HMS Simoom found
Turkish wreck-hunter Selcuk Kolay has found what he believes to be the Royal Navy’s long-lost S-class submarine HMS Simoom (P225) about 6 nautical miles north-west of the Turkish Aegean island of Bozcaada (Tenedos) in 67 meters of water.
The forward hydroplanes were of a folding type found on British submarines, and the single external torpedo-tube visible at the stern was also typical of S-Class subs.
Kolay reported extensive damage near the starboard hydroplane, probably caused by a surface mine. The fact that the hydroplanes were folded underlined that the sub would have been navigating at the surface when hit.
The conning tower was covered by fishing-net, but the 3in deck gun was still recognizable in front of it.
Only two British submarines were known to have been lost in the area, and the number of torpedo tubes and absence of a gun platform among other factors suggested that the find was Simoom (named after a desert wind) rather than HMS Trooper.
As noted by Uboat.net, her first war patrol off Northern Norway to provide cover for convoy operations to and from Northern Russia in early 1943 was uneventful as was her second in the Bay of Biscay. Transferring to the still very active Med, her third patrol, off the West coasts of Corsica and Sardinia was a bust.
Her 4th, providing coverage for the invasion of Sicly harassed some coastal shipping and in the end she would sink the destroyer Italian Vincenzo Gioberti in her eight month of service on 9 August 1943. Other rather sedate patrols followed.
The end of her tale came just three months later:
2 Nov 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Naxos and Mikonos, Greece. At 1142B/2 she reported that she did not hold the letter coordinates for November and would use those of October. This prompted Captain S.1 to communicate them the following evening.
On the 5th she was ordered to patrol off the Dardanelles, five nautical miles west of Tenedos.
On the 13th she was ordered to leave her patrol area PM on the 15th passing between Psara and Khios, through 35°06’N, 26°44’E and then on the surface from 34°25’N, 29°59′ E. She was due in Beirut at 0901B/20 but this was later corrected to the 19th.
Simoom did not show up at Beirut. She was declared overdue on 23 November 1943.
At 1729 hours, on 15 November, the German submarine U-565 (KL Fritz Henning) fired a single stern torpedo from 2000 metres at a target described as “probably a submarine” on course 250°, one hit was heard after 3 minutes and 48 seconds. The position recorded was Quadrat CO 3381 (36°51’N, 27°22’E or off the east coast of Kos) and it is unlikely that HMS Simoom was in the area. Post-war analysis concluded that she was probably mined on 4 November 1943 on a new minefield laid off Donoussa Island (ca. 37°06’N, 25°50’E).
However in 2016 the wreck of HMS Simoom was found off Tenedos Island (Bozcaada) by a diving team lead by Turkish wreck-hunter Selcuk Kolay. There was extensive damage near the starboard hydroplane. Most likely Simoom had hit a mine while running on the surface. The mine Simoom hit was probably one from a minefield laid by the German minelayer Bulgaria and the Italian torpedo boats Monzambano and Calatafimi in September 1941.
Vale, Simoom and her 48 officers and men.