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Tetrarch (N77)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: T Group 1
Fate: Lost cause unknown in Western Med or about 2 November 1941.
Tetrarch Sketch
Tetrarch Sketch

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Tetrarch Found

Submitted by Jean-Pierre Misson - 19/01/2019

Several wrecks in a limited perimeter, off Tabarka Tunisia, have been sonar-located and identified as "Submarine" from their sonar image alone. Out of a total of five British submarines, three have been identified as being . These are Tabarka Wrecks 2F, 4M'a, 4M'b. Wreck 2F (previously believed to be HMS Tigris) has been conclusively identified as being HMS Tetrarch.

A renewed analysis of the images has allowed the identification of Mine Wells on the Starboard Ballast Tank of this wreck (only the well nearest to the muzzle of Torpedo Tube 9 is clearly visible). The distortion on image 3 is due to the need to adjust the range and pivot of the picture so as to see the Mine Well and its Shutter (both being physically "near-flat" on the ballast tank).

Out of all the units that are candidates to being found off Tabarka only HMS Tetrarch had the additional capability of Mine Laying. Thus, it can now be said that HMS Tetrarch has been conclusively identified off Tabarka, in Position: 37° 04' 32" N, 8° 52' 34" E. Depth: circa 70-75m

The astounding result of this identification is that the minefield that caused so many foundering's must have been laid earlier than the date when HMS Tetrarch was lost in late 1941. Therefore, the earlier assumption that the minefield might have been planted by the German 3S Flotilla, is to be totally dismissed. This minefield was installed by the Italian Navy because the 3S Flotilla started laying mines off the Tunisian coast in late 1942, at the earliest.

So far , no record has been found about an Italian minefield planted off Tabarka in late 1941 but this can be explained by the fact that many Italian records did not survive the war. The the overall sonar picture of the forward section of the submarine clearly shows that a portion of the prow is missing as a result of hitting a mine.

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This document might be further elaborated, later. At this point in time it is sufficient to say that we now know where the Crew of HMS Tetrarch is resting. There were no survivors, Tabarka Wreck 2F is their tomb.

Roll of Honour

Anderson  Stoker 1st Class
Bancroft  Leading Seaman
Bell  Leading Stoker
Brown  Petty Officer
Brown  Able Seaman DSM
Campion  Stoker 1st Class
Cornish-Bowden  Lieutenant
Davies  Able Seaman
Deeley  Stoker 1st Class
Elliott  Chief Engine Room Artificer DSM
Evans  Able Seaman
Greenway  Lieutenant Commander
Hall  Able Seaman
Hearndon  Petty Officer MID
Hornsby  Petty Officer Telegraphist
Jacobs  Stoker 1st Class
Kennett  Able Seaman
Kerry  Telegraphist
Lickiss  Leading Telegraphist
Livingstone  Petty Officer Telegraphist MID
Lucas  Leading Stoker
McBride  Petty Officer MID
Meyrick  Lieutenant
Molesworth  Able Seaman
Morrison  Able Seaman
Murdoch  Stoker 1st Class
Newman  Engine Room Artificer 1st Class
Norris  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class MID
Northover  Yeoman of Signals
Parsons  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class
Pearson  Stoker Petty Officer
Pepper  Leading Seaman
Phillips  Lieutenant (E)
Quested  Leading Seaman
Richards  Stoker 1st Class
Rowland  Able Seaman
Scott  Stoker Petty Officer
Sharples  Able Seaman
Simmons  Stoker 1st Class
Smith  Able Seaman
Spencer  Able Seaman NZ
Tavolier  Able Seaman
Taylor  Stoker 1st Class
Weetman  Leading Stoker
Willcocks  Ordinary Seaman
Wilson  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class
Winter  Leading Stoker


24-08-1938 : Laid Down
24-08-1938 : Launched
04-07-1939 : Completed
13-04-1940 : Tetrarch's first patrol was carried out in C9 - the Lillesand sector. The boat made what was thought to be an unsuccessful attack on a transport and as a result was depth-charged for 43 hours. Surfaced for 3 minutes in the middle of enemy vessels and fired torpedoes at A/S trawler
23-04-1940 : 18:30 Sighted a Southbound enemy convoy bearing 270, distance about 5 nautical miles. The convoy was made up of a large merchant vessel and three escorts. They are described as destroyers in the patrol report but they were not destroyers. The vessels were Ahrensburg on passage from Larvik to Fredrikshaven according to Rowher, escorted by T153, T155, F5, F8 and the minesweepers R33, R37 and R40

18:33 Tetrarch fired two torpedoes, range 4,000 yards, flat calm. Went deep and retired at high speed.

1837: Returned to periscope depth. Three escorting destroyers were seen approaching down the torpedo tracks a high speed. One of the destroyers was only 1500 yards away. Tetrarch went to 300 feet at full speed. Trim lost. Mills temporarily lost control and the boat dived to 400'

At 20:00 hours A/S trawlers joined in the hunt for Tetrarch

22:22 Surfaced, sighted two trawlers 1,000 yards away bearing down fast. Two torpedoes were fired. One one torpedo hit the UB boat. German sources indicate just three survivors.

Tetrarch was kept down at night and was therefore unable to charge batteries. Tetrarch eventually surfaced at 2130 hours on 24 April 1940 and set course back to Rosyth
20-05-1940 : HMS Tetrarch captures the Danish fishing vessel Emmanuel and sinks the Danish fishing vessel Terieven with scuttling charges in the North Sea west of Denmark.
16-06-1940 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes and sinks the German tanker Samland south-west of Lista, Norway.
04-11-1940 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Snia Amba off Benghazi, Libya.
12-04-1941 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes and sinks the Italian tanker Persiano about 30 nautical miles north-west of Tripoli, Libya.
18-05-1941 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Giovinezza off Bengasi, Libya.
22-07-1941 : HMS Tetrarch claims to have damaged a sailing vessel with gunfire in the Aegean off Karlovassi.
25-07-1941 : HMS Tetrarch attacks the Greek tanker Olympos off Gaidero Island, Greece. The vessel is not hit.
27-07-1941 : HMS Tetrarch sinks the Italian sailing vessel Nicita with gunfire 5 nautical miles south of Kos, Greece.
23-08-1941 : HMS Tetrarch sinks the Italian sailing vessels V 72/Fratelli Garre and V 113/Francesco Garre with gunfire in the Gulf of Syrte.
26-09-1941 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes sinks the Italian merchant Citta di Bastia in the Aegean Sea about 18 nautical miles south of Milos Island, Greece.
27-09-1941 : HMS Tetrarch sinks the Greek sailing vessel Panagiotis Kramottos with gunfire south-west of Milos Island, Greece.
28-09-1941 : HMS Tetrarch torpedoes and damages the German merchant Yalova in the Aegean Sea south of Agios Giorgios Island.
27-11-1941 : HMS Tetrarch left Malta on 26th October 1941 bound for Gibraltar. The route she was to take meant her passing through a known minefield. On Monday 27th she communicated with P34 who was in the same area. This was the last contact with the submarine. It is believed that she struck a mine on 27th.

1 comment

Good evening. I would like to say a big thank you for the information you have given here. I am researching my family and my uncle was leading seaman C/JX 145671 William Edward Pepper, lost on Tetrarch. I have read some conflicting reports that the wreck off Tabarka cannot be Tetrarch.
Thank you again Patrick Pepper
   Patrick Pepper Tue, 7 May 2019

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