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Seraph (P219)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: S Group 3
Fate: Scrapped Brion Ferr 12/65.

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Ex P69

Seraph was invoved in numerous special operations,most notably the operation that involved the "Man who never was". She was briefly commanded by a USN officer, though only nominally on another special operation. She was streamlined in late 1944 for ASW testing. Numerous parts of her are in the United States.

Related Pages
HMS Seraph: Star of film and booksTrials with HM Submarine Seraph
It cannot be said of many ships of any nationality that they have had two books and a film produced as a result of their efforts. Only one submarine could ever have a signal sent to her reading Hymn No. 30: Verse Five. If you bother to read Hymn 30 in the English Hymnal you will find that verse five reads, "Thus spake the Seraph and, forthwith appeared a shining throng." Clearly we write about the famous HMS Seraph, Barrow-built and still preserved, in part in the United States.
In 1944 the Royal Navy succeeded in modifying one of its conventional submarines, Seraph, to match the performance of the radically new Type XXI fast boats that intelligence showed Germany was developing.1 If the enemy had succeeded in getting the Typ XXI to sea in large numbers, they would have revolutionised submarine warfare, and severely tested Allied anti-submarine defences.


16-08-1940 : Laid Down
25-10-1941 : Launched
10-06-1942 : Completed
29-11-1942 : HMS Seraph fires 4 torpedoes against a convoy about 30 nautical miles west of Marettimo Island, Italy missing the Italian passenger/cargo ship Citta di Tunisi.
04-12-1942 : HMS Seraph fires 4 torpedoes against a convoy about 20 nautical miles west of Marettimo Island, Italy, missing the German transport ship Ankara.
23-12-1942 : HMS Seraph tries to ram the Italian submarine Alagi about 40 nautical miles north-east of Bone, Algeria.
19-04-1943 : 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.
10-09-1943 : HMS Seraph claims the sinking of four small craft with gunfire east of Corsica.
03-11-1943 : HMS Seraph sinks the Greek sailing vessel Aghios Militiades with gunfire off the Kaso Strait east of Crete, Greece.
06-11-1943 : HMS Seraph sinks the Greek sailing vessel Narkyssos with gunfire off Karpathos, Greece.

1 comment

My Uncle William (Bill) Garland had medals with HMS Seraph engraved around the edge, I saw a picture once of the ships crew assebled around the conning tower and looked right into his eyes..does anyone know anything about him please as he never spoke about his service..he was unusally tall for a submariner and wen't through life with a stoop and shot lungs.
Thank you.
   Duncan Mon, 8 Jul 2019

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