Allied Warships

HMS Ursula (N 59)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantN 59 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered5 Nov 1936 
Laid down19 Feb 1937 
Launched16 Feb 1938 
Commissioned20 Dec 1938 
End service30 May 1944 
History

Transferred on loan to the Soviet Union on 30 May 1944. Renamed V-4 by the Soviets. Returned in early 1950 and scrapped at Grangemouth in May 1950.

 
Career notesBecame the Soviet submarine V-4

Commands listed for HMS Ursula (N 59)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. George Chesterman Phillips, RN8 Nov 19377 Apr 1940
2Lt.Cdr. William Alexander Keith Napier Cavaye, RN7 Apr 194016 Oct 1940
3Lt. Alexander James Mackenzie, RN16 Oct 19406 Sep 1941
4Lt. Arthur Richard Hezlet, RN6 Sep 19416 Mar 1942
5Lt. Richard Barklie Lakin, DSC, RN6 Mar 1942Jan 1943
6Lt. Anthony Robert Profit, DSC, RNJan 194311 May 1943
7T/Lt. Michael Dent Tattersall, RNVR11 May 194318 Jul 1943
8Lt. Albert George Davies, RN18 Jul 194330 May 1944

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Notable events involving Ursula include:


The history of HMS Ursula as compiled on this page is extracted from Ursula's patrol reports and logbooks. 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 November 1942.

31 Aug 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) departed Blyth to take up a patrol position in the Heligoland Bight. When war broke out between Britain and Germany this became her 1st war patrol.

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


HMS Ursula 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

9 Sep 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) fired the first British submarine torpedoes of the war when attacking German U-boat U-35 about 23 nautical miles north of the island of Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands in position 53°52'N 06°05'E. The U-boat escaped only to be sunk roughly 2 months later.

1911 hours - The Asdic operator reported loud HE.

1913 hours - Sighted a German uboat (Oceangoing-type). Started attack.

1923 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1000 yards.

1926 hours - The enemy was observed to have altered course towards, combing the tracks. It was also seen she increased speed as heavy exhaust smoke was seen. Ursula meanwhile turned for another attack.

1933 hours - Fired one torpedo. It missed. The target could only just be seen in the fading light.

1940 hours - Heard an underwater explosion, most likely the torpedo exploding upon the end of run.

1941 hours - Sighted a second submarine. But owning to the darkness it could not be attacked (This was most likely U-21).

2045 hours - Surfaced. (1)

13 Sep 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Blyth.

All three U-class boats suffered from engine defects upon returning from patrol. It was estimated Ursula would be out of action for about six weeks. (1)

14 Oct 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) shifts from Blyth to Rosyth. (2)

28 Oct 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) departed Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea.

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


HMS Ursula 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

7 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (1)

14 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) was docked at Rosyth. (3)

17 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) was undocked. (3)

19 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) was docked again at Rosyth. (3)

20 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) was undocked. (3)

22 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) departed Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was recalled later on the same day. (4)

23 Nov 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Blyth. She was to proceed on patrol again later this day but was unable to do so due to engine defects. (4)

4 Dec 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) departed Blyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark and in the Heligoland Bight.

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


HMS Ursula 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

14 Dec 1939
Ursula was on patrol off the Elbe estuary and through her periscope her Commanding Officer, Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN, sighted a German light cruiser, escorted by six 'destroyers'. Though the waters of the Elbe estuary are shallow and to dive deep is a dangerous undertaking involving the risk of getting stuck on a sandbank, Phillips had either to take the risk or to miss his attack. His decision was instantaneous and he took the Ursula down to dive beneath the destroyer screen and get within range of the cruiser. They were anxious moments, but fortunately the depth of water was just enough. On coming up again to periscope depth, Phillips found himself within point-blank range of the cruiser. He fired a salvo of six torpedoes and the two resulting explosions were so close that the Ursula herself was badly shaken. A quick glance through the periscope showed no sign of the cruiser that had been attacked, but it did reveal four of her escorting destroyers closing in at high speed to attack.

However one of the escorts, F 9, had been hit and was sinking. Once again, risking the sandbanks, the Ursula went deep and by skilful manipulation of his boat, Phillips managed to evade the inevitable depth charges.

Of the cruiser, Leipzig, no further trace was seen, but when Phillips brought the Ursula back to look for evidence, two of the destroyers were still in the area and engaged, apparently, in a search for survivors. The British were under the impression they had sunk the cruiser and Lt.Cdr. Phillips was awarded the DSO and promoted.

1115 hours - Sighted a 'Koln-class' light cruiser escorted by six destroyers. Started attack. During the attack a Ursula had to go deep to evade one of the escorting destroyers.

1131 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1200 yards. 1 min, 10 sec after firing a tremendous explosion occurred followed 6 seconds later by another even heavier explosion. This last explosion even broke some lights in Ursula. Four destroyers were gheard to come towards Ursula but no depth charges were dropped. Ursula managed to slip away from the scene.

It was thought that the cruiser had been sunk but in reality one of the escorts had been hit by two of the torpedoes and was sunk with heavy loss of life.

At the time F 9 was sunk she was part of the escort of the damaged Leipzig. Other escorts were; the destroyers Z 4 / Richard Beitzen, Z 8 / Bruno Heinemann, the escort vessel F 7, the minesweepers M 9, M 10, M 12 and M 13. Also in the area were the small minesweepers R 33, R 35, R 36, R 37, R 38 and R 39. R 36 and R 38 later picked up 34 survivors of F 9 (1)

20 Dec 1939
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Phillips, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

10 Jan 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) departed Blyth for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark / entrance to the Skagerrak.

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


HMS Ursula 5th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

24 Jan 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth. (1)

25 Jan 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) departed Rosyth for Blyth. Late in the evening and when nearly at Blyth Ursula was ordered to turn back to Rosyth where she arrived early next moring. (4)

1 Feb 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) departed Rosyth for Blyth. (5)

2 Feb 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) arrtived at Blyth. (5)

3 Feb 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was docked at Blyth. (5)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was undocked. (5)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) departed Blyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark.

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


HMS Ursula 6th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

3 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was docked at Blyth. (6)

7 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was undocked. (6)

12 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) departed Blyth for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Kattegat / Skagerrak.

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


HMS Ursula 7th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

21 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Heddernheim (4947 GRT, built 1921) in the Skagerrak about 10 nautical miles east-north-east of Skagen, Denmark in position 57°48'N, 10°53'E.

2146 hours - Sighted a dim lights of a ship. Closed to investigate. When close signalled the ship to stop. This they did not do. After another attempt the ship was seen to increase speed so a practice round was fired with the gun as a warning shot. The ship now stopped and was asked to identify her self. She signalled 'Estonian'. Meanwhile Ursula crossed close astern of the ship and with the Aldis light the name 'Heddernheim - Bremen' could be read. The crew was ordered to abandon ship. Meanwhile they were also signalling. The crew eventually sent a boat over but this all took a very long time, it was obvious they were 'buying time'. Once again they were ordered to abandon ship, which they did but again very slow. A second warning round was now fired and this speeded up things a bit.

While Ursula was manouvered into a position to torpedo the ship no.1 torpedo tube was fired by accident. This torpedo missed the ship.

Due to ice damage to Ursula only no.2 and no.5 torpedo tubes could be fired. so these were now brought to the ready. No.5 torpedo tube was now fired but the torpedo failed to run. Possibly it was damaged upon discharge als due to ice damage.

Now no.2 tube was fired. This torpedo hit the ship amidships and it sank shortly afterwards.

One prisoner was taken from the boats. (1)

23 Mar 1940
At 0010 hours (zone -1), HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) stopped the Danish merchant Sejrö (1489 GRT, built 1929) but released her after examination. (1)

25 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Blyth.

Ursula was damaged during this patrol by ice, Almost all torpedo tube outer doors were damaged and could not open and the after periscope was also bent by hitting ice and had to be replaced. (1)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was docked at Blyth. (6)

2 Apr 1940
HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) was undocked. (7)

8 Apr 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Denmark / entrance to the Skagerrak.

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


HMS Ursula 8th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

20 Apr 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

22 Apr 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for Wallsend. At Wallsend she was immediately docked for a refit by the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. yard. (7)

4 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) was undocked and continued her refit at Wallsend. (8)

18 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her refit at Wallsend. (8)

19 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departs Wallsend for Blyth where she arrived late the same day. (8)

24 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for Rosyth where she arrived later the same day. At Rosyth noise trials were undertaken. (8)

28 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Rosyth for Blyth where she arrived later the same day. (8)

30 Jul 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea.

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


HMS Ursula 9th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

12 Aug 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

28 Aug 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South-West coast of Norway, near Stavanger.

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


HMS Ursula 10th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

13 Sep 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

17 Sep 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Blyth for Porstmouth. Later she was ordered to proceed to Sheerness. (9)

19 Sep 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) arrived at Sheerness. (9)

20 Sep 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Sheerness for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the English Channel due to the threat of the invasion of England by the Germans.

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


HMS Ursula 11th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

26 Sep 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her 11th war patrol at Portsmouth. (1)

4 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 12th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the English Channel.

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


HMS Ursula 12th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

7 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) ended her 12th war patrol at Portsmouth. (1)

14 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) was docked at Portsmouth. (10)

15 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt.Cdr. W.A.K.N. Cavaye, RN) was undocked. (10)

20 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar to join the Mediterranean Fleet. She is to be based at Malta to operate against Italian traffic towards North Africa.

On the 21st Ursula was ordered to perform an anti-uboat patrol in the Bay of Biscay for two days making this her 13th war patrol.

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


HMS Ursula 13th war patrol click here for bigger map (10)

26 Oct 1940
At 1630 hours (zone -1), in position 46°38'N, 10°20'W, HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was at periscope depth when a submarine was observed suddenly at a distance of only 100 yards. Ursula surfaced for gun action but the weather was too rough to man the gun and the submarine disappeared from view. This was either the Italian Maggiore Barraca or Alpino Bagnolini sailing out for a patrol. Neither reported this encounter. (10)

30 Oct 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

Ursula arrived at Gibraltar with various defects and required several weeks of repairs before she could proceed to Malta. Eventually repairs and trials would take 10 weeks. (10)

25 Dec 1940
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was docked at Gibraltar. (11)

5 Jan 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was undocked. (12)

16 Jan 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 14th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa and to proceed to Malta afterwards.

En route to the Gulf of Genoa she had to make her presence known off the Spanish coast.

Before proceeding on patrol A/S exercises were carried out with the British destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) and HMS Duncan (A/Capt. A.D.B. James, RN). After the A/S exercises were completed two practice attacks were made on HMS Faulknor.

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


HMS Ursula 14th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

18 Jan 1941
At 1955 hours (zone -1) HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) signalled and identified the Vichy-French merchant vessel Caudebec (1454 GRT, built 1910) about 20 nautical miles North-East of Alicante, Spain near position 38°30'N, 00°07'W. (1)

19 Jan 1941
At 0100 hours (zone -1) HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) signalled and identified the Spanish merchant vessel Ciudad de Sevilla (5943 GRT, built 1928) South-East of Valencia, Spain. (1)

29 Jan 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

4 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol along the shipping route from Sicily to Tripoli near the Kuriat Islands off the East coast of Tunisia.

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


HMS Ursula 15th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

8 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) made a torpedo attack on an Italian convoy in position 35°15'N, 11°30'E. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. [These were probably the Italian merchants Nirvo (5270 GRT, built 1919) and Berbera (2093 GRT, built 1931) and the tanker Caucaso (2082 GRT, built 1921) on passage from Naples to Tripoli.]

(All times are zone -1)
1719 hours - Sighted masts bearing 240°. Closed.

1730 hours - The masts by now had developed into a convoy of 3 merchant ships escorted by 2 torpedo boats. Started attack.

1800 hours - Surfaced.

1935 hours - At a range of 6000 yards and no possibility to get any closer fired four torpedoes in position 35°15'N, 11°30'E.

1940 hours - Dived as one of the torpedo boats was seen to turn towards.

1944 hours - Heard one distant explosion. No other explosions were heard. No counter attack developed.

1956 hours - Surfaced and proceeded in chase of the convoy but could not regain touch. Also no damaged ship was seen so the torpedo explosion was most likely a torpedo hitting the bottom.

2100 hours - Abandoned the chase and set course to the North. (1)

9 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) made a torpedo attack on an Italian convoy near position 35°42'N, 11°15'E. Two torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. [These were Italian merchant Pomona (2311 GRT, built 1921) and Italian tanker Fianona (6600 GRT, built 1916) proceeding to Sfax.]

(All times are zone -1)
0150 hours - Sighted a darkened ship bearing 340°, steering 140°. Closed on the surface. Shortly afterwards sighted a second ship about 1.5 nautical miles on the first ships Port quarter. Attained a firing position on the Port side of the first ship, a lightly laden tanker of about 6000 tons. As only two torpedoes were ready after the attack of previous evening Lt. decided to attack both ships with one torpedo each.

0209 hours - Fired one torpedo at the tanker from 500 yards. The torpedo was seen to pass underneath the tanker without exploding.

0215 hours - Fired the last torpedo at the second vessel from 1200 yards. Shortly after firing this ship changed course as the tanker fired a rocket and changed course as to ram Ursula. So this torpedo missed. Ursula meanwhile dived to avoid being rammed. (1)

11 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

20 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 16th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). As in her previous patrol she was ordered to patrol along the shipping route from Sicily to Tripoli near the Kuriat Islands off the East coast of Tunisia.

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


HMS Ursula 16th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

22 Feb 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Sabbia (5788 GRT, built 1926) about 20 nautical miles east of Susah, Tunisia in position 35°47'N, 11°16'E. Following this attack Ursula was depth charged by the Italian torpedo boat Generale Carlo Montanari.

(All times are zone -1)
1521 hours - Sighted a convoy consisting of one transport and one cargo vessel. They were escorted by three torpedo boats. At least one aircraft was overhead. Course of the convoy was 156°. Started attack.

1608 hours - In position 35°47'N, 11°16'E fired three torpedoes at the transport ship from 2500 yards. After 1 minute and 43 seconds one hit was obtained. Ursula went to 70 feet.

1616 hours - 10 depth charges were dropped astern and drawing closer. Reduced speed to make less noise.

1637 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw the transport to be deeper in the water and sinking on an even keel. All the lifeboats were gone. Returned to 70 feet.

[According to Italian sources the other ship in the convoy was the Italian merchant vessel Silvia Tripcovich (2365 BRT, built 1925). Nothing could be found in Italian archives about the two other torpedo boats sighted.] (1)

3 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

6 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was docked at Malta. (13)

7 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was undocked. (13)

18 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was docked at Malta. (13)

19 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was undocked and sailed for patrol a few hours later. This was her 17th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was to patrol off Lampedusa to intercept an important Italian convoy that had left Naples for Tripoli.

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


HMS Ursula 17th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

20 Mar 1941
At 1700 hours (zone -2) HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) received a signal ordering her to carry out operation 'Sich'. This was an operation to carry out a reconnaissance to the North and the East of Cape Bon to establish enemy convoy routes in that area and to find out positions of minefields (Ursula was fitted with a Mine Detector Unit).

The enemy convoy was thought to have gone past or evaded the position of Ursula by that time. (1)

24 Mar 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) makes a torpedo attack on a convoy East of Cape Bon, Tunisia in position 37°05'N, 11°13'E. No hits were obtained. [Unidentified convoy so far, possibly French?].

(All times are zone -2)
0333 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel against the hazy horizon. Closed.

0345 hours - Sighted a torpedo boat coming towards. Dived to avoid detection.

0350 hours - The torpedo boat passed close.

0357 hours - Surfaced. Sighted one large merchant vessel of 10000 tons and one smaller merchant vessel of 3000 tons in line ahead. Range was 3000-4000 yards. Started attack on the larger merchant vessel.

0427 hours - In position 37°05'N, 11°13'E fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. Just as the fourth torpedo left the tube the target altered course 45° away to a course of 185°. All torpedoes now missed the target. Ursula meanwhile chased the convoy bit a firing position could not be reached before sunrise. (1)

1 Apr 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 17th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

9 Apr 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 18th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was to patrol off the Gulf of Hammamet, near the Kurba Bank.

Later she was ordered to patrol off Cape Bon.

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


HMS Ursula 18th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

12 Apr 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) attacked a convoy South of Cape Bon in approximate position 36°40'N, 11°12'E. A hit is claimed but actually no ships were hit.

(All times are zone -2)
1715 hours - Sighted an Italian Navigatori-class destroyer bearing 350°, range approximate 10000 yards. Started attack.

1725 hours - It was now seen that the destroyer was escorting a convoy of five merchant ships of about 6000 tons. Two destroyers were present. The target that was selected was the second ship of the port column.

1735 hours - Two single engined aircraft were seen overhead, most likely fighters.

1739 hours - In approximate position 36°40'N, 11°12'E fired four torpedoes from 2500 yards.

1747 hours - One explosion was heard that sounded like a hit. Given the range to the target it was thought that a hit was obtained on the third ship in the starboard column.

1756 hours - Three explosions were heard, thought to be the remained of the torpedo salvo exploding upon hitting the bottom at the end of their run.

1801 hours - Fairly loud explosions were heard, thought to be depth charges. No further depth charges were dropped.

This convoy was made up of the German merchant vessels Ankara (4768 GRT, built 1937), Marburg (7564 GRT, built 1928), Kybfels (7764 GRT, built 1937), Reichenfels (7744 GRT, built 1936) and the Italian merchant Galilea (8040 GRT, built 1916). They were escorted by the Italian destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi, Antonio da Noli and Lanzerotto Malocello. Reichenfels reported being missed by about 10-25 metres. (1)

20 Apr 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 18th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (1)

27 Apr 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 19th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Kerkennah. Later she shifted to the Gulf of Hammamet.

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


HMS Ursula 19th war patrol click here for bigger map (14)

4 May 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) attacked an armed merchant vessel or auxiliary with four torpedoes near the Kerkenah bank in approximate position 34°36'N, 11°54'E. [This was Palermo (ex Greek Athinai, 2897 GRT, built 1910) who sighted three torpedo tracks.]

(All times are zone -2)
1405 hours - Sighted one merchant vessel, bearing 030°. Enemy course was 260°. Closed to attack. The target was seen to be a merchant vessel or auxiliary of about 5000 tons. She was armed with two guns on the poop and painted grey.

1428 hours - In approximate position 34°36'N, 11°54'E fired four torpedoes from 2100 yards. Most likely all torpedoes missed astern as she zigged away and her speed was about 14 knots while during the attack 10 knots was estimated. (14)

11 May 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 19th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

24 May 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. I.L.M. McGeoch, RN in command as her regular Commanding Officer Lt. Mackenzie was sick) departed Malta for her 20th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol the approaches to Tripoli, Libya.

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


HMS Ursula 20th war patrol click here for bigger map (14)

27 May 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. I.L.M. McGeoch, RN) attacked a merchant vessel with two torpedoes in position in position 32°33'N, 14°47'E. No hits were obtained. [This was probably Silvio Scaroni (1394 GRT, built 1920) on passage from Benghazi to Tripoli.]

(All times are zone -2)
1308 hours - Received a signal ordering Ursula to intercept a convoy. Set course accordingly.

1337 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 090°. Interception was only possible if Ursula proceeded on the surface when she was well clear of the coast.

1400 to 1600 hours - Heard several explosions as the RAF was attacking the convoy.

1615 hours - Well clear of the coast now so surfaced in position 32°33'N, 14°47'E to reach a position to intercept the convoy however upon surfacing a small merchant vessel of about 2000 tons was sighted about 5 nautical miles away. Ursula dived again. Decided to attack this vessel as it seemed likely that Ursula was sighted and it would now be impossible to intercept the convoy.

1706 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 3000 yards. No hits were obtained.

1715 hours - Prepared to surface and engage the target with gunfire.

1720 hours - When about to surface the vessel turned stern on and opened fire withthe stern gun in the direction of the periscope. Decided not to surface and abandon the action. (14)

31 May 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. I.L.M. McGeoch, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel off Zuara (Zuwârah), Libya in approximate position 33°00'N, 12°09'E with two torpedoes. No hits were obtained. [This was probably the German Sparta (1724 GRT, built 1927) escorted by the torpedo boat Pilo.]

(All times are zone -2)
0540 hours - Sighted one laden merchant vessel of about 4000 tons escorted by a 'Generale-class' torpedo boat 5 cables ahead of her. Enemy course was 145°. Range was 4000 yards. Started attack.

0553 hours - In approximate position 33°00'N, 12°09'E fired two torpedoes from 1500 yards. No hits were obtained. it appeared the attack was not noticed. (14)

6 Jun 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. I.L.M. McGeoch, RN) ended her 20th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

7 Jun 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was docked at Malta during a short refit and repairs to her defective Starboard generator. (15)

11 Jun 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was undocked. (15)

12 Jul 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta on what should have been her 21th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). Shortly after departure she had to return due to problems with her Port generator.

18 Jul 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 21th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in an area South of Lampedusa.

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


HMS Ursula 21th war patrol click here for bigger map (14)

1 Aug 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 21th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

14 Aug 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 22th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol the Southern approaches to the Stait of Messina.

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


HMS Ursula 22th war patrol click here for bigger map (14)

23 Aug 1941
At 1340 hours (zone -2) HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) was bombed from the air while at periscope depth about 2 nautical miles East of Taormina, Sicily, Italy in position 37°51'N, 15°20'E. Two bombs were dropped but no damage was sustained.

At 2108 hours, the submarine surfaced in position 37°43'N, 15°32'E with the intention of landing commandos by folbot to blow up a tunnel near Capo dell’Armi but the bad weather prevented the operation. (14)

27 Aug 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 22th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

29 Aug 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) departed Malta for her 23th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was to patrol South of Lampedusa. Later she was sent to guard the Eastern approaches to Tripoli, Libya.

An important fast Italian troop convoy had departed Naples for Tripoli that day.

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


HMS Ursula 23th war patrol click here for bigger map (14)

2 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) ended her 23th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) conducted exercises off Malta with the British corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt.Cdr. A.J.C. Pomeroy, RNVR) and the British minesweeper HMS Abingdon (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR).

After the exercises Ursula was docked. (16)

12 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) was undocked. (16)

16 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Malta for her 24th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean). She was to patrol off Tripoli, Libya.

An important fast Italian troop convoy had departed Taranto for Tripoli that day.

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


HMS Ursula 24th war patrol click here for bigger map (17)

18 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) attacked the Italian troop transport Vulcania (24469 GRT, built 1928) about 30 nautical miles East of Tripoli, Libya in approximate position 32°55'N, 13°52'E. Four torpedoes were fired but all missed their target although it was thought that one hit was obtained.

(All times are zone -2)
0656 hours - Sighted a large transport with a Navigatori-class destroyer as escort. [This was most likely Antoniotto Usodimare.]

0705 hours - In approximate position 32°55'N, 13°52'E fired four torpedoes from 3500 yards. It was thought the one hit was obtained but this was not the case. No counter attack developed. (17)

20 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 24th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (17)

23 Sep 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Malta for her 25th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol the Southern approaches to the Stait of Messina.

No patrol report is available for this patrol. The log for September list no attacks but for October no log is available. As far as is known to us no attacks were carried out.

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


HMS Ursula 25th war patrol click here for bigger map (16)

6 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 25th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (18)

17 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Malta for her 26th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the East coast of Tunisia off the Gulf of Hammamet.

No logs are available for this period so no map can be displayed. (14)

18 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Beppe (4859 GRT, built 1912) some 45 nautical miles west of Lampedusa Island in position 35°25'N, 11°39'E. The damaged Beppe is towed to Tripoli, Libya.

(All times are zone -2)
0706 hours - In position 35°27'N, 11°45'E sighted smoke bearing 306°. Started attack.

0802 hours - In position 35°25'N, 11°39'E fired four torpedoes at two merchant vessels of about 6000 tons. Ranges were 6000 and 7000 yards. It was thought that two hits were obtained, one on each target.

0825 to 0900 hours - One of the escorts carried out counter-attacks in which 9 depth charges were dropped. No damage was done to Ursula.

0912 hours - Sighted a merchant vessel stopped in the position of the attack. Altered course towards and started to reload no.3 torpedo tube.

1005 hours - The vessel was seen to be lower in the water.

1100 hours - Nothing in sight. It was thought the vessel had sunk.

[The other ship was the Italian merchant Caterina (4838 GRT, built 1920), and they were escorted by the destroyer Alfredo Oriani. Beppe was towed to Tripoli by the German tug Max Behrendt. while Caterina was later sunk by an aircraft torpedo.] (14)

19 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) arrived at Malta to embark four new torpedoes. After eight hours she departed again to resume her 26th war patrol. New patrol area was the southern approaches to the Strait of Messina. (14)

22 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) carried out a reconnaissance of the coast North of Cape Spartivento to select a suitable bridge to bombard. At 0900 hours (zone -2) a suitable target was seen near position 38°06'N, 16°14'E.

At 1419 hours Ursula surfaced 1500 yards from the bridge. 77 Rounds were fired and the bridge was damaged by 22 direct hits.

At 1439 hours the action was broken off when the gun jammed and an aircraft that was seen to the seaward.

[Italian sources show that the bridge and telegraph line sustained some damage but seven unexploded shells were found.] (1)

28 Oct 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 26th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (14)

6 Nov 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Malta for her 27th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Misrata, Libya.

No logs are available for this period so no map can be displayed. (17)

11 Nov 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) attacked a convoy with three torpedoes about 20 nautical miles South-East of Misrata, Libya in position 32°07'N, 15°26'E. No hits were obtained and Ursula was depth charged by the escorts. [This was Pertusola (1502 GRT, built 1882) being towed by Imperia with Ascianghi (610 GRT, built 1921) escorted by the torpedo boats Generale Antonio Cascino and Calliope). Calliope attacked the submarine with two depth charge patterns, recording three explosions and a large oil slick and believed the submarine sunk.]

(All times are zone -2)
1615 hours - Sighted smoke to the South.

1730 hours - Sighted a convoy of two merchant vessels (one of 2000 tons, one of 1000 tons that was towing a sailing vessel). Escort was provided by two torpedo boats, one was seen to be the Generale Antonio Cascino and the other was a more modern one of the Spica class.

1752 hours - In position 32°07'N, 15°26'E fired three torpedoes at the 2000 tons merchant vessel from . Both missed as the tracks were sighted and evaded by the target.

1755 hours - Both torpedo boats altered towards. Ursula went deep and rigged for depth charging.

1800 to 1810 hours - 14 Depth charges were dropped. All rather close but Ursula sustained no damage. (17)

20 Nov 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 27th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (17)

30 Nov 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the U.K. for a refit. (18)

9 Dec 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (18)

14 Dec 1941
As her refit in the U.K. can start only around mid-January 1942 HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) is sent out on a anti-uboat patrol to the East of Gibraltar near Alboran Island. This is her 28th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean).

No logs are available for this period so no map can be displayed. (18)

15 Dec 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) is ordered to return to Gibraltar. She is needed to patrol in the Bay of Biscay as it is feared that the German capital ships currently at Brest were to leave port. (18)

16 Dec 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 28th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (18)

17 Dec 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 29th war patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay and end this patrol in the U.K.

No logs are available for this period so no map can be displayed. (1)

30 Dec 1941
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) ended her 29th war patrol at Portsmouth. (1)

8 Jan 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) departed Portsmouth for Sheerness. (18)

9 Jan 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) arrived at Sheerness. (18)

12 Jan 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) is taken in hand for a refit at the Chatham Dockyard. (18)

12 Apr 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Sheerness for Holy Loch. (18)

17 Apr 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of trials and training. (18)

6 May 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) was docked at Ardrossan. (19)

13 May 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) was undocked. (19)

25 May 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) shifted from Ardrossan to Holy Loch for further trials and training. (19)

22 Jun 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. Passage is made together with HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN). The submarines were escorted by the armed yacht HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN). (20)

24 Jun 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick. After a few hours she departed for her 30th war patrol. She was ordered to provide cover for convoys PQ 17 / QP 13.

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


HMS Ursula 30th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

13 Jul 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) ended her 30th war patrol at Lerwick. She departed for Holy Loch after a few hours escorted by the armed yacht HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN). (21)

16 Jul 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (21)

24 Jul 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Ardrossan where her main generator will be replaced. (21)

20 Sep 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) was docked at Ardrossan. (22)

21 Sep 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) was undocked. (22)

28 Sep 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Ardossan for trials. (22)

29 Sep 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a short period of training. (22)

8 Oct 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. She is to join the 8th Submarine Flotilla there as a temporarily reinforcement for the upcoming invasion of North Africa.

En-route she was to make a short patrol in the Bay of Biscay making this her 31th war patrol.

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


HMS Ursula 31th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

16 Oct 1942
At 0300 hours HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) sighted a uboat in position 44°32'N, 07°52'W. Contact was lost before a salvo of torpedoes could be fired. The uboat sighted was most likely the German U-659. (1)

22 Oct 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) ended her 31th war patrol at Gibraltar. (1)

1 Nov 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her her 32th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean). She is ordered to perform a special operation (during operation Torch) and upon completion to patrol to the West of Ibiza.

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


HMS Ursula 32th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

3 Nov 1942
During the night of 3-4 November 1942 HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) landed a folbot with a party of two men for a beach reconnaissance in the Gulf of Arzew (to the East of Oran). The party returned at 0050/4 after having left the submarine at 2320/3. (1)

7 Nov 1942
At 1855 hours HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) launched two folbots with two men in each folbot for beach reconnaissance.

Upon completion of this Ursula went to a position where she was to act as a beacon for the landing forces. She arrived in her position at 2036 hours. At 2115 hours she started the 'beacon procedure' and within 15 minutes the first ships of the landing force were within sight. Ursula ended her operations at 0035/8. course was set for her patrol position off Ibiza. (1)

11 Nov 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) attacks but misses German U-boat U-73 about 25 nautical miles South-South-East of Carboneras, Spain in position 36°44'N, 01°48'W. The British claim to have sunk the uboat but this was not the case.

(All times are zone -1)
1003 hours - Sighted a ship bearing 180°. Altered course to close.

1014 hours - Identified the target as the conning tower of a uboat. Range 7000 yards. Brought all torpedo tubes to the ready.

1037 hours - In position 36°44'N, 01°48W fired six torpedoes from 5200 yards.

1041 hours - Heard one loud explosion. The HE of the target ceased.

1044 hours - The uboat was seen to sink by the stern.

1046 hours - Fast HE was heard. There was nothing in sight except the sinking uboat. It was thought another uboat was in the area.

1100 hours - No HE could be heard. Started to close the uboat's last position.

1130 hours - Sighted a large liner bearing 070°. Course was 220°. Range 7 nautical miles. Speed 14 knots.

1143 hours - The liner was seen to come towards. Ursula was now in the position where the uboat was during the attack.

1148 hours - Heard one explosion. The liner was coming straight towards. Range was 1500 yards.

1228 hours - The liner disappeared on course 230°.

1232 hours - Sighted a uboat following the liner. Unfortunately no more torpedoes were on board (Ursula carried no reloads, the folbots for the special operation had been carried instead) so it could not be attacked with torpedoes. Closed up for gun action. But the uboat dived shortly afterwards. It was thought it was a diffent uboat than the one previously attacked.

Note: in both cases however the uboat was U-73. (1)

12 Nov 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) ended her 32th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (1)

20 Nov 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 33th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Toulon and Genoa. Ursula also carried two folbots and a party of two that could be employed for train wrecking if a favourable opportunity was to occur.

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


HMS Ursula 33th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

30 Nov 1942
Druring the night of 30 November / 1 December 1942, HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) landed a party of two to sabotage a railway tunnel near Laigueglia. The party was succesful and was re-embarked later that night.

(All times are zone -1)
1818 hours - Surfaced and closed the coast near Cape Mele to 500 yards.

2015 hours - Launched a folbot with a 2 men party. They were to wreck a train in a tunnel near the village of Laigueglia. The party consisted of Captain Richard Percy Livingstone (SBS) and Sergeant S. Wetherall. Due to the presence of a sentry, the demolition charges had to be laid 150 yards from the tunnel.

2115 hours - Ursula retired to seaward.

2335 hours - Returned to the rendez-vouz position and re-embarked the folbot party. They had managed to place their charges.

0008 hours (Dec. 1st) - Ursula proceeded to seaward. A large flash and an explosion came from the direction of Laigueglia. These were followed by three smaller flashes. It was thought that a train had set off the charges.

See the event of 1 December 1942 for the continuation of the events. (1)

1 Dec 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser V 135 / Togo (108 GRT) with scuttling charges about 5 miles south of Capo Mele, Italy (Approximate position 43°54'N, 08°17'E). [The crew of 16 abandoned the vessel, three of them were wounded.]

(All times are zone -1)
0030 hours - While proceeding away from the coast after the train wrecking mission sighted a darkened ship ahead. Position was Cape Mele 120°, 4 nautical miles. Manned the gun and closed to 750 yards.

0100 hours - Opened fire with the deck gun from 500 yards. The 6th round was a hit. This hit was followed by more hits. The crew was seen to abandon ship.

0130 hours - Ursula secured alongside the schooner. It was the 'Togo' of about 100 tons. She was fitted with 2 .3" Breda machine guns, 12 small depth charges. All documents that could be found were taken on board Ursula and scuttling charges were placed.

0215 hours - Slipped and proceeded clear.

0240 hours - A magnificent explosion extending 200 feet into the air. The schooner was completely destroyed. (1)

2 Dec 1942
Between 2300 and 2330 hours (zone -) HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) damaged a train with gunfire near San Lorenzo, Italy. [Italian sources show that one wagon was hit and electric cable was down on a length of 500 metres.] (1)

3 Dec 1942
Between 0125 and 0150 hours HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) bombards olive oil storage tanks at Oneglia, Italy. The action had to be broken off when the gun jammed. Meanwhile Ursula became the target of shore batteries so at 0150 hours she dived and proceeded to seaward.

-----------------------------------------

Later on this day Ursula also sank the German merchant Sainte Marguerite II (1855 GRT, built 1921) about 30 nautical miles South-East of Cannes, France in position 43°11'N, 07°19'E. [She was bound from Marseilles, France to Naples, Italy. The German survivors were left with the impression that the submarine was American but no US submarines operated in the Mediterranean during the war.]

(All times are zone -1)
1830 hours - Surfaced in position 43°11'N, 07°19'E and almost immediately sighted a darkened ship bearing 270°. Range was 3.5 nautical miles. Enemy course was 050°. Closed at full speed. Brought the tubes to the ready and manned the gun. The ship appeared to be in ballast and was of about 2000 tons.

1830 hours - Turned to starboard and brought the gun to bear. Range was 750 yards.

1831 hours - Opened fire. Several hits were obtained but after a few minutes the gun again jammed.

1835 hours - Fired one torpedo from about 500 yards. The torpedo ran under.

1840 hours - The ship was now stopped and the gun was in working order again so three more rounds were fired.

1850 hours - Closed the ship and noticed that the crew was abandoning her. The master and chief engineer were taken from the boat.

1900 hours - Went alongside the target and boarded her. Some provisions were taken from her as well as documents.

1940 hours - The seacocks and condeser inlets to the engine room were opened as well as the flood connection to both holds.

2040 hours - Cast off and waited for the ship to sink.

0030 hours (Dec. 4th) - The ship had still not sunk. She was boarded again and scuttling charges were placed. Half an hour later the charges went off and the ship sank almost immediately by the bows. (1)

9 Dec 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) ended her 33th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (1)

21 Dec 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 34th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Marettimo Island.

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


HMS Ursula 34th war patrol click here for bigger map (1)

28 Dec 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Gran (4140 GRT, built 1938, former Norwegian Gran offsite link) about 12 nautical miles north-west of Marettimo Island, Italy in position 38°09'N, 11°54'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0530 hours - In position 38°09'N, 11°51'E sighted a large merchant ship escorted by two destroyers. Range 10000 yards. Started attack.

0542 hours - Dived.

0553 hours - In position 38°09'N, 11°54'E fired three torpedoes from 750 yards. Loud explosions were heard after 32, 38 and 45 seconds. These were followed by breaking up noises. Meanwhile Ursula went to 150 feet and retired from the scene.

0606 hours - Depth charging started. No hunt followed.

According to Italian sources the escort vessels present were the Italian destroyer Lampo and the Italian torpedo boat Pallade. Gran was en-route from Napels to Bizerte. (1)

30 Dec 1942
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) was in rammed and damaged while she was in the process of attacking a southbound convoy of three large merchant vessels escorted by four destroyers North of Cape St Vito, Sicily, near position 38°43'N, 12°40'E. Ursula had penetrated the destroyer screen and was on the point of firing torpedoes when the convoy as a whole changed course and overran Ursula destroying both periscopes and standards, as well as damage to the conning tower. The attack had to be broken off. These were probably Oriani (352 GRT, built 1942), Manzoni (4550 GRT, built 1942) and Mario Roselli (6835 GRT, built 1942), escorted by the destroyers Maestrale, Corsaro and Lampo and the torpedo boats Sirio and Pallade.]

(All times are zone -1)
0023 hours - Received a signal from Capt. S-10 ordering Ursula to proceed to a new patrol position 360°, Cape San Vito, 12 nautical miles. Immediately set new course and proceed at full speed for this new patol position.

0504 hours - Shortly after arriving in this patrol area sighted a convoy of three merchant ships escorted by four destroyers. Range was 9000 yards. Course 240°. Speed 15 knots. Started attack.

0509 hours - Dived and closed at full submerged speed. Started an attack on the leading merchant ship, the biggest, thought to be of about 5000 tons.

0513 hours - The leading destroyer passed ahead. Ursula went a bit deeper then periscope depth when the destroyer passed.

0515 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Found that the situation had changed. The convoy had made a zig towards of about 35°.

0520 hours - The target was now 600 yards off and came towards. Ursula had to be taken deep but she hang for over a minute at 25 feet.

0522 hours - When at 29 feet Ursula was hit by the ship on the periscope standards and bridge.

0525 hours - The rear destroyer of the convoy passed overhead.

0600 hours - The HE of the convoy faded away.

0601 hours - Surfaced and proceeded at full speed to clear the area. The damage was; both periscopes and periscope standards bent and useless. The upper telegraphs were broken, centre section of jumping wire carried away, night light smashed and superficial damage to the bridge.

0621 hours - Passed enemy report to Capt. S.10.

0643 hours - Dived in position 38°43'N, 12°40'E.

1828 hours - Surfaced in position 38°53'N, 12°38'E.

2100 hours - Passed situation report to Capt. S.10. Altered course to return to Algiers. Due to the damage sustained the patrol had to be broken off. (1)

4 Jan 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) ended her 34th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. The damage Ursula had sustained required extensive repairs. Also she suffered from generator problems yet again. (1)

20 Feb 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) carried out independent exercises off Algiers. (23)

21 Feb 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) carried out A/S exercises off Algiers with the British destoyers HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walters, DSC, RN) and HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN). (23)

22 Feb 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She is to return to the U.K.

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


HMS Ursula passage Algiers - Gibraltar click here for bigger map (1)

26 Feb 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (1)

1 Mar 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (1)

8 Mar 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) attacked a German U-boat with four torpedoes in position 44°48'N, 12°13'W. No hits were obtained. [the U-boat attacked was most likely U-462]

1430 hours - Heard HE bearing Red 150°. The Officer of the Watch sighted the conning tower of a uboat bearing Red 165°, course uncertain.

1445 hours - Lt. Profit now also sighted the uboat throught the Low Power periscope (The attack periscope was defective). Bearing Green 25°. Enemy course 040°. Range 2300 yards. Started attack.

1451 hours - In position 44°48'N, 12°13'W fired four torpedoes. No hits were obtained. (1)

13 Mar 1943
At 1030 hours HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) makes redez-vouz off Bishops Rock with her escort, the ASW trawler HMS Asie (Skr. E.A. Mutten, RNR). (1)

14 Mar 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (1)

4 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Portland. She makes the passage together with HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) and HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Turquoise (Ch.Skr. H.E. Dodd, RNR).

6 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) shifted from Portland to Plymouth. She makes the passage together with HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) and HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Turquoise (Ch.Skr. H.E. Dodd, RNR).

10 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. (18)

12 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (18)

16 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Londonderry. (18)

17 Apr 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Londonderry. She was to participate in A/S exercises out of Londonderry and Larne. (18)

3 Jun 1943
HMS Ursula (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) departed Moville, Northern Ireland for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR). (24)

4 Jun 1943
HMS Ursula (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) arrived at Rothesay. (24)

12 Jun 1943
HMS Ursula (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) shifted from Rothesay to Campbeltown. At Campbeltown she was to participate in A/S exercises. (24)

15 Jul 1943
HMS Ursula (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) shifted from Campbeltown to Rothesay. (25)

19 Jul 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Rothesay for Blyth where she was to refit. She was escorted until 1220/21 by the Free French corvette FFS Renoncule.

At 1220/21 the British ASW trawler HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) took over the escort. (25)

22 Jul 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Blyth. Before her refit could start in early August Urusla was used for training. (25)

4 Aug 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) commenced refit at Blyth. (18)

24 Nov 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) ended her refit at Blyth. (26)

30 Nov 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) shifted from Blyth to Gateshead. (26)

2 Dec 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) shifted from Gateshead to Blyth. At Blyth she started conducting trials. (27)

17 Dec 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Blyth for Rothesay. She makes the passage together with HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. (retired) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) and HMS Uther (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) until 1305/18 when HMS Sardonyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR) took over the escort. Also HMS Telemachus (Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN) joined the convoy. (27)

19 Dec 1943
In very bad weather HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN), HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. (retired) J.R.G. Harvey, RN), HMS Uther (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) and HMS Telemachus (Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN) loose contact witch their escort HMS Sardonyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR). All ships sought shelter in Stornoway.

They all departed for the Clyde the next day when the weather had cleared. (27)

21 Dec 1943
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Rothesay. From now on Ursula is used as a training submarine. (27)

6 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Rothesay for Fishguard. (28)

8 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Fishguard. Here she will be used in A/S exercises with aircraft. (28)

20 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Fishguard for Rothesay. (28)

21 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Rothesay. (28)

24 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) was docked at Kames Bay. (28)

26 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) was undocked. (28)

28 Feb 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) was docked again at Kames Bay. (28)

8 Mar 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) was undocked. (29)

19 Mar 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Rothesay for Scapa Flow. She makes the passage together with HMS Unison (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR). They were escorted by HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR). (29)

21 Mar 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she is used for A/S exercises. (29)

28 Mar 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS Scalby Wyke (Skr. A. Mackay, RNR). (29)

29 Mar 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Dundee. (29)

15 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Rosyth after several days of exercises off Methill. (30)

17 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Rosyth for more A/S exercises. (30)

19 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) arrived at Dundee. (30)

27 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed Dundee for Blyth where she arrived later the same day. At Blyth she is immediately docked to change the propellers. (30)

28 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) was undocked. (30)

29 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) shifted from Blyth to Dundee. (30)

6 May 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) shifted from Dundee to Rosyth. (31)

9 May 1944
On board HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) the training of the new Russian crew is to to take her over begins. (31)

30 May 1944
At Rosyth, HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN), is decommissioned by the Royal Navy and transferred to the Soviet Union. (31)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1819
  2. ADM 173/16254
  3. ADM 173/16255
  4. ADM 199/373
  5. ADM 173/16691
  6. ADM 173/16692
  7. ADM 173/16693
  8. ADM 173/16696
  9. ADM 173/16698
  10. ADM 173/16699
  11. ADM 173/16701
  12. ADM 173/17159
  13. ADM 173/17161
  14. ADM 199/1155
  15. ADM 173/17164
  16. ADM 173/17167
  17. ADM 199/1116
  18. ADM 199/2573
  19. ADM 173/17723
  20. ADM 173/17724
  21. ADM 173/17725
  22. ADM 173/17726
  23. ADM 173/18379
  24. ADM 173/18381
  25. ADM 173/18382
  26. ADM 173/18386
  27. ADM 173/18387
  28. ADM 173/19313
  29. ADM 173/19314
  30. ADM 173/19315
  31. ADM 173/19316

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


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