Robert Evelyn Boddington, RN

Birth details unknown
Died  Oct 1942HMS Unique (N 95)


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Ranks

1 Jan 1937 S.Lt.
1 Feb 1938 Lt.

Decorations

16 Jun 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Robert Evelyn Boddington, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Oberon (N 21)Lt.Submarine17 Nov 194122 Nov 1941
HMS H 28 (N 28)Lt.Submarine30 Mar 194217 Jun 1942
HMS Unique (N 95)Lt.Submarine18 Jun 194224 Oct 1942

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Oberon (N 21)


17 Nov 1941
HMS Oberon (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) was docked at Kames Bay. (1)


Submarine HMS H 28 (N 28)


2 Apr 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth. She made the passage in convoy CW 74. (2)

3 Apr 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (2)

5 Apr 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Portsmouth for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (2)

8 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) and her escort HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) arrive at Rothesay. (2)

11 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (2)

13 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted speed trials in the Clyde area. (2)

15 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials in the Clyde area. (2)

16 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) shifted from Rothesay to Campbeltown. (2)

17 Apr 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Campbeltown for exercises in the Clyde area during which she also served as target for HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN). (2)

18 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) returned to Rothesay. (2)

20 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) is docked at Rothesay. (2)

2 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) is undocked. (3)

6 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN), HMS H 32 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN), HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted practice attacks on a convoy made up of the submarine tenders HMS Cyclops (Capt. R.L.M. Edwards, RN), HMS Titania (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) and their escort HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A. E. Johnston, RN), HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) and HMS Boarhound (Skr. S.G. Jinks, RNR). (4)

8 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (3)

9 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) shifted from Rothesay to Moville, North Ireland. (3)

10 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Cape Mariato (T/Lt. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR) and HMS Cape Argona (T/Lt. R.G. Wallace, RNR). (3)

11 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC, RNR), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel, ORP), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN) and HMS Weston (Cdr. (Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN). (3)

14 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted independent exercises off Lough Foyle (3)

15 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Lethbridge (T/Lt. H Freeland, RCNR), HMCS Shawinigan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Balfry, RCNR), HMCS Prescott (Lt. G.H. Davidson, RCN), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) P.J. Fitzgerald, RN) and USS Saucy (Lt. A.J. Smith, USN). (3)

18 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Monkshood (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR) and HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN). (3)

19 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Monkshood (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN) and HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RNR). (3)

20 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR). (3)

21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (3)

22 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR), HMS Columbine T/Lt. A.L. Turner, RNR) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). (3)

25 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN), HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR), HNoMS Narvik and HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN). (3)

26 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN), HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR), HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) and HMS Piroutte (T/Lt. E.R. Pate, RNR). (3)

27 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) and HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR). (3)

28 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR), HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN) and HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN). (3)

29 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN) and HMS Pennyworth (T/Lt. R.A. Mason, RNVR). (3)

2 Jun 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Kirkella (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR) and aircraft. (5)

4 Jun 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wolverine (Lt.Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSC, RN). (5)

11 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Lulworth (Lt.Cdr. C. Gwinner, RN) and HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, RNR).

After completing these exercises HMS H 28 set course for Rothesay escorted by HMS Tango (T/Lt. J. Hunter, RNR). (5)

12 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) arrived at Rothesay. (5)

17 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, RN). (5)


Submarine HMS Unique (N 95)


22 Jul 1942
With her refit completed HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) shifted from Chatham to Sheerness. (6)

25 Jul 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth with convoy CW.110. (6)

26 Jul 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (6)

30 Jul 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Portsmouth for Plymouth. (6)

31 Jul 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

1 Aug 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with aircraft. (7)

3 Aug 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth.

4 Aug 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (7)

7 Aug 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. (7)

9 Aug 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of training. (7)

17 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. These included a practice attack on HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (7)

18 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN) and HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Colvin, RN).

Upon completion of these exercises HMS Unique conducted speed trials on the Arran measured mile. (7)

19 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN), HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Colvin, RN) and later night exercises with HMS P 217 (Lt. E.J.D. Turner, DSC, RN). (7)

20 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) returned to Holy Loch upon completion of the exercises. (7)

21 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted sound trials in Loch Goil. (7)

22 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted trials off Fairlie. (7)

25 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Rothesay. (7)

26 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course). These included practice attacks on HMS L 26 (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN). (7)

27 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course). These included practice attacks on HMS Alecto (Cdr. J.R.S. Brown, RN), HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN), HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN), HMS L'Incomprise (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.S. Deveson, RNR) and HMS Boarhound (Skr. A. Keable, RNR). (7)

28 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). Following these exercises HMS Unique conducted gunnery exercises. (7)

4 Sep 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Holy Loch with HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) for Lerwick. They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (8)

6 Sep 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Lerwick. (8)

7 Sep 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Lerwick for her 21th war patrol. She was ordered to provide cover for convoy operations to and from Northern Russia.

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

(9)

19 Sep 1942 (position 73.02, 18.11)
At 1323 hours, HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) was in position 73°02'N, 18°11'E when a U-boat was sighted at a distance of six nautical miles. Both submarines submerged but contact was lost. (9)

24 Sep 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) ended her 21th war patrol at Lerwick. She departed Lerwick for Holy Loch later the same day.

She made the passage to Holy Loch together with HMS P 221 (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN), HMS HMS P 217 (Lt. E.J.D. Turner, DSC, RN) and HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (8)

26 Sep 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (8)

8 Oct 1942
HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 22th war patrol.

Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN), HMS Sealion (Lt. D. Lambert, DSC, RN) and HMS Graph (Lt. P.B. Marriot, RN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

Unique was ordered to patrol off Northern Spain to intercept the German blockade runner Belgrano and to proceed to Gibraltar upon completion of this patrol where she was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. She was expected to arrive at Gibraltar on 23 October and was declared overdue the next day. (8)

13 Oct 1942 (position 46.54, 6.03)
At 0845 hours (0945 hours, German time) on this day the German tanker Spichern (9323 GRT, built 1935, code name 'Elm', former Norwegian Krossfonn captured on 26 June 1940 by raider Widder) reported that a loud explosion was heard followed by a large column of water about 2000 meters away to port. From the same direction a torpedo track was seen. The Commanding Officer ordered hard to port and the torpedo was observed to run on a parallel course and miss about 50 metres from the port side. Fire was opened with 10.5 cm and 3.7 cm guns.

At 0855 hours (0955 hours, German time), a loud noise similar to a depth charge was heard and two more torpedo tracks were observed at about 3000 metres astern on the port side. They missed the port side by 70 metres. Position of these attacks as reported by Spichern was 46°54'N, 06°03'W.

Spichern was on her way back to France after she had been damaged by Allied aircraft while attempting to pass the Bay of Biscay for operations in the Atlantic on 12 October 1942. Shortly after these submarines attacks (at 1045 hours), her escort to St. Nazaire, the German minesweepers M 24, M 32 and M 152 joined her. Later (at 2345 hours) Sperrbrecher 175 joined for the last part of the passage into St. Nazaire. Spichern anchored in St. Nazaire at 0031/14.

At 0852 hours and 0854 hours, HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN), while in position 46°32'N, 05°55'W, heard two loud explosions. This position was about 23 nautical miles from the position reported by Spichern.

The torpedo attack on Spichern was not reported by any other submarine on patrol at that moment. The attacker must have been HMS Unique. No enemy report was received from Unique. It therefore is possible that HMS Unique was lost during the attack on Spichern. What is reported by Spichern looks like two attacks of two torpedoes. It seems like that during the first attack one of the torpedoes fired prematured possibly damaging Unique. It seems likely Unique was able to fire another two torpedoes against Spichern. Possibly the second explosion heard by Spichern was the demise of HMS Unique (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN). (10)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16824
  2. ADM 173/17200
  3. ADM 173/17201
  4. ADM 173/17201 + ADM 53/116690
  5. ADM 173/17202
  6. ADM 173/17704
  7. ADM 173/17705
  8. ADM 199/424
  9. ADM 199/1817
  10. Forum topic at warsailors.com

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


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