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Taku (N38)

Built By: Cammell Laird (Mersey)
Build Group: T Group 1
Fate: Scrapped in November 1946 at Llanelly.
Taku (N38)
Taku (N38)

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Taku's attempted trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1941Read
On Monday 14th February 1941, HM Submarine Taku sailed quietly from Holy Loch in Scotland bound for Nova Scotia. She was under escort and commanded by Lieutenant Brown. No-one could possibly have imagined or foreseen what would happen in the days following this departure


18-11-1937 : Laid Down
20-05-1939 : Launched
03-01-1940 : Completed
17-04-1940 : While searching for 5 German destroyers reported to be in her area HMS Taku fires 4 torpedoes against the British destroyer HMS Ashanti. Luckily all torpedoes missed their target.
08-05-1940 : HMS Taku attacks a German convoy with ten torpedoes and torpedoes and damages the German torpedo boat Mwe east of Denmark. After the attack Taku was depth charged for 10 hours.
02-11-1940 : HMS Taku hit the the German tanker Gedania in the Bay of Biscay about 35 nautical miles south-west of Belle-Isle island with a dud torpedo.
06-05-1941 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Cagliari in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 20 nautical miles north-north-west of Stromboli Island, Italy.
11-06-1941 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the German munitions transport Tilly L.M. Russ at Bengasi, Libya.
12-06-1941 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Silvio Scaroniin the Gulf of Syrte 70 nautical miles off Benghazi, Libya.
13-07-1941 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the Italian passenger/cargo ship Caldea 10 nautical miles off the Bengasi lighthouse, Libya.
15-07-1941 : HMS Taku sinks the Italian auxiliary minesweeper Vincenso P. about 25 nautical miles south-east of Auegia, Libya.
15-08-1942 : HMS Taku attacks the German merchant Menes with 4 torpedoes about 90 nautical miles north-east of Benghazi, Libya. All 4 torpedoes missed their target.
24-10-1942 : HMS Taku sinks a small Greek sailing vessel with gunfire west of Kos, Greece
25-10-1942 : HMS Taku attacks the Italian tanker Arca off Chios, Greece. The torpedoes missed their target.
26-10-1942 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the Italian tanker Arca south-west of Chios, Greece.
27-10-1942 : HMS Taku sinks the Greek sailing vessel Lora with gunfire off Lemnos, Greece.
31-10-1942 : HMS Taku fires four torpedoes against the Italian tanker Cerere about 10 nautical miles south of Cape Sounio, Greece. All torpedoes fired missed their target.
14-12-1942 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the Italian tanker Delfin in the Aegean Sea about 5 nautical miles north of Macrosini island, Greece
22-12-1942 : HMS Taku sinks the Greek sailing vessel Nikiwith gunfire in the Potidea Channel.
07-02-1944 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Rheinhausen about 20 nautical miles north of Stavanger, Norway.
12-02-1944 : HMS Taku torpedoes and heavily damages the German merchant Harm Fritzen off Stavanger, Norway.
13-02-1944 : HMS Taku torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Hans Bornhofen in the Boknafjorden, 8 nautical miles south of Skudeneshavn, Norway.
24-03-1944 : HMS Taku fires 5 torpedoes against the German merchant Moshill in a German convoy about 25 nautical miles west of Namsos, Norway, but missed.

1 comment

My father, Horace Walter James, served as a Warrant Engineer Officer on Taku during the latter part of WW2. He told me that, whilst on the submarine, Taku led other submarines into the Skagerrak to attack enemy shipping. Whilst negotiating one of the minefields in the area, one of the hydroplanes snagged a mine mooring wire which they later thought must have been in close proximity to and caught one of the detonation horns. The resulting explosion apparently put one propeller shaft out of action and bent the other one. This, according to my father, occurred in April 1944. All this was confirmed by a friend whilst we were both at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, Plymouth - his father was navigating the second submarine (a small world). I don't know how long it took for the submarine to be returned to an operational state but my father remained on Taku for the rest of WW2.
Courtesy of my father, I do have a section of the voice pipe - crumpled by the explosion - mounted on the detonation plate of a 4in shell. Inscription "Mined Your Own Business - Skagerrak April 1944".

I hope this is of use.
   David James Fri, 15 Mar 2019

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