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Seal (N37)

Built By: Chatham Dockyard (Medway)
Build Group: G2
Fate: 5 May 1940 - Captured in Kattegat after striking a mine. Majority of crew taken POW.

Roll of Honour

M Barnes  Petty Officer POW Died 09-09-1940
C Smith  Able Seaman

 
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Events

09-12-1936 : Laid Down
27-09-1938 : Launched
24-05-1939 : Completed
01-09-1939 : Seal is on passage from the U.K. to the Far East to join the 1st submarine flotilla based there
05-09-1939 : HMS Seal departed Aden for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
12-09-1939 : HMS Seal briefly put into Perim harbour. She departed later the same day to resume her patrol.
14-09-1939 : HMS Seal ended her 1st war patrol at Aden.
19-09-1939 : HMS Seal departed Aden for her 2nd war patrol. Again she was ordered to patrol off the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
27-09-1939 : HMS Seal ended her 2nd war patrol at Aden
28-09-1939 : HMS Seal departed Aden for Alexandria. It had been decided that HMS Seal was to return to the U.K.
04-10-1939 : HMS Seal arrived at Alexandria
15-10-1939 : HMS Seal arrived at Gibraltar. She departed for Portsmouth later the same day.
20-10-1939 : HMS Seal arrived at Portsmouth
28-10-1939 : HMS Seal then departed Portsmouth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea near the Doggerbank.
07-11-1939 : HMS Seal arrived in the rendezvous position (about 40 nautical miles east of Harwich where destroyer HMS Boadicea was already waiting. As HMS L 26 and HMS Cachalot had not yet arrived A/S practice was given to HMS Seal, while doing so a seaplane was circling then at distance of about 4 miles for half an hour. It then disappeared but returned a few minutes later and bombed them. No damage was done to either Seal or Boadicea.
08-11-1939 : HMS Seal ended her 3rd war patrol at Portsmouth
11-11-1939 : HMS Seal departed Portsmouth for her 4th war patrol. She was to provide ocean escort for convoy O.A. 33 together with HMS Cachalot
23-11-1939 : HMS Seal ended her 4th war patrol at Halifax
14-12-1939 : HMS Seal ended her 5th war patrol at Portsmouth.
08-01-1940 : HMS Seal departed Portsmouth for Rosyth. She made the passage together with HMS Narwhal
10-01-1940 : HMS Seal arrived at Rosyth.
21-01-1940 : HMS Seal departed Rosyth for her 6th war patrol. She was to patrol in the North Sea.
23-01-1940 : HMS Seal ended her 6th war patrol at Rosyth.
31-01-1940 : HMS Seal ended her 7th war patrol at Rosyth.
04-02-1940 : HMS Seal conducted exercises off Rosyth.
05-02-1940 : HMS Seal departed Rosyth for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Southern Norwegian coast and to capture a German iron ore carrier and sent her to Kirkwall. If this was not possible a neutral iron ore carrier was to be seized and sent to Kirkwall. Seal had embarked a boarding party.
23-02-1940 : HMS Seal ended her 8th war patrol at Rosyth.
12-03-1940 : HMS Seal departed Rosyth for her 9th war patrol. She is to patrol in the Skagerrak as a cover for Operation R.3, an attempt to intervene in Norway by using the pretext of assistance to Finland. The operation will be cancelled the following day when the news of an armistice between Finnish and Soviet forces has been signed.

HMS Seal remained on patrol.
25-03-1940 : HMS Seal ended her 9th war patrol at Rosyth. A new battery was to be fitted to before she could go out on patrol again.
06-04-1940 : HMS Seal departed Rosyth for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off southern Norway between Egersund and Lindesnes. Later she moved to the Stavanger area.
08-04-1940 : Late in the evening HMS Seal collided with the Estonian merchant Otto in thick fog. Seal sustained minor damage and was able to remain on patrol.
13-04-1940 : HMS Seal closed the harbour of Stavanger, Norway. No enemy warships or merchants were sighted inside the harbour. Seal then withdrew to seaward.
19-04-1940 : HMS Seal ended her 10th war patrol at Rosyth. She departed for Blyth later the same day
20-04-1940 : HMS Seal arrived at Blyth.
29-04-1940 : HMS Seal shifted from Blyth to Immingham where she embarked a full load of mines
30-04-1940 : HMS Seal departed Immingham for her 11th war patrol. she was ordered to lay a minefield south of the Swedish island of Vinga in the Kattegat, across a German convoy route to Norway.
04-05-1940 : HMS Seal successfully laid 50 mines. Shorty after completing the lay she hit a mine herself and was badly damaged. She was put on the bottom until after dark when she surfaced and tried to make for Swedish waters but failed to do so due to the heavy damage.

She was attacked by German He-115 aircraft from Aalborg, Denmark and then by a German Ar-196 seaplane, which also attacked. Joined by a second Arado. Unable to dive, with her crew suffering from CO2 poisoning, Seal put up a fight but the Lewis gun jammed. The auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-128 arrived on the scene. The crew of Seal then surrendered, expecting the submarine to sink, but it stayed afloat. All crew taken prisoner except for one casualty. Seal was towed to Frederikshavn, and later to Kiel.
05-05-1940 : The small Swedish fishing vessel GG 256 / Almy hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat on 4 May 1940.
06-05-1940 : The German merchant Vogesen hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat on 4 May 1940.
28-05-1940 : The Swedish merchant Torsten hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat on 4 May 1940.
31-05-1940 : The small Swedish fishing vessel GG 5/Mode hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat on 4 May 1940.
05-06-1940 : The Danish sailing vessel Skandia (183 GRT) hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat on 4 May 1940


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