John Somerton Wraith DSO, DSC, RN

Born   1913
Died  17 Oct 1943(30)HMS Trooper (N 91)


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Ranks

1 Jun 1934 S.Lt.
1 Jun 1937 Lt.

Decorations

12 Nov 1940 DSC
3 Apr 1942 DSO

Warship Commands listed for John Somerton Wraith, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS H 43 (N 43)Lt.Submarinemid 19397 Oct 1939
HMS H 43 (N 43)Lt.Submarine27 Dec 19391 Jan 1940
HMS Upright (N 89)Lt.Submarine13 Jun 19418 Feb 1942
HMS Upright (N 89)Lt.Submarine24 Feb 1942Jun 1942
HMS Trooper (N 91)Lt.Submarine18 Jun 1942Feb 1943
HMS Trooper (N 91)Lt.SubmarineFeb 194323 Jun 1943
HMS Trooper (N 91)Lt.SubmarineAug 194317 Oct 1943 (+)

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Upright (N 89)


15 Jun 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) sailed for exercises then and following these departed Malta for her 12th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between the Kerkennah shallows and Lampion Island.

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

(1)

28 Jun 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. The patrol was uneventful.

HMS Upright departed Malta for her 13th war patrol (11th war patrol in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of the Strait of Messina to intercept possible Vichy-French reinforcements for Syria. Upright was sent out again on short notice as she had just returned from a blank patrol and had a full outfit of torpedoes on board.

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

(1)

3 Jul 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. Three small merchant ships were sighted but not attacked. (1)

20 Jul 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Capo Dell Armi and Capo Spartivento off the South coast of Calabria, Italy to give cover for convoy operation Substance.

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

(1)

24 Jul 1941 (position 37.52, 15.50)
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) fires two torpedoes at the Italian floating dry-dock GO 22 off Cape dell'Armi near position 37°52'N, 15°50'E.

According to Italian sources the dock was towed by the tugs Teseo and Volante and escorted by the torpedo boats Aretusa and Rosolino Pilo. The torpedoes miss their target (although two hits were claimed) but one hits the towing wire and the floating dock is slightly damaged. Upright is heavily depth charged by the escorts Pilo and Aretusa. Later MAS 524 sails from Messina to join the hunt and drops an additional six depth charges.

(All times are zone -2)
1115 hours - Sighted masts and funnels of two destroyers rounding Cape Spartivento. Two aircraft were seen patrolling down the coast. Looked like something might come our way.

1120 hours - Sighted masts and funnels of one more destroyer and two other vessels.

1122 hours - Sighted a long low vessel that looked like an aircraft carrier.

1130 hours - The long low vessel was now identified as a dry dock that was being towed by two tugs and escorted by three destroyers and two aircraft. Started attack.

1237 hours - Fired three torpedoes (four were intended, but one torpedo misfired) from 1900 yards. Two loud explosion and one smaller explosion followed. It was thought two hits were obtained.

1241 hours - The first pattern of five depth charges was dropped followed by more attacks that were rather close. No damage was done to Upright but she lost trim and ended up at 210 feet (150 feet was intended). She could only be controlled by blowing main ballast something Lt. Wraith rather did not want to do with three destroyers hunting overhead.

1315 hours - The depth charges were now more distant and astern. Meanwhile Upright had sunk to 340 feet and again main ballast had to be blown. The result was that the destroyers came nearer again and started dropping more depth charges again rather close. No damage was caused by the depth charges but minor damage was caused by the great depth Upright had ended up.

1415 hours - No more depth charges had been dropped now for almost one hour and HE was astern. Upright was now at 200 feet. The destroyers remained in the area during the whole afternoon but dropped no more depth charges. (1)

28 Jul 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

29 Jul 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) was docked at Malta. (2)

1 Aug 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) was undocked. (3)

24 Aug 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Isola di Marettimo. Only destroyers were seen.

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

(1)

3 Sep 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Abingdon (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR). (4)

16 Sep 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 16th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol the approaches to Tripoli, Libya to intercept an important enemy troop convoy. Only two destroyers were seen at a distance during this patrol.

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

(1)

20 Sep 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

22 Sep 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 17th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol North of Sicily.

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

(1)

27 Sep 1941 (position 38.27, 15.22)
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian torpedo boat Albatros (334 tons, built 1934) 8 nautical miles north-west of Cape Rasocolmo near Milazzo, Sicily, Italy near position 38°24'N, 15°22'E.

According to Italian sources she was on her way to escort U-371 through the Strait of Messina. There were 47 survivors and 36 missing (including two German officers).

Later a torpedo attack was carried out on an escorted merchant vessel off Cape Milazzo near position 38°20'N, 15°18'E but no hits were obtained.

According to Italian sources this was Lago Tana (783 GRT, built 1939) who reported the attack.

(All times are zone -2)
0820 hours - Sighted one torpedo boat carrying out an A/S sweep North-West of Cape Rasocolmo. Decided to attack.

0855 hours - Fired two torpedoes from about 3000 yards. One hit was obtained and the HE of the target ceased. The result was not seen as Upright went deep upon firing. One aircraft and two destroyers arrived in the area after half an hour and searched the area.

1020 hours - Three depth charges were dropped astern, not at all close.

1043 to 1105 hours - Three single depth charges were dropped but these were not close also.

1310 hours - Sighted one merchant vessel of about 2000 tons. She was escorted by a small armed merchant vessel. They were proceeding westwards along the coast near Cape Milazzo. Started attack.

1345 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 1800 yards. Both missed as the speed was most likely underestimated. After firing Upright went to 70 feet and altered course. Seven depth charges were dropped by the armed merchant vessel but these were not close. (1)

1 Oct 1941
At 0640 hours, HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) was off Cape Rasocolmo (Sicily) when a U-boat was sighted, this was either U-97 or U-559, but efforts to gain an attacking position were fruitless.

At 0740 hours, HMS Upright sighted a torpedo boat (probably Rosolino Pilo) but failed to get into a favourable position. (1)

2 Oct 1941
At 0355 hours, HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) sighted a submarine at a range of 1000 yards but the presence in the area of HMS Urge and her orders were not to attack submarines at night to avoid a case of mistaken identity. The attack was abandoned. (1)

4 Oct 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 17th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

14 Oct 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 18th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the South-East coast of Sicily to intercept three Italian destroyers of the Navigatori-class there are thought to make a high speed run to North Africa with supplies but nothing was seen except the Italian hospital ship Virgilio.

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

(1)

16 Oct 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 18th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

19 Oct 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 19th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the North-West coast of Sicily between Marettimo Island and Cape San Vito.

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

(1)

30 Oct 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 19th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

5 Nov 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta with the British destroyers HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN).

11 Nov 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 20th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Ionian Sea.

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

(5)

17 Nov 1941 (position 38.09, 19.29)
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) made a torpedo attack on a convoy about 50 nautical miles West of Cephalonia Island, Greece. No hits were obtained.

According to Italian sources these were most probably the German Tinos (2826 GRT, built 1914) and the Italian Bolsena (2384 GRT, built 1918) escorted by the torpedo boat Orione on passage from Brindisi to Benghazi.

(All times are zone -2)
1110 hours - Sighted an aircraft and smoke to the North. Closed.

1125 hours - Went to periscope depth and sighted masts and funnels of two merchant ships and one destroyer. It appeared they were passing out of range. Went deep again.

1140 hours - Returned to periscope depth and noticed that the enemy had turned towards. Started attack.

1150 hours - The convoy altered course back to the original course. The attack now had to be carried out at a greater range than was hoped for. The merchant ships were of about 3000 tons.

1205 hours - In position 38°09'N, 19°29'E fired four torpedoes, two at each merchant ship from about 5000 yards. No hits were obtained. (5)

25 Nov 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 20th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She is almost immediately docked. (5)

28 Nov 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) was undocked. (6)

4 Dec 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 21th war patrol (19th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of the Strait of Messina.

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

(5)

9 Dec 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) is ordered to a new patrol position in the Gulf of Taranto. (5)

13 Dec 1941 (position 40.08, 17.00)
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian transports Fabio Filzi (6836 GRT, built 1940) and Carlo del Greco (6837 GRT, built 1941) in the Gulf of Taranto in approximate position 40°08'N, 17°00'E.

Considering the relative long range of this attack and that the targets were doing 15 knots, this was a most remarkable attack relying heavily on ASDIC with at least three torpedo hits (two on Fabio Filzi and one (perhaps two) on Carlo del Greco). According to Italian sources there were 432 survivors, 217 men were killed or missing.

(All times are zone -2)
0150 hours - In approximate position 40°08'N, 17°00'E HE was heard approaching from the South. Turned towards.

0155 hours - HE became louder and was passing down the Port side. Changed course to obtain a favourable attack position.

0203 hours - Sighted a large ship followed by a smaller one. Shortly afterwards sighted another large ship following the other ones. Started attack.

0212 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the two big ships when they overlapped. Shortly after firing Upright dived. All four torpedoes hit the targets. It was thought the first three torpedoes hit the first target and the last torpedo hit the second target. Depth charging started.

0228 hours - A ship was heard breaking up.

0341 hours - A second ship was heard breaking up.

0737 hours - The last depth charge was dropped. In all 48 had been dropped.

[The convoy attacked was made up of both transports mentioned above. They were escorted by the Italian destroyers Nicoloso da Recco and Antoniotto Usodimare.] (5)

18 Dec 1941
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 21th war patrol (19th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (5)

1 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 22th war patrol (20th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Lampedusa and the Kerkennah shallows.

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

(7)

4 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) is ordered to a new patrol position, about 50 nautical miles East of Tripoli, Libya (32°56'N, 14°25'E). (7)

5 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) is ordered to return to her original patrol area. (7)

8 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) abandons her patrol due to a serious defect to No.1 battery tank. She sets course to return to Malta. (7)

9 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 22th war patrol (20th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

14 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) shoots down one German ME-109 fighter aircraft during an air raid at Malta. (8)

19 Jan 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 23th war patrol (21th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the North coast of Sicily.

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

(7)

1 Feb 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 23th war patrol (21th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

3 Mar 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) was near missed by a bomb during an air raid causing some damage. (9)

19 Mar 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. She was to proceed to the U.K. where she was to refit.

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

(9)

29 Mar 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (9)

2 Apr 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Holy Loch. (10)

13 Apr 1942
In the early moring HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) made rendez-vous off Bishops Rock with HMS La Capricieuse that was to escort her to Holy Loch. (10)

15 Apr 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (10)

18 Apr 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Blyth. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse. (10)

21 Apr 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) arrived at Blyth. (10)

23 Apr 1942
HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) commenced her refit at Blyth. (10)


Submarine HMS Trooper (N 91)


29 Aug 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) shifted from her builders yard at Greenock to Holy Loch. She then commenced a period of trials and training. (11)

7 Sep 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar for her torpedo discharge trials. (12)

17 Sep 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) completed her torpedo discharge trials and returned to Holy Loch. (12)

18 Sep 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Kames Bay where she was immediately docked. (12)

19 Sep 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked at Kames Bay and immediately returned to Holy Loch. (12)

27 Sep 1942
After trails and training HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) returns to her builder for alterations and additions. This will enable her to carry containers for Chariot human torpedoes. (12)

28 Sep 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) was docked at Greenock. (12)

5 Oct 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) was undocked. (13)

6 Oct 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Port H.H.Z. (13)

28 Oct 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) completes her modifications at Greenock and returned to Holy Loch. (13)

5 Nov 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Holy Loch for the secret base of Port H.H.Z. (at Loch Cairnbawn) where she arrived the next day. Here she will take on board her Chariot human torpedoes.

Passage was made together with HMS P 216 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) and HMS P 312 (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Favell, RN) that were both en-route to Lerwick. They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (14)

12 Nov 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Port H.H.Z. bound for Malta. She was ordered not to stop at Gibraltar so not to alert the German and Italian spies stationed in 'neutral' Spain on the Chariot containers on her deck.

Passage south through the Irish sea was made together with HMS P 311 (Cdr. R.D. Cayley, DSO and 2 Bars, RN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

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


HMS Trooper passage U.K. - Malta click here for bigger map (15)

23 Nov 1942
During the night of 23/24 November 1942, HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN), crosses the Straits of Gibraltar escorted by HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN). (15)

2 Dec 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (15)

29 Dec 1942
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Malta for her 1st war patrol. She is to launch Chariot human torpedoes to attack shipping in Palermo harbour (Operation Principal). (15)

2 Jan 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) launches three Chariots off Palermo, Sicily, Italy. HMS Thunderbolt (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Crouch, DSO and Bar, RN) carries out a simultaneous attack.

Chariot XVI (Sub.Lt. R.G. Dove, RNVR and Leading Seaman J. Freel) managed to enter the harbour and mine and damage the Italian troop transport Viminale. They were later captured by the Italians.

Chariot IXX (T.Lt. H.F. Cook, RNVR and Able Seaman Worthy). T/Lt Cook drowned when his suit was torn getting through the boom defence nets defending the harbour, but Able Seaman Worthy drove the Chariot ashore and blew it up prior to being captured himself.

Chariot XXIII (Sub.Lt. H.L.H Stevens, RNVR and Leading Seaman Carter) had to abandon the attack due to mechanical failure and her crew was picked up by HMS P 46 (15)

7 Jan 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Malta. Here the Chariot containers are removed before she departed from on her next patrol. (15)

4 Mar 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Malta for her 3rd war patrol. She is to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

No log is available for this period and the patrol report also holds no noon positions, therefore it is not possible to create a map of this patrol. (15)

6 Mar 1943
While on passage to her patrol area HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) is warned about a convoy to the North-West of her. In the afternoon she is able to sight this convoy about 8 nautical miles away despite the rain. Trooper tries to get into an attack position but is unable to do so, the range is just to great and the convoy slips by. (15)

10 Mar 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Rosario (5468 GRT, built 1918) 4 nautical miles bearing 040° of Capo Milazzo.

(No time zone mentioned in the patrol report)
1520 hours - Sighted four aircraft circling to the East.

1545 hours - Heard Asdic impulses bearing 070°.

1550 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 070°. Commenced attack.

1615 hours - Visibility improved to the Eastward and six ships were sighted coming towards but they could not be made out.

1620 hours - Heavy rain commenced and nothing could be seen for the next 25 minutes. Asdic impulses and HE however grew louder. The convoy was thought to be on a course of 250° to pass between Cape Milazzo and Isola Vulcano.

1645 hours - It stopped raining and the convoy was sighted again. The convoy did not appear to be formed up properly.

1654 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes against a 3000 ton merchant vessel from 1500 yards. Two explosions were heard at the correct running range. Two minutes later a fairly accurate depth charge attack followed resulting in some minor damage. A hunt by two Asdic fitted ships followed in which 57 depth charges were dropped. Trooper managed to creep away to the North.

According to Italian sources this convoy was made up of the above mentioned tanker Rosario and the Italian merchant Todi (4999 GRT, built 1921, former French Rabelais). Escort was provided by Italian torpedo boat Libra and the German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ 2201, UJ 2202, UJ 2203, UJ 2204 and UJ 2210.
Italian torpedo boat Giuseppe Dezza had also been part of the escort but she had been detached earlier to escort a tanker.
After the attack UJ 2203 and UJ 2210 hunted Trooper.
(15)

15 Mar 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) fires 4 torpedoes against the Italian merchant (reefer) Belluno (4279 GRT, former Danish Fort de France, built 1935) about 30 nautical miles south of Capri, Italy. All torpedoes fired however missed their target. The Belluno was in a convoy en route from Tunisia to Naples.

(No time zone mentioned in the patrol report)
2037 hours - Sighted dark shapes to the Eastward proceeding towards Naples. At least five dark objects were sighted. The second of the shapes was a rather large ship, it was chosen as the target.

2046 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the largest ship. range was about 4 nautical miles.

2048 hours - Dived and turned away. Two explosions were heard thought to be hits on the target. No depth charges were dropped after the attack.

According to Italian sources this convoy consisted of the above mentioned Belluno, Italian merchants Fabriano (2809 GRT, built 1909) and Caterina Costa (8060 GRT, built 1942) and German merchant (reefer) Pierre Claude (1794 GRT, built 1934, former Danish) escorted by Italian torpedo-boats Clio, Orione, Pegaso and Sagittario. The convoy was on passage from Tunis to Naples. (15)

17 Mar 1943 (position 40.16, 14.15)
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Forli (1525 GRT, former French Sebaa, built 1904) about 15 to 20 nautical miles South of Capri, Italy in position 40°16'N, 14°15'E.

(No time zone mentioned in the patrol report)
1110 hours - Sighted three aircraft and smoke to the South-West. Started attack.

1135 hours - The convoy was seen to consist of 4 merchants and 3 destroyers. The merchants were in two columns with one destroyer ahead and one on each quarter.

1211 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes at the leading merchant of the starboard column. Swung to port and fired 3 more torpedoes but now at the second merchant of the same column. Range was about 5000 yards. Three explosions were heard. Lt. Wraith thought he had hit both target and possible one of the escorting destroyers.

Trooper was counter attacked by one of the escorts. 22 Depth charges were dropped over a long period of time. The hunt prevented Lt. Wraith to come to periscope depth to see what damage he had done.

According to Italian sources this convoy was made up of the above mentioned Forli, the Italian merchants Potenza (2114 GRT, built 1921, former French Auvergne) and Ferrara (2993 GRT, built 1909, former French Tourquenois) and the German merchant Teramo (1599 GRT, built 1920, former French Marie-Therese Le Borgne). Escort was provided by the Italian torpedo-boats Libra, Sirio and Cigno. The convoy was on passage from Palermo to Naples. Following this attack Sirio dropped five depth charges. (15)

22 Mar 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Algiers. (15)

5 Apr 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Algiers for her 4th war patrol. She is to patrol off the North coast of Sicily.

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


HMS Trooper 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (15)

25 Apr 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Algiers. (15)

11 May 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Algiers for Malta.

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


HMS Trooper passage Algiers - Malta click here for bigger map (16)

17 May 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (16)

22 May 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Malta for her 5th war patrol. She is to patrol Along the West coast of Greece and in the Adriatic. She is also to perform two special operations.

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


HMS Trooper 5th war patrol click here for bigger map (15)

25 May 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) carries out special operation 'Entertain' off Zakinthos Island. At 2130 hours folbots with commandos were launched. They were to land on Zante as a diversion to operation 'Husky'.(Operation 'Entertain' was part of plan 'Barclay'). (15)

30 May 1943
At 2215 hours HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) carries out special operation 'Tiger' off Vieste, Italy in which Commandos were landed. They were recovered at 0230 hours on 31 May. (15)

3 Jun 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) fires four torpedoes against the Italian merchant Anna Martini (1686 GRT, built 1914) that was seen leaving Bari. All torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone -2)
1525 hours - An old merchant of about 3000 tons was seen to leave Bari through the swept channel. Commenced attack.

1619 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 1400 yards. No hits were obtained despite the short range. The torpedoes were heard to run their range. Possibly they ran under.

The target turned around and returned towards Bari.

According to Italian sources the Anna Martini observed two torpedo tracks. (15)

12 Jun 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) damaged her Port shaft when she encounters a large piece of floating wreckage in position 33°52'N, 34°05'E. (15)

13 Jun 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Beirut. (15)

23 Jun 1943
Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN leaves HMS Trooper sick.
Lt. G.S.C. Clarabut, RN temporary assumes command. (17)

20 Aug 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Beirut for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (15)

31 Aug 1943
At 1746 hours (time zone -3) HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) bombards a large tannery off Karlovassi, Greece. 17 Rounds were fired for 14 hits. After 4 minutes she was forced to dive as she was taken under fire by a shore battery. (15)

5 Sep 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the Greek caique Maria M. (250 GRT) and Greek tug Nikolaos M. / Pi 2117 (35 GRT) with gunfire 2 nautical miles North of Skiathos, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1816 hours - Surfaced and engaged a large caique that was being towed by a tug. 52 Rounds were fired. The caique was sunk and the tug was abandoned and set on fire (it later sank). Two survivors from the tug were picked up.
(15)

10 Sep 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Beirut. (15)

26 Sep 1943
HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Beirut for her 8th war patrol. She is to carry out a special mission for SOE (Special Operations Executive) and then patrol in the Aegean Sea off the Dodecanese islands, including the Leros area.

30 Sep 1943
At 2130 hours HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN) lands Colonel Diamantopoulos of the Royal Hellenic Artillery (code name 'Toby') of SOE (Operation ERÜPTION) with 2nd Lt. Vey and wireless operator 'Thomas' of ISLD (Operation CANTON) with 400 kgs of stores in Kalamos Bay (Euboa).

14 Oct 1943
At dawn HMS Trooper is sighted in Alinda Bay (Leros) by the schooner LS 8 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Seligman, RNR) of the Levant Flotilla and they exchange signals. The Germans had laid several minefields about 10 miles east of Alinda Bay and it is quite possible that she was mined there.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1154
  2. ADM 173/17148
  3. ADM 173/17149
  4. ADM 173/17150
  5. ADM 199/1116
  6. ADM 173/17152
  7. ADM 199/1224
  8. ADM 173/17709
  9. ADM 173/17711
  10. ADM 173/17712
  11. ADM 173/17655
  12. ADM 173/17656
  13. ADM 173/17657
  14. ADM 199/424
  15. ADM 199/1845
  16. ADM 173/18279
  17. ADM 173/18280

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


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