Lieutenant (Engineer) 

Owen Felton 

LANCASTER, 

DSC

Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
Aged:
17 October 1943

34

Owen Lancaster was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire on 10 February 1909, the son of Hugh Felton and Gertrude Molly Lancaster (née Morris). He joined the Royal Navy as an Engine Room Artificer Apprentice on 4 August 1924. On completion of his five-year Engine Room Artificer Apprenticeship, he served in the battleship HMS NELSON and then in the cruisers HMS GREENWICH and HMS DAUNTLESS.

He was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN ‘for the Submarine Course‘ on 10 May 1935, and served in HMS OTWAY from 13 August 1935 until 3 October 1935 when he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS TITANIA. This was followed by HMS PANDORA from 1 January 1936 and HMS H33 from 16 May 1936 until 30 September 1936. He was promoted to Acting Warrant Engineer on 1 October 1936 and appointed to the aircraft carrier HMS FURIOUS on 29 December 1936.

He was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN for submarine training on 25 April 1938 and then to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE at Malta on 6 August 1938. The date of his appointment to HMS SALMON as the Engineer was 15 February 1939. He was onboard SALMON on 4 December 1939 when the U-Boat U-36 was torpedoed and sunk, and on 13 December 1939 when another torpedo attack resulted in damage to the German cruisers NURNBERG and LEIPZIG. For his part in these attacks, he was awarded the DSC – see London Gazette dated 22 December 1939.

Owen Lancaster was appointed to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE on 3 July 1940, and promotion to Lieutenant (E) followed on 30 September 1940. He was appointed to HMS TROOPER as the Engineer on 25 April 1941. On 26 September 1943, TROOPER sailed from Beirut for her eighth war patrol to conduct a special mission for SOE (Special Operations Executive) and then patrol in the Aegean Sea off the Dodecanese islands in the area of Leros. The Special Operation was conducted on 30 September 1943. TROOPER was last seen in Alinda Bay (Leros) on 14 October 1943 by a schooner of the Levant Flotilla. It is understood that minefields had been laid off Alinda Bay and it is believed that TROOPER was lost with all hands after striking a mine.

Owen Lancaster was the husband of Violet Marion Lancaster of Sidcup in Kent. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Panel No. 73 Column No. 1.

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