The British Pacific and East Indies Fleets

The forgotten fleets that fought the Japanese in the Pacific and Indian Oceans



S-Class Submarine

Pennant No. P242


Battle Honours

Atlantic 1944






Builder: Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead, United Kingdom

Displacement: 814 tons

Length: 217 ft

Beam: 23 ft  8 in

Draught: 11 ft

Propulsion: 2 × 950 bhp (708 kW) diesel engines, 2 × 650 hp (485 kW) electric motors driving two propellers

Speed: 14.75 knots (16.97 mph; 27.32 km/h) surfaced. 9 knots (10 mph; 17 km/h) submerged

Range: 7,500 Nautical miles surfaced (8,600 mi; 13,900 km) at 10 knots (12 mph; 19 km/h) 120 Nautical miles submerged ( 140 mi; 220 km) at 3 knots (3.5 mph; 5.6 km/h)

Armament: 6 × bow & 1 stern 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes – carried 13 torpedoes or 12 mines; 1 × three-inch (76 mm) gun (QF 4-inch deck gun; 1 × 20 mm Oerlikon AA gun; 3 × .303 calibre machine guns

 Crew complement: 48


Commanding Officers

Lt. William Gordon Meeke, DSC, RN 10 Nov 1943 30 Oct 1945





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Image copyright IWM (FL 3103)

Early history

HM Submarine P242 was ordered from Chatham Dockyard, Chatham, Kent on August 13rd 1941, one of the batch three boats ordered as part the third group of S class submarines for the Royal Navy. Her keel was laid down on April 17th 1942. She was launched on April 22nd 1943.

She departed from her builder’s yard at Chatham for Sheerness on April 7th 1944, arriving there the same day. She began her builder’s trials the next day off Sheerness. On completion she sailed for Portsmouth on the 8yhm escorted by the minesweeper HMS BOSTON, arriving on the 10th. She next conducted three days of trials in the Solent before sailing for Plymouth in company with the Free French submarine FFS RUBIS on the 14th and arriving there on the same day. The two submarines sailed for St. Mary's, Scilly Islands early on the 16th, they anchored off the town later that day. They made rendezvous with HM Submarine SIBYL and her escort the destroyer HMS SARDONYX on the 17th and course was then set for Holy Loch. On arrival on the 19th to begin her Torpedo, Gunnery, Bombardment, D/F and RDF exercises and simulated day and night attacks, both submerged and surface actions. She also performed Degaussing trials off Helensburgh and trials at the torpedo firing range at Arrochar. Local vessels acted as targets.

After completing her speed trials on the Arran measured mile P242 commissioned as H.M. Submarine SHALIMAR at Holy Loch on April 22nd 1944 under the command of Lieutenant W.G. Meeke, DSC, MBE, RN.

Allocated to the East Indies Fleet

H.M. Submarine SHALIMAR departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar on August 11th 1944 with convoy OS-86 / KMS 60 on the first leg of the trip to the Far East.

Post War history

H.M. Submarine SHALIMAR departed Trincomalee for the UL on September 4th, arriving at Portsmouth on October 23rd 1945. She was placed in reserve at Harwich on October 30th 1945. It is unclear if she returned to active service but she was scrapped at Troon, Scotland in July 1950.

Last modified: 23 February 2023


Primary information sources

Additional sources: entry for H.M. Submarine SHALIMAR




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