Historic Markers Across South Carolina

H.M.S. Seraph

Marker ID: SCHM 
Location: on Mary Murray Drive. in Charleston, South Carolina.
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 47.933    W 079° 57.583
  32.798883    -79.959717
Style: Mounted **


The submarine memorialized by this monument, has a uniquely distinguished record, and many of her most fascinating exploits involved Americans. Embodied in this memorial are the Seraph´s fore hatch, steering and plane wheels, her ship´s bell and badge, and her periscope.

Seraph is well remembered for her role in the secret entry into North Africa of Gen. Mark W. Clark when he headed a spy team which made a clandestine rendezvous with Free French leaders there in the critical days of 1942 immediately prior to allied landings on the North African Coast.

During the same year this submarine successfully accomplished another secret mission that mystified the German Enemy. In this episode she was the vessel that permitted French Gen. Henri H. Giraud to elude the Germans who surrounded him in Southern France and escape to aid the Allied Cause. Since Giraud was at odds with the British, he insisted that he would make his escape only on an American submarine. No such vessel was then in the Mediterranean, so an American Naval Officer was placed in technical command of the Seraph. For a time she had two captains and operated under two flags, The American and Royal Navy Ensigns which fly above this monument to commemorate this unusual co-operation between two nations.

Among the Seraph´s many other historic missions was a gigantic ruse which saved thousands of allied soldiers´ lives in World War II. A book entitled "The Man Who Never Was" describes this adventure, and a moving picture was based on the book. Another book, "The Ship That Had Two Captains," deals primarily with the Giraud adventure.