|Builder:||Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts|
|Laid down:||26 October 1918|
|Launched:||29 May 1922|
|Acquired:||On loan from the Royal Navy|
|Commissioned:||4 November 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk by friendly fire, 2 May 1942|
|Class & type:||S-class submarine|
854 long tons (868 t) surfaced|
1,062 long tons (1,079 t) submerged
|Length:||219 ft 3 in (66.83 m)|
|Beam:||20 ft 8 in (6.30 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft 11 in (4.85 m)|
14.5 knots (26.9 km/h; 16.7 mph) surfaced|
11 kn (20 km/h; 13 mph) submerged
|Complement:||42 officers and men|
1 × 4 in (102 mm) deck gun|
4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
Ship history[edit | edit source]
She was decommissioned from the U.S. Navy on 4 November 1941, and simultaneously transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS P551; shortly thereafter she was loaned to the exiled Polish government, and entered service with the Polish Navy under Lieutenant Commander Bolesław Romanowski, due to a lack of trained submarine crews in the Royal Navy at the time.
The "Jastrząb" entered the history of the Polish Navy, as their ONLY submarine ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean from the West to the East, as she came from the USA to Europe.
During the passage of convoy PQ-15 to Murmansk, Jastrząb on 2 May 1942 was mistakenly engaged by the destroyer HNoMS St. Albans and the minesweeper HMS Seagull. She was attacked with depth charges and made to surface, there she was strafed with the loss of five crew (including British liaison officer) and six injured, including the commander. The ship was badly damaged and had to be scuttled, near Coordinates: .
The incident is a matter of some controversy. One source  states Jastrząb was escorting PQ 15, i.e. travelling with the convoy. Others however  state she was covering PQ 15’s passage by patrolling the Norwegian coast against a sortie by German capital ships, one of five submarines so assigned. These sources state Jastrząb was out of position; Pertek however states that it was the convoy which was out of position, and other sources confirm the convoy had altered course to avoid ice. The position of the incident, 200 miles from the Norwegian coast is inconsistent with a mission to patrol that coast, typically no more than 10 to 20 miles out.
Pertek also (after Romanowski's testimony) states Jastrząb was fired upon despite showing yellow recognition smoke candles; however other sources do not confirm this. Finally Pertek states the commanders of St Albans and Seagull were found guilty at a court martial over the incident; Kemp states that the court of enquiry (a normal procedure following the loss of a ship, though not of friendly fire cases) found no blame could be attributed to either commander. It is not possible to reconcile these accounts.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Mohl, Michael (2012). "Submarine Photo Archive S-25 (SS-130)". navsource.org. http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08130.htm. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- Jerzy Pertek, p. 319
- Jerzy Pertek, p.324
- Jerzy Pertek, p. 321
- Paul Kemp, p. 47
- Bernard Schofield, p. 60
- Jerzy Pertek, p. 323
- Paul Kemp, p. 49
- Jerzy Pertek, p. 325
References[edit | edit source]
- Kemp, Paul (1993) Convoy! Drama in Arctic Waters ISBN 1-85409-130-1
- Pertek, Jerzy (1976) Wielkie dni małej floty, Poznań (Polish)
- Schofield, Bernard (1964) The Russian Convoys BT Batsford ISBN (none)
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
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