HMS Welshman (M 84)
Minelayer of the Abdiel class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.)|
|Ordered||21 Mar 1939|
|Laid down||8 Jun 1939|
|Launched||4 Sep 1940|
|Commissioned||25 Aug 1941|
|Lost||1 Feb 1943|
|Loss position||32.12N, 24.52E|
HMS Welshman (Capt. Wiliam Howard Dennis Friedberger, DSO, RN) was returning from Malta to Alexandria when she was sunk about 35 nautical miles east-northeast off Tobruk, Libya in position 32º12'N, 24º52'E, by one torpedo from the German submarine U-617.
HMS Welshman supported the island of Malta during the long siege in WW2. The island population resisted strongly and was collectively awarded the highest decoration for civilian bravery. Welshman brought food and essential supplies many times; her role was featured in the UK movie The Malta Story. When unloading in Valetta harbor she was attacked and suffered a near miss which damaged her prop shafts, putting one of her thre engines out of service. As her principal fighting strength was her extreme speed this damage affected her ability to perform drastically. She was also torpedoed subsequently, but made it home to the United Kingdom and was repaired at Devonport. She returned to the Mediterranean to serve on the same relief duty, steaming under disguise and simulating French warships.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Welshman|
Commands listed for HMS Welshman (M 84)
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|1||Capt. Wiliam Howard Dennis Friedberger, RN||26 Mar 1941||1 Feb 1943|
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Noteable events involving Welshman include:
31 Jan 1943
The Italian corvette Procellaria (673 tons) was sunk on mines west of Sicily on a mine laid by HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, DSO, RN).
The Italian torpedo boat Generale Marcello Prestinari (832 tons) sailed from Bizerte at 1500 hrs with orders to assist the mined corvette Procellaria, but was mined herself at 1630 hrs, 18 nautical miles bearing 137° from Ile de Cani also on a field laid the previous day by HMS Welshman, she went down in about one hour.
Ironically, HMS Welshman was lost on her way back from laying this field. (see map)