John Cromwell Varley DSC, RN

Born  11 Oct 1919Chillworth, England, U.K.
Died  9 Apr 2000(80)Gloucestershire, England, U.K.


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Ranks

1 Feb 1940 S.Lt.
1 Jul 1941 Lt.
1 Jul 1949 Lt.Cdr.

Retired: 29 Apr 1955


Decorations

15 Jun 1945 DSC

Warship Commands listed for John Cromwell Varley, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Thirlmere (FY 206)S.Lt.ASW Whaler24 May 194016 Oct 1940
HMS H 50 (N 50)Lt.Submarine6 Sep 194325 Oct 1943
HMS Vivid (P 77)Lt.Submarine25 Oct 19434 Mar 1945
HMS Vivid (P 77)Lt.Submarine30 Apr 194518 Aug 1945

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS H 50 (N 50)


6 Sep 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.M. Michell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with aircraft. After these exercises had been completed Lt. Varley took over command of HMS H 50 from Lt. Michell. (1)

7 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with aircraft. (1)

8 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with aircraft. (1)

10 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with aircraft. (1)

12 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN). (1)

13 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) shifted from Campbeltown to Rothesay. (1)

14 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Rothesay to Tobermory. (1)

15 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Tobermory. (1)

16 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Brave (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.S. Tolliday, RNR). (1)

17 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

18 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

19 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

22 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

23 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

24 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

25 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. Upon completion of these exercises HMS H 50 proceeded to Oban. (1)

26 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) shifted from Oban to Tobermory. (1)

27 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

28 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

29 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

30 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory. (1)

2 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Tobermory for Rothesay. (2)

3 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Rothesay. (2)

9 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. (2)

10 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Londonderry. (2)

11 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle. (2)

12 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle. (2)

15 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with aircraft. (2)

16 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wild Goose (A/Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN), HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Ettrick (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR), HMS Pennywort (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN). (2)

17 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN). (2)

18 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN), HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN), HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, DSC, RN), HMS Woodcock (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C. Gwinner, DSO, RN) and aircraft. (2)

19 Oct 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN) and HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR). (2)


Submarine HMS Vivid (P 77)


3 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) shifted from the Tyne to Blyth where she arrived later the same day. (3)

7 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) was to depart Blyth for the Clyde area but was unable to do so due to engine trouble. (4)

14 Jan 1944
Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Blyth for Holy Loch. She was escorted (initially) by HMS ML 300 (T/Lt. F.C.R. Piesse, RNVR). (5)

17 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. After acceptence trials she was commissioned on the 19th.

[No further details can be given for the month of January 1944 as there is no log available). (3)

1 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted noise trials in Loch Goil. (6)

2 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted D.G. Tials in Gare Loch. (6)

6 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted gunnery + S.T.U. trials in the Clyde area. (6)

7 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.D. O'Driscoll, RNR). Also a deep dive trail was carried out. (6)

9 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.D. O'Driscoll, RNR) and HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.M. Norman, RN). (6)

10 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) returned to Holy Loch on completion of her exercises. (6)

13 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) radar trials in the Clyde area with HMS Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.D. O'Driscoll, RNR). (6)

14 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) radar trials in the Clyde area with HMS Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.D. O'Driscoll, RNR). Upon completion of these Vivid proceeded to Campbeltown. (6)

16 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) and HMS Vox (Lt. J.M. Michell, RN) both proceeded to Larne escorted by HMS ML 225 (T/Lt. D. Kaye, RNVR). (6)

17 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Larne with aircraft. (6)

18 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Larne with aircraft. (6)

19 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Gould (Lt D.W. Ungoed, RN). (6)

20 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Gould (Lt D.W. Ungoed, RN), HMS Gore (Lt J. Reeves-Brown, RN), HMS Philante (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN) and ships from the 1st Escort Group. (6)

21 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (6)

23 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (6)

24 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with aircraft followed by night attack exercises with HMS Sturdy (Lt. W.St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR). (6)

26 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Larne with aircraft. (6)

28 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Philante (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN). (6)

29 Feb 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Larne for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS ML 225 (T/Lt. D. Kaye, RNVR).

[No logs are available for March, April and May 1944 so no details can be given for these months other then currently listed.] (6)

5 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark. (4)

7 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participate in A/S exercises. (4)

16 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Lerwick.

She departed from Lerwick for her 1st war patrol later the same day. She was ordered to patrol off western Norway, Skudesnes Fjord area. (4)

21 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) is ordered to return to Lerwick. (7)

22 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (7)

24 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Truant (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN), HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN), HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN), HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) and HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) all departed Lerwick for the Clyde area. They were escorted by the British minesweeper HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.M. Norman, RN). (4)

26 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (4)

24 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. During the passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark until 1411/26 (position 50°00'N, 06°41'W). (7)

1 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) is ordered to patrol off the Portugese coast making the passage to Gibraltar her 2nd war patrol. (7)

4 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived in her patrol position. (7)

8 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) left patrol around 1400 hours. Later that day, at 1910 hours, she made rendez-vous with her escort towards Gibraltar, HMS Kilmarnock (T/A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Brown, RNVR). (7)

11 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Gibraltar. (7)

28 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. She made the passage in convoy KMS 51. (3)

2 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) arrived at Malta. (3)

5 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Malta for her 3rd war patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (7)

9 Jun 1944 (position 35.35, 25.11)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Tanais (1545 GRT, built 1906) off Crete in position 35°35'N, 25°11'E.

(All times are zone -2)
0231 hours - Sighted an object that was later identified as the German merchant Tanais escorted by three or four smaller vessels.

0308 hours - While the target was at 3500 yards, Lt. Varley dived to make a submerged torpedo attack.

0312 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2400 yards. 95 seconds after firing the first torpedo an explosion was heard followed 12 seconds later by a second explosion. After firing the torpedoes Lt. Varley took Vivid to 300 feet but no counter attacked followed.

0509 hours - Returned to periscope depth. There was nothing in sight.

14 Jun 1944 (position 36.40, 26.54)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) tried to attack the German transport Agathe (1579 GRT, built 1922) to the south-west of Kos. Agathe was in convoy with the landing barge MFP 497. They were escorted by the destroyer TA 14 and the torpedo boats TA 17, TA 19 and the motor minesweepers R 178, R 195. It was TA 19 which spotted Vivid's periscope and spoiled the attack.

(All times are zone -2)
1852 hours - In position 36°40'N, 26°54'E sighted a merchant vessel escorted by three destroyers. THe three destroyers were stationed one ahead and the other two on either beam of the merchant vessel. Bearing of the enemy was 017°, range 7700 yards, course 220°, speed 8 knots. Commenced attack.

1912 hours - The merchant vessel altered course placing Vivid in a more favourable attack position. However the starboard wing destroyer was coming up on Vivid's port quarter and she appeared to be going to pass close astern. She was doing 17 knots, presumably to keep in station.

1919 hours - The starboard wing destroyer was now bearing Red 150° and had just been reported to be in contact. Her range was estimated to be only 400 yards. It appeared that torpedoes could be fired at this destroyer from close range.

1921 hours - The destroyer, now bearing Green 140°, fired a red Very's light and had gone hard to port. Vivid immediately went deep and the attack was broken off shortly before the torpedoes could have been fired.

1922 hours - The destroyer passed overhead. Vivid was then appoaching 80 feet but fortunately no depth charges were dropped.

1927 hours - Again the destroyer passed overhead but again no depth charges were dropped.

1934 hours - Four depth charges were dropped. No damage.

1936 hours - Four more depth charges, again no damage.

1944 hours - HE ceased. Altered course to 270° to clear this area of shallow water.

2012 hours - HE faded.

2035 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

2145 hours - Surfaced and continued to retire to the south-west. (7)

19 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) is ordered to return to Malta. (7)

23 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

1 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) was docked in No.1 dock at Malta. (8)

7 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) was undocked at Malta. (8)

8 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (7)

14 Jul 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Suzanne (552 GRT, former Spanish San Juan II, built 1919) in Livadia Bay, Piscopi, Greece. Apparently there were two UJ boats present, UJ 2110 and UJ 2151.

(All times are zone -2)
1000 hours - HMS Vivid arrived off Livadia Bay. The German merchant Suzanne and an UJ boat were seen to be at anchor inside the Bay. The UJ boat appeared to be weighing anchor. Closed Suzanne for a torpedo attack.

1016 hours - Two torpedoes were fired against the Suzanne. The first torpedo hit the target. In the meantime the UJ boat was underway and was closing Vivid. Lt. Varley took the submarine deep and cleared the bay. The UJ boat was unable to obtain a contact on Vivid and she was able to slip away undetected.

18 Jul 1944 (position 35.30, 25.07)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) intended to attack a small enemy convoy of caiques with gunfire north of Crete but a gunnery action proved impossible in the pitch black night.

The escort vessel was the German patrol vessel GK 61 which was indeed escorting three caiques.

(All times are zone -2)
1825 hours - In position 35°30'N, 25°07'E sighted three caiques, estimated in seize between 50 and 80 tons, escorted by one R-boat. Enemy was bearing 120°, range 5000 yards, course 010°, speed 6 knots. Tried to close to sink the escort with a torpedo attack but this was not possible.

2025 hours - Surfaced. Continued to work round the eastward of the convoy.

2040 hours - Vivid was now in a position about 2000 yards on the starboard quarter of the small convoy (convoy bearing 300°). Closed up the gun crew but the gunlayer and trainer were unable to see the targets through their telescopes or open sights. The Gunnery Officer went down to help them with the use of his binoculars and the range was closed.

2100 hours - Range was now between 1500 and 1000 yards but it was rapidly getting darker and the targets were increasingly difficult to see even from the bridge. Fire was therefore not opened and the intended gun action reluctantly had to be broken off.

19 Jul 1944 (position 36.30, 25.08)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel VOL 807 / Agios Nikolaos with gunfire west-north-west off Santorini Island, Greece.

(All times are zone -2)
1710 hours - In position 36°30'N, 25°08'E sighted a 30 tons caique bearing 230°, range 4000 yards, enemy course 360°, speed 4 knots. Closed to attack.

1812 hours - Surfaced and open fire.

1819 hours - Dived, having sunk the target with three hits before the mast, eleven rounds having been fire in all. The crew of the vessel had been seen to abandon ship when fire was opened.

21 Jul 1944 (position 35.11, 25.11)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) claims to have sunk a large sailing vessel with gunfire north of Crete.

(All times are zone -2)
0507 hours - In position 35°33'N, 25°11'E sighted a convoy of five caiques escorted by what is thought to be a small EMS launch.

0534 hours - Surfaced and opened fire on the last caique which was straggling about half a mile behind the main convoy.

0608 hours - Dived, having disposed of the above caique, which was also the largest of the convoy and is thought to be of around 100 tons. It was seen to blow up and sank.

22 Jul 1944 (position 35.35, 24.19)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) attacked but missed the German guard boat GA 71/Pétrel VI, with four torpedoes, north-east of Suda Bay, Crete, Greece.

(All times are zone -2)
1103 hours - In position 35°35'N, 24°19'E sighted three caiques, one of 200 and the other two of 100 tons each, escorted by a large type of EMS craft and two Arado seaplanes. Enemy bearing 346°, range (approx.) 15000 yards, course 180°, speed 6 knots. This party was shortly afterwards joined by an UJ boat which proceeded close inshore, apparently from Suda Bay. It was decided that the UJ boat was the most valuable target so Vivid manoeuvered to attack.

1140 hours - During the attack received a signal from S.1 to leave patrol forthwith. Taking this into account it was decided to fire a full salvo of torpedoes at the UJ boat.

1201 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the UJ boat.

1202 hours - Heard a torpedo explosion 54 seconds after firing the first torpedo at the correct running range. This was followed 10 seconds later by a loud explosion, possibly a depth charge thought to have been dropped by one of the aircraft. Vivid was then hunted by a vessel with motor H.E. In the course of the hunt 14 depth charges were dropped. Vivid retired to the north-east at 300 feet.

1241 hours - The last two depth charges were dropped. These were much fainter then the other twelve.

1420 hours - A/S impulses were now very faint astern. Came to periscope depth. An unidentified vessel, thought to be our assailant, was sighted bearing 230°, at a range of 15000 yards. When she turned it was seen that this was not the UJ boat we had attacked.

25 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

8 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (7)

11 Aug 1944 (position 36.01, 24.05)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) attacked the small German merchant Toni (638 GRT, built 1911, former Greek Tealia) between Milos and Suda Bay in position 36°01'N, 24°05'E. The attack is unsuccessful.

(All times are zone -2)
0104 hours - In position 35°55'N, 24°08'E sighted anti-aircraft Oerlikon tracer to the northward. Closed at full speed on course 335°. Had received a signal earlier that our aircraft would be sweeping the area between Milos and Suda Bay this night, it was therefore assumed these aircraft were attacking an emeny convoy. Flares were also sighted in the direction of this AA fire.

0130 hours - A large flare-up was seen ahead and it was thought that one of the enemy ships had been hit by a bomb.

0148 hours - In position 36°01'N, 24°05'E sighted a single small vessel bearing 345°. Enemy course was 170°. She was later identified as a small tanker of about 100 to 200 tons. Manoeuvered to attack. It had been intended to fire two torpedoes.

0219 hours - HMS Vivid was sighted by the enemy at a range of 1500 yards. Dived. The enemy opened fire with a machine gun. The bridge casing was hit several times while Vivid dived. Vivid was taken to 300 feet in case the enemy was an A/S vessel, as she was unescorted this was thought possible. The enemy remained in the vicinity.

0229 hours - One depth charge was dropped.

0236 hours - HE faded.

0306 hours - Surfaced. Sighted the enemy bearing 170°. Closed at full speed.

0402 hours - At a range of 4000 yards the enemy seemed to turn towards. Dived to periscope depth but was unable to spot the enemy through the periscope.

0415 hours - Surfaced again. Enemy again spotted on bearing 170°, range 5000 yars. Closed at full speed. It was later considered that the enemy had not turned towards.

0444 hours - Decided for gun action as it was now getting too light and the enemy was too close to the coast to work around for a torpedo attack.

0445 hours - Opened fire, target bearing 120°, range 3500 yards. After the first two rounds had been fired the enemy replied with a fair sized gun from aft, furtunately it's fire was very inaccurate. Two hits were obtained by Vivid with the first nine rounds after which the gun jammed.

Re-opened fire. The enemy appeared to be out of control. In twenty minutes fifty rounds were fired for at least five hits.

0522 hours - The enemy was now on fire aft and Vivid closed to finish the ship off but then sighted an E or R boat coming towards to help the target. Broke off the gun action and dived to 300 feet. The target had been hit seven times, hits aft might have damaged her steering gear. Vivid was then hunted by the enemy and eight depth charges were dropped between 0544 and 0615 hours but they did no damage.

0615 hours - After the last depth charge had been dropped HE faded.

0627 hours - Periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Decided to remain dived for a while in case aircraft or A/S vessels were sent out by the enemy.

1029 hours - Surfaced in position 35°47'N, 24°39'E and proceeded towards the Kinaros Channel.

23 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

4 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean. (7)

10 Sep 1944 (position 39.32, 23.26)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) attacked but missed the German patrol vessel GN 01 (365 GRT, built 1918, former Greek merchant Georgios S. Krinis) with four torpedoes north of Skiathos.

(All times are zone -2)
1408 hours - Sighted a vessel bearing 200°, range 11000 yards. It was thought to be the German tanker Bertha (1810 GRT, built 1922, former French Bacchus) [The ship attacked was not Bertha, as this ship was at Pireaus]. She was escorted by an EMS craft. Started attack.

1540 hours - In position 39°32'N, 23°26'E fired a full salvo of four torpedoes from 1000 yards. Went deep (300 feet) immediately after firing. No torpedo hits were heard. A mild counter attack then followed by the escort.

1544 hours - One depth charge was dropped, quite close.

1545 hours - Another depth charge was dropped, even closer. It caused some minor damage.

1557 hours - A third depth charge was dropped but it was very distant.

1606 hours - HE faded.

1646 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted smoke in the direction of Salonika which was probably the target making for home. Commenced reloading the torpedo tubes. Remained dived.

18 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

3 Oct 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean. (7)

8 Oct 1944
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Achilles (1150 GRT) north-west of Khios Island, Greece.

She also sank the German tugs Horst and Paul with gunfire.

21 Oct 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

1 Feb 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
[The only logbook which is available for HMS Vivid is the one for March 1945, so other then for this month no further details can be given other then the ones currently displayed on this page.]

2 Mar 1945
HMS Vivid (Lt. R.M. Seaburne-May, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Bombay with HMIS Sutlej (A/Cdr. J.E. Cornish, RIN) and HDML 1457 (T/Lt. G.N. Hardiman, RNVR). (9)

11 Jun 1945
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for her 8th war patrol (1st in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol in the Malacca Straits, mainly for air/sea rescue duties. She was escorted out by the Italian sloop Eritrea until 0200/12. (7)

17 Jun 1945 (position 3.49, 100.08)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN) intercepted a small junk in the Malacca Straits. The junk was boarded but allowed to proceed.

(All times are zone -6.5)
1125 hours - In position 03°49'N, 100°08'E, sighted a junk bearing 090°, range 8 nautical miles. Closed to investigate as she appeared to be fairly large. The junks course was 360°.

1211 hours - Fired three rounds across the junk's bow which lowered her sails.

1225 hours - Boarded the junk which was found to be little more then a sampan. The cargo was found to be off little use to the Japanese and it was decided to let the crew of three to continue their voyage as it was not desired to take prisoners in this early stage of the patrol.

1250 hours - Dived. (7)

22 Jun 1945 (position 4.13, 99.20)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN) sank a junk with a demolition charge in the Strait of Malacca in position 04°13'N, 99°20'E.

(All times are zone -6.5)
0930 hours - Sighted a junk of about 30 tons in position 04°17'N, 99°15'E.

1049 hours - Surfaced and started to close the junk.

1115 hours - Range was 5000 yards away, three rounds with the deck gun were fired across the junks bow. The junk now lowered her sails.

1127 hours - The junk was boarded. The cargo was found to consist of loaf tobacco in bales. Scuttling charges were placed fore and aft and the crew of three was taken aboard.

1145 hours - Slipped from the junk. Four minutes later the demolition charges were fired. The junk started to settle but did not sink. It was then found out that one of the crew of the junk was well into the third stage of syphilis so it was decided that all three had to go in their sampan (that was alongside the junk) and try to reach Sumatra.

1221 hours - Vivid was alongside the junk again. The three crewmembers were put in their sampan and a further demolition charge was placed aboard the junk.

1226 hours - Slipped from the junk again and three minutes later the demolition charge went off. The junk was finally seen to sink at 1330 hours. (7)

25 Jun 1945
Early in the evening, HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN), suffered a defect to her starboard main generator. The machine was immediately stopped. Repairs could not be made on board. It was decided to remain on patrol. (7)

3 Jul 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (1st in the Far East) at Trincomalee. She returned to port with a defective starboard main generator which had become defective on June 25th. (7)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17832
  2. ADM 173/17833
  3. ADM 199/2574
  4. ADM 199/1385
  5. ADM 199/1391
  6. ADM 173/19425
  7. ADM 199/1876
  8. ADM 173/19309
  9. ADM 173/20823

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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