Wreck of British Submarine HMS P311 Found off the Coast of Italy:

On New Year’s Eve 1942, HMS P311 sent her final message off the coast of Sardinia. HMS P311, a British T Class submarine had left her port at Malta to destroy the Italian Battleships Trieste and Gorizia at their port on the island of La Maddalena. Due to report in on January 8th, the submarine was never heard from again and was presumed lost.

hms p311

Wartime photo of HMS P311

On May 25, 2016, Italian wreck hunter Massimo Bondone found the final resting place of HMS P311. Bondone had been looking for the submarine since 2015 when he started researching military records for clues as to where the vessel went down. Two months ago, he went to the waters off Sardinia. Though hampered by bad weather he was able to locate HMS P311 on his third dive. The submarine lies in about 100 meters of water off the island of Tavolara near Sardinia. The sub is in excellent condition except for damage near the prow from an explosion. It is believed the submarine hit a mine and sunk without the inner chamber being flooded meaning the men inside probably died of suffocation rather than drowning.

hms p311

Wreck of HMS P311
(Photo: Massimo Bondone)

The Royal Navy reports that the ship will most likely be left as a war grave for the 71 men inside and will not be disturbed. Relatives of the men lost at sea have been contacted. Paul Denison, the great nephew of Able Seaman Leonard Auty, a man who perished on the sub said he “always had the feeling that the submarine’s lost crew wanted to be found”.

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