Allied Warships

HMS Terrapin (P 323)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantP 323 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) : Bellis & Morcom (Ladywood, U.K.) 
Ordered3 Aug 1941 
Laid down19 Oct 1942 
Launched31 Aug 1943 
Commissioned22 Jan 1944 
End service 
History

HMS Terrapin (Lt. Robert Henry Hugh Brunner, DSC, RN) was damaged on 19 May 1945 while west of Batavia, Java in the Java Sea by depth charges from Japanese escort vessels while attacking an escorted tanker. She escaped and returned to Fremantle, Australia. She was declared a constructive total loss on return to harbour, and was scrapped in June 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Terrapin (P 323)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Desmond Samuel Royce Martin, DSO, RN10 Oct 194330 Aug 1944
2Lt. Robert Henry Hugh Brunner, RN30 Aug 1944late 1945

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Notable events involving Terrapin include:


19 Jan 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Barrow for Holy Loch.

20 Jan 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training.

16 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She is to proceed with dispatch to Lerwick and then to patrol off Southern Norway. The British are under the impression that the German battleship Tirpitz will return to Germany for repairs.

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


HMS Terrapin 1st war patrolclick here for bigger map

17 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) toppers off with fuel at Lerwick. After this short stop she proceeds on patrol.

24 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) attacked a German convoy off Lista, Norway in position 58°09'N, 06°28'E and torpedoed and damaged the German catapult ship Schwabenland (8186 GRT, built 1925) and the German tanker W?rth (6256 GRT, former Dutch Omala, built 1938). The Schwabenland is grounded to prevent her from sinking and the W?rth is towed to port. Both ships were out of action for the remainder of the war.

(All times are zone -1)
1200 hours - Sighted two Arado float planes and several ME 109's patrolling to the Northwards. Prepared to attack to upcoming convoy.

1253 hours - Sighted that the convoy was made up of 2 columns, 6 ships in all. The first column was seen to be made up of 1 tanker of 5000 tons, 1 merchant of 4000 tons and one of 1000 tons. The second column was made up of a 3000 tons tanker and 2 1000 tons merchants. The escorts was made up of 2 M-class minesweepers ahead of each column with a trawler on each beam and another one astern, so 3 trawlers in all.

1312 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes at the leading ship of the Starboard column (the tanker type of 5000 tons).

1313 hours - Fired 2 torpedoes at the second ship in the Starboard column (the merchant of 4000 tons).

One hit was observed on the first target and another torpedo was also hit this target but could not be observed as Terrapin was spotted by one of the escorting minesweepers that started dropping depth charges. 33 Depth charges in all were dropped by the escorts but these did little damage.

2 Apr 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

6 Apr 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Lerwick for Holy Loch.

9 Apr 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

30 Apr 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the Far East.

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


HMS Terrapin U.K. - Trincomaleeclick here for bigger map

11 May 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

15 May 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Malta.

20 May 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Malta.

27 May 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Malta bound for Port Said.

1 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Port Said.

2 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) transits the Suez Canal.

3 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Suez bound for Aden.

10 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Aden.

14 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Aden bound for Colombo.

23 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Colombo.

28 Jun 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) is docked at Colombo.

11 Jul 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) left dock.

14 Jul 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Colombo bound for Trincomalee.

16 Jul 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) arrived at Trincomalee.

23 Jul 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Sumatra. She is also to perform a special operation.

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


HMS Terrapin 2nd war patrolclick here for bigger map

30 Jul 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) makes a torpedo attack on an escorted Japanese merchant vessel off the West coast of Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies in position 01°24'N, 98°42'E . Four torpedoed were fired but these all missed their target.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0825 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 174°.

0915 hours - In position 01°24'N, 98°42'E started an attack on a merchant vessel of about 1500 tons that was escorted by a modern looking ML.

0930 hours - Fired four torpedoed against the merchant vessel from 1000 yards. It appeared that the periscope was spotted as the target changed course and turned end on immediately after firing.

The ML hunted terrapin for about half an hour but did not drop any depth charges.

5 Aug 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) bombards the pier at Gunung Sitoli (Nias Island), western Sumatra. A Japanese coaster is sunk with gunfire another is either damaged or destroyed by fire.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1452 hours - Surfaced in position 01°18'N, 97°36'E for gun action. The targets were two coasters moored alongside Gunung Sitoli pier. Range was 2000 yards. 22 rounds were fired for 15 hits. The inside coaster was seen to be sinking, the other was on fire. As Trespasser was now taken under fire by a gun on the shore the action had to be broken off and she dived to safety.

10 Aug 1944
During 10 and 11 August 1944 HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) performs a special operation. She is part of 'Operation Boomerang'. American B-29 bombers are dropping mines in Japanese occupied territory. Terrapin is to act as beacon for planes proceeding towards Palembang. If needed she is also to carry out air/sea rescue duties. No planes were lost during this raid.

17 Aug 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

5 Sep 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Far East). She is to patrol of the North and East coast of Sumatra. She is also to perform a special operation (details to follow) and to perform air/sea rescue duties.

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


HMS Terrapin 3rd war patrolclick here for bigger map

11 Sep 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) performs a special operation ('Spratt Able'. She tries to land a party with but the attempt is not successful due to strong currents near the landing position (on the North coast of Sumatra near 05°16'N, 96°11'E)

17 Sep 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) performs air/sea rescue duties during an air raid on Medan.

18 Sep 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) was ordered to search for a missing airplane after an air strike on Medan. She is unable to find it and the missing crew.

29 Sep 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

16 Oct 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Far East). She is to patrol in the Malacca Straits.

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


HMS Terrapin 4th war patrolclick here for bigger map

27 Oct 1944
During 27 and 28 October 1944 HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) performs air/sea rescue duties off Pulo Perak.

30 Oct 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank two sailing vessels in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
2057 hours - Stopped and boarded a 16 ton Eastbound junk in position 04°00'N, 99°10'E. The crew of 7 Chinese took to their sampan and were brought aboard. The junk was left in a water lodged condition, having been opened up with demolition charges. The cargo consisted of mostly tobacco.

Shortly afterwards stopped a second junk. The crew of 3 Malays was taken onboard. The junk was destroyed by gunfire and ramming. The cargo consisted of rice and mixed spices.

31 Oct 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank a schooner in the Malacca Strait.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1150 hours - Sighted masts and sails bearing 290°. Closed.

1317 hours - Surfaced for gun action, range 2000 yards. Closed to point blank range.

1335 hours - The target, a two masted schooner of about 70 tons, sank in position 03°18'N, 99°41'E.

2 Nov 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank a Japanese coaster in Strait of Malacca in position 03°18'N, 99°45'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0730 hours - In position 03°18'N, 99°48'E sighted a ship bearing 150°, course 295°. Coaster type of about 600 tons. Closed to engage with gunfire.

0801 hours - Surfaced for gun action at 4000 yards. The target held her course and opened a rapid fire with her 12pdr gun. As soon as this gun was silenced she made for the shoals. The target could not be stopped by gunfire so continued to fire until she sank in position 03°18'N, 99°45'E. 120 Rounds were expired.

4 Nov 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese minesweeper W 5 (620 tons, completed 1929, offsite link) in Malacca Strait in position 03°44'N, 99°50'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1530 hours - In position 03°16'N, 99°47'E sighted smoke bearing 132°.

1548 hours - More smoke bearing 134°.

1623 hours - Commenced attack on convoy consisting of one 3000 tons merchant ship, one medium seized tanker and a coaster. They were escorted by a gunboat, one ML and one twin-engined aircraft overhead.

1659 hours - Fired 5 torpedoes at the merchant ship from 1700 yards. The gunboat ran into the tracks sustaining two hits. A third torpedo also exploded, possibly in the wreckage.

1701 hours - The merchant ship and the tanker had both altered course and made off for the shoals.

14 Nov 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

6 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) is docked at Trincomalee.

9 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) left dock.

12 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Far East). She is to perform a special operation and to patrol in the Malacca Straits with HMS Trenchant.

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


HMS Terrapin 5th war patrolclick here for bigger map

19 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) carries out a special operation (Operation Noah). Details to follow.

22 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank the Japanese Sakura Maru (according to the Chinese survivors) with gunfire in position 03°49'S, 100°42'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1230 hours - In position 03°51'N, 100°41'E sighted a ship bearing 330°. This ship was reported earlier by HMS Trenchant. Range was about 5 nautical miles.

1300 hours - Started a torpedo attack but this soon had to be abandoned due to the erratic course of the target.

1347 hours - Signalled Trenchant on SST of the intention to surface and attack with the deck gun. Shortly afterwards surfaced and attacked with the deck gun as intended. During the battle machine gun fire from the enemy wounded two men of Terrapins gun crew.

1405 hours - The target sank, after 45 rounds, in position 03°49'N, 100°42'E. Three Chinese survivors were rescued, the Japanese declined to be picked up. Trenchant now closed on the surface and transferred her doctor to treat the wounded. The Chinese survivors identified the ship as Sakura Maru but no details of this ship are known

25 Dec 1944
HMS Trenchant (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) and HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sink the Japanese auxiliary minesweeper Reisui Maru (219 BRT, built 1920) in position 03°17'N, 99°40'E. They also claim a coaster destroyed and three others driven on the shore.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1548 hours - HMS Trenchant reported a steamer approaching from the South-East.

1610 hours - Sighted the steamer bearing 210°. Enemy course was 300°. Prepared to engage with gunfire and closed HMS Trenchant. Four other small vessels were observed to be in company with the target, which turned out to be an armed trawler.

1625 hours - Surfaced on the starboard bow of the trawler and opened fire at 3800 yards range. HMS Trenchant in the meantime had surfaced on the target's beam and was already hitting. The target replied to HMS Trenchant's gunfire. Only one salvo was fired against HMS Terrapin.

1637 hours - The trawler, which had caught fire, blew up in position 03°17'N, 99°40'E. Shifted target to one of the small coasters. Scored a hit and the coaster immediately turned for the shore. Meanwhile left another coaster stopped and burning. The other two escaped into shallow water. In all Terrapin had expended 50 rounds of 4".

26 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) torpedoed and sank a Japanese gunboat or minelayer in the Malacca Straits in position 03°22'N, 99°41'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1247 hours - Sighted masts and smoke on the horizon bearing 070°.

1255 hours - Received an enemy report on SS/T from HMS Trenchant. Set course to intercept.

1309 hours - The enemy was in sight again bearing 042°.

1318 hours - Identified the enemy as two gunboats or minelayers and a smaller vessel, probably a submarine chaser.

1325 hours - Fired 5 torpedoes against the leading gunboat / minelayer from 4000 yards. After 1 minute and 40 seconds after the first torpedo was fired the target disintegrated. Position was 03°22'N, 99°41'E. Terrapin was not hunted after the attack.

29 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank a junk in the Malacca Strait in position 03°49'N, 100°42'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1321 hours - Sunk one 70 ton junk with demolition charges in position 03°49'N, 100°42'E. The Indian crew was left with their sampan. The junk was empty.

30 Dec 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank a junk in the Malacca Strait in position 02°49'N, 100°15'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1919 hours - Surfaced in position 02°49'N, 100°15'E.

1936 hours - Went alongside a 20 ton junk that was Eastbound. Sank the junk with demolition charges. The crew of 3 Malays were transferred to another Eastbound junk.

4 Jan 1945
While operating together HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) and HMS Trenchant (Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSO, DSC, RN) bombard a Japanese lookout post on Pulau Pandang.

(All times are zone -1)
1714 hours - Surfaced in position 03°20'N, 99°43'E to bombard a Japanese lookout post and barracks.

1804 hours - In a position about 1000 yards North-West of Pulau Pandang HMS Trenchant opened fire on the lookout post. Terrapin joined in one minute later.

1808 hours - The target was considered wrecked.

10 Jan 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Far East) at Trincomalee.

6 Feb 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) is docked at Trincomalee.

8 Feb 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) left dock.

15 Feb 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Far East). She is to perform a special operation and to patrol in the Malacca Straits with HMS Trenchant. She is also to carry out a special operation.

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


HMS Terrapin 6th war patrolclick here for bigger map

22 Feb 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) carries out special operation Noah II (details to follow).

24 Feb 1945
While operating together HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) and HMS Trenchant (Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSO, DSC, RN) sink 3 coasters with gunfire in the Strait of Malacca.

Terrapin by herself had sunk another coaster with gunfire earlier on the day.

(All times are zone -6.5)
23 February 1945
2345 hours - Sighted vessel bearing 100°. It seemed to be Northbound.

2353 hours - Dived in position 03°37'N, 100°28'E for a moonlight torpedo attack. It however soon became clear that the target was stopped and not as large as thought.

24 February 1945
0015 hours - Surfaced for gun action, closed the target at speed.

0026 hours - The target was seen to be a motor coaster, wooden built of about 200 tons. Fired two warning bursts of machine gun fire.

0027 hours - Completed destruction of the coaster with 4" gunfire. Placed five round in the hull around the waterline from close range.

0030 hours - The target was now on fire. Only one member of the crew was seen to jump overboard.

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

0922 hours - HMS Trenchant signalled that she had spotted 3 coasters grounded to the Eastward.

0939 hours - Surfaced in position 03°58'N, 100°34'E and closed HMS Trenchant. 3 Coasters had beached themselves south of the Perak river mouth. Both submarines opened fire and soon all 3 coasters were alight.

1055 hours - Dived in position 13°57'N, 100°34'E while being strafed by a Japanese aircraft that had arrived on the scene. No damage was sustained.

25 Feb 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) makes a torpedo attack on a convoy of coasters in the Malacca Strait. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0905 hours - Sighted a twin-engined bomber patrolling over the banks, bearing 290°.

0952 hours - Sighted masts of 2 small ships bearing 265°, they were Southbound.

1012 hours - Passed operation order to HMS Trenchant. Both submarines were to engage the enemy with gunfire if the bomber escort allowed.

1014 hours - Passed the fire distribution signal. The 2 small vessels however soon showed themselves to be part of a convoy of at least 9 vessels. Unfortunately the bomber still remained overhead.

1040 hours - Terrapin was now 2000 yards on the Port beam of the leading ship of the convoy which spread over a distance of about a mile, for the most part the ships were in single line ahead formation. The bomber was out of sight for a while but Trenchant reported that she had him in sight. Fine on the convoys Port quarter there were two small escorts, either Motor Torpedo Boats or Motor Launches.

1108 hours - In position 03°09'N, 99°56'E fired a stern salvo of 3 torpedoes against 3 overlapping coasters but no hits were observed, neither did the escorts take any action. Withdrew from the scene.

1 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank two sailing vessels in the Strait of Malacca.

(All times are zone 6.5)
0205 hours - Sank a Chinese trading junk of about 50 tons in position 03°33'N, 100°51'E. This vessel was drifting derelict having no crew, and apparently no cargo on board.

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

2253 hours - Boarded a 30 ton junk and destroyed it with demolition charges. Five Chinese crewmembers were taken aboard as well as 100 dozen eggs. (No position is listed in the ships log and the patrol report).

2 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) sank a sailing vessel with demolition charges in the Strait of Malacca in position 03°39'N, 100°38'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
2337 hours - Stopped and boarded a 70 ton junk Southbound in position 03°39'N, 100°38'E. The crew of 4 Chinese was taken aboard. The junk was then sunk by demolition charges.

4 Mar 1945
While operating together HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner) and HMS Trenchant (Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSO, DSC, RN) sink the Japanese submarine chaser Ch-8 (offsite link) with gunfire in the Strait of Malacca about 85 nautical miles south of Penang in position 04°04'N, 100°35'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1435 hours - Sighted masts and upper works of a small vessel bearing 195°.

1440 hours - The vessel was identified as a submarine chaser steaming towards. Passed enemy report to HMS Trenchant and prepared for gun action.

1451 hours - The submarine chaser passed ahead at a range of 1000 yards. Enemy course was 040° at a speed of about 12 knots. Passed operation order to HMS Trenchant.

1458 hours - Surfaced for gun action 2600 yards on the enemy's port quarter. The Japanese were caught by surprise as it took quite a while before she returned fire.

1522 hours - The enemy was seen to sink.

1532 hours - Picked up a wounded Japanese survivor. The rest declined to be picked up.

16 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Far East) at Colombo.

22 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) is docked at Colombo.

23 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) left dock.

31 Mar 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, RN) departed from Colombo bound for Fremantle, Australia.

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


HMS Terrapin passage Colombo - Fremantleclick here for bigger map

13 Apr 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) arrived at Fremantle.

17 Apr 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) is docked at Fremantle.

18 Apr 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) left dock.

3 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) departed from Fremantle for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Far East). She is to patrol in the Java Sea.

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


HMS Terrapin 7th war patrolclick here for bigger map

7 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) topped up with fuel and provisions at Exmouth Gulf.

15 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) is grounded off Arnemuiden Bank. She only managed go get off the rocks after blowing overboard some fuel and firing two torpedoes.

(All times are zone -8)
0242 hours - Ran aground on Armemuiden Bank in position 05°12'6"S, 106°44'5"E.

0412 hours - Came off astern, having lightened ship by blowing 15700 gallons of fuel from the external tanks and firing two bow torpedoes while going full astern. Damage was done to the log and the bow cap of torpedo tube number 5.

17 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire and demolition charges in the western part of the Java Sea in position 06°11'S, 108°13'E.

(All times are zone -8)
1552 hours - Surfaced in position 06°10'8"S, 108°13'E to sink a Westbound motor lugger and a coal carrying schooner of about 70 tons. The latter was Eastbound but had anchored on account of the unfavourable wind. On opening fire, the lugger, which was towing a prow, beached herself and about 40 men, many carrying rifles were seen to jump overboard and head for the beach. The crew of the schooner made off in their sampan. The schooner was destroyed with demolition charges.

1701 hours - Dived in position 06°12'5"S, 108°11'E.

1913 hours - Surfaced and finished off the schooner with 9 rounds of gunfire.

19 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R. H. H. Brunner, DSC, RN) is damaged on 19 May 1945 while west of Batavia, Java in the Java Sea by depth charges from a Japanese escort vessel while attacking an escorted tanker. She is forced to abandon her war patrol due to the damage sustained.

(All times are zone -8)
1314 hours - In position 05°58'5"S, 107°42'5"E sighted masts and upper works of a ship bearing 280°.

1320 hours - Started attack.

1327 hours - The target was now bearing 273°, range 6000 yards, course 100°. Two escorts were seen, one on each beam of the target. Continued to run out to reach a position on the port quarter of the nearest escort.

1331 hours - Now right ahead of the escort but could not get a favourable position for attack with the bow tubes so went for a stern salvo instead.

1342 hours - Fired 3 stern torpedoes from 2500 yards at the target, thought to be a small tanker or 'funnel aft' freighter. Ordered depth 60 feet upon firing but hit bottom at 57 feet. No torpedo hits were heard after their expected running time so all torpedoes must have missed.

1351 hours - One explosion was heard, most likely an end of run torpedo explosion. HE of one of the escorts was heard coming closer.

1357 hours - Five depth charges were dropped close causing some minor damage.

1407 hours - Five more depth charges were dropped very close resulting in serious damage amongst damage to the pressure hull forward. It was obvious the escort knew exactly where Terrapin was. It was decided to stay on the bottom and not make any noise trying to escape with the hope of escaping after dark.

1420 hours - Another run overhead by the escort, one depth charge was dropped, once again very close.

1538 hours - Another depth charge, now a bit further away.

1545 hours - The escort went overhead again and dropped 2 depth charges very, very close. One on each side amidships. Six more runs overhead followed but no more depth charges were dropped, most likely he was nearly out of supply of these. Luck for Terrapin as it saved her from destruction.

1800 hours - Nothing further had been heard so efforts were made to get off the bottom but without success.

1830 hours - Enemy HE was heard again. He crossed overhead twice without dropping anything.

1839 hours - The enemy went overhead again dropping two depth charges (probably his last). These were again very close but caused no further damage.

1846 hours - Final run of the enemy overhead. He did not drop anything.

1959 hours - Blew main ballast and came off the bottom. Surfaced at full speed ahead. Saw the enemy just abaft the port beam, range about 5000 yards. Altered course and left the area at full speed. Terrapin was not sighted by the enemy. Decided to escape through Sunda Strait.

2038 hours - Sighted a ship blocking the path towards Sunda Strait. It was decided to proceed towards Lombok Strait instead.

During the night repairs were made. Terrapin was able to dive for trim early next morning but it took several attempts before a satisfactory trim was found. She continued towards Lombok Strait on the surface. It was not possible to sent a signal about the situation as the wireless transmitter was damaged in the attack and beyond repair.

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Some examples of the Major damage that was sustained by Terrapin in this depth charging:

Pressure hull distorted forward and stove in on both sides abreast the forward torpedo tubes.

All forward torpedo tube firing gear displaced or otherwise damaged. The torpedo tubes were distorted and leaking through the bow caps.

The fore hydroplanes were stiff to operate and could not be turned in.

Asdic and hydrophones were defective.

Forward periscope top glass fractured and tube flooded. After periscope almost useless.

Several leaks in ballast and fuel tanks.

21 May 1945
While proceeding towards Lombok Strait HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) encounters the American submarine USS Cavalla in position 06°03'S, 113°49'E. The Cavalla is also returning to Fremantle. Cavalla signals the status of Terrapin and it is decided that she will escort Terrapin all the way to Fremantle.

27 May 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Far East) at Fremantle.

23 Jul 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) departed from Fremantle for the U.K. Repairs to her distorted pressure hull are not possible in Australia. When she arrived in the U.K. her fate will be decided. The first leg of the trip home is to Aden.

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


HMS Terrapin passage Fremantle - Portsmouthclick here for bigger map

10 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden.

12 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) departed from Aden bound for Port Said.

17 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) transits the Suez Canal and arrived at Port Said.

21 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) departed from Port Said bound for Gibraltar.

28 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

29 Aug 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Portsmouth.

2 Sep 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

12 Sep 1945
HMS Terrapin (Lt. R.H.H. Brunner, DSC and Bar, RN) is docked at Portsmouth to inspect the damage. It is later decided not to repair HMS Terrapin but to sell her for scrap.

Media links


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


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