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Obituary - Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh. DSO. DSC.

Place for general submarine conversation

Postby Dolphin » Sat Aug 16, 2003 2:49 pm

Subject: Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh. DSO. DSC.

This is posted for Alex Gibson and many other former UK SubCommittee members who have recently resigned from the SubCommittee. Wake up people.

Steve Reichmuth

Hello All,

I've just seen the obituary of one of the WWII British Submarine aces.

He was a Scottish Australian who came to the UK in 1938 to join the RN and volunteer for submarines. In March 1941 Lt McIntosh was a passenger on the armed troopship Britannia which was sunk 750 miles off Sierra Leone, West Africa. One of 82 survivors in a lifeboat designed for 56, he drew a rough chart from memory. With the prevailing sea currents he navigated the boat by dead reckoning, to the coast of Brazil, arriving a few miles from his target landfall. During this trip he was often suspended over the side of the lifeboat, upside down to plug holes in the boat. The rations were, a few gallons of water, some hard tack biscuits and some tins of condensed milk. The voyage was over 1,500 miles and lasted 23 days. Lt McIntosh was awarded the MBE for his feat of navigation.

He joined HMS Porpoise in 1941 and was moved to HMS Thrasher, in the Mediterranean in 1942. He won the DSC whilst serving in Thrasher. In 1943 he was given command of HMS Sceptre. Sceptre was one of six boats used to tow X-craft midget subs from Scotland to Norway for an attack on the Tirpitz. X6 and X7 were successful in crippling the battleship. Sceptre later twice towed X24 to Norway, once to sink the oil tanker Barenfels and later a floating dry-dock.

On patrol in Norwegian waters, McIntosh, in Sceptre attacked a convoy of three German ships with a three ship escort. Two ships were sunk. He also sank a German blockade-runner carrying iron ore from Spain. This caused a diplomatic
incident with the Spanish government. However, the Germans abandoned the ore route. Under McIntosh's command, Sceptre sank 15,000 tons of enemy shipping. For his achievements as Commander of Sceptre, he was awarded
two Mentions in Dispatches and admitted to The Distinguished Service Order.

After the war he briefly served with the Australian Navy before taking charge of the notorious Perisher Course, for would be RN submarine skippers. This is considered to be the hardest command course in the world, for submarine skippers.

In the 1960's as a Captain, he commanded the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious. He became Deputy Chief of the Defense Staff and was knighted in 1973.

Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh, DSO. DSC., died on the 31st July 2003. He was aged 83.


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