Allied Warships

HMS Tarpon (N 17)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantN 17 
ModFirst Group 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered20 Jul 1937 
Laid down5 Oct 1937 
Launched17 Oct 1939 
Commissioned8 Mar 1940 
Lost10 Apr 1940 
Loss position56° 43'N, 6° 33'E

HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. Herbert James Caldwell, RN) left Portsmouth for Rosyth on 5 April 1940. She was diverted to patrol around Norway on 6th.

Most likely sunk around 0600 hours on 10 April 1940 by the German 'Q-ship' Schiff 40 / Schürbek west of Jutland, Denmark in position 56º43'N, 06º33'5"E. Reported overdue on 22 April 1940.

Tarpon possibly attacked the German vessel with two torpedoes. They missed and Tarpon was most likely sunk by depth charges in the counter attack.


Commands listed for HMS Tarpon (N 17)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. Robert Cecil Somers Garwood, RN30 Sep 193810 Jan 1940
2Lt.Cdr. (retired) Charles Bate Limpright Wren, RNR10 Jan 194012 Mar 1940
3Lt.Cdr. Herbert James Caldwell, RN12 Mar 1940Apr 1940

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Notable events involving Tarpon include:

This page was last updated in January 2016.

16 Mar 1940
HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Caldwell, RN) departed the Clyde area for Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN) and HMS Havant (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN). (1)

20 Mar 1940
HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Caldwell, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (1)

26 Mar 1940
HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Caldwell, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Portland where she arrived later the same day. (1)

3 Apr 1940
HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Caldwell, RN) departed from Portland for Portsmouth where she arrived later the same day. (1)

5 Apr 1940
HMS Tarpon (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Caldwell, RN) departed from Portsmouth bound for Rosyth. She made the passage together with HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN). They were escorted by HMS Wivern (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Bushell, RN). They joined northbound convoy FN 139 at 1530/6 until 2100/7 when both submarines were ordered to patrol of the Skagerrak and course was set accordingly. (2)

17 Mar 2016
Wreck was discovered by commercial diving company near the harbour of Thyborøn News paper article in Danish: click here (3)

Media links

The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


  1. ADM 199/2572
  2. ADM 199/1878
  3. Personal communication

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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