Class submarines ordered on 1st May
from Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow and laid
down on the same day. This
minelaying submarine was launched on 21st
July 1936 and was the 1st major RN
warship to bear the
name, although it had been used by Z-Class
during WW1. Build was completed on
2nd February 1937 and this submarine
was then commissioned for service in the 4th
Submarine Flotilla on the China
Station where she was still deployed on the
outbreak of war in September 1939.
Following a WARSHIP WEEK campaign for
Savings in February 1942 she was adopted by
the civil community of Weymouth,
a t t l e H o n o u r s
1940-43 - CRETE 1941 -
CONVOYS 1941-42 - SICILY 1943
- AEGEAN 1943 - ATLANTIC
e r a l d i c
D a t a
a Field Blue, a rorqual Proper.
Temere New Timide: Neither rashly nor timidly'
u m m a r y o f
W a r S e r v i c e
9 3 9
Deployed with 4th Flotilla for fleet duties
based at Hong Kong
(Note: Other submarines in Flotilla were:
HM Submarines PARTHIAN, PHOENIX, PROTEUS,
PANDORA and GRAMPUS.
supported by HM Submarine Depot Ship MEDWAY
Took up war station for interception of enemy
Deployed for interception patrols with
9 4 0
Flotilla duties in continuation
Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean with
Passage to Alexandria.
Arrived in Alexandria and joined 1st Submarine
Retained in Alexandria with HM Submarines
PARTHIAN, PHOENIX, PROTEUS,
Deployed in Malta and carried out exercises
with Fleet units in anticipation of outbreak
Nominated with HMS GRAMPUS based in Malta for
minelay off Brindisi
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes
changed to N74.
Passage to Malta
Sailed from Malta for minelay nine miles east
of Brindisi. See Naval Staff History
Carried out successful lay of 50 mines and
returned to Malta on completion.
Commanding Officer Lieut Cdr R Dewhurst
Sailed from Alexandria for support of Fleet
operation to cover passage of convoy to Malta
Deployed off Cape Spartivento, Sicily to
intercept any attempt by Italian Fleet units
interfere with cover by Fleet units.
Carried out lay of 50 mines off Tolmeita,
(Note: This field later claimed o 3,865 ton
Deployed with five other submarines to
intercept convoys between Augusta and
Benghazi. See above reference.
Carried out lay of 50 mines off Taukra,
Cyrenaica which later claimed one ship of
Flotilla deployment based at Alexandria in
continuation for minelaying and interception
Laid further 50 mines of Taukra
Carried out lay of 50 mines off Misurata,
Laid further 50 mines off Misurata.
(Note: This field claimed an Italian
mercantile of 3,300 tons the same day and
Italian torpedo boats CALIPSO on 5th December
and FRATELLI CAIROLI on 23rd
Alexandria deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 1
Carried out minelay of two barrages off
Sansego Island and off Ancona.
(Note: Italian torpedo boat FRANCESCO STOCCO
and a mercantile of 5,101 tons were
later damaged by these mines.)
Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
Passage to Malta to embark mines and
Laid 10 mines in the approaches to Palermo
Laid 40 mines in approaches to Trapani.
(Note: Italian torpedo boat GENERALE ANTONIO
CHINNOTU was sunk in this field on
One source records submarine CAPPONI
also but this is to be confirmed.)
Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
Carried out lay of 50 mines in Gulf of Salonika
Sank two small sailing craft off Lemnos by
surface gunfire and rescued seven Greek
later with HMS CACHALOT to take petrol to
Deployed with 1st Flotilla at Alexandria and
for transport of petrol to Malta.
(Note: Submarines in Flotilla included:
HM Submarines TRUANT, TRIUMPH, TAKU, TETRARCH,
ROVER, OSIRIS, OTUS, CACHALOT, PARTHIAN,
PERSEUS, PANDORA and
five Greek submarines.
Deployed at Alexandria for Flotilla duties.
Commanding Officer Lieut Napier, RN
Carried out lay of 50 mines off ZANE island in
Sank mercantile of 2,747 tons by torpedo.
Passage from Beirut to Malta with stores.
Commanding Officer promoted to Lieut Cdr.
Arrived in Malta with stores
Laid 50 mines in Gulf of Athens.
(Note: On 20th October this field claimed
Italian torpedo boats ALTAIR and then
which had gone to assist her.)
Transferred to western Mediterranean for
Laid 10 mines off Cavioli Island, Sardinia
40 mines off Cape Ferrato, Sardina.
(Note: Mercantile ss SALPI, 2,710 tons
was sunk in this field later.)
Commanding Officer: Commander Dewhurst RN.
Deployed at Gibraltar for minelaying operation
in Bay of Biscay
Carried out lay of 50 mines off La Rochelle
On completion returned to Gibraltar
(Note: French fishing vessel COLIGNY of 600
tons was sunk in this field later.)
Nominated for refit
Passage for refit
(Note: Refit may have be carried out in UK. To
1 9 4 2
Refit period. Details to be confirmed
On completion of post refit trials took
passage to resume duties with 1st Flotilla
(Note: Base for Flotilla was moved to Haifa
from Alexandria because of the German
advance towards Egypt.)
Deployed with HM Submarines PARTHIAN, REGENT
and PORPOISE to take petrol and
urgent stores to Malta
(Note: The Naval Staff History (Mining)
records no minelay during off Cyrenaica in this
month but three other sources record loss of
HM Corvette ERICA in February 1943
after detonating a British mine laid by this
submarine off Benghazi. To be confirmed.)
Deployed for transport of supplies to Malta
(Operation MAGIC CARPET.)
Carried out minelay SE of Corfu
(Note: Only 15 Mk XVI mines were laid due to
defect in mine rails.)
Sank mercantile of 5,311 by torpedo during
MARKET CARPET deployment in continuation with
HMS OTUS, HMS PARTHIAN and
Delivered petrol and supplies to Malta
Carried out lay of 46 mines west of Tobruk
Deployed in eastern Mediterranean for Flotilla
duties on completion of repairs
Carried out lay of 36 mines near Cannae Rocks
(Note: Three mines were not laid and later
discharged in deep water.)
Carried out lay of 11 mines of Ischia near
(Note: This field later claimed a small
Carried out torpedo attack on Italian
mercantile mv PIETRO FOSCARI, 3,423 tons which
1 9 4 3
Deployed for minelaying operations against
Italian convoys between Sicily and Gulf of
Carried out lay of 48 mines near Cannae Rocks,
(Note: Two mines were not laid due to jamming
of mine doors.)
Carried out minelay of 50 mines SE of
Carried out minelay of 50 mines off Trapani, Sicily.
Minelay off Sicily to be confirmed. (Not in
Naval Staff History.)
Carried out minelay of 50 miles off Favignana, Sicily
Carried out minelay of 50 mines off Marettimo, Sicily
(Note: A blockade of Cape Bon area was
maintained during the early part of the month
to intercept any attempts by enemy to escape
to Sicily by sea.
Carried out lay of 50 mines off Punta Stilo, Calabria.
Flotilla deployment in continuation.
Carried out lay of 29 mines in Gulf of
Sank mercantile of 7,020 tons by torpedo
Carried out further lay of 21miles in Skiathos
Carried out lay of 29 miles in Gulf of
Carried out lay of 21 mines at Lemnos in
Carried out lay of 15 mines in Trikiri
Carried out lay of 15 mines in Skiathos,
Carried further lay of 20 mines off Lemnos.
Deployed with HMS SEVERN and four Italian
submarines to carry stores in support of
military operations in Cos and Leros.
Eastern Mediterranean deployment in
Refit period to be confirmed.
1 9 4 4
Eastern Mediterranean service in continuation
Post refit trials and resumed Flotilla duties
to be confirmed.
Deployed for interception patrol in eastern Mediterranean
Sank supply ship in Aegean.
Nominated for transfer to East Indies
Passage to Colombo to join Flotilla
Deployed with HM Submarine PORPOISE and Dutch
O.19 for minelaying in India Ocean
(Note: Part of East Indies Fleet .)
1 9 4 5
Carried out lay of 50 MkXV1 mines near Phuket
minelay (Operation ML022)
Carried out further lay of 12 MkII mines near
Phuket Island.(Operation ML023)
Carried out lay of 50 MkXVI mines in Ritchies
Archipelago (Operation ML027)
Carried out lay of 12 MkII mines in Andaman
East Indies deployment in continuation
During interception patrol sank three coasters
and three junks in Malacca Straits
Nominated for transfer to British Pacific
Took passage to Fremantle to join 4th
Carried out lay of 50 MkXVI and 12 MkII mines
south of Thousand Islands, Java
Nominated for return to UK
On passage to UK
Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status
o s t W a r N o t e s
RORQUAL laid 1,214 mines, a greater total than
any other submarine
and she was the only minelaying
submarine to survive war service. She was
place on the Disposal List
after VJ Day and sold to BISCO on 19th
December 1945 for demolition by J Cashmore at
Newport. She arrived at
Newport in tow on 17th March 1946. The name
was carried forward in 1956 when given to
built at Barrow.