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P32

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: U Group 2
Fate: 18th August struck mine off Tripoli while manoeuvring to attack a convoy.
Eight died in the fore ends immediately. Twenty four men survived the initial explosion but were unable to make successful DSEA escapes. Only Lt Abdy and CPO Kirk survived as POWs.

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The submarine left Malta on 12 August 1941 for a patrol area near Tripoli. Six days later, she sighted a small Italian convoy of five merchant ships protected by destroyers and torpedo boats heading towards the port. P32 and two other U-class submarines attempted to attack the convoy. HMS P33 was almost certainly sunk in the attempt, whilst HMS Unique managed to sink an Italian merchant ship, SS Esperia two days later.

P32 was not in a good position to make an attack, and so attempted to improve it by running underneath a moored minefield. Believing that she had cleared the minefield, the commanding officer, Lieutenant D A B Abdy ordered the submarine to rise to periscope depth to resume the attack. A mine, either part of the minefield, or laid by an allied aircraft, exploded against her port side and flooded the portion of the boat forward of the control room, killing the eight crew members in that part of the vessel. The submarine developed a severe list and sank to the seabed. Most of the 24 survivors retired to the engine room to attempt a DSEA escape. However Abdy, the coxswain Petty Officer Kirk, and ERA Martin attempted to escape using the conning tower. Martin was killed in the attempt but the other two men survived and were picked up by an Italian ship. No other crew members survived. Abdy and Kirk were exchanged for Italian prisoners of war in 1943.

Arebi diving team Tripoli-Libya discovered several parts of the P32 submarines bow (port side) about 15 nautical miles east-north-east of Tripoli, at a depth of about 200 feet. The hull was twisted towards the outside, evidence that the explosion appears to have come from inside the submarine.

Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Ballard, Frederick  Able Seaman  P/JX 13801    23
Banks, William James Thomas  Stoker Petty Officer  D/KX 80623    29
Barnett, Arthur  Telegraphist  C/J 107339    34
Barrow, Wallace Charles  Petty Officer  P/JX 12766    31
Bates, Colin  Stoker 1st Class  C/KX 97604    20
Bowman, Leslie Wilson  Stoker Petty Officer  P/KX 80760    28
Breeds, Ronald Mark  Able Seaman  C/JX 13941    23
Chapman, Victor Frank  Leading Seaman  C/JX 14856    20
Cooper, Sidney Wesley  Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class  P/MX 54526    28
Corn, Charles Foster  Able Seaman  P/SSX 2367    21
Edwards, Harold  Leading Stoker  D/KX 85743    27
Giles, Arthur  Chief Engine Room Artificer  C/M 18335    41
Hargreaves, Eric  Leading Signalman  D/JX 14292    22
Honeysett, Frederick Robert John  Telegraphist  C/JX 13998    23
Kelly, Patrick  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 86437    26
Lyons, Thomas  Telegraphist  P/SSX 2149    21
Martin, William Henry  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class  D/MX 48188    32
McLane, William  Ordinary Seaman  D/JX 20609    21
Millar, Michael Fitzadam  Sub Lieutenant      20
Morris, Richard Lionel Stanley  Lieutenant      24
Print, George Edward  Leading Seaman  C/J 115194    31
Roberts, James Thomas  Ordinary Seaman  C/JX 20857    21
Scard, Ronald James  Stoker 1st Class  P/KX 87485    25
Smithard, Richard MacLean  Sub Lieutenant      21
Stewart, William Ross  Leading Seaman  C/JX 15149    24
Styles, William John  Ordinary Seaman  D/KX 19493    25
Waddington, Frederick James  Able Seaman  D/JX 16527    22
Walford, Denis Eustace  Petty Officer Telegraphist  P/JX 13700  DSM  25
Wallen, Fred  Stoker 1st Class  C/K 66966    36
Winter, James  Able Seaman  P/JX 14792    22

Events

19-06-1940 : Laid Down
15-12-1940 : Launched
03-05-1941 : Completed
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Uproar (P31)P33