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Page last Updated:
27-Apr-2005

NameClassPennant CrewBuilt BuilderDisposal DateMethod
P552 ex-US S1 SS105, P5524226 Sep 18Quincy, Fore River, USA1944Returned, Scrap
P552, with HangarThe first of the USN S-boats,  not commissioned until 5 Jun 20. After a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, she operated out of New London until 1923. In late 1923, S-1 was modified by the addition of a steel seaplane hangar abaft the conning tower. A Martin MS-1 collapsible seaplane was housed in the hangar. This could be brought out, assembled, and launched by flooding down until the deck was awash. The experiments were continued through 1926. Deactivated at Philadelphia on 20 Oct 37.  Recommissioned on 16 October 1940 as part of the pre-war buildup, served on training duty until the U.S. entry into Second World War. She was transferred to the RN at new London on 20 Apr 42. Renamed as HMS P-552,  arrived UK in July and initially intended that she go to Bombay as a training boat; however this was amended to Simonstown, South Africa. She arrived in South Africa, via Gibraltar and Freetown, in December 1942. She was not in good material condition, and spent much of her time in dockyard hands. Declared unseaworthy following a collision in Durban harbour in January 1944, and paid off into reserve. Nominally returned to USN 16 October 1944. Sold for scrap locally at Durban in June 1946. She was not physically returned to the United States, but was stripped for parts and her hull sold on 20 July 1945. 

P553 ex-US S21SS126, P5534218 Aug 20Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, USA1944Returned
P553, ex USN s21Ex-US S class boat, transferred to RN at New London 14 September 1942. Remained in American waters, based at Halifax, NS, as a training boat. Returned to USN at Philadelphia 11 July 1944. Sunk as a target off New England on 23 March 1945. 

P554 ex-US S22SS127, P5544215 Jul 20Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, USA 1944Returned, Scrap
P554Ex-US S class boat, transferred to RN at New London 19 June 1942. Based at Halifax as a training boat. Returned to the USN at Philadelphia 11 July 1944. Sold 16 Nov 45 and broken up for scrap. 

P555 ex-US S24 SS129, P5554227 Jun 22Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, USA 1942Sunk (Target)
P555, as USN S24Ex-US S Class boat, transferred to RN at New London 10 August 1942. (nicknamed 'State Express').  Arrived UK in October 42 and joined 7th Flotilla at Holy Loch/Rothesay as a training boat. Paid off into reserve May 1944. Nominally returned to USN 20 December 1944. Now lies some miles South West of Portland, 50.30.87N 02.33.43W. Sunk 28-Apr-47 as Asdic Target in depth of 42m. Still reasonably intact and upright (Ack. Darren Wigington). 

P556ex-US S29SS134, P556429 Nov 22Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, USA 1945Returned, Scrap
P556, ex USN S29Ex-US boat, transferred to RN at New London 5 June 1942. Arrived Gibraltar, via Bermuda, in August 1942 to refit, nominally as part of 8th Flotilla. To Plymouth February 1943, for anti-submarine training role. Moved to Portsmouth, same role, in November 1943. Damaged by a battery explosion 27 January 1944, and paid off into reserve in April. Nominally returned to USN 26 January 1945. Sold to Messrs Pounds, Portsmouth for scrap 24 January 1947 (but not broken up for years afterwards, possibly 1987).

 

 

 

 

P611ex-Turkish 'Oruc Reis'401941-2 Vickers Armstrong Barrow1957Scrap
Turkish submarine Oruc Reis being built by Vickers at the outbreak of war. Completed 1 December 1941 and commissioned into RN for work up. Very similar to S Class, but fewer tubes. Decided to complete and deliver this and Murat Reis, so temporarily commissioned in RN as P611 for delivery. Sailed Clyde 26 Mar 42, reaching Turkish base of Iskanderun 9 May, via Gibraltar and Alexandria. 

P612ex-Turkish Murat Reis401939/40 Vickers Armstrong Barrow1957Scrap
Turkish submarine Murat Reis being built by Vickers at the outbreak of war. Very similar to S Class, but fewer tubes. Completed 7 January 1942 and commissioned in RN for work up, attached 3rd Flotilla, Clyde. Decided to complete and deliver this and Oruc Reis, so temporarily commissioned in RN as P612 for delivery. Sailed UK 26 March 1942 in company with P.611, but passage from Gibraltar to eastern Med made separately. Transferred to Turkish navy 25 May 1942 as Murat Reis.

P614ex-Turkish Burak Reis401939/40 Vickers Armstrong Barrow1957Scrap
Turkish submarine Burak Reis being built by Vickers at the outbreak of war. Very similar to S Class, but fewer tubes. Decided to complete and retain this and Uluc Ali Reis, commissioned in RN as P614. Used for training around West of Scotland. While operating and training off Scotland, she was, with P615, one of the boats to have 'starred' as 'Sea Tiger' or P61 in the British wartime film "We Dive at Dawn", with John Mills. (last digit of pennant number painted over). Between April and Oct 1942 was used for patrols off Norway and as escort for convoy PQ17 to Murmansk. Finished off by torpedo the US SS Christopher Newport which had been damaged by bombing. Dec 42 to Aug 43 served in South Atlantic. Oct 43 to Aug 44 refit in UK and then serving with 12th Flotilla working with X Craft at Kames Bay until March 45. Handed over to Turkey 17 Jan 46. See a personal recollection. Picture

P615 ex-TurkishUluc Ali Reis 40 1940 Vickers Armstrong Barrow 18-Apr-43 War Loss
Uluc Ali Reis was being built for Turkey at start of war. Decided to complete and retain in RN. Similar to British S Class. Completed in April 42. Co-star of the film "We Dive at Dawn", with P614 (last digit of pennant number painted over). Escorted convoy PQ17 to Murmansk 1942. Left Freetown, Liberia, 17 April 43 bound for Takoradi under escort from the minesweeper MM107. During the night submarine and escort lost contact and on the morning of the 18th the minesweeper sighted what was thought to be a torpedo track, pass from port to starboard. Contact was gained with P615 and as there was no evidence of a U-boat in the area the torpedo track was put down to a porpoise. P615 and MM107 regained visual contact and the minesweeper took station 300 yards off the submarine’s starboard quarter. At 0950 the minesweeper sighted the merchant vessel Empire Bruce and whilst signalling the ship, noticed that P615 was also signalling. A few minutes later the submarine was seen to explode and sink. Observers suggest that the submarine had been hit on her starboard side by a torpedo although no torpedo track had been seen. She had been hit by a torpedo fired from German Type IXb U-boat U-123. See a personal recollection. (The U-123 had been one of the most successful of all submarines in the war, sinking well over 220,000 tons of shipping. It was later taken over by the French as Blaison and served as until 1959).
P711 Archimede, Ferraris ex X.2, ex-Galileo Galilei 55 01-Aug-34 Cantieri Tosi (Taranto, Italy)  01-Jan-46 Scrap
Formerly the Italian Archimede class submarine Galileo Galilei. Having participated in the Spanish Civil War, Galilei was stationed in the Red Sea in 1940, when her air-conditioning malfunctioned and she was forced to the surface where she engaged British warships until she was captured 19-Oct-40, south of Aden in position 12.48N, 45.12E by the ASW trawler HMS Moonstone. Designated X2 and then P711 by the RN, she operated as a training boat in the East.

P712

HHMS Matrozos

600, Perla ex-Perla 55 3 May 36
Cantieri Riuniti de l'Anreitico (Montfalcone, Italy) 1954 Scrap
P712, PerlaFormerly the Italian submarine Perla, captured in Mediterranean, off Beirut, 9 July 42 by the RN corvette HMS Hyacinth.  Handed over to the Royal Hellenic Navy 5 Dec 42 (CO. Lt J. Massouridis HN). Up to the end of 1944 she accomplished a total of 4 war patrols and served as Matrozos until scrapped in 1954.

P714  

Bronzo, Narval

Acciaio, Platino ex-Bronzo 44 28 Sep 41
Cantieri Tosi (Taranto, Italy)  1949 Scrap
Formerly the Italian Acciao/600 class submarine Bronzo, captured off Syracuse 1943, by HMSs Boston, Cromarty, Poole and Seaham. Handed over to the Free French Navy 29 Jan 44 and renamed Narval. Scrapped 1948.

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