HMS Sceptre (1943) SS  (4th)


This is the fourth vessel to carry the name Sceptre.

She was a 1940 programme S-Class patrol submarine, built by Scotts of Greenock, laid down 25-Jul-1940, launched 09-Jan-1943.

Sceptre joined the 3rd Submarine Flotilla in April 1943 and was based at Holy Loch. She then detached to Scapa Flow to be used for the Submarine Commanding Officer's Qualifying Course, the Perisher. Whilst exercising to the west of the Orkneys, she was depth charged in error by the RAF and her hull was slightly buckled which required docking for repairs.

After an uneventful first patrol, she was fitted with special towing gear and proceeded to Loch Cairnbawn. Here she joined up with 2 T-Class and 3 S-Class submarines, together with the depot ships Titania and Bonaventure, the last named being the depot ship for the X-craft midget submarines. Sceptre left Loch Cairnbawn on 12-September-1943 with X-10 in tow. The aim was to attack the battleship Tirpitz at Kaa Fjord. These attacks were necessary to remove the threat imposed by the German Battleships to convoys on their way to Russia. Six X-craft were used to attack shipping in the fjords, with the attack on the Tirpitz putting her out of action for nearly a year.

In April 1944, Sceptre left for another "special operation" with the X-24 in tow. X-24 penetrated Bergen Harbour and sank the merchant ship Barnefels as well as damaging large sections of the floating dock in the harbour. Sceptre earned the title of "Bring them back alive" as she was the only towing submarine which lost none of the X-craft in her care.

Commanded by Lieutenant I S McIntosh MBE DSC throughout her short but active service career, Sceptre sank 6 ships - 4 merchant vessels of 14,393 gross register tons and 2 escorts of 1,444 displacement tons. This total and tonnage was unequalled by any other submarine in home waters during the period.

At the end of the war, Sceptre was allocated to the Seventh Submarine Flotilla and used for training, based at Lochalsh. She continued to run as a training unit based Portland until February 1947.

Sold to the British Iron and Steel Corporation for scrap in August 1949 and broken up at Gateshead.

Won the Battle Honours: Norway 1944, Atlantic 1944 and Biscay 1944.


Other HMS Sceptre
- 1st  HMS Sceptre
- 2nd HMS Sceptre
- 3rd HMS Sceptre
- 4th HMS Sceptre
- 5th HMS Sceptre

- S Class (1932) SS 
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- Full Battle Honours

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This page last edited - 12 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.