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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006


HMS TRENCHANT (P 331) - T-class Submarine

HM S/M Truncheon, sister-boat (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List   

Modified T Class Submarines and fourth of this Class ordered from HM Dockyard, Chatham with HM Submarine TRADEWIND on 25th August 1941 and laid down on  9th May 1942. This submarine was launched on 24th March 1943 as P331 but was renamed TRENCHANT later 1943 before build completion on 26th February 1944 Work-up was carried out in the Clyde after the ship had been commissioned for service. This boat had a minelaying capability.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


MALAYA 1944-45


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: Per saltire Red and barry wavy of six White and Blue

a sword erect, Proper, pommel and hilt Gold.


S u m m a r y   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


1 9 4 4


February                Carried out contractor’s sea trials in Nore area.

                                Commissioned for service with 4th Submarine Flotilla.

                26th        Carried out Acceptance Trials

                                Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander AR Hezlet RN.


March                    On completion took passage to Clyde to work-up for operational service with

                                7th Submarine Flotilla in Clyde area.


April                       Deployed with Flotilla in Clyde area


May                        Took passage to Ceylon to join Flotilla


June                        On passage to join Flotilla

                                Commanding Officer promoted to Commander


July                         Joined Flotilla at Trincomalee for interception patrols and Fleet duties in Indian Ocean.


August                  Deployed for patrol with Flotilla based at Trincomalee

                5th          Carried out unsuccessful attack on coaster in Indian Ocean

                9th          Intercepted same vessel and a minelayer.

                                Sank both ships and captured 14 survivors.


September             Sailed for interception patrol in Malacca Strait

                                (Note: It was known that German U-Boats were being used to carry cargo to and from

                                Penang and one of the priorities for submarines deployed in this area was to intercept

                                this traffic.)

                12th        Landed SOE party for covert operations in North Sumatra.

                19th        Sank two junks by surface gunfire.

                23rd        Carried out attack on U589 off Penang and sank submarine with a three torpedo salvo.

                                Rescued ten of the eighteen survivors. Remainder were saves by a Japanese submarine.

                                Carried out minelay which later caused sinking of two mercantiles totalling 2,814 tons.



                20th        Deployed for patrol in Malacca Strait. and to carry out special operation at Phuket Island.

                                (Note: Submarine was carrying two CHARIOT manned torpedoes with crews

                27th        Launched two CHARIOTS to attack mercantiles in harbour at Phuket..

                                Mercantile SUMATRA MARU of 984 tons was sunk and another VOLPI was damaged.


November              Patrol deployment in continuation


December              Deployed with HM Submarine TERRAPIN for joint interception patrol in Malacca Strait

                21st         Two ships of 1,053 tons, three coasters, five junks and two landing craft were sunk with

                to            three other small craft damaged.



1 9 4 5


January                  Malacca Strain interception patrol in continuation

                                Carried out bombardment of Pulo Padang

                                Returned to Fremantle


February                Carried out interception deployment during which five coasters, three barges and a junk

                                were sunk.



                4th          In a joint operation with HMS TERRAPIN sank Japanese Submarine Chaser TOKUMI TEI

                                (Ch-8) by surface gun action.


April                       Flotilla deployment in continuation

                                Passage to Fremantle



                4th          Sailed for first patrol from Fremantle.

                19th        Examined anchorages on south coast of Sumbawa with finding any targets.



                25th        Attacked coaster west of Sourabaya but missed.

                                Engaged and sank auxiliary minesweeper Wa105 in surface gun action.


June                        Deployed HM Submarine STYGIAN to carry out joint operation to intercept Japanese

                                cruiser ASHIGARA known to be on passage to Singapore.

                8th          Carried out attack on Japanese cruiser ASHIGARA and sank her in position 14 miles SW

                                of Muntok Is. in Banka Strait with five torpedoes

                                (For details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton. and WAR WITH JAPAN 



July                         Sank four small craft in Malacca Strait.


August                  East Indies Fleet duties in continuation.

                                Commanding Officer, Lieut J C Ogle.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS TRENCHANT sailed for return to UK after VJ Day and arrived at Portsmouth in November 1945 to Pay-off. After being reduced to Reserve status she was laid-up  in Gosport until recommissioned in 1949 for service in the 3rd Submarine Flotilla based at Rosyth. Transferred to the Mediterranean in 1951 she served with the 1st Flotilla based in Malta until 1959 when she was again placed in Reserve at Chat ham until placed on the Disposal List in 1962. This submarine was sold to BISCO the next year for demolition by Metal Industries at Faslane in the Clyde where she arrived in tow on 23rd July 1963.


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