A long-lost British Second World War submarine that vanished 73 years ago has been found with 71 bodies off the coast of Italy. The HMS P 311 is believed to have sank sometime between December 1942 and January 1943. The 1,290 tonne vessel was found by a diving team, leaded by Massimo Domenico Bordone, dubbed the "wreck hunter", who spotted the ghostly wreck of the HMS P 311 as he swept an area 100 meters (328 feet) down off the northeast coast of Sardinia, near the island of Tavolara.

She joined the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in November 1942, and was lost with all hands between 30 December 1942 and 8 January 1943 whilst en route to La Maddalena, Sardinia where she was to attack two Italian 8-inch gun cruisers using Chariot manned torpedoes carried on the casing as part of Operation Principle. But after sending a signal on December 31, the vessel disappeared without a trace. The submarine vanished without a trace around January 2, 1943. She was reported overdue on 8 January 1943 when she failed to return to base.

She was mined and sank near the island of Tavolara, in Sardinia. The wreck was not subsequently located and none of the bodies of the crew were recovered.

HMS P 311 was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy, the only boat of her class never to be given a name. She was to have received the name Tutankhamen but was lost before this was formally done. Her distinguished commanding officer Commander Richard Cayley had been a most successful submarine officer with the award of a Distinguished Service Order and two Bars.


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