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On This Day - April 19

1912D6Completed
1916K15Laid Down
1917H31Laid Down
1940Triad (N53)HMS Triad fires four torpedoes against the German depot ship Tsingtau in the Skagerrak south of the Oslofjord. All torpedoes missed.
1940Seal (N37)HMS Seal ended her 10th war patrol at Rosyth. She departed for Blyth later the same day
1940Torbay (N79)Launched
1942Torbay (N79)HMS Torbay sinks the German auxiliary submarine chaser 13 V 2/Delpa II with gunfire north of Crete.
1942Thrasher (N37)HMS Thrasher attacks the German barge F 184 with gunfire west of Derna, Libya. Return fire forced Thrasher to break off the attack.
1942Umbra (P35)HMS Umbra torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Assunta De Gregori off Sfax, Tunisia.
1943Seraph (P219)HMS Seraph sailed at 6 pm on 19th April. 1943 - with 'Major William Martin' safely stored in a six-foot metal canister packed with dry ice. For ten days Seraph surfaced only at night

On the morning of 30th April, 1600 yards off Huelva. Spain, Seraph surfaced and 'Major Martin' was slid out of his canister into the sea. He was sighted by a Spanish fisherman later that morning and recovered by the authorities. A post-mortem revealed that death was caused by 'asphyxiation through immersion in the sea'. The German agent in Huelva 'played his part' and his superiors were alerted to the existence of the documents. To complete the plot, 'Pam' sent a wreath to the 'Major's' funeral in Spain, and his name was inserted in the casualty list, which appeared in 'The Times' of 4th June 1943

The success of 'Major Martin's' mission can be measured from remarks in Field-Marshal Rommel's personal papers, which reveal that when the Allies invaded Sicily the German defence was led astray - 'as a result of a diplomatic courier's body being washed up off Spain'

These missions were vital to the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower, and Seraph's exploits saved thousands of Allied lives. General Patton himself praised the Seraph's conduct during the invasion of Sicily, and Lieutenant Jewell subsequently received the Legion of Merit - the highest American honour that can be bestowed on a foreigner

When she was scrapped in 1963, a Seraph Memorial was erected in Citadel campus at the Military College of South Carolina, and includes Seraph's periscope, fore hatch, plane wheels and other items from the Barrow-built submarine.
1943Unrivalled (P45)HMS Unrivalled sinks the Italian merchantmen Mostaganem & Bivona off Sicily
1943Saracen (P247)HMS Saracen sank the italian boat Francesco Crispi near cap Punta Nera Elba's isle in Tirreno Sea.
1944Tantalus (P318)HMS Tantalus sinks the Malaysian tug Kampung Besar with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.
1944Unruly (P49)HMS Unruly sinks two sailing vessels with gunfire and scuttling charges in the Gulf of Izmir, Turkey
1951Sidon (P259)Sidon took part in the search for HMS Affray which was missing in the English Channel.
1975Revenge (S27)Recommissioned at HM Naval Base Rosyth
2004Tireless (S88)Tireless and USS Hampton rendezvoused under the Arctic ice and surfaced together at the North Pole.

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