Italian submarines in World War Two
Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)
Pietro Calvi (USMM)
|Laid down||20 Jul 1932||Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano|
|Launched||31 Mar 1935|
|Commissioned||16 Oct 1935|
|Loss date||14 Jul 1942|
|Loss position||29° 50'N, 26° 06'W|
|Fate||Scuttled on 14th July 1942, south of the Azores in position 29°50'N, 26°06'W after being forced to surface by depth charges from the sloop HMS Lulworth which then engaged her with gunfire.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Giuseppe Caridi||20 Aug 1939||13 May 1941|
|T.V. Giorgio Lesca||14 May 1941||23 Jun 1941|
|C.C. Emilio Olivieri||24 Jun 1941||Jun 1942|
|C.F. Primo Longobardo||Jun 1942||15 Jul 1942|
|Date||Commander||Ship hit||Type||GRT||Nat.||Loss type|
|1.||20 Dec 1940||C.C. Giuseppe Caridi||Carlton||Cargo ship||5,162||Sunk|
|2.||29 Mar 1942||C.C. Emilio Olivieri||Tredinnick||Cargo ship||4,597||Sunk|
|3.||1 Apr 1942||C.C. Emilio Olivieri||T.C. McCobb||Tanker||7,451||Sunk|
|4.||10 Apr 1942||C.C. Emilio Olivieri||Eugene V.R. Thayer||Tanker||7,138||Sunk|
|5.||11 Apr 1942||C.C. Emilio Olivieri||Balkis||Cargo ship||2,161||Sunk|
|6.||13 Apr 1942||C.C. Emilio Olivieri||Ben Brush||Tanker||7,691||Sunk|
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||10 Jun 1940||La Spezia||10 Jun 1940||La Spezia||Refitting at La Spezia.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||1 Jul 1940||0735||La Spezia||1 Jul 1940||1900||La Spezia||Trials.|
|1||Caridi, Giuseppe||3 Jul 1940||1825||La Spezia||6 Aug 1940||0830||La Spezia||4907||Patrolled in Atlantic NW of Madeira and off Funchal (Portugal). Returned passage across Gibraltar on the surface. At the issue of this patrol, C.C. Caridi made the observation that his SAFAR hydrophones were not satisfactory and ought to be replaced by the GELOSO type. He also noted that the 120/45 guns required a gun crew of nine each and whereas the 100/47 guns could be manned by just four.|
|2||Caridi, Giuseppe||1 Oct 1940||0000||La Spezia||23 Oct 1940||1230||Bordeaux||3781||Passage La Spezia to Bordeaux. Passed Gibraltar on 6th October 1940. On 8th October she was ordered to patrol within 30 miles of 45°05'N, 13°35'W to intercept a convoy reported by Glauco and reached the area at 1900 hours on the 10th. With Tazzoli escorted in by the German minesweepers M-6, M-9 and M-10.|
|8 Oct 1940||0950|
(0) Off Portuguese coast?
|The Spanish sailing vessel Angel De La Guardia, carrying 120 tons of salt on passage from Cadiz to Villanueve de Arosa (Galicia), was stopped but released after examination.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||1 Dec 1940||0840||Bordeaux||1 Dec 1940||1255||Le Verdon||50||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||1 Dec 1940||1730||Le Verdon||1 Dec 1940||1910||Le Verdon||20||Trials.|
|3||Caridi, Giuseppe||3 Dec 1940||1715||Le Verdon||31 Dec 1940||1810||Le Verdon||4097||Patrolled off Ireland between 54°20'N and 55°20'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W.|
|6 Dec 1940||1000||The submarine was informed by BETASOM of a damaged British vessel in Italian Grid 9624 (49°30' N, 13°30' E). This was 86 miles away and she altered course to intercept. The bad weather slowed down the submarine causing some superficial damage and she only reached the position at 0800 hours on the 7th but low visibility preventer her from locating the vessel.|
|12 Dec 1940||1110||55° 16'N, 19° 34'W||An unknown 5,000-ton steamer was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres, zigzagging at 8 or 9 knots steering 240° (armed with one gun forward and one aft). Pietro Calvi submerged but could not close to less than 4,000 meters and aborted the attack. Caridi decided to surface to intercept. The submarine trailed the vessel for most of the day steering 240°, but she suffered a breakdown of the starboard engine at 2300 hours and at dawn the next day abandoned the chase.|
|17 Dec 1940||1355||54° 29'N, 20° 04'W||An unknown tanker was sighted from a distance of 10 miles steering 240-260°. The submarine gave chase, but again suffered the breakdown of one of her diesel engines and abandoned the attempt.|
|17 Dec 1940||1820||54° 29'N, 20° 04'W|
|Through radiogoniometry, the submarine detected a strong radio transmission on 600 m at a range estimated at 30 miles and gave chase. Having sighted nothing, the submarine gave up at 2100 hours.|
|18 Dec 1940||0557||54° 14'N, 19° 43'W||At 0535 hours, a dark shape was observed at a distance of 3,000 metres. Having closed the range to 1,000 metres at 0557 hour, one torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube. It was set at a depth of only 2 metres (an experimental setting) but it had an erratic course and missed. The target was the armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (11,432 GRT, built 1931).|
|18 Dec 1940||0558.5||54° 14'N, 19° 43'W||A second torpedo (533mm) was fired at the armed merchant cruiser from a bow tube from the same distance, but again it had an erratic course and missed.|
|18 Dec 1940||0925-0938||54° 14'N, 19° 43'W||The submarine now opened fire at the armed merchant cruiser with her deck gun at a distance of 4-5,000 metres but the rough seas made the fall of shots difficult to see. HMS Worcestershire replied at 0950 hours, apparently using two guns. After the submarine had fired ten rounds without securing a hit, Caridi decided to break off the action and Pietro Calvi submerged.|
|18 Dec 1940||1325||54° 09'N, 19° 36'W||A small vessel steering 240-260° was observed from a distance of 9-10 miles. The submarine lost contact at 1500 hours in a rain squall. At 1540 hours, she sighted another smoke on the horizon but the vessel (estimated at less than 2,000 GRT) went straight for the submarine, forcing her to submerge. When it came to periscope depth, the range was already 2,000 meters and the vessel was showing her stern. The heavy seas precluded the submarine from making use of her guns.|
|20 Dec 1940||1013|
|55° 00'N, 17° 46'W|
(e) 55° 33'N, 18° 10'W
|At 1000 hours, Pietro Calvi observed a dark vessel at a distance of 2,000 metres. At 1013 hours, the distance had closed to 600 metres when C.C. Caridi ordered tube no.2 to be fired. Due to a malfunction of the interphone, both torpedoes that had been readied (one 533mm and one 450mm) were fired. They both missed, but were observed by the target who opened fire with a machine gun and sent an SOS. This was the British Carlton (5,162 GRT, built 1924) from convoy OB.260d.|
|20 Dec 1940||1448|
|55° 00'N, 17° 46'W|
(e) 55° 18'N, 18° 49'W
|The submarine turned for a stern shot (450mm) at the same target from a distance of 1,000 metres but the torpedo missed ahead.|
|20 Dec 1940||1455||55° 00'N, 17° 46'W||A second stern shot (533mm) was fired from a distance of 1,300 metres. It squarely hit the target after 62 seconds, and Carlton (5162 GRT, built 1924) sank in six minutes. The submarine found 30 survivors in two boats and asked them if they needed anything (the captain asked for cigarettes). Thirty-one were lost, and four rescued. According to C.C. Caridi the vessel's SOS gave a position 30 miles to the north of the actual position.|
|21 Dec 1940||1800||54° 43'N, 19° 02'W||An enemy destroyer was sighted steering 090°, but the submarine was not in a favourable attack position and made no attempt to intercept.|
|26 Dec 1940||2115||54° 49'N, 20° 00'W||A single bow shot (533mm) was fired at a 10,000-ton vessel from a range that was difficult to ascertain due to the poor visibility. A hit was claimed and the target sunk. No vessel was reported sunk at this time.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||1 Jan 1941||1740||Bordeaux||1 Jan 1941||2140||Pauillac||25||Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||4 Jan 1941||0930||Pauillac||4 Jan 1941||1300||Bordeaux||25||Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||21 Mar 1941||1345||Bordeaux||21 Mar 1941||1955||Le Verdon||55||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon escorted by Sperrbrecher 34.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||22 Mar 1941||1700||Le Verdon||22 Mar 1941||1810||Le Verdon||8||Trials perhaps escorted by Sperrbrecher III and the minesweeper M-21.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||23 Mar 1941||1610||Le Verdon||23 Mar 1941||2040||Le Verdon||25||Trials.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||24 Mar 1941||0805||Le Verdon||24 Mar 1941||1420||La Pallice||70||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||25 Mar 1941||1155||La Pallice||25 Mar 1941||1820||La Pallice||22||Trials.|
|Caridi, Giuseppe||28 Mar 1941||0800||La Pallice||28 Mar 1941||1630||La Pallice||26||Trials.|
|4||Caridi, Giuseppe||31 Mar 1941||1930||La Pallice||13 May 1941||2125||Bordeaux||8202||Patrolled between Canary and Azores Islands in approximately (1) 40°00'N, 15°00'W (2) 00°00'N, 21°00'W (3) 15°00'N, 20°00' W. The submarine was escorted back by the German minesweepers M-30 and M-32 from point 36.|
|2 Apr 1941||0445||43° 21'N, 14° 00'W||A neutral passenger ship proceeding toward northern Spain was observed but left to proceed undisturbed.|
|5 Apr 1941||1600||45° 29'N, 4° 29'W||The submarine was informed of the presence of two convoys and altered course to 150° to intercept. The first convoy was reported by Finzi at 1800 hours on the 2nd in 26°15' N, 17°55' W, course 000°, 8 knots. The second convoy was reported by BETASOM at 1900 hours on the 4th in 35°55' N, 05°35' W, steering 270°, 8 knots. Caridi decided to intercept the first convoy between meridians 17°50' W and 18°00' W and reached the area at 1115 hours on the 6th, but by 1730 hours they still sighted nothing, and then took a course of 045°. At 2130 hours, the gyrocompass failed and she was unable to determine her position with accuracy.|
|7 Apr 1941||0915||40° 44'N, 15° 14'W||A 500-ton Portuguese fishing vessel was observed and left undisturbed. At 1200 hours on the 7th, the submarine reached 15°W and having sighted nothing, resumed her westward course.|
|8 Apr 1941||0300||45° 29'N, 4° 29'W||The submarine received a signal from BETASOM reporting a convoy in 25°30' N, 18°30' W and altered course to 145° to intercept. At 2000 hours on the 9th, she received a new signal and altered course to the south to intercept, but by 1600 hours on the 11th had sighted nothing and abandoned the attempt.|
|10 Apr 1941||0545||39° 00'N, 18° 45'W||An illuminated vessel was observed, apparently proceeding to Lisbon. The vessel could not be closed enough to identify and the submarine abandoned the attempt to intercept.|
|22 Apr 1941||1736||1° 21'N, 21° 00'W||At 1420 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon and the submarine took an intercepting course. While closing it was identified as an enemy medium-sized vessel. At 1736 hours, the first torpedo misfired due to a defective valve. One torpedo was fired after a 5-6 second-delay and another with a 25-second delay which naturally missed the target. The torpedo crew was criticised by Admiral Parona (head of BETASOM) as these delays were inexcusable.|
|28 Apr 1941||1414||10° 06'N, 18° 57'W||A steamer was observed at 1318 hours. The submarine made a submerged approach (hampered by a defective attack periscope) and it appeared to be 5,000-ton vessel steering 100°, apparently proceeding to Conakry. At 1414 hours, a single torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 1,500 metres. It missed. The vessel made an SOS identifying herself as the British Carperby (4,890 GRT, built 1928) and opened fire on the periscope. Caridi had trouble keeping his submarine at periscope depth and finally lost contact.|
|3 May 1941||2115||18° 40'N, 20° 20'W||A smoke was seen over the horizon and the submarine closed. It proved to be a Spanish vessel and she was allowed to proceed.|
|4 May 1941||1915||20° 20'N, 19° 30'W||A vessel was sighted on a 200° course. It proved to be the Spanish Jupiter (4,833 GRT, built 1900) and was allowed to proceed.|
|5 May 1941||0345||21° 18'N, 19° 10'W||A 20,000-ton ship, escorted by a destroyer, was observed at a distance of 5,000 metres, travelling at 18-20 knots, probably proceeding to Gibraltar. Because of the excellent visibility, the attempt to close was abandoned at 0440 hours.|
|7 May 1941||0825||26° 58'N, 15° 35'W||A smoke was seen on the horizon and the submarine maneuvered to intercept. but at 1135 hours this was recognized as a fishing vessel proceeding to Grand Canary island and was ignored.|
|7 May 1941||1140||26° 58'N, 15° 35'W|
|An unknown vessel was sighted and the submarine dived to attack. The vessel proved to be Swiss but despite closing to a distance of 500 metres, the name could not be deciphered and she was left undisturbed.|
|8 May 1941||0815||28° 55'N, 14° 52'W||The submarine closed a vessel, which proved to be the Spanish Cilurnum (3,863 GRT, built 1919), proceeding to Santander and she was left undisturbed.|
|9 May 1941||2300||35° 00'N, 13° 10'W||BETASOM ordered the submarine to patrol between 33°00' N and 34°00' N and between 09°00' W and 10°00' W. Caridi had to inform BETASOM that he could not comply because of engine defects.|
|10 May 1941||1000||36° 22'N, 12° 48'W||Pietro Calvi was ordered by BETASOM to intercept a convoy reported in 51°52' N, 19°20' W on southerly course. Caridi had to inform BETASOM that he could not comply because the submarine was short of fuel.|
|Lesca, Giorgio||14 May 1941||Date?||Bordeaux||23 Jun 1941||Bordeaux||Refit?|
|Olivieri, Emilio||15 Jul 1941||1130||Bordeaux||15 Jul 1941||1525||Pauillac||20||Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||16 Jul 1941||1130||Pauillac||16 Jul 1941||1525||Le Verdon||45||Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||17 Jul 1941||0700||Le Verdon||17 Jul 1941||1605||La Pallice (anchored)||49||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||17 Jul 1941||2015||La Pallice (anchored)||17 Jul 1941||2110||La Pallice (moored)||1||Moved to quay.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||18 Jul 1941||2020||La Pallice (moored)||18 Jul 1941||2130||La Pallice (anchored)||1||Moved to anchorage.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||19 Jul 1941||0600||La Pallice (anchored)||19 Jul 1941||1255||Le Verdon||70||Passage La Pallice-Le Verdon.|
|5||Olivieri, Emilio||19 Jul 1941||2130||Le Verdon||12 Sep 1941||1230||Bordeaux||10701||Sailed for patrol between 23°30'W and 24°30'W, off the Canaries and Azores Islands. Sighted fishing vessels and neutral ships.|
|26 Jul 1941||2030||40° 25'N, 24° 05'W|
|Pietro Calvi was ordered by BETASOM to intercept a convoy reported in an area delimited by 43° and 44° N and by 21° and 22° W. The submarine altered course to 030° to intercept. At 0420 hours on the 27th, she received the order to proceed to an area delimited by 42° and 43° N and by 18° and 19° W. and altered course to 070°. Another signal followed at 0950 hours on the 27th, this time ordering the submarine to move to 42°45' N, 17°05' W, which was 270 miles away. A signal at 1600 hours on the 27th followed mentioning a second convoy in 43°55' N, 18°45' W steering 236° (but due to an error in deciphering, it was initially believed that the course was 200°). Olivieri decided to intercept the second convoy but a few hours later was told by BETASOM to attack the first one.|
|28 Jul 1941||1628||40° 15'N, 18° 15'W|
|An enemy destroyer proceeding at high speed was sighted in the mist, at a distance of 8,000 metres. Pietro Calvi dived to 90-100 meters and surfaced at 1815 hours. A smoke was sighted on the horizon and she altered course to investigate. but then BETASOM later signalled the latest position of the convoy and she altered course to intercept, but saw nothing.|
|31 Jul 1941||1320||31° 00'N, 14° 00'W|
(0) Very approximate position.
|A German U-boat was seen at 6,000 metres.|
|5 Sep 1941||1456||36° 16'N, 14° 24'W||A vessel was sighted at 8,000 metres and the submarine closed to the attack. It proved to be the American steamer Wildwood (5,590 GRT, built 1919) and the attack was broken off.|
|7 Sep 1941||0250||37° 30'N, 16° 30'W|
(0) Very approximate position.
|An illuminated ship, which seem to be American of the PRESIDENT class, was observed on a westerly course but no action taken.|
|7 Sep 1941||1740-2140||37° 30'N, 16° 30'W|
(0) Very approximate position.
|A four-masted sailing ship was seen and the submarine closed to intercept. It turned out to be the Portuguese Brites (423 GRT, built 1936) and the attack was broken off.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||7 Dec 1941||0930||Bordeaux||7 Dec 1941||1358||Le Verdon||65||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|6||Olivieri, Emilio||7 Dec 1941||1755||Le Verdon||28 Dec 1941||1600||St. Nazaire||Sailed on a mission to rescue the survivors from the German raider Atlantis and her supply ship Python, northwest of Cape Verde (took off 70 men from U-124). Four submarines participated in the operation: Finzi, Calvi, Torelli and Tazolli. The four commanders were decorated by Admiral Doenitz.|
|10 Dec 1941||1145-1515||44° 07'N, 12° 00'W||Pietro Calvi ceded one ton of oil to U-126 (OL Ernst Bauer) by transferring it through rubber boat.|
|18 Dec 1941||1307-1640||20° 00'N, 25° 50'W||Pietro Calvi met U-124 (KL Georg-Wilhelm Schulz ) carrying survivors from Atlantis and Python. She took off seventy men and brought them to St. Nazaire.|
|25 Dec 1941||1235||42° 36'N, 12° 13'W||A derelict mine was seen but no action was taken.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||28 Dec 1941||1725||St. Nazaire||29 Dec 1941||1835||Bordeaux||223||Passage St. Nazaire-Bordeaux.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||5 Mar 1942||0900||Bordeaux||5 Mar 1942||1400||Le Verdon||60||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon|
|7||Olivieri, Emilio||7 Mar 1942||0820||Le Verdon||29 Apr 1942||0930||Le Verdon||9443||Sailed for patrol off Guyana and Brazil via 45°00'N, 10°00'W, then directed to C. Orange and to follow coast until Cape San Rocco. She carried 326 rounds of 12 cm and nineteen torpedoes.|
|13 Mar 1942||2320||40° 25'N, 18° 12'W||A small illuminated vessel was seen and it turned out to be Spanish.|
|23 Mar 1942||2359||24° 59'N, 35° 13'W||An illuminated vessel was seen. It must have been neutral so no action was taken.|
|28 Mar 1942||1520-1645||13° 57'N, 44° 16'W||A squadron of four ships, with an aircraft flying above, was observed at a distance of 12,000 metres. One of them was recognised as possibly the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, but the submarine could not close to less than 9,000 metres.|
|29 Mar 1942||0837||11° 46'N, 43° 18'W||A steamer of the Huntingdon class was seen and two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes. This was British Tredinnick (4,597 GRT, built 1921) on passage New York to Capetown. Both hit within 25-26 seconds and she sank quickly. None of her crew of forty-six survived.|
|31 Mar 1942||2105-2116|
1620 or 1920 GMT (e)
|6° 59'N, 44° 38'W|
(e) 7° 10'N, 45° 20'W
|At 1500 hours, Pietro Calvi sighted a tanker and trailed her with the intention on closing after dark to attack her.|
At 2105 hours, she opened fire with her forward gun but it was inaccurate and the heavy seas prevented the use of the gun aft.
This was the American tanker T. C. McCobb (7,452 GRT, built 1936) on passage from Buenos Aires to Caripito (Venezuela).
From 2105 to 2116 hours, she opened fire with her forward gun but it was inaccurate and the heavy seas prevented the use of the gun aft and fire was checked.
Between 2252 and 2315 hours, the submarine resumed fire on the American T. C. McCobb from a distance of 6,800 metres and this time claimed ten hits. The tanker was indeed damaged and reported that some 28 to 33 rounds had been fired at her. In fact, Pietro Calvi had fired about 60 rounds of her main armament.
At 2333 hours, a torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube and scored a hit on T. C. McCobb, but she was only damaged.
|31 Mar 1942||2347||7° 19'N, 45° 44'W||Pietro Calvi turned to fire a stern shot (450mm) and it also scored a hit, but the American tanker proved a tough nut to crack and she did not sink.|
At 2359 hours, another stern shot was fired, this time a 533mm torpedo, it also scored a hit, but the American tanker was still afloat.
|1 Apr 1942||0007||7° 19'N, 45° 44'W||At 0007 hours, Pietro Calvi resumed her attack with a torpedo (450mm) fired from a bow tube, again scoring a hit and again failing to send the tanker to the bottom.|
At 0016 hours, the submarine turned again for another stern shot (533mm), which hit the unfortunate T. C. McCobb.
At 0028 hours, a torpedo (450mm) was fired from a bow tube but despite being claimed as a hit, it failed to explode. T. C. McCobb finally sank at 0115 hours. Thirty-four survivors reached Paramaribo, fifteen of them being picked up by the Greek Santa Monica (flying the Panamanian flag) on 8th April. Five were killed or missing.
|5 Apr 1942||0425||0° 05'N, 43° 30'W||An Argentine vessel was observed steering 300°, 8 knots, but no action was taken.|
|5 Apr 1942||2212||0° 27'S, 43° 06'W||An unknown vessel, navigating without lights, was sighted steering 300°, 12 knots. The submarine gave chase, but her port diesel engine broke down and contact was lost.|
|7 Apr 1942||2225||1° 08'S, 41° 49'W||In rainy weather, a vessel was observed over the horizon. Pietro Calvi altered course to investigate. It turned out to be the British Empire Peregrine (6440 GRT, built 1941) who made an SOS and turned away at full speed. The submarine could not catch up and contact was lost.|
|8 Apr 1942||0855||1° 19'S, 40° 49'W||A small illuminated 5-6,000-ton tanker was observed steering 300°. She appeared neutral and no action was taken.|
|9 Apr 1942||2357|
2235 LAT (e)
|2° 24'S, 39° 27'W|
(e) 2° 45'S, 39° 40'W
|At 2110 hours, a smoke was sighted and the submarine rapidly closed. It appeared to be a tanker on a 300° course at 9 knots. At 2357 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a distance of 800 metres. They missed a few metres ahead. This was the American tanker Eugene V.R. Thayer (7,138 GRT, built 1920) bound from Campagna (Argentina) to Caripito (Venezuela).|
|10 Apr 1942||0120||2° 24'S, 39° 27'W|
(e) 2° 45'S, 39° 40'W
|At 0120 hours, Pietro Calvi had now moved ahead of the American tanker and turned to fire two stern shots (450mm), but they missed under. Olivieri now ordered the gun crew to their station.|
Between 0230 and 0250 hours and from a distance of 3,000 metres, closing down to 2,000 metres, Pietro Calvi opened fire on the American tanker. After 49 rounds of which some 12 appear to hit the vessel, it was now identified as Eugene V.R. Thayer (7,138 GRT, built 1920). Fire was temporarily checked to determine if the vessel was being abandoned. When this did not appear to be the case, fire was resumed with the forward gun at 0310 hours with another 44 rounds of which 28 were claimed hits.
At 0348 hours, the submarine now fired a stern shot (450mm) from a distance of 600 metres to finish off the tanker, but it missed.
At 0404 hours, Pietro Calvi turned for a bow shot (533mm) set at a depth of 2 metres and fired from a distance of 600 metres. This time it hit the target but the Eugene V.R. Thayer failed to sink.
From 0410 to 0505 hours, fire was now resumed with the stern gun with 30 rounds delivered, most of which hit the target and Eugene V.R. Thayer finally sank. Of the crew of thirty-seven, eleven were killed. Survivors took to two lifeboats. Thirteen crew members in one boat were rescued by two PBYs of VP-52 Squadron and the other thirteen reached the coast north of Aracati (100 miles east of Fortaleza, Brazil) two days later.
|11 Apr 1942||0024|
2030 EWT or 2230/10 (e)
|2° 25'S, 38° 27'W|
(e) 2° 30'S, 38° 00'W
|At 2255 hours on 10th April, a vessel was sighted proceeding on a 130° course at 12 knots. The submarine maneuvered to intercept her and at 0024 hours on the 11th, fired two torpedoes (533mm) from the bow tubes at a distance of 350 metres. The first missed, but the second appeared to hit just under the bridge (she was actually hit in No.2 hold). This was the Norwegian Balkis (2.161 GRT, built 1939) on a trip from Halifax to Buenos Aires. The submarine fired her machine guns to speed up the evacuation of the ship which finally sank at 0100 hours. Seven men were killed or missing, the twenty-four survivors had taken into a lifeboat and a motorboat and were picked up on the following day by the Swedish Scania.|
|12 Apr 1942||2328|
1515 EWT or 1915 LZT (e)
|4° 21'S, 35° 35'W|
(e) 4° 32'S, 35° 03'W
|At 2140 hours on 12th April, a tanker was sighted steering 120° at 8-9 knots. The submarine took an intercepting course and, at 2328 hours, one torpedo (450mm) was fired from a bow tube at a distance at 800 metres. It hit after 42 seconds but failed to sink her. This was the Panamanian Ben Brush (7,691 GRT, built 1928, ex Danish Caroline Maersk) bound from Aruba for Buenos Aires.|
Between 2337 and 2349 hours, the submarine used her forward gun to deliver 15 rounds from a distance of 800 metres, claiming a dozen hits and causing further damage.
At midnight, the submarine having turned to present her stern, fired two torpedoes (one 533mm and one 450mm) from a range of 600 metres. Both hit, but the target still did not sink.
|13 Apr 1942||0017|
1900 EW (e)
|4° 21'S, 35° 35'W|
(e) 4° 32'S, 35° 03'W
|At 0017 hours the 13th of April, the submarine resumed firing with her deck gun, but after 25 rounds 20 of which were claimed to have hit the tanker, Ben Brush was still afloat.|
|13 Apr 1942||0102|
1900 EWT (e)
|4° 21'S, 35° 35'W|
(e) 4° 32'S, 35° 03'W
|The submarine finished off the Panamanian ship with seventeen rounds from her forward gun. Ben Brush finally sank, she had one killed and thirty-four survivors.|
|22 Apr 1942||0810||29° 11'N, 22° 10'W||Two enemy steamers were observed steering 170°, 7 knots. The submarine took evasive action as she had no torpedoes left.|
|28 Apr 1942||0140||44° 54'N, 4° 30'W||An Italian submarine was sighted but not identified. It was believed to be Barbarigo or Alpino Bagnolini.|
|Olivieri, Emilio||29 Apr 1942||1330||Le Verdon||29 Apr 1942||1755||Bordeaux||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|Longobardo, Primo||26 Jun 1942||1630||Bordeaux||26 Jun 1942||2113||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon. Stopped at Pauillac to change pilot at 1928 hours on 26th June.|
|Longobardo, Primo||27 Jun 1942||0720||Le Verdon||27 Jun 1942||1800||La Pallice||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|8||Longobardo, Primo||2 Jul 1942||1800||La Pallice||15 Jul 1942||0020||Sunk||Sailed for Caribbean through position 25°00'N, 30°00'W (on 15 July). Carrying a full complement of torpedoes (314 rounds of 12 cm, 11 x 533 mm W.533/270 7.2 m, 8 x 450 mm W.400/180 or 200 5 m, the forward tubes were equipped with 533 mm and the stern tubes with 450 mm, she carried 426 tons of fuel). Daily positions survived in Longobardo's rough log. She was told by BETASOM to chase a vessel of the ANDALUISA STAR class, but this order was later cancelled. No attacks were carried out except in her last action when she was sunk by HMS Lulworth (Lt. Cdr Clive Gwinner, RN) in 30°07'N, 26°07'W. Her captain was killed by gunfire, three officers and thirty-two ratings were later picked up by HMS Bideford and HMS Londonderry (escort leader, Cdr John Standley Dalison, RN), six officers and thirty-seven ratings were killed or missing. The presence of a U-boat (U-130 who had been sighted by Calvi) forced Lulworth to abandon the rescue. Lt. (E) F.W. North, RN, who had boarded the submarine, was drowned when the submarine suddenly sank. According to British Naval Intelligence, Calvi was the 47th Italian submarine to have been lost at this time (the correct number was 49 if one includes a midget submarine lost in the Black Sea). Longobardo was awarded the Medaglia D'Oro posthumously.|
|14 Jul 1942||2100|
(e) 29° 50'N, 26° 06'W
(0) Positions also given: 30°07 N, 26°07 W and 30°35 N, 25°58 W.
|The submarine fired two stern torpedoes (450mm) at an enemy warship but missed. This was the sloop HMS Lulworth, part of the escort of convoy S.L.115. With HMS Londonderry and HMS Bideford, she had been chasing U-130 and had now sighted the Italian submarine.|
At 1903 hours, HMS Lulworth (former USCG cutter Chelan), stationed ahead of the convoy SL.115, sighted two submarines within a short time. The first, U 130, had turned away and the second, Pietro Calvi, was sighted at a distance of 12 miles. The sloop decided to concentrate her efforts on the latter. The Italian submarine had dived and at 2023 hours, an ASDIC contact was obtained at a distance of 1,600 yards and a first pattern delivered, these were nine depth charges set at depths ranging from 50 to 140 feet. At 2037 hours, another nine depth charges were dropped set from 150 to 300 feet. A final pattern of ten depth charges was dropped at 2045 hours, they were set at a depths from 350 to 550 feet.
At 2054 hours, the submarine was brought to the surface and was illuminated by snowflake and starshell and then by searchlight. At 2100 hours, Pietro Calvi fired two stern torpedoes (450mm) at HMS Lulworth but missed. She attempted to defend herself with her two 120mm guns but could only fire off two rounds before HMS Lulworth quickly overwhelmed her with accurate fire from her 3inch gun and the 0,5inch Browning machine guns. At 2107 hours, HMS Lulworth tried to ram her and struck a glancing blow and the Italian crew surrendered.A British officer, Lt. (E). North tried to enter the submarine to recover documents but was drowned when Pietro Calvi suddenly sank. The arrival of the second U-boat (U-130) forced the sloop to temporarily abandon the rescue of the survivors and these were later picked up by HMS Bideford and HMS Londonderry (escort leader, Cdr John Standley Dalison, RN). Three officers and thirty-two ratings were recovered. Forty-three were killed or missing including Primo Longobardo.
When Commander Dalison heard the name of the submarine captain, he was greatly chagrined as he had befriended Longobardo before the war and kept a silver cigarette case he had received for his birthday from the future Italian captain with the inscription "Con molta amicizia. Shanghai. 26.12.29 . Primo Longobardo". Dalison had served at the time on HMS Berwick and Longobardo on the gunboat Sebastiano Caboto and they had become friends.
Longobardo was awarded the Medaglia D'Oro posthumously.
84 entries. 33 total patrol entries (8 marked as war patrols) and 58 events.