August 14, 1943 Farewell Saracen

Today, August 14th, marks the 70th anniversary of the loss of my Dad’s submarine HMS Saracen. Saracen’s short but illustrious career came to an end when she was badly damaged by depth charges off Corsica on August 13th, 1943. Her captain and crew were determined that she would not be lost on Friday the 13th and managed to keep her afloat until the next morning. My Dad wrote in his logbook:

“Bastia, a fateful name to “Saracen”, one visit too often and two German destroyers, three corvettes, five E-boats attack. “Saracen” mortally wounded is compelled to surface, but not to surrender. The crew calmly but sorrowfully “abandon ship”, the ship they love is on her last patrol, with no guiding hands. “Saracen” dives, a perfect dive, a proud farewell, her funeral dirge the cheers of her crew. Truly a gallant ship, a fighting ship, and as such may she always be remembered, by her crew and the public of England. Hail and Farewell, “Saracen”.

Copyright 2013 Anne Corke

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