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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006

 

HMS UNA (87 N) - U-class Submarine

HM S/M United, sister-boat (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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U-Class coastal submarine ordered with HM Submarine UMPIRE from HM Dockyard, Chatham on 4th September 1939 and intended to be identified as P32 was laid down on 7th May 1940. This submarine was launched on 10th June 1941 after delay due to the increased priority given for repair of ships damaged during operations. Renamed UNA she was 1st RN warship to carry the name. Build of this new submarine was completed on 27th September 1941 and she had been commissioned for service with the 5th Submarine Flotilla during Acceptance Trials. The name is taken from the character Truth in Spenserís FAERIE QUEEN.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

BURMA 1945

(Note : This award is recorded in BATTLE HONOURS OF THE ROYAL NAVY

as NOT being awarded to this submarine. It is assumed therefore that it applies

to another vessel deployed in the East Indies in 1945. However no reference can

be found in WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) or THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)

 

Heraldic Data

Badge : On a Field Blue, a woman Proper habited white resting her sinister hand

upon a lion statant guardant Gold.

 

S u m m m a r y   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

 

1 9 4 0

 

September             Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to N87.

                27th        On completion of Acceptance Trials prepared for service with 8th Submarine

                                Flotilla based at Gibraltar

                                Commanding Officer Lieutenant DSR Martin, RN

 

October                  Nominated for Biscay Patrol with HM Submarine P38 and on release to take

to                            passage to join Flotilla.

November

 

December

                4th          Commenced patrol and carried out surveillance of German traffic.

                5th          On release took passage to Gibraltar.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January.                 Deployed in Mediterranean for interception patrol with 8th Flotilla

                                Transferred to 10th Submarine Flotilla based in Malta

 

February                Deployed with 10th Flotilla for support of passage of relief Convoy MW9 to Malta

                                with HM Submarine UPHOLDER and P38,.

                12th        Sank German merchant ship TRAPANI, 8106 tons, off Crotone

                13th        Carried out torpedo attack off Crotone on Italian tanker LUCANIA which was set on fire

                                and later sank

                                (Note : This vessel had been safe passage and the sinking was subject to investigation

                                For details see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman and BENEATH THE

                                WAVES by AS Evans.)

                13th        Sank sailing schooner MARIA IMMACOLATA of 248 tons by surface gunfire.

 

March                    Flotilla duties in continuation

                                Transferred to 1st Flotilla.

 

April                       During patrol carried out unsuccessful torpedo attack.

to                            (Note : Sinking of supply ship off Calabria to be confirmed.)

May

 

June                        Nominated with HM Submarines PROTEUS, THORN, TAKU, P31, P34 , P35,

                                PORPOISE and THRASHER. for support of passage of relief Convoy MW11

                                during passage to Malta from Alexandria.

                8th          Sailed from Alexandria to take up station off Taranto to intercept warships on

                                passage to attack convoys.

 

July                         Transferred to Haifa with PROTEUS, TURBULENT, TAKU AND TRAVELLER

                                of 10th Flotilla.

                20th        Returned to Malta with submarines of 10th Flotilla.

 

August                  Nominated for support of passage of relief Convoy from Gibraltar to Malta

                                (Operation PEDESTAL).

                                Embarked Commando party for passage to carry out sabotage on airfield at

                                Catania in support of safe passage of ships to Malta.

                8th          Disembarked party..

                                (Note : This party was captured on 12th August.)

 

September             Convoy attack failed.

 

October                  Commanding Officer Lieutenant Norman

                3rd          Torpedo attack on ship within harbour at Lampedusa failed.

                18th        Torpedo attack on tanker and escort failed.

 

November              Nominated for support of planned allied landings in North Africa

                                (Operation TORCH)

                                Deployed with HM Submarine UTMOST and set up patrol line

                                south of Messina Straits to intercept warships n passage to interfere with

                                landings in western Mediterranean.

                9th          On release from TORCH support took up position with HM Submarine

                                UTMOST to carry out interception patrol

                10th        Deployed off Navarino with HMS UTMOST to attack three warships reported

                                by air reconnaissance. The attacks were unsuccessful

                11th        Attack with HM Submarine URSULA on submarines failed.

 

November              During Flotilla deployment for attacks on convoys with HM Submarines P45

                                UNITED, SERAPH, UTMOST and P219

                                (Note :Attacks made on 9th and 10th were unsuccessful.)

 

December              Unsuccessful convoy attack off Martitimo

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Deployed with Flotilla based in Malta.

 

February                Took part in interception operations against enemy reinforcement convoys

                                between Sicily and Tunis or Bizerta.

                                Carried out torpedo attacks and sank two ships totalling 5,535 tons.

                                Carried out surface gunfire attacks on two schooners off Hammamet but

                                withdrew when under shore battery fire

 

March                    Flotilla duties in continuation at Malta.

                                Nominated for refit and took passage to UK

                                (Note : This submarine had carried out seventeen patrols in Mediterranean.

 

April                       Under refit at Blyth

to                            On completion of post refit trials nominated for training duties in Clyde

August

 

September             Deployed for anti-submarine training of escort ships.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Training deployment in continuation.

to

February

 

March                    Nominated for detached service with Home Fleet for patrols duties

                                in North Sea to intercept passage of battleship TIRPITZ from Norway

                                to be repaired in Germany.

                18th        Sailed from Lerwick with HM Submarines TRUANT, TERRAPIN, STURDY,

                                SAFARI, UNBENDING, UNBROKEN and Dutch submarine ZEEHUND to

                                carry out patrol of Norway.

                20th        Returned to Lerwick when requirements for operation were reduced.

 

April                       Resumed training deployment

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Training duties in continuation.

to

August

 

P o s t     W a r    N o t e s

 

HMS UNA was placed in Reserve after the end of hostilities with Japan and laid-up at Lishally, Ulster.  She was placed on the Sales List in 1949 and sold to BISCO on 11th April for demolition by E Rees at Llanelly. The boat arrived at the breakerís yard in June that year.

 

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