Italian submarines in World War Two


Argento (AG)
Argento

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassPlatino 2 (25) 
Laid down 30 Apr 1941 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched22 Feb 1942
Commissioned16 May 1942
End service
Stricken
Loss date3 Aug 1943
Loss position36° 52'N, 12° 03'E
History
Fate Scuttled on 3rd August 1943 just north-east of Pantellaria in position 36°52.2'N, 12°03'E after being forced to surface by depth charges and then being damaged by gunfire from the destroyer USS Buck.

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
C.C. Giuseppe Vocaturo16 May 194231 Jul 1942
T.V. Giovanni Tarabini Castellani12 Aug 19425 Dec 1942
T.V. Renato Frascolla25 Nov 194211 Apr 1943
T.V. Leo Masina11 Apr 19433 Aug 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
13 Apr 19420845Taranto13 Apr 19421225TarantoExercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.30.

5 May 19421138Taranto5 May 19421726TarantoExercises.

7 May 19420714Taranto7 May 19421607TarantoExercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.13.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe5 Jul 19420710Taranto5 Jul 19421628TarantoExercises.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe7 Jul 19421200Taranto7 Jul 19421818TarantoExercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni15 Aug 19421400Taranto15 Aug 19421630Taranto11Trials.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni16 Aug 19420715Taranto16 Aug 19422025Taranto64Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni20 Aug 19421227Taranto20 Aug 19421920Taranto55Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni21 Aug 19421400Taranto24 Aug 19420030Naples530Passage Taranto-Naples.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni26 Aug 19421320Naples26 Aug 19422145Naples28Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni5 Sep 19421415Naples5 Sep 19421930Naples31Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni9 Sep 19421435Naples9 Sep 19421950Naples35Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni10 Sep 19420940Naples10 Sep 19421822Naples41Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni11 Sep 19420806Naples11 Sep 19421655Naples56Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni12 Sep 19421430Naples12 Sep 19422305Naples50Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni14 Sep 19421430Naples15 Sep 19421920Naples167Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni17 Sep 19420815Naples17 Sep 19421933Naples77Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni18 Sep 19421845Naples18 Sep 19422140NaplesExercises with the torpedo boat Cosenz.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni19 Sep 19421640Naples19 Sep 19421856Naples14,5Trials.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni20 Sep 19421435Naples21 Sep 19421350Cagliari297,5Passage Naples-Cagliari.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni24 Sep 19421355Cagliari24 Sep 19421927Cagliari23Exercises.

1Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni25 Sep 19422000Cagliari13 Oct 19421230Cagliari1508Sailed for a patrol off the Algerian coast through 37°08'N, 02°40'E to an area between 37°30'N and 38°00'N, and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E.
  26 Sep 1942074038° 16'N, 7° 16'EAt 0740 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  26 Sep 1942115538° 12'N, 7° 06'EAt 1155 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 9,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  9 Oct 1942213537° 36'N, 2° 07'EAt 2135 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 200°. It was believed to be Nichelio. Argento turned away.
  10 Oct 1942231537° 37'N, 2° 06'EAt 2315 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 300°. Argento turned away.
  12 Oct 19421335At 1335 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni24 Oct 19420817Cagliari24 Oct 19421220Cagliari22Exercises.

2Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni7 Nov 19420303Cagliari19 Nov 19421218Cagliari1412Sailed for patrol between 37°00'N and Algerian coast, and between 07°00'E and 07°30'E. On the evening of 8th November, her area was changed to between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 05°40'E and 06°00'E.
  8 Nov 19420431At 0431 hours, an aircraft was sighted passing closely ahead and dropped a flare. The submarine dived.
  8 Nov 19420930At 0930 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  8 Nov 19421150At 1150 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was seen at a distance of 9,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  14 Nov 1942043236° 59'N, 7° 06'EAt 0432 hours, a vessel was sighted. Argento maneuvered to gain an attack position. At 0439 hours, this was achieved, but then a second ship was sighted and both were later recognised as small patrol vessels. The attack was aborted.
  16 Nov 1942035537° 43'N, 5° 07'EAt 0355 hours, a shadow was sighted and initially taken for a submarine. It turned out to be a patrol vessel and Argento turned away.
  16 Nov 1942051036° 46'N, 5° 09'EAt 0510 hours, two motorboats were sighted cruising at slow speed. The submarine turned away.
  16 Nov 1942053036° 46'N, 5° 10'EAt 0530 hours, a small patrol vessel was sighted and Argento turned away.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni27 Nov 19421400Cagliari27 Nov 19421650Cagliari15Trials and exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni30 Nov 19421340Cagliari30 Nov 19421723Cagliari18Trials and exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni2 Dec 19420806Cagliari2 Dec 19421210Cagliari8,2Exercises.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni3 Dec 19420830Cagliari3 Dec 19421525Cagliari42Exercises.

Frascolla, Renato7 Dec 19420817Cagliari7 Dec 19421215Cagliari23Exercises.

3Frascolla, Renato10 Dec 19421725Cagliari23 Dec 19420915Cagliari1592,5Sailed with the submarine Corallo for a patrol between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 08°20'E and 08°40'E. Ordered to carry out a reconnaissance of Bougie on the night of 12/13th December.
  12 Dec 19420110-023537° 41'N, 7° 24'EAt 0110 hours, the light from a vessel was sighted. The submarine dived to listen with the hydrophones. It appeared to be a small vessel.

At 0125 hours, the submarine surfaced and moved away with the stern tubes loaded and ready for action if necessary.

At 0200 hours, the shadow was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres and was later recognised to be a submarine chaser or corvette. Argento turned away on the surface.
  13 Dec 1942004536° 55'N, 5° 30'EAt 0045 hours, three corvettes following a small patrol vessel were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Argento turned away.
  14 Dec 1942212537° 54'N, 8° 14'EAt 2125 hours, a submarine, believed to be Mocenigo, was sighted on a northerly course. Argento turned away.
  15 Dec 1942051538° 00'N, 8° 37'EAt 0515 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance. Argento turned away.
  15 Dec 1942203537° 46'N, 8° 37'EAt 2035 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance, steering 080°. Argento turned away.
  15 Dec 1942220037° 51'N, 8° 32'EAt 2200 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted at 1,500 metres. Argento turned away.
  21 Dec 1942003038° 07'N, 8° 25'EAt 0030 hours, a submarine was sighted diving at a distance of 1,500 metres. Argento returned to her patrol area.
  21 Dec 1942203537° 44'N, 8° 21'EAt 2035 hours, a submarine was sighted. Argento turned away.
  22 Dec 19422155-221538° 01'N, 8° 48'EAt 2155 hours, a submarine was sighted proceeding on a northerly course at high speed. It made garbled signals, one of them ending with "LLO". It was initially believed to be Corallo. Argento closed to 2,000 meters, but then realised it could not be Corallo as the distance from her patrol zone would have been too great. Argento kept her bow on the submarine, which finally submerged and, at 2350 hours, Argento resumed her northerly course.

This was P 247 (Lieutenant M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) (later named HMS Saracen). She had sighted the Italian submarine making quite a bit of smoke, steering 270° at 8 knots. She apparently sighted Argento again nearly two hours later.

Frascolla, Renato31 Dec 19420809Cagliari31 Dec 19421230Cagliari35Exercises.

4Frascolla, Renato4 Jan 19430415Cagliari6 Jan 19432235Cagliari322Sailed for a patrol off Bizerta, between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 09°20'E and 09°40'E, then ordered to a position 80 miles to the northwest. Her starboard diesel broke down and the patrol was aborted.

Frascolla, Renato19 Jan 19430820Cagliari19 Jan 19431300Cagliari32Trials and exercises.

5Frascolla, Renato20 Jan 19432330Cagliari31 Jan 19431149Cagliari?Sailed with the submarine Wolframio for a patrol east of Bougie, between 37°20'N and 38°00'N, and between 06°00'E and 06°20'E. On 24th January, she was ordered to reconnoitre Bougie and her patrol area was changed to between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, and between 05°20'E and 05°40'E.
  21 Jan 19430240
(0) About 20 miles SW of Cagliari.
The submarine Wolframio was sighted. She was returning from patrol.
  21 Jan 1943221838° 07'N, 6° 38'EAt 2218 hours, an aircraft, identified as a Vickers Wellington bomber, was sighted and it attacked from the moonlight. It violently strafed the submarine, passing astern of her and also firing with her rear guns as Argento replied with her machine-guns. The aircraft made two other strafing runs passing astern at 400-500 metres. It appeared to have been hit and flew away.

At 2235 hours, the submarine took the opportunity to submerge.

It is possible that this was Wellington 'U' of was 179 Squadron (see attack of 0400 hours on 22nd January).
  22 Jan 19430400-043537° 58'N, 6° 51'EAt 0400 hours, an aircraft was seen attacking from the moonlight at an altitude of 600 metres. It flew over the submarine at less than 100 metres away and was met by antiaircraft fire. The aircraft dropped four bombs, three narrowly missed to starboard and one fell on the port side of the submarine. It was then seen to be climbing to 800 metres before suddenly crashing in the sea. T.V. Renato Frascolla announced the success by the interphone to the crew members below and ordered cheers for the King and the Duce.

At 0404 hours, Argento dived.

The aircraft was most probably Wellington 'U' (HX.690) of 179 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer T.H. Gordon-Glassford. It failed to return to base and it is very likely this was the bomber shot down by Argento.

At 0415 hours, four depth charges were heard and two more at 0435 hours.
  24 Jan 1943211537° 25'N, 5° 41'EAt 2115 hours, a submarine was sighted steering between 270° and 300°. Argento turned away.
  26 Jan 1943111437° 20'N, 5° 38'EAt 1114 hours, a convoy was sighted at a range of 8-10,000 metres. It passed out of range.
  27 Jan 1943051037° 21'N, 4° 22'EAt 0510 hours, a Wellington bomber was sighted. The submarine immediately dived. A large flame had just been sighted in the distance.
  29 Jan 1943034637° 28'N, 5° 26'EAt 0346 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 190°. Argento turned away.
  29 Jan 1943110337° 20'N, 5° 37'EAt 1103 hours, a large destroyer of the TRIBAL class was sighted proceeding at 20-25 knots, which appeared intent on ramming the submarine. Argento dived to 85 meters but was not attacked.
  29 Jan 1943184237° 18'N, 5° 34'EAt 1825 hours, a vessel using ASDIC was detected with the hydrophones and noise from a turbine with weak intensity.

At 1842 hours, four depth charges exploded, followed by six more patterns of four to six depth-charges but they caused no apparent damage.

Frascolla, Renato1 Feb 19431304Cagliari2 Feb 19430945La Maddalena224Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

Frascolla, Renato9 Feb 19431058La Maddalena10 Feb 19430849Cagliari224Passage La Maddalena-Cagliari.

Frascolla, Renato15 Feb 19430826Cagliari15 Feb 19431207Cagliari31Exercises.

6Frascolla, Renato16 Feb 19432303Cagliari22 Feb 19430120Cagliari721She was sailed for a patrol between 37°40'N and the Algerian coast, and between 06°00'E and 06°20'E, off Philippeville (Skikda).
  18 Feb 1943034237° 36'N, 6° 36'EAt 0342 hours, an enemy twin-engine bomber was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres. Argento dived 2 minutes later.
  18 Feb 1943110437° 31'N, 6° 14'EAt 1104 hours, two corvettes were sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. Argento did not attack hoping they may be preceding a convoy but nothing else was sighted.
  21 Feb 1943170538° 46'N, 7° 40'EAt 1705 hours, a German Heinkel 111 bomber was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.

Frascolla, Renato26 Feb 19430821Cagliari26 Feb 19431305Cagliari22Exercises.

Frascolla, Renato28 Feb 19432115Cagliari1 Mar 19430752Cagliari31Exercises.
  1 Mar 19431317
1212.5 (e)

(0) 105° - Cavoli Island - 5 miles.
At 1317 hours, Argento sighted three torpedo tracks 40 metres on the starboard bow. The submarine turned hard to starboard.

This was an attack by the Dutch submarine Dolfijn (Lieutenant Commander H.M.L.F.E. van Oostrom Soede). At 1300 hours, she had sighted the submarine, described as GEMMA or SIRENA class, on course 070° then 110° and fired four torpedoes at 1312.5 hours, from a distance of 3,500 yards. All missed ahead.

The auxiliary Idria hunted the Dutch submarine with 50-kg depth charges set at 50 and 100 metres and believed the submarine damaged or sunk at 1620 hours, in position 022° - Cavoli Island - 11 miles. Dolfijn only heard distant explosions.

Frascolla, Renato1 Mar 19431040Cagliari2 Mar 19430922La Maddalena250Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena via (1) Point B Cagliari (2) 39°20'N, 10°20'E (3) 41°00'N, 10°20'E (4) Point A; 40°55'N, 09°30'E. She was followed by Argo.
  1 Mar 19431317
1212.5 (e)

(0) 105° - Cavoli Island - 5 miles.
At 1317 hours, Argento sighted three torpedo tracks 40 metres on the starboard bow. The submarine turned hard to starboard.

This was an attack by the Dutch submarine Dolfijn (Lieutenant Commander H.M.L.F.E. van Oostrom Soede). At 1300 hours, she had sighted the submarine, described as GEMMA or SIRENA class, on course 070° then 110° and fired four torpedoes at 1312.5 hours, from a distance of 3,500 yards. All missed ahead.

The auxiliary Idria hunted the Dutch submarine with 50-kg depth charges set at 50 and 100 metres and believed the submarine damaged or sunk at 1620 hours, in position 022° - Cavoli Island - 11 miles. Dolfijn only heard distant explosions.

Frascolla, Renato12 Mar 19431155La Maddalena13 Mar 19430800Naples250Passage La Maddalena-Naples.

Frascolla, Renato5 Apr 19430915Naples5 Apr 19431130Pozzuoli16Passage Naples-Pozzuoli.

Frascolla, Renato9 Apr 19430830Pozzuoli9 Apr 19431312Pozzuoli34Exercises.

Frascolla, Renato10 Apr 19430820Pozzuoli10 Apr 19431155Pozzuoli20,5Exercises.

7Masina, Leo11 Apr 19432325Pozzuoli17 Apr 19430820Cagliari834Patrolled in the western Mediterranean, between 39°10'N and 39°30'N, and between 07°40'E and 08°00'E.
  12 Apr 1943083040° 13'N, 12° 30'EAt 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  12 Apr 1943124039° 52'N, 11° 44'EAt 1240 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Masina, Leo30 Apr 19430820Cagliari30 Apr 19431145Cagliari28Exercises.

Masina, Leo16 May 19431919Cagliari18 May 19431615La MaddalenaPassage Cagliari-La Maddalena on only one engine (via Point C and course west as far as 07°40'E, then North as far as 41°00'N and then Punta Dello Scorno).
  17 May 19432225
2131 (e)
40° 23'N, 7° 48'EAt 2225 hours, under a full moon and with excellent visibility, a twin-engine bomber was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. At first it was thought to be Italian, but ten minutes later it came back and flew over the submarine at a height of 400 metres. It turned back again and this time strafed the submarine and dropped two bombs, which fell 100 metres astern. A second run was made and three bombs were dropped, missing the stern by about 30 meters on the starboard side. The submarine replied with her twin machine-guns and claimed to have certainly scored hits.

This was Hudson 'P' of 608 Squadron. It had detected the submarine by radar and attacked from 900 feet with three 100 lbs bombs on the first run and three 250 lbs depth charges on the second run, but results were not seen. The bombs exploded in a cluster 20-25 yards dead astern of the U-boat. The submarine altered course to port and opened fire with flak. The aircraft then attacked from port bow, releasing a stick of 3 depth charges from approximately 80 feet. These exploded within 15 feet on starboard quarter. Nothing further seen due to darkness.

Argento did not suffer any damage and dived after the second run.

Masina, Leo4 Jun 19432050La Maddalena5 Jun 19430755PortoferraioPassage La Maddalena-Portoferraio.

8Masina, Leo17 Jun 19432230Portoferraio2 Jul 19431020La Maddalena?Sailed for a patrol between 37°40'N and the North African coast, and between 08°14'E and 08°54'E. On 22nd June, this was changed to an area between 38°00'N and 38°40'N, and between 06°20'E and 07°00'E. During the night of 30th June, this was changed again to an area between 37°08'N and 37°20'N, and between 06°20'E and 07°15'E.
  19 Jun 1943094538° 20'N, 9° 50'EAt 0945 hours, a four-engine aircraft was seen flying low and the submarine dived.
  20 Jun 19430148
0215 (e)
37° 24'N, 8° 30'EAt 0148 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

This was probably Hudson 'W' (FK706) of /608 (FK706) piloted by Flying Officer F. Handsfordé. It gained a radar contact at 0215 hours and sighted what was probably a U-boat. No attack was possible.
  30 Jun 1943040537° 28'N, 6° 41'EAt 0405 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

9Masina, Leo10 Jul 19430215La Maddalena12 Jul 19430705La MaddalenaSailed with the submarine Acciaio for zone 102 [between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 08°20'E and 08°40'E] (south of Sardinia). She had to turn back due to damaged accumulators.

10Masina, Leo21 Jul 19432100La Maddalena3 Aug 19430030 or 0015BSunkSailed for a patrol off Catania. Sunk in 36°52.2'N, 12°03'E or off Pantelleria, by the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420). Four killed, forty-five survivors were recovered [Buck was herself sunk by the German submarine U-616 a few weeks later].
  23 Jul 19431525
1506 (e)
38° 37'N, 15° 44'E
(0) 090° - Cape Vaticano - 3 miles (Argento).
The following incident is not well documented as Argento was lost during this patrol.

At 1525 hours, she reported missed by three torpedoes astern.

The attack was actually carried out by HMS Unrivalled (P 45, Lieutenant H.B. Turner, DSC, RN). At 1459 hours, she sighted what she took for a German submarine escorted by an Italian motor launch, at a range of 4-5,000 yards. At 1506 hours, she fired four torpedoes at 9-second firing intervals from a distance of 4,000 yards. They apparently missed astern.
  2 Aug 1943
2245B-0028.5/3 (e)
36° 52'N, 12° 03'EAt 2245B hours on 2nd August, the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) (Lt. Cdr George S. Lambert, USN) detected a submarine by radar at 5,500 yards. With the destroyer USS Nicholson (DD-442), she had been escorting a convoy of six Liberty ships from Licata to Oran: Washington (7,775 GRT, built 1941), Howell Cobb? (7,176 GRT, built 1943), Robert? Morris (7,176 GRT, built 1942), Charles? Piez (7,191 GRT, built 1943), Alexander Graham? Bell (7,176 GRT, built 1942) and Daniel Webster (7,176 GRT, built 1943).

At 2255B hours, the destroyer increased speed to 15 knots and ten minutes later obtained a sonar contact at 700 yards.

At 2301B hours, Buck dropped a first pattern of 5 depth charges set at 150 feet.

At 2311B hours, a second pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 200 feet. Sound contact was lost and regained several times.

At 0026B hours on 3rd August, a third pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 300 feet. According to the submarine survivors, the first two patterns had been ineffective, but the third was devastating.

At 0028B hours, the submarine broke surface astern of the destroyer at a range of 1,200 yards.

At 0028.5B hours, no. 3 5" inch gun opened fired, joined by the starboard 40mm and the after 20mm guns.

At 0029B hours, as the destroyer was turning to starboard she was missed by a torpedo fired by Argento. It passed fairly close to starboard. A minute later, the forward 5" guns and two 20mm forward guns had been brought to bear and were now also firing.

At 0030.5B hours, a second torpedo was fired by the submarine and also missed. Argento's crew began to abandon ship.

At 0031B, Buck attempted to ram the submarine but missed astern by 50 feet.

At 0037B hours, the destroyer stopped firing as Argento appeared disabled and with a 45° list to starboard. She had fired a total of 110 rounds of 5" ammunition, 338 of 40 mm and 707 of 20 mm.

At 0100B hours, as the submarine sank, Buck lowered a motor whaler and, after three trips, forty-six survivors were picked up (one later died), including T.V. Leo Masina. In all, four ratings perished.

On 9th October 1943, USS Buck was herself torpedoed and sunk by U-616 (OL Siegfried Koitschka).

84 entries. 52 total patrol entries (10 marked as war patrols) and 43 events.

Events

GH 09.03.2021: This table kept here until we make fix the possible missing events in table above

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani26 Sep 1942074038.16 N, 07.16 E
At 0740 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani26 Sep 1942115538.12 N, 07.06 E
At 1155 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 9,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani9 Oct 1942213537.36 N, 02.07.5 E
At 2135 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 200°. It was believed to be Nichelio. Argento turned away.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani10 Oct 1942231537.37 N, 02.06.5 E
At 2315 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 300°. Argento turned away.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani12 Oct 19421335At 1335 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani8 Nov 19420431At 0431 hours, an aircraft was sighted passing closely ahead and dropped a flare. The submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani8 Nov 19420930At 0930 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani8 Nov 19421150At 1150 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was seen at a distance of 9,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani14 Nov 1942043236.59 N, 07.06 E
At 0432 hours, a vessel was sighted. Argento maneuvered to gain an attack position. At 0439 hours, this was achieved, but then a second ship was sighted and both were later recognised as small patrol vessels. The attack was aborted.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani16 Nov 1942035537.43 N, 05.07 E
At 0355 hours, a shadow was sighted and initially taken for a submarine. It turned out to be a patrol vessel and Argento turned away.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani16 Nov 1942051036.46 N, 05.09 E
At 0510 hours, two motorboats were sighted cruising at slow speed. The submarine turned away.
Giovanni Tarabini Castellani16 Nov 1942053036.46 N, 05.10 E
At 0530 hours, a small patrol vessel was sighted and Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla12 Dec 19420110-023537.41 N, 07.24 E
At 0110 hours, the light from a vessel was sighted. The submarine dived to listen with the hydrophones. It appeared to be a small vessel.

At 0125 hours, the submarine surfaced and moved away with the stern tubes loaded and ready for action if necessary.

At 0200 hours, the shadow was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres and was later recognised to be a submarine chaser or corvette. Argento turned away on the surface.
Renato Frascolla13 Dec 1942004536.55 N, 05.30 E
At 0045 hours, three corvettes following a small patrol vessel were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla14 Dec 1942212537.54 N, 08.14 E
At 2125 hours, a submarine, believed to be Mocenigo, was sighted on a northerly course. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla15 Dec 1942051538.00 N, 08.37 E
At 0515 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla15 Dec 1942203537.46 N, 08.37 E
At 2035 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance, steering 080°. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla15 Dec 1942220037.51 N, 08.32 E
At 2200 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted at 1,500 metres. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla21 Dec 1942003038.07 N, 08.25 E
At 0030 hours, a submarine was sighted diving at a distance of 1,500 metres. Argento returned to her patrol area.
Renato Frascolla21 Dec 1942203537.44 N, 08.21 E
At 2035 hours, a submarine was sighted. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla22 Dec 19422155-221538.01 N, 08.48 E
At 2155 hours, a submarine was sighted proceeding on a northerly course at high speed. It made garbled signals, one of them ending with "LLO". It was initially believed to be Corallo. Argento closed to 2,000 meters, but then realised it could not be Corallo as the distance from her patrol zone would have been too great. Argento kept her bow on the submarine, which finally submerged and, at 2350 hours, Argento resumed her northerly course.

This was P 247 (Lieutenant M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN) (later named HMS Saracen). She had sighted the Italian submarine making quite a bit of smoke, steering 270° at 8 knots. She apparently sighted Argento again nearly two hours later.
Renato Frascolla21 Jan 19430240(o) About 20 miles SW of Cagliari.The submarine Wolframio was sighted. She was returning from patrol.
Renato Frascolla21 Jan 1943221838.07 N, 06.38 E
At 2218 hours, an aircraft, identified as a Vickers Wellington bomber, was sighted and it attacked from the moonlight. It violently strafed the submarine, passing astern of her and also firing with her rear guns as Argento replied with her machine-guns. The aircraft made two other strafing runs passing astern at 400-500 metres. It appeared to have been hit and flew away.

At 2235 hours, the submarine took the opportunity to submerge.

It is possible that this was Wellington 'U' of was 179 Squadron (see attack of 0400 hours on 22nd January).
Renato Frascolla22 Jan 19430400-043537.58 N, 06.51 E
At 0400 hours, an aircraft was seen attacking from the moonlight at an altitude of 600 metres. It flew over the submarine at less than 100 metres away and was met by antiaircraft fire. The aircraft dropped four bombs, three narrowly missed to starboard and one fell on the port side of the submarine. It was then seen to be climbing to 800 metres before suddenly crashing in the sea. T.V. Renato Frascolla announced the success by the interphone to the crew members below and ordered cheers for the King and the Duce.

At 0404 hours, Argento dived.

The aircraft was most probably Wellington 'U' (HX.690) of 179 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer T.H. Gordon-Glassford. It failed to return to base and it is very likely this was the bomber shot down by Argento.

At 0415 hours, four depth charges were heard and two more at 0435 hours.
Renato Frascolla24 Jan 1943211537.25 N, 05.41 E
At 2115 hours, a submarine was sighted steering between 270° and 300°. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla26 Jan 1943111437.20 N, 05.38 E
At 1114 hours, a convoy was sighted at a range of 8-10,000 metres. It passed out of range.
Renato Frascolla27 Jan 1943051037.21 N, 04.22 E
At 0510 hours, a Wellington bomber was sighted. The submarine immediately dived. A large flame had just been sighted in the distance.
Renato Frascolla29 Jan 1943034637.28 N, 05.26 E
At 0346 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 190°. Argento turned away.
Renato Frascolla29 Jan 1943110337.20 N, 05.37 E
At 1103 hours, a large destroyer of the TRIBAL class was sighted proceeding at 20-25 knots, which appeared intent on ramming the submarine. Argento dived to 85 meters but was not attacked.
Renato Frascolla29 Jan 1943184237.18 N, 05.34 E
At 1825 hours, a vessel using ASDIC was detected with the hydrophones and noise from a turbine with weak intensity.

At 1842 hours, four depth charges exploded, followed by six more patterns of four to six depth-charges but they caused no apparent damage.
Renato Frascolla18 Feb 1943034237.36 N, 06.36 E
At 0342 hours, an enemy twin-engine bomber was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres. Argento dived 2 minutes later.
Renato Frascolla18 Feb 1943110437.31 N, 06.14 E
At 1104 hours, two corvettes were sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. Argento did not attack hoping they may be preceding a convoy but nothing else was sighted.
Renato Frascolla21 Feb 1943170538.46 N, 07.40 E
At 1705 hours, a German Heinkel 111 bomber was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.
Renato Frascolla1 Mar 19431317
1212.5 (e)
(o) 105° - Cavoli Island - 5 miles.At 1317 hours, Argento sighted three torpedo tracks 40 metres on the starboard bow. The submarine turned hard to starboard.

This was an attack by the Dutch submarine Dolfijn (Lieutenant Commander H.M.L.F.E. van Oostrom Soede). At 1300 hours, she had sighted the submarine, described as GEMMA or SIRENA class, on course 070° then 110° and fired four torpedoes at 1312.5 hours, from a distance of 3,500 yards. All missed ahead.

The auxiliary Idria hunted the Dutch submarine with 50-kg depth charges set at 50 and 100 metres and believed the submarine damaged or sunk at 1620 hours, in position 022° - Cavoli Island - 11 miles. Dolfijn only heard distant explosions.
Leo Masina12 Apr 1943083040.13 N, 12.30 E
At 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Leo Masina12 Apr 1943124039.52 N, 11.44 E
At 1240 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Leo Masina17 May 19432225
2131 (e)
40.23 N, 07.48 E
(e) 40.05 N, 08.05 E
At 2225 hours, under a full moon and with excellent visibility, a twin-engine bomber was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. At first it was thought to be Italian, but ten minutes later it came back and flew over the submarine at a height of 400 metres. It turned back again and this time strafed the submarine and dropped two bombs, which fell 100 metres astern. A second run was made and three bombs were dropped, missing the stern by about 30 meters on the starboard side. The submarine replied with her twin machine-guns and claimed to have certainly scored hits.

This was Hudson 'P' of 608 Squadron. It had detected the submarine by radar and attacked from 900 feet with three 100 lbs bombs on the first run and three 250 lbs depth charges on the second run, but results were not seen. The bombs exploded in a cluster 20-25 yards dead astern of the U-boat. The submarine altered course to port and opened fire with flak. The aircraft then attacked from port bow, releasing a stick of 3 depth charges from approximately 80 feet. These exploded within 15 feet on starboard quarter. Nothing further seen due to darkness.

Argento did not suffer any damage and dived after the second run.
Leo Masina19 Jun 1943094538.20 N, 09.50 E
At 0945 hours, a four-engine aircraft was seen flying low and the submarine dived.
Leo Masina20 Jun 19430148
0215 (e)
37.24 N, 08.30 E
At 0148 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

This was probably Hudson 'W' (FK706) of /608 (FK706) piloted by Flying Officer F. Handsfordé. It gained a radar contact at 0215 hours and sighted what was probably a U-boat. No attack was possible.
Leo Masina30 Jun 1943040537.28 N, 06.41 E
At 0405 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Leo Masina23 Jul 19431525
1506 (e)
38.37.3 N, 15.44.5 E
(o) 090° - Cape Vaticano - 3 miles (Argento).
The following incident is not well documented as Argento was lost during this patrol.

At 1525 hours, she reported missed by three torpedoes astern.

The attack was actually carried out by HMS Unrivalled (P 45, Lieutenant H.B. Turner, DSC, RN). At 1459 hours, she sighted what she took for a German submarine escorted by an Italian motor launch, at a range of 4-5,000 yards. At 1506 hours, she fired four torpedoes at 9-second firing intervals from a distance of 4,000 yards. They apparently missed astern.
Leo Masina2 Aug 1943
2245B-0028.5/3 (e)
36.52.2 N, 12.03 E
At 2245B hours on 2nd August, the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) (Lt. Cdr George S. Lambert, USN) detected a submarine by radar at 5,500 yards. With the destroyer USS Nicholson (DD-442), she had been escorting a convoy of six Liberty ships from Licata to Oran: Washington (7,775 GRT, built 1941), Howell Cobb? (7,176 GRT, built 1943), Robert? Morris (7,176 GRT, built 1942), Charles? Piez (7,191 GRT, built 1943), Alexander Graham? Bell (7,176 GRT, built 1942) and Daniel Webster (7,176 GRT, built 1943).

At 2255B hours, the destroyer increased speed to 15 knots and ten minutes later obtained a sonar contact at 700 yards.

At 2301B hours, Buck dropped a first pattern of 5 depth charges set at 150 feet.

At 2311B hours, a second pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 200 feet. Sound contact was lost and regained several times.

At 0026B hours on 3rd August, a third pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 300 feet. According to the submarine survivors, the first two patterns had been ineffective, but the third was devastating.

At 0028B hours, the submarine broke surface astern of the destroyer at a range of 1,200 yards.

At 0028.5B hours, no. 3 5" inch gun opened fired, joined by the starboard 40mm and the after 20mm guns.

At 0029B hours, as the destroyer was turning to starboard she was missed by a torpedo fired by Argento. It passed fairly close to starboard. A minute later, the forward 5" guns and two 20mm forward guns had been brought to bear and were now also firing.

At 0030.5B hours, a second torpedo was fired by the submarine and also missed. Argento's crew began to abandon ship.

At 0031B, Buck attempted to ram the submarine but missed astern by 50 feet.

At 0037B hours, the destroyer stopped firing as Argento appeared disabled and with a 45° list to starboard. She had fired a total of 110 rounds of 5" ammunition, 338 of 40 mm and 707 of 20 mm.

At 0100B hours, as the submarine sank, Buck lowered a motor whaler and, after three trips, forty-six survivors were picked up (one later died), including T.V. Leo Masina. In all, four ratings perished.

On 9th October 1943, USS Buck was herself torpedoed and sunk by U-616 (OL Siegfried Koitschka).

All Italian submarines