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Unseen (P51)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: U Group 2
Fate: Scrapped in September 1949 at Hayle.
Unseen moored at Portsmouth
Unseen moored at Portsmouth

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ex P51
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Captain Michael Lindsay Coulton (Tubby) Crawford DSC & Bar
Captain Crawford died on 28 June 2017, one day after his 100th birthday. He was the last surviving commander of a submarine in the "Fighting Tenth" submarine flotilla.


30-07-1941 : Laid Down
16-04-1942 : Launched
02-07-1942 : Completed
29-07-1942 : HMS Unseen departed on her first war patrol.

Unfortunately, during training of watch-divers in surfacing and diving the submarine, the petty officer on watch pulled the wrong lever, which resulted in high-pressure air being blown into the Q-tank with both vent and Kingston valve shut, which damaged the tank and the battery, forcing Unseen to go to Sheerness for repairs to the tank before setting off for the Mediterranean.
20-09-1942 : HMS Unseen departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar. Her first lieutenant had had a wisdom tooth removed shortly before departure and began to bleed from the wound. The bleeding could not be stopped and Unseen was forced to divert to Falmouth in order to obtain medical assistance at the local hospital.
20-09-1942 : Captain Crawford awoke and went to the bridge where he saw a shape which the officer of the watch reported to him as an island. Crawford was "not impressed", as he knew there were no islands in the vicinity and sounded the night alarm. With engines stopped, they were able to hear the engines of a destroyer.

Unseen was forced hurriedly to dive to avoid the destroyer, but it was clear she had already been spotted by the enemy. She was attacked with depth charges and began to sink fast. The crew managed to stop her at about 345 feet. The safe diving depth for the submarine was 200 feet according to standing instructions.

The Q-tank was damaged, her navigational lights were blown off, a mass of caulking from the bulkheads was lost and damage was suffered to electrical equipment. Unseen underwent repairs upon her return to Gibraltar.

To celebrate their escape, Crawford ordered a diving helmet to be sewn on to Unseen's Jolly Roger when they returned to Malta the following month.
16-01-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the italian merchant Zenobia Martini north of Gerba Island, Tunisia.
18-01-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the Italian naval auxiliary Sportivo 5 nautical miles bearing 20 of Zuara, Libya.
04-02-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Le Tre Marie about 6 nautical miles south of Punta Alice, Italy.
04-03-1943 : While patrolling off Soussa, Tunisia HMS Unseen destroys the wreck of the German merchant Macedonia and a salvage barge.
24-03-1943 : HMS Unseen fires four torpedoes against the Italian merchant Saluzzo about 30 nautical miles west-south-west of Isola Marettimo, Italy. All torpedoes missed.
18-04-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-2205 north-north-west of Isola di Femmine, Sicily, Italy.
04-07-1943 : While on patrol off Cape Rizzuto, Calabria, Italy, HMS Unseen fires four torpedoes against what is identified as an Italian Regolo-class light cruiser. All torpedoes missed.
27-07-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Rastello 48 nautical miles bearing 338 of Brindisi, Italy.
28-07-1943 : HMS Unseen sinks the Italian sailing vessel Fabiola with gunfire and scuttling charges 3 nautical miles bearing 250 of Saseno Island, Albania.
04-08-1943 : HMS Unseen attacked the Italian light cruiser Luigi Cadorna, but without scoring a hit.
24-08-1943 : An attack by HMS Unseen on the Italian merchantman Hermada, was unsuccessful.
27-08-1943 : HMS Unseen sank the Italian merchant ship Rastello.
28-08-1943 : HMS Unseen sank an Italian auxiliary patrol vessel, V216/Fabiola, off Vlorë, Albania, with a mixture of gunfire and scuttling charges.
21-09-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoed and sank the German mine-layer Brandenburg and the German night fighter direction vessel Kreta.

By firing a full salvo when the two target ships were overlapping, HMS Unseen achieved the remarkable result of sinking both vessels simultaneously, about 7 nautical miles northeast of Isola di Capraia, Italy.
22-10-1943 : HMS Unseen torpedoes and sinks the German barge F 541 off Imperia, Liguria, Italy.


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Unruly (P49)P52