HMS Amphion P-439 / S-39 / S-43
Message Board

Feb. 4, 2014

I am looking for some information about a sailor that, I was told that he was a crew member of the HMS Submarine Amphion in the summer of 1945. It was docked in Scotland at that particular time at Loch Long, Arrochar, and also at the Holy Loch around the same time. I only have a first name of Raymond, he went by Ray, but no surname. I have come into info that this person might have been my father or someone on board that vessel that might have been. My family was from Arrochar. Be assured that I only want a pic or any information that might be available and will go no further with it. I was always told that my father was a sailor in the Royal Navy, but was given no information as these things were never talked about. I am nearly 68 years old now and this would close an empty chapter in my life.

Thanks so much,
Charles MacDonald

Dec. 20, 2012

My father, Commander Ronald Hugh Dewhurst (seen below), was given command of Amphion before construction was completed. While Amphion was being built we lived at Sparkbridge and my father commuted daily to Barrow. I recall visiting the shipyard once or twice. I was then about eight years old.

My father took Amphion to sea briefly towards the end of the war. Later he assisted Flag Officer, Submarines, in Portsmouth. Early in the war he commanded HMS Rorqual in the Mediterranean. He was awarded the DSO with two bars. At Dartmouth he was a contemporary and friend of, subsequently, Commander Tubby Linton VC.

Roger Dewhurst


Jan. 15, 2009

I was drafted to Amphion as killick stoker, running out of Singapore '62 to '65. I was donkshop horse, then outside killick and finally Stoker PO. 'Smoky' Cooper was the Chief Stoker. 'Canvas Back' Bailey joined as Chief Stoker after I was made SPO. The skipper was 'Ahab' Andrews, I've always said if I had to go to war I'd want him as skipper. We did the usual Hong Kong, Japan, Subic Bay runs ashore.

The engineer was Lt. Cdr. Lachlan McLachlan, he wanted me to go for SD and raised CW papers on me but I didn't take it up. Went on Mech's course instead. We had a few trips to the island of Paulo Tioman off the east coast of Malaysia. Just a beach to cool down from 186'ing at 3 knots going around in circles for days on end. Battery gassing, no smoking, no aircon.

Once we had to fire a live torpedo for practice. It was pointed at a small island in the South China sea.... and missed!! The TASI was the  killick fore-endy. He got some sick over that. As SPO, I was the Vickers machine-
gunner. I was on the bridge one time firing at a target towed by an airplane from Changi, I slipped and the tracer went up the towline towards the airplane. The Jimmy screaming "Stop".

One day Ahab ordered a 'gun action sunsight', this was taken at dead on noon. This is a dangerous routine and can sink the boat. From periscope depth we popped out the water, officer took the sunsight and we popped back under. All went quick and smooth. Only problem was, the officer had forgotten the readings from the sextant! Ahab wasn't too pleased.

We had a seawater cooling coil burst on the port main motor, motor room was flooding, we were going down backwards in 10,000ft of South China Sea. The ballast pump was at full suction from the motor room bilge but no flow. I grabbed a hammer and knocked seven bells out of the 'screw down non return valve', I'd guessed it had stuck on its seat. That freed it. The guys in the after ends thought I'd gone mad!! Ballast pump worked ok then and gave us time to isolate the leak. Anyway, I got a mention but no gong.

Some years later I was manning a submarine display at the Earls Court boat show. Ahab, in civvies, approached the stand. He hadn't recognized me. I cheekily asked him if he would like to have a look through a real periscope from a submarine. He stared at me and then said I know you don't I? Madman with a hammer. He was out the mob and running a sailing school somewhere.

Keith Hallam
Blackpool, London, England

To post a message, comment or reply please email the webmaster.
All replies will be forwarded to the original sender.

Message Board
Page published May 10, 2006