Allied Warships

HMS Undaunted (i) (N 55)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantN 55 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down2 Dec 1939 
Launched20 Aug 1940 
Commissioned30 Dec 1940 
Lost11 May 1941 
History

HMS Undaunted (Lt. James Lees Livesey, RN) sailed from Malta on 29 April 1941 for a patrol near Tripoli, Libya. She was due to return to Malta on 11 May but she failed to do so and is declared overdue on 13 May. 

Commands listed for HMS Undaunted (i) (N 55)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. James Lees Livesey, RN15 Nov 194011 May 1941

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Noteable events involving Undaunted (i) include:


The history of HMS Undaunted 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.

29 Dec 1940
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch.

30 Dec 1940
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

21 Jan 1941
After a period of training HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Holy Loch for Dundee. She made the passage together with FFL Minerve. They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN).

24 Jan 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Dundee.

26 Jan 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) shifted from Dundee to Rosyth.

9 Feb 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) was docked at Rosyth.

15 Feb 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) was undocked.

20 Feb 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) shifted from Rosyth to Dundee.

3 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) shifted from Dundee to Rosyth.

6 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) shifted from Rosyth to Dundee.

9 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Dundee for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off South-West Norway near Bergen.

18 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) was informed that a U-boat would be in her area (U-551 departed Bergen on that day) but visibility was low and nothing was sighted or heard.

21 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Dundee.

23 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) with ORP Sokol escorted by HMS Leda (Cdr. R.C.V. Ross, DSO, RN), departed Dundee for Harwich. They were joined off Blyth by HMS Sealion (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) and HMS Sunfish (Lt. G.R. Colvin, RN).

24 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Harwich.

25 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Harwich for Portsmouth together with HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) with ORP Sokol, HMS Sealion (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) and HMS Sunfish (Lt. G.R. Colvin, RN). They were escorted by HMS Sheldrake (Cdr. (retired) E.H. Hopkinson, RN).

26 Mar 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

3 Apr 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar.

13 Apr 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

14 Apr 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

21 Apr 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) arrived at Malta.

29 Apr 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Malta for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to sail through position 35°20' N, 12°46'E for area Z (34°40'N, 12°18'E). She was to relieve HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. H.A.V. Haggard, RN) on a patrol line with HMS Upholder (Lt.Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, RN), HMS Ursula (Lt. A.J. Mackenzie, RN) and HMS Upright (Lt. R.S. Brookes, DSC, RN).

She did not return from patrol. It is not known what happened to her.

1 May 1941
HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) sent her last signal at 1244/1 May when she reported a large escorted convoy on course 205°, 8 knots, in 34°40'N, 12°20'E. This was certainly the 23rd Seetransportstaffel consisting of the Italian troop transport Marco Polo (12567 GRT, built 1912), the German merchant vessels Marburg (7564 GRT, built 1928), Kibfels (7764 GRT, built 1937), Reichenfels (7744 GRT, built 1936) the Italian merchants Birmania (5305 GRT, built 1930) and Rialto (6099 GRT, built 1927) escorted by the Italian destroyers Fulmine and Euro and the torpedo boats Canopo, Castore, Orsa and Procione on passage from Messina to Tripoli where they arrived at 2300/1. Rialto reported narrowly missed by torpedo astern at 1251 (this was also seen from Marburg which was stationed behind Rialto and Fulmine and Canopo) and this was undoubtedly an attack carried out by HMS Undaunted.

2 May 1941
The patrol line was cancelled and HMS Undaunted (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) was ordered to a position north of Tripoli. She was heard no more.

3 May 1941
A Tripoli-based Cant Z.501 (piloted by S.T.V. Arnaldo Panaria of 188/3 Squadriglia) dropped bombs on an oil slick off Zuara and the torpedo boat Pleiadi was summoned to the scene and dropped 11 depth charges. There was no confirmed sinking and later it was believed that it was oil seeping from the wreck of Persiano (sunk by HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.M.T. Peacock, RN) on 12 April 1941).

The tanker Luisiana escorted by the torpedo boat Giuseppe La Farina sailed from Tripoli at 0644/3 for Trapani. At 1055 hours, the tanker sighted what was believed to be a torpedo track and took evasive action. An underwater explosion was felt followed by bubbles. It is possible that Undaunted had carried out an attack. La Farina was sunk apparently by a mine at 1030 hours the following day in position 34°55'N, 11°50'E.

Undaunted may have been mined north of Tripoli as the destroyers Alvise da Mosto and Giovanni da Verrazzano had just laid four minefields there on 1 May.

At 1410 hours on 9 May, the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) attacked a contact in 34°59'N, 14°42'E and just before the attack heard what appeared to be an SS/T transmission. Could this have been HMS Undaunted? She ought to have passed 15 miles east of this position on her way back but this meant she might have left her patrol earlier than expected. The mystery of her disappearance is still unsolved. She was overdue at Malta on 13 May.


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