Eleven months aboard H.M. Submarine  STORM



Able Seaman Harold Machin


This page is formed from entries taken from the wartime diary of Able Seaman (Torpedoman) Harold Machin who served on H.M. S/M  STORM. The diary covers the period January to November 1944.  The diary has been transcribed verbatim, but unexplained gaps begin to appear tin the second half of the year.

Additional photographs used to illustrate the diary come mainly  from the Royal Navy Research Archive collection, and the  Imperial War Muse collection, unless otherwise stated. Additional information about specific incidents (and events taking place during gaps in the diary) is taken form The HMS STORM page of www.uboat.net and is shown in yellow


Abbreviations used & meaning of naval terms: A/S - Anti-Submarine: D/C - Depth Charge: M/P - Merchant Packet: Uckers - naval form of Ludo: Dhobying - washing your clothes: Make & Mend - time off to repair clothes and other kit: Run ashore - Free time away from the boat, usually on the town: 'Fish'- Torpedo.



The 'S' Class Submarine H.M.S. STORM  on the Mersey after  leaving her builder's yard.





  [14 Nov departed Lerwick for 1st War patrol off North Cape, the most northerly patrol sector covered by RN submarines].

[27 Nov STORM ended her 1st War patrol at Lerwick].



  [27 Dec 1943 HMS Storm, Lt. E.P. Young, DSC, RNVR in command, departed Holy Loch for passage to Gibraltar. This was the first leg of her trip to the Far East.]
 Sat 1st Jan   At sea, have been for four days, setting sail on 27/12/43 from Dunoon, at present 200 mites, west of Cape Finisterre. Voyage so far calm & uneventful. Have started drawing tot.


 Sun 2nd Jan Still at sea, day has been uneventful, calm although a bit of a. swell, got one wave right down the neck as went on watch.
 Mon 3rd Jan  Still at sea, sea as flat as anything. Had fun & games in a.m. came across a ship, but proved to be a neutral Spanish. Think we should have sunk it really.
 Tue 4th Jan  Bighted a hospital ship early in the morning chased it until we could decipher the recognition marks, weather still calm, about 50 miles off the mouth of the Tagus. Have just read "we are not Arnold’" by G. W. C. Day, not bad, different.
Wed 5th Jan Sighted another Spanish vessel early in a.m. chased it until identity was established. Usual routine during day & surfaced at night. Just off Cape St. Vincent lot of lights about. Weather still nice calm etc. read a book called "The Squad sent out" jolly good, written by Robert Greenwood.
Thu 6th Jan Arrived in Gibraltar about 1300. Felt lousy due to some rotten bread that was eaten, weather fairly warm. Gib looks much the same. went for a bath. in the Warspite. Squashed the middle finger of left hand - more blood than that.
Fri 7th Jan Still at Gib. Had to go to to sick bay with jolly old finger, bit of a mess. Painted: the bridge blue & after casing. No Make& Mend owing to this. Went ashore at night with chaps had big eats etc.
Sat 8th Jan Still at Gib. Went to doctor in a m. had to work in afternoon painting etc., fetching charts. Wrote home and to Betty. Rained all day.
Sun 9th Jan Left Gib with convoy of about 45 vessels - sea very calm & weather nice & mild. At night was just off Oran. Speed of convoy is only about 6½ knots.

[STORM made part of the passage (to about Malta) in convoy KMS 37].

Mon 10th Jam Still flat calm seas. In a.m. had a. practice shoot. At dusk had our first air-raid. No ships sunk. We damaged one plane. Convoy still rolling along at a. steady slow 6 knots,
Tue 11th Jan Read “No nightingales” by Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon, a. good book. No special incidents happened. At night just off Algiers, saw it in the distance, three ships left convoy, about a dozen joined. Lovely weather, sunny. Full moon at night.
Wed 12th Jan Still same routine. No incidents of note. Quite a bit of swell but day quite warm. Off cape Bizerta at night. One or two ships joined convoy, one or two left.
Thu 13th Jan During the day bumped into one or two convoys. Bizerta & Tunis. At night were just off cape bon. Uneventful day. Sea a bit rough - but calmed down at night.
Fri 14th Jan Still with convoy. During day passed by Malta, Gozo and Sicily. Warm weather. Some of ships left convoy. Read “Huntingtower” by John Buchan.
Sat 15th Jan Left convoy in early a.m. Dived for trim for half hour, and then proceeded at a steady 12½ knots. Sighted 7 aircraft but they were after convoy, missed us. Warn weather but sea had a nasty swell.
Sun 16th Jan Dived in a.m. had to keep at 80 ft as sea was too rough to keep periscope depth all time. Surfaced at night. Very rough, lots of people ill.
Mon 17th Jan Dived again in a.m. calmed down during day & when surfaced bridge hardly got any over. At night just about 40 miles off Crete. Read “The lady of the Barge” by W.W. Jacobs.
Tue 18th Jan In a.m. had to dive owing to two enemy aircraft in vicinity. At midnight just about 160 miles north of Alexandria. Rainy day. Sea calmed down a bit.
Wed 19th Jan Still at sea. Nasty stern swell all day. Intermittent rain & sunshine. Nothing of note happened during day. Rather close below decks.
Thu 20th Jan Arrived in Beirut, Syria. Rained like anything. Duty watch & had plenty of work to do. First impressions rather poor.
Fri 21st Jan Still rainy but cleared up later. Went ashore & went round the Arab markets. Bought some silk stockings etc.
Sat 22nd Jan Work in a.m. ashore later with three chaps, went to cabaret etc. Lovely sunny weather, Cold at night though.
Sun 23rd Jan Duty. Topped up batteries. Plenty of work to do. Sunny & warm day. Bags of mosquitoes.
Mon 24th Jan Worked on log most of day with Wally. Went for a quiet run ashore. Big eats & cinema. Finance very strained.
Tue 25th Jan Still at Beirut. Worked on night sights. Went bathing in afternoon, O.K. After went to flicks had to borrow money.
Wed 26th Jan Worked provisioning ship in a.m. got all gear down in boat ready for leaving tomorrow. Slept in boat at night.
Thu 27th Jan Left Beirut at 0800 arrived at Haifa, Palestine about 1800. Voyage calm. No incidents. Packed off to a base lots of bugs & things sunny day.
Fri 28th Jan Still at Haifa. Moved in a.m. into dry dock. Went to flicks up at base & saw a propaganda film ’Next of kin’. Read “The Tarot Murder" by Ludwig.
Sat 29th Jan In a.m. changed over to fire and man. Rainy. Left Haifa about 5 pm. Rough weather. carried one passenger. Spent 6 hours at night looking for survivors of a Wellington.
Sun 30th Jan cleared it up, took to 1 am.
Mon 31 Jan Left Port Said early in morning travelling through Suez Canal all day. Windy but warm. Arrived at Port Suez at night stayed here for night.
Tue 1st Feb Left Port Suez travelling down the gulf of Suez. Lovely hot sun, but a cooling breeze: most of the time. Land in sight most of the way. Pretty barren & uninteresting.


Left: The commanding officer, Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Commander) E.P. Young, DSC, RNVR', the first RNVR officer to command an operational submarine. © IWM (A 28129)

Right: Members of he crew pictured in the Fore-ends (Torpedo Storage Compartment and accommodation space). As a Torpedoman this is where Harold would have lived and worked.© IWM (A 28123)


Wed 2nd Feb Still at sea. Getting very warn. Crossed Tropic of Cancer. Bit of a swell. Read “Red Peppers Patients" by G.S. Richmond also “Mystery On The Midnight Mail" by Henry Holt.
Thu 3rd Feb Hot, still at sea. Had one or two games of chess. Read "Beyond Control" by Rex Beach. slight swell.
Fri 4th Feb Still at sea. Stopped the boat & managed to have a bathe in a.m. Revolver competition. E.R. has won easily. Jolly good do tho', played chess at night, also Lexicon during day.
Sat 5th Feb Still at sea. Had two swims a.m. & p m. also another pistol competition. Water rationed. Very warm, 'spect it will get hotter still.
Sun 6th Feb Read “Quaguiste” by Henty x Marks (?). Still at sea. Bit rough. Spray coming over most of the time cooler. Played chess at night. Worked in tube space in forenoon.
Mon 7th Feb Arrived in Aden in a.m. Duty. Hot day. Sent off a lot of dhobying to wogs. Sorted out some of it.
Tue 8th Feb Some survivors arrived alongside. Went ashore in afternoon to view place. Rather barren. Had big eats & iced drinks. Went to a Yankee show at night. Rather dirty but funny.
Wed 9th Feb Still at Aden, painting out tube space. Read "The Traitor" By Sydney Horler. Ashore at night. Saw a film "The Top of the Town" rather ancient. Saw in an open air cinema.
Thu 10tth Feb Left Aden at night. During a.m. painted in tube space. Hot. Left in company with the “TANTIVY”,”k14” a Dutch boat & a corvette as escort.
Fri 11th Feb At sea. Nice breeze although quite hot. In a.m. did trim dive. Also worked in tube space, painting.
Sat 12trh Feb Still at sea. Lovely weather with a good cool breeze. In a.m. painted in tube space. Had a rotten headache most of day.
Sun 13th Feb Still at sea. Read “David & Diana" by Cecil Roberts. Not quite so warm. Sea a little rougher.
Mon 14th Feb Still at sea. Read ‘Library of Humour’ by A.P. Herbert. Sea rather choppy with a fairly strong breeze. Warm though. Convoy split up. All going separate ways.
Tue 15th Feb Still at sea. Good weather. Put clocks back a couple of hours at night. U-Boat somewhere in vicinity. Painted in fore-ends in a.m.
Wed 16th Feb Still at sea. Read ‘Wanted to Live’ by Cecil Roberts. Had a real good tropical storm in a.m. rest of time sunny.
Thu 17th Feb Still at sea. Rather stormy. Choppy sea. Read ‘Giving and Receiving’ by E. V. Lucas. A series of essays, quite good.
Fri 18th Feb Still at sea. Dived during day for 14 hours. Lack of fresh water. Rationed. Read ‘Prelude to War’ by Leslie Charteris, a saint book.
Sat 19th Feb Still at sea, rainy and what rain. Read ‘Lost Man in the Grass’ by Alan Grief.
Sun 20th Feb Still at sea. Hot & sunny. Rendezvoused with “TANTIVY” & an Italian Sloop “ERITREA” going round coast of Ceylon.
Mon 21st Feb Still at sea. Very hot sunshine. Nearly reached destination. sea flat calm.
Tue 22nd Feb Arrived at Trincomalee in a.m. Worked with fish in afternoon. At night were awakened by an alarm that Jap Fleet was out. Had to work till four a.m.



Trincomalee Harbour, sometimes referred to as the Scapa Flow of the East, Images: Don Mackenzie collection.

Click to see larger image


Wed 23rd Feb Alarm still good. Worked like hell all day. Sweat flying everywhere. Managed to get a swim at night. Read “The Fortunate Lady” by Frank Swinnerton.
Thu 24th Feb In a.m. had to work pretty hard to finish everything off. Wrote letters in afternoon. Set off on patrol at 1820. Raining at night. Choppy sea. [Departed Trincomalee for her 2nd war patrol, ordered to patrol in the Malacca Straits].
Fri 25th Feb At sea, rainy as anything. Mess split up into 2. Worked in tube space in a.m. did trim dive. Had a gramophone on at night.
Sat 26th Feb At sea. Rainy. Bit rougher. Nothing of note happened during day. Worked in mness in forenoon.
Sun 27th Feb At sea. Had a fearful headache all day. Roughish sea. spray coming over a lot. Worked in mess in a.m.
Mon 28th Feb Still at sea. At dawn dived. Sighted an enemy submarine. Too far to get in an attack. Surfaced at night. Lovely calm sea, moonlight. [Most likely the Japanese submarine I-165 that had departed Penang for a patrol in the Indian Ocean the day before].
Tue 29th Feb At sea. Dived at dawn again. Although still on way to petrol billet. Pretty good dive, No.1 side lookout good ho. Did routine on fish.
Wed 1st Mar At sea. Still on way to billet. Did another 1 routine on fish. Need to dive twice, once for aircraft, other for a junk which we didn't bother about in the end. Read ‘Riley Sails The Sea' by Peter Dawlish (?). Hot. Lot of wreckage & foliage floating on sea.
Thu 2nd Mar Read “The Trial Of Mussolini” by Cassius. Dived at dawn. Saw a merchant vessel escorted by a corvette. Didn’t bother about it as it was too small. Did another F on a fish. Pretty hot when dived.
Fri 3rd Mar Dived about 4.45 am. Read ‘Margaret Ogilvy’ by J.M. Barrie - the story of his own mother. Hot when dived. Lot of junks about. Saw the sane patrol vessel as yesterday, left if. Surfaced about 7.45 pm. Misty.
Sat 4th Mar Dived at dawn. Read “Late Spring" by Peter Donavan, not bad. Didn’t sight anything during day. Hot. Eggs turned rotten. Lousy stink. Surfaced at night, Calm sea. "STOIC" on way to relieve us.
Sun 5th Mar Dived at dawn. Had the middle again. Read “The 39 Steps" by John Buchan. Had an alarm after surfacing at night. Proved only to be a junk. Sea pretty calm. Misty up top though.
Mon 6th Mar Dived at dawn. Read “The Power House” by John Buchan. Uneventful day. Surfaced at night, calm flat seas. Misty. Not quite so close, hot during day.
Tue 7th Mar Read “The Watcher on the Threshold” by John Buchan. Dived at dawn. Uneventful day. Surfaced at night. Did a bit of dhobying. Calm seas, bit of a wind. Had bit of a do, fired 4 fish but kissed within inches owing to being set to deep. Spent most of night and a.m. loading new fish, sweaty work. [2348 hours - attack made at on a Japanese A/S vessel from 2000 yards, missed and then had to avoid a depth charge attack].
Wed 8th Mar Ship was dived most of night & of course all day. Surfaced at night. Read ‘The Moon Endureth" by John Buchan. Calm seas no wind & very warn.
Thu 9th Mar Dived at dawn. Air conditioning fallen over. Pretty hot, mended later. Uneventful day. Surfaced at night. Calm seas, bright moon. Started writing to buster.
Fri 10th Mar Dived at dawn. Cooler during day owing to air conditioning repaired. Surfaced at night. Read “Softly Softly Catchee Monkey” by Stephen Lister.
Sat 11th Mar Dived at dawn. Uneventful day. Quite hot tho'. Surfaced at night. Calm sea. Read “The Mantle of Methuselah” by Langford Reed & Hetty Spiers.
Sun 12th Mar Had an alarm early on, had to dive. Couple of depth charges dropped. Kept down until 2 pm. Another alarm at 3. Dived. Sunk a merchant packet by gun action. On way home dived in middle of night owing to some chaser or other. [1819 hours - sank a coaster with gunfire in the Malacca Strait; opened fire with the 3" gun from 3000 yards. The target soon stopped and did not put up a fight].
Mon 13th Mar Dived again at o600 owing to aircraft. Surfaced after 1/4 of hour, on surface all day:. Choppy sea. Read "The Story of Dr Wassell" by James Hilton
Tue 14th Mar Dived at dawn. In between Nicabar Islands. Nothing happened out of ordinary. Topped up batteries. Surfaced at night. Bit choppy.
Wed 15th Mar At sea. On surface all day. Rained like anything, nothing out of ordinary. Bit of a swell.
Thu 16th Mar Still at sea & on surface. Expect to be in on Sat. Uckers competition going on. Still a bit of swell, rainy.
Fri 17th Mar Still at sea, on way back. Bit choppy & rainy. Played off my round of Uckers competition - lost. Read “A Short History of the World” by H.G. Wells.

Sat 18th Ma

Arrived in harbour at Trincomalee. Tied up alongside "MAIDSTONE". Nearly everybody got drunk on bottled bubbly. Didn’t do much, had a couple swims- one forcibly. [Ended her 2nd war patrol].

The Submarine Depot Ship MAIDSTONE, (seen here at Algiers) which catered for the maintenance of Submarine Flotillas in ports where no shore establishment existed for the purpose. Image © IWM (A 16325)


Sun 19th Mar Half of us sent to rest camp right in middle of Ceylon. Mess up with Lorries, didn't start till 10 arrived about 9.30 pm. got a bit fed up with Lorries. Quite cold too, being so high up in the hills.
Mon 20th Mar This place is called Diyatalawa went a ramble over hills in afternoon. Same again at night. Slept very well at night being a bit tired after so mch exercise. [Royal Navy Rest Camp Diyatalawa, H.M.S. UVA].
Tue 21st Mar Got up about 8.30, watched people play golf. Went for a walk in a.m. In afternoon took a taxi to Bandarawela, the nearest village from here. Had our photos taken. Hot day, rained at night. Wrote a few letters. Read “Secret Servant” by Bernard Newman.
Wed 22nd Mar In a.m. lazed about in deck chair. In afternoon went for a walk & on return wrote letters. At night went for another walk then saw film “Here Comes the Marines”.
Thu 23rd Mar In a.m. sat & read in sunshine. After dinner had a game of tennis (tried to anyway). Pretty hot. Rainy at night. Stayed in played cards.
Fri 24th Mar In a.m. played tennis. Bit cloudy tho'. In afternoon went a short walk around a tea plantation. At night wrote letters.
Sat 25th Mar Played tennis in morning, had a bit of a tournament. In afternoon went to Bandarawela & collected photographs. Rained like anything - at night went to cinema saw “Good Luck Mr Yates”.
Sun 26th Mar In a.m. played tennis with the boys, in afternoon went swimming at a waterfall then had big eats & watched a football match. Rained like anything, had lots of eggs.
Mon 27th Mar In a.m. went for a short walk & played snooker. In afternoon rained like anything so turned in. after tea played tennis with the boys, then at nigh wrote to Betty.
Tue 28th Mar In a.m. went for a long walk going through Haptale returning about 3 pm. At night went to films “What’s Buzzin Cousin” With Ann Miller & Rochester.
Wed 29th Mar In a.m. played tennis with the lads. In afternoon went swimming. Rained real and proper. In was just as wet as out. Wrote letters at night. Short walk 1.11 before turning in.



Left: Long view looking at H.M.S. UVA. Centre: The Wardroom. Right: Camp Hotel & Bar

Click to see larger image

Thu 30th Mar In a.m., played tennis, same in afternoon. After tea, went swimming. Killed a snake there almost a yard long. After packed all our gear up.
Fri 31st Mar Started from rest camp about 2.30 in the a n. took all day. Stopped at Kandy & Nuwara on way back. Hot day. Started sweating again. Found a bit of mail waiting.
Sat 1st Apr In a.m., boat moved out of dry dock. In afternoon started messing about with fish. Sweated like anything. Duly at night. Wrote home. [H.M.S. STORM was in dry dock March 29th – April 1st].
Sun 2nd Apr All day loaded fish. Hot sweaty work. A few letters arrived, went swimming at night, good ho. wrote to Betty.
Mon 3rd Apr At sea all day doing practice shoot & attacks. Tied up about 6 pm. saw a film on well deck at night, William Powell & Myrna Loy in “The Shadow of the Thin Man”. Worked on paintwork in fore end. [Conducted exercises off Trincomalee].
Tue 4th Apr In morning went to sea for some sound trials. Worked in fore ends flowing up fish & putting igniters in. Managed to get a swim in afternoon. After tying up at 11 a.m., went to the dentist, had one tooth stopped. Swam again at night. Provisioned ship. Duty & had to work late.
 Wed 5th Apr In a.m. charged the after fish. Dentist polished off my front teeth. Dropped an igniter on deck-quite some sparks. In afternoon went for a row with chef in canoe. Had a swim at same time. Wrote letters at night after which went to service in church. Hot day. Played cards till 1 am.
Thu 6th In a.m. set off on patrol. On way out had a shoot & then a few attacks on a Yankee destroyer then an asdic exercise. Worked in fore ends on numerous leaks. Dived about 5 times. Hot in boat. Finished exercise about 1600. Left escort at 1830. Calm seas. [Departed Trincomalee for her 3rd war patrol with orders to patrol off Port Blair, Andaman Islands].
Fri 7th Apr At sea, in .m. pulled back no. 5 fish to do a 'P' routine. Finished about 11. Hot sunny day. on way to Andaman islands. Calm seas.
Sat 8th Apr At sea. In a.m. did a routine on no. 3 fish, found a big snag. Tried to pull it out again at night & take out valve group. Warm day. Read the ‘Spy’ by Upton Sinclair.
Sun 9th Apr At sea. In a.m. did routines on 6 & 4 fish. Dived at dawn & kept down all day. Had a short service in C. O. R. at 11.30. Surfaced at night just off Little Andaman Isles. Read "Bengal Lancer" by F Yeats Morris.
Mon 10th Apr At sea. Dived at dawn. Surfaced at night. Read "Dusk To Dawn" by A G Street. Land in sight- Andaman Islands.
Tue 11th Apr Dived at dawn. Had an alarm in afternoon, nothing happened tho’. Read "The Whiskered Footman" by Edgar Jepson. Surfaced at night. Calm seas.
Wed 12th Apr Dived at dawn. Read "Love Story" by Ernest Bornehan. Good few aircraft & ships were about, 1 D/C dropped. Surfaced at night. Lot of land about.
Thu 13th Apr In a.m. fired 4 fish at tanker, Missed. loaded in reload. hot. calm sea. had a rotten headache when surfaced at night.. [0505 hours - off Port Blair, fired four torpedoes – believed all missed astern. STORM went deep on firing. No counter attack followed].
Fri 14th Apr Early in a.m. S/M chaser sighted, it fired on us, we dived, were going to sink it when a merchant packet escorted by 2 aeroplanes & ships spotted. Sank it. Lot of bombs & D/CS. Loaded in 2 reloads. Read "Clansman" by Ethel Boileau. [0852 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from about 5000 yards. Went deep after firing and ran the the South-East. 3 Minutes and 20 seconds after firing there were two sharp explosions with a 5 second interval; 2 possible hits were claimed but no Japanese ship was sunk in that position on this date. 0901 – 1050 hours – under counter attack, 21 depth charges were dropped. No damage was caused by them].
Sat 15th Apr In a.m. sighted a merchant packet, destroyer & a S/M chaser, sunk destroyer, damaged M/P. Dived till 1200 to top up batteries, then followed M/P. sighted it about 1700. Read "Fu Manchu" by Sax Robner. [0837 hours - torpedoed and sank the Japanese minesweeper W 7; fired last two remaining Bow torpedoes from 4000 yards. After 3 minutes and 34 seconds two explosions were heard with 4 seconds between them. One torpedo remained in the stern tube. Missed the merchantman but hit, what the captain believed was a Destroyer, but in fact was a minesweeper, sinking it].

Japanese minesweeper W7


Sun 16th Apr Read "Pearl Island" by Henry C Rowland. Lost M/P. Had to dive first in a.m. still on surface sighted a plane, didn't see us. In afternoon had a. gun action with A/S vessel, had to dive owing to a jam. 6 D/Cs dropped. On way back to Trinco. [1432 hours - attacked a Japanese armed yacht with her 3" gun off Little Andaman Island. At a range 4500 yards STORM returned fire. By the 6th shot the range was found but after the 10th round however the ammunition supply suddenly y halted. The action had to be broken off, STORM submerged under fire and 6 depth charges were dropped by the enemy but sustained no damage].
Mon 17th Apr Read "Through Flood And Fire" By Robert William Mackenna. Bit of a swell all day. Sun very hot.
Tue 18th Apr On surface all day. Met the "STOIC" on way out to patrol. Hot day, glowing sun, calm seas.
Wed 19th Apr Met our escort 3 M.T.Bs about 0600. Arrived in harbour about 11.30 Jolly Roger flying. In afternoon went out in jolly canoe. Swan a good bit. Cooler today. [HMS STORM ended her 3rd war patrol at Trincomalee].
Thu 20th Apr Rest of the chaps went on leave. In a.m. got after tube clear so as to move fish. Greased the front door. Hot day. Messed about in afternoon. At night flicks, Constance Bennet in "Sin Town"- not much good. Wrote hone & Betty
Fri 21st Apr In a.m. greased bow caps etc, of forward tubs. Had a tooth stopped. Foot sentry all afternoon. Hot day. Boat’s heated up a lot. Duty at night. Wrote to John.
Sat 22md Apr Foot movement at 0715. Was mess cleaner all morning. In afternoon slept & read "David & Destiny" by Ian Hay. Had a letter from Pat & H Haughty. Hot day.
Sun 23rd Apr In a.m. worked in fore-ends, trenches etc. On sentry most of afternoon. Read "3 Men in a Boat" Jerome K. Jerome. Wrote letters at night A.R. & Pat.
Mon 24th Apr worked on after fish. Had front tooth stopped again. In afternoon took out a canoe. Spent time in swimming and messed about. At night wrote To Len & Joan. Saw "Crash Dive" with Tyrone Power.
Tue 25th Apr Still in harbour. A.m. & p.m. messed about with stern tube. Dentist had another tooth stopped, 3 injections for it. Hot day. Rained at night tho'. wrote letters.
Wed 26th Apr Worked in a.m. doing water shots & getting out mining gear. Make & Mend in afternoon. Finished off at dentists, polished ‘em off. Wrote letters to Adam, Shucks and Mary. Hot day.
Thu 27th Apr In a.m. fired more water shots. Inspected all mining gear. Gashed my head open, 1 stitch. Saw Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney in "Strike Up The Band".
Fri 28th Apr In a.m. cleared up fore-ends ready for fish, also loaded stern fish into tube. Make & Mend in afternoon. Foot movement at 3pn. Wrote a few letters at night. Hot day, swam once.
Sat 29th Apr In a.m. got 6 fish in. In afternoon put in pistols & igniters. Topped with air. Pretty rotten sweating all time. Worked after tea putting fish in tubes. Duty at night.
Sun 30th Apr In a.m. went to sea for sound trials, had a cold run on no 4 fish. Took all day putting things right. Wrote to Betty at night. Rest of crew cane back off leave. Sweated a lot.
Mon 1st May In a.m. loaded 6 more fish in. Finished by 12. Tropical routine started. Saw a film at night" Ray Milland & Paulette Goddard in "The Crystal Ball".


Alongside the depot ship at Trincomalee.

Left Unloving hammocks and kitbags after a patrol.

Right: Loading Torpedoes in preparation for the next patrol © IWM (A 22334)



[4th May STORM conducted exercises off Trincomalee. 6th May departed Trincomalee for her 4th war patrol, to patrol off the North coast of Sumatra and to conduct a special operation.]


Sun 14th May Dived at dawn. Read "Ann & Her Mother" by O. Douglas. Surfaced at darkness. Played cards. Failed to pick up agent we landed, gave signal but in wrong position.
Mon 15th May Read "The Search Party" by George A Birmingham. Dived al dawn. No incidents. had another go to pick up agent, failed. left the place with a warm send off. guns etc.
Tue 16th May Read "Just Impediment" by Constance J Smith, played cards until diving stations. Dived al 5 an. no incidents during day. Surfaced at night about 7.30. Bit of a swell coming over just a little.
Wed 17th May Dived at dawn. Read "The Apple Of Concord" by Richard Church. Uneventful day. Surfaced at dark. Played cards. Pitch black night. Pulled back no 2 fish, mended a leak.
Mon 22nd May Dived at dawn. Read "Winter In April" by Robert Nathan. No incidents. Sighted a beached ship. Surfaced at night. Left billet.
Tue 23rd May Dived at dawn. Passed through Nilcobars. Surfaced at 1500. Read "The Eight Crooked Trenches” by Francis Beeding. Bit of a swell.
Wed24th May Had an extension of patrol come, returning to 10° channel. Hunting for U-boat. Dived at 6pm- on arrival at billet surfaced after an hour or so - don't suppose we'll see anything myself. Quite a bit of a swell.
Thu 25th May Swell eased off considerably by early a.m. dived at dawn but surfaced again about 8 a.m . keeping watches on R.D.F. after aircraft - surface S/M (periscupe etc). Periscope watch. Normal going in motors-to run batteries down i suppose. Had to dive twice for aircraft. Left place about 1 pm for Trinco.

[29th May 1944 HMS STORM ended her 4th war patrol at Trincomalee].
[11 - 12 Jun 1944 HMS STORM conducted exercises, including night exercises, off Trincomalee].
[13 Jun 1944 HMS STORM departed Trincomalee for her 5th war patrol].
[18 Jun 1944 HMS STORM torpedoed and sank the Japanese auxiliary gunboat EIKO MARU].
[20 Jun 1944 HMS STORM attacked German U-boat U-1062 with torpedoes in the Malacca Strait. 0940 hours - Fired six torpedoes from 2500 yards, all missed]..
[25 Jun 1944 HMS STORM ended her 5th war patrol at Trincomalee].
[15 Jul 1944 HMS STORM departed Trincomalee for her 6th war patrol].


Fri 21st Jul Dived at 5.30. After breakfast did a 'P' on '1' fish, this entailed moving all the provisions etc. Rolled quite a bit at 30 ft. Surfaced at night. Quite a bit of swell. No incidents. Rainy.
Sat 2nd Jul In a.m. dived, then did two more 'P' routines on 5 & 6, pretty rotten didn’t finish till 10. Surfaced at 1850. Rainy bit of a swell.
Sun 23rd Jul Dived at dawn. At 10 am surfaced and had gun action with small tanker, 2 prisoners 1 Jap 1 Malayan. Then went inshore & sank two tugs. Dived again at 1300. One fellow injured by shrapnel, later had a do with 2 A/S vessels. guns jammed up forced to dive. 2 D/Cs pretty near.
[Sank the Japanese coaster KISO MARU just North off Port Owen, Tavoy Island, Burma 0940 hours - Surfaced 800 yards on the coasters Port quarter & engaged with the 3" gun. Ceased fire at 0945 hours after 28 rounds, all of which hit and slowly sank. At 1035 hours - Sighted three vessels in Port Owen harbour. One was the hulk of a junk but the other two were small patrol vessels anchored close inshore. 1050 hours - opened fire on one of the patrol vessels from 1200 yards; the third round hit her and she stopped. The Japanese in the meantime had opened fire with machine guns. As soon as the crew of the first patrol vessel abandoned ship fire was shifted to the second patrol vessel. Soon this vessel was also abandoned. Both vessels were then finished off. At 1636 hours - off King Island two landing craft were sighted proceeding down river from Mergui. 1700 hours - Surfaced for gun action at a range of about 1800 yards. After two near-misses one vessel turned away. The other one turned toward and opened fire with two machine guns. It was intended to shift fire to this landing craft when the 3" gun malfunctioned. Fire was then to be opened with the Oerlikon but this gun also malfunctioned. 1704 hours - dived and proceeded Northwards at speed, 2 D/Cs dropped near-by].
Mon 24th Jul Read "England Made Me" by Graham Greene. Spent all day on the surface cruising around a lot of islands called the Mergui Archipelago. Lots of wooded forests but no signs of habitation. Rained a lot.
  [7th Aug 1944 HMS STORM ended her 6th war patrol at Trincomalee].
  [25 Aug 1944 HMS STORM departed Trincomalee for her 7th war patrol].
Wed 30th Aug Dived in a.m. Pulled back no. 4 Fish And Did A ‘P’ Routine On It. Surfaced At 7 Pm. Played Monopoly. Read "Penguin Parade no 9". Good.
Thu 31st Aug Dived at dawn. Had a good sleep from 6 - 1. Read "Snow Vogue" by Darcy Glints. Surfaced at 7 pm. Played monopoly.
Fri 1st Sep Dived at dawn. Read "The Greatest People In The World" By Pilot Officer X. At 10 pm fired five fish at a convoy, missed. 2 D/Cs dropped. Surfaced. Shadowed 'en. got ahead & stayed near surface in Mergui Archipelago.
[1136 hours – fire 5 torpedoes at convoy, range 600 yards, in the Forrest Strait, Mergui Archipelago. No hits were obtained].
Sat 2nd Sep Dived in a.m. rained like anything just before. At 1030 convoy caught up with us again. Surfaced. Canned ‘em, sank two A/S vessels & 1 tanker. Stayed on surface rest of day. Two torpedoes fired at us.
[1117 hours - Surfaced and opened fire on the rear coaster from 2000 yards. 7 or 8 fairly destructive hits were obtained. She turned away and limped towards the shore. Fire was then shifted to the coaster ahead of her. She was hit several times and eventually stopped. By now both escorts were racing towards STORM firing their machine guns. Fire was now switched to both of them with the 3" gun, Oerlikon and Vickers. One of the escorts was sunk and the other one was left a wreck but refused to sink. A Japanese MTB now engaged and at a range of 3000 yards she turned and fired two torpedoes. The tracks passed about 100 yards astern of STORM. An MGB next attacked scoring some hits on STORM’s casing but no damage. Attempts to finish off disabled craft were abounded when the 3” gun malfunctioned again].



Duties: As a member of the Torpedo  Branch Harold worked primarily on Torpedo and Mining duties such as maintaining and  lading the torpedoes - left (Notice this is the same compartment in which Harold lived when not used as a torpedo work space). He would also have taken turns at other duty stations during the patrol, including helmsman - right © IWM (A 22329).


  [22 Sep HMS STORM ended her 7th war patrol at Fremantle, Australia].
  [10 Oct HMS STORM departed Fremantle, Australia for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Boni, Celebes, Netherlands East Indies].
  [20 Oct At 1455 hours, shortly after arriving in her patrol area, HMS STORM was bombed by a Japanese aircraft while at periscope depth. Some minor damage was caused by this bombing. Storm then withdrew to seaward as the area her C.O. intended to operate in was now compromised.]
Sun 29th Oct Read "Four Frightened People" by E Arndt Robertson. Dived at dawn. Surfaced at 5.41 to sink 2 schooners. Kept on surface all day, keeping periscope watch.

[Sank two schooners with gunfire and demolition charges in the Gulf of Boni: 0332 hours - Sighted a darkened vessel fairly close. This was later seen to be a schooner. 0416 hours - Dived. 0500 hours - Sighted 2 more sails to the Westward which were soon seen to be a schooner and a cutter. Closed to attack. 0540 hours - Surfaced near the nearest schooner. The crew were sent away in their canoe. Boarded her. 0615 hours - Sank the schooner, named MASELOMO, with gunfire. Proceeded towards the second schooner. 0650 hours - The crew had already lowered her sail and abandoned ship before STORM reached her. She was then boarded. Her name was BOENGA PADI. She was sunk with a demolition charge. 0720 hours - In the meantime the small cutter, one mile away, had also been abandoned. The crew had left with their canoe. On board there was only a small cargo of rice and a few bricks. The crews of both schooners and the cutter were now collected and placed on the cutter with orders to sail to the West which they did].

Mon 30th Oct Dived at dawn" moved back to where bombs were dropped on us. had afternoon watch surfaced at 1900. Calm seas, land in sight. Read "A Man About The House" by Francis Brett –Young.
Tue 31st Oct Dived at 0405. Was on watch at time. Had 8-12 watch diving .Did xword. Surfaced at sunset. Hot day. Had middle watch during which sighted a. schooner which we sunk taking natives on board & then early in a.m. ditching in on a fishing boat. Cut some fish, sunk another one at 10.15. Read "Swallow Brown" by Stephen Hockaby.
  [1 Nov sank two schooners with gunfire and demolition charges in the Gulf of Boni: 0100 hours - Sighted a Westbound schooner. Closed and boarded. The schooners hold was full with nickel ore. The crew of 11 Malays was taken on board and the schooner named GOENONG PERAK was sunk with gunfire. 0930 hours - Sighted a schooner bearing 072° sailing to the South-West. Closed. A warning shot had to be fired across her bows before she lowered sail. 1000 hours - Boarded. She too was full of nickel ore. The Malay crew was sent away in their canoe. Her name was SABARAE. 1031 hours - The schooner was sunk with a demolition charge].
Thu 2nd Nov In a.m. sunk 3 schooners & then ditching in on a fishing boat. Later sunk four more ditching the natives in like fashion. Had to dive thrice for aircraft. All crew suffering from lack of sleep.

[2 Nov sank seven schooners gunfire off the Gulf of Boni: 0540 hours - Sighted three Westbound schooners bearing 130°. 0559 hours - Dived for an aircraft detected by radar. 0616 hours - Surfaced and chased the schooners. 0637 hours - Dived again for an aircraft detected by radar. 0646 hours - Surfaced and resumed the chase. 0700 hours - Fired a warning shot. All three schooners dropped sail. Boarded each in turn. They all carried nickel ore. One of them was named MOELAM PEKKEE, the other two were un-named. The crews were taken off and sent below. This meant that there were 18 Malays in the submarine. Four more schooners had meanwhile been sighted on the horizon to the South-West. A fishing vessel was sighted to the Northward. As there was not much wind and the schooners would not be able to sail at a high speed Lt.Cdr. Young decided to get rid of the Malays first. 0745 hours - Left the abandoned schooners and proceeded five miles to the North towards the fishing vessel. 0828 hours - Disembarked the Malays and returned to the three schooners. 0901 hours - Sank the three schooners in turn with gunfire. 0930 hours - Proceeded towards three of the four schooners sighted earlier. The 4th was some distance to the windward of the others. It was decided to sink the three and then disembark the crews in the fourth. 1005 hours - Came up with the schooners. All were fully laden with nickel ore. Boarded each in turn and took off the crews. Sank them in turn with gunfire. There were now 38 Malays on board STORM. One of the schooners was named TJENNING ATIE, the other two were not named. 1202 hours - Came up with the fourth schooner which correctly lowered sail. Cargo was again nickel ore. Had them jettison their cargo and disembarked the 38 Malays.

1700 hours - Sighted a schooner bearing 060°, bound South-West. 1745 hours - She continued to sail on when she was approached by HMS STORM. Fired two warning shots of which no notice was taken except by two of the crew that jumped overboard. Fired a shot at his mainmast, high up, it was a hit but produced no result. Fired two shots through his mainsail but they did not explode. Finally came alongside. Took the crew on board STORM and proceeded to another small sailing vessel to put them aboard. 2127 hours - Returned to the abandoned schooner and attempted to sink her with gunfire after an attempt to set her on fire had failed. After sinking the hull bopped up again on its side and in spite of ramming refused to sink any further. Her name was TAHAJA AZIA].


Fri :3rd Nov In a.m. had to dive for aircraft. Had forenoon watch & 2 hours in afternoon. Did routines on two fish. One (no :3) flooded. Started back home at noon. Read "Little Mrs Manington" by Cecil Roberts.
Sat 4th Nov On surface all day travelling down the Java Sea. Hot sun up top. At night had alarm for patrol vessel sighted.
Sun 5th Nov Dived at dawn to go through Lombok Strait, then dived in a.m. two A/S vessels in vicinity. Surfaced at 1022, 10 miles from land. On surface rest of day. Ditched all wood & paper at night.
  [H.M.S. STORM ended her 8th war patrol at Fremantle, Australia on November 13th 1944].

[4 Dec HMS STORM departed Fremantle, Australia for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Makassar Strait].

[12 Dec arrived at Darwin for fuel, water and fresh meat. After about 6 hours in port she departed for her patrol area].

[18 Dec HMS STORM made a torpedo attack on an escorted merchant vessel in the Macassar Strait. No hits were obtained].


  [10 Jan HMS STORM ended her 9th war patrol at Fremantle, Australia].

[31 Jan HMS STORM departed Fremantle for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Sumatra and to proceed to Trincomalee upon completion of the patrol].

[20 Feb HMS STORM ended her 10th war patrol at Trincomalee].

[24 Feb HMS STORM departed Trincomalee for the U.K. to refit].

[8 Apr HMS STORM arrived at Portsmouth completing her first commission. She was to to Philadelphia, U.S.A. salon May 1st where she was to refit, Lt. R.A.A.C. Ward, DSC, RN now in command].




Return to Portsmouth: STORM flying her 'Jolly Roger' as she enters Portsmouth Harbour on April 8th 1945. Left © IWM (A 28125) - right © IWM (A 28130)




Thanks to  Amanda Jermain for submitting the copy of the diary . Her father was a friendof Harold.




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Topic: Eleven months aboard H.M .S/M STORM
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merv lark
Aug 2018
First Poster
merv lark (Bristol) says...
My Dad served on that boat. Robert Lark.
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