Allied Warships

HNoMS Utsira (P 85)

Submarine of the V class

NavyThe Royal Norwegian Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassV 
PennantP 85 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered21 May 1942 
Laid down21 May 1943 
Launched22 May 1944 
Commissioned24 Aug 1944 
End service 
History

HMS Variance was transferred to the Royal Norwegian Navy upon completion on 24 August 1944. She was renamed Utsira. Utsira was scrapped at Hamburg in 1965.

 
Former nameHMS Variance

Commands listed for HNoMS Utsira (P 85)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Sigurd Valvatne, RNONAug 1944

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Notable events involving Utsira include:


The history of HNoMS Utsira as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked and/or the identity of escort vessels) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada and Mr. Erling Skjold from Norway.

This page was last updated in December 2019.

23 Aug 1944
Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. (1)

24 Aug 1944
Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Holy Loch where she was commissioned following successful acceptance trials. (1)

19 Sep 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow.

Passage north through the Minches was made together with HMS Thrasher (Lt.Cdr. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Truculent (Lt.Cdr. R.L. Alexander, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Trump (Cdr. E.F. Balston, DSO, RN). The submarines were escorted by HMS Shikari (Lt. E.H.U. Cautley, RNVR). (2)

20 Sep 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participate in A/S training. (1)

6 Oct 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. (1)

7 Oct 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Holy Loch. (1)

16 Oct 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) shifted from Holy Loch to Larne. (1)

24 Oct 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) shifted from Larne to Holy Loch. (1)

5 Nov 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea on an anti-uboat patrol.

Passage north through the minches was made together with HMS Taciturn (Lt.Cdr. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Scythian (T/Lt. C.P. Thode, RNZNVR). Escort was provided by HMS Hastings (A/Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN).

For the daily positions of HNoMS Utsira during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

16 Nov 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (3)

20 Nov 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS William Brady (T/A/Ch.Skr. R. Davey, RNR). (3)

22 Nov 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Dundee. (1)

6 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Dundee for Lerwick. She was escorted by HMS River Lossie (T/A/Skr.Lt. W. Sutherland, RNR). (3)

8 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Lerwick.

She departed Lerwick for her 2nd war patrol later the same day. She was ordered to patrol in the Frohavet - Foldenfjord area.

For the daily and attack positions of HNoMS Utsira during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

14 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) attacked but missed a German submarine north-west of Trondheim.

The target was most likely either U-312 or U-737 that had departed Trondheim together at 0030 hours. They were released by their escort at 0634 hours. THe escort was most likely the auxiliary patrol vessel V 5723, which had sailed late on the 13th to escort U-boats. The attack was not noticed by the Germans.

(All times are zone -1)
0556 hours - Radar obtained conctact, true bearing 185°, range 3000 yards. It was also spotted and was thought to be a small patrol vessel or escort. She was seen to have one mast ahead of the funnel. Kept clear of her to avoid being sighted.

0605 hours - Observed that the vessel was buring a dim stern light. Radar range now 2000 yards. The stern light made Lt. Valvatne believe that she was escorting.

0607 hours - The conning tower of a U-boat was sighted behind the escort. Started attack on the U-boat.

0608 hours - In position 64°07'4"N, 09°41'7"E fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. All missed. The enemy continued on their way and the attack was apparently not noticed.

0613 hours - Dived to reload the torpedo tubes.

0617 hours - Heard four end of run explosions within 3 seconds. The explosion sounded more like one explosion and suspected that the enemy would take it as a drifting mine that exploded. Decided to remain in this area to see how things would develop. (3)

16 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) attacked but missed a German submarine north-west of Trondheim. At the time it was thought possible that the U-boat had been hit and sunk.

The target must have been U-739 that had departed Trondheim earlier that day [no time given] although the attack was not noticed by the Germans. The escort was the auxiliary patrol vessel V 5704.

(All times are zone -1)
0415 hours - The starboard lookout sighted a ship and radar reported simultaneously a contact in true bearing 210°. Radar gave a range of 3800 yards. Altered course to 040° and increased speed. Thought to be this an escort and like two days ago expected a U-boat to be in the area.

0416 hours - Altered course to 070° crossing the enemy's track to get the darker horizon.

0425 hours - Plot indicated zig-zag. Contact with one ship only was obtained.

0436 hours - Plot gave the speed of the escort as 13 to 14 knots. Mean course of approximately 020°. Radar range now 2000 yards. Altered course to 310°.

0439 hours - Stopped not to close the track too much.

0440 hours - Sighted the conning tower of a U-boat. Enemy course 020°, speed 13 knots. Started attack.

0442 hours - In position 64°06'7"N, 09°43'1"E fired four torpedoes.

0443 hours - The escort signalled a challenge while we were retiring.

0444 hours - Heard three explosions in rapid succession. A large column of water was also observed. The U-boat could no longer be seen. The escort could still be seen though.

0445 hours - Dived. No HE could be heard. Altered course to retire to the north.

0523 hours - Still no HE could be heard. Surfaced. Continued to retire to the north. Sighted the escort 3000 yards away on true bearing 340°. Watched her for a while.

0530 hours - Dived and altered course to 270°. Went deep to 100 feet.

0540 hours - Asdic reported HE from the escort, revs. 330, true bearing 330°.

0547 hours - The same HE was now reported bearing 120°, 120 revs. Altered course to 310°.

0555 hours - HE fainter, true bearing 160°.

0610 hours - HE faded away, true bearing 150°. Remained deep as there might have been a second U-boat in company and that might have dived waiting for us to surface. (3)

19 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) ended her 2nd war patrol at Lerwick. (3)

20 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for Dundee. (1)

21 Dec 1944
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Dundee. (1)

4 Jan 1945
HrMs Dolfijn (Lt.Cdr. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) and HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Dundee for Lerwick. They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. W.E. Turner, RNVR). (4)

5 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Lerwick. (1)

6 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Frohavet - Foldenfjord area.

For the daily and attack positions of HNoMS Utsira during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

11 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) claims to have sunk a German U-boat to the north-west of Trondheim in position 64°04'N, 09°45'E.

The target was the German submarine U-739 that had left Trondheim that day at 1600 hours for patrol. The U-boat was escorted by the auxiliary patrol vessel V 6409 which reported hearing two explosions at 2303 and two explosions at 2340 hours. The U-boat was in fact not hit nor damaged.

(All times are zone -1)
2308 hours - Radar reported a contact true bearing 150°, range 4000 yards. Asdic reported HE and transmissions on the same bearing.

2310 hours - Altered course to 340°. Asdic reported 140 revs.

2313 hours - Started radar plotting. The enemy was approaching on a northerly course west of Vaagsoen.

2320 hours - The plot had now given an enemy course of 360°, speed 11.5 knots. Turned towards to attack. While doing so the target was seen to be an A/S trawler and also a U-boat was seen behind her.

2324 hours - The enemy seemed to keep a steady course. Kept on closing. Radar range to the escort now 1400 yards. Stopped and listened for HE. HE of the escort was reported at 140 revs. and diesel HE was picked up in the direction of the U-boat but no revs. could be given.

2325 hours - Altered to a firing course of 080°.

2326 hours - In position 64°04'N, 09°45'E fired four torpedoes from 800 yards at the U-boat. Turned away on firing.

2327 hours - Two torpedo hits were observed. Dived.

2331 hours - Asdic reported the HE of the escort slowing down to 100 revs., true bearing 010°. No HE from the U-boat could be obtained.

2334 hours - Two explosions were heard in quick succession. These were the two remaining torpedoes hitting the shore.

2340 hours - Heard breaking up noises throughout the boat. These sounded like a series of small explosions. HE of the escort was reported 330°. She was transmitting on A/S and proceeding at slow speed.

2352 hours - HE from the escort now reported 150°.

2356 hours - Went to periscope depth to see if searchlights were being used.

2359 hours - The escort was reported to have stopped.

0009/12 hours - Transmissions reported 005°.

0014/12 hours - A series of small sharp explosions were heard on the Asdic and throughout the boat. These were thought to be the U-boats tanks being crushed at great depth.

0016/12 hours - HE from the escort and transmitting now reported bearing 360° true.

0022/12 hours - HE from the escort became stronger, now bearing 010° true.

0027/12 hours - HE now 360°, escort was still transmitting.

0042/12 hours - HE increased again, bearing now 155° true. Escort was still transmitting.

0043/12 hours - HE true bearing now 120°.

0044/12 hours - HE true bearing now 110°. Escort was still transmitting.

0046/12 hours - The escort stopped but was still transmitting on A/S.

0054/12 hours - HE picked up again, true bearing 115°. It eventually faded.

0123/12 hours - Surfaced. Nothing in sight. Altered course to the northward to clear the area. (3)

11 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) (3)

16 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) torpedoed and sank the German patrol vessel V 6408 /Skagerak (536 GRT, built 1942) north of Halmøya island, Norway in position 64°36'N, 10°40'E. She was on her way back to Trondheim having escorted U-311 outwards until midnight.

(All times are zone -1)
0128 hours - Sighted signalling in true bearing 220°. Radar contact obtained on the same bearing, range 6000 yards.

0131 hours - Started radar plotting. True bearing now 172°, range 3800 yards. The contact could not be sighted from the bridge.

0143 hours - The vessel could now be seen from the bridge. A second vessel was now detected by radar to be near the Original contact. Plot gave an enemy course of 040°, speed 12 knots.

0155 hours - Plot gave still the same course and speed. Lt. Valvatne had watched the contact closely for a period. It was thought to be a 2000 tons merchant vessel, heavily laden. No other vessel could be seen in company though.

0158 hours - Altered course to 100° to attack.

0200 hours - In position 64°36'N, 10°40'E commenced firing four torpedoes from 1200 yards. Turned away to starboard on completion of firing the torpedo salvo.

0201 hours - 57 seconds after firing the first torpedo a torpedo hit was seen under the bridge of the enemy and the ship blew up with a series of prolonged explosions. Smoke covered the view. Above the smoke approximately 200 feet into the air pieces of the bridge and burning wreckage and sparks were seen flung up. 30 seconds later the smoke cleared and the vessels bow was seen vertical in the water and was sinking. This was the only thing seen. It was considered that part of the cargo must have been ammunition. (3)

19 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) ended her 3rd war patrol at Lerwick. (3)

22 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS Loch Blair (T/Skr. B.J. Henery, RNR) (3)

24 Jan 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt. S. Valvatne) arrived at Dundee. (1)

13 Mar 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) is docked at Dundee. (1)

24 Mar 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) departed Dundee for Lerwick. She was escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. W.E. Turner, RNVR). (2)

25 Mar 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) arrived at Lerwick. (1)

29 Mar 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Frohavet - Foldenfjord area.

For the daily and attack positions of HNoMS Utsira during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

5 Apr 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) torpedoed and sank the Norwegian merchant Torridal (1381 GRT, built 1930, offsite link) off the Follafjord, Norway in position 64°34'N, 10°38'E.

Also in this convoy were the damaged German transport Adolf Binder (3515 GRT, built 1942) that was being towed by the tug Danzig (67 GRT, built 1915). Escort was provided by the auxiliary patrol vessels V 6301, V 6303, V 6312, V 6403 and V 6409. It seems likely that the were more merchant vessels and escorts present in this convoy or at least in the area. So far we were unable to indentify these.

(All times are zone -2)
1554 hours - Asdic reported HE from several vessels and A/S transmissions on true bearing 070°. The masts heads and funnels of several A/S vessels were sighted. Heavy smoke was seen behind these at times.

1607 hours - Mastheads of several merchant vessels and their escorts were now sighted. True bearing still 070°. Altered course to 230° to get into a favourable attack position. The leading merchant vessel was seen to be the largest one and was therefore elected as the target.

1625 hours - Altered course to 260°. Fou merchant vessels could be seen and at least ten escorts were counted. The convoy was coming out of the Foldenfjord and heading towards our position on a course of 250°. This made it difficult to examine the vessels. Anticipated that the enemy would change course to the south later.

1645 hours - The convoy changed course to 230°. Altered to a parallel course. Estimated to be just outside the screen. Intended to turn in to attack when the starboard wing escort had passed. Many of the escorts were heard transmitting.

1701 hours - The plot suggested the enemy course to be 225° at a speed of 7 knots. The nearest escort was now passing 500 yards away. The target was now approximately 6000 yards away.

1705 hours - Altered course to 170° to close the target which was estimated of being about 5000 tons. Astern of her followed a merchant vessel of about 3000 tons and then two of about 2000 tons. All vessels were laden. The target did not appear to be fully laden.

1715 hours - Altered to a firing course of 140°. Plot still gave the enemy course as 225°, speed 7 knots.

1719 hours - The 3000 tons merchant vessel seemed to be overtaking the target slowly. One escort vessel close to the target covered her stern. Commenced firing four torpedoes from 1300 yards in position 64°34'N, 10°38'E. During firing Utsira had come up to 7 feet and must have been visible for a while. Went deep and turned away.

1720 hours - Three explosions were heard. It was thought two hits had been obtained on the target and that the last torpedo might have hit the overlapping vessel.

1723 hours - Passed 60 feet and on our way to 250 feet.

1724 hours - Two depth charges exploded very close.

1726 hours - One depth charge exploded.

1727 hours - Two depth charges exploded.

1728 hours - Two depth charges exploded.

1729 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 350°. Very close. Transmissions were clearly heard.

1734 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 050°. Very close. Very strong transmissions were heard.

1739 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 130°. Close, drawing aft. Transmissions were heard.

1744 hours - Two depth charges exploded but not too close.

1749 hours - One depth charge exploded but even futher away.

1759 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 140°. Transmissions heard.

1804 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 005°. Transmissions heard.

1819 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 095°, drawing aft. This HE was heard to stop now and then.

1824 hours - Heard two distant explosions.

1827 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 104°. Transmissions heard. Reported to increase speed and drawing ahead.

1829 hours - Asdic reported very strong HE very close, true bearing 340°. Transmissions were heard.

1834 hours - Seven depth charges exploded very close. HE was reported to have stopped. One depth charge was believed to have been set very shallow. Fragments were heard to drop on the pressure hull.

1835 hours - Eight depth charges were dropped a little further away.

1844 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 140°. Drawing aft.

1915 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 133°.

2005 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 030°. Transmissions heard.

2012 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted four A/S vessels searching 4000 to 5000 yards away. Nothing was seen in the direction of the attack.

2020 hours - Asdic reported HE of an escort vessel bearing 040°.

2035 hours - Went to 250 feet.

2040 hours Asdic reported HE of two escort vessels true bearing 100°. They were heard searching southwards.

2205 hours - All HE and transmissions had faded away.

2325 hours - Surfaced to charge. Set course to 270°. (3)

16 Apr 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) ended her 4th war patrol at Lerwick. (3)

27 Apr 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) departed Lerwick for Dundee. (1)

28 Apr 1945
HNoMS Utsira (Lt.Cdr. S. Valvatne) arrived at Dundee. (1)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/2573
  2. ADM 199/1385
  3. ADM 199/1852
  4. ADM 199/1855

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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