Two Submarines were ‘lost with all hands’ in October 1943. The first Submarine lost was: Submarine P56 HMS USURPER.

HMS Usurper. Image courtesy of RN Subs

 On 24th September 1943 HMS USURPER left Algiers for a patrol off La Spezia, Italy. On 3rd October Lieutenant Mott was ordered to move north to an area in the Gulf of Genoa in an area later identified as containing Italian Minefield QB192.

HMS USURPER was patrolling in the Gulf of Genoa when the German anti-submarine vessel UJ-2208 reported that she had been unsuccessfully attacked.

In the counterattack which followed UJ-2208 reported sinking a Submarine. It is possible that HMS USURPER was sunk in this attack but, she might also have been lost in a minefield. HMS USURPER did not respond to any signals and failed to arrive back at Algiers on 12th October 1942 and was reported ‘lost with all hands’.

The second Submarine lost was HMS TROOPER which sailed from the Base at Beirut on 28th September 1943 for a patrol off the west of the Dodocanese Islands.

The Submarine failed to arrive back as expected on 17th October and was assumed to have been sunk by a mine on 10th October 1943. There were no survivors.

The original article was released in the January 2024 issue of the Submariner Association newsetter In Depth (issue 83). Editor Barrie Downer.