HMS Lady Shirley
HMS Lady Shirley (ASW Trawler)
|Name:||HMS Lady Shirley|
|Builder:||Cook, Welton & Gemmell
|Launched:||25 February 1937|
|Completed:||19 April 1937|
|Fate:||Sunk on 11 December 1941 by torpedo from U374 during World War II (Straits of Gibraltar 35.59N, 05.17W)|
|Class & type:||Anti-Submarine Warship|
|ASDIC anti-submarine dome|
HMS Lady Shirley (ASW) (also known as HMT Lady Shirley) was a fishing trawler requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1940 and converted for anti-submarine warfare. In its brief career it sunk one German submarine, U-111.
After conversion, which included fitting an ASDIC anti-submarine dome, the ship went into service in January 1941 and served with the 31st Anti-Submarine Group based at Gibraltar, under the command of Lt Cdr Arthur Henry Callaway DSO RANVR.
On 4 October 1941, German submarine U-111 was sunk by Lady Shirley south-west of Tenerife, in position , by depth charges. Several members of the Lady Shirley were injured, and one killed, in the battle. Of the U-boat crew of 52, 8 were killed and 44 survived. The survivors were later interrogated. This was the first time that prisoners of war (POWs) were captured from a U-boat operating in the South Atlantic.
German survivors claimed that U-111 was the first U-boat to be lost of those operating in that area. According to the lengthy interrogation report, the crew of U-111 put up a poor fight and surrendered speedily to their much less powerful adversary. The crew consisted of four officers, three chief petty officers, fourteen petty officers and thirty ratings, plus an officer under instruction as a prospective U-boat Captain. The Captain, Wilhelm Kleinschmidt, was killed in the action with Lady Shirley, along with the First Lieutenant, Junior Officer and five ratings. The captured POWs said that the normal complement was 43, including officers.
The POWs were taken by the Lady Shirley to Gibraltar, and then by British warship to England with a convoy.