Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

Can you help? – Search on for family of missing WW2 submariner



A SEARCH is underway for the Dorset relatives of a missing Second World War submariner.

Leading telegraphist Hugh Phimster McDonald was lost when the Dutch submarine O13 (Onderzeeboot 13) mysteriously disappeared while on war patrol in the North Sea in 1940.

Researchers believe descendants of Mr McDonald could be living in the Weymouth area.

O13 is the last Dutch submarine lost during the war that has still to be found and protected as a war grave.

The Dutch Navy will be mounting a search operation for the wreck later this year.

It will feature in a Dutch TV documentary and the production team are keen to trace relatives of the three Royal Navy personnel who disappeared with the submarine.

Mr McDonald was the son of John and Maggie McDonald of Fareham in Hampshire and was married to Winifred in 1938.

Researcher Dr Andrew Jeffrey said: “We believe there were two sons, Brian and Graham and that descendants may still be living in the Weymouth area.

“If so, we would be delighted to hear from them.”

O13 escaped from under the noses of German troops invading the Netherlands in May 1940 and had patrolled the English Channel to protect the Dunkirk evacuation.

The submarine then moved north to join the Royal Navy’s ninth flotilla based in Dundee, Scotland, and vanished while patrolling south of occupied Norway in June 1940.

To view a trailer for the O13 documentary visit vimeo.com/57093011 Relatives or anyone with information about lost submariner Hugh Phimster McDonald should contact emma.walker@dorsetecho.co.uk

Source – Dorset Echo

Civil War submarine may have been destroyed by its own torpedo

During the Civil War, the Confederate army fielded a submarine called the H.L. Hunley. After sinking an enemy ship called the USS Housatonic in 1864, the submarine disappeared after signaling a successful mission. Exactly what caused the Confederate submarine to sink has remained a mystery.


However, scientists studying the ship have discovered new evidence that may shed light on what caused the submarine to sink and how the sub and its crew were able to sink the union ship. The sinking of the union ship made the Hunley the first successful combat submarine in history. New evidence discovered during the study of the submarine suggests that the submarine was less than 20 feet away from the torpedo when it exploded, sinking the union ship.

According to the researchers, new evidence suggests that the torpedo was bolted to a 16-foot-long spar. This discovery was made during an investigation of what remained of the two-foot-long torpedo. According to the researchers, the torpedo held 135 pounds of gunpowder and was not designed to separate from the spar as previously believed.

Previously it was believed that the torpedo was placed against the ship’s hull and then detonated remotely. New evidence suggests that the submarine was no more than 20 feet away when the torpedo was detonated. As close as the submarine was to the ship when the torpedo exploded, the researchers believe that the concussion from the explosion may have damaged the submarine and injured the crew. The submarine was discovered off the South Carolina Charleston Harbor in 1995 and return to the surface in 2000.

Source – Slash Gear