HMS Untamed (P58)

HMS Untamed (P58)

HMS "Untamed" (P58) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name "Untamed". She sank during an exercise, was subsequently salvaged and renamed HMS "Vitality", another unique name.


On 30 May 1943, HMS "Untamed" was exercising with ships of the 8th Escort Group off Campbeltown. At 0950 that morning "Untamed" dived and commenced the first run of the day. After three hours the submarine surfaced and prepared for the next run. Just after 1345 the submarine once again dived and the second exercise of the day began. This exercise involved the anti-submarine training yacht "Shemara" firing practice mortars against the submarine. The first two runs were successful with "Untamed" indicating her position after each with a white smoke candle. At 1450 following the third run the submarine did not immediately indicate her position, the "Shemara" fired an "INDICATE POSITION" charge, came to a stop and began tapping on the hull. The efforts of the "Shemara" were greeted by a yellow smoke candle. "Shemara" moved to a position by the marker and once again began tapping the hull. At this point a swirl of water was seen near the marker. "Shemara" called a halt to the exercise and signalled the submarine to surface: there was no reply. A second surface signal was sent, again without result. At 1602 "Shemara" sent a signal for assistance to the Naval Officer in Command and continued to search for the submarine. At 1716 the sound of the submarine blowing her tanks was heard. Using asdic, the "Shemara" located the submarine. For the next ten minutes the sound of the submarine blowing her tanks and stopping and starting her engines could be heard. At 1733 HMS "Thrasher" arrived to render assistance and tried to contact the "Untamed". At 1745 all sound from the submarine ceased. Because of worsening weather conditions, divers were not able to inspect the stricken submarine until 1115 on 1 June - 45 hours after she had dived. There was no reply to the divers tapping on the hull of the submarine and an inspection of the vessel's hull showed no obvious damage. Only when the "Untamed" had been salvaged did the cause of her loss become clear; the forward part of the submarine had been flooded through a sluice valve. The entire crew was lost with the ship.

"Untamed" was salvaged on the 5 July 1943, refitted and named "Vitality", returning to service in July 1944. As "Vitality", she had an uneventful but short career and was sold to be broken up for scrap on 13 February 1946. She was broken up at Troon.


*cite web | url= | title= HMS "Untamed" (P 58) | work=
*cite web | url= | title= Universal to Untamed | work= British submarines of World War II
*cite web | url= | title= Submarine losses 1904 to the present day | work= RN Submarine museum
*Submarines, War Beneath The Waves, From 1776 To The Present Day, by Robert Hutchinson

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