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Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: U Group 2
Fate: Depth charged by Italian corvette Ardente in the Gulf of Tunis 25 Dec 1942
U-Class P48 at Barrow in 1942
U-Class P48 at Barrow in 1942

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Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Allen, William Albert  Stoker 2nd Class  D/SKX 374    21
Andrew, Thomas  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 118482    22
Baddeley, Clifford  Signalman  P/SSX 20694    22
Barber, Frederick Henry  Chief Petty Officer  P/J 97480    38
Barton, Michael Edward    D/SSX 28256    21
Brookling, Malcolm  Petty Officer Telegraphist  D/JX 140910    25
Browning, John  Chief Engine Room Artificer  P/MX 45271    32
Bryson, Esme  Telegraphist  D/JX 154530    21
Bryson, Esme D/JX 154530 DoB 19/05/1921 At birth Bryson, Esme Howard
Butler, Cyril William  Petty Officer  C/J 109352    34
Byrne, Bernard Randall  Able Seaman  C/JX 131373    30
Caddy, Peter  Lieutenant      20
Comfort, Arthur  Leading Stoker  P/KX 94774    38
Comfort, Arthur P/KX 94774. Also had service numbers J103531 and K60204.
Day, Thomas Henry  Able Seaman  D/JX 203059    24
Dudgeon, Ernest  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class  C/MX 76016    22
Faber, Michael Elliot  Lieutenant      28
Finlayson, Albert Edward  Petty Officer Stoker  C/KX 82465    28
Furlong, Thomas Edward  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class  P/MX 59023    22
Gunn, Robert Reginald  Stoker 1st Class  D/KX 133727    20
Heywood, Arthur Richard  Able Seaman  D/JX 192786    24
Heywood, Arthur Richard D/JX 192786 Birth and Marriage Reg. as Heywood, Richard
Howard, John Edward  Leading Seaman  P/JX 144086    22
Ingram, Frederick George  Leading Seaman  C/JX 179129    24
John, William Martin  Telegraphist  D/JX 156509    21
Keyte, Joseph Peter  Able Seaman  C/JX 300966    20
Lawson, Austin Louis John  Leading Stoker  P/K 65052    39
McBeth, James Duncan  Leading Stoker  C/KX 102752    24
McIntosh, Alexander Forsyth  Able Seaman  P/JX 263547    20
McLaren, William  Leading Seaman  P/SSX 22585    23
Mealyou, Alexander Reid  Able Seaman  D/JX 223636    22
Mellhuish, Reginald Thomas William  Able Seaman  D/JX 204404    22
Orton, Michael Swaffield  Sub Lieutenant      23
Pearce, Alexander Jack  Leading Seaman  C/JX 134364    28
Scarlett, Leslie Arthur  Telegraphist  P/JX 158661    19
Spring Rice, Stephen Edward  Lieutenant      22
Williams, Charles Denis  Able Seaman  D/SSX 36520    19


22-08-1941 : Laid Down
15-04-1942 : Launched
18-06-1942 : Completed
25-12-1942 : HMS P48 sailed from Malta on the 23rd December 1942. Two days later she was attacked and sunk through depth charging by the Italian torpedo boat Ardente north west of Zembra Island in the Gulf of Tunis.

1 comment

My Uncle was Sub Lt Michael Orton on the P48 submarine. He was a twin to his sister Rosemary.

His loss at Christmas 1942 was devastating on his mother, who was also trying to accept the sudden death of her husband only 3 years previously. She was quite ill for a few years from 1943. My mother was the youngest in the family and rarely spoke about him, she had a photo of him beside her bed before she passed away in 2017.

I was in contact with the naval historian Platon Alexiades who kindly gave me copies of the Italian action reports on that final day. Quite a few depth charges were released in two runs by the Italian ships protecting their small convoy. Sadly oil was spotted on the water surface and properly not a deception tactic as the P48 was not heard from again.

The P48's strike record against enemy vessels was poor and it makes you wonder that an element of 'chancing it' in their final action came into play, who knows. The sea depth at the last P48 position is around 450-550 feet giving little chance of being found or survival if they had had major damage.

They are all brave and loyal submariners, doing their duty to the end. Thank you.
   Chris Johnson Fri, 4 Feb 2022

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