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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006


HMS UNITED - U-class Submarine

HM S/M United (CyberHeritage, click to enlarge)

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Served under her Pennant Number identity P44 until January 1943 when renamed UNITED and first RN warship to carry this name. She completed work-up in the Clyde area before taking passage for service in the Mediterranean on 29th April 1942. Whilst in the Atlantic on 7th May she carried out an attack on a submarine which missed.


Deployed at Gibraltar she carried out a patrol off Alboran Island as an operational work-up and returned on 31st May. In June she carried out a patrol SE of Sardinia during Operation HARPOON, the transit of a Malta relief convoy through the western Mediterranean, to intercept any Italian attempt to attack this convoy. After returning to Gibraltar on 24th May she was transferred to Malta for service in the 10th Submarine Flotilla, arriving on 21st July. In August she carried out a patrol in the central Mediterranean during which unsuccessful attacks were made on an auxiliary warship and a 6,00 ton mercantile before providing cover against an attack on the PEDESTAL Malta relief operation. On 17th August after the completion of PEDESTAL she sank the Italian mercantile ROSOLINO SILO of 8,325 tons which blew-up and caused significant damage to the submarine.


When repairs had been completed she resumed patrol duties in the central Mediterranean and one her first mission she damaged one ship and sank two smaller vessels. Whilst the following two patrols an attack on a two ship convoy was unsuccessful but during a later torpedo attack on a single ship damaged a small steamer. Her patrols in November and December included # failed attack on a submarine and gun attacks on smaller vessels with further failures on the later patrol in the Gulf of Tunis. Her first deployment in 1943 included the sinking of the Italian destroyer BOMBARDIERE on 17th January which broke in half on impact She carried out a reconnaissance of landing area in Sicily during February after an uneventful patrol off Tunisia Patrols carried out in April and May off Italy were also uneventful but in July 1943 she attacked and sank the 5,000 ton German liner RUNGULV on 14th and an Italian liner, now armed merchant cruiser OLBIA on 20th before return to Malta two days later. She was next deployed in support of the allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY) and later sank the Italian submarine REMO. Her final patrol before leaving the Flotilla in September was in the Gulf of Taranto for observation of Italian Fleet movements.


During passage to UK this submarine carried out a patrol in the Bay of Biscay for interception of German submarines before arriving at Devonport on 1st October for refit Resumption of operational service in February 1944 was delayed by defects discovered on trials and she did not join the 7th Submarine Flotilla in Londonderry until 18th March that year. She was then deployed for anti-submarine training, at first in Home waters for Western Approaches escorts and then at St Johns in Newfoundland after passage via Bermuda. This duty lasted from September 1944 until 26th June 1945. This submarine then carried out visits to US ports before returning to UK via Bermuda on 9th September. She was Paid-off at Londonderry on 14th October 1945 and placed in Reserve at Lisahally, Ulster. Placed on the Disposal List she was sold for breaking-up at Troon, Ayrshire where she arrived for demolition on 8th February 1946. The Commanding Officer in 1943 was Lieutenant J C Y Roxburgh RN.


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revised 30/11/10
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