Orpheus (N46)

Built By: Beardmore (Clyde)
Build Group: O Group 2
Fate: HMS Orpheus was declared overdue on 27th June 1940. The likely cause of her loss with all hands is that she was mined off Benghazi.

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When on patrol, the daily fuel consumption for all overseas patrol classes, allowing 12 hours diving, 12 hours steaming at slow speed and eight hours charging, was given as 2.1 tons per day, except in Orpheus (the only vessel of the Odin Class to be fitted with a Vulcan clutch) where the consumption was 2.6 tons per day.

HMS Orpheus was based in the Far East with the 4th Submarine Flotilla at the outbreak of WWII. After completing five War Patrols in the Indian Ocean (one off Chagos, two off Chagos & the Maldives, one en-route to Madagascar from Colombo, Ceylon and a fifth one off Reunion) HMS Orpheus was also diverted to the Mediterranean in June 1940.

The Submarine went missing on her first Mediterranean War Patrol sometime after 2115 hours on 19th June 1940 when she sent her last signal. Orpheus was then en-route to Benghazi, Libya where she was to patrol until 1600 hours on 24th June 1940 and then return to Alexandria where she was due to arrive on 26th June 1940.

It has been claimed that HMS Orpheus was sunk on 19th June 1940 while on patrol about 25 nautical miles north of Tobruk, Libya in position 32º30'N, 24º00'E by the Italian destroyer Turbine but as this was before Orpheus sent her last signal this must be incorrect apart from the fact that Orpheus at that moment must still have been on passage to Benghazi. HMS Orpheus was declared overdue on 27th June 1940. The likely cause of her loss with all hands is that she was mined off Benghazi.

HMS Orpheus was the third submarine to be lost in the space of a week.

Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Allen, Donovan Joseph  Able Seaman  D/JX 135712    24
Allen, Stanley Charles  Leading Seaman  D/JX 140566    23
Armstrong, Joseph Durly  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 46926    28
Ayers, William Frank  Able Seaman  P/J 104425    35
Bevis, Percy Aubrey  Leading Telegraphist  P/JX 127388    30
Biddulph, Percy  Petty Officer Telegraphist  D/JX 135822    24
Burtenshaw, Claude Wilfrid  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 83687    30
Butler, Leonard William  Leading Stoker  D/KX 80445    28
Critchell, William James George  Leading Seaman  P/J 108154    33
Cross, Eric Keith  Warrant Engineer  (Ex.Mx46621)    38
Dance, James William  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class  D/MX 46010    28
Davies, Cecil Thomas  Lieutenant      29
Dolton, Leslie Harold  Leading Stoker  P/KX 79513    30
Ellison, James William  Leading Telegraphist  C/JX 134273    25
Evans, Joseph Durly  Leading Signalman  C/JX 125744    29
Fawkes, Philip Francis  Lieutenant      23
Foreman, Charles Herbert Edwin  Leading Stoker  C/KX 87290    23
Forrester, William John  Leading Cook  D/MX 51359    25
Fox, Eric Sidney Stanley  Able Seaman  C/JX 140025    21
Gill, Robert Victor  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 51228    26
Glanvill, Frank  Able Seaman  D/JX 139363    22
Hardaker, Gordon  Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist  C/J 113288    31
Hawkins, Albert Henry  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 86050    23
Jones, William Charles  Stoker Petty Officer  C/K 65765    33
Kellaway, Leslie Reginald  Able Seaman  D/JX 130873    29
Kemp, William Henry  Leading Stoker  P/KX 80758    28
Kitson, James  Engine Room Artificer 1st Class  C/MX 46150    36
Lumby, Roy  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 76361    32
Manuel, William John  Petty Officer  C/J 112460    31
Martin, George Gilbert  Petty Officer  C/JX 152148    24
McGrath, Michael  Able Seaman  D/SSX 17773    24
McLean, Arthur Wedmore  Leading Stoker  P/KX 80825    28
McLoughlin, Noel  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 80968    27
McNally, James Edward  Leading Stoker  C.KX 88352    22
North, William  Leading Seaman  D/JX 136514    25
Pallister, Harry  Leading Stoker  P/KX 85505    28
Penfound, Leonard Charles Henry  Chief Engine Room Artificer  D/M 38828    30
Perry, Edwin George  Able Seaman  P/JX 131807    27
Perry, Edwin George DoB 27/12/1912 Age 27 CWGC has Age at 36
Phelps, Richard Henry  Stoker Petty Officer  P/KX 79196    33
Pickthall, Thomas  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 90145    23
Powell, William John  Able Seaman  C/JX 128451    30
Reeson, Frank  Leading Seaman  C/JX 129337    28
Roberts, Harold Maynard  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class  D/M 38395    31
Robertson, Frank Sheed  Leading Stoker  D/KX 85172    24
Salt, Bert Frederick  Leading Seaman  C/JX 139996    22
Scott, Thomas Norman  Chief Petty Officer  P/J 84952    37
Strawbridge, Reginald John James  Telegraphist  D/J 107440    33
Symonds, John Davey  Sub Lieutenant      21
Tott, Frederick Reginald  Petty Officer  P/J 101298    34
Venning, Leslie Charles  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 86974    23
Waddell, Robert  Able Seaman  C/SSX 16268    24
Watts, Ernest Henry  Leading Stoker  P/KX 82231    26
Wise, James Anthony Surtees  Lieutenant Commander      32
Commanding Officer
Wood, Frank Herbert  Leading Seaman  D/JX 136989    24


14-04-1927 : Laid Down
26-02-1929 : Launched
23-09-1930 : Completed
27-06-1940 : Declared overdue. The likely cause of her loss with all hands is that she was mined off Benghazi.


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