Allied Warships

HMS Vivid (P 77)

Submarine of the V class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantP 77 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered21 May 1942 
Laid down27 Oct 1942 
Launched15 Sep 1943 
Commissioned19 Jan 1944 
End service 

Scrapped at Faslane in October 1950.


Commands listed for HMS Vivid (P 77)

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1Lt. John Cromwell Varley, RN25 Oct 19434 Mar 1945
2Lt. David Sivewright Brown, RNVRFeb 194530 Apr 1945
3Lt. Ronald Max Seaburne-May, DSC, RN4 Mar 1945

4Lt. John Cromwell Varley, RN30 Apr 194518 Aug 1945
5Lt. George Edward Lynton Foster Edsell, RN18 Aug 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Vivid include:

9 Jun 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Tanais (1545 GRT, built 1906) off Crete in position 35°35'N, 25°11'E.

At 0231 hours (time zone -2) an object as sighted that was later identified as the German merchant Tanais escorted by three or four smaller vessels.

At 0308 hours, while the target was at 3500 yards, Lt. Verley dived to make a submerged torpedo attack.

At 0312 hours four torpedoes were fired at 2400 yards. 95 seconds after firing the first torpedo an explosion was heard followed 12 seconds later by a second explosion. After firing the torpedoes Lt. Varley took Vivid to 300 feet but she was not counter attacked. At 0509 hours Vivid came to periscope depth but there was nothing in sight.

1 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) was docked at Malta. (1)

7 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) was undocked at Malta. (1)

14 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Suzanne (552 GRT, former Spanish San Juan II, built 1919) in Livadia Bay, Piscopi, Greece.

At 1000 hours (time zone -2) Vivid arrived off Livadia Bay. The German merchant Suzanne and a UJ boat were seen to be at anchor inside the Bay. The UJ boat appeared to be weighing anchor. Vivid closed Suzanne for a torpedo attack.

At 1016 hours two torpedoes were fired against the Suzanne. The first torpedo hit the target. In the meantime the UJ boat was underway and was closing Vivid. Lt. Varley took the submarine deep and cleared the bay. The UJ boat was unable to obtain a contact on Vivid and she was able to slip away undetected.

19 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) sank a Greek fishing vessel with gunfire off Santorini Island, Greece.

21 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire off Monemvassia, Greece.

22 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German guard boat GA 71/P?trel VI north of Suda Bay, Crete, Greece.

11 Aug 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) attacked the small German merchant Toni (638 GRT, former Greek Thalia) between Milos and Suda Bay in position 36°01'N, 24°05'E. The attack is unsuccessful.

8 Oct 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Achilles (1150 GRT) north-west of Chios Island, Greece.

She also sank the German tugs Horst and Paul with gunfire.

22 Jun 1945
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN) sank a junk with a demolition charge in the Strait of Malacca in position 04°13'N, 99°20'E.

At 0930 hours (time zone -6.5) HMS Vivid sights a junk of about 30 tons in position 04°17'N, 99°15'E.

At 1049 hours Vivid surfaces and start to close the junk. At 1115 hours, while Vivid was 5000 yards away, three rounds with the deck gun were fired across the junks bow. The junk now lowered her sails.

At 1127 hours the junk was boarded. The cargo was found to consist of loaf tobacco in bales. Scuttling charges were placed fore and aft and the crew of three was taken aboard.

At 1145 hours Vivid slipped from the junk. four minutes later the demolition charges were fired. The junk started to settle but did not sink. It was then found out that one of the crew of the junk was well into the third stage of syphilis so it was decided that all three had to go in their sampan (that was alongside the junk) and try to reach Sumatra.

At 1221 hours Vivid was alongside the junk again. The three crewmembers were put in their sampan and a further demolition charge was placed aboard the junk. At 1226 hours Vivid slipped from the junk and three minutes later the demolition charge went off. The junk was finally seen to sink at 1330 hours.


  1. ADM 173/19309

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

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