Allied Warships

HMS Union (N 56)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantN 56 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down9 Dec 1939 
Launched1 Oct 1940 
Commissioned22 Feb 1941 
Lost20 Jul 1941 
History

HMS Union (Lt. Robert Malcolm Galloway, RN) sailed from Malta at 0100 hours on 14 July 1941. On 20 July 1941 she was sunk during an attack on a convoy by the Italian torpedo boat Circe 25 nautical miles south-west of Pantelleria island in the Strait of Sicily. HMS Union was reported overdue on 22 July 1941.  

Commands listed for HMS Union (N 56)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Robert Malcolm Galloway, RN3 Jan 194120 Jul 1941 (+)

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Notable events involving Union include:


The history of HMS Union as compiled on this page is extracted from Union'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 March 2013.

21 Feb 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. (1)

22 Feb 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of trials and training. (1)

17 Mar 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Holy Loch for Portsmouth. She made the passage through the Irish Sea together with HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bone, RN). They were escorted during the passage South by FFS La Moqueuse. (2)

20 Mar 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) is ordered to take up a patrol position in the Bay of Biscay. The passage to Portsmouth now became her 1st war patrol.

As no log is available for March 1941 no map can be displayed. (2)

1 Apr 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Portsmouth. (3)

13 Apr 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar. Union is to proceed to Malta to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla that is based there.

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


HMS Union passage Portsmouth - Gibraltar click here for bigger map (4)

22 Apr 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (4)

26 Apr 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

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


HMS Union passage Gibraltar - Malta click here for bigger map (4)

4 May 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) arrived at Malta. (5)

21 May 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Malta for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol North of Lampedusa Island.

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


HMS Union 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (6)

25 May 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) was ordered to a new patrol position on the convoy route between Messina and Tripoli. (6)

2 Jun 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (6)

15 Jun 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Malta for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of Pantelleria Island.

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


HMS Union 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (6)

22 Jun 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Pietro Querini (1004 GRT, built 1906) about 30 nautical miles South of Pantelleria Island in position 36°09'N, 11°58'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1400 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 013°. Lt. Galloway closes.

1425 hours - Sighted a convoy of one trawler, one schooner and one merchant of about 2800 tons. Closed to attack.

1507 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1200 yards. The second torpedo was a hit.

1525 hours - The first depth charge was dropped.

1543 hours - Returned to periscope depth and observed the trawler and schooner coming directly towards Union so went to 70 feet. Depth charges were dropped but these did no damage. While at periscope depth the merchant was observed to be sinking.

1625 hours - Returned to periscope depth but found nothing in sight. (6)

27 Jun 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (6)

28 Jun 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of Cape Spartivento.

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


HMS Union 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (6)

3 Jul 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) ended her 4h war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (6)

14 Jul 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Pantelleria Island. (7)

20 Jul 1941
HMS Union (Lt. R.M. Galloway, RN) was sunk by the Italian torpedo boat Circe during an attack on the damaged German merchant vessel Menes (5609 GRT, built 1926).

Menes was in tow of the Italian tug Ciclope and and the German tug Max Berendt and had departed Tripoli on the 17th.

Menes had been torpedoed and damaged by HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) on 21 February 1941.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17114
  2. ADM 199/400
  3. ADM 199/1821
  4. ADM 173/17115
  5. ADM 173/17116
  6. ADM 199/1154
  7. ADM 199/1115

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


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