Story of Timoshenko
As told by one of our members, Vic Preece, the only known surviving member of the crew Of HM S/M Unruffled first commission 1942-1946
In July 1942, Unruffled was on her way to join the 10th Flotilla in Malta. She called in at Gibraltar during her work-up trails. The PO.Tel was walking through the dockyard where he was accosted by a WREN, who produced a tiny bundle of fluff [a kitten] and requested a home for it. Being a kind hearted Sparker, he took it back on board, where the crew accepted it as a good luck charm, they firmly believed that Timoshenko had been an “outside wrecker” in a previous life as he made his Diving station and attack teams station under the control panel. He always used his litter box in the PO’s mess, part of his part 3 [boat training]. Timoshenko did 29 war patrols with the boat, from Malta. Such was the crews conviction, that he was their lucky mascot, at one point, because he was missing; departure for a patrol was delayed for 24 hours on the orders of Capt S/Ms. Timmo must have fathered many a cat in Malta as just like any other red bloodied submariner his needs were great on return from patrol. On the return trip to UK for refit, he got off at his homeport of Gibraltar never to return to the boat. [He probably found it nice that the lady cats spoke his native language and decided to settle down, after living through all those times when his world went bang and oxygen got short.] Or it could have been that the boat sailed at 1300, the time he was usually ashore.
More of Timoshenko’s adventures can be read in the book by John Winton called The Submariners LIFE IN BRITISH SUBMARINES 1901-1999.