Unique Crest

Small Patrol Submarine


U Class
First Group

Pennant No.:

Laid Down:
30th October 1939.
Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness.

27th September 1940.
Lt. Cdr. A.F. Collett

Sept. 1940 - Aug. 1941
Lt. Cdr. A.F. Collett
Aug. 1941
Lt. A.R. Hezlet (Temporary).
Aug. 1941 - June 1942
Lt. Cdr. A.F. Collett
June - Oct. 1942
Lt. Cdr. R.E. Boddington.

4 Officers, 27 Others.

Service Career:
5th Flotilla, HMS Dolphin, Gosport.
Detached at 3rd Flotilla, HMS Forth, Holy Loch for working up.
1st Flotilla, Malta.
Refitting at Chatham.

Completed twentyone War Patrols, she was lost on her twentysecond patrol.

24th October 1940.
On completion of work up she departed Campbeltown for Portsmouth.
27th October - Arrived Portsmouth.

First Patrol - 6th November 1940.
Departed Portsmouth to patrol in the English Channel.
15th November - Ended patrol at Portsmouth.

Second Patrol - 11th December 1940.
Departed Portsmouth for Malta via Gibraltar.
On passage was ordered, with Upholder, Usk and Thunderbolt, to patrol off the Gironde estuary.
23rd December - Ended patrol at Gibraltar .
28th December - Departed Gibraltar for Malta.
6th January 1941 - Arrived Malta.

Third Patrol - 16th January 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol the approaches to Tripoli, Libya.
22nd January - Attacked a merchant vessel with one torpedo West of Tripoli, Libya. The torpedo missed and the target fled back towards Tripoli.
27th January - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fourth Patrol - 7th February 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol near the Kerkenah Bank, Tunisia.
11th February - Attacked a large transport east of Kerkenah, Tunisia. This was the German ship Arcturus in company with German Merchant ships Alicante and Ankara escorted by the Italian destroyer Turbine and the Italian torpedo boat Orsa on their way to Tripoli. No hits were confirmed.
12th February - Attacked a transport in a convoy east of Kerkenah Tunisia. No hits confirmed.
18th February - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fifth Patrol - 27th February 1941.
Departed Malta to the West of Tripoli, Libya.
10th March - Torpedoed and sank the Italian cargo ship Felicia north-west of Tripoli, Libya.
According to Italian sources her escort, the armed merchant cruiser Attilio Deffenu, picked up 14 survivors and four corpses. The destroyer Baleno, escorting a nearby convoy, was detached to hunt the submarine and dropped ten depth charges in the area but without result.
11th March - Ended patrol at Malta.
Sixth Patrol - 28th March 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol in the Gulf of Hammamet, Tunisia.
8th April - Ended patrol at Malta.

Seventh Patrol - 9th April 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Kerkenah, Tunisia.
11th April - Whilst trying to carry out an attack on an enemy convoy in she was spotted and challenged by one of the escorts. The attack had to be broken off.
15th April - Ended patrol at Malta.

Eighth Patrol - 2nd May 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off the East coast of Sicily.
14th May - Ended patrol at Malta.

Ninth Patrol - 25th May 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol between the Kerkenah Bank and Lampedusa Island.
3rd June - Torpedoed and damaged the Italian cargo ship Arsia inside Lampedusa harbour.
According to Italian sources Arsia was hit astern and cut in two with only the bow part protruding. The crew of 11 suffered no casualties but the nearby Egusa was damaged by the explosion and the motor fishing vessel Giuseppe Padre had two wounded from splinters.
5th June - Ended patrol at Malta.

Tenth Patrol - 15th June 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol between the Kerkenah Bank and Lampedusa Island.

Attempted to attack two convoys on 20th and 22nd June but having been detected had to abort the attacks. Ninety two depth charges were dropped on her during these two attempted attacks.
28th June - Ended patrol at Malta. Eleventh Patrol - 28th June 1941.
Due to having all of her torpedoes from the Tenth patrol she departed Malta to intercept vichy-French re-inforcements proceeding towards Syria. Nothing was sighted.
3rd July - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twelfth Patrol - 20th July 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol South of the Strait of Messina.
29th July - Landed a Folbot-party with the objective to place explosive charges on the train tracks. The Folbot-party (Corporal R.H. Brown and Lance Corporal J.R.A. Ferguson) returned and Unique retired to seaward. An explosion was seen on the land as a train must have hit the charges.
30th July - Landed a Folbot-party with the objective to place explosive charges on the train tracks. No explosions were seen.

Later the same day attacked an Italian auxiliary patrol vessel with one torpedo. The torpedo most likely ran under. With the surprise now gone it was decided not to attack with the gun.
4th August - Ended patrol at Malta.

Thirteenth Patrol - 16th August 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Tripoli, Libya.
20th August - Torpedoed and sank the Italian troop transport Esperia.
According to Italian sources four were killed and twelve were missing, 1139 survivors (including 53 wounded) were picked up. She had been in convoy with Oceania, Neptunia and Marco Polo escorted by the destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi, Nicoloso da Recco, Vincenzo Gioberti, Alfredo Oriani, Scirocco and the torpedo boats Giuseppe Dezza and Partenope.
23rd August - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fourteenth Patrol - 5th September 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
19th September - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fifteenth Patrol - 9th October 1941.
Departed Malta to a position South-East of Cape Bon, Tunisia to intercept a Southbound convoy. As the convoy passed well to the East she was ordered to her patrol area in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
14th October -Attacked an Italian armed merchant cruiser South of Naples Bay. No hits confirmed.
21st October - Ended patrol at Malta.

Sixteenth Patrol - 1st November 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Benghasi, Libya.
17th November - Ended patrol at Malta.

Seventeenth Patrol - 1st December 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol to the Southward of Messina.
14th December - Sighted a battleship with a destroyer. The submarine tried to close submerged at full speed but with no success. This was the damaged Vittorio Veneto which had been torpedoed earlier by Urge.
15th December - Ended patrol at Malta.

Eighteenth Patrol - 29th December 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto.
5th January 1942 - Attacked the Italian battleship Littorio with torpedoes in the Gulf of Taranto. All torpedoes fired missed their target. The Italian battlegroup including the battleship Giulio Cesare and destroyers Carabiniere, Alpino, Antonio da Noli, Antonio Pigafetta, Ascari and Fuciliere) was returning to Taranto.
11th January 1942 - Ended patrol at Malta.

Nineteenth Patrol - 15th January 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol South of Messina.
21st January - Attacked an Italian submarine with four torpedoes South-East of August, Sicily, Italy. No hits were obtained.
22nd January - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentieth Patrol - 2nd February 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol South of Messina.
9th February - Ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto.
13th February - Heavy depth charging was heard, this turned out to be Italian ships which were hunting Tempest.
18th February - Ended patrol at Malta.

4th March 1942.
Departed Malta for refit in the UK via Gibraltar, she carried an Italian human torpedo which had been captured.
5th March - Shortly after departing Malta she was attacked and machine gunned by German aircraft, no damage.
14th March - Arrived Gibraltar.
19th March - Departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth.
29th March - Arrived Portsmouth.
31st March - Departed Portsmouth for Sheerness.
1st April - Arrived Sheerness
2nd April - Departed Sheerness for Chatham Dockyard for refit.
22nd July - Departed Chatham Dockyard for Sheerness.
25th July - Departed Sheerness for Portsmouth.
26th July - Arrived Portsmouth.
30th July - Departed Portsmouth for Plymouth.
31st July - Arrived Plymouth.
1st August - Employed in Anti-Submarine Exercises.
7th August - Departed Plymouth for Holy Loch.
9th August - Arrived Holy Loch.
4th September - Departed Holy Loch for Lerwick.
6th September - Arrived Lerwick.

Twentyfirst Patrol - 7th September 1942.
Departed Lerwick to provide cover for convoy operations to and from Northern Russia.
19th September - Sighted a U-boat at a distance of six nautical miles. Both submarines submerged but contact was lost.
24th September - Ended patrol at Lerwick then departed for Holy Loch.
26th September - Arrived Holy Loch.

Twentysecond Patrol -
8th October 1942.
Departed Holy Loch to patrol off Northern Spain to intercept the German blockade runner Belgrano and to proceed to Gibraltar upon completion of this patrol where she was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. She was expected to arrive at Gibraltar on 23 October and was declared overdue the next day.
On 13 October, Ursula heard two loud explosions at 0852 hours and 0854 hours, this could have been connected to Unique but there was no certainty.

Lost during transit to Gibraltar 10th October 1942.