Thorn Crest

Large Patrol Submarine


T Class

Second Group

Pennant No.:

Laid Down:
20th January 1940.
Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.

26th August 1941.
Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk DSO.

June 1941 - Aug. 1942
Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk DSO.

5 Officers 56 Others.

Service Career:

Completed seven War Patrols - She was lost on her 8th patrol.

22nd September 1941 - Departed Holy Loch for Alexandria to join the 1st Submarine Flotilla via Gibraltar.
29th September 1941 - Arrived Gibraltar.
3rd October 1941 - Departed Gibraltar for Malta. During passage attacked an Italian convoy on the 8th October, all torpedoes missed.
10th October 1941 - Arrived Malta.

First patrol - 13th to 27th October 1941 ending in Alexandria.
Patrolled the Ionian Sea with Truant and Trusty.

Second patrol - 10th to 27th November 1941.
Patrolled Aegean Sea and carried out two 'Special Operations'.
14th November 1941 - Landed personnel and stores on Despotiko Island, Greece.
16th November 1941 - Attacked the Turkish ship Kurtulus, torpedo misses target.
23rd November 1941 - Picks up escapees from island of Despotiko.
24th November 1941 - Shelled a power station in Voudia Bay.
27th November 1941 - Arrived Alexandria.

Third patrol - 18th December 1941 to 5th January 1942.
To patrol off the West coast of Greece.
22nd December 1941 - Attacked by depth charge from convoy escort vessel.
28th December 1941 - Attacked the Italian tanker Volturno West-South-West of Cape Dukato, Greece all torpedoes missed. Thorn surfaced and carried out an attack by gunfire but unable to close the target called off the action.
30th December 1941 - Attacked and sank the Italian tanker Campina (3032 GRT) West of Cape Dukato.
5th January 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

Fourth patrol - 17th to 11th January 1942.
To patrol in the Adriatic and carry out two 'Special Operations'.
25th January 1942 - Attempted to land a party at Petrovac, Croatia but unable to do so due to bad weather.
27th January 1942 - Landed a party and stores on Mljet Island, Croatia near Saplunara.
28th January 1942 - Torpedoed and sank the Italian ship Ninuccia (4583 GRT). Her first torpedoes had missed and the ship was attacked and damaged by gun and eventually sunk by torpedo. After this sinking Thorn grounded resulting in damage to some of the torpedo tubes which could no longer be used.
30th January 1942 - Attacked and sank the Italian submarine Medusa near Promontore, Istria, Italy.
3rd February 1942 - Landed a party near Petrovac, Croatia.
11th February 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

Fifth patrol - 25th February to 17th March 1942.
To patrol off the West coast of Greece. The damage caused by the grounding on her last patrol had disabled four of her bow tubes and on sailing she only had two bow tubes which were operational.
5th March 1942 - Attacked and sank by gunfire the Italian patrol vessel AS 91 / Ottavia (259 GRT) near Cape Ortholiti.
6th March 1942 - Ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto.
17th March 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

23rd March 1942 - Departed Alexandria for Port Said.
24th March 1942 - Arrived Port Said.
28th March 1942 - Docked at Port Said presumably for repairs to her forward tubes.
12th April 1942 - Departed Port Said for Alexandria but immediately returns to Port Said.
14th April 1942 - Arrived Port Said.
18th April 1942 - Departed Port Said for Alexandria.
19th April 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

Sixth patrol - 20th April to 14th May 1942.
To patrol in the Gulf of Sirte.
7th May 1942 - Attacks an Italian convoy North-West of Benghazi, all torpedoes miss the target.
14th May 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

Seventh patrol - 27th May to 26th June 1942.
To patrol in the Gulf of Sirte and Ionian Sea.
10th June 1942 - Ordered to leave Gulf of Sirte and proceed to patrol the Ionian Sea.
17th June 1942 - Ordered to patrol off the West coast of Greece.
26th June 1942 - Arrived Alexandria.

29th June 1942 - Departed Alexandria for Haifa, possibly to be docked for repairs.
June/July 1942 - Departed Haifa for Beirut.

Eighth patrol - 21st July 1942.
To patrol off Tobruk and later in the Cape Matapan area.
29th July 1942 - Thorn had requested to stay in the Tobruk patrol area as she had sighted many targets during her time there. This was granted but she was to leave the area by the 5th August 1942 as Taku was expected to take up patrol in the area.
7th August 1942 - Thorn encountered the Italian torpedo boat Pegaso, escorting the steamer Istria from Benghazi, off southern Crete. Pegaso had seen an escorting aircraft machine-gunning the sea’s surface and moved in to investigate. Pegaso picked up a contact and carried out seven attacks after which contact was lost. Thorn failed to return from the patrol and is believed to have been lost in this attack. She was declared overdue on 11 August 1942

Depth charged and sunk by the Italian torpedo boat Pegaso off Tobruk 7th August 1942.