Allied Warships

HMS Tribune (N 76)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantN 76 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered6 Nov 1936 
Laid down3 Mar 1937 
Launched8 Dec 1938 
Commissioned17 Oct 1939 
End service 
History

Put in reserve on 29 June 1945.

Scrapped at Milford Haven in July 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Tribune (N 76)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. George Philip Sevier Davies, RN27 Feb 19388 May 1940
2Lt. Edward Francis Balston, RN8 May 19402 Jan 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Robert Galliano Norfolk, RN2 Jan 194126 Jun 1941
4Lt.Cdr. William Alexander Keith Napier Cavaye, RN26 Jun 194123 Aug 1941
5Lt. Richard Prendergast Raikes, RN23 Aug 19418 Oct 1941
6Lt. John Henry Bromage, DSC, RN8 Oct 194114 Nov 1941
7Lt. Thomas Graeme Ridgeway, RN14 Nov 194111 Dec 1941
8Lt. Richard Gatehouse, DSC, RN11 Dec 194116 Jan 1942
9Lt. Lennox William Napier, RN16 Jan 194217 Jan 1942
10Lt. Geoffrey Deryck Nicholson Milner, DSC, RN17 Jan 194219 Feb 1942
11Lt. Michael Geoffrey Rawson Lumby, RN19 Feb 1942Mar 1942
12Lt. Thomas Graeme Ridgeway, RNMar 1942Apr 1942
13Lt. Norman Jack Coe, DSC, RNRApr 194220 Dec 1942
14Lt. Stewart Armstrong Porter, RN20 Dec 19428 Jul 1943
15Lt. Anthony Francis Murray-Johnson, RN8 Jul 194318 Jul 1943
16Lt.Cdr. Walter Neal Eade, RNR18 Jul 19439 Jan 1944
17A/Lt.Cdr. Leslie Frederick Lewis Hill, RNR9 Jan 194423 Jan 1944
18Lt.Cdr. Walter Neal Eade, RNR23 Jan 194431 Dec 1944
19Lt. Aston Dalzell Piper, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR31 Dec 194423 Apr 1945
20Lt. John Paton Fyfe, DSC, RN23 Apr 194522 May 1945
21T/Lt. Michael Dent Tattersall, RNVR22 May 194527 Jun 1945

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Noteable events involving Tribune include:


The history of HMS Tribune as compiled on this page is extracted from Tribune's patrol reports and logbooks. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

17 Oct 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from her builders yard for Portsmouth. She is escorted by HMS Shikari (Cdr. J.H. Lewis, RN).

19 Oct 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) arrived at Portsmouth for a period of exercises.

31 Oct 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Portland. Tribune is escorted by HMS Malcolm (Capt. T.E. Halsey, RN). Both ships arrive at Portland after a few hours. At Portland Tribune is to conduct torpedo trials.

4 Nov 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Portland for Portsmouth. She is escorted by HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, RN).

12 Nov 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Portland. Tribune is escorted by HMS Warrior II. Both ships arrive at Portland after a few hours. At Portland Tribune is to conduct experimental torpedo trials.

21 Nov 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Portland for Portsmouth. She arrived at Portsmouth after a few hours.

27 Nov 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Portsmouth for her 1st war patrol. This is a short patrol in the North Sea. Tribune is escorted to the North Goodwin light vessel by HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Dover, RN). From there HMS Leda (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Courthope-Munroe, RN) will take over.

For the positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 1st war patrolclick here for bigger map

30 Nov 1939
At 0100 hours in position 57°22'N, 02°20'E, HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) sights an unknown submarine which is challenged. At the time it was believed that this might be HMS Unity (Lt.Cdr. J.F.B. Brown, RN) (but this was not the case) and after the submarine dived, contact was lost.

This might have been German U-boat U-21, she was operating in this general area.

2 Dec 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth.

4 Dec 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She is to patrol off the South coast of Norway in a position centred on 250° - Lister Light - 30 nautical miles. This is an uneventful patrol, only neutral vessels are encountered.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 2nd war patrolclick here for bigger map

20 Dec 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth.

21 Dec 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) is docked at Rosyth.

26 Dec 1939
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) left dock.

5 Jan 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She is to patrol off the South coast of Norway and in the Kattegat.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 3rd war patrolclick here for bigger map

13 Jan 1940
At 1900 hours HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) crossed two torpedo tracks in position 57°58'N, 10°15'E. Tribune dived but nothing further was heard or seen.

No German U-boat was in the area and the 'attack' was most likely bogus.

17 Jan 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) fires 6 torpedoes against ' what is identified as ' an enemy submarine in the Skagerrak about 15 nautical miles east-north-east of Skagen, Denmark in position 57°50'N, 11°00'E. No German U-boat was in the area.

0243 hours - Sighted a darkened object on the port bow. Altered course towards.

0246 hours - The object was identified as a submarine at a range of 2000 to 2500 yards.

0248 hours - The Asdic operator reported HE right ahead.

0250 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from the internal bow tubes. The tracks were seen to run towards the target but no explosions followed.

0255 hours - Fired 2 torpedoes from the external bow tubes.

0256 hours - Dived. When diving Lt.Cdr. Davies felt a heavy shudder while he was in the conning tower. He thought this was a torpedo explosion. This was not felt in the control room.

No German U-boat was in this area and it is not clear what Tribune attacked.

Lt.Cdr. Davies was very ill at the time of the attack. The 1st lieutenant (Lt. A.R. Cheyne, RN) took over from him around noon this day. Upon returning from patrol Lt.Cdr. Davies spent some time in hospital.

20 Jan 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. A.R. Cheyne, RN, temporarily in command as Lt.Cdr. Davies was sick) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth.

Tribune has developed serious engine problems during this patrol.

Repairs were carried out followed by trials, more repairs and more trials. By mid-March it was decided that Tribune was to proceed to her builders yard to correct these defects.

12 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) is docked at Rosyth.

13 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) left dock.

24 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Rosyth for Scapa Flow, she is escorted by HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN).

25 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

28 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) departed from Scapa Flow for Greenock. She is escorted by HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN).

30 Mar 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. G.P.S. Davies, RN) arrived at Greenock for repairs to her engines by her builder.

10 May 1940
Upon completion of the repairs to her engine clutches HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from her builders yard at Greenock for trials.

12 May 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Greenock for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea, in position 57°25'N, 05°30'E (north of the German Mine Declared Area). Only Danish fishing vessels were encountered.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 4th war patrolclick here for bigger map

28 May 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth.

10 Jun 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 5th war patrol at Rosyth. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Norway.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 5th war patrolclick here for bigger map

20 Jun 1940
At 0015 hours HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN), while near position 62°15'N, 03°47'E, stops and boards the Norwegian fishing vessel Hilding (of Malloy No.SF42SV, about 15 to 20 tons). The Hilding is released upon examination.

22 Jun 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) makes a torpedo attack on the German armed merchant cruiser Schiff 33 / Pinguin off Standlandet, Norway. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
0136 hours - Dived on sighting a ship, position 61°44'N, 04°29'E. The ship was later seen to be a merchant ship of about 7000 to 8000 tons.

0203 hours - Fired four torpedoes, no hits were obtained.

0208 hours - Surfaced to chase and attack with the deck gun but the contact was soon lost in a rain squall. The chase was abandoned after almost half an hour.

25 Jun 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth.

4 Jul 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Norway near Bergen.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 6th war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Jul 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Rosyth.

27 Jul 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South coast of Norway. An uneventful patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 7th war patrolclick here for bigger map

5 Aug 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Rosyth.

8 Aug 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) is docked at Rosyth.

10 Aug 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) left dock.

23 Aug 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Rosyth for Scapa escorted by HM yacht White Bear, arriving on 24 August and sails from there the next day for her 8th patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Atlantic to the North-West of the Hebrides.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 8th war patrolclick here for bigger map

6 Sep 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) attacks what was thought to be an enemy submarine about 15 nautical miles north-east of St. Kilda, Hebrides in position 57°58'N, 08°14'W. Two torpedoes were fired but these missed their target. The target was possibly fired against German U-boat U-56 as this was the only submarine passing through that general area on that day. The Germans however reported no attack.

(All times are zone -1)
0600 hours - Heard loud HE bearing red 150°. bearing drew rapidly ahead.

0602 hours - Contact was now ahead, range about 1400 yards. Nothing could be sighted through the periscope however. The target crossed ahead and Tribune altered course. Asdic was still in contact.

0633 hours - While Tribune was stopped at greater depth Asdic reported that it looked like that three torpedoes were fired.

0637 hours - Tribune came to 60 feet. The target was right ahead at a range of about 1000 yards.

0638 hours - The target crossed the bow at a range of about 700 yards.

0640 hours - Fired two torpedoes from a depth of 70 feet. The torpedoes were set to 44 and 38 feet. 25 Seconds after firing the first torpedo there was a violent explosion and the HE immediately ceased. The second torpedo was heard to detonate after 8 minutes at the end of its running range. Came to periscope depth but found nothing in sight.

0655 hours - Surfaced to collect evidence. Oil was seen to float on the surface and it was also though that some clothing was seen. This was not seen again after Tribune had turned.

7 Sep 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Rothesay.

16 Sep 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 9th war patrolclick here for bigger map

20 Sep 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) arrived at Falmouth to repair a defect.

22 Sep 1940
After repairs HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Falmouth for her patrol area.

26 Sep 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) attacks German U-boat U-138 with 5 torpedoes about 10 nautical miles South-West of Ile de Groix in position 47°32'N, 03°38'W. All torpedoes fired missed their target. Tribune was depth charged after this attack but managed to escape.

(All times are zone -1)
1035 hours - Sighted a type 7 U-boat bearing 040°. Range was 3500 yards. The course of the U-boat was 310°. Started attack.

The U-boat turned away and when the attack was set up she was stern on. A second U-boat was now sighted bearing 110°, range 3000 yards, course 350°. Turned to attack this U-boat.

1047 hours - In position 47°32'N, 03°38'W fired five torpedoes from 2700 yards. It was intended to fire six torpedoes but tube no.5 misfired. All torpedoes missed. Four end of run detonations were heard between 8 and 10 minutes after firing. These U-boats were making rendez-vouz with A/S trawlers to enter Lorient. Two of these trawlers closed and started dropping depth charges but these were not close.

1200 hours - The trawlers were seen to close at high speed and dropped two depth charges fairly close. Both trawlers left the area shortly afterwards.

According to German sources the U-boats were U-47 and the above mentioned U-138. It was the last one that was fired upon by Tribune. They were making rendez-vouz with the auxiliary submarine chasers UJ-122, UJ-128 and UJ-E. The KTB of U-138 mentions that one of the torpedoes ran under and another one missed just ahead.

3 Oct 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Holy Loch. Tribune returned from patrol with engine problems.

7 Oct 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) arrived at Ardrossan for a short refit.

22 Oct 1940
Upon completion of her short refit HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Ardrossan for Holy Loch where she arrived later the same day.

29 Oct 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) departed from Holy Loch for a trial run in the Irish Sea.

31 Oct 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) suffers a fire in port main motor. She turns back and arrived at Holy Loch later the same day.

11 Nov 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) arrived at Glasgow for a battery refit at Barclay Curle.

26 Nov 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) ended her battery refit at Glasgow and returns to Holy Loch.

3 Dec 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 10th war patrolclick here for bigger map

16 Dec 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) attacked the German tanker Karibisches Meer (6973 GRT, built 1917) escorted by the patrol boats V 406 and V 411 and the minesweeper M 13 in the Bay of Biscay east of Ile de Yeu, France in position 46°46'N, 02°38'W. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
1015 hours - Sighted aircraft to the Northward.

1110 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 330°. Shortly afterwards sighted a dazzle-painted tanker with a trawler ahead and one astern. They were steering 140°. Closed to attack.

1121 hours - Fired six torpedoes from the internal bow tubes. Range was 4500 yards. No.1 tube misfired but was fired as the last torpedo of the salvo instead. All torpedoes were heard to run. After the attack the aircraft was quite close and the trawlers were closing at speed so Tribune went deep. About 30 depth charges were dropped in half an hour but Tribune manages to slip away.

19 Dec 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) attacked a German merchant of 4000 to 5000 tons in the Bay of Biscay west-south-west of Belle Ile, France in position 47°02'N, 04°14'W.

(All times are zone -1)
0953 hours - Heard HE.

0940 hours - Sighted a Mowe-class torpedo boat bearing 270°. Started attack.

0945 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel of 4000 to 5000 tons. She was dazzle-painted. Bearing 270°, course 080°. Broke off attack on the torpedo boat and shifted to this ship. The attack was very difficult due to the effective camouflage.

1012 hours - Fired six torpedoes from the internal bow tubes from 7500 yards. One explosion followed 35 seconds after firing. This explosion put the Asdic out of order. Two more explosions followed after about 7 and 8 minutes. Tribune went deep upon firing. The torpedo boat did not counter-attack.

20 Dec 1940
At 1956 hours, as HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) surfaced, a torpedo left unexpectedly from no. 7 torpedo tube and hit the bottom, the resulting explosion damaged no. 8 torpedo which had also to be discharged.

24 Dec 1940
HMS Tribune (Lt. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Holy Loch.

3 Jan 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) is docked at Ardrossan.

5 Jan 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) left dock.

21 Jan 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 11th war patrolclick here for bigger map

22 Jan 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) makes a short call at Milford Haven to repair an engine defect. She departed from for her patrol area after a few hours.

27 Jan 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) receives a signal informing her of an Italian submarine (Commandante Cappellini) returning to Bordeaux and she attempts to intercept but sights nothing.

10 Feb 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) ended her 11th war patrol at Holy Loch.

24 Feb 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Halifax, Canada.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Holy Loch - Halifaxclick here for bigger map

2 Mar 1941
At 1200 hours (zone +1), while in mid-Atlantic, in position 54°10'N, 27°40'W HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) encounters a large liner of about 20000 tons bearing 240°, distance 7 nautical miles, course 290°. Tribune closed and challenged the liner according to her instructions. The liner hoisted some flags that were unreadable, the liner turned away and kept a range of about 5 nautical miles. She was then heard to signal a distress message, giving her identity as Orcades (23456 GRT, built 1937). Efforts to communicate with a lamp were ignored by Orcades but the words ' British submarine ' that were spelled out slowly and often finally persuaded her to cancel her distress message.

11 Mar 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) arrived at Halifax, Canada. The engines of Tribune developed problems en-route (yet again).

25 Mar 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) conducts exercises with HMCS Renard.

27 Mar 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from Halifax for her 12th war patrol. She joins the escort of convoy HX-117. She is to protect the convoy from attack by German surface warships.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 12th war patrolclick here for bigger map

6 Apr 1941
At 0630 hours (zone +1) HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) leaves convoy HX-117 in position 55°42'N, 32°01'W.

12 Apr 1941
At 0930 hours (zone +3) HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) encounters HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) in position 40°50'N, 48°42'W. Tribune dives and makes a practice attack on the battleship. Tribune remained dived until the battleship was nearly out of sight.

13 Apr 1941
At 1205 hours (zone +4) while in the Atlantic, about 400 nautical miles South-East of Halifax, in position 40°52'N, 55°14'W HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) encounters a merchant ship bearing 350°, distance 7 nautical miles, course 120°. Tribune closed and challenged the merchant according to her instructions. The merchant did not answer to signals and was later heard to make a distress message giving her name as Collegian (7886 GRT, built 1923). The words ' British submarine ' were spelled out several times and after a while the Collegian drew away and Tribune resumed her original course. The signal sent by the Collegian was however not cancelled. As Lt.Cdr. Norfolk was of the opinion that the position of Tribune was well known to the authorities concerned no signal about the encounter was made.

15 Apr 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) ended her 12th war patrol at Halifax.

30 Apr 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) conducts engine trials off Halifax after a period of repairs.

3 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) conducts A/S exercises with ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, HMCS Renard, HMCS St Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN) and HMCS Wetaskiwin (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Windeyer, RCN)

7 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) carries out dummy attacks on HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) near Halifax, Canada.

10 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from Halifax to proceed to the U.K. She is to join convoy HX-126 for this passage.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Halifax - Holy Lochclick here for bigger map

11 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) joins convoy HX-126 in position 42°55'N, 59°34'E.

19 May 1941
At 2355 hours the convoy came under U-boat attack but HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) was on the opposite side and could not manoeuvre through the convoy to attack the enemy as she was limited by her slow speed (she could only make 10 knots due to her engine defects).

20 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from convoy HX-126.

24 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) is joined by HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR). Both ships proceeds together towards the U.K.

26 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

6 Jun 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Blyth.

9 Jun 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) arrived at Blyth. Tribune was due to refit and suffered from engine problems. Due to capacity problems on British shipyards it was not possible to refit the submarine at this moment. As she was not 'fit' for further patrols, Tribune was used as training boat.

3 Jul 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) is docked at Blyth.

10 Jul 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) left dock.

1 Oct 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt. R.P. Raikes, RN) departed from Blyth for Wallsend. She is finally able to start her refit at the Swan Hunter shipyard.

14 May 1942
With her refit completed HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Wallsend and arrived at North Shields.

19 May 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from North Shields for trials. She arrived at Blyth later the same day for a period of trials and training.

13 Jun 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Blyth for Dundee.

14 Jun 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Dundee.

23 Jun 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Dundee for Lerwick.

25 Jun 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Lerwick. She departed from for her 13th war patrol after a few hours. She is to provide cover for convoy operations (PQ 17 and QP 13) to Northern Russia.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 13th war patrolclick here for bigger map

11 Jul 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) ended her 13th war patrol at Lerwick.

19 Jul 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Lerwick for Blyth escorted by the trawler HMS Lord Lloyd (T/Lt. M.W. Bond, RNVR).

21 Jul 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Blyth. At Blyth she reverts to her training role. Also for several days a filming crew is on board.

26 Aug 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Blyth of Dundee.

27 Aug 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Dundee.

31 Aug 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Dundee for Lerwick.

1 Sep 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Lerwick.

2 Sep 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Lerwick for her 14th war patrol. She is to provide cover for convoy operations (PQ 18 and QP 14) to Northern Russia.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 14th war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Sep 1942
At 1037 hours (zone -1), in approximate position 68°31'N, 13°45'E HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) sighted the German battleship Tirpitz, heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and light cruiser K?ln leaving the Gims?str?mmen and steering towards Hval Fjord. The range is about 20000 yards so there was no opportunity to attack. Tribune sent a enemy report.

Tirpitz however was not present, she was still at Narvik. Admiral Scheer was present with the other two ships.

20 Sep 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) encounters German U-boat U-403. Signals were exchanged but neither submarine was in a position to attack the other.

(All times are zone -1)
0713 hrs - Sighted conning tower ahead in position 72°00N, 17°52E. Turned towards and endeavoured to close and make a challenge. After 8 minutes several signals were exchanged. The contact was now identified as a German U-boat but it could not be attacked and was out of sight after 10 minutes.

30 Sep 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) ended her 14th war patrol at Lerwick.

31 Oct 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Holy Loch for Gibraltar.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Holy Loch - Gibraltarclick here for bigger map

5 Nov 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) sighted the German merchant Kulmerland (7363 GRT, built 1929) in position 44°02'N, 12°09'W. This ship was en-route from the Far East to France. Tribune was not able to attack due to the range being too great. As there were German aircraft patrolling the area it was not possible to surface and give chase.

8 Nov 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) arrived at Gibraltar.

12 Nov 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) departed from Gibraltar for her 15th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). Initially she was ordered to patrol off Toulon, France but when Tribune was two days out she was ordered to patrol of Naples, Italy instead. She was routed through the Gulf of Genoa and along the East coast of Corsica to her new patrol area. Later patrol area was shifted to the Tunisia - Sicily area.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 15th war patrolclick here for bigger map

18 Nov 1942
At 2240 hours (zone -1) in position 43°33'N, 09°04'E, HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) sights a small U-boat steering 050° at 11 knots. This must be either U-73, U-205 or U-380, all of which will reach La Spezia the following day. Tribune could not turn fast enough to get into a good attacking position. The attack had to be abandoned.

22 Nov 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) is depth charged near Isoli di Capri, while on patrol near the Southern approached to Naples, Italy.

Depth charges exploded very close and considerable damage was caused. Tribune managed to slip away and continue her patrol.

(All times are zone -1)
0403 hours - While in position 154°, Campanilla light, 4 nautical miles sighted a darkened ship bearing 320°. Started attack.

0410 hours - The ship disappeared against the background of Isola di Capri.

0422 hours - The ship was now thought to be a light cruiser but later events show it was most likely a large destroyer.

0426 hours - When about to fire torpedoes the ship turned towards and put up a big bow wave.

0427 hours - Dived.

0430 hours - A depth charge attack commenced. Five charges were dropped.

0437 hours - Five more depth charges were dropped, these were fairly close.

0514 hours - No HE could be heard but Asdic transmissions were heard all the time.

0540 hours - Tribune was detected by the enemy's Asdic.

0543 hours - Three depth charges were dropped.

0551 hours - Five depth charges were dropped very close. Considerable minor damage was caused. (All was repaired within 48 hours).

0605 hours - Another pattern of five depth charges was dropped. These were a bit further away.

0625 hours - Eleven depth charges were dropped much further away. Nothing further was heard.

0848 hours - Came to periscope depth. No ships in sight. A whole lot of aircraft were patrolling the area. Went deep and retired to seaward.

30 Nov 1942
Lt. Coe sent a radio signal to base that he was very sick and could not conduct an effective patrol due to his condition.

1 Dec 1942
Tribune was ordered to proceed towards the Skerki bank to patrol there if Lt. Coe was fit. Lt. Coe reported that his condition had not improved. Tribune was then ordered to return to Gibraltar.

7 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) ended her 15th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

13 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) is docked at Gibraltar.

16 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) left dock.

23 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Algiers.

Spare commanding officer Lt. Porter had meanwhile taken over command from Lt. Coe as the medical condition of Lt. Coe rendered him unfit for patrols.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Gibraltar - Algiersclick here for bigger map

25 Dec 1942
At 1050 hours (zone -1) HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) is bombed by an unidentified aircraft (it was thought that this was a German JU-88). Tribune dived and no damage was inflicted. Tribune's log however does not give a position.

However in February 2013 Mr. Eric Zimmerman informed us that this attack on Tribune was by Wellington 179/C (HX749) piloted by P/O S.H. Nicholson that attacked a submarine at 1058 hours in position 37°24'N 01°13'W.

After gaining a radar contact the aircraft homed and was able to sight at 6 miles the conning tower of a submarine on an easterly course. The submarine submerged and the Wellington attacked with a stick of 3 depth charges (the 4th hung up) from a height of 50 feet. The 3rd depth charge fell dead on the track of the submarine which could be seen under the water some 200 feet ahead of the swirl. Despite what seemed like a direct hit the after results of the attack were disappointing being no more than a small patch of oil which quickly dispersed. Baiting tactics were employed but no further contacts were made.

26 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) arrived at Algiers.

30 Dec 1942
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Algiers for her 16th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Southern France and the Italian Ligurian coast. She is also to carry out a special operation (landing agents on Corsica).

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 16th war patrolclick here for bigger map

2 Jan 1943
In the early morning hours HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) tries to perform reconnaissance of the landing zone where the agents had to landed. Due to the bad weather this was not possible.

A second attempt was made during the evening but it was decided to postpone the special operation for a while and to continue to the South coast of France.

5 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) returned to Corsica to land the agents at Lava Bay. When about to do so a searchlight swept through the area. The landing was abandoned as the area seemed to be too well defended. A new position to land to the South of Ajaccio was selected.

7 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) successfully completed her special operation ( 'Operation Sideline' ).

(All times are zone -1)
0623 hours (6th) - Dived and closed Copaiba Bay and carried out close reconnaissance from 1/2 mile.

1700 hours (6th) - Withdrew dived to the seaward.

1923 hours (6th) - Surfaced and proceeded to seaward to charge.

2140 hours (6th) - Returned to the bay for operation Sideline.

2240 hours (6th) - Proceeded on main motors instead of diesels.

2345 hours (6th) - Brought up the rubber boats, baggage and bicycle onto the fore casing. Trimmed down forward.

0025 hours (7th) - In position 41°44'N, 08°45'E both rubber boats were launched with the three agents.

0240 hours (7th) - The boats and their 'drivers' were recovered. The agents and their stores had been successfully landed.

10 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) torpedoed and damaged the French merchant Dalny (6672 GRT, built 1914) 15 nautical miles from San Remo, Italy. The Dalny was beached to prevent her from sinking.

(All times are zone -1)
0910 hours - Sighted funnel and mast of a merchant ship against the land. The ship was Eastbound. Closed at speed to intercept. One aircraft was seen to escort the merchant.

1003 hours - In position 43°52'N, 08°03'E fired four torpedoes from 1200 yards. In the next 20 minutes 10 bombs were dropped from aircraft. 2 Of these were quite close. Tribune lost depth control upon firing the torpedoes and the periscope standards briefly broke surface, giving her position away. Despite this the first torpedo fired hit the ship.

1016 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw the merchant laying stopped. She was of about 6000 tons and was seen wearing a Nazi ensign. Tribune quickly returned to 90 feet and retired from the scene as the aircraft had detected her a periscope depth.

The crew of Dalny was saved including three wounded.

11 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) again torpedoed and damaged the (now beached) French merchant Dalny (6672 GRT, built 1914) off Capo Cervo, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
1645 hours - Sighted the 6000 tons merchant ship that was torpedoed yesterday ashore on Capo Cervo. Closed to fire a single bow torpedo but got too close. Ran out to seaward and at ....

1728 hours - Fired the stern tube from 2200 yards. A hit was obtained. The ship was on an exposed beach and was now considered to be a total loss.

13 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) makes a torpedo attack on a merchant vessel off Saint-Tropez, France. Three torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
1735 hours - Sighted a 2500 tons merchant ship in ballast. She was Eastbound. Closed to attack.

1753 hours - In position 43°14'N, 06°47'E fired three torpedoes from 2500 yards. All missed and probably ran under as the ship proved smaller then was initially thought.

17 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

31 Jan 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) is docked at Algiers.

2 Feb 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) left dock.

4 Feb 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Algiers for her 17th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 17th war patrolclick here for bigger map

10 Feb 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) makes a torpedo attack on an Italian southbound merchant vessel of 2500 tons about 5 nautical miles South-West of Acciaroli, Italy. Three torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
1202 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel at a range of 9000 yards. She was wearing the Italian ensign. Closed to attack. The ship was heavily laden so the torpedoes were set to 10 feet, enemy speed was 10 knots. The target was not escorted but there were several aircraft patrolling the area.

1230 hours - In position 40°09'N, 14°59'E fired three torpedoes from 2300 yards. No hits were obtained. The attack was not observed as the target continued on its course.

Italian sources report that the Italian auxiliary V 265 / Cesena (105 GRT, built 1921) sighted two torpedoes exploding on the coast at this time and location. If another ship was involved (given the tonnage difference), it has not been identified so far.

21 Feb 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) ended her 17th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

28 Feb 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Algiers for Gibraltar for some repairs that could not be done at Algiers.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Algiers - Gibraltar and backclick here for bigger map

3 Mar 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

8 Mar 1943
With her repairs completed HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Algiers.

12 Mar 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) arrived at Algiers.

16 Mar 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Algiers for her 18th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tribune during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Tribune 18th war patrolclick here for bigger map

22 Mar 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German tanker Pr?sident Herrenschmidt (9103 GRT, built 1932, former French, former Norwegian) about 5 nautical miles South-West of San Lucido, Italy in position 39°14'N, 15°59'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1040 hours - Sighted vessel Southbound, and hull down at a range of about 12000 yards. Tribune was between the land and the target.

1100 hours - No air escort was sighted but there was a camouflaged Spica class torpedo boat as escort present on the seaward side of the target. Tribune was thus well placed for an attack.

1115 hours - In position 39°14'N, 15°59'E fired three torpedoes from 1200 yards against what was identified as a 6000 tons tanker. The second torpedo hit the tanker aft in the engine room and the targets HE ceased at once.

1130 hours - A counter attack was commenced by the torpedo boat. Due to a leak in a ballast tank Tribune took more water in and lost trim. She sank to 320 feet. Ten depth charges were dropped singly as well as two aircraft bombs. These last two were quite close but the depth charges were not close.

1312 hours - Came to periscope depth after it had been quit for over 40 minutes. Saw the tanker in sight, stopped and well down by the stern. The torpedo boat was still present as were three aircraft. Went deep again.

1429 hours - Returned to periscope depth. No sign of the tanker but had to go deep again for aircraft. It was thought possible that the tanker had sunk.

According to Italian sources the Pr?sident Herrenschmidt was escorted by the torpedo boat Sirio. She was later towed to Naples by the tugs Salvatore Primo and Athleto.

30 Mar 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) unsuccessfully fires three torpedoes at the Italian merchant Benevento (5229 GRT, built 1918, former French Fort de Souville) about 50 nautical miles north of Ustica, Italy in position 39°37'N, 13°15'E. No hits were obtained. Benevento did however not reach Tunis (her destination), she was sunk later by British Motor Torpedo Boats.

(All times are zone -1)
1224 hours - Sighted masts and funnel of a ship at a range of 7 nautical miles, course South-West. Commenced attack.

1250 hours - Identified the target as a deeply laden 6000 tons merchant ship. Two armed trawlers were ahead. A Spica class torpedo boat was astern. Several aircraft were also patrolling the area.

1325 hours - Closed to 7000 yards. Not able to get much more closer.

1331 hours - In position 39°37'N, 13°15'E fired three torpedoes from 6500 yards (four torpedoes were intended). After just over 5 minutes two bombs were heard to explode followed by a deep explosion that was thought to be a hit. This gave a range of about 7400 yards. HE of the target ceased and was not heard again.

1336 hours - A counter attack now commenced by the two trawlers and the torpedo boat and several aircraft (Actually only torpedo boat Dezza dropped depth charges). As all three escorts joined the hunt it seemed obvious that the target was hit. The vessels circled Tribune and were in contact several times. Only 15 depth charges were dropped as well as several aircraft bombs but these did no damage. Due to trim problems Tribune sank to 380 feet. After almost one and a half hour Tribune managed to escape from the area.

1620 hours - Came to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

According to Italian sources the above mentioned Benevento was in convoy with Nuoro (3075 GRT, built 1920, former French Saint Ambroise) and Crema (1684 GRT, built 1920, former French Hebe) escorted by the Italian torpedo-boats Clio and Dezza and the German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ-2202, UJ-2203 and UJ-2207. Lt. Porter apparently had not seen all ships in this convoy.

5 Apr 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) ended her 18th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. This was the last operational patrol of HMS Tribune, due to problems with her engines (once again !) she has to return to the U.K. for refit.

3 May 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Algiers for Gibraltar. She is to proceed back to the U.K.

For the daily positions of HMS Tribune during this passage see the map below.


HMS Tribune passage Algiers - Portsmouthclick here for bigger map

7 May 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

13 May 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Portsmouth.

23 May 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

24 May 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed from Plymouth for Portsmouth where she arrived later the same day. It has been decided due to the ever returning engine troubles to use Tribune as training boat. At Portsmouth she will undergo repairs to make her fit for her role as training boat.

21 Jun 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) is docked at Portsmouth.

30 Jun 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, DSC, RN) left dock.

2 Jul 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) is docked again at Portsmouth. She left dock after only a few hours.

30 Jul 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) departed from Portsmouth for Plymouth. She arrived at Plymouth later the same day.

31 Jul 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) departed from Plymouth for Rothesay.

2 Aug 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) arrived at Rothesay to start her role as training boat.

23 Aug 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) is briefly docked at Rothesay to scrape the ships bottom. She left dock after a few hours.

14 Dec 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) is docked at Rothesay.

18 Dec 1943
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) left dock.

1 Mar 1944
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) departed from Rothesay for Blyth.

4 Mar 1944
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) arrived at Blyth.

5 Jul 1944
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) departed from Blyth for Wallsend where she is to refit at the Swan Hunter shipyard. She arrived at Wallsend later the same day.

23 Dec 1944
With her refit completed HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) departed from Wallsend for Blyth. She arrived at Blyth later the same day. She resumes her role as training boat.

29 Jun 1945
HMS Tribune is put in reserve at Blyth.

25 Sep 1945
HMS Tribune departed from Blyth for Portsmouth.

27 Sep 1945
HMS Tribune arrived at Portsmouth.

10 Nov 1945
HMS Tribune departed from Portsmouth for Falmouth where she is berthed on the mud to await scrapping.

Media links


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


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