The last known position of P311 was listed as 38 degrees,10 minutes North,11 degrees 30 Minutes East at 18:30 hrs. on the 30th December in a signal which was received at 01:30 hrs. on the 31st. This was the last signal received from the lost submarine.
Paul Denison stressed that “One thing I will mention, I went to the Royal Navy Memorial at Southsea, as soon as I saw his name my eyes watered and I had to look away and compose myself, quite a reaction for someone that died before I was born.”
The article reads as follows:
“The Board of Admiralty regrets to announce the loss of submarine P311 (Commander Richard Douglas Cayley DSO RN) is overdue and must be presumed lost. The next-of-kin have been informed.
Commander Cayley won the DSO and two bars and as one of the outstanding captains of this war. His name will always be associated with HM Submarine Upmost which sunk 69,000 tons of axis shipping in 15 months while he was serving in her. He was 34.
The loss of Utmost was announced in January. Commander Cayley had for some months previously been in command of P311.
One of Utmost’s outstanding successes occurred on the night of 21 November 1941.
Commander Carey sighted three Italian cruisers steaming at 20 knots escorted by destroyers. He attacked on the surface firing his torpedoes at a range of nearly a mile.
He saw the flash of one torpedo hitting a cruiser just abaft the foremost funnel. Immediately after a great red flame leaped more than 200ft from the stricken ship, the submarine dived to the accompaniment of a violent explosion followed by breaking-up noises.
In a counter attack which followed 84 depth charges were dropped but the submarine escaped undamaged.”
|Paul Denison is relieved to have found the details of Leonard’s loss, back in 1943, with the P311 submarine, thanks to Massimo Domenico Bondone’s efforts|
After checking the Crew list I confirmed that was his submarine so I started looking at the history of the 10th Submarine Flotilla and was amazed at just how much they achieved in hammering Rommel’s supply lines.”
Just like Leonard’s story, millions of families all across the world suffered the lasting trauma of losing a loved one during WW2, sons, brothers, husbands, with no word or details on the whereabouts of their resting place:
Paul is equally respectful to the losses suffered by both sides during WW2:
“I did look into the U-boat war, and got passed the propaganda and the tragedy of young men on both sides some of whom probably never will be found.
It saddens me, which is why I am glad that P311 has been found thanks to Massimo Bondone”.