Allied Warships

HMS P 48 (P 48)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 48 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Aug 1940 
Laid down2 Aug 1941 
Launched15 Apr 1942 
Commissioned18 Jun 1942 
Lost25 Dec 1942 
Loss position37° 15'N, 10° 30'E
History

HMS P 48 (Lt. Michael Elliot Faber, RN) sailed from Malta on 23 December 1942. She was sunk on 25 December 1942 in the Gulf of Tunis in position 37º15'N, 10º30'E by depth charges of Italian torpedo boat Ardente north-west of Zembra Island. She was attacking an Italian convoy making for Tunis. HMS P 48 was declared overdue on 5 January 1943.  

Commands listed for HMS P 48 (P 48)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Michael Elliot Faber, RNMay 194225 Dec 1942 (+)

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving P 48 include:


The history of HMS P 48 as compiled on this page is extracted from P 48'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.

This page was last updated in July 2015.

17 Jun 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed her builder's yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (1)

18 Jun 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

15 Jul 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made part of the passage together with HMS P 511 (Lt. D.E.O. Watson, DSC, RN) which was en-route to Scapa Flow. They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (2)

17 Jul 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) arrived at Lerwick. (2)

18 Jul 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Norwegian Sea between 63°30'N and 64°20'N and 01°00'E and 05°00'E on an anti-uboat patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS P 48 see the map below.

(3)

29 Jul 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

She departed for Holy Loch later the same day together with HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN), HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) and HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (3)

31 Jul 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (2)

11 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Holy Loch and anchored in Rothesay Bay. (4)

12 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Rothesay for Gibraltar. Passage through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN) and HrMs O 21 (Lt.Cdr. J.F. van Dulm, RNN). They were escorted by HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN).

For the daily positions of HMS P 48 see the map below.

(3)

19 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay to search for a German tanker sighted by aircraft. The passage to Gibraltar now became her 2nd war patrol. (1)

20 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) had flooding in her auxiliary machinery space and was unable to dive. She asked for assistance as she tried to reach Vigo. A few hours later flooding was stopped but she had to cut short her patrol. HMS Alouette (T/Lt. R. Adams, RNR) was sent to escort her in and was met on the morning of the 22nd.

23 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Gibraltar. (3)

25 Aug 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) was docked at Gibraltar for repairs. (4)

20 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) was undocked at Gibraltar. (5)

24 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (Lt.Cdr. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR). (5)

26 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN). (5)

27 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

29 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Alboran Sea.

As no log or patrol report is available no map can be displayed. (5)

6 Oct 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (6)

31 Oct 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to perform a special operation (during operation Torch, landing beach marking off Algiers). She carried only six torpedoes to make room for two folbots. She was to proceed to Malta at the end of this patrol to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla based there.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 48 see the map below.

(3)

4 Nov 1942
During the night of 4/5 November 1942, HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN), launched a party with a folbot for a reconnaissance. The party left at 2115/4 and returned at 0035/5. (3)

7 Nov 1942
During the night of 7/8 November 1942, HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) assisted in the landing at Algiers Bay. She launched the folbot and her party and also guided the convoy in, acting as beacon. (3)

9 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) completed her special operation off Algiers. (3)

11 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) was ordered to patrol off Bizerta, Tunisia. (3)

13 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) attacked an enemy merchant vessel with three torpedoes about 10 nautical miles north-east of Bizerte, Tunisia in position 37°23'N, 10°00'E. No hits were obtained.

This was probably the Italian motor ship Città di Napoli (5418 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the torpedo boat Clio bound for Palermo after a transport mission to Tunisia. The attack was unobserved.

(All times are zone -1)
1025 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel of about 7000 tons escorted by a destroyer bearing 197°. Started attack.

1050 hours - In position 37°23'N, 10°00'E fired three torpedoes at the merchant vessel from a range of 5400 yards. No hits were obtained and no counter attack followed. (3)

14 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel north-east of Bizerta, Tunisia in position 37°20'N, 10°00'E with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

This was the Italian Sivigliano (1270 GRT, built 1921) escorted by the torpedo boat Sirtori on a transport mission from Palermo to Bizerta.

(All times are zone -1)
0825 hours - sighted aircraft circling to the north-east.

0828 hours - Heard an explosion. Concluded that a convoy was approaching.

0838 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel of about 3000 tons escorted by a General class torpedo boat and three aircraft bearing 039°, range 11000 yards. Started attack.

0905 hours - The air escort left the convoy.

0930 hours - In position 37°20'N, 10°00'E fired three torpedoes at the merchant vessel. Enemy course was 230°, speed 9 knots. No hits were obtained.

0937 - 0952 hours - An E-boat, which had approached from the southward, dropped 6 single depth charges. No damage was done to P 48. (3)

18 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

26 Nov 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol north of Tunisia.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 48 see the map below.

(3)

3 Dec 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) attacked a transport ship from 'convoy B' north of the Gulf of Tunis in position 37°22'N, 10°37'E. No hits were obtained.

'Convoy B' was made up of the German transports Menes (5609 GRT, built 1926) and Lisboa (1999 GRT, built 1911), The Italian transports Arlesiana (5702 GRT, built 1915), Achille Lauro (5209 GRT, built 1921) and Campania (5247 GRT, built 1918). The were escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Sirio, Groppo, Orione, Animoso, Antonio Mosto and Uragano. The torpedo boat Groppo attacked the submarine with fifteen depth charges in a first run followed by a second one with the same number before rejoining the convoy. The submarine was claimed as “probably damaged” but Supermarina rejected the claim.

(All times are zone -1)
1039 hours - Sighted masts and funnels of four merchant vessels and two destroyers bearing 360°. Started attack. Ran in at full speed. The convoy zigged towards putting P 48 in a very good attack position just inside the port wing destroyer of the Navigatori-class.

1114 hours - In position fired 37°22'N, 10°37'E four torpedoes at the leading ship, a 6000 tons merchant vessel. The port wing destroyer was about 400 yards astern. No hits were obtained.

1122 hours - Nine depth charges were dropped fairly close but above. P 48 meanwhile withdrew on a course of 080°.

1155 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The convoy was sighted bearing 230° at a range of 5 nautical miles. The Navigatori-class destroyer was seen bearing 340°, range 1.5 nautical miles on a course of 080°. Went deep again.

1235 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The convoy was now out of sight.

After dark P 48 proceeded to the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. (3)

5 Dec 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel with four torpedoes about 25 nautical miles north of Cape San Vito, Sicily in position 38°34'N, 12°40'E. No hits were obtained. P 48 was depth charged following this attack.

These were the German transport Süllberg (1661 GRT, built 1912) and the German tanker Jaedjoer (308 GRT, built 1937) on passage from Naples to Trapani and eventually to Tunisia. They had been met by the torpedo boat Perseo. Two torpedo tracks were sighted from Süllberg and Perseo carried out a counter attack, dropping a large number of depth charges, and claiming the submarine sunk. For Süllberg it was only a reprieve as she was sunk four days later by the submarine HMS P 35.

(All times are zone -1)
1340 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 020°.

1432 hours - Sighted masts and funnel of one merchant vessel and masts of one destroyer and another small craft bearing 022°. Started attack.

1500 hours - The destroyer was seen to be a Partenope-class torpedo boat.

1526 hours - In position 38°34'N, 12°40'E fired four torpedoes at the merchant vessel which was of about 4000 tons. Range was 3000 yards. Enemy course 225°, speed 8 knots. No hits were obtained.

1550 hours - Depth charging started. A total of 64 depth charges were counted until 1706 hours.

1845 hours - Surfaced and proceeded to the north-west. (3)

8 Dec 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

23 Dec 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Tunis, within 15 miles of 37°06'N, 10°35'E. P 48 did not return from patrol. (7)

25 Dec 1942
At 1125 hours, in 37°15’N, 10°39’E, the Italian transports XXI Aprile (4787 GRT, built 1919) and Carlo Zeno (1446 GRT, built 1906) escorted by the torpedo boats Ardito and Ardente were proceeding from Palermo to Tunis when an escorting aircraft fired bursts of machine gun fire in the sea to signal a submarine. Almost at the same moment the torpedo boat Ardente obtained a contact carried out several attack runs, dropping a total of 48 depth charges. An oil patch of about 100-150 metres in diametre was observed in 37°17'N, 10°32'E and the submarine was claimed sunk. It is quite likely that the submarine was P.48 and that she was sunk during this encounter. There were no survivors.

Could P.48 have survived this attack and sank later? This is not impossible but until her wreck is found we will never know for sure.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/424
  2. ADM 173/17418
  3. ADM 199/1833
  4. ADM 173/17419
  5. ADM 173/17420
  6. ADM 199/2573
  7. ADM 199/1925

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


Return to the Allied Warships section