Allied Warships

HMS Unison (P 43)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 43 
ModThird Group 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Aug 1940 
Laid down30 Dec 1940 
Launched5 Nov 1941 
Commissioned5 Feb 1942 
End service26 Jun 1944 
History

HMS Unison was transferred on loan to the Soviet Union on 26 June 1944. Renamed B-3 by the Soviets. Returned in 1949 and scrapped at Stockton on 19 May 1950.

 
Career notesBecame the Soviet submarine B-3

Commands listed for HMS Unison (P 43)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Arthur Connuch Halliday, RN12 Dec 194129 Dec 1942
2Lt. Anthony Robert Daniell, DSC, RN29 Dec 19423 Aug 1943
3Lt. John Edwin Ernest Denny Haward, RN3 Aug 194320 Aug 1943
4Lt. Thomas Erasmus Barlow, RN20 Aug 194330 Nov 1943
5T/Lt. Percy Clive Stanbury Pritchard, RNR30 Nov 194330 May 1944

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Notable events involving Unison include:


The history of HMS P 43 / HMS Unison as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

This page was last updated in February 2018.

18 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Barrow for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Graph (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Norman, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (1)

19 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

21 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted independent exercises in Loch Long. (1)

22 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted independent exercises in Loch Long. (1)

23 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted gun action exercises and a deep dive in the Clyde area. (1)

24 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

26 Feb 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted gunnery exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

1 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar. (2)

2 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

3 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

4 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) shifted from Arrochar to Holy Loch. (2)

8 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) proceeded from Holy Loch to Ardrossan where she was immediately docked. (2)

11 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was undocked at Ardrossan. She immediately returned to Holy Loch. (2)

13 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar. (2)

14 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. Upon completion of these trials HMS P 43 returned to Holy Loch. (2)

16 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Z 5 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.T. Wenlock, RNR). (2)

17 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Albrighton (Lt. R.J. Hanson, RN). (2)

19 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Z 5 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.T. Wenlock, RNR). (2)

21 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted night attack exercises in the Clyde area with HNoMS Draug. (2)

22 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol to the north-east of the Shetland Islands for an anti-Uboat patrol.

Passage northbound through the Minches was made together with HMS P 511 (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN). The submarines were escorted by HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR).

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

31 Mar 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. She had only sighted the Swedish Glimmaren. (3)

3 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Tuna (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (4)

5 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

14 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted noise trials in Loch Gaillard. (4)

14 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted noise trials in Loch Gaillard. (4)

16 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was docked at Ardrossan. She was undocked later the same day. (4)

18 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (4)

18 Apr 1942
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (5)

20 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Lerwick. (4)

24 Apr 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Lerwick for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to provide cover during convoy operation to and from Northern Russia.

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

7 May 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Lerwick. It was uneventful. (3)

8 May 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (6)

10 May 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (6)

14 May 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Traveller (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) and HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this passage see the map below.

(6)

26 May 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (6)

2 Jun 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Traveller (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) and HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN). (7)

4 Jun 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Sardinia and Sicily, one of several submarines deployed to cover operation Harpoon.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

12 Jun 1942

Operation Harpoon. Supply convoy to Malta from Gibraltar.


Timespan: 12 to 18 June 1942.

During March and April 1942 Malta had been attacked very heavily by the German and Italian air forces and was in much need of supplies. It was therefore decided that two convoy’s were to be sent, one from the west (Harpoon) and one from the east (Vigorous). This was to increase the chance of success as the enemy would have to split force if they want to attack both convoys. Also a group of minesweepers were to be sent to Malta.

Below we will give the events regarding the Harpoon convoy in chronological order.

12 June 1942.

Western Mediterranean (Harpoon convoy)

During the night convoy WS 19 Z passed the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy had departed the Clyde on June 6th. It was made up of five merchant vessels; Burwan (British , 6069 GRT, built 1928), Chant (American, 5601 GRT, built 1938), Orari (British, 10350 GRT, built 1931), Tanimbar (Dutch, 8169 GRT, built 1930) and Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921).

Off Gibraltar the tanker Kentucky (American , 9308 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy.

Close escort was provided by ‘Force X’ which was made up of the AA-cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN), escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), ORP Kujawiak (Lt. L. Lichodziejewski), minesweepers HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. G. Mowatt, RD, RN), HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, RN), HMS Rye (Lt. J.A. Pearson, DSC, RN), HMS Hythe (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Miller, RN) and the motor launches (ML’s) ML 121 (group commander Lt.Cdr. E.J. Strowlger, RNVR), ML 134, ML 135, ML 168, ML 459 and ML 462.

Also operating with ‘Force X’ was the fast minelayer HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN).

Distant cover was provided by ‘Force W’ which was made up of the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Eagle (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMS Kenya (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN). This force was to cover the convoy until off the Skerki Channel, the entrance to the Sicily-Tunis Narrows. The cover forces for this convoy were however rather weak. For instance the aircraft carriers were rather old and had hardly enough fighters available to provide a decent air patrol.

Then there was also a tanker force to fuel the escorts ‘Force Y’. It was made up of the RFA oiler Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941), escorted by two corvettes; HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR).

Besides these forces four submarines were on patrol in the western Mediterranean. They were stationed between Sardinia and Sicily. These were HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN), HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN), HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) and HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN).

By 0800 hours on the 12th force was in full strength and proceeded eastwards at 12 to 13 knots.

The remainder of the day was uneventful except for the sighting of a Spanish merchant vessel in the evening.

13 June 1942.

On this day the convoy was shadowed continuously by German and Italian aircraft. Also it was thought an Italian submarine might have spotted the convoy but was not the case as of yet.

HMS Cairo and almost all the destroyers and escort destroyers oiled from Brown Ranger and HMS Liverpool. This was completed late in the evening.

Italian warships reported to be at sea.

Two Italian cruisers and five destroyers had been reported at daybreak (actually six detroyers were present). These were the light cruisers Eugenio di Savoia, Raimondo Montecuccoli and the destroyers Alfredo Oriani, Vincenzo Gioberti, Ascari, Ugolino Vivaldi, Nicolò Zeno and Premuda. They had sailed on the 13th from Cagliari, Sardinia. The most western British submarine on patrol HMS P 43 had attacked them at 1931 hours on the 13th. She claimed to have hit a cruiser but this was obviously not the case. Two hours later the next submarine on the patrol line HMS P 211 also sighted this Italian force but was too far off to attack.

14 June 1942.

During the night the force was spotted and reported by an Italian submarine. In fact two Italian submarines made attacks on the convoy during the night. These were the Uarsciek at 0152 hours (zone -2) which fired two torpedoes at a destroyer in position 38°02'N, 05°06'E. Both torpedoes missed. Then at 0505 hours, the Giada fired four torpedoes at an aircraft carrier (probably HMS Eagle although this carrier did not report hearing torpedo explosions and HMS Argus did) and a cruiser or battleship in position 37°55'N, 06°12'E. She claimed two hits but in fact all torpedoes missed.

At dawn enemy shadowing aircraft appeared once more. The convoy was approaching the danger area for air attacks coming from Sardinia. At 1000 hours the first radar warning came and at about the same time fighters from Eagle shot down an Italian torpedo aircraft. More of these aircraft were seen gathering about 20 miles from the convoy and form up for attack.

It was a bright and clear morning with hardly a cloud in the sky. There was little wind but such as there was came from the west and this made it difficult for the British fighter crews, especially for those from the 25-year old Argus with her small margin of speed, unless she would turn into the wind and leave the destroyer screen.

The convoy was steering east in two columns in line ahead. HMS Kenya was leading the port column while HMS Liverpool was leading the starboard one. Astern of the convoy was HMS Malaya with HMS Welshman astern of her. The aircraft carriers were operating independently to port of the convoy. Each carrier had an AA cruiser and a destroyer as escort. HMS Eagle was with HMS Cairo and HMS Wishart while HMS Argus was with HMS Charybdis and HMS Vidette.

The remaining fifteen destroyers and four minesweepers formed an all-round screen spread from three to three and a half miles from the convoy. This was done on purpose so that all ships could fire outward but also inward with a freedom that would have been impossible with a closer screen.

The air attacks began at 1030 hours. The first was a shallow dive-bombing attack by two groups, each of four or five Italian fighter-bombers (CR. 42). One group approached from astern at 12000 feet and diving to 6000 feet. The other group came from ahead at 6000 feet and dropped their bombs from 3000 to 4000 feet. Their target was HMS Argus and her consorts on the port beam of HMS Malaya. No damage was done, only one bomb fell close to HMS Charybdis. Two of the enemy planes were shot down after their attack by Fulmar’s from Eagle which were controlled by the Argus and afterwards landed aboard her. It was the policy to employ the Hurricanes from Eagle as high fighter force and the Fulmar’s from Argus as low fighter force.

A much more serious attack followed half an hour later when 28 Savoia torpedo aircraft escorted by 20 Macchi fighters conducted a combined attack with 10 Cant. high level bombers. The Savoia approached from the northward in two waves of equal strength. The first wave came in at 1110 hours and the second soon afterwards. The firstwave passed through the destroyer screen at 500 feet above the water, rounded the rear of the convoy, and attacked from the starboard side, splitting into groups before firing. They dropped their torpedoes from a height of 100 feet at a range of 2000 yards. They hit HMS Liverpool, which was leading the starboard column, when she was turing to meet the attack. Also the Dutch merchant Tanimbar was hit in the rear and she sank within a few minutes in position 36°58’N, 07°30’E.

The second wave attacked the port column dropped their torpedoes at longer range. All torpedoes missed. The Cant. bombers also came in two formations, coming from ahead out of the sun at a height of about 10000 feet. Their targets seemed to be Eagle and Argus but none of their bombs hit.

A little before 1200 hours several torpedo planes made harmless attacks from long range. They were probably stragglers turned back by gunfire during the earlier attacks and anxious to get rid of their torpedoes before turning back to base.

Upon the whole the Italians seem to have attacked gallantly. The British fighters claimed to have shot down three enemy fighters and three torpedo aircraft. Three British fighters were lost ofwhich one was shot down in error by a ship in the screen. The convoy and escort claim to have shot down seven enemy aircraft, all Savoia SM 79’s.

HMS Liverpool was hit in the engine room and badly damaged. She could only make 3 to 4 knots on one shaft. She was ordered to return to Gibraltar being towed by HMS Antelope and screened by HMS Westcott. A long voyage during which the first 24 hours she was attacked from the air. At 1640 hours, five CR. 42 fighter-bombers attacked from astern out of the sun, luckily without hitting, though one or two bombs fell close enough to increase the ships list. At 1800 hours, the tow having parted, there was a harmless attempt by eleven high-level bombers followed by an equally harmless attempt by seven torpedo aircraft which were heavily escorted by fighters. The Liverpool and Westcott each claimed to have destroyed a torpedo plane.

At 2015 hours, now once more in tow, fife high-level bombers attacked but their bombs fell wide.

At 2230 hours, six torpedo bombers made a twilight attack from very long range only to loose one of their number to the barrage HMS Liverpool put up.

The fruitless attacks on the damaged Liverpool in the afternoon and evening of the 14th evidently occupied the remaining aircraft available to the enemy in Sardinia for as the convoy was able to continue without being attacked. It was however still being shadowed and came within range of the Sicilian air bases in the evening.

HMS Welshman had replaced HMS Liverpool at the head of the starboard column of the convoy. She however parted company with the convoy around 2000 hours to continue the passage to Malta on her own at high speed.

At 1820 hours German bombers appeared, about ten Ju. 88’s approached the convoy from astern at 10000 feet and then dived to 6000 feet to make the attack. Both carriers had narrow escapes, Argus in particular. A bomb pitched fine on her port bow, dived under the ship and exploded on the starboard bow. No ship was damaged however. No enemy aircraft were shot down. Six British fighters however harassed the enemy and forced several of them to release their bombs prematurely. One Fulmar was lost.

As in the morning the shallow dive-bombing attack preluded a heavy combined torpedo and bombing attack but in the evening the lapse of time was greater and dive-bombers as well as high level-bombers took part in the massed attack. It was a combination of Italians and Germans. 16 Savoia 79 bombers heavily escorted by Macchi fighters with 10 Ju 88’s and 15 Ju 87’s. The first to appear were the Savoia’s which approached from the north-east to port at about 2000 hours. They were flying well above the water. Worked their way around the stern of the convoy outside gun range to glide down and attack on the starboard side. In the meantime, a few minutes after the Savoia’s had been sighted, two groups of Ju 88’s came in from ahead at 12000 feet and dropped their bombs without effect as they flew across the screen and along the columns of the convoy. Next the Ju 87’s arrived on the port bow and attacked the port wing of the screen, diving from 7000 to 1000 feet. They narrowly missed HMS Icarus and HMS Wrestler, though they had probably hoped to reach HMS Eagle. These dive bombers took most of the attention of the screen but then at 2020 hours the Italian torpedo-bombers came in. Most of them concentrated onHMS Malaya, HMS Argus, HMS Charybdis and HMS Vidette. They managed to drop three torpedoes within 300 yards from the carrier but she still managed to avoid them.

Around the time of these attacks HMS Middleton sighted a periscope and dropped a depth charge. Two other destroyers then hauled out of the screen and dropped depth charges. The periscope was next sighted by HMS Malaya after which HMS Speedy obtained an Asdic contact and attacked with depth charges in position 37°39’N, 09°35’E, claiming to have destroyed the enemy submarine.

This was the last encounter with the enemy before ‘Force W’ would separate from the convoy which was then to continue on to Malta only escorted by ‘Force X’.

As the convoy reached the entrance of the Narrows at 2100 hours, four Beaufighters arrived from Malta to relieve the hard worked naval aviators of the carriers. Around this time the Italian submarine Alagi attacked an aircraft carrier with two stern torpedoes in position 37°36'N, 09°53'E which both missed. The attack was not reported by either of the carriers and was probably not observed. Half an hour later ‘Force W’ turned westwards. The convoy continued eastwards with A/Capt. Hardy of HMS Cairo in command. For the passage of the Tunisian coast the five remaining merchant vessels formed a single line ahead with ‘Force X’ screening them.

At 2205 hours, as it was getting dark, eight Ju 88’s made a shallow dive-bombing attack dropping down from 6000 to 3000 feet to release their bombs. No hits were obtained. They lost two aircraft, one was shot down by a Beaufighter and the ther by gunfire from the ships. This was the end of this day’s fighting.

The Italian ships that had been reported to be at sea the previous day.

On receiving the submarines reports Vice-Admiral Leatham at Malta arranged for a striking force of Wellington aircraft to attack the enemy. Aircraft again sighted the enemy north-west of Cape San Vito, Sicily at 0255/14. At 0525/14 the enemy was sighted off Palermo. At 1800/14 two cruisers were reported to be in the harbour there. At dusk, at 2125 hours, two cruisers and four destroyers were reported to be leaving Palermo harbour but their course was not reported. Vice-Admiral Leatham judged that they were proceeding to the east to join the main Italian battlefleet that had left Taranto that same evening to operate against the ‘Vigorous-convoy’ in the eastern Mediterranean. Accordingly he stationed a naval air patrol over the Strait of Messina, with a naval air striking force at Malta standing by to attack.

‘Force W’

Vice-Admiral Curteis, who was taking ‘Force W’ westwards, also received the report of the enemy leaving Palermo and had to decide whether to strengthen ‘Force X’ with either one or both his cruisers, HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis. He was then, at 2315/24, in position 37°30’N, 09°30’E, over 50 nautical miles from the convoy, which would be a further 100 nautical miles further on to the east by dawn on the 15th. He also judged that the Italian ships would be unlikely to be danger to the convoy and that the escort would be strong enough ‘to deter them from doing any harm’ escpecially as it would be expected that the Italians would be attacked from the air by aircraft from Malta. Apart from this he was anxious for the safety of his aircraft carriers, which would need the cruisers support while within striking distance from the enemy air bases in Sardinia. Furthermore there was barely time to overtake the convoy before by the morning. With the force available a decision either way was a gamble this might have been different had Liverpool not been torpedoed. He therefore decided against sending any reinforcement to the convoy.

15 June 1942.

Action south of Pantellaria

A/Capt. Hardy, the convoy escort commander in HMS Cairo first knew of the presence of the enemy through the report of a Beaufighter which was on it’s way to patrol above the convoy and which at 0620 hours reported two cruisers and four destroyers to be 15 nautical miles on the port beam of the convoy. The convoy at that time was stearing at 12 knots to the south-east. The merchantmen were formed in two columns again, with HMS Cairo ahead, the five ‘Fleet’ destroyers in the screen to starboard and the four ‘Hunt’s’ to port. The minesweepers and the ML’s were astern of the convoy. A few minutes later the Italian ships were sighted hull down against the brightening sky to the eastward. They were broad on the port bow and drawing ahead of the convoy at high speed. It was now also seen that there were five destroyers present instead of the reported four. Commander Scurfield (in HMS Bedouin led out the ‘Fleet’ destroyers to attack while HMS Cairo and the remainder of the convoy escort started making smoke to cover the merchant ships, which were ordered to turn to starboard and to seek shelter in Tunisian waters. It was A/Capt. Hardy’s intention to gain as much time as possible to enable an air striking force from Malta to attack the enemy.

At 0640 hours, the Italian cruisers opened fire at a range of over 20000 yards. Their second salvo straddled HMS Cairo and others fell near the convoy before the smoke screen could take effect. The British ships could not yet reply as the enemy was still out of range. As the ‘Fleet’ destroyers gathered way, they became strung out in a loose line of bearing, nearly line ahead, in the order HMS Bedouin, HMS Partridge, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne and HMS Matchless, though the last ship worked up to 32 knots in the endeavour to keep up. The first to destroyers opened fire on the enemy cruisers at 0645 hours with their guns at maximum elevation but in a quarter of an hour both Bedouin and Partridge were badly hit and stopped and the fight passed them by. Ithuriel held her fire till she got within 15000 yards, then she engaged a cruiser, which she eventually hit at a range of 8000 yards. Marne also engaged a cruiser, opening fire at over 18000 yards. In the meantime the Italian destroyers had fallen astern of the cruisers, three of them, in fact, soon left the line and disappeared to the northward. The last two enemy destroyers opened fire on the Marne from her port beam at around 0700 hours and she and Matchless, which was astern of her, replied. Both British destroyers soon found the range and hit one of the enemy (Ugolino Vivaldi) and drove them off. They then pressed on to engage the enemy cruisers which kept their distance and were zig-zagging and making smoke to upset the aim of the British ships.

As soon as the convoy was well behind the smoke screen and on it’s way to the westward. HMS Cairo and the four Hunt class escort destroyers were proceeding south and now also engaged the two enemy destroyers which had been engaged by Marne and Matchless. At about 0700 hours HMS Cairo came under fire from the enemy cruisers again. They were using two turrets each to engage the Cairo and two turrets to engage the ‘Fleet’ destroyers. HMS Cairo was hit by a 6” shell. She herself fired her 4” guns occasionally, though without much hope of doing real damage to the enemy.

At 0715 hours, A/Capt. Hardy decided to concentrate the remaining three ‘Fleet’ destroyers on HMS Cairo and ordered HMS Ithuriel to join him. HMS Marne and HMS Matchless continued to engage the enemy for about half an hour. Though fire from both sides was accurate no hits were obtained on either side. At 0745 hours the Italians turned to port on which A/Capt. Hardy turned north and ordered all destroyers to join him.

Meanwhile, the convoy, 15 nautical miles away to the north-west, steering westwards, now turned to the south-east again. At 0705 hours, now deprived of the support of HMS Cairo, all destroyers and escort destroyers, and without air support, the convoy was attacked by eight German JU 87 dive bombers. They sank the Chant and disabled the Kentucky. HMS Hebe took the Kentucky in tow. The convoy then went on until 0745 hours when course was changed to rejoin the escorts. The Italians however meanwhile where following the British escorts and kept them under fire.

At 0834 hours, A/Capt. Hardy, ordered the convoy to reverse course while Cairo and the destroyers laid a smokescreen across it’s track. This seems to have baffled the Italians which first turned to the south-west and then at 0840 hours hauled round to the north-eastward and stood away. A/Capt. Hardy then sent the ‘Hunt’-class escort destroyers to rejoin the convoy and then led the ‘Fleet’ destroyers after the enemy. At this time HMS Cairo was hit for the second time. For the present however the Italians had given up the game. By 0930 hours they were out of sight and the British ships then turned to rejoin the convoy.

At 1030 hours the merchant vessel were back on their proper course to Malta, with the escort at full strength except for HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge. Long-range Spitfires from Malta were patrolling overhead.

At 1040 hours a few German bombers appeared but these were driven off before they could drop their bombs. The fighters were able to shot one down. Unfortunately this exhausted fuel and ammunition of the Spitfires which were operating at their extreme range so when at 1120 hours another attack started they were not able to repel it. Their relief had not yet arrived.

It was a combination of high-level and dive bombing by Ju. 88’s and Ju. 87’s. Gunfire destroyed one of the German’s. One or two were shot down afterwards by the relieving Spitfires which had arrived during the attack. By then however the merchant vessel Burdwan was disabled. There was still 150 nautical miles to go, with the likelihood of further attacks from the air and with Italian ships nearby. A/Capt. Hardy therefore decided that he had no other choice then to sacrifice the damaged Kentucky and Burdwan as the best way to save the rest of the convoy whose speed would otherwise be reduced to six knots. He ordered HMS Hebe and HMS Badsworth to sink the cripples which enabled the remaining two merchant ships to continue at their best speed.

At 1315 hours, dive-bombers attacked yet again. And again there was no fighter cover present over the convoy. This time however the German’s were unsuccessful. One bomber out of twelve was shot down by the ships AA fire while the relief flight of Spitfires came in time to shoot down two more as the enemy retired. This was the last time the convoy was attacked from the air before it arrived at Malta under the protection from short-range Spitfires. The next threat of attack came from the Italian warships which closed the convoy once more.

After the engagement in the morning the Italian cruisers had gone back to join up with their destroyers, one of wich had been badly damaged by HMS Marne and HMS Matchless. While preparing to take this destroyer in tow the Italians were disrupted by British aircraft. Malta had been able to sent a small torpedo aircraft force to attack them. Four Albacores followed by two Beauforts attacked them about 12 nautical miles south of Pantelleria at 1030 hours. Unfortunately without success.

The two cruisers with two destroyers then went south again hoping to find stagglers from the convoy. They found HMS Hebe, which was on her way back to rejoin the convoy, having left the tanker Kentucky in a sinking condition astern. HMS Hebe sighted the enemy a long way to the north at 1255 hours. In the next half an hour the enemy was able to close as to open fire on the small minesweeper and eventually she was hit.

On receiving Hebe’s enemy report, A/Capt. Hardy, left the convoy in HMS Cairo taking the three remaining ‘Fleet’ destroyers with him; HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne and HMS Matchless. Besides the Hebe to protect there were other ships coming back from the scuttled merchantmen and also HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge which, A/Capt. Hardy believed to be following the convoy.

At 1355 hours the Italians gave up the chase, presumably on sighting HMS Cairo and turned to engage a target to the westward. This could only be HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge but A/Capt. Hardy felt bound to return to the convoy, then nearly 15 nautical miles off, though it meant leaving the damaged destroyers to their fate.

These two ships had been had been striving to preserve themselves for the King’s service ever since they had been crippled in the morning. HMS Partridge was ready to steam again by 0745 hours, three-quarters of an hour after being put out of action. She prepared to take HMS Bedouin in tow as that ship was entirely disabled. These preparations were disrupted by two Italian destroyers which had to be driven away. By 1000 hours however Bedouin was being towed by Partridge and the two ships were proceeding slowly towards the convoy which they had orders to join. They met it at 1145 hours. There was still hope to get one engine going in HMS Bedouin but later on it became evident that this hope had to be abandoned. It was then thought best to try to make it to Gibraltar.

At 1320 hours, the Italian Squadron came into sight again and two destroyers were apparently closing the two British destroyers while there were also enemy dive-bombers flying around. HMS Partridge therefore had no choice then to slip the tow and to lay smoke around HMS Bedouin. As the enemy cruisers approached, after their chase of HMS Hebe, HMS Partridge stood away to draw their fire and in this she succeeded. She was straddled from long range at 1400 hours. It was the intention the return to HMS Bedouin later but the latter ship was torpedoed by an Italian torpedo bomber at 1425 hours and she sank within a few minutes but not before shooting down the attacker. Italian torpedo bombers also sank the derelict Kentucky and Burdwan around the same time.

A/Capt. Hardy rejoined the convoy at 1530 hours after the last encounter with the Italian squadron. At 1730 hours, HMS Welshman rejoined the convoy south of Linosa coming from Malta. She had arrived there in the morning and was sent out again by Vice-Admiral Leatham as soon as she had landed her cargo.

Then at 1910 hours, there was another air attack. Upon that time the enemy had been kept away by the strong fighter escort from Malta directed by the radar in HMS Cairo. Twelve German bombers managed to close and near misses were obtained on HMS Welshman, HMS Matchless and the merchant Troilus.

A last attempt was foiled at 2040 hours by the fighters from Malta and the ships guns. There was now only one danger to be overcome, enemy mines.

HMS Liverpool

At 1420 hours, three torpedo aircraft made a final unsuccessful attempt to attack HMS Liverpool after which she, HMS Antelope and HMS Westcott were not again molested. That afternoon the tug HMRT Salvonia arrived from Gibraltar and they took over the tow. Antelope then joined Westcott as A/S screen. With Salvonia came also the A/S trawler HMS Lady Hogarth (T/Lt. S.G. Barnes, RNR).

'Force Y'.

At 2345 hours the Italian submarine Bronzo sighted an enemy escort vessel of the 'Kingfisher-class' which opened fire on the submarine in position 36°50'N, 00°10'E. This was HMS Coltsfoot. The submarine was depth-charged and escaped by going down to 117 metres.

16 June 1942.

It had been intended that the minesweepers would be ahead of the convoy when approaching Malta but owning to mistakes the convoy arrived first. The result was that one of the two remaining merchant vessels, the Orari, the destroyer HMS Matchless, two escort destroyers HMS Badsworth, ORP Kujawiak and the minesweeper HMS Hebe hit mines. Fortunately damage was light except for ORP Kujawiak which unfortunately sank in three minutes.

After having taken on board ammunition at Malta, HMS Cairo, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne, HMS Middleton and HMS Blankney departed the island in the evening to return to Gibraltar.

HMS Liverpool

Shortly after 0800 hours, the destroyer HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN) joined the A/S screen of the disabled HMS Liverpool. Two more vessels came out from Gibraltar to join the A/S screen, these were the corvette HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) which joined around 0940 hours. At 1530 hours, the motor launch ML 458 joined.

17 June 1942.

As HMS Cairo and the two destroyers and two escort destroyers were skirting along the African coast they were shadowed from sunrise onward. They were however not attacked until midday, when they were passed the Galita bank. From then until 2030 hours that evening, German bombers pestered them continuously. The Germans came sometimes in flights of six, though generally in flights of two and three. Main target seems to have been HMS Ithuriel which had a tough time and sustained some minor damage due to leaks from near misses. During the attacks one enemy bomber was shot down by HMS Cairo.

At 2017 hours, they joined with Vice-Admiral Curteis with HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis in position 37°30’N, 04°30’E. After leaving the convoy in the evening of the 14th, the Vice-Admiral had taken ‘Force W’ some 400 nautical miles to the west of Sardinia in order to avoid observation and attack while waiting for the return of ‘Force X’. His ships had however been shadowed on the 15th and was then attacked by two small groups of torpedo aircraft. Hurricanes from HMS Eagle forced them to drop their torpedoes from long range. They were also able to shoot down one of the attackers.

From the morning of the 16th to noon on the 17th, Vice-Admiral Curteis, cruised with HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis near the rendez-vous position. HMS Malaya both aircraft carriers and the remaining destroyers had been sent to Gibraltar around 0800/16. They arrived at Gibraltar around 1030/17.

Around noon on the 17th, Vice-Admiral Curteis, with his two cruisers proceeded eastwards to meet up with A/Capt. Hardy’s force after which they proceeded in company to Gibraltar where they arrived in the early evening of the 18th.

HMS Liverpool

HMS Liverpool and her escorts safely arrived at Gibraltar late in the afternoon of the 17th. (8)

13 Jun 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) fires four torpedoes at the Italian light cruisers Raimondo Montecuccoli and Emanuelle Filiberto Duca d'Aosta south of Sardinia, Italy in position 38°56'N, 09°40'E. The torpedoes however miss their targets. The Italian cruiser were escorted by the Italian destroyers Alfredo Oriani, Vincenzo Gioberti and Ascari.

(All times are zone -2)
1816 hours - Sighted smoke. This was soon seen to come from an Italian force of two cruisers escorted by four destroyers. Also three aircraft were patrolling overhead. Started attack.

1831 hours - Fired four torpedoes.

1835 hours - Heard a loud explosion. P 43 had meanwhile gone to 150 feet. (7)

21 Jun 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) attacked the Italian submarine Bronzo near position 38°01'N, 03°24'E.

(All times are zone -2)
2325 hours - Sighted an enemy submarine. Started attack.

2328 hours - Fired a full salvo of four torpedoes. No hits were obtained. (7)

25 Jun 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

At Gibraltar the battery was removed and a new battery was installed. (7)

11 Jul 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was docked in No.3 dock at Gibraltar. (9)

15 Jul 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was undocked. (9)

17 Jul 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN). (9)

22 Jul 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this passage see the map below.

(3)

2 Aug 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived at Malta where she joined the 10th submarine flotilla. (3)

12 Aug 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

17 Aug 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) attacked an escorted Italian merchant vessel with four torpedoes west of Lefkada Island, Greece. No hits were obtained. This was the transport Chisone (6168 GRT, built 1922) escorted by the torpedo boat Generale Antonino Cascino. Three torpedo tracks were sighted and she turned in time to see them passing a short distance ahead. Cascino dropped a few depth charges and was joined by an escorting aircraft which dropped a couple of bombs.

(All times are zone -2)
1350 hours - Sighted an aircraft flying south, searching.

1358 hours - Sighted the masts of a vessel to the north. Started attack on a partly laden southbound merchant vessel. She was escorted by an older type Italian torpedo-boat. Also one of possibly two aircraft were patrolling the area.

1424 hours - In position 38°42'N, 20°31'E fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. One torpedo caused a splash on firing and this was most likely seen by the enemy. No hits were obtained. Went deep on firing.

1432 hours - The torpedo-boat started a counter attack.

1446 hours - The last of 9 depth charges was dropped. Only minor damage had been caused to P 43.

1740 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (3)

19 Aug 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel with four torpedoes to the north-west of Lefkada Island, Greece. No hits were obtained. This was the German Balkan (3838 GRT, built 1914); three torpedo tracks were observed. She was escorted by an Italian auxiliary (so far unidentified) which dropped a few depth charges.

(All times are zone -2)
1850 hours - Sighted smoke to the northward.

1856 hours - Sighted masts of a vessel bearing 007°. Started attack on what soon turned out to be a deep laden southbound merchant vessel of about 5000 tons. She was escorted by what is thought to be an armed yacht and one aircraft.

1950 hours - In position 38°57'N, 20°24'E fired four torpedoes from 2200 yards. P 43 went to 150 feet and took avoiding action.

1952 hours - A loud explosion was heard at the correct running range. HE of the target was not heard afterwards.

1956 hours - A counter attack was started. Six depth charges were dropped but none was very close.

2045 hours - HE of the escort faded out to the east.

2400 hours - Surfaced. Nothing in sight. (3)

24 Aug 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

3 Sep 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol near Anti-Kythera, Greece.

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

6 Sep 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was ordered to patrol in position 35°15'N, 21°00'E. A patrol line had to be formed together with HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) and HMS Una (Lt. C.P. Norman, RN) to intercept a southbound enemy convoy. (Ravello convoy). Four destroyers from the convoy were sighted on the 7th but the convoy itself was not seen. (3)

9 Sep 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) was ordered to proceed towards Suda Bay, Crete. (3)

17 Sep 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

29 Sep 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the southern Adriatic.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

1 Oct 1942
At 1800 hours (zone -2), on board HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN), Lt. J.E.E.D. Haward, RN was diagnosed with sandfly fever. Lt. Halliday decided to return to Malta to land this very sick officer. Early the next morning a rating was also diagnosed with sandfly fever. (3)

3 Oct 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) arrived back at Malta where the two sick crewmembers were landed. (3)

4 Oct 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta to resume her patrol. She was however given a new area to patrol, off the west coast of Greece, near Navarino. (3)

10 Oct 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Enrichetta (4652 GRT, built 1907) about 12 nautical miles west-south-west of Kyparissia, Greece in position 37°11'N, 21°26'E. Enrichetta was escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Angelo Bassini and they were en-route from Brindisi to Navarino. From a crew of forty-seven and 104 passengers, sixty-three were killed or missing.

(All times are zone -2)
1217 hours - In heavy rain sighted a vessel to the northward.

1218 hours - The vessel was seen to be a 5000 ton merchant vessel. Range was 1600 yards. Started attack.

1224 hours - In position 37°11'N, 21°26'E fired three torpedoes from 600 yards. All hit the target.

1225 hours - The ship was seen to be sinking. Due to the bad visibility the escort was not seen. P 43 retired to the south and later to the west at 120 feet.

1335 hours - Weather had improved and upon returning to periscope depth an older type Italian torpedo-boat was sighted at a range of 5000 yards. P 43 went to 180 feet and continued to clear the area.

1645 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (3)

16 Oct 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

1 Nov 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the north of Sicily to provide cover for Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

5 Nov 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) attacked a surfaced Italian submarine off Stromboli with four torpedoes. All missed. This was Acciaio proceeding from Augusta to Cagliari. She observed three torpedo tracks.

(All times are zone -1)
1658 hours - Sighted the conning tower of a submarine steering to pass to the north. Started attack. Shortly afterwards the submarine was seen to be flying the Italian flag.

1710 hours - In position 38°43'N, 15°21'E fired four torpedoes from 2400 yards. All missed.

1712 hours - When no explosions were heard raised the periscope and saw that the target had turned away and most likely had sighted the tracks which were plainly visible. (3)

10 Nov 1942
At 1534 hours (zone -1), while on patrol off Stromboli, HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) sighted the conning tower of a surfaced submarine in position 38°42'N, 15°18'E. An attack was started but this failed due to problems with the gyro compass. This was probably Galatea proceeding from Pola to Cagliari. (3)

16 Nov 1942
At 2250 hours HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) fired four torpedoes against ' what is identified as ' a medium-sized tanker east of Isola Marettimo, Italy in position 37°57'N, 11°56'E. This was the Italian auxiliary F 135 / Cerere (1198 GRT, built 1920) proceeding from Palermo to Bizerta. One torpedo scratched her keel but failed to explode.

(All times are zone -1)
2224 hours - Sighted a vessel bearing 065°. Started attack.

2231 hours - Dived to complete the attack from submerged due to the bright moonlight.

2248 hours - The target was seen to be either a tanker or a 'tanker built cargo ship'.

2250 hours - In position 37°57'N, 11°56'E fired four torpedoes from 800 yards. One torpedo hit is claimed.

2253 hours - Surfaced. The vessel was seen to be listing and heading towards Marettimo Island.

2254 hours - The vessel opened fire with her stern gun from 1000 yards. Dived again. (3)

19 Nov 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

28 Nov 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Tunis.

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

4 Dec 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) moved to a new patrol area to the north of Sicily near Cape St. Vito. (3)

9 Dec 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

During this patrol several convoys had been sighted and attacks were started. These however all had to be abandoned when P 43 appeared to have been sighted. P 43 also had been attacked with depth charges several times. When P 43 returned to Malta Lt. Halliday asked to be relieved of command. His confidence was badly shaken and he needed a rest.

P 43 returned to Malta with a defective port generator. (3)

29 Dec 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Jervis (Capt. Albert Lawrence Poland, CB, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN).

31 Dec 1942
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 9th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered make rendezvous with HMS P 311 (Cdr. R.D. Cayley, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) at 0400 hours on 4 January 1943, 3 nautical miles North of Ustica Island. P 311 meanwhile had been mined and sunk off the Island of Tavolara.

For the daily positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

5 Jan 1943
In the evening HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) tried to pass a signal to Capt. S.10 reporting the non-arrival of P 311 at the rendez-vous. All attempts to pass this signal failed. It turned out that P 43's W/T equipment was defective.

At 0005/7, P 43 received a signal ordering her to make a situation report. This was successfully passed at 0416/8. In the evening of the 8th P 43 was ordered to proceed towards the Gulf of Asinara to recover the Chariot crews which participated in Operation Principle. (3)

10 Jan 1943
During the night of 10/11 January 1943, HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) sent out two folbots manned Sub Lieutenant Palmer and Surgeon Crowley to take off the Chariot crews of Operation Principle. Two recovery positions were inspected but nobody was seen. The folbots were recovered and P 43 set course towards Malta. (3)

16 Jan 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) was docked in No.1 dock at Malta. (10)

24 Jan 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) was undocked. (10)

31 Jan 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 10th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Gabes.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 43 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

2 Feb 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Hammamet. (3)

7 Feb 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) attacked a lighter at the Hammamet anchorage with one torpedo. The torpedo most likely got stuck in the bottom.

(All times are zone -1)
1440 hours - In position 36°27'N, 10°38'E sighted the bridge of a motor barge bearing 240°. Enemy course was 020°. She was hugging the coast. P 43 followed the barge towards Hammamet anchorage. Several more vessels were sighted there. It was decided to fire a torpedo at a lighter.

1744 hours - Fired one torpedo from nr.1 tube. The torpedo was set to 2 feet and was heard to run for 30 seconds but no track could be seen through the periscope. It is thought the torpedo got stuck in the bottom. (3)

8 Feb 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) sank the Italian barges Carlo P. (64 GRT) and Angela (56 GRT) with gunfire off Al Hammamet, Tunisia. A third, Luigi Verni (58 GRT), was damaged and beached but was a constructive total loss.

(All times are zone -1)
0910 hours - In position 36°12'N, 10°31'E sighted three motor barges were sighted inshore steering 190°. Speed of the enemy was 6 knots. Closed up for gun action.

0928 hours - Surfaced and opened fire on the last barge in line which crew had abandoned ship on surfacing of P 43. Within a minute after surfacing all three barges stopped. Ten rounds were fired at the last barge in line. Target was then shifted to the second barge thereby considerably hastening its abandonment. Eleven rounds were fired at this barge before fire was shifted to the first barge. After three hits she caught fire and sank rapidly. Since the other barges were still afloat P 43 turned an opened fire on the other barges again. The last barge of the line soon rolled over and sank.

0945 hours - Dived and retired to the eastward. (3)

11 Feb 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) sank the German coaster Jaedjoer (309 GRT, built 1937, former Dutch) with gunfire off Ras Mahmur, Tunisia in position 36°26'N, 10°55'E. She had sailed from Palermo for Sousse with Skotfoss escorted by the torpedo boat Pallade but had lost contact with them in bad weather.

(All times are zone -1)
1744 hours - In position 36°26'N, 10°55'E sighted a small heavily laden merchant ship bearing 178°. Range was about 2 nautical miles, enemy course 165°.

1807 hours - Surfaced to give chase.

1824 hours - Opened fire with the gun from 1000 yards. The first two rounds scored hits. Two lifeboats had left the ship by now. Eleven more hits were then obtained.

1840 hours - A small fire had started on board the coaster but it did not appear to be sinking.

1846 hours - Fired one torpedo to finish her off but due to yawing in the seaway it missed ahead of the target. The fire then increased in intensity. As it seemed certain the target would be destroyed by fire P 43 cleared the area. A few minutes later several explosions occurred on the target.

1910 hours - The target blew up with a terrific explosion. (3)

14 Feb 1943
HMS P 43 (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

24 Feb 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 11th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Hammamet.

For the daily positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

8 Mar 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. The patrol had been uneventful. (3)

18 Mar 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 12th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the south and east Calabrian coast.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

23 Mar 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian tanker Zeila (1835 GRT, built 1898) off Cape Spartivento in position 37°57'N, 16°10'E. Zeila was in convoy together with the Italian salvage vessel Artiglio (386 GRT, built 1908). They were escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Angelo Bassini and Antonio Mosto, the German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ-2201 and UJ-2204 and several VAS-boats. THey were en-route from Crotone to Messina. Fourteen survivors, including six wounded, were picked up, ten were missing.

(All times are zone -1)
1245 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 060°. Started attack.

1322 hours - The enemy was seen to be a convoy made up of two merchant vessels escorted by an older type torpedo boat, two large trawlers and two MAS-boats. A large number of aircraft were seen to be patrolling in the area.

1409 hours - Fired four torpedoes from a range of approximately 2000 yards. A hit was heard 1m 43s after firing the first torpedo. P 43 meanwhile had gone to 90 feet but due to an error in drill the depth gauge was shut off. When opened up the depth was 280 feet and going down.

1412 hours - Unison hit bottom at a depth of 345 feet. She bounced off and then rose to 100 feet at which depth a good trim was caught.

1417 hours - Depth charging started.

1600 hours - By now eighty-eight depth charges had been dropped but none had been very close.

1745 hours - Depth charging ceased. A total of 133 had been counted. Only one light bulb had been broken as a result of the depth charging. (3)

29 Mar 1943
At 2223 hours (zone -1), HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN), sighted an enemy submarine in position 37°07'N, 15°51'E. Enemy course was 045°. Started attack but soon the enemy turned away at speed and dived. (3)

31 Mar 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

10 Apr 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 13th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily.

Before proceeding on patrol exercises were carried out with HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN).

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

21 Apr 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Marco Foscarini (8073 GRT, 1943) about 40 nautical miles west of Favignana, Italy in position 37°48'N, 11°32'E. She was escorted by the Italian torpedo-boats Ardimentoso and Libra and was en-route from Bizerta to Naples. Of the 120 crew members and passengers, ninety-six were picked, including a German officer who later died of his wounds. Libra counter-attacked with depth charges and claimed the submarine as probably damaged.

(All times are zone -1)
1154 hours - In position 37°48'N, 11°32'E heard slow diesel HE bearing 230°. Went to periscope depth.

1157 hours - On coming to periscope depth sighted a large merchant vessel escorted by a torpedo-boat. Started attack in which four torpedoes were fired from 1100 yards. Two torpedo hits were heard after 1m and 1m 6s after firing the first torpedo.

1213 hours - The escort started a counter attack but was never in contact. She dropped fourteen depth charges but none were close.

1312 hours - HE faded and A/S transmissions ceased. (3)

23 Apr 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

4 May 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the north of Sicily. Before she proceeded on patrol exercises were carried out with aircraft based at Malta.

For the daily positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

17 May 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. No suitable targets were found. (3)

1 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to conduct a special operation. Beach reconnaissance had to be carried out off Gela by a Chariot.

For the daily positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

2 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) was off Gela, Sicily but the weather was not suitable for the beach reconnaissance to be carried out. (3)

3 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) was off Gela, Sicily but still the weather was not suitable for the beach reconnaissance to be carried out. It was decided to return to Malta. (3)

4 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) returned to Malta. (3)

5 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta to resume her reconnaissance mission. (3)

6 Jun 1943
In the evening HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) launched a Chariot and a folbot for beach reconnaissance of Gela, Sicily. The Chariot sank immediately to the bottom due to a malfunction but the folbot successfully carried out her mission. (3)

7 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

13 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 16th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the south of the Straits of Messina.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

16 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Terni (2998 GRT, former French Azrou, built 1931) off Catania, Sicily, Italy. Terni was en-route from Naples to Syracuse, escorted by the torpedo boat Orione and the corvettes Driade and Persefone. Ten survivors were picked up by Driade, thirty-nine of her crew perished as well as a number of her passengers. The two corvettes hunted the submarine and Driade claimed it sunk but Antisom rejected the claim, assessing it as ‘slightly damaged’.

(All times are zone -2)
1822 hours - In position 37°26'N, 15°15'E sighted a funnel and smoke bearing 349°. Two ships could be seen but their course could not yet be made out.

1840 hours - Returned to periscope depth to have a second look. The enemy was seen to be a single merchant ship escorted by a destroyer ahead and two torpedo boats on either beam. Started attack.

1905 hours - In position 37°29'N, 15°13'E fired four torpedoes from 1000 yards. One torpedo hit was heard. This explosion was followed by a heavier one and then what was judged as another hit. At 1909 hours this was succeeded by a terrific concussion which severely shook the submarine (and her inmates) breaking about thirty lamps and bringing down from the pressure hull a rain of rust and cork-paint. This was the target blowing up.

1914 hours - A counter attack was started in which thirty depth charges were dropped but none were very close.

2328 hours - Surfaced to the north-eastward of the attack position. Nothing in sight. (3)

24 Jun 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

6 Jul 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed from Malta to act as beacon for operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. This is her 17th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean).

As no log is available no map can be displayed.

9 Jul 1943
At 2300 hours near Cape Passero, HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) began transmitting for the invasion fleet.

10 Jul 1943
At 0011 hours, HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN), sighted the convoy and, her duty done, returned to Malta in company of the armed trawler HMS Gavotte (T/Lt. D. Bates, RNR).

17 Jul 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 18th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the north of the Straits of Messina.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

22 Jul 1943
At 0737 hours in position 38°20’N, 15°16’E, HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) fired four torpedoes at a 3000 ton merchant vessel escorted by two torpedo boats. They all missed. This was probably Alfieri (4573 GRT, built 1943) escorted by the torpedo boats Partenope and Ardimentoso, on passage from Naples to Milazzo.

30 Jul 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) arrived at Bizerta together with HMS Unrivalled (Lt. H.B. Turner, DSC, RN). They had to wait there for onward passage to Malta in the next convoy. (3)

2 Aug 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. A.R. Daniell, DSC, RN) departed Bizerta together with HMS Unrivalled (Lt. H.B. Turner, DSC, RN) to join convoy KMS 21 for onward passage to Malta. Late in the evening, shortly after joining the convoy, both submarines were taken under fire by one of ships of the convoy, the US steam tanker Yankee Arrow which had apparently not been informed about their presence.

Unison was hit on the conning tower and the pressure hull. The officer of the watch, T/Lt. J.P. King, RNR was killed and the commanding officer, Lt. Daniell, DSC, RN and the two lookouts, petty officer Day and leading seaman Halliday were wounded.

Both submarines then returned to Bizerta escorted by ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP). (3)

3 Aug 1943
After having returned to Bizerta, HMS Unison now commanded by her 1st Lieutenant Lt. J.E.E.D. Haward, RN, underwent repairs while laying alongside HMS Abercrombie (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN). When this ship had to proceed to sea she shifted to HMS Vindictive (Rear Admiral (retd.) G.R.S. Watkins, RN) to continue repairs alongside this ship.

During the morning Lt. Haward visited the American hospital where the casualties were still being operated on or were still under the effects of the anaesthetics. Also T/Lt. King was buried at sea with Naval Honours from HDML 1241 (T/Lt. A.D. Kingsford, RNVR)

In the evening the hospital was again visited. Lt. Daniel and petty officer Day were in good spirits but leading seaman Hallidag was still asleep. (3)

4 Aug 1943
After emergency repairs, HMS Unison (Lt. J.E.E.D. Haward, RN) departed Bizerta for diving trials. After these had been completed she and HMS Unrivalled (Lt. H.B. Turner, DSC, RN) departed Bizerta for passage to Malta escorted by HMS Clacton (A/Lt.Cdr. (retired) L.S. Shaw, RNR). (3)

5 Aug 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. J.E.E.D. Haward, RN) arrived at Malta. Full repairs were made there and these were completed by 18 August 1943. It had been intended to sent Unison on patrol in the Adriatic for a last patrol in the Mediterranean before she was due to return to the U.K. to refit in early September. There was now not enough time left to do a full patrol and it was decided that Unison would run A/S exercises for destroyers based on Malta. She did so for three days while awaiting her passage to the U.K. This included an exercise with HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) using Pillenwerfer seized on the Italian submarine Bronzo. (11)

8 Sep 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) departed Malta for passage to the U.K.

Off Malta she joined convoy KMS 24.

For the daily positions of HMS Unison during this passage see the map below.

(3)

10 Sep 1943
At 0900 hours, HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) sighted the Italian Battlefleet on her way to surrender at Malta. (3)

13 Sep 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (3)

16 Sep 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) departed Gibraltar for Plymouth with a brief patrol off Cádiz making this her 19th war patrol. Only two Spanish vessels were sighted.

For the daily positions of HMS Unison during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

28 Sep 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (3)

20 Oct 1943
HMS Unison (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) was taken in hand for refit at the Devonport Dockyard. (12)

6 Mar 1944
Having completed her refit at the Devonport Dockyard, HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR), conducted exercises off Plymouth. (13)

8 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) and HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) departed Plymouth for Rothesay. They were escorted HMS Herschell (T/Lt. J.E. Freestone, RNR) and HMS Daffodil (Cdr.(Retd.) S.F. Russell, RN). (13)

10 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Rothesay.

17 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted night exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Blade (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.T. Wenlock, RNR). (13)

19 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Rothesay for Blyth. She made the passage north through the Minches together with HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN). They were escorted by HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR). (13)

21 Mar 1944
At 0930 hours, HMS Lord Ashfield (T/Lt. J.B. Morpeth, RNR), took over the escort of HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) for onward passage to Blyth. (13)

22 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Blyth. She was now assigned to training duties. (13)

25 Mar 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (13)

5 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

6 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

7 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

11 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

12 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

13 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

14 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

19 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

20 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

21 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

26 Apr 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (14)

5 May 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Blyth for Rosyth. (12)

6 May 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Rosyth. (12)

30 May 1944
HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) was decommissioned on this date and loaned to the U.S.S.R. She became the Soviet B 3 (phonetic V 3) and sailed from Lerwick on 27 July for Polyarnoe where she arrived on 5 August. She was the first Soviet submarine to use radar. She was returned to the UK in 1949. (15)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17388
  2. ADM 173/17389
  3. ADM 199/1822
  4. ADM 173/17390
  5. ADM 173/17574
  6. ADM 173/17391
  7. ADM 173/17392
  8. ADM 234/353
  9. ADM 173/17393
  10. ADM 173/17899
  11. ADM 199/1917
  12. ADM 199/2573
  13. ADM 173/19214
  14. ADM 173/19215
  15. ADM 199/1385

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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