Philip Quellyn Roberts, RN

Born  4 Apr 1904


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Ranks

15 Sep 1924 A/S.Lt.
30 Apr 1925 S.Lt.
30 Jan 1927 Lt.
30 Jan 1935 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1939 Cdr.
??? A/Capt.

Retired: 17 Sep 1947


Decorations

11 Dec 1945 DSO

Warship Commands listed for Philip Quellyn Roberts, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Porpoise (N 14)Lt.Cdr.Submarine15 Nov 193922 Aug 1940
HMS Bonaventure (F 139)A/Capt.Submarine Depot Ship16 Apr 194318 Jan 1944
HMS Talbot (F 06)A/Capt.Submarine Depot Ship7 Jan 194421 Sep 1944

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Porpoise (N 14)


18 Jan 1940
With her refit completed HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) shifted from the Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (1)

19 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted trials off Sheerness. (1)

20 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted trials off Sheerness. (1)

21 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) sailed in convoy from Sheerness for Portsmouth. (1)

22 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) arrived at Portmouth. (1)

23 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (1)

25 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted mine laying exercises off Portmouth. (1)

26 Jan 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (1)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth and then proceeded to Yarmouth Roads [Isle of Wight]. (2)

8 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Yarmouth. (2)

9 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Yarmouth and then proceeded to Portmouth. (2)

13 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (2)

14 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth and then proceeded to Yarmouth. (2)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Yarmouth and then proceeded to Portmouth. (2)

19 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth and then proceeded to Yarmouth. (2)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) sailed from Yarmouth to Portsmouth. (2)

27 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (2)

28 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth and then proceeded to Yarmouth. (2)

29 Feb 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Yarmouth and then proceeded to Portmouth. (2)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises with HMS Warrior II off Portmouth and then proceeded to Yarmouth. (3)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Yarmouth with HMS Warrior II and then proceeded to Portmouth. (3)

7 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (3)

11 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Portmouth. (3)

12 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Portsmouth escorted by HM yacht Sona with convoy FN.20 for Rosyth.

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

(3)

16 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) arrived at Rosyth. (3)

19 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Rosyth for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to escort convoy ON 21 to Bergen, Norway. On the way back she escorted convoy HN 21.

For the daily positions of HMS Porpoise during this patrol see the map below.
No position is known for 21 March 1940.

(3)

25 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to escort convoy ON 23 to Bergen, Norway. On the way back she escorted convoy HN 23.

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

(3)

4 Apr 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (4)

13 Apr 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to relieve HMS Clyde (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) off Egersund, Norway.

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

(5)

16 Apr 1940 (position 58.18, 5.47)
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) fires 6 torpedoes against German U-boat U-3 about 10 nautical miles south-west of Egersund, Norway in position 58°18'N, 05°47'E. All torpedoes fired missed their target. Porpoise is often credited with sinking U-1 but this is incorrect.

(All times are zone -1)
2136 hours - Sighted a U-boat on the surface. Started attack.

2140 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 2000 yards but all missed. The enemy meanwhile had turned towards so Porpoise dived at 2143 hours to 150 feet to evade a possible counter attack by the enemy submarine. U-3 had indeed fired one torpedo at Porpoise which passed overhead while Porpoise was diving. (5)

29 Apr 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth. (5)

8 May 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) and HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) conducted exercises in the Firth of Forth. (6)

12 May 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield off Norway.

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

(5)

15 May 1940 (position 61.44, 4.54)
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN), lays minefield FD 11 (48 mines) off Kalvag, Norway near position 61°44'N, 04°54'E. While maneuvering into position Porpoise grounded twice, at 1019 and 1138 hours.

Details of the minelay were as follows
The mines were laid in the following positions:
Line A
First mine laid at 1045 hours
Position of the first mine: 61°44'40"N, 04°59'20"N
Course of the lay: 250°
Number of mines: 24
Distance between the mines: 150 feet

Line C
First mine laid at 1140 hours
Position of the first mine: 61°42'25"N, 04°55'55"N
Course of the lay: 225°
Number of mines: 9
Distance between the mines: 150 feet

Line B
First mine laid at 1448 hours
Position of the first mine: 61°38'26"N, 04°52'45"N
Course of the lay: 090°
Number of mines: 15
Distance between the mines: 150 feet

This minefield caused the loss of the Swedish merchant Sonja (1828 GRT, built 1923) see 10 June 1940 entry). (5)

17 May 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth. (5)

18 May 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was docked at Rosyth. (6)

4 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was undocked. (7)

5 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) shifted from Rosyth to Blyth. (7)

8 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) shifted from Blyth to Immingham where she was to embark mines. (5)

9 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Immingham for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield off Smøla, Norway.

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

(5)

10 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was ordered to patrol off Fro Havet, Norway after she had laid her mines off Smøla.

The Swedish merchant Sonja (1828 GRT, built 1923) with a German prize crew was proceeding behind the steamer Inger when she detonated a mine (laid by Porpoise on 15 May) and sank. (5)

12 Jun 1940
At 0155 hours HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) found a derelict lifeboat from the Norwegian merchant Vestfoss (1388 GRT, built 1909). She had been sunk by a German bomber on 1 March 1940.

At 0950 hours a torpedo track was seen in position 62°30’N, 03°00’E. It was believed to have been fired by a U-boat but the attack was apparently bogus. (5)

14 Jun 1940 (position 63.30, 8.12)
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) lays minefield FD 18 (50 mines) off the Ramsoyfjord, Norway in approximate position 63°30'N, 08°12'E.

Details of the minelay were as follows
The mines were laid in the following positions between 1430 and 1530 hours

Line A
Position of the first mine: 63°29'40"N, 08°13'20"E
Course of the lay: 270°
Number of mines: 16
Distance between the mines: 150 feet

Line B
Position of the first mine: 63°30'00"N, 08°11'40"E
Course of the lay: 270°
Number of mines: 18
Distance between the mines: 150 feet

Line C
Position of the first mine: 63°30'20"N, 08°10'00"E
Course of the lay: 270°
Number of mines: 16
Distance between the mines: 150 feet
(5)

16 Jun 1940
At 0029 hours HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was charging her batteries north of Halten when she was attacked by a seaplane, she had barely the time to dive when a bomb exploded near her stern causing minor damage. (5)

18 Jun 1940 (position 63.30, 8.09)
The German minesweeper M 5 (682 tons) was sunk north-west of Kristiansund, Norway in position 63°30'N, 08°09'E when she hit a mine laid on 14 June 1940 by the British submarine HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN). M 5 was involved in mine clearing the Trondheim approaches with M 2, M 7 and M 8. M 7 was sent to Kristiansund with four seriously wounded survivors and M 2 and M 8 returned to Trondheim with 70 survivors of which 9 were wounded. There were 24 victims.

19 Jun 1940
At 0055 hours HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was charging her batteries north of Halten when she was again attacked by a seaplane, she dived and a bomb exploded near shaking her considerably. (5)

21 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was ordered to return to Blyth. (5)

25 Jun 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Blyth. (5)

4 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Blyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Utsire, Norway.

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

(5)

8 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was ordered to return to Blyth. (5)

9 Jul 1940 (position 57.21, 2.35)
At 1415 hours HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) was suddenly attacked by an aircraft which had not been seen in 57°21'N, 02°35'E. Three bombs missed her by 70 yards on her starboard quarter. (5)

10 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Blyth. (5)

18 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth. (8)

24 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) shifted from Blyth to Immingham. (5)

25 Jul 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) departed Immingham for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield off the west coast of Denmark. After laying this minefield she was to patrol off Lister, Norway.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Porpoise during this patrol see the map below.
No positions are known for 1 August 1940 and onwards.

(5)

29 Jul 1940
Between 1418 and 1509 hours, HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) laid minefield FD 23 (50 mines with flooders set for 28 August 1940) off the West coast of Denmark near position 55°51'N, 06°18'E. Apparently it yielded no result. (5)

5 Aug 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Rosyth. (5)

6 Aug 1940
HMS Porpoise (Cdr. P.Q. Roberts, RN) shifted from Rosyth to Blyth. (9)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16431
  2. ADM 173/16432
  3. ADM 173/16433
  4. ADM 173/16434
  5. ADM 199/1877
  6. ADM 173/16435
  7. ADM 173/16436
  8. ADM 173/16437
  9. ADM 199/373

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


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