HMS STARFISH (Lieutenant T A Turner) was patrolling off Heligoland in the early hours of 9 January 1940 when an attack was attempted on what was thought to be an enemy destroyer. This failed due to an internal communication error. On coming to periscope depth to relocate the target, a minesweeper was seen very close astern. STARFISH sought to evade by bottoming but was subjected to numerous depth charge attacks which caused so much damage that there ws no option but to surface, abandon ship, and scuttle the submarine.
All the crew were captured and became prisoners of war. ERA2 John Wilkinson died in captivity on 24 January 1943 of a heart attack.