H21 Class Submarines


'H' class, 9 boats - 410/500 tons, 13/10 knots, 4tt, 22 crew, 1918-20, 2 lost:

    H.31 (Lt F B Gibbs), December 1941, North Atlantic in Bay of Biscay - 'overdue, presumed lost'. Sailed from Falmouth and left escort on the 19th December for Biscay patrol, 250 miles north of Cape Finisterre because of possible breakout by German heavy ships from Brest. Failed to answer signal on 24th and overdue by the 26th, cause of loss unknown. Possibly German minefield or drifting British mines between 19th and 24th; all 33 crew lost (Bay of Biscay patrol)

    H.49 (Lt R E Coltart), 18th October 1940, Western Europe, off Texel Island, Holland in North Sea - by depth charges from 3 German anti-submarine trawlers UJ.111,UJ.116 and UJ.118. of the 11th A/S Flotilla. Sailed from Harwich on 17th for patrol off Dutch coast at time of threatened German invasion of Britain; 26 crew lost, one survivor reached the surface and taken prisoner (Battle of Britain patrol).

    Surviving boats all scrapped before end of war - H.28, H.32,
H.33, H.34, H.43, H.44, and H.50.

Some of its history

This submarine spent much of its Second World War career exercising with the different small boats serving at HMS Seahawk or temporary attached there for anti-submarine training exercises.



Wednesday, 9 August
Weymouth Bay
Review of the British Reserve Fleet by King George VI

6th Submarine Flotilla
(Cdr J S Bethell) - tender ELFIN (blt 1933), destroyer ACHATES (comp 27 Mar 30), submarines H.32 (4 Jun 19),
H.33 (22 May 19), L.27 (24 Mar 26), SPEARFISH (5 Sep 36), STURGEON (15 Dec 32), SWORDFISH (16 Sep 32), UNITY (13 Aug 38), URSULA (29 Oct 38)


5th Submarine Flotilla (Training Flotilla at Gosport, Capt C G B Coltart CVO) - tender ship DWARF (Cdr L M Shadwell)submarines H.28 (Lt D E Mansfield), H.31 (Lt P R Ward), H.33 (Lt Cdr H J Caldwell), H.34 (Lt Cdr B T Simons), H.43 refitting at Sheerness until 7 Oct (Lt Cdr W A K N Cavaye from 7 Oct), H.44 (Lt H A V Haggard), H.49 (Lt E F Balston), H.50 refitting at Sheerness until 14 Oct (Lt Cdr J R G Harvey from 7 Oct), L.23 (Lt F J Brooks) refitting at Portsmouth comp in Sep, OBERON (Lt Cdr H C Cumberbatch), THAMES refitting at Plymouth to comp 15 Jun 40 (Cdr D V Sprague from 27 Dec)

MAY 31st 1940
Submarine H.33 arrived at Campbeltown HMS Nimrod.
JUNE 1940

DOLPHIN (Submarine Training Establishment)
5th Submarine Flotilla - miscellaneous ship/tender DWARF (Cdr E S Felton) at Portsmouth, submarine depot ship ALECTO (Lt Cdr H C Cumberbatch) at Portland, submarines CACHALOT (Lt Cdr J D Luce) at Plymouth repairing to comp 6 Jul, H.32 (Lt M J P Walters, Lt J L Livesay from 11 Jun) at Sheerness refitting to comp 14 Jun, H.33 (Lt E B Talbot, Lt E P Tomkinson from 11 Jul) at Campbeltown for anti-submarine training, H.43 (Lt G R Colvin) at Plymouth for anti-submarine training, L.27 (Lt J D Martin, Lt R E Campbell from 11 Jun) at Portsmouth refitting to comp 29 Jun, OBERON (Lt C B Crouch) at Portsmouth for training, OTWAY (Cdr H R Conway) at Portsmouth for training, TIGRIS (Lt Cdr H F Bone) at Portsmouth, Dutch O.9 (Lt Cdr H A W Goossens), O.10 (Lt Cdr G Quint), both at Portland for anti-submarine training
 Yacht - VICTORIA AND ALBERT (Lt W G C Crouch MVO, DSC Rtd) at Portsmouth
1940 Wednesday,  27 November
H.33, entering Tobermory, was in a collision with corvette HEATHER. H.33 was repaired at Oban in December.
7th Submarine Flotilla
H.33 (Lt G P Darling, Lt R M Favell from 6 Jan) at Tobermory
H.33 (Lt C H Rankin, Lt A J W Pitt from 5 Jul) at Sheerness undergoing repair,
JANUARY 1942 01 January
At Falmouth with H.32 & H.34