Author Topic: HM Submarine Una (1941 - 1949)  (Read 164 times)

Offline stuartwaters

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HM Submarine Una (1941 - 1949)
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 09:39:36 PM »

HMS Una was one of two U Class submarines built at Chatham during WW2, the other being the ill-fated HMS Umpire. Una was laid down on No 7 Slip on 7th May 1940, was launched into the Medway on 10th June 1941 and was commissioned at Chatham on 27th September 1941, under Lieutenant D Martin RN.

She displaced 540 tons standard and 630 tons full load on the surface and 730 tons dived. She was armed with 4 21 inch torpedo tubes with 8 reloads and had a 3 inch deck gun. She had a crew of about 30 men. She was a true diesel-electric boat, with no mechanical connection between her diesel engines and the propeller shafts. Instead, the diesel motors drove generators connected to her batteries which provided power for her electric motors.

The U Class Submarine:

HMS Una:

HMS Una crest:

After working up, she was sent to join the war in the Mediterranean, where she had a relatively successful career. On 12th February 1942, she torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Luciana. On 12th March, she sank the Italian fishing vessel Maria Immocalata with gunfire. On 5th April, she torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant vessel Ninetto G. Further success eluded her until 1st February 1943, when she damaged two sailing vessels with gunfire off Hamammet, Tunisia. She was unable to press home her attack properly as she was driven off by gunfire from the shore. She made up for this two weeks later when she torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant vessel Petrarca. On 10th March, she torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant ship Cosala. Although the Cosala didn't sink straight away, she was run aground and declared a total loss. She later sank in a storm.

She returned to the UK in April 1943 and was refitted for use as an anti-submarine training vessel, a role in which she remained until the end of the war. In common with the rest of the surviving U and later V class boats, her small size meant she was unsuitable for use in the far east and in mid-atlantic. Also in common with those boats, the Navy was in a hurry to get rid of them once the war was over. HMS Una was decommissioned in November 1945 and was scrapped at Llanelly in 1949.

Among her most notable commanders were Lt Paul Thirsk, who commanded the boat between October 1943 and February 1944 (he was initially Navigating Officer, then First Lt on HMS Unbroken under one of our top submarine aces - Alastair Mars) and Lt Compton Norman, her 2nd commander, who commanded the boat in the Mediterranean, between February and November 1942. Lt Norman went on to command HMS Torbay in the far east. During her time there under Compton Norman, HMS Torbay was so successful that the Royal Navy named a Trafalgar Class nuclear powered submarine after her.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.