Join the Ship Stamp Society and get 6 issues of LogBook for just £12!

The Ship Stamp Society website has has a facelift. Click HERE to take a look at our new improved website where you can view past Editions of LogBook and subscribe to get full access to future editions for just £12 per year!


Ship Stamp Society

Upholder HMS (Submarine)

The full index of our ship stamp archive

Upholder HMS (Submarine)

Postby john sefton » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:54 pm

Click image to view full size
Click image to view full size
HMS Upholder (P37) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 30 October 1939, launched on 8 July 1940 by Mrs. Doris Thompson, wife of a director of the builders. The submarine was commissioned on 31 October 1940. She was one of four U-class submarines which had two external torpedo tubes at the bows in addition to the 4 internal ones fitted to all boats. They were excluded from the other boats because they interfered with depth-keeping at periscope depth.
She was commanded for her entire career by lieutenant-commander Malcolm David Wanklyn, and became the most successful British submarine of the Second World War. After a working up period, she left for Malta on 10 December 1940 and was attached to the 10th Submarine Flotilla based there. She completed 24 patrols, sinking around 120,000 tons of enemy shipping including the destroyer Libeccio after the Battle of the Duisburg Convoy, a cruiser, three U-boats (among which the Italian submarine Saint Bon), three troop transports, ten cargo ships, two tankers and a trawler. Wanklyn was awarded the Victoria Cross for a patrol in her in 1941 when he attacked a particularly well defended convoy and sank the 18,000 ton Italian liner SS Conte Rosso. She also damaged the Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Upholder was lost with all hands on her 25th patrol, which was to have been her last before she returned to England. She left for patrol on 6 April 1942 and became overdue on 14 April. On 12 April she was ordered, with HMS Urge and HMS Thrasher to form a patrol line to intercept a convoy, although it is not known whether she received the signal.
The most likely explanation for her loss is that after being spotted by a reconnaissance seaplane, she fell victim to depth charges dropped by the Italian Orsa class torpedo boat Pegaso northeast of Tripoli on 14 April 1942 in the position 34°47′N 15°55′E / 34.783°N 15.917°E / 34.783; 15.917, although no debris was seen on the surface. The attack was 100 miles northeast from Wanklyn's patrol area and he may have changed position to find more targets. It is also possible that the submarine was sunk by a mine on 11 April 1942 near Tripoli, when a submarine was reported close to a minefield. A third and less-likely theory came from an alleged air and surface attack on a submarine contact by German aircraft and the escort of a convoy on 14 April off Misurata, but no official axis record of this action was found after the end of World War II.

A more recent research carried out by Italian naval specialist Francesco Mattesini points out to a German aerial patrol supporting the same convoy, composed of two Do-17 and two Bf-110, which attacked an underwater contact with bombs two hours before the Pegaso incident. The author also asserts that the seaplane crew was unsure if the target they pintpointed to Pegaso was a submarine or a flock of dolphins. Mattesi, however, admits the possibility that Pegaso could have finished off the submarine previously damaged by the German aircraft.


Surfaced - 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load

Submerged - 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 feet)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)

2 shaft diesel-electric
2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors
615 / 825 hp

11.25 knots max surfaced

10 knots max submerged
Complement: 27-31
Armament: 4 bow internal 21 inch torpedo tubes, 2 external
10 torpedoes
1 - 3 inch gun


Zambia SG864ms
john sefton
Posts: 1786
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Upholder HMS (Submarine)

Postby aukepalmhof » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:39 pm

2020 UPHOLDER Ships-and-Vessels-Sunk-by-Submarine (2).jpg
Click image to view full size
Maldives 2020 MVR 60 sgMS?, scott?
Posts: 6556
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Return to Ship Stamps Collection

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 51 guests