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Posted by / 22-Jan-2016 08:22

HMS Shakespeare became famous in 1945 by fighting a surface action against an armed Jap merchant and Jap bombers.

But first, here we have some photo graphs taken by one of her crew and quite possibly have never seen the light of day until I was sent his photo album by Pauline Thomas, a relative of James Patterson. There is a picture of a man being pulled from the sea and underneath it says "following surface action in 1945, sailors inspect the damage to the submarine...

HMS Shakespeare's pennant number was P221 and she was built in Barrow in Furness at Vickers Armstrong.

Keel was laid down on 13 November 1940 and was launched on 8 December 1941. Another site lists Shakespeare as launched on 8 December 1942, obviously incorrect: 3rd January 1945. One of the most desperate submarine actions of the Far Eastern war was that of the Shakespeare, commanded by Lieutenant D. Her first victim was a medium-size Japanese supply ship.

My Grandad who was an Engine Room Artificer was a few seconds to slow to make it back to the hatch and was shut out as the sub dived under the waves.

Water was entering the boat through the hole in the hull and flooding the engine room.

The 3-inch gun, the Oerlikon A/A gun, and the Vickers machine gun were manned on board the Shakespeare, and she was soon heavily engaged.

"Of all the branches of men in the Forces, there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariner.

Great deeds are done in the air and on the land; nevertheless, nothing surpasses your exploits." Winston Churchill.

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Though wounded now in the arm as well as the feet, he insisted on firing a Tommy gun at the attacking aircraft until night fell.