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Thread: Searching for a lost submarine

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    Default Searching for a lost submarine

    I am working with the Dutch Navy on a search for the wreck of the submarine O-13 which sailed from Dundee on 13 June 1940 to patrol the entrance to the Skagerrack and disappeared. O-13 is the last Dutch submarine to have been lost during the war that has still to be located and protected as a war grave. There is a fair bit about the project on the net, including on the Dundee International Submarine Memorial Facebook page and on http://www.stillonpatrol.nl/ which includes a trailer for the Dutch TV documentary being made on the search.
    The British Admiralty concluding in 1947 that she had been unwittingly routed through a newly laid German minefield. Various other theories have been put forward to explain her mysterious disappearance, including one that she had been rammed by the Polish submarine Wilk, though our research suggests that this did not happen. There are no records of any enemy action that could have been responsible.
    In an attempt to narrow down the time window, and with it the search area, I have been looking at possible submarine sightings by Coastal Command aircraft and, as usual, have come up against the dreaded four-letter, four-digit location codes. Time is unfortunately now pressing, so could I ask for help in breaking these RAF location codes? They all date from the period 3 June 1940 to 20 June 1940.
    YNZS 5842
    DKOX 3530
    DKDN 3336
    BFYW 1010
    DKNS 4741
    DKZS 2351
    MBHI 1424
    DKZS 2114
    DKHI 1800
    WPTS 1100
    MBTS 5038
    My apologies for this being such a long list, but it was recently brought home to me just how much finding the wreck will mean to the Dutch and British families of the lost crew.
    Andrew

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    Hello Andrew

    Do you have a breakdown of what dates these various codes are reported? I might have some material that can help but need the extra nugget of info.

    Cheers
    Pierre

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    Hi Pierre, and many thanks for your offer of help with this. The dates and times for the sightings are:

    YNZS 5842 224 Squadron Hudson 0800/3
    DKOX 3530 224 Squadron Hudson 0510/5
    DKDN 3336 224 Squadron Hudson 5 June, no time given.
    BFYW 1010 224 Squadron Hudson 2224/6 (Probably HMS Severn bombed in error)
    DKNS 4741 224 Squadron Hudson 0600/11
    DKZS 2351 233 Squadron Hudson 1912/17
    MBHI 1424 233 Squadron Hudson 2305/17 (Probably HMS Salmon)
    DKZS 2114 224 Squadron Hudson 1927/19
    DKHI 1800 Unknown A/C 2210/19
    WPTS 1100 Unknown A/C 0505/20
    MBTS 5038 224 Squadron Hudson 2035/20

    It could be that none of these is the missing O-13, but we need to eliminate them if they are not.
    All the best,
    Andrew

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    Hi Andrew

    I've used your posting details and tagged on my details after each entry.

    The ones that I found identical details for are the last four dated 19 and 20 June, whilst the first two listed 3 and 5 June very very close timings so reasonably confident. The other entries dated from 5 to 17 June I could not locate, though some of the Lat/Longs can be interpolated from the codes located before and after as I understand at this stage of the war they only changed monthly, possibly even quarterly but there are other board members more qualified than me who can pass judgement.

    All said here's my contribution -
    YNZS 5842 – 224 Squadron Hudson 0800/3 - YN=55 North ZS=00 East
    DKOX 3530 – 224 Squadron Hudson 0510/5 - DK=56 North OX=04 East
    DKDN 3336 – 224 Squadron Hudson 5 June, no time given. - no details found but DK=56 North (see above) DN=?
    BFYW 1010 – 224 Squadron Hudson 2224/6 (Probably HMS Severn bombed in error) - no details found BF=? YW=?
    DKNS 4741 – 224 Squadron Hudson 0600/11 - no details found but DK=56 North (see above) NS=?
    DKZS 2351 – 233 Squadron Hudson 1912/17 - no details found but DK=56 North (see above) ZS=00 East (see above)
    MBHI 1424 – 233 Squadron Hudson 2305/17 (Probably HMS Salmon) - no details found but MB=57 North (see below) HI= 01 East (see below)
    DKZS 2114 – 224 Squadron Hudson 1927/19 - DK=56 North ZS=00 East
    DKHI 1800 – Unknown A/C 2210/19 - DK=56 North ZS=01 East
    WPTS 1100 – Unknown A/C 0505/20 – WP=60 North TS=03 East
    MBTS 5038 – 224 Squadron Hudson 2035/20 – MB=57 North TS=03 East

    Please keep us posted on progress.

    Kindest regards
    Pierre

    p.s. for the last item MBTS 5038, this equates to 57deg 50' North 03deg 38' East. Same principal for all codes that the Lat/Long is coded but the seconds are in clear language.
    Last edited by Pierre Renier; 19th November 2012 at 18:21. Reason: Update msg to explain code layout.

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    Many, many thanks for your help with this, Pierre. I will get these plotted tomorrow and see how they relate to the other information, patrol orders etc that we have. And I will of course let you know how we get on.
    Best wishes,
    Andrew

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