HM Submarine Torbay
Torbay was one of three Triton class submarines ordered under the 1938 building programme.
The first use of the name Torbay was in 1668 and this submarine would be the fifth RN vessel to have the name.
All three boats were designed to carry mines but the equipment gave problems and was only used in Tetrarch. Torbay and Talisman had their mine laying gear removed.
Laid down on 21 November 1938, she was lunched by Lady Drax on 9 April 1940 and completed 14 January 1941.
During Warship week in February 1942, Torbay was adopted by the people of Paignton, Devon.
When the Germans took possession of the French Atlantic Coastline in 1940, submarines patrolled the Bay of Biscay in an operation known as the Iron Ring. This was to be Torbays’ entry into the war. Following completion and work up, her first war patrol began on the 22 March 1941.
On 5 July 1941 whilst on patrol in the Aegean, Lt Cmd A.C.C Miers in command of Torbay sank the Italian submarine Jantina.
On 4 March of 1942, Torbay followed an enemy convoy into Corfu harbour. The next day, 4 March Lt Cmd Miers torpedoed a Destroyer and two 5000 ton transports. During her exit from the harbour, Torbay survived 40 depth charges. The total time spent in enemy waters was 17 hours.
Lt Cmd Miers was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action. Lt Cmd Miers who rose to the rank of Rear Admiral is buried at Tomnahurich Cemetery Inverness Scotland. His VC is on display at the Imperial War Museum, London.
On 14 November 1941 Torbay landed commandoes on the North African coast. The objective was to capture General Rommel. The raid failed due to poor intelligence. Only three of the commandoes survived. Due to bad weather, Torbay was unable to pick them up and the commandoes returned to Cairo by foot.
When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, just six of the original Triton Class remained and only two, Torbay and Trident were still operational. Both of these boats ended the war in Trincomalee.
All six remaining boats were scrapped when the war ended.