Peter Edward Newstead DSC, RN

Birth details unknown


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Ranks

1 Jan 1937 S.Lt.
1 Mar 1938 Lt.
1 Nov 1944 A/Lt.Cdr.
1 Mar 1946 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1951 Cdr.

Retired: 27 Jul 1960


Decorations

22 Feb 1944 DSC

Warship Commands listed for Peter Edward Newstead, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS P 615 (P 615)Lt.Submarine13 Apr 194219 Oct 1942
HMS Trident (N 52)Lt.Submarine22 Oct 1942Jan 1944
HMS Sealion (N 72)Lt.Submarine2 Mar 1944mid 1944
HMS Taurus (P 339)Lt.Submarine4 Sep 194411 Nov 1946

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS P 615 (P 615)


16 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) is docked at Glasgow. (1)

19 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) is undocked. She then returned to Holy Loch. (1)

21 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

22 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

24 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

25 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

27 Apr 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar where she was to conduct her torpedo discharge trials. (1)

1 May 1942
Having completed her torpedo trials, HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN), returned to Holy Loch. (2)

2 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (2)

4 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (2)

5 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (2)

6 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (2)

7 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Campbeltown. (2)

8 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

10 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

11 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

12 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

13 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

14 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

15 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

17 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

18 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

19 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

20 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

21 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

22 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

24 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

25 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

26 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

27 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. (2)

28 May 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Campbeltown. Upon completion of these exercises she proceeded to Ardishaig. (2)

29 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S and attack exercises off Ardishaig. Upon completion of these exercises she returned to Holy Loch. (2)

1 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted exercises with special forces in Holy Loch. (3)

2 Jun 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted attack exercises in Bute Sound. (3)

4 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) conducted attack exercises in Bute Sound. (3)

10 Jun 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Holy Loch for Loch Ewe. She was escorted by HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR).

For the daily positions of the HMS P 615 during the passage from Holy Loch to Reykjavik, Iceland see the map below.

(4)

11 Jun 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Loch Ewe where she joined convoy UR 28 bound for Reykyavik, Iceland.

This convoy was made up of the British merchants Andre Thome (2012 GRT, built 1921), Don (1037 GRT, built 1924), Lilian I (1271 GRT, built 1924), Skjold (1345 GRT, built 1904), Tomsk (1229 GRT, built 1911), Willodale (1777 GRT, built 1907) and the Polish merchant Lech (1568 GRT, built 1934). They were escorted by the British destroyers HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN). (4)

15 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Reykyavik, Iceland. (4)

17 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

18 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

19 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

20 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

22 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

24 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Reykyavik, Iceland. (3)

27 Jun 1942
Convoy operations PQ 17 / QP 13

Convoy’s to and from Northern Russia

On 27 June 1942 Convoy PQ 17 departed Reykjavik Iceland bound for northern Russia. This convoy was made up of the following merchant ships;

American
Alcoa Ranger (5116 GRT, built 1919), Bellingham (5345 GRT, built 1920), Benjamin Harrison (7191 GRT, built 1942), Carlton (5127 GRT, built 1920), Christopher Newport (7191 GRT, built 1942), Daniel Morgan (7177 GRT, built 1942), Exford (4969 GRT, built 1919), Fairfield City (5686 GRT, built 1920), Honomu (6977 GRT, built 1919), Hoosier (5060 GRT, built 1920), Ironclad (5685 GRT, built 1919), John Witherspoon (7191 GRT, built 1942), Olopana (6069 GRT, built 1920), Pan Atlantic (5411 GRT, built 1919), Pan Kraft (5644 GRT, built 1919), Peter Kerr (6476 GRT, built 1920), Richard Bland (7191 GRT, built 1942), Washington (5564 GRT, built 1919), West Gotomska (5728 GRT, built 1919), William Hooper (7177 GRT, built 1942), Winston-Salem (6223 GRT, built 1920),

British
Bolton Castle (5203 GRT, built 1939), Earlston (7195 GRT, built 1941), Empire Byron (6645 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tide (6978 GRT, built 1941), Hartlebury (5082 GRT, built 1934), Navarino (4841 GRT, built 1937), Ocean Freedom (7173 GRT, built 1942), River Afton (5479 GRT, built 1935), Samuel Chase (7191 GRT, built 1942), Silver Sword (4937 GRT, built 1920),

Dutch
Paulus Potter (7168 GRT, built 1942),

Panamanian
El Capitan (5255 GRT, built 1917), Troubadour (6428 GRT, built 1920),

The Russian tankers Azerbaidjan (6114 GRT, built 1932), Donbass (7925 GRT, built 1935),

The British (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tanker Grey Ranger (3313 GRT, built 1941).

Also with the convoy was a British rescue ship
Zaafaran (1559 GRT, built 1921).

The US merchants Exford and West Gotomska had to return both arrived back damaged at Reykjavik on 30 June. The first one due to ice damage and the second one due to damaged engines.

Escort was provided by the minesweepers HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC, RN), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR), HMS Lord Austin (T/Lt. O.B. Egjar, RNR), HMS Lord Middleton (T/Lt. R.H. Jameson, RNR) and HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. W.J.V. Mullender, DSC, RD, RNR) and the submarine HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN).

The convoy was joined at sea by a close escort force made up of the following warships; destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN / in command of the close escort of the convoy) , HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. L’Anson, RN), escort destroyers HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Lotus (Lt. H.J. Hall, RNR), HMS Poppy (Lt. N.K. Boyd, RNR), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR), HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR), Auxiliary AA ships HMS Palomares (A/Capt.(rtd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN) and HMS Pozarica (A/Capt.(rtd.) E.D.W. Lawford, RN) and submarine HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN). Also two more British rescue ships sailed with this force to join the convoy at sea; Rathlin (1600 GRT, built 1936) and Zamalek (1567 GRT, built 1921).

The RFA tanker Grey Ranger, which was to fuel the escorts, was now sailing independent from the convoy, she was escorted by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN). Another RFA tanker, the Aldersdale, had now joined the convoy. It had originally been intended that Aldersdale would take the role the Grey Ranger was now performing but Grey Ranger had been damaged by ice to the north of Iceland so both tankers swappd roles.

Meanwhile on June 26th the Archangel section of the return convoy QP 13 had departed that port. This section was made up of 22 merchant ships;

American
American Press (5131 GRT, built 1920), American Robin (5172 GRT, built 1919), Hegira (7588 GRT, built 1919), Lancaster (7516 GRT, built 1918), Massmar (5828 GRT, built 1920), Mormacrey (5946 GRT, built 1919), Yaka (5432 GRT, built 1920),

British
Chulmleigh (5445 GRT, built 1938), Empire Mavis (5704 GRT, built 1919), Empire Meteor (7457 GRT, built 1940), Empire Stevenson (6209 GRT, built 1941), St. Clears (4312 GRT, built 1936),

Dutch
Pieter de Hoogh (7168 GRT, built 1941),

Panamanian
Capira (5625 GRT, built 1920), Mount Evans (5598 GRT, built 1919),

Russian
Alma Ata (3611 GRT, built 1920), Archangel (2480 GRT, built 1929), Budenni (2482 GRT, built 1923), Komiles (3962 GRT, built 1932), Kuzbass (3109 GRT, built 1914), Petrovski (3771 GRT, built 1921), Rodina (4441 GRT, built 1922), Stary Bolshevik (3794 GRT, built 1933)

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A. de W. Kitcat, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), the corvettes HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC, RNR), the auxiliary AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(rtd.) H.F. Nash, RN) and a local escort of four minesweepers ; HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, DSO, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN), HMS Leda (A/Cdr.(rtd.) A.H. Wynne-Edwards, RN) and HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. J.R.A. Seymour, RN).

the next day (27th) the Murmask section of convoy QP 13 also went to sea. This was made up of 12 merchant ships;

American
City of Omaha (6124 GRT, built 1920), Heffron (7611 GRT, built 1919), Hybert (6120 GRT, built 1920), John Randolph (7191 GRT, built 1941), Mauna Kea (6064 GRT, built 1919), Nemaha (6501 GRT, built 1920), Richard Henry Lee (7191 GRT, built 1941),

British
Atlantic (5414 GRT, built 1939), Empire Baffin (6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Selwyn (7167 GRT, built 1941),

Panamanian
Exterminator (6115 GRT, built 1924), Michigan (6419 GRT, built 1920),

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, DSO, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), the minesweepers HMS Niger (Cdr.ret.) A.J. Cubison, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSC, RN), the corvettes HMS Hyderabad (Lt. S.C.B. Hickman, RN), FFL Roselys and the A/S trawlers Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G.Ogden, RNVR) and St. Elstan (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR). Also three Russian destroyers (Grozniy, Gremyashchiy and Valerian Kyubishev) joined the escort of convoy QP 13 as far as 30 degrees East.

To cover these convoy operations a close cover force departed Hvalfjordur, Iceland on 30 June to take up a position to the north of convoy PQ 17. This force was made up of the British heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN), as well as the American heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. L.P. Johnson, USN) and USS Wichita (Capt. H.W. Hill, USN). They were escorted by the British destroyer HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) and the American destroyers USS Rowan (Lt.Cdr. B.R. Harrison, Jr., USN) and USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN).

A distant cover force had meanwhile sailed from Scapa Flow late on the 29th to take up a cover position north-east of Jan Mayen Island. This force was made up of battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, with the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet, Admiral Sir J. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN on board), USS Washington (Capt. H.H.J. Benson, USN, with Rear-Admiral R.C. Griffen, USN on board), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, with Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN, second in command Home Fleet on board), heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN, with Rear-Admiral Sir H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN, commanding Cruiser Squadron 10 on board). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN, Capt. 8th Destroyer Flotilla), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.de.L Brooke, RN). The destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstong, DSC and Bar, RN, Capt. 17th Destroyer Flotilla), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN), USS Mayrant (Cdr. C.C. Hartman, USN) and USS Rhind (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Read, USN) meanwhile arrived at Seidisfiord, Iceland from Scapa Flow to fuel before joining the Battlefleet at sea later.

Earlier on the 29th Force X, which was to act as a decoy convoy to fool the Germans, had departed Scapa Flow. This force was made up of; the auxiliary minelayers Southern Prince (A/Capt. J. Cresswell, RN), Agamemnon (Capt.(rtd.) F. Ratsey, RN) , Port Quebec (A/Capt.(rtd.) V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) , Menestheus (Capt.(rtd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and four merchant vessels (colliers ?). They were escorted by the light cruisers Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN), Curacoa (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN), minelayer Adventure (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), destroyers Brighton (Cdr.(rtd). C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys. RNethN), the escort destroyers Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN), and 4 A/S trawlers. This force sailed eastward twice, on 30 June and 2 July, to about position 61°30’N, 01°30’E but was not spotted by the Germans.

First contact with the enemy occurred on 1 July 1942 when escorts from convoy PQ 17 twice attacked German submarines that were spotted on the surface several miles from the convoy. These were U-456 that was depth charged by HMS Ledbury and sustained light damage and U-657 that was depth charged by HMS Ledbury and HMS Leamington, she sustained no damage. That evening convoy PQ 17 also suffered its first attack from the air. Nine torpedo aircraft approached the convoy at about 1800 hours in position 73°30’N, 04°00’E. Some dropped torpedoes but they exploded wide of the convoy. One aircraft was shot down, most likely by the destroyer USS Rowan which was en-route from the cruiser force to the convoy to fuel from the Aldersdale.

The next night the convoy ran into for which persisted until the forenoon of the 3rd. In the afternoon of 2 July, U-255 made a torpedo attack on one of the escorts, HMS Fury, two torpedoes were fire but both missed. Fury then counter attacked with depth charges but U-255 sustained no damage. At more or less the same time U-376 was also depth charged by two or three escorts, she was not damaged. Shortly afterwards U-334 was also depth charged but she also escaped without damage.

On the 3rd several U-Boats were in contact for short periods but three were driven off by the escorts in the afternoon. When the mist cleared shadowing aircraft soon regained contact on the convoy.

By the early morning of the 4th convoy PQ 17 was about 60 nautical miles north of Bear Island where it sustained its first loss. Just before 0500 hours the new American merchant vessel Christopher Newport was torpedoed by a single aircraft. Damage was serious and the ship was finished off by the British submarine HMS P 614 which was part of the convoys escort while the rescue ship Zamalek took off the crew. The ship however remained afloat and was finally finished off by U-457.

In the evening of the 4th German aircraft made a successful attack on the convoy hitting the British merchant vessel Navarino, the American merchant William Hooper and the Russian tanker Azerbaidjan. The Azerbaidjan was able to proceed at 9 knots and in the end reached port. The other two ships had to be sunk, most of their crews were picked up by the rescue vessels. William Hooper in fact remained afloat and was finally finished off by U-334.

The situation was now as follows. Convoy PQ 17 was now about 130 nautical miles north-east of Bear Island and had just come through the heavy air attack remarkably well. The convoy discipline and shooting had been admirable and a substantial toll had been taken on the enemy. Rear-Admiral Hamilton was still covering the convoy with his cruiser force some ten miles to the north-eastward, with orders by the Admiralty to do so until ordered otherwise. Some 350 miles to the westward the main cover force was cruising in the area south-west of Spitzbergen.

Now turning to the Germans. The approval of the Führer to sail the heavy ships to attack the convoy had still not been obtained. The Tirpitz and Admiral Hipper meanwhile had joined the Admiral Scheer at the Alternfjord but noting further could be done without the Führer’s approval.

Meanwhile at the Admiralty it was known that German heavy surface units had gone to sea from Trondheim (battleships Tirpitz and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper) and Narvik (pocket battleships Lützow and Admiral Scheer) but they had not been detected at sea. Fearing an attack on the convoy by these ships was imminent the convoy was ordered to scatter at 2123/4. Shortly before that the close cover force had been ordered to withdraw to the west as it was obviously no match for the German heavy ships.

The Admiralty decision was conveyed to Rear-Admiral Hamilton in the following three signals;
Most immediate. Cruiser force withdraw to the west at high speed. (2111B/4)
Most immediate. Owning to threat of surface ships, convoy is to disperse and to proceed to Russian ports. (2123B/4)
Most immediate. My 2323B/4. Convoy is to scatter. (2136B/4)
To Rear-Admiral Hamilton these signals could only mean that further information the admiralty had been hoping for had indeed come in and was of such a nature as to render imperative the drastic measures now ordered. Actually the reason for use of high speed by the cruisers was due to the massing of enemy submarines between 11°E and 20°E and the order to scatter was intended merely as a technical amendment of the term disperse that was used in the previous signal. This could not be known by the recipients, and the cumulative effect of these three signals – especially as the last one had a more important marking as the middle one – was to imply that pressing danger was actually upon them. As Commander Broome put it he expected to see the cruisers open fire and the enemy’s mast appear on the horizon at any moment. In this belief he decided to take the destroyers of his escort group to reinforce the cruiser force, and ordered the two submarines to stay near the convoy when it scattered and to try to attack the enemy, while the rest of the escorting ships were to proceed independently to Archangel.

At 2215/4 Commander Broome passed the signal to scatter to Commodore Dowding. The convoy was then in position 75°55’N, 27°52’E. Commander Broome then departed with the destroyers of the close screen to join the cruiser force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton.

Rear-Admiral Hamilton received the Admiralty orders at 2200/4. HMS Norfolk had just flown off her aircraft on an ice patrol. He therefore stood to the eastward for half an hour while attemps were made to recall it but these were without success and at 2230 hours the force turned to a westerly course at 25 knots steering to pass to the southward of the convoy so as to be between it and the probable direction of the enemy. An hour later they passed the merchant vessels which were now on widely divergent courses.

Rear-Admiral Hamilton was much concerned at the effect of the apparent desertion of the merchant ships had on morale. Had he been aware that the Admiralty had no further information of the enemy heavy units then he himself possessed he would have remained in a covering position until the convoy was widely dispersed.

As time went on without further developments Rear-Admiral Hamilton became more and more puzzled as to what have led to the sudden scattering of the convoy. But whatever the reason, the orders for his own force were clear, so he remained his westerly course at 25 knots. Thick fog was encountered soon after midnight, which persisted with brief intervals till 0630/5. Commander Broome, equally mystified by the course of events, soon began to feel that his place was with the merchant ships but he thought Rear-Admiral Hamilton was acting on fuller information then himself. As soon as the fog lifted sufficiently for visual signalling he informed the Rear-Admiral of his last hurried instructions to PQ 17 and requested that they should be amplified or amended as nessesary.

Actually Rear-Admiral Hamilton, who was still under the impression that enemy surface forces were in close proximity, argued that once the convoy had been scattered the enemy would leave it to their air forces and submarines to deal with it (and this was exactly what the Germans did). He feared the enemy surface forces would be ordered to deal with his force and reinforced by Commander Broome’s destroyers he felt that he could fight a delaying action, and had a good chance of leading the enemy within reach of the aircraft of HMS Victorious and possibly the heavy ships of the force of the Commander-in-Chief.

At 0700/5, while in position 75°40’N, 16°00’E, Rear-Admiral Hamilton reduced to 20 knots and at 0930 hours set course for Jan Mayen Island. It was not until that forenoon that the situation as regards the enemy heavy ships was made clear to him. Meanwhile he had to decide what to do with Commander Broome’s destroyers. Accordingly he ordered them to fuel from HMS London and HMS Norfolk. By 1630 hours the fueling of HMS Ledbury, HMS Wilton, USS Rowan and HMS Keppel had been completed. At 1740 hours a German Focke Wulf aircraft made contact and correctly reported the force in position 74°30’N, 07°40’E. Having been located, Rear-Admiral Hamilton broke wireless silence and at 1830/5 informed the Commander-in-Chief of his position, course, speed and the composition of his force. This was the first time the Commander-in-Chief was informed of the fact the Commander Broome’s destroyers with with the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton, a fact which he regretted.

The Commander-in-Chief, having spent 4 July cruising about 150 nautical miles north-west of Bear Island, had turned to the south-westward in the early morning of the 5th, and was then on his way back to Scapa Flow some 120 nautical miles south-west of the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton. Shortly afterwards there came news at last of the German heavy ships. The Russian submarine K-21 reported at 1700/5 the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and eight destroyers in position 71°25’N, 23°40’E, steering course 045°. She claimed to have hit the Tirpitz with two torpedoes. An hour or so later, at 1816 hours, a reconnoitring aircraft reported eleven strange ships in position 71°31’N, 27°10’E steering 065°, speed 10 knots. And finally HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN), at 2029/5 reported the Tirpitz and Admiral Hipper escorted by at least six destroyers and eight aircraft in position 71°30’N, 28°40’E steering a course of 060° at a speed of 22 knots.

Actually the cruise of the German ships was of short duration. Hitler’s permission to lauch the operation had only been obtained in the forenoon of the 5th and the executive order was given at 1137 hours. Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s cruisers were then known to be moving to the westward and Admiral Tovey’s covering force was some 450 miles away from the convoy. It seemed there would be no immediate danger for the German heavy ships provided they could approach the merchant ships unseen and engage them for a time as short as possible. But the Allied sighting reports were intercepted and the Naval Staff calculated that Admiral Tovey would be able to close sufficiently to launch an air attack before they would be able to return to port I they continued operations against the merchant ships after 0100/6. Air and U-boat attacks were meanwhile taking a heavy toll on the convoy and it did not seem that it was worth the risk. At 2132/5 orders were given to abandon the operation. At 2152 hours, while in position 71°38’N, 31°05’E the German ships reversed course and returned to Altafjord.

During the night of 5/6 July the Admiralty made three signals to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet suggesting that the Tirpitz might be ‘reluctant to go as far as the convoy’ if the battlefleet was sighted steering to the eastward, and that aircraft from HMS Victorious might be able to attack her if she had ben damaged by the Russian submarines. The latter appeared to Admiral Tovey unlikely, for as it seemed certain that the Tirpitz, especially if damaged, would not be sailed down the Norwegian coast until adequate fighter cover and seaward reconnaissance were available. However, arrangements were made for the fleet to reverse its course if the approach of enemy aircraft was detected and at 0645/6 course was altered back to the north-eastward. An hour later an enemy aircraft passed over the fleet above the clouds but endeavours to attrack its attention by gunfire and fighters were unsuccessful. That forenoon Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s force joined the fleet at 1040/6. Weather was unsuitable for air reconnaissance and Admiral Tovey felt that nothing was to be gained by continuing to the north-eastward. Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s cruisers and eight destroyers were detached to Seidisfjord at 1230 hours and the battlefleet turned to the southward again shortly afterwards. All ships reached harbour on the 8th.

The last news of the enemy ships came on 7 July, when a British aircraft working from Vaenga, near Murmansk, reported the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper and some destroyers followed by an oiler from a neighbouring fjord turning out of Lang Fjord in Arnoy (70°N, 20°30’E). By this time the Allied ships were well on their way home but an attempt to attack the enemy was once again made by submarines. Anticipating their return to Narvik, HMS Sturgeon and FFL Minerve had been ordered on 6 July to leave the main patrol line and to patrol to the mouth of the Vest Fjord on the 7th and the 8th, one at a time, in case the Tirpitz should pass on the outside of the Lofoten Islands, owning to her heavy draught due to possible damage. Nothing came of this, however, nor of a further patrol carried out by HMS Sturgeon on the night of 9/10 July close inshore some 70 nautical miles north of Trondheim in case of any German ships going to that port.

Now back to the ships of convoy PQ 17. The sudden order to scatter came to Commodore Dowding as an unpleasant surprise. Like Rear-Admiral Hamilton and Commander Broome he did not doubt that it heralded the immediate appearance of enemy heavy ships, and as the escorting destroyers parted company to join the cruisers, he signalled to HMS Keppel ‘Many thanks, goodbye and good hunting’ to which Commander Broome replied ‘It’s a grim business leaving you here’. It was indeed a grim business and the gravity of the situation was clear to all. Weather attack by surface craft developed in a few minutes or by aircraft and submarines during the next few days, the plight of the individual merchant ships – deprived of mutual support of their escort - was parlous in the extreme.

The convoy scattered as laid down in the instructions, in perfect order, though it must have been apparent to the ships that had to turn to the south-west that they were heading towards where the most trouble might be expected. The merchant ships proceeded mostly alone, or in groups of two or three. The anti-aircraft ships HMS Palomares and HMS Pozarica each took charge of a group, each collecting also two or three minesweepers or corvettes to act as a screen. They joined company the next day and proceeded towards Novaya Zemlya. HMS Salamander accompanied two merchantmen and a rescue ship. HMS Daniella was escorting the submarines, HMS P 614 and HMS P 615. She stood them clear of the convoy, when they separated to patrol in its wake, while the corvette went on by itself. At first the different groups spread on courses ranging from north to east, a few steering afterwards for Archangel, most seeking shelter in Novaya Zemlya. But less than half the merchant ships reached even ‘horrid Zembla’s frozen realms’, for 17 in addition to the oiler RFA Aldersdale and the rescue ship Zaafaran were sunk during the next three days by bombing aircraft and U-boats. The bulk of the losses took place on the 5th while the ships were still far to the north, six being sunk by bombs and six were torpedoed by submarines. One ship was bombed on the 6th. Four were torpedoed by U-boats off the south-west coast of Novaya Zemlya between the evening of the 6th and the early morning of the 8th.

By the 7th of July, most of the escort, the rescue ship Zamalek and five merchant ships, the Ocean Freedom, Hoosier, Benjamin Harrison, El Capitan and Samual Chase, had reached Matochkin Strait. Commodore Dowding, whose ship the River Afton had been sunk by a U-boat on the 5th, arrived in HMS Lotus, which had rescued him and 36 survivors, including the Master after 3.5 hours on rafts and floats. After a conference on board HMS Palomares, these merchantmen were formed into a convoy into a convoy and sailed that evening, escorted by the two AA ships, HMS Halcyon, HMS Salamander, HMS Britomart, HMS Poppy, HMS Lotus and HMS La Malouine and three A/S trawlers. The Benjamin Harrison soon got separated in fog and returned to the Matochkin Strait but the remainder were still in company when the fog temporarily cleared during the forenoon of the 8th, and course was shaped to pass east and south of Kolguyev Island. It was an anxious passage, much fog and ice was encountered and U-boats were known to be about. From time to time boatloads of survivors from other ships already sunk were encountered and picked up. A remainder of the fate that might be in store for any of them. During the noght of 9-10 July some 40 bombers carried out high level attacks on this small convoy. The attacks lasted for four hours, the Hoosier and El Capitan were sunk by near misses some 60 nautical miles north of Cape Kanin. Four aircraft are believed to have been shot down. The attacks ended at 0230/10 and half an hour later two Russian flying boats appeared. The surviving ships arrived at Archangel the next day, 11 July. Three ships out of thirty-seven were now in port, not a very successful convoy so far. Things were however not that bad as Commodore Dowding thought at that moment. The rescue ship Rathlin with two merchant ships, the Donbass and the Bellingham had arrived on the 9th, having shot down an aircraft the day before, and before long the news of other ships sheltering in Novaya Zemlya came in.

At his special request, Commodore Dowding, despite all he had been through, left Archangel in HMS Poppy on 16 July, in company with HMS Lotus and HMS La Malouine, to form these merchant ships into a convoy and bring them to Archangel. After a stormy passage they arrived at Byelushya Bay on the 19th. There 12 survivors from the merchant Olopana were found. During the day the coast was searched and in the evening the Winston Salem was found agound and later the Empire Tide was found at anchor. The next morning Motochkin Strait was entered and five merchant ships were found at anchor, the Benjamin Harrison, Silver Sword, Troubadour, Ironclad and the Azerbaidjan. A Russian icebreaker (the Murman) was also there as was a Russian trawler (the Kerov). Also, one of the escorts of convoy PQ 17 was found there, the British A/S trawler Ayrshire.

Commodore Dowding wasted no time. A conference was held that forenoon and in the evening all ships sailed, the Commodore leading in the Russian icebreaker Murman. The Empire Tide, which had a lot of survivors from sunken ships aboard joined the convoy early the next day. The Winston Salem was however still aground with two Russian tugs standing by. Much fog was encountered during the passage which was uneventful except for two U-boat alarms. The escort was reinforced by HMS Pozarica, HMS Bramble, HMS Hazard, HMS Leda, HMS Dianella and two Russian destroyers on the 22th. The convoy arrived safe at Archangel on the 24th.

Four days later (on the 28th) the Winston Salem was finally refloated. She managed reached harbour as the last ship of the ill-fated PQ 17 convoy making a total of 11 survivors out of a total of 35 ships. It was realised afterwards by the Admiralty that the decision to scatter the convoy had been premature.

The disastrous passage of convoy PQ 17 tended to throw into the background the fortunes of the westbound convoy, QP 13. This convoy of 35 ships sailed in two parts from Archangel and Murmansk and joined at sea on 28 June under Commodore N.H. Gale. Thick weather prevailed during most of the passage, but the convoy was reported by enemy aircraft on 30 June while still east of Bear Island and again on 2 July. No attacks developed, the enemy focus was on the eastbound convoy. That afternoon the ill-fated convoy PQ 17 was passed.

After an uneventful passage, convoy QP 13 divided off the north-east coast of Iceland on 4 July. Commodore Gale with 16 merchant ships turned south for Loch Ewe while the remaining 9 merchant ships continued round the north coast of Iceland for Reykjavik. At 1900/5 these ships formed into a five column convoy. They were escorted by HMS Niger (SO), HMS Hussar, FFL Roselys, HMS Lady Madeleine and HMS St. Elstan. They were now approaching the north-west corner of Iceland. The weather was overcast, visibility about one mile, wind north-east, force 8, sea rough. No sights had been obtained since 1800/2 and the convoys position was considerably in doubt. At 1910/5 Commander Cubison (C.O. HMS Niger) suggested that the front of the convoy should be reduced to two columns in order to pass between Straumnes and the minefield off the north-west coast of Iceland. This was the first the convoy Commodore had heard of the existence of this minefield. Soon afterwards, Commander Cubison gave his estimated position at 2000/5 as 66°45’N, 22°22’W and suggested altering course 222° for Straumnes Point at that time. This was done. About two hours later, at 2200 hours, HMS Niger which had gone ahead to try to make landfall leaving HMS Hussar as a visual link with the convoy, sighted what she took to be North Cape bearing 150° at a range of one mile and ordered the course of the convoy to be altered to 270°. Actually what HMS Niger sighted was a large iceberg but this was not realised for some time. At 2240/5 HMS Niger blew up and sank with heavy loss of life, including Commander Cubison. Five minutes later a last signal from her, explaining her mistaken landfall and recommending a return to course 222° was handed to the convoy Commodore. But it was too late, already explosions were occurring amongst the merchant ships. The westerly course had led the convoy straight into the minefield. Considerable confusion prevailed, some thinking that a U-boat attack was in progress, other imagining a surface raider. Four ships were sunk, the Heffron, Hybert, Massmar and the Rodina and two were seriously damaged, the John Randolph and the Exterminator. Good rescue work was carried out by the escorts, especially the FFL Roselys which picked up 179 survivors from various ships. Meanwhile HMS Hussar had obtained a shore fix, led out the remaining merchant ships, which reformed on a southerly course for Reykjavik where they arrived without further misadventure. (5)

27 Jun 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Reykjavik, Iceland as part of the escort for convoy PQ 17. This was her 1st war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS P 615 during this patrol see the map below.

(4)

8 Jul 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Polyarnoe, northern Russia. (6)

21 Jul 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Polyarnoe, northern Russia for Lerwick. This was her 2nd war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS P 615 during this patrol see the map below.

(6)

29 Jul 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived 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 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (6)

31 Jul 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (6)

12 Aug 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) was docked at Rothesay. (7)

14 Aug 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) was undocked at Rothesay. She then made the short passage back to Holy Loch ('just around the corner'). (7)

15 Aug 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) proceeded to the torpedo firing range at Arrochar for torpedo firing trials. (7)

20 Aug 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) returned to Holy Loch from Arrochar. (7)

31 Aug 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Holy Loch for Loch Ewe. She made the passage together with HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Colvin, RN) and HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN) which were en-route to Lerwick. They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS P 615 during the passage from Holy Loch to Seidisfjord see the map below.

(7)

1 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Loch Ewe. (8)

2 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Loch Ewe for Seidisfjord, Iceland. She was escorted by HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN). (8)

5 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord, Iceland. (8)

8 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Seidisfjord, Iceland together with HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) to rendez-vous with convoy PQ 18 at sea. The submarines were escorted by HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN). This is HMS P 615's 3rd war patrol.

For the daily position of HMS P 615 during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Lerwick. (8)

27 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN). They were initially escorted by HMS Preston North End (Lt. K.A. Vasey, MBE, RNR) until HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN) took over on the 28th. (8)

29 Sep 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (8)

8 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow to aid in A/S training. She was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN). (9)

10 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (9)

12 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

13 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

14 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

16 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

17 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

18 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow. (9)

19 Oct 1942
HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) participated in exercises in Scapa Flow.

Upon completion of these exercises Lt. C.W.St.C. Lambert, DSC and Bar, RN took over command. (9)


Submarine HMS Trident (N 52)


8 Dec 1942
With her refit completed HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed shifted from Troon to Holy Loch. She now begins a work-up period off the west coast of Scotland. (10)

9 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS P 224 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) and HMS P 314 (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Qualicum (T/Lt. F.S. Tolliday, RNR). (11)

11 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Lerwick. She departed Lerwick for her 31th war patrol. She is ordered to patrol off Norway.

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

(11)

13 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived in her patrol position to the north of Trondheim, Norway. (11)

18 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from her initial patrol position to the north of Trondheim for a new position of northern Norway. (11)

22 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived in her new patrol position off northern Norway. (11)

27 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from her patrol position to return to Lerwick. (11)

29 Jan 1943
While on the return trip to Lerwick from her patrol HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) was ordered to take up a patrol position to the north of Trondheim. (11)

31 Jan 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) once again departed from her patrol position to return to Lerwick. (11)

2 Feb 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Lerwick ending her 31th war patrol. (11)

3 Feb 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Lerwick bound for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Anchusa (A/Lt.Cdr. D.M. Gibb, RNR) (12)

5 Feb 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (13)

19 Feb 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) is docked at Glasgow. (14)

26 Feb 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) is undocked at Glasgow and returned back to Holy Loch. (14)

1 Mar 1943
After some repairs HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Gibraltar. She is to join the Mediterranean Station.

11 Mar 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

17 Mar 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Gibraltar for a short work up patrol in the Gulf of Valencia (this is her 32th war patrol and her 1st in the Mediterranean). She is to proceed to Algiers afterwards.

(There is no log of Trident available for this period so no map can be displayed). (11)

23 Mar 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 32th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (11)

31 Mar 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Algiers for her 33th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) for a special mission in Corsica. She is also to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

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

(11)

3 Apr 1943 (position 41.39, 7.20)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) fires 6 torpedoes against a submarine west off Corsica in position 41°39'N, 07°20E. All torpedoes missed their target. The submarine is thought to be German but no German U-boat was in this area at that given time.

(All times are zone -1)
1121 hours - Heard HE bearing 290°.

1122 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 285°.

1123 hours - Identified a 500 tons German U-boat bearing 280°, range 5000 yards. Started attack.

1128 hours - Fired six torpedoes. It was later discovered that one torpedo had not left it's tube)

1138 hours - Heard four explosions, the HE of the U-boat could no longer be heard.

According to Italian sources the Italian submarine Francesco Rismondo (former Yugoslav Osvetnik) was exercising in the area. She was most likely the submarine attacked although she did not report it. (11)

5 Apr 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attacks an escorted merchant vessel of about 5000 tons east of Corsica in position 42°28'N, 09°55'E. Four torpedoes were fired but none found it's target.

(All times are zone -1)
0128 hours - In position 42°28'N, 09°55'E sighted darkened ships bearing 220°. Started attack.

0130 hours - The ships were identified as a merchant ship of 5000 tons escorted by two 'destroyers', one on each bow. Course was 350°.

0133 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 3000 yards. Started to dive after firing the third torpedo. No hits were obtained.

0142 hours - Two explosions were heard at the end of the run of the torpedoes. (11)

6 Apr 1943
0012 hours - Near the Travo River (Corsica) HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) lands Captain Colonna D'Istria and another agent and picks up Commandant de Saule. The operation is carried out with the assistance of Captain Courtney, Lieutenant Lunn, Sergeants Thompson and Milne of SBS. (11)

7 Apr 1943
0230 hours - Near Canalle Cove (Corsica) HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) lands Captain Courtney, Lieutenant Lunn, Sergeants Thompson and Milne of SBS to help evacuate a party from Corsica. The operation is unsuccessful as they fail to make contact and have to return to the submarine. (11)

8 Apr 1943 (position 42.46, 9.39)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) fires 4 torpedoes at the Italian merchant Tagliamento (5448 GRT, built 1922) north-east of Bastia, Corsica, France in position 42°46'N, 09°39'E. Tagliamento was escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Giuseppe La Masa.

(All times are zone -2)
0644 hours - In position 42°46'N, 09°39'E sighted one merchant vessel escorted by a three-funnelled torpedo boat bearing 230°, range 8000 yards. Started attack.

0712 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes at the merchant vessel, that was in ballast, from 1600 yards.

0721 hours - Heard 3 ended of run torpedo explosions. No counter attack developed.

0746 hours - Came to periscope depth. The merchant was seen on the same course, with the escort astern. (11)

9 Apr 1943 (position 43.27, 9.07)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) fires two torpedoes against a submarine (thought to be Italian, but this was actually German U-boat U-371) in the Gulf of Genoa in position 43°27'N, 09°07'E. Both torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
0418 hours - In position 43°27'N, 09°07'E sighted a submarine (thought to be Italian) crossing the bows. Course was about 030°, range was estimated at 3000 yards.

0422 hours - Fired two torpedoes.

0431 hours - Two explosions were heard. Both torpedoes had missed the target. (11)

12 Apr 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attacks the Italian Merchant Firenze (1896 GRT, built 1919) with one torpedo off Capo Noli. The torpedo misses the target.

(All times are zone -1)
1355 hours - In position 073° Capo Noli 2,5 nautical miles sighted a merchant vessel of about 2000 tons escorted by a small motor boat and with an aircraft overhead.

1414 hours - Fired one torpedo (the last one) from the stern tube from 3000 yards.

1417 hours - Heard an explosion, possibly a hit on the target.

1421 hours - Heard a small explosion.

1424 hours - Heard a very heavy explosion. Trident went to 250 feet. During the next hour 70 small explosions were heard but none was very close.

1530 hours - Returned to periscope depth, nothing in sight. (11)

14 Apr 1943 (position 43.51, 8.19)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attacked the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2206 with gunfire south-east of Capo Mele, Italy in position 43°51'N, 08°19'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0540 hours - In position 43°51'N, 08°19'E sighted a small ship thought to be a small tanker or water carrier. Closed to 2500 yards on it's port quarter. Surfaced for gun action.

0613 hours - Upon surfacing it was found that the range was greater than estimated, it was now thought to be 3500 yards. It was also noted that the target was bigger than estimated. The target altered course away to starboard so Trident altered course towards. The target eventually did a complete circle and then came straight towards. When the target was turning it was hit aft with one more probable hit forward. The target had opened fire with a quick firing gun as soon as Trident surfaced and the shells were now bursting all around the submarine.

0628 hours - Broke off the action and dived to 120 feet. Also altered course.

0630 hours - Went to 200 feet and upon reaching that depth went to 300 feet.

0640 hours - The vessel passed overhead and shortly afterwards 14 depth charges exploded very close down the port side.

0654 hours - The vessel passed overhead again dropping 5 depth charges.

0710 hours - Another 5 depth charges were dropped as the vessel passed overhead again. The vessel lost contact after this attack.

1108 hours - HE by now was very faint so went to periscope depth.

1110 hours - The last pattern of depth charges was now dropped. In all 81 were dropped but only the first 24 were close. (11)

18 Apr 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 33th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers (11)

1 May 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Algiers for her 34th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She is to perform two special missions and afterwards patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

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

(11)

10 May 1943
During the night of 10/11 May 1943 HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attempts to perform special mission 'Leg'. Contact had to be made with a special agent (Captain D'Istria who had been landed by Trident herself in April) on a beach on the east coast of Corsica (near the mouth of the river Travo). A landing was made but no contact could be established.

Another attempt was made during the next night but this was also unsuccessful. (11)

12 May 1943 (position 42.21, 9.50)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) fires 6 torpedoes at the Italian merchant Anagni (5718 GRT, former French El Mansour, built 1933) east of Cevrione, Corsica, France in position 42°21'N, 09°50'E. All torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
1550 hours - In position 42°21'N, 09°50'E sighted one merchant vessel escorted by a 'destroyer' bearing 130°, distance about 14000 yards. Ran in at speed and started attack.

1605 hours - It was no noticed that there were two destroyers.

1615 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 6000 yards. Trident was taken deep. One of the torpedoes malfunctioned and circled overhead. To other ones failed to hit the target. (11)

14 May 1943 (position 43.05, 8.04)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) fires 4 torpedoes at the French passenger/cargo ship Cap Corse (2444 GRT, built 1929) north-west of Corsica in position 43°05'N, 08°04'E (Italian sources give 43°03'N, 08°03'E). All torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
0910 hours - In position in position 43°05'N, 08°04'E sighted one merchant ship bearing 350°, distance 9000 yards. The vessel was escorted by an aircraft overhead. Started attack.

0926 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1500 yards. Went deep.

0928 hours - The aircraft dropped two bombs while Trident was at 120 feet.

0940 hours - Returned to periscope depth and saw that the ship was not hit. (11)

14 May 1943
During the night of 6/7 May 1943 HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attempts to perform special mission 'Etna'. A special agent and equipment had to be landed on a beach in Italy (very close to the French border). Due to the bad weather the landing was postponed.

It was intended to make another attempt the next day but now the weather was also not suitable.

Trident now proceeded to Corsica for her 2nd special mission. (11)

18 May 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 34th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

21 May 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Algiers bound for Malta.

27 May 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Malta where she would be docked before proceeding on patrol (Docking dates are for the moment unknown to us). (15)

23 Jun 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Malta for her 35th war patrol. (4th in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol in the Aegean.

For the attack positions of HMS Trident during this patrol see the map below.

(11)

27 Jun 1943 (position 35.54, 25.10)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) sank a caique with gunfire north of Crete.

At 0500 hours (no time zone given in patrol report must be either -2 or -3) a heavily laden two masted caique of about 100 tons was sighted. Trident closed to 1000 yards.

At 0510 hours fire was opened with the 4" gun. The first round hit the stern and after 9 rounds the caique was seen to be sinking. 5 minutes later the caique sank in position 35°54'N, 25°10'E.

The caique was the Sal. 5 / Agios Panteleimon (105 GRT) (11)

2 Jul 1943 (position 36.31, 27.44)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire north of Rhodos, Greece.

At 0620 hours (time zone -2 or -3) a 40 ton caique was sighted in position 36°31'N, 27°44'E about 3 nautical miles away. When Trident had closed to 2500 yards she surfaced and engaged the caique with the deck gun. At 0707 hours the caique was sunk in position 36°32'5"N, 27°45'E. 21 rounds were expended.

2018 hours two small caiques were seen in position 36°29'N, 27°07'E. At 2104 hours one of the caiques was sunk. The other one was allowed to proceed with the survivors.

One of the caiques was possibly the Turkish Sishman (87 GRT) carrying cement to Istanbul. (11)

4 Jul 1943 (position 37.03, 26.07)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Vesta (3351 GRT, built 1923) west of Leros, Greece in position 37°03'N, 26°07'E.

At 0009 hours (time zone -2 or -3) three ships were sighted bearing 150° distance 3000 yards. The target was later identified as a medium sized merchant of about 3500 tons escorted by two torpedo boats. (this convoy was made up of the Vesta, small Italian tanker Cerere (1267 GRT, built 1915) and naval auxiliaries Orsini and Morrhua (no details found on these last two vessels), they had departed Leros the same day for Piraeus (via Syra). Lt. Newstead turned to make a surface attack.

At 0016 hours three torpedoes were fired from 1300 yards. Three minutes later, while Trident was diving a hit was observed on the target (amidships). Trident went to 250 feet while one of the escorts was hunting for her. No depth charges were however dropped. (According to Italian Official History the damaged Vesta was towed into Syros for emergency repairs by the Cerere).

Vesta was used by the Germans to block the Corinth Canal in October 1944 (11)

8 Jul 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attacks a the German merchant Gerda Toft (1960 GRT, built 1930) with 6 torpedoes in position 097°, Cape Doro, 5 nautical miles. All torpedoes missed their target.

Later this day Trident damaged the German patrol vessel GA 41 / Tassia Christa with gunfire north of the Doro Channel.

2310 hours (on the 7th, time zone -2 or -3)
- In position 38°18'N, 24°26'E sighted several ships to the north and north-east. Range was 4000 yards, their course was 180°.

2316 hours (7 July) - The starboard wing destroyer altered towards at a range of 2000 yards. Lt. Newstead was forced to dive. Altered course to 180° and prepared to surface as soon as the ships had passed.

2336 hours (7 July) - Surfaced to find one destroyer weaving astern of the convoy at 2500 yards range on R.D.F. The escort soon altered course away, the target was now visible at 3800 yards and was slowly but steadily closing.

0025 hours (8 July) - In position 097°, Cape Doro, 5 nautical miles fired 6 torpedoes from 2500 yards. The target altered course so all torpedoes missed ahead.

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

0650 hours (time zone -2 or -3), while Trident was in position 345° Cape Doro 10 nautical miles, a two masted schooner of about 150 tons was sighted.

At 0804 hours Trident surfaced and engaged the target with gunfire from 1200 yards. Lt. Newstead thought he had hit and holed the schooner amidships but it was a drop hatch revealing a 3" gun. The schooner also opened fire with 40mm guns fore and aft and closed Trident. After Trident had fired 8 rounds the fire of the enemy became to close and Lt. Newstead decided to break of the action and dive.

While Trident was diving she was hit by several bursts of gunfire but not much damage was done. Trident was now heavily depth charged. In all 50 depth charges were dropped. (11)

9 Jul 1943 (position 36.54, 26.03)
At 2114 hours (time zone -2 or -3) HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) shells the Amorgos bauxite mines in position 36°53.7'N, 26°03.5'E causing some damage. (11)

13 Jul 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 35th war patrol. (4th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut. (11)

27 Jul 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Beirut bound for Colombo. (13)

29 Jul 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Port Said. She transits the Suez Canal and arrived at Suez later this day. (13)

30 Jul 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Suez bound for Aden. (13)

3 Aug 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Aden.

4 Aug 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Aden bound for Colombo. (13)

12 Aug 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Colombo. Trident is the first of many British submarines that are soon to arrive in the far east. She joins the 4th submarine flotilla, which at that time consists of only the Dutch submarine HrMs O 24. (13)

15 Aug 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Colombo for her 36th war patrol (1st in far eastern waters). She is to patrol in the Straits of Malacca.

For the attack positions of HMS Trident during this patrol see the map below.

(11)

19 Aug 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) develops serious engine problems with the starboard diesel engine. Patrol area is therefore shifted to north of Sumatra. (11)

29 Aug 1943 (position 5.55, 95.30)
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) attacks the Japanese training cruiser Kashii (offsite link) with eight torpedoes north of Sumatra just east of Pulau Weh in position 05°55'N, 95°30'E with a spread of eight torpedoes. All eight torpedoes miss their target.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0736 hours - In position 05°55'N, 95°30'E sighted a Japanese warship. This was later seen to be a light cruiser of the Kashii-class. Started attack.

0759 hours - Fired 8 torpedoes from 7500 yards.

0804 hours - Sighted an aircraft coming straight towards, following the torpedo tracks. The cruiser was still in the same course. Went deep.

0807 hours - Heard one explosion 8 minutes and 7 seconds after firing the first torpedo.

0827 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Retired to the north. (11)

10 Sep 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) ended her 36th war patrol (1st in far eastern waters) at Colombo. It is found that the damage to the starboard engine is beyond the repair capacity in far eastern waters and that she is to be sent to the U.K. for repairs (and refit) after making only this patrol. (11)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Colombo for her return to the U.K. (13)

20 Oct 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Suez after making a short call en-route at Aden. (16)

21 Oct 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Port Said after transiting the Suez Canal. (16)

4 Nov 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Port Said bound for Malta. (17)

9 Nov 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Malta. (17)

12 Nov 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Malta bound for Gibraltar. (17)

18 Nov 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (17)

24 Nov 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed from Gibraltar for the U.K. (11)

4 Dec 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Falmouth. (11)

6 Dec 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) departed Falmouth for Tobermory. She made te passage together with HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr.(retired) C.M. Norman, RN). Off the Scillies they were joined by HMS Unrivalled (Lt. H.B. Turner, DSC, RN). (11)

9 Dec 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Tobermory. She departed from for Blyth later the same day escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR). (11)

12 Dec 1943
HMS Trident (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) arrived at Blyth. She is now assigned to submarine training while awaiting refit. (11)


Submarine HMS Taurus (P 339)


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)

19 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.

Taurus made the passage north through the Minches together with HMS Varangian (Lt. A.J. Sumption, DSC, RNVR), HMS Satyr (Lt. J.N. Elliot, RN) and HMS Spearhead (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.E. Youngman, RNR). They were escorted by HMS Shikari (Lt. E.A. Tyrer, DSC, RN). (19)

22 Feb 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (19)

7 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. She made the passage south together with HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) and the French submarine Morse (Lt. O. Chauveau). They were escorted by HMS Hastings (A/Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN). (20)

9 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (20)

12 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) is docked at Holy Loch. (20)

16 Mar 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) left dock. (20)

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 (21)

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. (21)

15 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (21)

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

25 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said. (21)

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. (21)

31 May 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden. (21)

1 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Aden for Trincomalee. (21)

11 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (21)

22 Jun 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed from Trincomalee for Fremantle. (21)

5 Jul 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) arrived at Fremantle, Australia. (21)

24 Jul 1945
HMS Taurus (A/Lt.Cdr. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) is put on the slip at Fremantle. (21)

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. (21)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17530
  2. ADM 173/17531
  3. ADM 173/17532
  4. ADM 199/424
  5. ADM 234/369
  6. ADM 173/17533
  7. ADM 173/17534
  8. ADM 173/17535
  9. ADM 173/17536
  10. ADM 173/17654
  11. ADM 199/1864
  12. ADM 199/627
  13. ADM 199/2572
  14. ADM 199/1909
  15. ADM 199/1910
  16. ADM 173/18275
  17. ADM 173/18276
  18. ADM 173/19863
  19. ADM 173/19864
  20. ADM 173/19865
  21. ADM 173/19866

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


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