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


HMS UNRUFFLED - U-class Submarine

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

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Deployed as P46 this submarine completed working-up in the Clyde area during May and then carried out patrols off Norway. She was transferred to the Mediterranean in and took passage to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta on 12th June 1942.


She carried out an uneventful patrol off the Alboran islands from Gibraltar in July and before leaving for Malta on 1st August was under repair for two weeks. Whilst on passage she carried out a patrol to intercept Italian warships attempting to intercept the PEDESTAL relief convoy to Malta An attack on a mercantile on 10th August failed on release from PEDESTAL cover she arrived in Malta on 15th for Flotilla duties. Her first patrol from Malta off Misrata was uneventful but on her second sortie off Kuriat in September she sank two supply ships by torpedo and a schooner in a gun attack. During patrol off north Sicily and the Italian mainland in November she bombarded a railway line hitting a train and sank two more Italian mercantiles before return to Malta on 15th of the month. She sailed for her next patro1 early in November and encountered a submarine on which a torpedo attack missed. Her fortunes were restored later when she hit and damaged the Italian cruiser ATTILIO REGOLO which was under repair for several months. On a later patrol in the Gulf of Sirte she damaged a small tug in a gun attack. On her next patrol off Cape Bon she sank the Italian mv CASTELVERDE of 6,665 tons before taking part in Operation PRINCIPAL an attack by "Chariots" on warships at Palermo.


She acted as a recovery submarine and rescued two personnel on 3rd January 1943. Later that month, whilst on patrol in the Gulf of Hammamet she attacked two small sailing craft and also two larger supply ships. In the same area during February under her: new name, used for the first time by the RN, she attacked a two ship convoy sinking the German mv BAALBECK. She carried out two special reconnaissance patrols off Sicily in April prior to the allied landings planned for July (Operation HUSKY). Deployed in the Tyrrhenian Sea the next month she sank a German tanker of 9,805 tons, HENRY DESPREZ (requistioned French tanker). Before serving as a navigational marker during HUSKY landings in ACID AREA she carried out a third reconnaissance patrol off Sicily and after the assault of 8th July launched two FOLBOATS. She sailed for patrol again on 27th July and whilst off Brindisi sank the Italian mv CITTA DI CATANIA, 2,474 tons. Later during August 1943 she was deployed again in the Adriatic and carried intelligence agents and stores to Cephalonia before an interception patrol during which she sank on supply ships and missed another during an attack on a convoy.


Nominated for return to UK for refit she carried out a final patrol in the western Mediterranean and attacked, unsuccessfully, a convoy during passage to Algiers. Whilst on passage from Gibraltar she had to return for repair and did not arrive in Sheerness until 29th November after calls at Falmouth and Portsmouth. Refit was carried out at Tilbury and the submarine Paid-off in December 1943.


On completion of post refit repairs discovered during trials in April 1944 she worked-up at Plymouth for a month and joined the 7th Submarine Flotilla for anti-submarine training duties on 3rd June. Three weeks later she was transferred for training duties in the West Indies and sailed from Rothesay on 26th. She was deployed at Bermuda for only a few weeks until 9th September when she returned to Rothesay. Paid-off at Londonderry and reduced to Reserve status during October 1945 she was placed on the Disposal List and sold for breaking-up at Troon where she arrived on 21st January 1946.



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revised 30/11/10
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