Upholder Crest

Small Patrol Submarine

 


Type:
U Class
First Group

Pennant No.:
P.37
N.99

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

Commissioned:
31st October 1940.
Lt. M. D. Wanklyn.

Commander:
Aug. 1940 - Apr. 1942
Lt. Cdr. M. D. Wanklyn VC, DSO.
June 1941
Lt. A.R. Hezlet (Temporary).
Dec. 1941
Lt. C.P. Norman (Temporary).
Feb. - Mar. 1942
Lt. C.P. Norman (Temporary).

Complement:
31
4 Officers, 27 Others.

Service Career:
1941
1st Flotilla, Malta.
1942
10th Flotilla, Malta.

Fate:
Completed twenty seven War Patrols, was lost on her twenty eighth patrol.

21st November 1940.
On completion of work up departed Holy Loch for Portsmouth.
24th November - Arrived Portsmouth.

First Patrol - 10th December 1940.
Departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar.
14th December - Ordered to patrol the Northern coast of Spain near Gijon.
23rd December - Ended patrol at Gibraltar.

Second Patrol - 1st January 1941.
Departed Gibraltar to patrol with Triumph and Usk to the West of Gibraltar off Cape Spartel. This was most likely to intercept Vichy-French warships that might have departed Casablanca for the Mediterranean.
2nd January - Recalled to Gibralter where her patrol is terminated.

Third Patrol - 3rd January 1941 - To be carried out on passage to Malta.
Departed Gibraltar to provide cover for convoy 'Excess' to Malta.
12th January - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fourth Patrol -
24th January 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol between Kerkennah and Tripoli.
26th January - Attacked a convoy with four torpedoes off Kerkennah. No hits were obtained.
28th January - Torpedoed and damaged the German transport Duisburg south of the Kerkennah Shallows. The damaged ship was towed into Tripoli.
30th January -Attacked the Italian merchant ship Motia and the Italian tanker Delfin escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Orione and Aldebaran west of Tripoli, Libya. All torpedoes fired missed their target and Upholder was depth charged by the torpedo boat Aldebaran.
1st February - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fifth Patrol - 12th February 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Tripoli.
19th February - Attacked a convoy West of Tripoli, Libya. Two torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. The target was the German transport Heraklea. She was in convoy with the German merchant ships Arta, Menes and Maritza escorted by the Italian destroyers Freccia and Saetta.
23rd February - Ended patrol at Malta.

Sixth Patrol - 3rd March 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Tripoli.
8th March - Attacked a convoy North of Tripoli with two torpedoes. No hits were obtained.
10th March - Ended patrol at Malta.

Seventh Patrol - 19th March 1941.
Departed Malta to carry out a survey off the East coast of Sicily.
25th March - Ended patrol at Malta.

Eighth Patrol - 3rd April 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off the East coast of Tunisia.
10th April - Carried out two torpedo attacks on merchant vessels off Cape Bon, Tunisia. No hits were obtained in either attack.
11th April - Made a torpedo attack on an unidentified laden merchant vessel off Cape Bon, Tunisia. No hits were obtained.
12th April - Sighted a convoy of five merchant vessels escorted by three Italian Navigatori-class destroyers. As Upholder was out of torpedoes she could not attack but she made an enemy report. This convoy was made up of the German merchant vessels Ankara, Marburg, Kybfels, Reichenfels and the Italian merchant Calitea. They were escorted by the Italian destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi, Antonio da Noli and Lanzerotto Malocello.
Upholder intercepted enemy reports from aircraft and sighted parachute flares to the South. She increased speed and turned to intercept this convoy.
13th April - Sighted a convoy three miles to the West of Pantelleria steering North. Upholder tried to pass an enemy report. Upholder fired star shell across the convoys bow to make it turn back. She Dived when the escorts approached. An enemy report was made again but no reply was received. Finally a reply was received from Medway.
14th April - Ended patrol at Malta.

Ninth Patrol - 21st April 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off the East coast of Tunisia.
25th April - Torpedoed and sank the Italian Antonietta Lauro, carrying phosphate.
26th April - Destroyed the wreck of the grounded German merchant Arta off Kerkennah, Tunisia with demolition charges.
27th April - Surfaced and tried to close the wreck of the Italian destroyer Lampo torpedoed and sunk in shallow waters by British destroyers. Finding that the waters were too shallow the operation was abandoned.
1st May - Torpedoed and sank the German merchant Arcturus and torpedoed and damaged the German merchant Leverkusen off Kerkennah, Tunisia.
Later the same day Upholder again torpedoed the Leverkusen finally sinking her.
3rd May - Ended patrol at Malta.

Tenth Patrol - 15th May 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol South of the Straits of Messina.
20th May - Fired four torpedoes at a convoy near Capo dell'Armi. No hits obtained.
23rd May - Torpedoed and damaged the French tanker Capitaine Damiani near Capo dell Armi. The damaged ship was towed to Messina by the other French tanker in the convoy the Alberta.
24th May - Attacked a heavily escorted troop convoy east of Siracusa, Sicily, and torpedoed and sank the Italian liner Conte Rosso. Upholder was heavily depth charged following this attack.
26th May - Ended patrol at Malta.

Eleventh Patrol - 6th June 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol North-East of Tripoli.
17th June - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twelfth Patrol - 24th June 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol East of Sicily to intercept an important Italian convoy to Tripoli.
26th June - Recalled from patrol to Malta.
27th June - Ended patrol at Malta.

Thirteenth Patrol - 28th June 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol South of the Straits of Messina.
1st July - Attacked but missed an Italian Armed Merchant Cruiser with three torpedoes.
3rd July - Torpedoed the Italian merchant Laura C off Saline Ioniche, Calabria.
8th July - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fourteenth Patrol - 19th July 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol North of Isola di Marettimo.
24th July - Torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Dandolo north-west of Barone, eastern Sicily. She was escorted by the torpedo boat Giuseppe Missori which dropped 17 depth charges, an aircraft also dropped two anti submarine bombs. The damaged Italian ship was towed to Trapani by the tugs Nettuno, Liguria and Ciclope made port and was repaired.
28th July - Fired 4 torpedoes at an Italian task force, hitting the light cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi. The cruiser was hit in the bow and took 700 tons of water but did not sink. She managed to reach Palermo and was later repaired in Naples and was out of action for a considerable time.
29th July - Attacked a convoy North-East of Cape San Vito with her last remaining torpedo. The torpedo however did not hit the intended target.
31st July - Ended patrol at Malta.

Fifteenth Patrol - 15th August 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Isola di Marettimo.
20th August - Torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Enotria off Cape San Vito, Italy.
22nd August - Torpedoed and sank the Italian transport Lussin north-west of Cape San Vito, Sicily.
24th August - Fired two torpedoes at an Italian light cruiser off the north-west tip of Sicily. Both torpedoes miss their target.
27th August - Ended patrol at Malta.

Sixteenth Patrol - 29th August 1941.
Departed Malta ordered to patrol on the convoy route Messina - Tripoli to intercept an important troop convoy to Tripoli.
31st August - Fired four torpedoes against the Italian troop transports Oceania and Neptunia East of Tripoli, Libya. All four torpedoes missed their targets.
1st September - Ended patrol at Malta.

Seventeenth Patrol - 16th September 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol on the convoy route Messina - Tripoli to intercept an important troop convoy to Tripoli.
18th September - Torpedoed and sank the Italian troop transports Neptunia and Oceania east-north-east of Tripoli, Libya.
20th September - Ended patrol at Malta.

Eighteenth Patrol -
23rd September 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Isola di Marettimo.
2nd October - Ended patrol at Malta.

Nineteenth Patrol - 18th October 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol off Kerkennah.
27th October - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentieth Patrol - 7th November 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol in the Ionian Sea to operate against enemy convoys to Benghazi.
8th November - Attacked an Italian submarine with torpedoes south-east of Capo Passero, Sicily.
9th November - Torpedoed the Italian destroyer Libeccio engaged in the rescue of survivors from the Duisburg convoy, destroyed the previous night by Force "K" out of Malta. The destroyer had the stern blown off and was taken in tow by the Italian destroyer Euro but a few hours later the bulkheads gave way and she sank.
Later the same day attacked two Trento-class heavy cruisers with three torpedoes.
11th November - Ended Patrol at Malta.

Twentyfirst Patrol - 25th November 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol South of the Straits of Messina.
27th November - Attacked a large tanker with four torpedoes near Capo dell'Armi. All torpedoes missed the target.
1st December - Attacked an Italian light cruiser off the Gulf of Taranto. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.
3rd December - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentysecond Patrol - 12th December 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol in the Ionion Sea to intercept an expected enemy convoy from Taranto to Tripoli.
14th December - Ordered to a new patrol position South of the toe of Italy.
21st December - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentythird Patrol - 31st December 1941.
Departed Malta to patrol North of Sicily.
3rd January 1942 - Fired three torpedoes at a merchant vessel of about 4000 tons near Cape Gallo, Sicily. No hits were obtained.
4th January - Torpedoed the Italian merchant Sirio carrying 8,000 tons of coal from Messina to Palermo for the railway system, north-west of Cefalu, Sicily.The ship remained afloat and manage to limp to Palermo.
5th January - Torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Ammiraglio Saint Bon North-East of Milazzo, Sicily.
8th January - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentyfourth Patrol - 14th January 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto.
23rd January - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentyfifth Patrol - 1st February 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol North of Sicily.
4th February - Attacked a destroyer West of Cape San Vito, Sicily with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained and Upholder was depth charged following the attack. The target was the Italian desroyer Premuda which had sailed from Palermo to join the escort of the German transport Trapani.
13th February - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentysixth Patrol - 21st February 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol near Tripoli, Libya.
27th February - Torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Tembien West of Tripoli, Libya. She carried 468 PoWs and was escorted by the Italian destroyer Strale. The destroyer hunted the submarine dropping nine depth charges before starting to rescue the survivors. She was later joined in her efforts by the auxiliary Laurana and the torpedo boats Clio and Cantore. In all 390 PoWs, 68 Italians and 10 Germans were drowned.
5th March - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentyseventh Patrol - 14th March 1942.
Departed Malta to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto.
18th March - Ordered to patrol off Brindisi for one day. Torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Tricheco east of Brindisi in the southern Adriatic.
19th March - Sank the Italian auxiliary minesweeper B.14/Maria with gunfire North of Otranto, Italy.
23rd March - Fired four torpedoes against the Italian battleship Littorio in the Gulf of Taranto. No hits were obtained.
26th March - Ended patrol at Malta.

Twentyeighth Patrol - 6th April 1942.
Departed Malta to carry out a special operation and then to patrol off Tripoli, Libya. This was to be her last patrol before returning to the U.K. to refit.
10th April - Landed Captain 'Tug' Wilson, RM and Lance Corporal Charles Parker of the Beds and Herts Regiment and two Arab saboteurs to sabotage a railway near Sousse. The two Britons returned to the submarine and Captain Wilson was transferred to Unbeaten on 11 April as this submarine was proceeding to Gibraltar. Wilson was the last man to see the crew of HMS Upholder. Upholder was then sent to patrol east of Djerba Island and then received an order to form a patrol line with Thrasher and Urge to intercept an important convoy approaching Tripoli from the east. She was not heard from again.

Note: It should be pointed out that the Commanding Officers other than Lt.Cdr. Wanklyn were only in temporary command during periods when Wanklyn had been given rest periods.

Lost 14th April 1942 - Depth Charged.