Allied Warships

HMS Usurper (P 56)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 56 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) : Davey Paxman & Ricardo 
Ordered12 Jul 1941 
Laid down18 Sep 1941 
Launched24 Sep 1942 
Commissioned2 Feb 1943 
Lost3 Oct 1943 
History

Most likely depth charged in Gulf of Genoa by the German UJ-2208/Alfred.

HMS Usurper (Lt. David Roger Oakeley Mott, DSC, RN) had left Algiers on 24th September 1943 with instruction to patrol of La Spezia. On 3 October 1943 she was ordered to move to the Gulf of Genoa. No further contact was made and she failed to return to Algiers on 12 October 1943 as expected. The German anti-submarine vessel UJ-2208 reported attacking a submarine in the Gulf of Genoa on 3 October 1943 and it is believed that this may have been the Usurper.  

Commands listed for HMS Usurper (P 56)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. David Roger Oakeley Mott, DSC, RNNov 19423 Oct 1943 (+)

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Notable events involving Usurper include:


The page for this submarine is currently (December 2014 and onwards) being updated.

14 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) shifted from her builders yard to South Shields.

15 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) shifted from South Shields to Blyth. She was escorted by RML 548 (T/Lt. T. Wood, RNVR).

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth.

21 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth.

24 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth.

26 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Blyth.

28 Jan 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Blyth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Preston North End (Lt. K.A. Vasey, MBE, RNR) until 0700/30 when HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR) took over the escort.

1 Feb 1943
HMS P 56 (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a training period.

1 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS Trespasser (Lt. R.M. Favell, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN).

3 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participate in A/S exercises.

6 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow.

8 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Trespasser (Lt. R.M. Favell, RN), HMS Offa (Capt. J. A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN).

9 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Blankney (Cdr. P.F. Powlett DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

10 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Coll (T/Lt. E.V. Nash, RNR) and HMS Davy (Skr. W.J. Salisbury, RD, RNR).

12 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with La Combattante (Lt.Cdr. A. Patou), HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN).

13 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

15 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN), HMS Offa (Capt. J. A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Obedient (Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN).

16 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN) and HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN).

17 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and two ML's.

18 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

19 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN).

20 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow.

22 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

23 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, RN) and HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN).

23 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick.

She departed later the same day for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to perform an anti-uboat patrol in the Norwegian Sea.

24 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Switha (T/Lt. L.H. Green, RNR) and HMS Bressay (T/Lt. J.E. Wilmot, RNVR).

25 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, RN) and two minesweepers.

26 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. John Henry Wallace, DSC, RN) and HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, RNVR).

27 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. John Henry Wallace, DSC, RN), HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, RN), HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Stevenstone (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN).

29 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Jamaica (Capt. Capt. J.L. Storey, RN), HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN), HMS Stevenstone (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

30 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, RN), HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN).

4 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Tadoussac (T/Lt. J.P. Davies, RNR).

7 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

12 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was docked at Port Bannatyne.

14 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was undocked. She then proceeded to Holy Loch.

21 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Satyr (Lt. T.S. Weston, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Beryl (T/Lt. T.C. Kidd, RNVR).

28 Apr 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) makes a torpedo attack on the German U-boat U-467 in the Norwegian Sea. The target was not hit.

(All times are zone -2)
1820 hours - Heard well-defined HE. Went to periscope depth from 30 feet.

1825 hours - In position 62°11'N, 02°11'E saw the conning tower of a u-boat that was proceeding on the surface. The u-boat was painted white and was difficult to see. Two figures were seen on the bridge in dark blue or black clothes it was because of these two figures that the u-boat was sighted. Started attack. Enemy course 164°, speed 10.5 knots.

1837 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 3500 yards. Missed. Usurper lost trim when firing the torpedoes. The two remaining torpedoes of the intended salvo of four were not fired. Set up another attack.

1844 hours - Fired two more torpedoes.

1846 hours - The enemy turned stern on after having sighted the torpedoes. So these torpedoes also missed.

1850 hours - Went to 60 feet to reload the torpedo tubes.

9 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick.

12 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with USS Barb (Lt.Cdr. N. Lucker, Jr., USN) and USS Blackfish (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Davidson, USN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

14 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

20 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was docked at Port Bannatyne.

21 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was undocked and then returned to Holy Loch.

8 Jun 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for passage to Gibraltar. She made the passage south through the Irish Sea together with HMS H 44 (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Saladin (Lt. A.A. Diggens, DSC, RN).

11 Jun 1943
At 1300 hours, HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) parted company with HMS H 44 (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Saladin (Lt. A.A. Diggens, DSC, RN). The passage south through the Irish Sea had been delayed for 14 hours due to fog and engine failure in H 44.

24 Jun 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

1 Jul 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, RN).

5 Jul 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. Before proceeding shhe conducted exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN).

18 Jul 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the west of Corsica.

27 Jul 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the French Chateau Yquem (2536 GRT, built 1925) about 6 nautical miles south-west of Ajaccio, Corsica, France in position 41°50'N, 08°37'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1645 hours - Sighted a convoy of two merchant vessels of 2500 tons escorted by a destroyer. Started attack.

1707 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the leading merchant vessel from 2400 yards. One hit was heard but could not be observed as Usurper had gone deep on firing.

1715 hours - Seven depth charges were dropped down the post side but they were not close and caused no damage to Usurper.

1735 hours - Three depth charges were dropped ahead.

1925 hours - The destroyer was in contact with Asdic.

1927 hours - Six depth charges were dropped close but again they caused no damage.

1944 hours - Five depth charges were dropped.

Usurper finally surfaced at 0028/28 and cleared the area at speed.

28 Jul 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) attacked a passenger vessel of about 4000 tons west of the Gulf of Sagone, Corsica, France with four torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -2)
2005 hours - Returned to periscope depth after having made repairs to one of the periscope wires. Saw a liner of about 4000 tons at a range of about 8000 yards. Usurper was already past her beam but Lt. Mott decided to attack as this was a too valuable target to let by. Besides that she was unescorted.

2016 hours - In position 42°05'N, 08°29'E fired four torpedoes from 9000 yards. No hits were obtained.

4 Aug 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. While at Algiers Usurper developed a serious oil fuel leak into the W/T cabinet which resulted in the complete stripping down and rebuilt of the W/T cabinet. This kept Usurper out of action for quite some time.

14 Aug 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was docked at Algiers.

18 Aug 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was undocked.

24 Sep 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

1 Oct 1943
At 0320 hours, the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2209 reported that a submarine had attacked the German transport ship KT 19 in the Gulf of Genoa (Grid CJ 1691). They were en-route from Livorno to Bastia.

If this attack is genuine the attacked must have been HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) as no other Allied submarine reported this attack.


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