James Anthony Surtees Wise, RN
|Born||14 Sep 1907|
|Died||Jun 1940||(32)||HMS Orpheus (N 46)|
Warship Commands listed for James Anthony Surtees Wise, RN
|HMS Oberon (N 21)||Lt.Cdr.||Submarine||20 Nov 1939||16 Apr 1940|
|HMS Orpheus (i) (N 46)||Lt.Cdr.||Submarine||May 1940||Jun 1940|
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Events related to this officer
Submarine HMS Oberon (N 21)
29 Nov 1939
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) shifted Portsmouth to Portland to resume her role as A/S training submarine. (1)
6 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Kingston Ceylonite (Ch.Skr. J.R. Coultas, RNR) and HMS Kingston Cairngorm (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) P.E. Vaux, DSC, RN). (2)
7 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS St. Modwen (Cdr.(Retd.) V. Searles-Wood, RN) and HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (2)
[No logs are available for HMS Oberon for the months of January to June 1940 so no other details on her operations can be given here other then the ones currently listed.] (2)
17 Feb 1940
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth. (3)
28 Feb 1940
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) shifted Portsmouth to Portland to resume her role as A/S training submarine. (3)
Submarine HMS Orpheus (i) (N 46)
4 Jun 1940
HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was to take up a defensive position off Malta.
We are not sure of the exact date of her sailing for this patrol. Most likely it was the 4th. (5)
10 Jun 1940
When the war with Italy started, HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN), was on patrol to the south-west of Malta. Late in the evening she was then ordered to patrol off Corfu. She acknowledged this signal at 2354/10. (5)
11 Jun 1940
At 2115 hours, HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN), was ordered to return to her patrol position off Malta [one source indicates that this was to the south west of Malta, the other that it was 130° - St. Elmo -14 miles]. Again she acknowledged having received this signal. (5)
12 Jun 1940
At 1200 hours as HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) was 70 miles north-east of Malta, an Italian squadron described as three Zara-class cruisers and six destroyers were sighted on a NNW course. The submarine was probably too far to intercept as no attack were reported. These were actually the heavy cruisers Pola, Trento and Bolzano screened by the destroyers Artigliere, Camicia Nera, Aviere, Lanciere, Ascari, Corazziere and Carabiniere (an eight destroyer Geniere had turned back a few hours before). They had sailed from Messina and Reggio to intercept a convoy reported by an aircraft off Crete on a westerly direction but were now returning home as the report had turned out to be incorrect.
13 Jun 1940
At 0100 hours HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) arrived back in her patrol position to the south-west of Malta. (5)
18 Jun 1940
In the evening HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) acknowledged having received the signal ordering her to proceed to Alexandria. (5)
19 Jun 1940
In his signal timed 1211/19 Capt. S.1 ordered HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) to patrol off Benghazi, Libya as part of the deployment in support of Operation BS2 (bombardment of Bardia). The German B-Dienst had intercepted the signal but chose not inform their new allies. HMS Orpheus acknowledged having received this signal at at 1416/19 and again at 2115/19. This was the last signal received from HMS Orpheus. (5)
20 Jun 1940
In his signal timed 1703/20 Capt. S.1 ordered HMS Orpheus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) to leave her patrol off Benghazi after 1600/22 and to arrive off Alexandria at 0230 GMT/26. Orpheus was not told to acknowledge this signal. She was expected to pass through position 33°30'N, 18°40'E at about 2000/20.
Capt. S.1 amended Orpheus's route in his signal timed 1421/22 but again this signal required no acknowledgement.
The exact cause of her loss are not known but it is possible that she ran in one of two minefields (each of 40 mines) laid about 9-10 miles west and northwest of Benghazi. Surviving Italian documents do not give the precise date in which they were laid except that it was in June 1940, possibly just before the outbreak of war. (5)
- ADM 173/15804
- ADM 173/15805
- ADM 199/2568
- ADM 173/16486
- ADM 199/1115
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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