Allied Warships

HMS Unshaken (P 54)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 54 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Aug 1940 
Laid down12 Jun 1941 
Launched17 Feb 1942 
Commissioned21 May 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped at Troon in March 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Unshaken (P 54)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Richard Gatehouse, DSC, RN18 Apr 194221 Jun 1942
2Lt. Charles Ernest Oxborrow, DSC, RN21 Jun 194225 Nov 1942 (+)
3S.Lt. Herbert Patrick Westmacott, RN25 Nov 194229 Nov 1942
4Lt. Jack Whitton, RN29 Nov 1942May 1944
5T/Lt. Derek John Palmer, RNVRMay 194417 Jul 1944
6Lt. Jack Seward Pearce, RNR17 Jul 19448 Sep 1945
7Lt. William Gifford Woollam, RN8 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Unshaken include:


The page for this submarine is currently (August 2015 and onwards) being updated.

24 Feb 1942
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She is to return to the U.K.

28 Feb 1942
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

3 Mar 1942
It is decided that HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) will remain in the Mediterranean.

20 May 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. R. Gatehouse, DSC, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (former French) (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

21 May 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. R. Gatehouse, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training.

22 Jun 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, 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 Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN).

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

25 Jun 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Northern Norway to give cover for convoy operations PQ 17 and QP 13 to and from Northern Russia.

5 Jul 1942
Early in the evening, HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) spotted the German task force that was operating against convoy PQ 17 in position 71°40'N, 28°19'E. The German task force was made up of the battleship Tirpitz and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. They were escorted by a group of seven destroyers and two torpedo boats. P 54 was unable to attack but she made an enemy report on W/T.

P 54 was detected by an enemy aircraft that dropped three bombs. Following this she was depth charged by the German destroyer Z 27.

12 Jul 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

12 Jul 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

18 Jul 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

19 Jul 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Dundee.

1 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Dundee for Lerwick. She made (part of) the passage together with HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

2 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

4 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off southern Norway near Stavanger.

12 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Georg L.M. Russ (2890 GRT, built 1938) off southern Norway in position 58°37'N, 05°30'E. Another ship is missed in the same attack.

In position 58°37'N, 05°30'E sighted a convoy of three merchant vessels escorted by a trawler bearing 160°, range 4.5 nautical miles. Started attack.

1606 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the second and third merchant ships of 3000 and 5500 tons respectively. Range was about 2500 yards. Three loud explosions were heard after about two minutes.

1624 hours - At periscope depth. Sighted only one ship with the trawler. P 54 was then hunted by the trawler.

15 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Lerwick.

16 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

18 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Dundee.

31 Aug 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Dundee for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Tribune (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) and HNoMS Uredd (Lt. R.O. Rören). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

1 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

2 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed from Lerwick for her 3rd war patrol. She is to provide cover for convoy operations (PQ 18 and QP 14) to Northern Russia.

10 Sep 1942
In the afternoon, HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN), sighted the tops and masts of the German task force that was at sea to operate against the Allied convoys. P 54 was to far off to attack.

24 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Lerwick.

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Dundee for Lerwick. She made the passage together with FFL Rubis (Lt.Cdr. H.L.G. Rousselot) and HNoMS Uredd (Lt. R.O. Rören). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

26 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Dundee.

28 Sep 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is docked at Dundee.

7 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is undocked.

11 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Dundee for Holy Loch. Part of the passage was made together with FFL Junon (Cdr. J. Querville, RN) and HNoMS Uredd (Lt. R.O. Rören). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR).

14 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

She departed for Gibraltar later the same day. During passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). At Gibraltar P 54 was to join the 8th Submarine Flottilla temporarily for the upcoming Allied invasion of North Africa.

17 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is ordered to take up a patrol position in the Bay of Biscay as German tankers are thought to try to break out into the Atlantic. The passage to Gibraltar now became her 4th war patrol.

18 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is ordered to continue her passage to Gibraltar.

23 Oct 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Gibraltar.

1 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 5th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to perform a special operation (during operation Torch, landing beach marking off Oran). She carried only six torpedoes to make room for two folbots.

3 Nov 1942
During the night of 3/4 November 1942, HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN), launched a party with a folbot for a reconnaissance. The party left at 2315/3 and returned at 0006/4.

7 Nov 1942
During the night of 7/8 November 1942, HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) assisted in the landing off Oran. She launched the folbot and her party and also guided the convoy in, acting as beacon.

8 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is ordered to patrol off San Antonio, Ibiza.

9 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) is ordered to return to Gibraltar.

12 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

20 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 6th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

25 Nov 1942
Late in the afternoon HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) surfaced in the Gulf of Lyons in very heavy weather. P 54 then slid back to a depth of about 30 feet while the Commanding Officer and two lookouts were already on the bridge. They could not get below in time and were washed overboard. A search was made but they were not sighted again.

The 1st Lt., S.Lt. Westmacott, (a substitution for the proper 1st Lt. who remained at Gibraltar due to being sick) then took over command. It was decided to return to Gibraltar.

29 Nov 1942
HMS P 54 (S.Lt. H.P. Westmacott, RN) made rendez-vous with the British corvette HMS HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR) that had the spare Commanding Officer of the 8th Submarine Flotilla on board. Lt. J. Whitton then took command of HMS P 54 while at sea. She then continued her return passage to Gibraltar.

1 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

9 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 7th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Marseilles and Genoa.

14 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) attacked a large escorted merchant vessel with four torpedoes south of Cassis, southern France. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
1412 hours - In position 43°08'N, 05°33'E sighted a merchant vessel of 7500 tons escorted by two trawlers. Started attack. Range was about 9 nautical miles.

1524 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. No hits were obtained. The torpedoes were heard to exlode about three minutes after firing.

19 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN)

(All times are zone -1)
1329 hours - In position 44°05'N, 08°20'E sighted a 3500 tons merchant vessel in ballast escorted by two MA/SB's. Started attack. Range on sighting was about three nautical miles.

1349 hours - Fired three torpedoes from a range of 5200 yards. No hits were obtained. The escorted dropped about ten depth charges but none were close.

1450 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The target was out of sight.

20 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) attacks the French merchant Oasis (1327 GRT, built 1938) with gunfire off Genoa, Italy. No damage is inflicted.

(All times are zone -1)
0053 hours - In position 43°37'N, 07°58'E sighted a darkened merchant vessel of about 4000 tons bearing 163°, range 6 nautical miles. Enemy course 273 hours, speed 8 knots. Started attack.

0110 hours - Dived to complete the attack from submerged.

0117 hours - Fired the last remaining torpedo from 800 yards. It passed under the target.

0119 hours - Surfaced for gun action. Fired 14 rounds for 5 hits.

0130 hours - HE reported on the port quarter. Submerged.

0150 hours - No more HE was heard. Surfaced and re-engaged the target.

0222 hours - Broke off the action after having fired another 52 rounds for 6 hits. Set course to return to Algiers.

23 Dec 1942
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

3 Jan 1943
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Algiers for her 8th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the north of the Strait of Messina.

12 Jan 1943
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) attacks the Italian merchant Campania (5247 GRT, built 1918) north-west of Marettimo Island, Italy. All four torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
1205 hours - In position 38°12'N, 14°59'E sighted a tanker in ballast. She was identified as the Campania. Range was four nautical miles, enemy course 070°, enemy speed 6 knots. Started attack.

1227 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1500 yards. No hits were obtained. Most likely the speed of the enemy was underestimated.

21 Jan 1943
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

3 Feb 1943
HMS P 54 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Algiers for her 9th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily.

19 Feb 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers.

7 Mar 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Gibraltar to return to Algiers. It had been decided to retain Unshaken in the Mediterranean for a longer period.

11 Mar 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) arrived at Algiers.

14 Mar 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Algiers for Malta.

17 Mar 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) attacked the German submarine U-431 with four torpedoes south of Sardinia in position 38°05'N, 08°27'E. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
0014 hours - In position 38°05'N, 08°27'E sighted a submarine bearing 120°. Range was 6 nautical miles. Enemy course 285° (main course, the submarine was zig-zagging), speed 9,5 knots.

0017 hours - Dived to close.

0047 hours - Surfaced after having lost the target.

0102 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from long range, 8000 yards. No hits were obtained.

0124 hours - Proceeded on passage.

20 Mar 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) arrived at Malta where she joined the 10th submarine flotilla.

2 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Malta for her 10th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in / off the Gulf of Hammamet.

7 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN)

8 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Foggia (1227 GRT, former French Mont St. Clair) 10 nautical miles bearing 46 off Soussa, Tunisia.

10 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN)

14 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

26 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Malta for her 11th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol north of Sicily.

28 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian torpedo boat Climene (652 tons) about 25 nautical miles south-west of Marettimo Island, Sicily, Italy in position 37°45'N, 11°33'E.

29 Apr 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) fires four torpedoes against the French passenger/cargo ship Cap Corse (2444 GRT) off Cape San Vito, Sicily, Italy. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

3 May 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

18 May 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) departed Malta for her 12th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to conduct a periscope reconnaissance of some beaches on Pantellaria.

20 May 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN)

21 May 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

22 Jun 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian schooner Giovanni G. (35 GRT) off Augusta, Sicily, Italy.

At 1202 hours (time zone -2), while in position 6.5 nautical miles bearing 302° Cape Murro di Porco a two masted schooner was sighted about 4 nautical miles away. Unshaken closed to attack.

At 1236 hours two torpedoes were fired from 2400 yards. One and a half minute later the schooner was seen to disintegrate in a red flash and a large column of black smoke which give the impression that her cargo was of inflammable nature.

At 1631 hours, while in position 37°03'N, 15°22'E a merchant ship of about 5000 tons escorted by three torpedo boats was sighted, an attack on the merchant was commenced.

At 1656 hours four torpedoes were fired from 3200 yards but none of these hit the target that was zig-zagging wildly. A short counter attack followed.

23 Jun 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Pomo (1425 GRT, former Yugoslavian Niko Matkovic, built 1906) off Syracuse, Sicily, Italy in position 37°09'N, 15°15'E.

At 1416 hours (time zone -2) an attack was commenced on a convoy of 2 merchants escorted by 2 'destroyers'. At 1454 hours two torpedoes were fired at a merchant of 3000 tons. One hit was obtained. Unshaken went deep to 120 feet.

14 Jul 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel No 265 / Cesena (105 GRT) with gunfire off the southern coast of Calabria, Italy in position 39°18'N, 17°16'E.

19 Jul 1943
Near Malta HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) is missed by four torpedoes fired by ORP Dzik. The Poles thought they were attacking an enemy submarine, luckily the torpedoes missed their target.

11 Aug 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian troop transport Asmara (7192 GRT) 3 nautical miles east of Brindisi, Italy in position 40°44'N, 18°03'E.

5 Sep 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian tanker Dora C. (5843 GRT) about 10 nautical miles east of Brindisi, Italy.

3 Oct 1943
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) fires three torpedoes against the Italian merchant Nina (2212 GRT) off Elba Island. None of the torpedoes fired hit the target.

7 Apr 1944
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J. Whitton, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Asien (3894 GRT) off Lista, Norway in position 58°08'N, 06°32'E.


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