Lieutenant Commander 

Malcolm David 



Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
18 April 1942


David Wanklyn was one of the most successful submariners of WW2, sinking 17 enemy vessels.

David Wanklyn was born at The Hermitage, Alipore, Calcutta, India on 28 June 1911, the son of William Lumb Wanklyn (a consulting engineer) and Marjorie Wanklyn.

Wanklyn was influenced into a military career at an early age.  His father had served in the Army in WW1 and his uncle had been a destroyer captain.  He developed a seafaring interest at the age of 5 and applied to join the RN aged 14.  He joined the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth as a Cadet in January 1925, was promoted to Midshipman on 1 May 1929 and was appointed to the battleship HMS MARLBOROUGH.  He was next appointed to the battle cruiser HMS RENOWN on 23 April 1930.

He joined HMS DOLPHIN ‘for the Submarine Course’ on 8 May 1933 and, on 19 August 1933, was appointed to HMS OBERON.  He was promoted Sub Lieutenant on 1 January 1934 and, in October 1934, as a Lieutenant, he was appointed to HMS L56.

His next appointment, in January 1936, was to HMS H50 as First Lieutenant then to HMS SEALION then SHARK, then PORPOISE, then OTWAY, all as First Lieutenant.

Completing his submarine command course in 1940, he was given command of HMS H31 then H32.  In August 1940 he was given command of the newly commissioned HMS UPHOLDER, which was then reassigned to the Mediterranean.  During 15 months of operations, Wanklyn led UPHOLDER on 27 patrols and sank 11 Axis merchant and troopships while damaging 4 more.  He sank one destroyer, one minesweeper and damaged a light cruiser.  He also sank 3 Italian submarines.  For the sinking of the heavily defended SS Conte Rosso, he received the Victoria Cross.

While on his 28th patrol, Wanklyn and his crew disappeared.


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