Richard Blake sole survivor of submarine Sickle, 1944

 I would like to know how she was sunk also any information of the only survivor Richard Blake. Sickle submarine 1944

On June 4, 1944 Sickle was in a gun battle with German Patrol boats and one of her sailors ( Richard Blake, my note ) was washed overboard and taken prisoner.

SICKLE (Lt J R Drummond+), around 16th June 1944, Eastern Mediterranean - 'overdue, presumed lost'. Sailed from Malta on 31st May for the Aegean Sea. Engaged shipping in Mitylene Harbour on the 4th, return fire from German patrol vessels ‘GA.76’ and ‘GA.91’ killed one of the gun crew and blew a second into the sea. He was saved as a POW. ‘Sickle’ signalled convoy between Piraeus and Leros on 12th June, but did not attack. Failed to return when recalled on the 14th. Probably went down on German mines after the 12th in the southern Aegean, possibly the Kythera Channel on the 16th; all remaining 49 crew lost (Aegean Sea patrol)

Friday, 16 June

 Submarine SICKLE (Lt J R Drummond DSO, DSC) was lost, probably on a minefield in the Kithera Channel around this date. A surviving rating had been rescued earlier on the 4th when he was blown overboard during an action with German auxiliary patrol vessels GA.76 and GA.91. Lt Drummond, Lt A D Sinclair DSC, Ty/Warrant Engineer G Francis, Ty/Lt P D Goodman RNVR, Ty/Lt P B Jakeman RNVR, Ty/Lt V P Walker RNVR and the entire crew of forty two ratings on board were lost.

1944 - British S class submarine HMS Sickle is lost in the Mediterranean / Aegean Sea cause unknown. Last heard from on this date when they reported sighting a convoy in the Steno Channel. Sickle is the last British submarine to be lost in the Mediterranean during WW2. There is one survivor from Sickle - Able Seaman Richard Blake, a member of the submarine's 3-inch gun crew who was blown over board on 4 June when Sickle had engaged in gunfire with German patrol vessels GA76 and GA91. The submarine had to make an urgent dive to avoid further hits, and Blake was left in the water and picked up by the Germans to become a POW.

Early/Mid June 1944 - Submarine "SICKLE" on patrol in the Aegean failed to return to Malta when recalled on the 14th, and was presumed lost on mines.
Another Report.
On June 18 ? ( my query on that date ) 1944, HMS Sickle was cruising in the Antikythera Channel, when it suddenly collided with a floating mine.

The submarine rapidly sank with all hands.
HMS Sickle (P224)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

HMS Sickle
Class and type:  S class submarine
Name:  HMS Sickle
Builder:  Cammell Laird & Co Limited, Birkenhead
Laid down:  8 May 1941
Launched:  27 August 1942
Commissioned:  1 December 1942
Fate:  Sunk June 1944
General characteristics
Displacement:  814-872 tons surfaced
990 tons submerged
Length:  217 ft (66 m)
Beam:  23 ft 6 in (7.2 m)
Draught:  11 ft (3.4 m)
Speed:  14.75 knots surfaced
8 knots submerged
Complement:  48 officers and men
Armament:  6 x forward 21-inch torpedo tubes, one aft
13 torpedoes
one three-inch gun (four-inch on later boats)
one 20 mm cannon
three .303-calibre machine gun

HMS Sickle was an S class submarine of the Royal Navy, and part of the Third Group built of that class. She was built by Cammell Laird and launched on 27 August 1942. So far, she is the only ship to bear the name Sickle, after the farming implement.


Sickle began her wartime career operating in the Mediterranean, where she sank the German submarine U-303, the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-2213/Heureux, the Italian auxiliary minesweepers No. 61/ Costante Neri, V 131/Amgiola Maria C. and No. 164/ Rosa Madre, and the German escort vessel SG-10/Felix Henri. The former fruit transport ship Felix Henri had been modified into an auxiliary cruiser by the French in 1940. She was captured by German troops on 14 December 1942 in Marseilles, modified into the fast escort vessel SG-10, commissioned on 1 May 1943 and attached to the 3rd escort flotilla. Sickle also sank ten sailing vessels and the German merchant Reaumur. Sickle also attacked and damaged the Italian merchants Oriani and Giovanni Boccaccio. The Giovanni Boccaccio was later beached to prevent her from sinking. The Italian merchant Mauro Croce, the German submarine U-755, the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2210 and the German transport Lola were also attacked, but unsuccessfully.[1]


Sickle left for a patrol in the northern Aegean on 31 May 1944. She was in action on 4 June when she fired upon shipping in Mitylene Harbour and later engaged in a gun battle with two German patrol vessels. During the fight, one member of the crew was washed overboard and taken prisoner. Sickle escaped the engagement and continued on her patrol. On 12 June she spotted a convoy in the approach to Steno Pass. The convoy suspected the presence of a submarine and dropped two depth charges. Shortly after this, contact with Sickle was lost, and it is thought that she had probably struck a mine in the Kythera Channel.[2]


   1. ^ HMS Sickle, Uboat.net
   2. ^ Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport

    * Colledge, J. J. and Warlow, Ben (2006). Ships of the Royal Navy: the complete record of all fighting ships of the Royal Navy, Rev. ed., London: Chatham. ISBN 9781861762818. OCLC 67375475. 

Onward and Upward: HMS Sickle
9 May - 1 July 2008.

During the Second World War the people of Epping and Harlow adopted HMS/m Sickle, a Royal Navy 'S' class submarine.  Tragically the Sickle was lost with all hands in 1944.  This exhibition tells the story of the people associated with the submarine, both at home and at sea.  Also featured will be the warships adopted by the Ongar, Chigwell and Waltham Abbey areas.

If you have any information about the submarine or its crew, please get in touch.
Standard-bearer, Mick Vanner, and honorary Padre, Stephen, were invited with fellow Essex submariners to the service in Waltham Abbey on 8th May 2008 that marked the opening of an exhibition at the Epping Forest Museum that recalled the career and eventual loss with all hands in 1944 of the submarine, HMS Sickle.

Descendants of those on board joined with local dignitaries and others to remember and offer thanks for the Sickle.

Joan, I guess thats it.

update: HMS SICKLE - sole survivor was RICHARD BLAKE included below:

May 6, 2012

Out of curiosity I googled ‘Richard Blake, Sickle’ and came upon your website referring to him. I am his niece and though I never knew him well unfortunately, my mum, his younger sister always tells me of the day she was handed the dreaded telegram to say he was ‘Missing Presumed Dead’ and had to hand it to his mum and dad but eventually it was discovered that he was the sole survivor! and was a prisoner of war and was a very brave man.

I would love to have attended the ceremony in honour of them all but I didn’t know anything about it sadly. There was also a tribute to Uncle Richie on Radio Merseyside some time ago.

Thank you for giving me the chance to offer this little bit of ‘news’!

Pat Barlow

see "Richard Blake sole survivor of submarine Sickle, 1944"


Thank you for your News, we will add it to AHOY.

Best Regards,

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