5 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 11th war patrol (4th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Andaman Sea. She is also to perform a special operation and a mine laying operation in the Malacca Straits.

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


HMS Taurus 11th war patrolclick here for bigger map

13 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) bombards the Government House, warehouses and barracks on Sir Hugh Ross Island.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0305 hours - Commenced bombardment of enemy installations on Sir Hugh Ross Island.

0314 hours - Ceased fire.

16 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) intercepts a ferry / fishing vessel of Port Blair. The craft was boarded but an aircraft appeared on the scene and Taurus had to crash dive. One Japanese soldier was shot while he was trying to escape.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1550 hours - Sighted the ferry that was seen before in a position 3.5 nautical miles North-East of Port Blair. She was steering South-West.

1604 hours - Surfaced about two nautical miles on the ferry's port beam and closed at full speed. When at point blank range fire was opened with the machine guns. The ferry however did not stop before one round of 4" was put into her stern. Taurus went alongside and immediately 15 Indians leapt on the casing asking to be taken back to India.

The ferry appeared to be used as a fishing boat as there were half a dozen young shark on the deck. A boarding party went on board to see if there were some Japanese aboard that were hiding. One armed Japanese soldier was found hiding and as he refused to surrender he was shot while trying to escape.

1625 hours - Now an aircraft appeared on the scene and the boarding party had to be taken off in a hurry. Taurus crash dived with the Indians still on the deck but they all managed to swim to the ferry.

1710 hours - One bomb was heard to explode in the distance. Taurus cleared the area to the South.

19 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) lays a minefield (MLO 1 = Mine Laying Order 1) of 12 mines off the Aroa Islands.

(All times are zone -6.5)
2019 hours - Started to lay a minefield of 12 mines near position 02°50'5"N, 100°35'5"E. The mines were laid in three groups of four.

2206 hours - Completed the mine lay. Cleared the area.

23 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) carries out a special operation between 23 / 25 March 1944 (details to follow).

27 Mar 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (4th in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

12 Apr 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 12th war patrol (5th in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Straits. She is also to lay a minefield.

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


HMS Taurus 12th war patrol click here for bigger map

18 Apr 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) lays mines off Penang (MLO 3).

An opportunity to attack a Japanese submarine was missed later this day.

Later Taurus is detected by Japanese A/S vessels and depth charged. No damage was done.

(All times are zone -6.5)

0900 hours - Started mine laying near position 05°06'N, 100°12'5"E. Three strings of four mines were laid.

1045 hours - Completed mine laying.

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

1235 hours - HE was reported to the Southward. As there were many junks in the direction no target could be seen at first.

However, soon a submarine was sighted. Range was 5000 yards. Started attack.

Taurus was not able to reach a good position for firing torpedoes so the submarine passed by without being attacked.

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

1520 hours - Sighted two ships approaching from the North. One was an A/S trawler, the other was thought to be a small merchant vessel. Started attack.

After running in for three minutes at high speed and shortly before firing torpedoes both enemy ships were seen to turn bows on to Taurus. Range was about 2000 yards.

Taurus went to 50 feet. Seven depth charges were dropped but none was close.

Both ships then made off to the South and a submarine chaser took over the hunt. She however never made contact and Taurus was able to escape.

22 Apr 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) sank the Japanese salvage vessel Hokuan Maru I-Go (558 GRT, built 1929) and a tug with gunfire off the West coast of Siam in position 07°15'N, 99°18'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0705 hours - Masts were seen close inshore and finally a small coaster towing a small tug were seen about 5 nautical miles to the North-East.

0715 hours - Surfaced in position 07°15'N, 99°18'E and gave chase.

0740 hours - Opened fire with the 4" gun from 4000 yards. The third round was a hit and the coaster was soon on fire. A torpedo was fired from 1000 yards to finish her off but it missed just ahead. A second torpedo was now fired but this one ran under.

0755 hours - After further shelling the target sank. A few more rounds were used to sink the tugs.

26 Apr 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (5th in the Far East) at Trincomalee. This was the last patrol of her 1st commission. She is now to return to the U.K. for a refit.

27 Apr 1944
The Japanese submarine I-37 is damaged when she hits a mine that was possibly laid by HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) on 18 April 1944 south of Penang in position 05°03'N, 100°12'E.

5 May 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Trincomalee for Aden.

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


HMS Taurus passage Trincomalee - U.K. click here for bigger map

15 May 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Aden.

21 May 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Aden bound for Port Said.

26 May 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) transits the Suez Canal and arrived at Port Said.

31 May 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Port Said for Malta.

4 Jun 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Malta.

9 Jun 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Malta bound for Gibraltar. She makes the passage in convoy GUS-42.

14 Jun 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

20 Jun 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Holy Loch. She joins convoy MKS-52 for the passage.

1 Jul 1944
HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. Later she proceeded to Troon to be refitted at the Ailsa shipyard.

27 Jan 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) ended her refit at the Ailsa Shipyard at Troon and proceeds towards Holy Loch for a period of trials and training on the Scottish West coast.

18 Feb 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Rothesay for Scapa Flow. Here she is to conduct more exercises including A/S exercises with escort ships.

22 Feb 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

7 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Scapa Flow for Holy Loch.

9 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

12 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) is docked at Holy Loch.

16 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) left dock.

2 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the Far East for another deployment in the Far East / Pacific area.

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


HMS Taurus passage U.K. - Australia click here for bigger map

11 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. She departed from for Malta later the same day.

15 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta.

21 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Malta for Port Said.

25 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said.

26 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Port Said for Aden. She transits the Suez Canal on this day.

31 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden.

1 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Aden for Trincomalee.

11 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee.

22 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Trincomalee for Fremantle.

5 Jul 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Fremantle, Australia.

24 Jul 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) is put on the slip at Fremantle.

26 Jul 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) is put back in the water.

At the end of the war with Japan Taurus was still at Fremantle.

Media links


A Submarine at War

Cunningham, R.A.


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


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