John Henry Eaden DSC, RN

Born  23 Feb 1910

Ranks

1 May 1930 A/S.Lt.
1 Jan 1931 S.Lt.
1 Oct 1932 Lt.
1 Oct 1940 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1945 Cdr.

Retired: 9 Jan 1955


Decorations

23 Dec 1939 DSC
21 Dec 1943 Bar to DSC
9 May 1944 2nd Bar to DSC

Warship Commands listed for John Henry Eaden, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Spearfish (N 69)Lt.Submarine17 Dec 193812 Nov 1939
HMS Venetia (D 53)Lt.Destroyer20 Nov 193927 Mar 1940
HMS Utmost (N 19)Lt.Submarine24 Jun 194030 Jan 1941
HMS Upright (N 89)Lt.Cdr.Submarine16 Dec 19406 Jan 1941
HMS Walpole (D 41)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer14 Mar 1941Aug 1942
HMS Inconstant (H 49)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer1 May 19435 Sep 1943
HMS Inconstant (H 49)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer8 Nov 194313 Jul 1944
HMS Chelmer (K 221)Lt.Cdr.Frigate8 Sep 1944Mar 1945
HMS Caradoc (D 60)Cdr.Light cruiser23 Jul 1945Sep 1945
HMS Gorleston (Y 92)Cdr.SloopSep 194529 Sep 1945

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Spearfish (N 69)


23 Aug 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) departed Portland for Dundee. She made the passage together with HMS Sturgeon (Lt. G.D.A. Gregory, RN) and HMS Swordfish (Lt. C.B. Crouch, RN). (1)

25 Aug 1939
At 0523 hours, HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) left her sister ships and set course for her patrol area to the south-west of Stavanger, Norway. When the war with Germany commenced this became her 1st war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Spearfish during this patrol (from 23 August 1939 onwards) see the map below.

(2)

3 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) was ordered to patrol further to the east.

At 1121 hours it was thought a torpedo track crossed the bow of Spearfish and that she was attacked by an enemy submarine. No enemy submarines were however in the area and the attack was bogus. (2)

7 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Dundee. (2)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) departed Dundee for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Denmark.

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

(2)

24 Sep 1939 (position 55.12, 6.50)
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) was heavily damaged by German warships off Horns Reef. She was unable to submerge but nevertheless managed to escape. A rescue mission was undertaken by the British Humber force and Home fleet. Spearfish safely put in Rosyth on the 27th. Repairs to Spearfish were completed in early March 1940.

(All times are zone -1)
24 September 1939
0346 hours - Dived in position 55°20'N, 06°50E.

0420 hours - Heard a curious 'gurgling grunt' noise. Heard very faint HE ahead. Spearfish was severly handicapped by not being able to use her Asdic in the shallow water.

0713 hours - A depth charge exploded vibrating the whole submarine. Bottomed in 84 feet and stopped all machinery possible and listened carefully. Except for the intermittent 'gurgling grunt' all was quiet.

0800 hours - Position was now 55°12'N, 06°50'E.

0900 hours - Decided to come to periscope depth and have a look as nothing had been heard for nearly two hours except for the 'gurgling grunts'. Went to diving stations.

0905 hours - The ballast pump had hardly been running for three minutes when a heavy depth charge exploded quite close and shook the submarine. It blew the steering motor fuses but otherwise did no damage. It was now apparent that Spearfish was being hunted. Immediately stopped all machinery.

The enemy remained in the area for the whole day until at .....

1720 hours - Some form of wire or grapnel was heard passing over the after jumping stay. Next a bump on the after casing followed by a series of short bumps moving aft. The charge thn exploded with a most appaling crash. The whole ship appeared to spring inwards and then open out again. Nearly all lights were smashed including glass shades. Ordered the crew to diving stations, switch on secondary lighting and investigate the damage. Immediate damage was as follows:
Engine room pressure hull and frames badly pushed in and leaking.
Port main motor cooler burst and port main motor switchboard covered in water.
Serious HP air leaks.
Main battery ventilation drain running water.

As soon as it became apparent that there was no immediate danger of the ship flooding up, new light bulbs were fitted, broken glass carefully swept up and HP air leaks stopped as far as possible. Apart from this no more was done to avoid making any more noise.

Although more charges were expected after the first charges no more followed. Decided to remain down because it was quite possible that the emeny was not aware that Spearfish had been hit and damaged. The crew meanwhile behaved magnificently to the highest standards of the submarine service.

1800 hours - Issued a tot of rum to all officers and crew and made them lie down to conserve air which was getting very foul. Several of the crew were breathing heavily.

1830 hours - The bow started to lift sharply and then fall back with a thud. This was repeated about 20 times. This was most likely caused by swinging to the tide.

1920 hours - Mustered all hands. Explained the intention to blow all tanks by 2030 hours to get to the surface. If there was an ememy in sight on surfacing we would engage them. Started to prepair for surfacing.

2000 hours - Position still 55°12'N, 06°50'E.

2043 hours - All hand at dining stations. Blew main ballast and surfaced. No enemy in sight. Visibility was about three nautical miles. Proceeded slow ahead on the main motor on a course of 35 degrees.

2100 hours - Started the starboard engine.

2245 hours - Started the port engine. Meanwhile repairs were carried out to the damage which included smashed W/T aerials.

25 September 1939
0500 hours (approx) - Passed signals for assistance on fully rigged aerial. They had not been passed earlier for fear of D/F. Closed to within three neatical miles of Danish territorial waters.

0720 hours - Altered course to 320° to make for the Norwegian coast.

0804 hours - Sighted smoke coming from the southward. Could not wait to verify the smoke but they might well be enemy patrols. Altered course towards Danish waters. Patrolled near Danish territorial waters.

1435 hours - Sighted two large single wing float planes to the southward. The nearest passed about four nautical miles away. Avoided detection by keeping within 500 yards of some sand dunes and steaming slow on one engine. Manned the Lewis gun and two rifles.

1543 hours - Sighted two float planes, possibly the same two returning, the nearest machine was flying very low and passed two to three nautical miles away. Manned the Lewis gun and the rifles as before.

2005 hours - Set course to 287° to make for rendez-vous position signalled by Capt.(D) 6. (2)

26 Sep 1939
At 0043 hours, HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) arrived at the rendez-vous point ordered. Two minutes later two Tribal class destroyers were sighted. These were HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) and HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN).

At 0700 hours they were joined by the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN), HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) as well as destroyer HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN).

Besides the ships mentioned above the following warships were involved in bringing home HMS Spearfish.
Battleships
HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN)
HMS Rodney (Capt. Sir E.N. Syfret, RN)

Battlecruisers
HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN)
HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN)

Aircraft carrier
HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN)

Heavy cruiser
HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, MVO, DSO, RN)

Light cruisers
HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN)
HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN)
HMS Newcastle (Capt J. Figgins, RN)
HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN)

Destroyers
HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN)
HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN)
HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN)
HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN)
HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN)
HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN)
HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN)
HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN)
HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN)
HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN)
HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN)
HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN)
HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN)
HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN)
HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) (3)

27 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) arrived at Rosyth ending her 2nd war patrol. (3)

28 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) was docked at Rosyth to examine the damage. (3)

29 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) was undocked. (3)

30 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) shifted from Royth to Newcastle where repairs were to be undertaken at the Swan Hunter shipyard. (3)


Submarine HMS Utmost (N 19)


15 Aug 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for the Clyde. (4)

16 Aug 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) arrived in the Clyde area for a period of trials and training. (4)

10 Sep 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) was docked at Ardrossan. (4)

11 Sep 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) was undocked. (4)

16 Sep 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) departed the Clyde area for Portsmouth. (4)

20 Sep 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (4)

21 Sep 1940
While bottoming at Portsmouth during an air raid HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) sustained damage to her fore hydroplanes. (5)

25 Sep 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 1st war patrol. She was to have sailed on 22 September but was delayed by defects. She was ordered to patrol in the English Channel.

As no log is available for this period no map can be displayed. (6)

5 Oct 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Portsmouth.

There were problems with 'singing' propellers. These were changed and several trials were undertaken afterwards. The dates Utmost as docked are unfortunately not known to us. (6)

28 Oct 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar. She was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. En-route she was to make a short 48-hour patrol in the Bay of Biscay making this her 2nd war patrol.

As no log is available for this period no map can be displayed. (4)

5 Nov 1940 (position 37.58, -9.50)
At about 1845 hours, in position 37°58'N, 09°50'W, HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) stopped the Portuguese fishing vessel Machado (316 GRT, 1919) but released her after examination.

6 Nov 1940 (position 36.08, -8.45)
At 1225 hours, in position 36°08'N, 08°45'W, HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) was rammed by the British destroyer HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN). Encounter was part of the destroyer screen for the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt C.E.B. Simeon, RN). Both Utmost and Encounter were damaged. They were escorted to Gibraltar by HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN).

7 Nov 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar where repairs were undertaken to make her seaworthy again and made her able to dive. Permanent repairs were to be undertaken at Malta. (4)

30 Nov 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

As no log is available for this period no map can be displayed. (4)

8 Dec 1940
HMS Utmost (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. Before she was to be used operationally she had to undergo repairs to her pressure hull that was damaged when she was rammed by HMS Encounter on 6 November. (4)


Submarine HMS Upright (N 89)


18 Dec 1940
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN, in temporary command as Lt. Brooks was sick, in fact he did not return to Upright) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Tripoli, Libya.

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

(7)

19 Dec 1940
Following the disappearance of the Free French submarine Narval, HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) is ordered to another patrol area near the Kerkenah bank, Tunisia, in case code books have been compromised. (7)

24 Dec 1940
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

31 Dec 1940
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) was docked at Malta. (8)

3 Jan 1941
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) was undocked. (9)


Destroyer HMS Inconstant (H 49)


12 Jul 1943 (position 37.12, 4.00)
German U-boat U-409 was sunk in the Mediterranean north-east of Algiers, in position 37°12'N, 04°00'E, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN).

26 Jan 1944
HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN) picks up 68 survivors from the American merchant Andrew G. Curtin that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-716 in the Norwegian Sea in position 73°22'N, 24°15'E.

30 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
German U-boat U-314 was sunk in the Barents Sea south-east of Bear Island, in position 73°40'N, 27°20'E, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN).

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16114
  2. ADM 199/1843
  3. ADM 173/16115
  4. ADM 199/2573
  5. ADM 199/373
  6. ADM 199/1922
  7. ADM 199/283
  8. ADM 173/16689
  9. ADM 173/17142

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


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