Hugh Patrick de Crery Steel, RN

Born  16 Mar 1903


If you can help with photo or any information on this Officer please
use our comment form
.

Ranks

15 Jan 1925 S.Lt.
15 Oct 1927 Lt.
15 Oct 1935 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1941 Cdr.

Retired: 19 Sep 1949


Decorations

Warship Commands listed for Hugh Patrick de Crery Steel, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Triton (N 15)Lt.Cdr.Submarine7 Jun 193825 Nov 1939
HMS Oberon (N 21)Lt.Cdr.Submarine28 Dec 19411 Jan 1942

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Triton (N 15)


2 Sep 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Dundee. She is escorted by HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, RN). While off Hastings, at 1900 hours, HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN) took over the escort duties from Sardonyx. (1)

3 Sep 1939
At 1315 hours, off the Humber Light vessel, HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) parted company with her escort, HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), and proceeded to Dundee independently. (1)

4 Sep 1939
At 1215 hours HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) arrived at Dundee where she secured, ironically (see event of 10 September 1939), alongside HMS Oxley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN). (1)

5 Sep 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) departed from Dundee for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South-West coast of Norway near Stavanger.

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

(2)

10 Sep 1939 (position 58.30, 5.30)
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) torpedoed and sank (in error) the British submarine HMS Oxley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN) some 28 nautical miles south-south-west of Stavanger, Norway in position 58°30'N, 05°30'E. Triton picked up two survivors, one of these was Lt.Cdr. Bowerman.

(All times are zone -1)
2004 hours - Triton surfaced. A fix was taken from the Norwegian lighthouses and this showed that Triton was in her patrol area.

2055 hours - The Officer of the Watch (Lt. H.A. Stacey, RN) reported a light right ahead and altered course to starboard. Almost immediately afterwards he sighted an object on the Starboard bow. He immediately called Lt.Cdr. Steele to the bridge. When Lt.Cdr. Steele arrived on the bridge it took a brief moment for him to get his eyes adjusted to the conditions outside. The Officer of the Watch and the two lookouts were certain that the contact was a submarine. Lt.Cdr. Steele meanwhile ordered 'stand by tubes 7 and 8'. At the same time the crew went to diving stations. The charge was broken (Port engine) and the Starboard engine was stopped. Triton now went ahead on both motors. By now Lt.Cdr. Steele also identified the contact as a submarine. Triton was kept bows on.

A challenge was now made. No reply was received. Lt.Cdr. Steele ordered to make the challenge again after about 20 seconds. Once again no reply was received. While the challenges were made Lt.Cdr. Steele studied the contact very closely. She was low in the water and no outstanding points of identification were visible. Upon receiving no reply to the second challenge a third was made. Once again no reply was seen. Now a signal grenade was fired which burst correctly. After about 15 seconds there was still no reply. Now Lt.Cdr. Steele was firmly convinced the contact was enemy so he gave the order to fire torpedoes. No. 7 and 8 torpedo tubes were fired.

About half a minute after firing the torpedoes flashing was seen from the contact. It was however unreadable and it stopped after a few seconds. Very shortly afterwards one of the torpedoes hit the submarine.

Triton now proceeded towards the spot where the submarine had sunk. Upon closing cries for help were heard and three men were seen swimming in the water. Lieutenants Watkins and Stacey attached lines to themselves and jumped in the oil covered sea. They managed to rescue the commanding officer of Oxley and able seaman Guckes (one of the lookouts). The third men (Lt. Manley, RNR, Oxley's Officer of the Watch) was seen to sunk suddenly. he was not seen again. A further search was made for any other survivors but none were seen.

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

On board Oxley the challenges were apparently incorrectly acted upon by her Officer of the Watch. When Lt.Cdr. Bowerman came to the Bridge he ordered a signal grenade to be fired as answer to Tritons grenade. However when fired the grenade malfunctioned. Oxley was hit by the torpedo before any more action could be taken. (2)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth. (2)

24 Sep 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) shifted from Rosyth to Dundee. (1)

6 Oct 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) departed from Dundee for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South coast of Norway between Kristiansand and Stavanger.

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

(2)

24 Oct 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (2)

6 Nov 1939

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

(2)

6 Nov 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak.

Before proceeding on patrol Triton carries out exercises with HMS Grimsby (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN). (2)

21 Nov 1939
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. H.P. de C. Steel, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth. (2)


Submarine HMS Oberon (N 21)


31 Dec 1941
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. H.P.deC. Steel, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with HMS Turbulent (Cdr. J.W. Linton, DSC, RN) as target. (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16210
  2. ADM 199/1847
  3. ADM 173/16825

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


You can help improve officers Hugh Patrick de Crery Steel's page
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this officer.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve his page.

Allied Commanders main page