Re: Virgo Fidelis
Posted by: crolick
Date: February 27, 2005 12:34PM
Wilk was in fact never sunk. You were probably thinking about Jastrzab [ex USS S-25] which was sunk on 2.V.1942 by HMS Seagull and HNoMS St. Albans, in position 72°14 N / 14°34 E. Case is very interesting. Due to the fog Jastrzab was 30 Mm North to the border-line of the 'safety zone', hence escort of the PQ-15 convoy, could attack all the submarines in this area. Though when Polish sub was attacked, Jastrzab fired two yellow flares, which were identification marks of the allied subs.
On 13.VII.1942 board consisting of - cpt Hugo M. C. Ionides [chairman], cmdr. Ronald G. Nilis, cmdr. Henry D. Olivier and cmdr. Tadeusz Stoklasa delivered verdict in which:
- Polish commander lt. Romanowski was freed of all charges [hence he made no mistake]
- commanders of HMS Seagull and HNoMS St. Albans [sadly I do not know their names :(] did rightly by attacking the sub in the given area [it was very close to convoy, hence it was high posibility that it was German U-boot], but did wrong when attacked the sub after they spotted yellow flares [in fact this was against the Royal Navy rules!] and as is were guilty of the sinking of Polish submarine Jastrzab.
The case of Orzel is even more extraordinary [as usual in the case of this boat]. On 23.V.1940 Orzel left Rosyth for her 6th patrol in the quadrat A.3. The sub didn't returned from the patrol [8.VI.1940 is presumed date of the return]. No radio connact with the boat was made after Orzel left the base. All hands were lost [60 Poles, 3 English]. There are several possible causes of loss:
1. Sunk by surface unit [German or Allied], which is doubtfull, since there are no German records of any attack on the sub in this region during 23.V.1940 - 8.VI.1940 period. As far as I know there ain't no Allied movements in the area of Orzel's patrol
2. It is possible that ship was lost in the air attack on 29.V.1940. During war, German radio on 13:05 gave info, that: today German plane spotted and sunk enemy sub in the central North Sea. It was reapeted in "Marine Rundschau" from July 1940 where we can find under 29.V.1940: ...in der Nordsee ein feindliches U-Boot durch Bombentreffer versenkt
3. Orzel could be sunk by Allied sub [very doubtfull]
4. It is belived by British Admiralty that on 25.V.1940 in position 57° N / 3°40’ E, Orzel run on mine and sunk
5. Orzel could be lost due to unfortunate accident
6. This is my fave one :> Orzel collided with O-13 in underwater posiotion, and both vessels were sunk [I have no date or position to this hypothesis]
That is more or less all about those sinkings. Hope it helps :))