HMS Aurochs (P426)

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Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Aurochs (P426)
Namesake: Aurochs
Ordered: Very late in World War II
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 21 June 1944
Launched: 28 July 1945
Commissioned: 7 February 1947
Decommissioned: 1966
Fate: Sold for scrap on 7 February 1967. Scrapped at Troon, Scotland in February 1967.
General characteristics
Class and type: Amphion-class submarine
Displacement: 1,360 long tons (1,382 t) surfaced
1,590 long tons (1,616 t) submerged
Length: 293 ft 6 in (89.46 m)
Beam: 22 ft 4 in (6.81 m)
Draught: 18 ft 1 in (5.51 m)
Propulsion: 2 × 2,150 hp (1,600 kW) Admiralty ML 8-cylinder diesel engines
2 × 625 hp (466 kW) electric motors
2 shafts
Speed: 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
Range: 10,500 nautical miles (19,400 km) at 11 knots (20 km/h) surfaced
16 nautical miles (30 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) or 90 nautical miles (170 km) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 350 ft (110 m)
Complement: 5 officers & 55 enlisted
Armament:
  • 6 × 21 in (530 mm) (2 external) bow torpedo tubes
  • 4 × 21" (2 external) stern torpedo tubes
  • 20 torpedoes
  • 26 × Mines
  • 1 × 4 in (100 mm) main deck gun
  • 3 × 0.303 machine guns
  • 1 × 20 mm AA Oerlikon 20 mm gun

HMS Aurochs (P426), was an Amphion-class submarine of the Royal Navy, built by Vickers Armstrong and launched 28 July 1945.[1] Her namesake was the aurochs (Bos primigenius), an extinct Eurasian wild ox ancestral to domestic cattle and often portrayed in cave art and heraldry.

Operational history[edit]

In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[2]

On 17 May 1958 Aurochs was patrolling the Molucca Sea off Indonesia when an unidentified aircraft machine-gunned her.[3] The aircraft remained at high altitude and Aurochs sustained no casualties or damage.[3] President Sukarno's Indonesian government told the UK's Conservative Government that its armed forces had not made the attack.[3] The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that it accepted the assurance and assumed that North Celebes rebels had carried out the attack.[3]

It is true that Permesta rebels in North Sulawesi were supported by a "Revolutionary Air Force", AUREV (Angkatan Udara Revolusioner).[4] However, all AUREV aircraft, munitions and pilots were supplied by the Nationalist Chinese air force[5] or the CIA.[6] Two CIA pilots, William H Beale, Jr[7] and Allen Pope,[8] had been using Douglas B-26 Invader aircraft to attack Indonesian and foreign targets in the area since April 1958. By 17 May Beale had quit the operation,[9] but Pope continued to fly sorties until the day after Aurochs was attacked, 18 May, when he tried to attack an Indonesian Navy convoy[10] but was shot down[11] and captured.[12]

Apart from the Affray which had been lost in an accident in 1951, Aurochs was the only one of her class not to be modernised.[13]

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

Aurochs was decommissioned in 1966 and arrived at Troon in February 1967 for breaking up.[13]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1953 1953 Lieutenant-Commander A. G. Tait DSC RN
1957 1959 Lieutenant-Commander C. A. J. French RN
1958 1962 Lieutenant-Commander O. B. Sharp RN[14]
1966 1966 In reserve

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2011). "HMS Aurochs (P426)". uboat.net. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15 June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  3. ^ a b c d David Ormsby-Gore, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (11 June 1958). "Indonesia (British Vessels)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 202–203. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  4. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, p. 85.
  5. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, pp. 101,105.
  6. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, pp. 86–87.
  7. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, p. 99.
  8. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, p. 100.
  9. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, p. 125.
  10. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, pp. 136–137.
  11. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, pp. 138–139.
  12. ^ Conboy & Morrison 1999, pp. 140–141.
  13. ^ a b Warlow, Ben. Channel Sweep. Liskeard: Maritime Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-907771-40-8. 
  14. ^ I served on Aurochs during this time in UK and Canada.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]