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Submarine M2
Submarine M2 launching its seaplane

On this day 26 January 1932

Published: 28 Jan 2013

Experimental aircraft-carrying submarine sinks, 26 January 1932.

HMS M2 was a Royal Navy aircraft-carrying submarine shipwrecked in Lyme Bay, Dorset. M2 could carry a specially designed small Parnall Peto seaplane, which could be launched by hydraulic catapult. The aircraft would land alongside the submarine on completion of its sortie and be winched aboard using a crane.

On 26 January 1932, M2 left her base at Portland for an exercise in West Bay, Dorset, carrying Parnall Peto serial N255. Her last communication was a radio message at 10:11 to her submarine depot ship, Titania, to announce that she would dive at 10:30. Her entire crew of 60 was killed in the accident. The submarine was found on 3 February, eight days after her loss. The hangar door was found open and the aircraft still in it. The accident was believed to be due to water entering the submarine through the hangar door, which had been opened to launch the aircraft shortly after surfacing.

After the loss of M2, the Royal Navy abandoned submarine-launched aircraft.


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